Title: The Two Towers
Series: The Lord of the Rings (Part-II)
Author: J. R. R. Tolkien
File Size: Single PDF File (1.66 MB)
Tolkien wrote, “The Two Towers gets as near as possible to finding a title to cover the widely divergent Books 3 and 4; and can be left ambiguous.” At this stage he planned to title the individual books. The proposed title for Book III was The Treason of Isengard. Book IV was titled The Journey of the Ringbearers or The Ring Goes East. The titles The Treason of Isengard and The Ring Goes East were used in the Millennium edition.
As Aragorn searches for Frodo, he suddenly hears Boromir’s horn. Aragorn finds Boromir mortally wounded by arrows, sitting with his back against a great tree, surrounded by many slain orcs. Before Boromir dies, Aragorn learns that Saruman’s Uruk-hai soldiers have kidnapped some of the hobbits, in spite of his efforts to defend them; that Frodo had vanished after Boromir had attempted to take the Ring from him; and that he truly regretted his actions. In his last moments, Boromir charges Aragorn with defending Minas Tirith from Sauron. With Legolas and Gimli, who had been fighting Orcs by themselves, Aragorn pays his last tributes to Boromir and sends him down the Great River Anduin on a funeral boat, the usual methods of burial being impractical. Aragorn, Legolas, and Gimli later resolve to follow the Uruk-hai captors and save Merry and Pippin.
Aragorn, Gimli, and Legolas come across the Riders of Rohan led by Éomer, nephew of King Théoden. The trio learn that the horsemen had attacked a band of Orcs the previous night, and that they had left no survivors. However, Aragorn is able to track a small set of prints that lead into Fangorn, where they see an old man who disappears almost as soon as they see him—they assume him to be Saruman. Their horses bolt away, which they also assume to be the work of Saruman.
Frodo and Sam discover and capture Gollum, who has been stalking them in their quest to reach Mount Doom and destroy the One Ring, as Gollum attempts to reclaim the Ring for himself. Sam loathes and distrusts him, but Frodo pities the poor creature. Gollum promises by the Ring (his “Precious”) to lead the pair to the Black Gate of Mordor, and for a time appears to be like his old self, Sméagol. He leads them through a hidden passage of the Dead Marshes in order to avoid being spied by Orcs. Frodo and Sam learn that the Dead Marshes were once part of an ancient battlefield, upon which the War of the Last Alliance was fought. They see many dead faces of ancient warriors and orcs staring up at them.
After the marshes, they then cross the desolation and come to the Black Gate. At night, Sam overhears Gollum talking to himself and plotting to get the Ring back. Unable to do so because of the promise he made to Frodo, he resolves to allow something he refers to only as “She” to take care of his problem. Sam realizes that the Ring masters Gollum more than hunger. Gollum persuades Frodo and Sam not to enter the Black Gate, where they would have been surely caught. Gollum tells them of a secret entrance to Mordor. Thus, they head south into Gondor’s province of Ithilien, where they get to see one of the “oliphants” in a battle between the men of Gondor and the Haradrim. They are then discovered by a group of Gondorian rangers led by Faramir, the brother of Boromir. Frodo learns from Faramir of Boromir’s death. Faramir and the Rangers lead Frodo and Sam into a secret hideout where Sam accidentally reveals to Faramir that Frodo carries the One Ring. As a result of this, Frodo reveals the plan to destroy the Ring in the fires of Mount Doom. Unlike his brother Boromir, Faramir resists the temptation of the Ring. Later that night, Gollum is captured diving for fish into the sacred pool. Frodo negotiates Gollum’s freedom with Faramir. The following morning Faramir allows them to go on their way, but warns them that Gollum may know more about the secret entrance than he has been telling them.