Overview (No Spoilers):
My reread of The Lord of the Rings trilogy continues with The Two Towers and wow, was it so much better than I’d remembered. Of course, I’d loved it before, but I couldn’t stop listening to it this time around. Positively hooked. This was my first time listening to the audio and Andy Serkis again did a phenomenal job. I would listen to Serkis read any audiobook at this point.
As I talked about in my review for The Fellowship of the Ring, so many of my memories of this series are now interwoven with the movies. I find that I’m routinely amazed at how closely the two mediums match up.
In previous reads of The Two Towers, it always felt like this middle installment dragged with the endless running by Aragorn, Gimli, and Legolas, especially when paired with Frodo’s painfully slow march toward Mordor. In this reread, those segments were in no way as long or tedious as I remembered. Plus my favorite characters of the trilogy, the Ents in Fangorn Forest made their appearance. Galadriel’s chapters held just as much mystery and magic this time around, though I felt like I had greater insights gleaned from having watched the new Amazon show. And despite knowing Shelob was awaiting Frodo and company I couldn’t quite remember how the scene played out. Talk about suspense.
Another one of my favorite parts of this trilogy is the sacking of Isengard. Merry and Pippen’s commentary is, as always, highly amusing, especially when factoring in Gandalf 2.0’s dryness. The meeting of Faramir and the resulting battle sequence is also so much more magical than I remembered. Really, I finished this read feeling like I had forgotten how detailed and eloquent Tolkien’s writing was.
Overall, I couldn’t stop reading The Two Towers, marveling throughout by how Tolkien effortlessly navigates creating a beautifully complex world filled with layers upon layers of culture and history.
Additional insight (Spoilers Abound):
- What exactly are the Huorns? How can’t they travel so fast? They are frankly terrifying.
- How does the phial of Galadriel work?
- What magic was worked that brought the Horn of Gondor home?
- What is the history of Shelob?
I reread The Lord of the Rings a year or two ago, and it was surprising to me how relevant it felt. All the dialogue about strange rumors from other parts of the world and all the characters agonizing over why they have to live through such troubling times… I must have read the series a half dozen times at least, but this time it really hit different.
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I believe Huorns are trees that have gained intelligence (or the will to move) while Ents are tree-folk that can become trees if they lose the will to move. But I acknowledge my Tolkien-lore is not very deep.