Thursday, May 21, 2009

The Two Towers

The Lord Of The Rings

J.R.R. Tolkien

Finished Reading: 05.2009

So many plot lines and seemingly unrelated adventures populate this volume that I cannot begin to comment on the whole of them. There are more great tales told within than would seem to fit between two covers . Thrust into action and left gasping in suspense at the end, the reader of the Two Towers notices it to be better written than its predecessor volume; describing great battles, dangerous treks through high mountain passes, and hairy encounters with an unimaginable variety of foes. The stench of defeat is common in the nose and darkness looms far across Middle-Earth. Hope is but a four letter word that isn't even on the ballot.

One storyline follows Treebeard the Ent, he of the ancient humanoid/treenoid race, older than any other creatures that exist this day in Middle-Earth. Treebeard and his gang of tall, slow-moving, slow-talking tree-like creatures, are very wise and have lived peacefully throughout the long centuries in the stuffy Forest of Fangorn, mostly just standing around like trees do. Treebeard lives a solitary life, but one day meets the hobbits Merry and Pippen who have wandered into the forest to escape deadly pursuit by Orcs. Treebeard is angered into fighting an epic battle with Saruman because that dark lord has cut down his precious trees. Orcs and their sharp axes are not looked kindly upon by quiet Ent eyes. Chuckling, I am reminded of the Lorax, who "speaks for the trees!" in Dr. Seuss' The Lorax, but that is another matter save their matching awesome mustaches.

While Treebeard might welcome the Lorax into his gang, he has companions with such names as Skinbark and Quickbeam, also ancient Ents. Along with the very forest itself, the strong Ents stride into Isengard and destroy the city by ripping it apart block by block. Every evil in it is driven out save the dark tower of Saruman which stands amongst the rubble in the now still waters from the dam that was broken. Saruman looks down panicing and seems rather feeble, having been beaten up by a bunch of trees and all.

It takes a very long time to say anything worth saying, and we do not say anything unless it takes a very long time to say, and to listen to. Do not be hasty.