Notes on Characters from The Two Towers

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The Two Towers Major Characters

Frodo Baggins: Frodo inherited the Ring of Power from his uncle Bilbo Baggins. He volunteered to bear it all the way into Mordor where it can finally be destroyed. This brave deed brings him many hardships: wounding, winter storms, and the loss of companions. When it finally becomes apparent that he cannot make the journey with his present companions, he presses on alone with Sam Gamgee. They struggle through the worst terrain and eventually make it only with the help of Smeagol (Gollum). It is Frodo's trust in Smeagol that allows them to get as far as they do. When Frodo's life seems doomed, the entire quest hangs in a delicate balance

Sam Gamgee: Sam cajoled his way into the journey when he eavesdropped on Frodo and Gandalf discussing their plans. His worth was quickly proved. The closer they get to Mordor, the weaker Frodo becomes and the more Sam must compensate. He bravely helps his master and swallows his utter hatred of Smeagol long enough for them to use the creature as a guide. When Frodo is attacked by the beast called Shelob, it is Sam's strength and perseverance alone that keeps the journey going and hope alive.

Aragorn: His full title is Aragorn son of Arathorn, heir of Elendil, and bearer of the sword that was broken and forged anew. Aragorn is the heir to a race of kings from an ancient civilization called Numenor. He is also the leader of a widespread group of rangers known as the Dunedain who are also descended from Numenor. Aragorn becomes the leader of the group with the absence of Gandalf, and pushes on until he is reunited with his old friend. Although he is of nobility, he has neither city nor kingdom and the day that he must reclaim his throne weighs heavily inside him.

Merry: Merry is one of Frodo's nephews. He and Pippin blackmailed Frodo into letting them come along on what they thought would be an adventure. They weather the difficulties well. Even when they are captured by a band of orcs, they do not lose their spirit. They escape their captors and flee into a dangerous forest where they befriend Treebeard the Ent. The hobbits' entrance into Fangorn prompts the rousing of the ents and the destruction if Isengard.

Pippin: Pippin is the braver, or at least more bold, of Frodo's young nephews. He is the one who tries to escape from the orcs and leaves his cloak and brooch behind so that anyone tracking them will be able to follow.. He cuts the bond on his hand and figures out a way for both of the hobbits to escape. His most dangerous moment is when he gazes into the Palantir and is probed by the eye of Sauron. Because of this, he must flee with Gandalf towards Minas Tirith.

Gandalf: Also called Mithrandir, Gandalf Greyhame and Gandalf the Grey. At the beginning, all assume Gandalf to be dead, after falling into a pit while fighting the Balrog. He returns as Gandalf the White instead of Gandalf the Grey. He has become more wise and powerful. He leads Rohan back to greatness and watches the ents destroy Isengard. He offers mercy to the wizard Saruman. When he will not accept the offer, Gandalf deposes him, revokes his powers, and casts him out of the council of wizards. Even though he is the most powerful figure standing against Sauron, he knows that his fate depends on two hobbits traveling alone into the land of darkness.

Smeagol (Gollum): Smeagol is at once villain and hero. Without him, the hobbits would never have made it to the land of Mordor. He leads them because Frodo makes him swear on the Ring that he will not harm them and will serve them. Smeagol agrees to the oath, someday wishing to regain possession of the Ring. Lust for it burns within him. He is torn because he does not want it to be destroyed, but would die to see it in the hands of Sauron. He plans to sacrifice the hobbits to Shelob, and leads them direct to the spider's lair. He sees this plan as his best opportunity to regain what he thinks is his property (the Ring).

Minor Characters

Sauron: Sauron is the embodiment of evil throughout The Lord of the Rings. He was once a great leader, and forged the Ring of Power to control the other rings of Middle Earth. He was overthrown by an alliance of elves and men. Years after, he reappeared in Mirkwood and then returned to Mordor to rebuild his kingdom. His lieutenants search endlessly for the Ring so that Sauron may rule again. Without it, he cannot fight the good of the Earth, and with it he cannot be defeated. His lust for power pushes his endless search for the Ring.

Boromir: The son of the Steward of Minas Tirith. His desire for the Ring makes Frodo decide that he must go to Mordor alone. In his last moments, he struggles against orcs and partially vindicates himself for his crimes against his friends.

Legolas: The elf from Mirkwood who accompanies Frodo on his quest. He becomes friends with Gimli even though there is enmity between elves and dwarves.

Gimli: The dwarf on the quest. He is hardy and strong and becomes very good friends with Legolas. The pair kill over 80 orcs together while defending Helm's Deep. His home is on the eastern side of Mirkwood where Bilbo went treasure hunting so many years before.

Saruman: Saruman is a wise master of lore and leader of a council of wizards. Lust for the ring, however, altered his behavior. He raised his own armies of orcs and men, hoping to rival Sauron. When Gandalf would not provide him with the clue to find the Ring, he imprisoned his fellow wizard. Saruman's plots distract the men of Rohan and Gandalf from the rising power of Sauron. He is shown to be merely a pawn of the great dark lord by the end of the book.

Eomer: A lord of Rohan and nephew of King Theoden. He leads his men valiantly and becomes the heir to Theoden.

Theoden: The king of Rohan who is lulled into subservience by Grima or Wormtongue. He is released from the spell and rushes to defend his people from the dark forces of Isengard.

Ugluk: The leader of the Orcs from Isengard. His primary concern is to get the hobbits to Isengard unharmed. Eomer kills him.

Grishnakh: The leader of the orcs from Mordor. He is the only orc who knows that the hobbits may be carrying the Ring of Power. He tries to steal them away but is killed in the process.

Treebeard: The oldest ent in Fangorn. He is a great shepherd of trees. He finds the hobbits and helps them. When he realizes the truth about Sauron, he becomes enraged and eventually rallies the rest of the ents against him.

Quickbeam: The hasty ent who takes care of Merry and Pippin while the rest of the ents decide what they are going to do.

Galadriel: A bearer of a Ring of Power and member of the council of wizards. She helped all of the company when they passed through Lothlorien and Gandalf when he defeated the Balrog.

Hama: The guard who allows Gandalf to enter Theoded's chamber with his staff. He also releases Eomer from bonds and dies at Helm's Deep.

Grima (Wormtongue): The adviser to Theoded who turned him to crooked ways. He serves Saruman and flees to him after Gandalf deposes him.

Eowyn: Eomer's sister and Theoded's niece. She is left in charge of Edoras when the army leaves for Helm's Deep.

Erkenbrand: The leader of Rohan's forces near Helm's Deep.

Shelob: The spider creature that lurks in the caves below Minas Ithil. She made a deal with Gollum that if he brought her food, he may keep the possessions of the victims.

Faramir: Brother of Boromir and lead Ranger of Ithilien from Gondor. He meets with the hobbits and offers them help and advice. He gives them food and shelter for a couple of days.

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