Book 4, Chapter 2 Notes from The Two Towers

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The Two Towers Book 4, Chapter 2

Gollum moves on his hands and feet and leads them through a path in the marsh. He runs into the stony water and speaks to himself of fishes and hobbits. Sam worries about what Smeagol will eat for the rest of the journey. When day arrives, Gollum says he must hide in the shadows from the sun. They find a shelter and talk about food. Smeagol asks if they eat fish. Frodo offers him some Lembas but he thinks it is wretched. The hobbit is frustrated when Smeagol refuses to eat it. Sam suggests that they take turns sleeping so one of them can always watch Gollum. Smeagol gets up to leave and tells them that he is going to find food. Sam worries about his own supply.

"'This waybread keeps you on your legs in a wonderful way, though it doesn't satisfy the innards proper, you might say: not to my feeling anyhow, meaning no disrespect to them as made it. But you have to eat some of it every day, and it doesn't grow.'" Book 4, Chapter 2, pg. 292

Frodo cannot even guess how long the journey will take and doubts if they will survive the destruction of the Ring. Gollum returns with mud on his face and hands. They journey through the marshes and come to a stony plain that has no cover. Frodo asks if they must pass over it and Gollum says that they will have to move quickly. They rest for a brief time and then move single file through the rising mist.

Frodo gets weary as the day drags on. When the sun is high, they rest and move forward again at night. They come near stagnant lakes and Sam sees candles in the fog and bodies floating in the water. Gollum warns them not to look in the lake of the candles. This is the cursed resting ground of the dead from a great battle between good and evil. Gollum is eager to get away from this sight. He stops to sniff the air and Sam says that everything stinks. Gollum tells him that he stinks. A long wail stops their argument and Gollum drops to the ground. A Nazgul flies across the sky. Gollum will not move until it is gone, because he knows that it is a servant of Sauron.

After this encounter, Gollum's attitude changes for the worse. They move more slowly and Frodo feels the weight of the Ring increase with each step closer to Mordor. They hide under the shadow of a rock at night and on the fifth day they come into broken hills and lifeless moors. Sam is sickened by the destruction and they crawl into a pit to avoid the sunlight. Their water begins to run out. Sam wakes to see Smeagol bending over Frodo talking to himself. He argues over whether or not he is going to take the Ring. He speaks of becoming great and ruling the Nazgul himself. He reaches for Frodo's neck and Sam asks him what time it is. Gollum is surprised, and speaks of getting help from an unknown shelob. Frodo wakes up and tells Gollum that he will have to take them to the gate of Mordor, but no further. Gollum begins to lead them as he continues to talk to himself. He stops and wants to go back, but Frodo threatens him and they scramble on into the night.

Topic Tracking: Trust 8

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