Book 4, Chapter 8 Notes from The Two Towers

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The Two Towers Book 4, Chapter 8

As they stand and look over the landscape, Gollum tells Frodo to hurry and move along. They plod on and make it to a point where the land steepens again.

"All was dark about it, earth and sky, but it was lit with light. Not the imprisoned moonlight welling through the marble walls of Minas Ithil long ago, Tower of the moon, fair and radiant in the hollow of the hills." Book 4, Chapter 8, pg. 396

They move further, gazing at the towering walls with Gollum pulling their cloaks to make them move faster. They come to a white bridge guarded by statues, and Gollum tells them that this is not the way they can go. He leads them around the bank and down near the stream bed. They labor on in the descent until they can walk no more. Frodo demands that they rest, but Gollum says that it is not safe to stop. A rush of blue flame and orange sparks explodes from the peak of Minas Ithil, and a cry streaks the sky as the doors open and a large host begins to cross the bridge led by a black rider. The rider is the lord of the nine Nazgul. Gollum and the hobbits hide behind a boulder and watch the army pass by. Frodo is nervous and he thinks about using the Ring but clutches the phial of Galadriel instead. Frodo knows that the army is heading toward Gondor, and his heart reaches out to Faramir.

They sleep in the shadows as the great army continues to pass. Many hours alter, Sam wakes Frodo and says that the host is finally gone. Gollum returns and says that they must make their way with great haste. They follow him as he urges them to be careful of each step. They enter a stone stairway that seems endless. They climb this until their legs are weak and their heads are spinning. When they come to the edge of the first straight stairway, they rest before attempting the spiral stone tunnel. Gollum leads them upward for hours and Frodo occasionally glances into the chasm growing below. The stairway continues to twist and turn. Near the top, there are horns hanging on the wall burning with a sick red light. They crouch in between two great stones and rest for some time. Sam is worried that they are running out of water, but he knows that there is nowhere to get any more.

Frodo hates everything around them and Sam wonders if any stories will be told of their journey. He remembers stories where the heroes had to overcome difficult feats. Sam says he is going to be happy to work in his garden and tell his son tales of Frodo the great. Frodo tells him that he should not leave himself out "'And Frodo wouldn't have gotten far without Sam.'" Book 4, Chapter 8, pg. 409. They turn to see that Gollum is no longer with them and Sam worries that he has gone to fetch orcs. Frodo doesn't think that he would do this because he does not want the Ring to fall in the hands of Sauron. Sam thinks that Gollum will do anything to stop them from destroying the Ring. Frodo lays his head in Sam's lap to sleep. When Gollum returns, he gazes at them with a hungry face. He starts to pet Frodo's head and Sam asks him where he has been. He calls the creature sneaky. Gollum is upset and says that he has been looking for the best ways for them to travel. Sam apologizes but Gollum will no longer speak to him. Sam wakes Frodo so that they can get going. Gollum calls himself a sneak to Frodo and says that Sam gave him the name. Frodo looks at Sam and dismisses the conflict. He tells Gollum that he may leave them if he wants to. Gollum says that he will not leave them and that they should follow him.

Topic Tracking: Metamorphoses 11
Topic Tracking: Sacrifice 9

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