Book 3, Chapter 3 Notes from The Two Towers

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The Two Towers Book 3, Chapter 3

Pippin is having a bad dream. When he wakes, he sees that Merry is tied up next to him. There are orcs all around them. He remembers that they were captured while searching for Frodo. Even though they tried to attack orcs, the beasts did not attack back. Boromir tried to fight them but there were too many. Pippin passed out. Now that he is conscious again, he cannot understand why they were spared. When he staggers to his feet, the orcs deride him. Some of them want to kill the hobbits but another, named Ugluk, says that his orders are to returned them unsearched and unharmed. Ugluk is the orc leader from Saruman. Grishnakh, who leads the contingent from Mordor, says that Sauron is watching over Isengard carefully. There is a debate between the orc parties, and two orcs from the Mordor party are killed in the dispute. Pippin is lying next to one of the bodies and he uses the knife on the orc's belt to cut his hands free.

The orcs pick the hobbits back up and begin to run. Ugluk makes them drink a foul liquor that wakes them up. Merry opens his eyes and speaks to Pippin, "'So you've come on this little expedition too? Where do we get bed and breakfast?'" Book 3, Chapter 3, pg. 64. The orcs laugh and the party begins to descend a large slope. The orcs from Mordor are amazed that the orcs from Isengard plan to march during the daylight. Pippin realizes that anyone following the orcs' trail would not be able to tell that there were hobbits traveling with them. He runs away from the group and is chased for a little while. Before he is caught, he drops his cloak and his brooch.

The continuous running is hard on the hobbits, but the orcs persuade them with lashes from a whip. The journey becomes a dark blur until some of the orcs demand a halt. The orcs break back into debate. Ugluk still refuses to let the hobbits be killed. Grishnakh returns and renews the argument. The Isengard orcs pick the hobbits up and return to the journey. Soon, they realize that a host of horsemen will be upon them. They sprint at an unbelievable pace towards the Fangorn forest. The horsemen ride around them and begin to pick them off with arrows. Before long there are only 20 left. When night falls, they gather in a circle and wait. The horsemen stop their assault but watch carefully.

During this siege, the legs of the hobbits are securely bound. The orcs make some futile efforts at breaking the circle of riders around them but it is to no avail. Ugluk tells his subordinates that there is an allied band of orcs coming during the night to help them. This sinks the spirits of Pippin. He is afraid that he and Merry will be killed as orcs. A few orcs are slain near an eastern corner of the camp and the hobbits are left unguarded. Grishnakh grabs them and tries to run out of the forest. He asks them if either has the Ring. They are surprised that he knows about it. Pippin pretends he can tell him where to find it. Grishnakh runs further away with them. A rider shoots him in the back and the hobbits are hidden below his body. After some time, Pippin unties all of their bonds and they sneak away. The horsemen defeat all of the orcs. They lie beneath the body of Grishnakh and eat some Lembas. When they find cover, Pippin asks Merry if he is up to walking:

"'Yes...I can manage it. Lembas does put the heart into you! A more wholesome sort of feeling than the heat of that orc-draught. I wonder what it was made of. Better not to know I expect.'" Book 3, Chapter 3, pg. 77

They walk and talk of what has happened to them so far. Merry congratulates Pippin for his many daring feats. They are confused about where they are, but Merry thinks he might remember something from the maps. They enter the old forest and hear the battle between the men and orcs waning. From a hill they watch a rider slay Ugluk.

Topic Tracking: Metamorphoses 3

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