Notes on The Two Towers Themes

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The Two Towers Topic Tracking: Metamorphoses

Book 3, Chapter 1

Metamorphoses 1: Two metamorphoses occur in the early part of this book. Boromir changes from the power hungry man who made Frodo depart from the rest of the group, into a warrior who dies for his companions. The company itself changes into two groups. The hobbits become the bearers of the Ring and the others, unknowingly, go out to prepare the world for its war with Sauron.

Book 3, Chapter 2

Metamorphoses 2: Their journey changes from a quest into a hunt for lost friends. When Aragorn comes to meet a group of men, he gives them his customary name, Strider. When they do not believe his word, he announces his real name and heritage and seems to change before his friends. His stature and voice is King-like and the change seems uncanny.

Book 3, Chapter 3

Metamorphoses 3: The young hobbits have changed drastically since they left their homes months before. Pippin has become brave and daring. They do not despair too much after their capture and stay lucid enough to take advantage of a chance to escape when they find it. In the spreading darkness, even orcs are changing. They follow commands and move during the day.

Book 3, Chapter 4

Metamorphoses 4: For many years, even centuries, the ents of Fangorn have become more and more sedentary. They have, however, noticed the dark changes of the outside world. When they find out that Saruman has become evil, they fully realize the threat of darkness, and rouse themselves to become something they have not been in any creature's memory: a force to be reckoned with.

Book 3, Chapter 5

Metamorphoses 5: Gandalf's sacrifice in Moria changed him and made him stronger. He returns reborn and reincarnated in another form. His new form is wiser and stronger, but he has forgotten some things. In his rebirth, he has realized how urgent the need to fight Sauron has become.

Book 3, Chapter 6

Metamorphoses 6: Theoden undergoes a transformation that parallels Gandalf's and is opposite of Saruman's. He falls into a darkness that blinds him, but struggles out of it and realizes how perilous the world has become. In this realization, he is stronger and capable of action that was impossible before.

Book 3, Chapter 10

Metamorphoses 7: Saruman and Gandalf experience opposite transformations. With his descent into evil, Saruman cannot resist the temptations and is cast from the council of wizards by Gandalf, and becomes powerless. Gandalf ascends to the head of the council of wizards and becomes the most powerful.

Book 3, Chapter 11

Metamorphoses 8: The powers of good and evil are altered in the final stages of the struggle. Sauron becomes more desperate as his power increases, but he cannot find the Ring. His riders become Nazguls and fly over the earth with greater haste. Gandalf splits the forces of good so they may prepare for the battle with the lord of darkness.

Book 4, Chapter 1

Metamorphoses 9: Each member of the trio, Sam, Frodo, and Smeagol, must undergo a significant change to make their companionship possible. Smeagol goes from being a hunter to being a guide. Frodo becomes his master and Sam must learn to tolerate the creature even though he never trusts him.

Book 4, Chapter 6

Metamorphoses 10: Gollum's relationship to the hobbits undergoes a myriad of changes. He changes from something to be feared, to something to be pitied. When Faramir puts him under the charge of Frodo instead of killing him, it alters the relationship even more. It reaffirms Gollum's subservience to the hobbits and shows the depths of Frodo's pity and understanding.

Book 4, Chapter 8

Metamorphoses 11: Sam speaks of the stories that may be told about them as heroes. This is a small consolation for them when they realize how far they have come and how much further they must go. Sam watches Gollum pet Frodo's head in an odd gesture of affection. The creature may crave the closeness of the two companions or he may just crave the closeness of the Ring. In either case, adversaries have become uneasy companions.

Book 4, Chapter 9

Metamorphoses 12: In his final deed, Gollum exposes that he never changed at all. His help was merely a ruse to bring them to a point where he could take the advantage. His only thought the entire time was that he might be able to recover the Ring, and prevent its destruction or its return to Sauron. This is the power of the Ring. Gollum is at once the most vile and pitiable entity.

Book 4, Chapter 10

Metamorphoses 13: Sam changes into a force of violence when Frodo's life is threatened. He defeats a creature that fed on scores of orcs. When Frodo seems dead, he assumes the quest himself, fully prepared to walk into Mordor alone. When he realizes that Frodo is still alive, his love for his friend overcomes his dedication to the quest and he turns back to rescue him.

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