Notes on The Two Towers Themes

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The Two Towers Topic Tracking: Trust

Book 3, Chapter 1

Trust 1: The only thing that held the band of travelers together was the understanding that they could trust each other in a world of mounting danger. Once this understanding is in doubt, Frodo could no longer take any risks. He departs with his Sam, the only person he feels he can trust.

Book 3, Chapter 3

Trust 2: Because of the dark times, Eomer has been instructed to trust no one. His initial reaction to the three companions is surprise and wonder. He follows his orders at first but the more he hears of the companions, the more he finds it impossible not to trust them. To the considerable surprise of his subordinates, he releases the travelers with his own horses.

Book 3, Chapter 4

Trust 3: The hobbits never question whether or not they should trust the ent. They immediately assume he is good. Treebeard does not feel threatened by the hobbits, and only starts to believe their tales after they speak of their involvement with Gandalf and their great journey. Once he trusts them, however, he rouses the ents on their word alone.

Book 3, Chapter 6

Trust 4: In his unending trust of Grima, Theoden has been tricked into trusting no one else. Even his nephew, Eomer, falls prey to this deceit, as well as old friends such as Gandalf. Once Grima's influence is thrown off, Theoded reaches out to his people, relatives, and new friends in Gandalf and Aragorn.

Book 3, Chapter 8

Trust 5: So much does Treebeard trust the hobbits, that he leaves them as guards over the entrance to the Orthanc. When the companions are reunited, Theoden's trust and affection for the others immediately includes the hobbits.

Book 3, Chapter 10

Trust 6: With his false words, sweet voice, and natural charisma, Saruman tries to gain the trust of Theoden and Gandalf so that he can manipulate them and regain his position. They do not fall for the trick and offer him benevolence. Saruman, who tries to get everyone to trust him, trusts no one and this marks his final demise.

Book 4, Chapter 1

Trust 7: Frodo forces himself to trust Smeagol for two reasons: pity and need. Because he bears the Ring, he knows the pain of it. Without Smeagol, he knows that he may never make it to Mordor. Smeagol trusts that the hobbits will not kill him, but is motivated primarily by lust for the Ring. Sam never trusts Smeagol but he has faith that Frodo is making the right decision.

Book 4, Chapter 2

Trust 8: Even though Sam has serious misgivings, Frodo makes him realize that they must trust Smeagol if they want to make it into Mordor. What Sam doesn't understand, is that Smeagol acts not out of goodness, but out of a desire to be near the Ring and keep it from the hands of Sauron. Sam knows that Smeagol is planning to try and get the Ring, but he cannot imagine how he is going to do it.

Book 4, Chapter 3

Trust 9: Sam's suspicions of Smeagol are momentarily justified when he leads them to gates that cannot possibly be entered. Smeagol admits that there is another way to enter, even though he omitted this information before and led them on a useless journey. Frodo things long and hard, but decides to continue trusting the creature because he is their only chance to get into Mordor.

Book 4, Chapter 4

Trust 10: Sam trusts Smeagol enough by this point to have him bring them food, but not enough to leave him alone with Frodo sleeping. Faramir's trust of the hobbits is tentative once he learns that they are not dangerous. Once he finds out of their connection with Boromir, he trusts them less.

Book 4, Chapter 5

Trust 11: Because he does not trust Faramir completely, he only tells him part of his story. Faramir senses a lack of trust while listening to the hole-filled tale. In turn, he is kind to the hobbit and provides more reasons to be trusted. Slowly, the man and hobbit become comfortable with each other enough to tell whole truths and believe them.

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