The Two Towers Summary & Study Guide

This Study Guide consists of approximately 28 pages of chapter summaries, quotes, character analysis, themes, and more - everything you need to sharpen your knowledge of The Two Towers.
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(approx. 2 pages at 400 words per page)
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The Two Towers Summary & Study Guide Description

The Two Towers Summary & Study Guide includes comprehensive information and analysis to help you understand the book. This study guide contains the following sections:

This detailed literature summary also contains Topics for Discussion on The Two Towers by J. R. R. Tolkien.

“The Two Towers” by J.R.R. Tolkien is the second novel in The Lord of the Rings trilogy. The story is set in Middle-earth and tells the story of hobbits, elves, and men. It tells the story of Frodo Baggins, a hobbit, who possesses the One Ring that was lost to the Dark Lord Sauron hundreds of years ago. Frodo must find his way to Mordor to destroy it. The story is divided into two books that tell the story of Frodo and his companions as they fulfill their destinies in the battle for Middle-earth. The books are book three and four, for they follow The Fellowship of the Ring which contained books one and two.

Book Three follows the adventures of Aragorn, Legolas, Gimli, Merry, and Pippin as the fellowship has been broken and each follow their own destinies. Boromir dies attempting to save Merry and Pippin from Orcs. Merry and Pippin become prisoners of the Orcs who travel across Rohan to take the hobbits to Isengard. The Orcs are killed by Riders of Rohan and Merry and Pippin escape into the Fangorn Forest where they meet Treebeard, an Ent. Aragorn, Legolas, and Gimli track the trail of the Orcs to try to save Merry and Pippin. They cannot travel as fast as the Orcs or without rest and end up days behind the Orcs. They come upon the Riders of Rohan who tell them that they killed the Orcs, but did not see any hobbits. The Riders give them three horses to help them track their friends.

The three meet up with Gandalf, who has returned from death to finish his quest. Gandalf knows the hobbits are safe with Treebeard. He takes the three to Rohan where they save the King of Rohan from a connection with Saruman. Gandalf has the king prepare for battle and his men march to war against Saruman’s army. The men battle Orcs, trolls, and men of the mountains with the help of Hurons, ancient trees who have a hatred of the Orcs for cutting down their brethren. They defeat Saruman’s army and then part of the group travels to Isengard. At Isengard they find that the Ents have entrapped Saruman in Orthanc. Gandalf gives Saruman a chance to flee or end his connection to Sauron. He refuses and Gandalf breaks his staff and leaves him imprisoned. An orb sails out of the window and almost hits Gandalf. Pippin picks it up and gives it to Gandalf who wraps it in his cloak. Pippin feels a strange draw to the orb and steals it that evening and looks into it. It is a communication device of Saruman’s to Sauron. Sauron thinks that Saruman has the hobbits. Gandalf takes Pippin away as quickly as possible and advises the King of Rohan to prepare for battle.

Book Four tells the journey of Frodo and Sam as they try to find their way to the Mountain of Fire to destroy the Ring. They must rely on the guidance of Gollum to help them through the dangers of Mordor. They find the gates of Mordor too heavily guarded and have to trust Gollum to show them an alternative route. Gollum wants the Ring for himself and helps so that the Ring does not fall into the hands of Sauron. He believes by helping the hobbits he will find a way to get the Ring for himself. The hobbits are spied by men from Gondor. Their captain, Faramir, is Boromir’s brother. He knows of his brother’s death and asks the hobbits how it happened. Frodo and Sam do not know, for Boromir was alive when they left the company. They fear that all of the company has perished. Faramir helps the hobbits and warns them against trusting Gollum and against the path he is taking to Mordor. Frodo and Sam find themselves in Cirith Ungol, the stronghold of the Black Riders. The Riders have ridden out to war, but the place still contains Orcs and Shelob, a giant spider-like creature. Gollum lures the hobbits into Shelob’s lair so that once she has killed them Gollum can have the Ring. Shelob attacks Frodo, but Sam fights her to save his master. Sam believes his master to be dead and so takes the Ring to continue the journey on his own. He cannot leave his master, however, and finds that Orcs have taken Frodo — who is not dead, but merely unconscious — from the spider’s venom. Sam now has the Ring and must find a way to save Frodo from the enemy.

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This section contains 773 words
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