Challenge: The Lord of the Rings Readalong, Part #4

Ah, the first day of March! Spring is coming, and Teresa at Shelf Love has put up the questions that kick off our reading of The Two Towers. I’ve already got my library copy, which is sadly missing its glorious Alan Lee cover (books in my college stacks apparently have to live naked), but it’s full of his wonderful illustrations, so I’m happy.

Where are you in the trilogy right now? What do you think of the books so far?

I finished The Fellowship of the Ring on Friday, and I plan to start The Two Towers tonight. I absolutely loved The Fellowship of the Ring, and I want to devour The Two Towers in one sitting, quite frankly! Since they’re all simply thirds of a novel, I almost want to race through it–but I know I’ll be better served if I take it slowly. Or at least try to!

What’s your past experience with The Two Towers?

As I’m reading the books, I keep remembering certain things, so I’m not sure if I actually managed to read it when I was ten, but I don’t have any book memories from The Two Towers. I do, however, have memories of the film version. My father and my brother, on a school night, told me we were going to go see Maid in Manhattan, which I protested violently against–but they were just playing a prank on me. We went to go see The Two Towers and it was wondrous. I, um, also don’t remember the film that well. Oh, blast my spotty memory!

If you’re a rereader, what are you most looking forward to?

Éowyn and the Ents. Éowyn is such a fantastic character, and I’ve always loved the concept of shield maidens. (I’m fairly sure I shrieked in delight when I saw the design work for The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess and realized it had taken cues from the film production, Zelda in particular.) I’m also really looking forward to seeing Merry and Pippin out on their own and seeing their characters develop in counterpoint to each other, and the Ents are a particularly inspired creation by Tolkien.

What about the movie? If you’ve seen it, what did you think of it, and how much do you think it will color your experience with the book?

I adore the film production, I have to say- as I mentioned above, the costume design makes me weak at the knees, and it’s had just as much an effect on pop culture as Tolkien did on literature. (Why did Pirates of the Caribbean turn into an epic trilogy? The Lord of the Rings, of course!) I don’t remember a great deal of The Two Towers (it’s been a while since I watched the films, hence the proposed rewatch) but I think the films will continue to haunt my reading a little. It’ll be easier than it was for The Fellowship of the Ring to block it out, since I don’t remember much of the film, though.

Happy reading, all!

9 thoughts on “Challenge: The Lord of the Rings Readalong, Part #4

  1. Aw, I love Eowyn. I was all excited when I pulled The Two Towers down from my bookshelf, because of Eowyn. Eowyn and Gollum also. I missed Gollum during Fellowship of the Ring.

  2. I love Eowyn too. And the Ents. And Gollum. And Faramir So many of my favorite elements of the series are introduced in TTT.

    And even though I get all ranty about the movie for this book, I do agree with you about the design–costumes, sets, everything–the visuals are stunning throughout.

  3. Well who couldn’t love the Ents and Eowyn! I love this trilogy. I wonder what you’ll think about the differences between the movie and TTT when you’ve finished the book.

  4. I love Eowyn too–one of the best parts of the story. The Rohirrim are my favorite people in the movie. I thought Jackson did a wonderful job 🙂

  5. This is my first time re-reading the books in 30 years and also since I saw the movies. I must say I enjoy seeing Tolkien’s world as Tolkien meant it to be seen. I can say it is refreshing to sort it out and put it back in its proper order.

    I would have to say that Frodo is one of my favorite characters and Sam is my favorite character. I think Tolkien is drawing on his experience as a soldier and the comraderie these men develop as they become dependent on each other for their very lives. I think Frodo is indeed the Champion of the book, bearing an impossible burden and enduring to the end. And Sam with his wit, wisdom and loyalty is the chiefest of reasons that he succeeds.

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