LOTR Readalong Month 3 – Midway through the Two Towers

The Lord of the Rings: Two Towers Vol 2 by JRR Tolkien

It’s month 3 of the LOTR Readalong in which we’re reading vol 2 – The Two Towers. This month the readalong is hosted by Teresa at Shelf Love and she has posed some questions for us …

Where are you in your reading? Are you finding it slow going or is it a quick read? It’s convenient that Tolkein splits the Two Towers into two books which are 3 & 4 of the trilogy. I finished book 3 soon after the start of the month – I’m starting book four imminently. I found it a steady read, neither fast nor slow.

If you’re a rereader, how does this reading compare to past readings? If you’re a first-time reader, how has The Two Towers met—or not met—your expectations? What has surprised you most in your reading?   I really can’t remember my previous read much. TTTs feels like a middle novel though. I also thought I’d miss Frodo and Sam, but was surprised that I was enjoying the others’ adventures so much.

In Book 3, we visit lots of new places and meet lots of new characters. There’s Fangorn and the Ents, the riders of Rohan, Saruman at Isengard. Which are your favorites? Least favorites?   I’m not a big fan of the Ents – can’t put my finger on why – I think it’s to do with cartoonish visions of trees with faces, I can’t take them seriously. I do like the Riders of Rohan – Theoden is a great leader, and Eowyn will come into her own.

And the obligatory movie question: If you’ve seen the movie, has it affected your perception of The Two Towers? If so, how?   One of the scenes I thought they did well in the film was Theoden’s reawakening, becoming himself again. This was rather quickly dealt with in the book, but it was nice to see Bernard Hill get his time to come to.

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10 thoughts on “LOTR Readalong Month 3 – Midway through the Two Towers

  1. I completely agree about Theoden in the film, coming back to himself. In the film I think we get a better sense of how much he’s missed while under Saruman’s spell, and the emotional impact it has on him. (I always cry at those bits in the film.)

    • I like the way you put it Jenny – Can’t say that bit made me cry though and I’m notorious for crying in films!

  2. I haven’t joined in the read-along but I have been watching the films again. We got a boxed set of the reworked extended version of the films for Christmas (all 12 discs of it! – http://bit.ly/cdx0Jo ) I am working my way through it and have just the last half of The Return of the King to watch. I found I enjoyed the Two Towers much more on DVD than I had in the cinema when it came out. Whether that is because there is more characterisation to offset the lengthy battle scenes I don’t know. I agree with you and Jenny too about Theoden. Very well done.

  3. I think you’re the first person I’ve encountered who didn’t love the Ents. As nervous as I am in forests, you’d think I’d find them creepy, but I don’t!

    And I agree with Catherine about the extended editions being an improvement over the theatrical versions. Not all of my qualms with the films were resolved in those editions, but the time taken for more characterization helps.

    • I just have this persisting vision of the Ents as jolly cartoon trees with faces which destroys their power for me. I wasn’t keen on dwarves either, but Gimli is finally growing on me.

      I’m definitely going to borrow my mother’s extended version boxset of the films.

  4. I never saw the Ents as cartoonish, but I can certainly understand your reaction. I’m sure that’s Peter Jackson’s take on them, too. There is so much going on in TTT, that it’s hard to focus on it all.

  5. Pingback: The Two Towers – the LOTR Readalong month 3 « Gaskella

  6. If I hadn’t seen the movie, I don’t think I’d even be able to picture the Ents. But I do remember in the movie that they looked pretty creepy. I think I’d be terrified if I saw one.

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