Questions tagged [the-two-towers]

The Two Towers is the second volume of J. R. R. Tolkien's high fantasy novel The Lord of the Rings. It is preceded by The Fellowship of the Ring and followed by The Return of the King. Please use together with the tag [tolkiens-legendarium], and possibly [the-lord-of-the-rings].

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How is Shelob's name known?

In Tolkien's world, there are quite a few "magical" beasts that have proper names: dragons for example, like Smaug. One can assume that their names are known either because their creator was ...
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Which are the Two Towers in The Lord of the Rings?

I always wondered which are the two towers that are referred to in The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers. My memory is a bit hazy right now but there are at least 5 Towers that are mentioned in the ...
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59 votes
5 answers
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Treebeard: "I always like going South, somehow it feels like going downhill." - Is it really?

In The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers (2002 movie), Treebeard says: I always like going South, somehow it feels like going downhill. Is there a difference in elevation or something that can ...
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57 votes
3 answers
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Why does Gandalf the White not remember his original name?

'Gandalf,' the old man repeated, as if recalling from old memory a long disused word. 'Yes, that was the name. I was Gandalf.' Why wouldn't he remember being Gandalf right away? Why would Eru send ...
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54 votes
4 answers
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What is the place that Gandalf falls to after the battle with the Balrog?

I was wondering; what is the name of the place Gandalf falls to when the Balrog drags him down, after the fight in Moria? What information from the Legendarium is there available about this place?
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52 votes
6 answers
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How can a storm cloud in Middle-earth "move behind the sun"?

This is probably the most trivial question I've ever asked here, and relates to something mentioned in passing. The passage occurs in The Two Towers, Book IV, "The Taming of Smeagol". While ...
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51 votes
10 answers
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How could Saruman lose the battle of Helm's Deep?

Saruman isn't stupid. In fact, he's called Saruman the Wise, so he must have known a thing or two about strategy. In the Battle of Helm's Deep/Battle of the Hornburg, according to this wiki, 10 000 ...
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46 votes
1 answer
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What does Gandalf the White mean by his strange speech about Boromir?

In The Two Towers, chapter five, soon after Gandalf has returned as Gandalf the White, he says something very peculiar to Aragorn, Gimli and Legolas in Fangorn: ‘You have not said all that you know ...
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46 votes
5 answers
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Why does Gandalf think he's not strong enough to reveal himself to Sauron via the palantir?

We know Aragorn is strong enough to reveal himself (due to being rightful owner of the palantir) but why is it that Gandalf does not think he could endure Sauron? Does he, in the back of his mind, ...
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46 votes
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Was it reckless to allow Wormtongue to go free?

When Grima Wormtongue is evicted from Theoden's court in The Two Towers he is given free leave to go wherever he wants. Gandalf, Theoden and the whole company are in no doubt that he is a plant of ...
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45 votes
8 answers
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What is Elrond's position/status, as compared to Galadriel's?

In the Lord of the Rings books, Galadriel of Lórien is even more exalted than in the movies. She is essentially a queen, and the deference shown to her far exceeds that shown to Elrond of Rivendell. ...
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Why did Aragorn call this stranger father?

At the edge of Fangorn, Aragorn, Gimli and Legolas noticed a man robed in white. After seeing him, Aragorn leapt up and said: Well, father, what can we do for you? Come be warm, if you are cold! ...
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Why was the breaking of the wall of Helm's Deep so important in "The Two Towers" movie?

I have not read the book, and I am referring here to the movie only. I saw in the movie that the way that lead to the inside of Helm's Deep was through a gate, from a somewhat steeply inclined ramp; ...
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37 votes
2 answers
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What was Aragorn talking about when he said "Helms Deep helped them survive in the past"?

In the Lord of the Rings movie The Two Towers, during the preparation of people's movement from Edoras to Helm's Deep, Aragorn says something like: Helm’s Deep helped them survive in the past ...
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36 votes
2 answers
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What is the picture on the front of this edition of "The Two Towers"?

The front cover of my edition of The Two Towers has a picture of what looks like a man mounted on some vast flying creature: The only thing that beast makes me think of is "dragon", but as ...
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What does Faramir mean by "divers characters"?

When Faramir is describing the archives of Gondor he states: We in the house of Denethor know much ancient lore by long tradition, and there are moreover in our treasuries many things preserved: ...
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Does a transcription of Tolkien's handwriting in this image exist? (Part 2)

Following on the success we had transcribing the text in the image on this question, I am hoping that lightning will strike twice. This image contains far more text, and is even less legible. It ...
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29 votes
2 answers
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How did Frodo get to know the story of Sméagol?

In The Two Towers film, Frodo is talking to Gollum in the Dead Marshes when he says: You were not so very different from a Hobbit once, were you? before using Gollum's original name, and makes ...
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28 votes
1 answer
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How did Aragorn, Legolas, and Gimli know what Uruk-hai were?

In Peter Jackson's film adaptation of The Lord of the Rings, we see Saruman as he takes the initial steps towards creating a new army. The orcs under his command proceed surprisingly quickly, and ...
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25 votes
4 answers
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Why doesn't Sam have to say "Aiya Eärendil Elenion Ancalima"?

Inspired in part by this question. In the Lord of the Rings: Return of the King, Frodo uses the light of Eärendil against Shelob, saying the phrase "Aiya Eärendil Elenion Ancalima" to light it. At ...
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24 votes
5 answers
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What was the purpose of the quote "Meat is back on the menu boys" in Lord of the Rings?

I watched the extended cut of the movie and can’t seem to figure out why the director put that quote in there. Is this a hidden joke or a slip up that made it into the movie?
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23 votes
3 answers
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What are the advantages of breeding Uruk-hai for Saruman?

What advantage did Saruman gain by breeding the new species, Uruk-hai? How exactly are they superior? Wikipedia says they are "larger and stronger than other breeds of orc and consequently looked down ...
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22 votes
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What does Sam shout when he uses the Phial?

In the Two Towers, near the beginning of chapter "The Choices of Master Samwise", Sam uses the Phial and shouts in (I assume) elvish: A Elbereth Gilthoniel o menel palan-diriel, le nallon ...
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20 votes
4 answers
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What's the meaning of "your life will be forfeit?"

In The Two Towers film, Faramir is told that if he releases Frodo and Sam, he will "forfeit" his life. Gondorian Ranger: You know the laws of our country, the laws of your father. If you ...
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20 votes
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Was Gandalf's resurrection ever explained in the books?

After Gandalf died from the injuries he sustained whilst fighting the Balrog, he was resurrected by Eru: Gandalf's body lay on the peak for nineteen days, until he was resurrected by Eru and sent ...
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19 votes
2 answers
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Are Shagrat and Gorbag really talking about "the old days" from personal experience?

In the last chapter of The Two Towers, the two orc captains, Shagrat and Gorbag discuss the current status of war and politics in Mordor. They discuss how the Nazgul are the master's preferred ...
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18 votes
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What did Gandalf mean by "first light of the fifth day"?

I don't know how this one goes in the books, but in the movie Gandalf says: Look to my coming on the first light of the fifth day, at dawn look to the east. Does that imply that the battle of ...
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17 votes
2 answers
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Was it Gollum who untied Sam's Elf-rope?

When Frodo and Sam are safely down on the ground after having climbed down using the Elf-rope, Sam pulls it and, to the surprise of both Hobbits, it comes back down. Frodo assumes that Sam had been ...
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2 answers
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Why did Theoden allow the Uruk-Hai to approach Helm's Deep without harassing them?

In the movie version of the Battle of Helm’s Deep, we see that both Theoden and the Elves under Haldir allowed the Uruk-Hai to get close to the castle without attacking them. Considering the shot ...
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17 votes
6 answers
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Do the Lord of the Rings movies portray Faramir in a far more negative light than the books do? If so, why?

I've just reached the part of The Two Towers where Faramir makes his first appearance. I know I will be able to judge for myself soon enough, but even with the cursory glance I've gotten of Faramir, ...
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17 votes
2 answers
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How did Saruman's army reach Helm's Deep so quickly?

In the Lord of the Rings movies, when Saruman sends his army to attack Helm's Deep, he says "This night the land will be stained with the blood of Rohan. March to Helm's Deep. Leave none alive. ...
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16 votes
6 answers
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In the film The Two Towers, why was Éomer so hostile towards Aragorn, Legolas and especially Gimli when they first met?

When Éomer first meets the three characters, his éored surrounds them and points spears. When Gimli asks him what his name is, Éomer racially abuses him and threatens to kill him. What are the ...
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16 votes
1 answer
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How did Shadowfax 'appear' when Gandalf summoned him?

Considering the following quote: 'They have not returned,' said Legolas. 'It will be a weary walk!' 'I shall not walk. Time presses,' said Gandalf. Then lifting up his head he gave a long ...
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16 votes
2 answers
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How long can elves go without sleeping?

Elves sleep, not just in The Hobbit, but also in LoTR and in The Silmarillion, but it seems they can go without much longer than, for example, dwarves. When Aragorn, Legolas and Gimli were pursuing ...
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16 votes
2 answers
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LOTR: TTT - Where was Fangorn Forest filmed?

The scene I am thinking of is in Isengard when Saruman is ordering the forest to be burned. The forest is on the edge of the mountain.
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16 votes
3 answers
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Are the events at the end of the Two Towers film consistent with the film's internal plot?

First up, let me be clear this isn't a purist's question. Books are books and films are films and both should be considered on their own merits. However, every time I watch the film version of The ...
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Why did Gollum not take the Ring when both Hobbits were fast asleep and extremely vulnerable?

It is easy to understand why he did not escape, as it would just bring him further away from the Precious, and the Hobbits would never trust him again after that. It is also pretty easy to understand ...
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12 votes
1 answer
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How long was Shelob's pass?

In the chapter Shelob's Lair, Tolkien describes Frodo and Sam's journey through the pass of Cirith Ungol. He tells us they don't know if 1, 2 or 3 hours have passed while travelling through the dark ...
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12 votes
1 answer
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Why was Gimli chosen to sound the horn at Helm's Deep?

In The Two Towers movie near the end of the battle of Helm's Deep, the survivors barricade themselves before deciding to charge out "and meet them". For all they knew, it could have been their last ...
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12 votes
1 answer
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Who's standing behind Theoden in the "So it begins" meme?

Who are the characters shown here, standing behind Theoden? I don't know, and can't figure out who they are from the character list on The Two Towers (film) nor after a bunch of googling. This ...
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11 votes
2 answers
2k views

How fast did the Three Hunters go?

In LOTR book 3, Éomer comments on the Three Hunters' speed: 'It is now the fourth day since he was slain,' answered Aragorn, 'and since the evening of that day we have journeyed from the shadow of ...
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How did Gandalf chase the Balrog to Zirakzigil?

In The Two Towers movie adaptation, when Gandalf the White reunites with members of the Fellowship, he explains that he fell "through fire and water, from the lowest dungeon to the highest peak". It'...
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10 votes
4 answers
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Why is Sam unsure about whether or not he has taken out the Elf-rope before in chapter 12 of Two Towers?

(It may be considered chapter 1 of "book two" of The Two Towers. I'm calling it chapter 12 based on my EPUB file names.) ‘It’s good to be able to see again,’ said Frodo, breathing deep. ‘Do ...
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2 answers
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Why would orcs and humans fight on the same side in Lord of the Rings?

Orcs hated humans except when it was dinner time. Humans hated orcs especially around dinner time. Saruman, the creator of the Uruk-Hai, promises them they will taste manflesh. ...
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10 votes
1 answer
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Why did Gandalf conceal his identity in Fangorn Forest?

Note: This question mostly pertains to the film, not the book. In The Two Towers when Aragorn, Legolas, and Gimli are tracking Merry and Pippin, they discover that the trail leads into Fangorn Forest. ...
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9 votes
2 answers
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Did Sam really plan to attack the orcs in Shelob's lair in the very end of The Two Towers?

‘He’s going out of harm’s way, I tell you,’ answered Shagrat. ‘See? He’s precious. I don’t trust all my lads, and none of yours; nor you neither, when you’re mad for fun. He’s going where I want him, ...
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9 votes
1 answer
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Where was Theodred killed?

In the Peter Jackson extended version of The Two Towers, Theodred was picked up by Eomer and brought back to Meduseld. With his father's "sickness" did Theodred really leave to fight the orcs? Due ...
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9 votes
2 answers
2k views

How and why does Sam know to say that Sindarin phrase when he uses the Phial?

Following on from my question What does Sam shout when he uses the Phial?, I was curious to know why those words came to him, and why they were in Sindarin specifically. It would be more plausible ...
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8 votes
2 answers
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What happened between Frodo and Gollum in the Dead Marshes?

In the Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers, when Frodo falls in the Dead Marshes on the way to the Black Gate and gets rescued by Gollum, they have the following conversation: Frodo: "Gollum?" ...
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7 votes
2 answers
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What is the angular stone in Fangorn Forest?

In The Two Towers movie, Treebeard leads Merry and Pippin to the location of the Entmoot, which appears to be a small clearing in the forest with a curious angular rock jutting from the ground. Is ...
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