Saturday, October 22, 2011

Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers Read-Along

I decided to join along the TTT read-along after coming across a post about it a couple of days ago. I forgot which site but I'll come back to update.

These questions were asked:

1.  The Glittering Caves of Aglarond; Fangorn Forest:  Which of the two would you be most excited to visit once the war was over?

As much I like to see dazzling network of stones, it's cold inside the cave,  I'd first visit Treebeard  and the rest of his remaining tree herders in Fangorn Forest. 

2.  How did you like the reunion of at least part of the fellowship at Isengard?  Did any part of it stand out to you?

It was like a relief for me that Aragorn and company caught up with Merry and Pippin, in fact it appeared like it was a good thing, the hobbits stuck around for a little bit.

3.  What are your thoughts about Galdalf’s confrontation with Saruman?

The passage of the new title "White Wizard" came to rest on Gandalf's shoulders and for what it's worth,I think Saruman felt something was taken from him even if he opted to be known as the wizard of many colors. It was something to that effect. Anyway, it also meant that Gandalf will stop him.  

4.  We learn a great deal about the Palantir in this section.  How do you feel about Saruman given Gandalf’s speech about the use of the Palantir?  Would you, like Pippen, be tempted to look in to see what you could see?

I felt sad that these were the last remaining stones that came from Elennor and most of them weren't accounted and some were lost.  By that Middle-Earth historical connection alone would be enough for me to gaze into the ball just as long I don't have to worry about a power-hungry dark lord warping my mind. It would cool to communicate with a distant kingdom through that. Saruman's own lies becomes his own truths. I think the idea that he was able to 'shield' most of his mind from Sauron's prying thoughts skewed his own thinking.  
5.  What are your thoughts about Smeagol/Gollum in this first part of his journey leading Frodo and Sam?  For those of you who’ve seen the film, are you hearing Andy Serkis in your head when you read Gollum’s lines?

Yes, I heard Andy Serkis voice in my head. ☺ I feel pity because of what the ring did to him.
6.  Sam and Frodo are not traveling in the most picturesque part of Middle-earth.  Which would you find worse, the seemingly impossible to leave mountains or the Dead Marshes?

For me, I find the Dead Marshes impossible to leave especially when those little lights start to appear. I was chilled to the bone when I read that part at the midnight. 
7.  Tolkien introduces us to a lot of places in this section of The Two Towers, many just getting a mention in passing.  What do you think of Tolkien’s place names (Minas Morgul, Isengard, the Emyn Muil, and on and on)?  Do any stand out to you?  Are there any that you don’t care for?

I found his place names very authentic sounding to the ears. They gave an actual feel of  by-gone names that were once been used. He didn't take the shortcut by mix-matching words (that usually gave way to awkward sounding names) just to have an otherworldly label. I thought that was a testament of an author who cared for every detail in the world he created.   


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