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The Two Towers

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The Two Towers is the second book of J.R.R.Tolkien's Lord of the Rings trilogy and picks up where The Fellowship of the Ring leaves off. The book begins as Froso and Sam have left for Morder and Merry and Pippen have been carried off by Orcs. Srider (Aragorn), Gimli, and Legolas go after Merry and Pippen. On the way they meet up with a detachment of soldiers from Rohan led by Eomer who oans them horses to continue on their journey. As they reach the edges of the forest, Fangorn, they meet up with Gandalf, who they thought had been killed in the mines of Moria. Gandalf tells them that the hobbits, Merry and Pippen, are safe with the Ents, the tree people of the forest. They go with Gandalf to overcome evil in Rohan and gain the support of Rohan against Saruman. The army of Rohan fights a great battle against Saruman which they win with the help of the Ents. At Saruman's stronghold of Isengard, Gandalf, Gimli, Legolas and Aragorn meet up with Merry and Pippen. Gandalf confronts the captured Saruman and casts him fromthe council of wizards. The whole party then begins to head back to Rohan, but Gandalf, recieving information about Sauron's increasing activity, takes Pippin and heads off for Gondor.

While all of this is happening in the West, Frodo and Sam are heading for Morder making their way through first razorlike rocks and then vile swamps. On their way they encounter Gollum, the creature from whom Bilbo had gotten the Ring in the Hobbit. Evidently the lure of the Ring had brought him to follow Frodo. Sam and Frodo capture Gollum and make him lead them to Morder. When he brings them to the main gates of Morder, they realize that there is no way for them to enter. Gollum tells them of another way and they start off on their long journey. They have some adventures on the way: seeing an Oliphant which amazes Sam, and meeting with a party from Gondor led by Faramir, the brother of Boromir. Sam slips telling Faramir about the Ring, but unlike his brother, Faramir is not tempted by the ring as he sees its dangers clearly. He gives Frodo and Sam supplies and allows them to leave.

Gollum leads Frodo and Sam to a long dark tunnel. After they have traveled some way in the darkness, Gollum disappears. He has betrayed them making an agreement with the evil spiderlike creature Shelob. He brought her the hobbits to eat and she will give him anything she finds on their bodies. However things do not go as Gollum planned. Shelob stings and poisons Frodo, but is killed herself, by Sam. Sam thinking Frodo is dead, takes the ring intending on completing the quest himself. Then orcs come to claim Frodo, and Sam, in hiding, realizes that Frodo is not dead, only poisoned. The book ends with Sam trying to figure out how to rescue Frodo. Middle Earth is in graver peril than ever before.


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