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Tuesday, October 16, 2012

The Two Towers Book Review

I just finished my 9th read-through of The Two Towers. Great stuff! The ending is particularly good. My two favorite characters really take form in the last 100 pages or so - Faramir and Sam.

People claim that this read isn't as good as it's predecessor and successor, but I beg to differ. A lot of important things happen in the 2nd book, and a lot of important information is given. Most people complain about Treebeard and the Ents. Yes, they are pretty boring in the movie, but in the book, there is a lot to learn from them. The battle sequences aren't nearly as long as they are in the movies, as well.

 The finest part of the book though comes at the end. After meeting up with Faramir, and learning that he isn't a jerk like his brother Boromir, and would NEVER be tempted to take the one ring, he's instantly likeable. The man is true to his word, and an invaluable friend to Frodo and Sam. He's even decent to Gollum!

And then there's Sam... saving Frodo, becoming a warrior essentially. Going one on one with Gollum and chucking him off a cliff, taking on one of the most dangerous of all creatures in Middle-Earth and prevailing... and still fighting on, chasing the Orcs who have captured his master.

What more can I say about this series? I feel like I'm at home wherever and whenever I'm reading it.


  1. I've heard some criticisms about book-Faramir just *because* he is so perfect and not tempted by the Ring. The fact that he is so noble and everything makes him a good guy, but not necessarily a very interesting character.

    It's kind of a moot point though, because I can't think of anyone in Tolkein's world who had a real character arc. They changed that a bit in the movies, since I think modern audiences want and expect a character who changes and grows.

  2. Thank you for your comment, Marisha. I think I understand that criticism about Faramir, but as an avid reader and student of Middle-Earth, I've come to appreciate Faramir. I honestly believe he is one of the most important characters in the book.

    I haven't always believed that. The first couple of times I read The Lord of the Rings, I didn't think much of his character. After I read the Silmarillion and the Book of Lost Tales, I came to understand why he is so important. More-so than Boromir. Gandalf states it, as the description of Faramir. He is a man of wisdom, like unto Gandalf (unlike Boromir), yet a man of strength as well. His description goes on to say that he was a man of Westernesse, the likeness of the men Numenor long lost. In effect, he is more like Aragorn than he is his own people.

    His actions show it. The movies showed him as a lesser man.