Well, I’ve finally gotten around to finishing up book two in Tolkien’s most well-proclaimed series called The Lord of the Rings. It differs from the movies by having Boromir’s death at the beginning of the book. The movies have his death at the end of the first movie. It also doesn’t have the epic fight scene between Aragorn and the Orc. But that’s fine. The book actually moves rather slowly at first.
Aragorn, Legolas, and Gimli all start off searching for their missing friends, Merry and Pippin who were taken by Orcs. It is with Merry and Pippin that we finally peer into what Tolkien’s views on racism were. He has the Ents include hobbits right into their song about all of the species and they speak quite laudatory of them. And remember Gandalf the Grey? He’s still technically alive but is actually now Gandalf the White. So he survived. Tolkien didn’t kill him off.
Then we move more into battles against Sarumon the wizard gone bad and then get to the good part.
Frodo and Samwise are being led onto Mordor by the devious and impious Gollum/Smeagol. He leads them there and then ditches them. He’s too riddled with selfishness and is corrupt but nevertheless, Frodo still sees good in him and hope for him. Samwise never does and I think this is just part of Sam’s developing character into one of eventual nobility.
We then meet Faramir, the brother of Boromir, and he explains to Frodo and Samwise that Boromir are dead. Faramir is at first accusatory but then embraces that Frodo and Samwise are allies.
After that, Frodo and Sam rejoin with Gollum and head back to Mordor where we meet Shelob whom Gollum has led them to. Tolkien really got better describing things in this book because as I thought of Shelob, I thought of exactly like that picture. And the book ends with Shagrat and the other Orcs having taken Frodo hostage but also knowing that Shelob was harmed by Samwise who is still alive and lurking.