This week the questions are from the second half of The Two Towers and should more or less, finish the book off:
Faramir strikes me as a noble, intelligent fellow, especially concerning powers beyond his control. Had he gone to Elrond's Council instead of Boromir, how might the story have changed?This is one of those questions that people love to debate. There's just so many ways it could have gone - some for the better, and some for the worse, but Boromir's attempt to claim the Ring was a catalyst for so much else to happen: The Fellowship split, Frodo and Sam off to Mordor and then the others to find Merry and Pippin. But, it was that split that led to them being able to pen in Saruman. I don't think the Ents would have joined in the fight without being prompted by the two hobbits. And then, going on from there, would the Witch-King have been killed when he was? But, I don't want to go more into this right now, simply because it's getting into unread territory now
But, then if the Company had split for some reason regardless, if Frodo and Sam had run into the Rangers of Ithilien, things might have turned out very differently there without Faramir leading that group. IIRC the laws of Gondor said that Faramir should have taken the two hobbits to Minas Tirith to have their fates decided. Instead, he lets them go and even helps them. Can you imaging the consequences if that hadn't happened?
Assuming the Company hadn't been broken up, would they all have been able to remain undetected all that time the way the two hobbits did? And, what route would they have taken to get into that terrible country? The main gates were proven to be impossible, and I think there are those in the Fellowship who would have known what they were facing if they'd opted to try the way Frodo and Sam did.
There's more I could go into but that breaks into Return of the King territory.
What did you think of Shelob and her lair? Would you willingly go in there? Yes, I know Gollum says "this is the only way", but Frodo could have demanded they explore and attempt to find another way.Using what time? At that point in time, they'd just had a fairly close escape from the Witch-King. And, they've just seen how well guarded the main gates were, and how impassible the mountains were. I think that was the only way they had. I wouldn't have gone in there willingly - I hate spiders, although, I'm saying that I wouldn't with knowledge they don't have.
When Sam saves Frodo from Shelob, he finds himself in the vision he saw in Galadriel's mirror. Knowing the future isn't always as helpful as one would think, is it?No, it's not.
Having always been a sidekick/helper of sorts, Sam reluctantly realizes he may have to become the Ringbearer. What do you think Sam will do with the Ring of Power? If you were the sidekick of the hero, and suddenly had the opportunity to become the hero, to finish the quest, what would you do with the Ring of Power?This one I'm declining to answer as all my answers are tangled up in the events of the Return of the King.
The conversation between the two Orcs at the end was highly amusing for me. Yes, it serves to educate Sam on Frodo's condition, and Tolkien could have just left it at that, but he didn't. The Orc's commiserating could have been any soldiers in any war. To me, it felt like Tolkien was humanizing the enemy, instead of the traditional dehumanizing of the enemy that you usually see in war stories. What do you think?I'd never actually thought of it like that. I like that interpretation though. I'm more used to reading that passage and trying to figure out what events the orcs are referring to, as some of the debates I've participated in use those passages to prove/disprove theories on orcish lifespans.
The book ends on a cliffhanger. Are you excited to finish up the trilogy and see how it all turns out?Yes! I remember one time I was reading the books on a trip and I'd finished the Two Towers and then realized that I'd accidentally brought the Fellowship of the Ring along instead of the Return of the King. I had to wait until I got home again to finish the read. I don't remember what I did in the mean time though anymore.