The Two Towers Live-Blog Session 1

8:19pm: This session of The Two Towers live-blog experience has closed. Feel free to continue commenting, though any responses from me will be less prompt.

Covered in this post: Book 3, Chapters 1 and 2

Why on earth am I doing this?

5:11pm: The Two Towers live-blog session underway. All blogging/commentary will be made as comments in response to this post.

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About Chelsea
I'm currently pursuing my MFA in Writing at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. My ideal career path involves using writing, publication, and writing education to enact progressive social change.

37 Responses to The Two Towers Live-Blog Session 1

  1. Chelsea says:

    Despite their inclusion at the beginning of the book, I purposely ignore maps of fantasy worlds usually until the end of the story–too many things to try to place. I just let myself be taken along for the ride.

    • Chelsea says:

      Also these pages suck–I mean the actual page texture; the pages are completely differently produced paper than my beat-up copy of Fellowship. Plus, I’m still not quite over wishing I had a matching set of covers. Too nitpicky?

      • Fern says:

        I am definitely the same way. I love matching sets! I got a little nutty with Lord of the Rings actually, where I had multiple copies of each book because of various mismatching covers. Well, and my attachment to the set I first read… it had terribly ugly covers… so I went and bought a set of gorgeous old artsy covers… and when I moved out of the country I made myself give away the earlier set. It’s kind of ridiculous!

  2. Chelsea says:

    BOOK 3, CHAPTER 1: THE DEPARTURE OF BOROMIR

    • Chelsea says:

      (Sorry for the short break, I’m also preparing for Midwest Snowpocalypse 2011)

    • Chelsea says:

      “Drawing his bright sword and crying Elendil! Elendil! he crashed through the trees.” (4)

      Guys, what is it with the battle cries! If you’re hearing Orcs everywhere, it’s perhaps unwise to alert them to your presence by shouting at the top of your lungs when you’re trying to save your company.

    • Chelsea says:

      Boromir: “‘I tried to take the Ring from Frodo,’ he said. ‘I am sorry. I have paid.'” (4)

      DAMN RIGHT

    • Chelsea says:

      “‘Alas!’ said Aragorn. ‘Thus passes the heir of Denethor, Lord of the Tower of Guard! This is a bitter end. Now the Company is all in ruin. It is I that have failed. Vain was Gandalf’s trust in me. What shall I do now? Boromir has laid it on me to go to Minas Tirith, and my heart desires it; but where are the Ring and the Bearer? How shall I find them and save the Quest from disaster?'” (4)

      This is some heavy shit for page 4. Relax, bro; it’s going to be okay. You’ve got several hundred pages to go, and Gimli and Legolas are still around here somewhere! Don’t worry so much about so many Important Capitalized Nouns just yet.

      • Kevin says:

        It’s all going to be heavy shit. In the chapter name, “departure” apparently means “shot in the chest with orc arrows and left to bleed to death while contemplating your betrayal of your friends.”

        • Chelsea says:

          I can only hope the rest of this book is filled with miserably understated metaphors like this!

          • Chelsea says:

            Oh joy, there are more:

            “Upon this rough bier they carried the body of their companion to the shore, together with such trophies of his last battle as they chose to send forth with him. It was only a short way, yet they found it no easy task, for Boromir was a man both tall and strong.” (7)

            By “tall and strong,” he means “huge and really fucking heavy”

            • Fern says:

              Oh gosh. I read that as “huge and fucking sexy” at first and went “mm hmm!” Though actually I think that applies to Aragorn more. Or maybe– oh dear. I’m going to stop now before I thoroughly embarrass myself!

    • Chelsea says:

      The Falls of Rauros–har har, I see what you did thar, JRRT

    • Chelsea says:

      “‘Maybe there is no right choice,’ said Gimli.” (7)

      True that, bro

    • Chelsea says:

      I knew we were too many pages in (eight) without a song.

    • Chelsea says:

      P.S. Maybe I’m a jerk, but I’m glad Boromir is finally dead; I thought that was going to happen by the end of Fellowship. I think it’s kind of impossible to be sad about his death when he spent the entirety of his time in the series being a self-centered douche. I can understand Tolkien using him to make a point about the hearts of Men, but it’s not even as though he was likable. Nine characters are a lot to pay full attention to as a reader, and for the writer to fully develop, not to mention all the other folks we’ve been introduced to along the way. They just start becoming very predictable metaphors.

      • Kevin says:

        I think Boromir started as a representative of the Kingdom of Men, with all that implies (including his falling to the temptation of the Ring), but later on he becomes a foil for his brother Faramir, who is a far more interesting character.

        The whole Denathor-Boromir-Faramir story is pretty interesting, actually, but most of it is only implied in the trilogy.

  3. Chelsea says:

    BOOK 3, CHAPTER 2: THE RIDERS OF ROHAN

    (which is also one of the best songs on the film soundtracks)

    • Chelsea says:

      JRRT, you are spending way too much time denoting the party’s movements instead of developing your characters.

    • Chelsea says:

      “‘You have given the advice to an ill chooser,’ said Aragorn. ‘Since we passed through the Argonath my choices have gone amiss.'” (19)

      Aragorn has about as much self-confidence as me by this point.

    • Chelsea says:

      Now that Boromir is dead, I have less jokes to make. Oh, the irony!

    • Chelsea says:

      “Only Legolas still stepped as lightly as ever, his feet hardly seeming to press the grass, leaving no footprints as he passed; but in the waybread of the Elves he found all the sustenance that he needed, and he could sleep, if sleep it could be called by Men, resting his mind in the strange paths of elvish dreams, even as he walked open-eyed in the light of this world.” (22)

      Sleeping through daydreaming? Let’s make this happen in the future, please

    • Chelsea says:

      “‘Riders!’ cried Aragorn, springing to his feet. ‘Many riders on swift steeds are coming towards us!’
      ‘Yes,’ said Legolas, ‘there are one hundred and five. Yellow is their hair, and bright are their spears. Their leader is very tall.'”(24)

      SWEDES

      • Chelsea says:

        “‘I serve only the Lord of the Mark, Théoden King son of Thengel,’ answered Éomer. ‘We do not serve the Power of the Black Land far away, but neither are we yet at open war with him; and if you are fleeing from him, then you had best leave this land. There is trouble now on all our borders, and we are threatened; but we desire only to be free, and to live as we have lived, keeping our own, and serving no foreign lord, good or evil.'” (27)

        MY MISTAKE, THEY ARE SWISS

    • Chelsea says:

      Gimli: “‘You speak evil of that which is fair beyond the reach of your thought, and only little wit can excuse you.” (27)

      Gimli rivals Sam for the best lines. I’mma hashtag this despite not being on Twitter. #truethat

    • Chelsea says:

      “Aragorn threw back his cloak. The elven-sheath glittered as he grasped it, and the bright blade of Andúril shone like a sudden flame as he swept it out. ‘Elendil!’ he cried. ‘I am Aragorn son of Arathorn, and am called Elessar, the Elfstone, Dúnadan, the heir of Isildur Elendil’s son of Gondor. Here is the Sword that was Broken and is forged again! Will you aid me or thwart me? Choose swiftly!'” (28)

      #namedrop

      • Chelsea says:

        Éomer: “‘Strider is too poor a name, son of Arathorn,’ he said. ‘Wingfoot I name you. This deed of the three friends should be sung in many a hall.'” (31)

        Please, god, no more names and songs

    • Chelsea says:

      “‘…he is a wizard both cunning and dwimmer-crafty…'” (32)

      I’m sorry, what?

      • Kevin says:

        He crafts dwimmers, as a hobby. It’s very difficult and is usually accompanied by a great quantity of pipe-weed.

    • Chelsea says:

      “‘Return with what speed you may, and let our swords hereafter shine together!'”

      Well that is an innuendo if I ever heard one

    • Chelsea says:

      Aragorn: “‘There are some things that it is better to begin than to refuse, even though the end may be dark.'” (37)

      #truethat

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  6. Fern says:

    Oh wow. I thoroughly enjoyed this. More more!

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