A Tolkien Virgin: The Two Towers - Book III - Chapter 11 - The Journey Continues
"Hardly breathing, Pippin crept nearer, foot by foot. At last he knelt down. Then he put his hands out stealthily, and slowly lifted the lump up: it did not seem quite so heavy as he had expected..."
Ahhh... thus ends Book III of the Lord of the Rings. Once again, the good guys are forced into action by a blunder of sorts.
And hey, now I'm half way through. I don't know how I'm supposed to feel exactly, but I definitely want to get on to the rest of it!
As for the Palantir, it's an interesting "enchanted object." But like so many enchanted objects in Middle-earth it's very dangerous. The Silmarils, the Ring of Power, even the enchanted mirror of Galadriel was dangerous in it's own way. What enchanted objects don't have some accompanying danger? Sting?
Book III ends with Gandalf and Pippin (of all people) racing upon Shadowfax. And by looking into the Palantir, Pippin has become the second of our party to face Sauron (at a distance). But I think Pippin's experience was far more terrifying--he faced him personally, not just an eye, the voice too. So, as he begins to recover the question is whether there will be any long-term effects. Saruman, a much more powerful person, certainly suffered some nasty long-term effects. Just look how he turned out.
Book III on the whole is dominated by great chapters. It's definitely my favorite as I mentioned a few chapters back... but it also adds to the previous part of the story told and thinking back on The Fellowship of the Ring it feels slow, but good slow, it all fits together well.
Without peeking at the next "book", I suspect the story will continue to put Frodo and Sam on hold.
The battle at Minas Tirith seems most naturally to follow... since that's where Gandalf is headed. But, you never can know where Tolkien will take the story next. Truth be known, I'm hoping to get back to Frodo.
till next time, keep thinking