A Tolkien Virgin: The Two Towers - Book III - Chapter 3 - The Journey Continues

"Terrified Pippin lay still, though the pain at his wrists and ankles was growing, and the stones beneath him were boring into his back. To take his mind off himself he listened intently to all that he could hear..."
Chapter 3
The Uruk-Hai

A great, great chapter!

So vivid, so interesting. Here's the back-story told first hand, and superbly.

For the first time I have a somewhat clear idea of what orcs are like. The Silmarillion never described them. I wonder when Tolkien's idea of what they are was complete, and where did he get his idea of them? Deliciously hideous in all their various forms. Big ones, little ones. Some slant-eyed and huge, some more thoughtfully sinister. The evil cousins of the Elves, twisted by Melkor.

We have learned at this point that Saruman feeds his Orcs human flesh. His lust for the Ring has truly unmade him. But, I wish that Tolkien had included a tale about Saruman from long before he fell to desire for the ring. Some good deed in the past remembered by Gandalf to the others. Cause, like I mentioned in the last Book, Saruman had always seemed evil to me. Of the White Council he had been the greatest and Gandalf had truly respected him, so I miss out on the profundity of his "fall." In Return of the Jedi, the audience finally came to pity Darth Vader, the arch foe of the original Star Wars trilogy. We know he started good, he went bad, but was redeemed in the end. I wonder if there will be any redemption for Saruman.

As for Merry and Pippin's escape, that was totally unexpected (a phrase I use frequently), and downright exciting. Two hobbits being so clever in such a perilous situation, who would've thought? Even though hobbits like to steer clear of danger, it seems to be their moment to shine when it does come upon them (the Hobbit, for example).

Will Aragorn, Legolas, and Gimli plow ahead and miss them entirely? What will befall them all in Fangorn (dark and dangerous forest number 3!)?

till next time, keep thinking,

Mark-Edmond Howell
Kanazawa Japan

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