I experienced such anticipation concerning The Two Towers that I felt I might ruin it for myself. Having read Tolkien’s work since the late seventies, I would consider myself one of those ‘purists’. Not because I want to be critical of the interpretation of someone else, but because the differences between the original stand out so much.
What captivated me about The FotR was not whether the story line followed the book or not, but the characters. The choice of the actors and actresses that portrayed those people, those individuals that are very real to so many of us, was wonderful. I could overlook the changes in the story that have been discussed in the past year. Indeed, I have spent the equivalent of two days of my life viewing the first movie.
After the first viewing of The Two Towers, I couldn’t decide how I felt. The unneeded tragedy of Haldir’s death at Helm’s Deep (as well as so many other elves), Faramir’s somewhat less than noble handling of Frodo and Sam, Frodo and the Ring in Osgiliath, and to a lesser degree Treebeard and the Ents’ initial decision to not help the fight against Saruman, all bothered me. My first reaction was to feel that I was not nearly as ‘affected’ by this installment as I was over the first.
When I woke up the next day, though, I realized that I had spent the night dwelling on the movie (I do have a ‘life’, but I freely admit that I am an addict). It came to me that what I loved most about the FotR was what I am taken by in The Two Towers; the choice of characters and how they portray their respective roles. My favorite section of The Lord of the Rings is Rohan. While I would have seen more of Eomer, I am pleased. The scenery, the thrill of the Riders, the ‘return’ of King Theoden, and of course, Eowyn have left lasting images …
But I have to say the best part was the portrayal of Gollum. The personality shift between Gollum and Smeagol was astounding. This was the crowning achievement of the movie, a part that could have been done poorly, but ended up a masterpiece. I have seen the movie numerous times, and will gladly view it as many times as my wife will let me! And, life is cruel to have to wait until summer for the DVD, not to mention another year for the Return of the King!