The second in the series is called 'The Two Towers', and lots of discussion has gone into exactly which two 'towers' that is meant to refer to. While there are many opposing strongholds, and many more than two towers in middle earth, I cannot help but think the reality is more likely that it refers to the two completely seperate stories which this portion of the series contains.
While we're familliar with the breaking of the fellowship at the end of book one, the second in the series almost behaves as if the two stories that follow are all but unrelated... A good book, and exciting in the first tale, the second goes on to be more of a slog, but such is the reality of the story. I suppose ultimately I was just a bit disappointed that Tolkien so seldom has any congruent experiences between the two.
Having read stories of two seperate narratives before, I had expected more interlacing between the events, but Tolkien choses instead to tell one, and then tell another. A technique I found, at first, difficult because the two stories are referenced not only geographically but also chronologically seperated in place AND Time respectively.
The narrative moves between the stories at dates and times unrelated to each other meaning the 'last time' you heard about the characters elsewhere could also now be a time either in the future or the past of the characters who you are now hearing about.
Thankfully, there is little or no singing in this one, but the bleak nature of the latter parts can make one remaniscent of the stupid singsong of Tom Bombadil... for a minute or two...
The performance of Golem is also well done. Once the ear adjusts to the different interpretation, it can be quite evocative and subtextural. Crazy talk can always be a tricky part to perform well, but it is quite well done in the end.
Take a Long Walk through middle earth, and chose between the paths knowing well that they are destined to reconnect in the end... opposing sides of the two faces of war perhaps... The precarious balance before the axe falls, the two forces rise...
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