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Analysis On The Lord Of The Rings: Two Towers

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The first of the great kingdoms of men is Rohan. The southwestern region of Middle-Earth is the last and greatest bastion of human strength, and Rohan constitutes the northernmost stronghold in this area. The men of Rohan, the Rohirrim, are known throughout Middle-Earth for their courage and skill. They are the first--and usually, the last--line of defense against orc and goblin armies from the north. They have never been defeated in battle, though their trials have at times been very great. At this point in their history, their most immediate enemy is the wizard Saruman.

Saruman is a very powerful wizard, rivaled only by Gandalf and Sauron himself. He was once head of the Wizard's Council, for his greatest strength was in his ability to command men and beasts. Even now, he wields that ability with impressive results. His army is vast and powerful, and led completely by the force of his hand. There is no tradition and no kingdom to guide the minions' swords--only the will of Saruman. He has created, through unknown and wicked methods, a horrible new kind of orc. The Uruk-hai, as they call themselves, is stronger and larger than normal orcs. More important, they can bear the glow and warmth of the daytime sun, unlike other evil creatures. This makes Saruman's army far more dangerous, as they can besiege any stronghold for extended periods of time, as no band of wild orcs could.

Gandalf's returned marks the beginning of a new phase in the epic. Shortly before his arrival, the plot had grown steadily more diffused; Gandalf's return serves as a lens through which the plot elements focus and converge. He reunites most of the previously estranged Company and, through subtle influence, guides them onto new and more meaningful paths. Aragorn fights alongside King Thйoden, the first real indication of his lordly future. Through Gandalf, Merry and Pippin meet Thйoden, an encounter that later proves significant. The White Rider brings also a crucial message with him, the message from Galadriel to Aragorn. This rhyme will return and ultimately determine the outcome of the final battle.

Aragorn's role in the victory at Helm's Deep, as a king among kings, marks the beginning of his ascendance to the throne of Gondor. The battle here is crucial for the survival of Rohan, and ultimately Gondor itself. Should the orc army take Helm's Deep and move into the plains of Rohan, they would pose a terrible and unforeseen threat to the kingdom of Gondor in the south. With Saruman's army to their north and Sauron's minions to their east, the DÑŠnedain could not have long prevailed.

Gandalf's encounter with Saruman demonstrates the great change he has undergone. When he slays the terrible Balrog in The Fellowship of the Ring, he passes away. A few days later, he returns to life as Gandalf the White and head of the White Council. As we see later, Gandalf wears one of the Three Rings (three rings for the Elven-kings under the sky), and thus he is greater than a mortal is, though not completely immortal. Even without the ring, he can easily withstand grave wounds. Wizards in Middle-Earth have the form and hearts of men, but they are not themselves men. They arose from emptiness many years before the War of the Ring, and some believe that they represent the collective resistance of men against the power of Sauron. Indeed, they seem to provide a subtle balance in Middle Earth.

The hobbits are headed for Orodruin, the birthplace of the One Ring. The nineteen servants Rings were crafted by master elven smiths under Sauron's influence. Sauron himself, however, crafted the One Ring, over the supernatural fury of the Cracks of Doom. The ring cannot be destroyed by any fire save that which created it--the reason Frodo and Sam must travel into the heart of Mordor. As the other Rings derive their power from the One, if Frodo completes his task the Nazgыl will wither and pass from the earth. More important, perhaps, the Three Rings will lose their power. We later discover who the bearers of the Three Rings are, and the role they play in Middle-Earth.

Faramir, Boromir's brother, is the son of Denethor, twenty-sixth Steward of Gondor. Ostensibly, the Stewards of Gondor rule the kingdom only provisionally, awaiting the return of an heir



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