Gandalf's signature
writing on the ring
Writing on a Dwarf Lord's grave
The Lord of the Rings
Part II. The Two Towers

Review of J.R.R. Tolkien's Novel
   The story begins where the preceding episode ended, at the falls of Rauros, at the feet of the mountains Emyn Muil, the Fellowship broke as Frodo decided to go alone in Mordor, followed only by Sam. As the Hobbits Merry and Pippin are kidnapped by Orcs, the remaining survivors of the Fellowship throw themselves in a hopeless pursuit on the tracks of their agressors to free their friends. The first part of the novel follows their quest while the later part is concerned with Frodo and Sam's lonely journey into the cursed land of Mordor.
   As in the previous novel, the characters travel through various lands of awe and wonder, encountering friends and foes of all kinds. As the tensions grow in Middle-Earth, Aragorn and the others are swept along in the fury of war. They must fight their first terrible battle at Helm's deep, against the powerful army of the traiturous Saruman. Meanwhile, Frodo and Sam are engaged in a hopeless, harrowing and terrifying journey into the nightmarish land of Sauron, stalked by Gollum, slave of the Ring. Their first trial is the crossing of the Dead Marshes, a seemingly endless land haunted by the tortured souls of warriors killed in battles of ancient ages, where death lays, shrouded in unbearable stench, darkness and decay.
   The tone is much darker than in the previous episode as the horror of war has finally broken loose on Middle-Earth. No fair Lothlórien nor Rivendell are set across the Fellowship's path. Only evil and despair seem to be everpresent wherever their journeys lead them. A deep melancholy has seized all beings who know that this war will change their world forever, whatever the issue. Even if the Free People should succeed against all odds in overthrowing Sauron, the harm he has caused will never be fully healed and many wondruous things will eventually die soon. Still, many braves are ready to fight and be sacrificed to save what can still be saved from slavery and destruction.
   Like a journey into pure horror and despair is the lonely journey into Mordor, calling up ancient fears buried into the universal consciousness. As to the turmoil of war and its swirl of destruction and ensuing grief, it is humanity's plague, always rising again from ancient ashes, rekindling old hatred and mistrusts, wrapping all in a veil of pain and fear, hiding its repulsive nature under empty words like victory (often illusory as Elrond noted) or glory.
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