The Two Towers Book Summary
Frodo and Sam depart for Mordor with the Ring of Power. Boromir dies trying to stop a band of orcs from kidnapping Merry and Pippin. Aragorn, Legolas, and Gimli pursue the orcs. They travel into the land of Rohan and see that the band of orcs is traveling very quickly toward Isengard, the fortress of the once good wizard, Saruman. They meet Eomer, a marshal of Rohan who hears their tale and offers them horses to look for the hobbits even though his men just killed the orcs.
Merry and Pippin are hauled around by the orcs for several days. When the Riders of Rohan surround them, one of the orcs tries to get away with them but is killed. They escape and flee into the forest. There, they meet the ent, Treebeard, who takes them to his home and listens to their stories. He is enraged by the tale of the evils around and gathers the long dormant ents. They elect to rouse the forest and attack Isengard themselves.
Aragorn and the others pursue the hobbits’ prints into the forest and meet an old man. It turns out to be Gandalf whom they had assumed dead after his fall in Moria. He tells them what has transpired and urges that they all go to Edoras, the capital of Rohan. There they release King Theoden from the evil lies of Grima, a servant of Saruman. Theoden rallies his people to go fight Saruman and they ride tirelessly to the aid of their countrymen. They make a desperate stand against Saruman’s armies and finally overcome them with the help of the ents’ trees.
Gandalf rides to Isengard and the Company of the Ring is almost united, excluding the two other hobbits and Boromir. Merry and Pippin recount their tale and the defeat of Isengard. Saruman has retreated to the inner stronghold. Gandalf ascends the stairs to speak to him. Saruman tries to get Gandalf to join him. Gandalf breaks Saruman’s staff and announces that he is cast from the council of wizards. They ride off towards Rohan. When it becomes apparent that the forces of Sauron are afoot, Gandalf rides off in the other direction to prepare to fight the lord of darkness.
Frodo and Sam move closer to Mordor with great difficulty. They find Gollum, a creature who once bore the Ring, and who has been following them for some time. The hobbits force him to lead them into Mordor. The journey is long and grueling. First, Gollum leads them to the main gates that cannot be entered. He tells them that there is another way, and they begin another long walk. They run into a group of men from Gondor and slowly begin to trust them. Faramir, the brother of Boromir, shows them hospitality in a wilderness fortress and they exchange their tales. From this encounter, the hobbits receive enough food to continue their quest.
They leave the company of Faramir and journey to the other gate to Mordor. There they watch a great army march out to wage war on the world. Gollum leads them up seemingly endless staircases and into a secret tunnel. In the tunnel, he abandons them and they find themselves attacked by a wretched spider-like beast. Frodo is overcome and Sam eventually beats the creature away. He weeps when he finds that Frodo is no longer breathing and takes the Ring, meaning to continue on with the quest. He overhears a couple of orcs as they carry away Frodo’s body and realizes that the poison of the spider merely makes the victim appear to be dead. He follows the orcs and is closed out of their fortress as he watches them carry Frodo away.