Middle Earth Challenge: The Return of the King

Pippin: I didn’t think it would end this way. Gandalf: End? No, the journey doesn’t end here. Death is just another path, one that we all must take. The grey rain-curtain of this world rolls back, and all turns to silver glass, and then you see it. Pippin: What? Gandalf? See what?Gandalf: White shores, and beyond, a far green country under a swift sunrise. Pippin: Well, that isn’t so bad. Gandalf: No. No, it isn’t.Gandalf and Pippin speaking in Minas Tirith

So here we are. At the end of all things. This has to be one of my favorite and random challenges I’ve started for myself. I think I originally started this to keep myself busy while I was stuck at home because of Covid-19. Also from helping the kids with their school work and fixing things around the house. I had a lot of downtime on my hands.. A lot…..

I have to say this adventure had a surprising out comes. The number people I’ve met while writing about these was fantastic. Made a few new friends and not to mention the knowledge about the Middle Earth has grown 10 fold. While I had a good knowledge base before, this help me have a better understanding about the this world in novels and film. I have found myself growing rather attached to these characters and the Middle Earth as whole. So there is an element of sadness knowing that this is the end of the challenge. Oh sure I can revisit the novels again or watch the movies. But it’ll be different. It’s hard to explain how or why, just is.

I have to say by diving into the Middle Earth, it has given me a number of ideas for campaigns for D&D and/or events within’ the game. It has help develop my storytelling ability and have a better understanding on how to make a backstory for characters. but I am getting off topic here.

before I get into the The Return of the King, I have made a top 10 list of my challenge to share with you. Also make a list of links for the videos that I have shared in addition to this challenge.

TOP 10 MIDDLE EARTH CHALLENGES:

Here are some links that have helped me on long my adventure through out the Middle Earth.

First we have History of the Ages. They were called History of the Middle Earth not that long ago. but do to copyright laws, they had to change their name to History of the Ages. The work these guys do is awesome and fun to watch. In addition to the Middle Earth history videos, they make fan made movies and readings from the books.

Description: History of the Ages is a channel dedicated to everything Tolkien Lore, here we have videos based on Middle Earth Lore and answering some interesting questions regarding The Lord of the Rings, The Hobbit, The Silmarillion and more!! If you’re a fan of Tolkien then please subscribe and help us build our Middle Earth community!! We are sure you will not regret it! If you want to support our channel, please head to our Patreon page and consider becoming a Patron! 🙂 https://www.patreon.com/historyoftheages Also we have our own official website too! https://www.historyoftheages.co.uk All content falls under fair use: any copying of copyrighted material done for a limited and “transformative” purpose, such as to comment upon, criticize, or parody a copyrighted work. Such uses can be done without permission from the copyright owner. Huge thanks to all artists of Tolkien’s world.

Second on the list we have Lore of the Rings. This another group I used a few times for this quest.

Description: This channel is dedicated to Tolkien’s Legendarium. I investigate the rich and abundant world of Arda, Lore of the Rings is a channel dedicated to the exploration of Middle-Earth. My goal is to share Tolkien’s world to the masses and to give a mere representation of his works. I hope you find my content enjoyable and enriching. Subscribe now to explore the legendarium together with me.

Third we have Rosenthal z.s.. They make soundtracks and best known for the Horn of Gondor: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack Music Composed by Petr Kubelik

Forth the Independent Online Cinema group.

Description: Independent Online Cinema is a London based filmed entertainment production and distribution platform known for creating hugely popular fantasy, sci-fi and children’s films including The Hunt for Gollum. IOC was founded in 2009 by British film director Chris Bouchard to release ‘The Hunt for Gollum’ in partnership with YouTube. After millions of views, the channel went on to premiere another popular LOTR fan film ‘Born of Hope’ by Kate Madison. Bouchard since co-directed The Little Mermaid 2018 starring Shirley MacLaine and Madison created the award winning fantasy web-series Ren: The Girl with the Mark. IOC now develops and creates high quality and ambitious independent fantasy films and TV shows, as well as supporting high quality independent films from around the Internet. http://www.independentonlinecinema.com http://thehuntforgollum.com http://bornofhope.com http://rentheseries.com Founded by film producer Chris Bouchard: http://chrisbouchard.co.uk

Fifth group, we have Nerd of the Rings.

Description: Sharing a passion for all things Tolkien! On Nerd of the Rings, I’ll post videos explaining characters and concepts from Middle-earth history, video essays, gaming, DIY, Amazon LOTRonPrime series updates, dramatic readings, and more! If you love the Hobbit, The Lord of the Rings, the Silmarillion, the books, the movies, the music – any and all of Middle-earth, please subscribe and join me in this adventure! I am honored to share this love of Tolkien with such excellent and admirable hobbits! All content falls under fair use: any copying of copyrighted material is done for a limited, educational and “transformative” purpose, such as to comment upon, criticize, or parody a copyrighted work. Such uses can be done without permission from the copyright owner. Thank you so much to all the artists who do such amazing work inspired by Tolkien’s world! If your art is featured in a video, please let me know and I would love to post your name in the description of the video!

Sixth we have the last, but not least the Nerd Cookies group.

Description: In-depth analysis and coverage of new and old Science Fiction and Fantasy entertainment. Twitter: @Nerd_Cookies

If you find your self wanting to know more about the Middle Earth would check out any of these guys. Most of the videos are no more than 5 minutes, some are up to 15 minutes long. That is you don’t want to read the novels and other website for the information. but at any rate, we have now come to the main point of this post. The Return of the King… From day one I knew I was going to make this novel my end game to this challenge. With the Hobbit being the beginning of it all.

Now if you haven’t read the book or watched the movies. Please stop reading this post. SPOILERS AHEAD!!!!

As the Shadow of Mordor grows across the land, the Companions of the Ring have become involved in separate adventures. Aragorn, revealed as the hidden heir of the ancient Kings of the West, has joined with the Riders of Rohan against the forces of Isengard, and takes part in the desperate victory of the Hornburg. Merry and Pippin, captured by Orcs, escape into Fangorn Forest and there encounter the Ents. Gandalf has miraculously returned and defeated the evil wizard, Saruman. Sam has left his master for dead after a battle with the giant spider, Shelob; but Frodo is still alive — now in the foul hands of the Orcs.
And all the while the armies of the Dark Lord are massing as the One Ring draws ever nearer to the Cracks of Doom.

Gandalf delivers news to Denethor, Steward of Gondor, that war is coming. Gandalf along with Pippi, who enters the service of Denethor. Aragorn, with his courage and leadership, proves to be a worthy ruler of men. He starts his quest to find a lost army of men now dead and entrapped in a curse given long ago for their own disobedience. In a place known as the Paths of the Dead. Remnants of the Fellowship lead the forces of Gondor and Rohan in defence of Gondor’s capital city. Minas Tirith, resulting in the Battle of the Pelennor Fields. Those characters who manage to survive the battle are led by Aragorn on an assuredly suicidal feint-attack against the Black Gates of Mordor. A plan was laid out to partly distract Sauron from defending his other borders, so that Frodo and Sam can gain passage into Mordor. Aragorn’s company now surrounds the Black Gates of the Morannon exchanging words with the Mouth of Sauron.

Sam Gamgee (for a short time had himself become the ring-bearer) enables the long-suffering Frodo to navigate the barren wasteland of Mordor. For part of the way, they are captured by a company of Orcs and must pretend to be orcs before they are able to escape. The company, tired and half-alive, finally reaches the Crack of Doom, where the One Ring is destroyed along with Gollum, freeing Middle-earth from Sauron’s power forever. This happens when Frodo at the last moment decides to keep the ring rather than destroy it, and is attacked by Gollum who bites off Frodo’s finger to take the ring, trips, and falls into the lava while still holding the ring. Frodo and Sam are rescued by the giant eagles whom Gandalf rides to Mount Doom. After Sauron is defeated, his armies at the black gates flee.

Aragorn now crowned King of Gondor at Minas Tirith. After a series of goodbyes, the Hobbits return home, only to find the Shire under the control of ‘Sharkey’ who they find out is Saruman, diminished in power but not in malevolence. Now in the movie Saruman was killed in the beginning of the film. In fact, Saruman does not appear in the theatrical cut of The Return of the King. It was Treebeard who suggests that the fallen wizard’s power is no more.Now in the extended edition, Gandalf, Aragorn, Théoden, Gimli, Merry and Pippin confront Saruman in Isengard at the beginning of the film. Gandalf wishes to interrogate Saruman, but Gríma stabs Saruman at the pinnacle of Orthanc. As Saruman falls to his death, he drops the Palantir. Now in the novel, Merry and Pippin, now experienced warriors of Rohan and Gondor respectively, take the lead in setting things right again, and lead an uprising of hobbits against Saruman, freeing the shire.

The Shire heals, sadly not Frodo does not. Eventually Frodo departs for the Undying Lands to find healing, along with Bilbo Baggins, Gandalf and the Elves. Sam, Merry and Pippin watch them depart and return home in silence. Sam is greeted by his wife Rose and his daughter Elanor. The last line spoken in this book Sam says to Rose;

“Well, I’m back”.

The differences between the novel and the film:

A sequence that did not make it from the book into the film at all despite the hopes of many fans, was the “Scouring of the Shire”, in which the Hobbits return home at the end of their quest to find they have some fighting to do, owing to Saruman’s takeover of the Shire. Jackson felt that it would tax the audience’s patience to mount another battle scene after the critical conflict, the defeat of Sauron, had already been resolved.

Several changes can be found in the scenes encompassing the Siege of Minas Tirith. In the film Denethor loses his mind and tells everyone to run for their lives, and Gandalf knocks him unconscious and rallies the defense of Minas Tirith. This did not happen in the book.

The Witch-King never broke Gandalf’s staff in the book, and there was never any indication that Gandalf feared him in the least.

The pyre scene in the book involved Gandalf’s rescuing Faramir, and Denethor’s revealing the Palantir before burning himself. The film gives a more violent depiction, in which Gandalf physically assaults Denethor so that Pippin can pull Faramir off the pyre. Denethor tries to stop him, but Gandalf has Shadowfax kick Denethor into the flames. Before he dies, Denethor actually sees Faramir regain consciousness. Denethor is somehow able to run all the way to the peak of Minas Tirith and jump to his death. Denethor never reveals the Palantir itself, although he makes a clear reference to it with the line “… the eyes of the White Tower…” in an earlier scene.

The Army of the Dead have an expanded role, including their leader the King of the Dead. The Dead not only defeat the Corsairs of Umbar, but follow Aragorn all the way to Minas Tirith and abruptly end the Battle of the Pelennor Fields. The extended edition shows the Dead destroying their city, presumably because they have no further need of it.

The Mouth of Sauron is decapitated by Aragorn, which is ironic given that the Mouth claimed to the right not to be assailed in the book, as he was an emissary. Gandalf also assured him of no harm.

Gollum does not topple over the edge of the precipice in Mount Doom. Instead, Frodo attacks him in an attempt to regain the One Ring, which results in both of them falling over the edge, with Gollum and the Ring dissolving in the lava and Frodo being saved by Sam.

The Return of the King was always one of my favorite parts of the story. Originally Tolkien wrote it as one story. But it was the publishers that broke it up into three different parts. This has been a lot of fun and I am looking forward to the upcoming Amazon show about the First/Second Age of the Middle Earth. There are so many stories that they can use and as well make up new stories.

So if you find yourself with some time on your hands. I’d say pick up the LOTR and dive into the wonderful universe. There are some many story to pick from and a few different films as well .

“And he lived happily ever after to the end of his days.” -Bilbo Baggins

Sources:

https://lotr.fandom.com/wiki/Main_Page, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Lord_of_the_Rings, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/J._R._R._Tolkien, https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCaA5XOYRRQ7XeJh-3ugBP0g, https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0120737/

Middle Earth Challenge: Nearing the End

This is the last book I will be sharing/writing before the Return of the King. I has been an interesting journey for sure. Rather educational as well, definitely learned a lot more about the Middle Earth and the characters within. So while reading and writing the ending to this adventure on the way to Return of the King. I happened to find another book expanding on the Middle Earth and it’s history. An Encyclopedia of Tolkien by David Day, who also wrote The Dark Powers of Tolkien. I have to say I was rather surprised by this lovely novel of information!

A comprehensive, illustrated guide to the history, lands, and inhabitants of Middle-earth.
The fantasy world of J. R. R. Tolkien’s Middle-earth contains a rich assortment of people, cities, and creatures—as well as a deep, intertwined history that spans thousands of years. In this beautifully illustrated, leather-bound volume, best-selling author and Tolkien scholar David Day presents four decades of research and writing on the lands and inhabitants Middle-earth. Sections of this A-to-Z dictionary are devoted to discussion of the battles, history, beasts, and heroes of Tolkien’s stories, and are accompanied by black-and-white illustrations. This comprehensive volume on Tolkien’s world also includes an appendix of three primary legends that served as sources for Tolkien’s creations—the Volsunga saga, the Nibelungenlied, and Richard Wagner’s Ring Cycle—and more than 200 black-and-white illustrations.

While reading this encyclopedia, it reminded me of why I started this adventure/challenge. The art work is fantastic and beyond easy to navigate through it pages. The information is beyond detailed and I wish I had found this before I had started this quest. BUT in some small way I am happy I didn’t, having to dig through the Mirkwood that is the internet to find these stories/characters was half the fun. With this book it has helped me figure out how to end this challenge the right way. Not just stop..

This novel by David Day is a must for any Middle Earth fan. I do find most of David Day books to be a hit or a miss. He has a number of them based around Tolkien’s work and then some. So if you get the chance I would definitely check him if you can, most of his stuff can be found at Costco for super cheap or a local book store.

In an odd way I can’t help to feel a little bit of sadness, now that I am nearing the end of the challenge. Unlike the other ones I have done in the past, this one was more personal for me. It’s hard to explain really… I’ve always enjoy the Lord of the Rings, I figured while I am stuck at home do to Covid. Why not start a challenge centered around the Middle Earth! I just didn’t expect to feel this attachment to this fictitious world and characters. ANYWHO!! Hope you guys have enjoyed this adventure as much as I have.

Unboxing Loot Crate DX

So after a few months I decided to get the Loot Crate DX. Mostly because it had a Lord of the Rings item within’ the box. For those of you who know, I have a love/hate relationship with Loot Crate. In the process of signing up for another monthly Crate, I found The Skyrim Crate that look rather interesting and got that one as well. but that won’t get here till August-ish..

Now this Crate is from July which I got close to August… I have August’s Crate already and will share that one soon. July’s Crate wasn’t to bad It had:

  • A Shazam enamel pin
  • Lord of the Rings metal “camp style” cup
  • Tetris theme T-shirt
  • Justice League All Stars lunch box
  • A Goonies hat

I have notice that the boxes aren’t as “fun” as they use to be. You use to be able to turn them inside out and a certain theme. I’m thinking it might have something to do with the fact they were bought out by another company. Just another way to save some money I’m guessing.. Over all it was not a bad Crate, I have had better ones in the past. I hope August and Skyrim Crate are better.

Middle Earth Challenge: Tom Bombadil

Middle Earth Challenge

35736This adventure book tells of Tom’s encounters with the River-woman’s beautiful daughter, Old Man Willow, the Badger-folk, the ghostly Barrowwight, a lovely princess, trolls, dwarves, and legendary beasts. A delightful volume of 16 songs, rhymes and poems from the acclaimed The Hobbit. Illustrated.

by

Roger Garland (Illustrator)
Eldest, that’s what I am… Tom remembers the first raindrop and the first acorn… He knew the dark under the stars when it was fearless – before the Dark Lord came from Outside.
Tom Bombadil (The Lord of the Rings)

Now I find writing about Tom Bomdadil to difficult/odd, mostly do to the fact that he only has one appearance and mentioned through out the LOTR story line. His background is basically unknown and from what I gathered in my reading. Tom is said to exist before the Dark Lord(in this case it was Morgoth and not Sauron.) came to Arda( Arda is known as the world in which all peoples of Middle-earth and of Valinor lived. For those who did not know.). Some people have theorized that Tom Bodadil was alive before the coming of the Valar.

For those who don’t know Middle Earth to well. Valar were the 14 Ainur who were the Powers of Arda. They help shaped the world and ruled it. But that is another history for later.

Tom Bomdadil also went by a few other names like; Iarwain Ben-adar, Orald, Forn, “Moss gatherer”. His power seem to range from destroying ancient enemies with little to no effort, to playing games and singing songs.In the first and second age of Middle Earth, little is known to what Tom actually did, what is known is that he traveled all over Middle Earth and kinda became this Folklore/legend to the Elves, Dwarves and Men. In the third age of Middle Earth Tom made his home outside of Old Forest and was witness to the arrival of the Hobbits as well the rise & fall of Angmar. The Tom Bombadil was given by the Bucklanders do to his cheerfulness and whimsical being.

Now there is a tale says, Tom is challenged by various river-residents on his journey down the Withywindle to Brandywine river. So happens to be where the Hobbits live at Haysend, including birds, otters, but charms them all with his voice, ending his journey at the farm of Farmer Maggot. Where Tom drinks ale and dances with the family. At the end, the charmed birds and otters work together to bring Bombadil’s boat home. Not to mention his random adventures to the Bree, where he met with Barliman Butterbur(who is the owner of the The Prancing Pony).

But I had forgotten Bombadil, if indeed this is still the same that walked the woods and hills long ago, and even then was older than the old. That was not then his name. Iarwain Ben-adar we called him, oldest and fatherless. But many another name he has since been given by other folk: Forn by the Dwarves, Orald by Northern Men, and other names beside. He is a strange creature…
Elrond, The Fellowship of the Ring

BombadilIt was wasn’t till the War of the Ring started and in the novel Fellowship of the Ring is when we get to meet Tom Bombadil. Frodo, Merry and Pippin where in the Old Forest and had an encounter with Old Man Willow. While Frodo look for help he found Tom. As the story goes, both of them went back and commanded the release of his friends. In which Old Man Window immediately did. Later on the Hobbits would stay with Tom Bombadil for two days. In that time Frodo told Tom about the One Ring. Now here is the odd thing. When Tom asked if he can seee the ring, Frodo gave it to him with no second thought. Once Tom had the One Ring, he put it on and it did nothing to him. Tom did not vanish nor was any effects. The other thing is that Tom was able to see Frodo when he had the One Ring on. The three Hobbits left Tom’s house to only be in trouble again. Captured by Wights(Barrow-wights were shape-shifting beings of darkness, similar in circumstance to Wraiths, who dwelt in dark places of Eriador such as the Barrow-downs.) on the Barrow-downs. Fortunately, Tom once again came to their rescue, dispersing the Wights and breaking open their tomb. After this, he escorted the Hobbits to the borders of his land and left.

It was at the Council of Elrod, Tom became a topic of discussion. Mostly on the fact that the One Ring had no effect on him and if they should give it to Tom to hold. Gandalf would state that Tom would take the Ring if asked, but wouldn’t fully understand the reason behind it. Because Tom would likely forget it or throw it away. Also stating that Sauron would sooner or later focus all his power to Tom and bend him to his will. But over all the council assumed that Tom would not care and/or be able to keep the Ring within his realm. That was it. No more was said about Tom with in the LOTR novels.

After a number years after the One Ring was destroyed. Gandalf spent time with Bombadil. Little is unknown how the meeting involved or what was discussed between the two. When asked by Frodo, of how well Bombadil is getting along, that he is, “as well as ever”, “quite untroubled” and “not much interested in anything that we have done and seen”. Except encounters with the Ents.

The Lord of the Rings film trilogy:

In many film and radio adaptations of The Lord of the Rings, Bombadil is notable by his absence, possibly because nobody knows quite what to do with him. Peter Jackson justified his omission of Bombadil from the film The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring by pointing out that the character had little to do with the grand story-line, and did not advance the Hobbits’ progress towards Rivendell. However, much of Bombadil’s dialogue, and the scene in which the hobbits meet Old Man Willow, are transplanted into scenes that Merry and Pippin share with Treebeard in the film adaptation of The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers.

Because of the imprecision of his true identity or nature, Tom Bombadil is considered to be the most mysterious character created by Tolkien.

Both Tom and Treebeard were referred to as the oldest living creatures of Arda, though it is not clear which of the two is the oldest. However, according to Tolkien’s letters, it is implied that Bombadil was the oldest living being in Middle-earth.

I’m still digging around to find more information about this character. It’s interesting to have this person with great power and not really use him. To only have him pop up every so often in conversations.

 

Middle Earth Challenge: The Dark Powers of Tolkien

Middle Earth Challenge

The Dark Powers of TolkienJ.R.R. Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings, The Hobbit and The Silmarillion are some of the greatest tales of good versus evil ever told. From the creation of Arda to the War of the Ring, Tolkien’s Middle-earth has seen war and rebellion, devastation and loss, in which the powers of darkness emerged.

Here in his latest book, best-selling author and Tolkien expert David Day explores Tolkien’s portrayal of evil, and the sources that inspired his work: from myth, literature and history.

 

I found this book at a local Costco for $10.00. I wasn’t expecting groundbreaking, but it did look cool and filled with useful information into the Middle Earth. Most the darker side of Middle Earth that is. This is Book 5 in a series, here are the other ones if you are interested.

  • The Heroes of Tolkien
  • An Atlas of Tolkien
  • The Battles of Tolkien
  • The Hobbits of Tolkien

First and foremost, the art work is amazing and the maps/timeline are well planned out. That’s where it kinda ends really.. Where it does history of the characters, it’s rather basic. It spends more time focusing on the parallels between Christian icons and Middle Earth icons. As well the Norse and Geek mythology themes/icons. Which is well and good, but it comes off as Sunday school lesson and I found myself loosing interest after awhile.

9781684127177_p2_v4_s600x595

I think it was my fault in the end really. I was hoping that there was more history and insight of Middle Earth and it’s people/monsters. But like I said before the art work is amazing and the timelines that are laid out are great. In the end I am happy I got it and it fits in with my collection of Tolkien books. I just had higher hopes for it.

Middle Earth Challenge: The Two Towers

Middle Earth Challenge

Two TowersOne Ring to rule them all, One Ring to find them, One Ring to bring them all and in the darkness bind them

Frodo and his Companions of the Ring have been beset by danger during their quest to prevent the Ruling Ring from falling into the hands of the Dark Lord by destroying it in the Cracks of Doom. They have lost the wizard, Gandalf, in a battle in the Mines of Moria. And Boromir, seduced by the power of the Ring, tried to seize it by force. While Frodo and Sam made their escape, the rest of the company was attacked by Orcs. Now they continue the journey alone down the great River Anduin—alone, that is, save for the mysterious creeping figure that follows wherever they go.

Book III:

BoromirThe death of Boromir…

Like so many before me, this was always heart breaking read and to watch for that matter. The way the book are split up the first chapter in The Two Towers is (Book III) The Departure of Boromir. At least with my copy of the book it is broken up into two parts: Book III & Book IV. The Book III part introduces the Riders of Rohan, Uruk-Hai, the great Treebread, The white Rider and the epic Battle of Helm’s Deep. Now keep in mind in the films they had added this chapter at the end of the movie. The whole visual of Boromir taking on all the orcs to protect the Hobbits, to only be pierced by many arrows and fall. While Boromir was still alive when Aragorn found him. The book states that there was at least 20+ Orcs lay slain around him and still holding on to his sword, even tho the blade was snapped into two, same thing with the Great Horn. Before Boromir died, he told Aragorn that Halflings were not dead. But the Orc had taken them.

“”Farewell , Aragorn! Go to Minas Tirith and save my people! I have failed.”

“No!” Said Aragorn, taking his hand and kissing his brow. “You have conquered. Few have gained such a victory. Be at peace! Minas Tirith shall not fall!”

Boromir smiled.”

Helm’s Deep..

Jumping ahead here a bit. The events that took place right before the Battle of Helm’s Deep are as follows:

  • Eomir and the Riders of Rohan destroy the Uruk-Hai army and Merry and Pippin escape unnoticed.
  • The Riders of Rohan inform Aragorn of the Uruk-Hais’ destruction.
  • Merry and Pippin have been taken under the protection of Treebeard the Ent.
  • At the last moment, Smeagol convinces Frodo to take a secret route into Mordor, as an alternative to the Black Gate.
  • Gandalf meets Aragorn in the Fangorn Forest and finds out that Merry and Pippin are safe.
  • With the help of Gandalf, Theoden banishes Wormtongue and is healed from sickness.
  • Feramir captures Frodo while he is traveling to the Crossroads.
  • Treebeard and the Ents lay seige on Isengard, destroying all exept the Orthanc.
  • Frodo convinces Feramir to let him leave to go and destroy the ring.

Gimli_9d7bc0_2011386On the second day of their journey to Isengard, a messenger who told them that Saruman had almost won met the group. Gandalf left them with the excuse of having an errand to run. When they reached Helm’s Deep, the battle was fierce and the Orcs seemed to be winning. Suddenly, Théoden and his men rode up from behind, trapping the Orcs. Gandalf appeared with a contingent of reinforcements, led by Erkenbrand. The Orcs fled into the nearby forest, but the Ents captured them and the battle was over as quickly as it had begun. Following after the the Battle of Heml’s Deep, Merry and Pippin rejoin Gandalf, Aragorn, Legolas, and Gimli at Isengard. At which point Gandalf offers Saruman a chance to return to good, but Saruman declines and is stripped of his honor. Now in the film Saruman is killed and his staff is broken by Gandalf. He is pushed off the balcony by Grima and is impaled on one of his machines, a spiked wheel. In the novel Saruman dies after Wormtongue slashes his throat in the Shire at the end of the War of the Ring.

Book IV:

Frodo avoids being seen by the Nazgul at Minas Morgul, and begins to climb the staris of Cirith Ungol.

Sam and ShelobSam and Frodo encounter Shelob the Great Spider and offspring of Ungoliant. Shelob would later attack the Hobbits after Gollum had lead them to a trap. Frodo was poisoned by her venom, Sam then attacked Shelob using Sting. After stabing Shelob in the eye, cutting a leg off  and stabbing her under belly. Shelob would runaway, mostly do to the fact that no one had ever wounded her that badly. Now after looking some information as to what might have happened to Shelob. No one really know… If she is alive or dead after the battle with Sam. The only other time we hear anything about Shelob is when Sam puts on the One Ring and it is said Sam heard her “bubbling in her misery”.

But still, she was there, who was there before Sauron, and before the first stone of Barad-dûr; and she served none but herself, drinking the blood of Elves and Men, bloated and grown fat with endless brooding on her feasts, weaving webs of shadow; for all living things were her food, and her vomit darkness.“—The Two Towers, “Shelob’s Lair”

Unlike in the books, Shelob makes her appearance in Peter Jackson’s The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King, rather than The Two Towers, because if she had appeared in The Two Towers, there would be very little for Frodo and Sam to encounter in the final film. Also in Middle-earth: Shadow of War, she is visible in human form in the wraith-world. In the game, she has Celebrimbor’s ring for quite some time while giving Talion visions about the fate of Minas Ithil (Minas Morgul) and the Ringwraiths. It is also seen in the game that Shelob was working with Sauron during the period he was posing as Annatar, and was implied to be his lover before he betrayed her. The mobile version of Shadow of War classifies Shelob as a Maia, though J.R.R. Tolkien never specified her exact nature. (which I did not know about this. Thank you Tolkien Gateway.net)

Choices of Master Samwise…

Frodo is captured by orcs after being paralyzed by Shelob’s sting. Sam follows the guards who carry off the paralyzed Frodo. Upon hearing them mention that Shelob only devours living creatures, Sam is shocked to realize that his friend is alive. He chastises himself for taking the Ring for himself, unaware that he has actually saved the Ring and kept it from Sauron by taking it from Frodo. Sam realizes that Frodo is alive at the very moment when the guards enter Mordor, slamming the gates in Sam’s face. As The Two Towers ends, Sam is anguished by the thought that he and Frodo are separated.

Over all this is a great read and it makes you want to pick up the Return of the King right away to find out what happens next. Now the Book vs Film:

  • Film Opens With Gandalf’s Battle with the Balrog
  • Film: The film begins with a gorgeous panoramic view of the mountains, a voice is heard in the background yelling “The dark fire will not avail you, flame of Udun. Go back to the shadow! You cannot pass… ” Then the camera turns into the rocks nearby and smashes through them as Gandalf yells “Fly, you fools!” – we then see a repeat of the shot from Fellowship but instead of Gandalf falling away from the camera into the darkness, this time the camera races after him, following him down – and then we see a great battle between Gandalf and the Balrog.
  • Book: Gandalf merely discusses his battle with the Balrog several chapters into the book.
  • Treebeard Makes Short Work of Grishnakh
  • Film: After meeting Merry and Pippin, Treebeard “makes short work of Grishnakh,” who has pursued them into Fangorn forest.
  • Book: Grishnakh is killed by the Riders of Rohan, providing Merry and Pippin with an opportunity to escape into Fangorn, where they meet Treebeard.
  • Gandalf’s Resurrection Shown on Screen
  • Film: Gandalf is shown being resurrected as Gandalf the White while lying naked upon the snowy mountain-top after his battle with the Balrog.
  • Book: Gandalf merely discusses this event when he meets up with Aragorn, Legolas and Gimli.
  • Théoden Gives Wormtongue The Bum’s Rush
  • Théoden and Wormtongue go mano-a-manoFilm: After Gandalf heals Théoden and reveals Wormtongues treachery, Théoden tosses his old advisor down the stairs.
  • Book: Grim ran down the stairs without “assistance.”
  • Éowyn Leads Rohan Refugees To Helm’s Deep
  • Film: With Saruman’s forces destroying Rohan villages, Éowyn leads Rohan civilians to the refuge at Helm’s Deep. Aragorn accompanies her.
  • Book: Éowyn lead the Rohan civilians to the refuge of Dunharrow. None of the story’s other main characters accompanied her.
  • Boromir’s Death Discussed in Faramir’s Refuge
  • Henneth Annûn: The Window on the WestFilm: After being led blindfolded to Henneth Annûn, Frodo discusses Boromir’s death with Faramir.
  • Book: Frodo discusses Boromir’s death with Faramir before being taken to the refuge.