The Two Towers, Book 3, Chap. 6-11


Keri Hosler
Book III, Chap. 6 “The King of the Golden Hall” 

1) Throughout the chapter, Theoden slowly begins to return to himself. By what power is he being restored? Is it Gandalf? Or his own will?

2) Theoden was overcome by the evil words of Wormtongue, which aged and weakened him. What does this signify when we consider Tolkien’s view on giving advice?

Book III, Chap. 7 “Helm’s Deep”

1) During the battle of Helm’s Deep, lightning falls upon the attacking orcs, breaking their defenses. Do you think the lightning is natural –or sent? If sent, from whom?

2) Throughout the battle, Gimli and Legolas call the number they have killed to each other. Why did Tolkien put this in?

Shira Baskind
Book III, Chap. 8 “The Road to Isengard”

1) What does Gimli and Legolas’ discussion about caves vs. trees represent on a deeper level? What does this reveal about how they are different/similar?

2) There is little time to rest in between everything that happens in this chapter. What does this say about the urgency of the journey that the fellowship is on?

Book III, Chap. 9 “Flotam and Jetsam”

1) The Ents are presented as slow moving, sleepy creatures who do not stand up for themselves. Explain how the underestimation of the Ents ended up aiding them in their attack against Saruman.

2) How does the flood of Isengard reflect biblical imagery? Does it represent a new beginning?

Andrew Calhoun
Book III, Chap. 10 “The Voice of Saruman”

1) Upon their arrival in Isengard, Gandalf warns the others of Saruman’s magic, advising them not to approach Orthanc with a “light heart.” Tolkien takes great strides to describe Saruman as a deceitful villain who uses magic to aid his deceptions. How are Saruman’s arcane abilities similar to the power of the Ring and how are they different?

2) In the heated parley between the two parties at Orthanc, Theoden says he wishes to see Saruman dead, but Gandalf is not so vengeful. Have Gandalf’s naturally generous ways blinded him to the crimes of his former friend and counselor, or does he truly recognize some reason to leave Saruman alive?

Book, III Chap. 11: “The Palantír”

1) Gandalf describes the palantiri as ancient tools which were created to serve a good purpose but were later corrupted by Sauron. How is Aragorn’s reclamation of the Orthanc Palantir significant in regards to the coming of the new age?

2) In this chapter, we are given some insight to the dealings between Orthanc and Barad-dur. Is Saruman a servant of Mordor, or is he his own master? Before his defeat at Isengard, was Saruman in control of his own fate?






The Two Towers, Book 3, Chap. 1-5



Patrick Pagenhart, The Two Towers, Book 3, Chap. 1 “The Departure of Boromir”:

1) Close to death Boromir says, “I tried to take the Ring from Frodo … I am sorry. I have paid.” Was sacrificing himself for Merry and Pippin a fair price to pay for trying to take the Ring?

2) Boromir blows the horn of Gondor when leaving Rivendell, in the Mines of Moria, and finally at Parth Galen. What is the significance of the horn in Tolkien’s story? How could it be an inspiration from Tolkien’s life?

 The Two Towers, Book 3, Chap. 2 “The Riders of Rohan”:

1) From the encounter between Aragorn, Legolas, Gimli, and the Riders, what can we gather about the people of Rohan? How do they differ from the Men of other kingdoms in Middle Earth in their philosophies, culture, and relation to other races?

2) How has Rohan’s perception of strangers, sorcerers, and wizards changed over time? Why have the people of Rohan as well as their King become so focused on isolating themselves from the outside forces around them and the conflicts therein?

Keri Holsler, The Two Towers, Book 3, Chap. 3 “The Uruk-hai”

1) The orc Ugluk seems to be in charge of the orc hoard. Why is that? What makes him different from the others?

2) Merry and Pippin were able to escape using a clever lie about the Ring. What does this say about the Ring’s corruptive powers?

3) There were two different foods that where spoken of in this chapter, orc-draught and lembas bread. What are the differences between the two, not just physically but emotionally or spiritually?

The Two Towers, Book 3, Chap. 4 “Treebeard”

1) Tolkien often likes to personify his forests. What does Treebeard seem to represent thematically?

2) Treebeard explains that many Ents are becoming “sleepy.” What do you think he means by this? Why do you think this is happening?

Dr. B, The Two Towers, Book 3, Chap. 5 “The White Rider”

1) Aragorn, Legolas and Gimli enter Fangorn looking for Merry and Pippin. Instead of finding them, they encounter an old man, cloaked in gray. Why do you think that the old man’s true identity is hidden from them when they first see him and speak with him?

2) Gandalf says of Sauron: “That we should wish to cast him down and have no one in his place is not a thought that occurs in his mind. That we should try to destroy the Ring itself has not yet entered into his darkest dream.” Why is Sauron incapable of imagining this?

3) What is the “long sorrow” (as Legolas puts it) of the Onodrim (Ents)? How does their experience relate to Tolkien’s thematic concerns with married love and the necessity of self-sacrifice (vs. selfishness) in defense of a shared land or country?

Fellowship of the Ring, Book II, Chap. 6-10


Uni Kim – FOTR, Book II, Chap. 6 “Lothlórien”

1) Frodo says that Lorien is a world out of the past. Explain why you think he believes this. Does that make the Elves living in Lorien trustworthy?

2) Frodo says that when he walks through Naith, he feels that he has entered the lost world of the Elder days, even though he can not see anything. Why do you think he feels this way, and do you believe it is the world of the Elder days?

Christine Danielsson – FOTR, Book II, Chap. 7 “The Mirror of Galadriel”

1) What happened when Galadriel took Frodo and Sam to the basin? What did they see?

2) What did Frodo find on Galadriel’s hand? What does she tell him about that ring? How does Frodo handle the situation?

Iliana Hernandez – FOTR, Book II, Chap. 8 “Farewell to Lorien”

1. Galadriel presents gifts to each member of the company, all of which will aid them in their journey, except for the gifts of Sam and Gimli. Why are these gifts so different than the other gifts? What is the significance in the dust for Galadriel’s garden for Sam and the three golden hairs for Gimli?

2. What is the significance in Boromir’s behavior and his comment about throwing away the ring? What is his reasoning behind this? Is he an actual threat or is this just Frodo’s possessiveness over the ring taking over?

India Rangel – FOTR, Book II, Chap. 9 “The Great River”

1) In “Farewell to Lorien,” Galadriel’s ship is carved in the likeness of swan – a bird which is often associated with beauty and grace.  However, in the beginning of this chapter, large black swans fly over the fellowship, adding to the mournful appearance of their surroundings.  Why do you think Tolkien used swans in both of these instances, and what could they represent?

2) Throughout the story, many characters say the name “Elbereth Gilthoniel” in the presence of great evil. In this chapter, Legolas calls out the name before he shoots the “great winged creature” of the sky. Do you think Tolkien intended these words to be prayer-like or to have some other special meaning?

Dr. B – FOTR, Book II, Chap. 10 “The Breaking of the Fellowship”

1) What breaks the Fellowship?

2) When Frodo puts on the Ring, what does he see? What sees him?

3) Does Frodo succeed in going on alone? Toward Mordor? Why not?

Fellowship of the Ring, Book II, Chap. 1-5


Jaime Pincin – Book II, Chap. 1 “Many Meetings”

1) With the explanation from Gandalf that Frodo’s wound would have turned him into a wraith, what do you think the wound symbolizes? Why does Tolkien focus more on the internal activity of the blade instead of the external, physical wound?

2) What is the significance of Frodo seeing Bilbo as a “little wrinkled creature with a hungry face?”

Austin Chang – Book II, Chap. 2 “The Council of Elrond”

1) In this chapter, a lot of new characters are introduced, three of which will enter the Fellowship. Of these three, Tolkien takes great care to make sure one stands out. Pay close attention to how these three characters are introduced. Which one is he pointing out and why?

2) In many ways, Frodo’s decision to take on the ring can be seen as a “call to adventure” in the Hero’s Journey. How is this a typical “call to adventure”? How is it atypical?

Dr B – Book II, Chap. 3 “The Ring Goes South”

1) Who joins Frodo on his journey? Why does Elrond not bind the whole company by oath to go all the way to Mordor? What point might Tolkien be making about oaths and vows in this context?

2) What does Bilbo’s song “I sit beside the fire and think” tell us about the season of life he is in?

3) Have your plans for a journey ever been dramatically changed by … the weather? Is the stormy snowfall on Caradhras caused by malevolent influence? Why is Gandalf at pains to point out that there are more enemies in the world than just Sauron and Saruman? How does the Company survive the storm?

Devon Torres – Book II, Chap. 4 “A Journey in the Dark”

1. Why does the group choose to go through the Mines of Moria? What are their other alternatives?

2. What is the password Gandalf uses to get the door to open? What is the significance of this elvish word?

Elliot White – Book II, Chap. 5 “The Bridge of Khazad-Dum”

1. When Frodo is stabbed by an orc’s spear, he’s unharmed because of the mithril mail Bilbo gifted him. The party doesn’t think too much about it, but why does Frodo continue to keep his armor a secret?

2. What is the Balrog, and what could it symbolize? Why was Gandalf unable to stop the Balrog without sacrificing himself? What does Gandalf’s absence mean for the group’s quest going forward, and (if you had no knowledge of the story) does it seem like Gandalf may return?

Fellowship of the Ring, Chap. 6-12


Allison Dorantes – Chapter 6 & 7

Chapter 6:

1) The trees are described as being alive, and do seem to act accordingly, trapping the hobbits and behaving mischievously. Tolkien seems to be very fascinated by this idea of forests being more sentient than simple plants. Why is this such an important theme in Tolkien’s works?

2) What is the relationship between the Shire and the Old Forest? What does it say about hobbits and their reactions toward outsiders (if you were to consider the trees as outsiders)?

Chapter 7:

1) What does Tom Bombadil represent? Why is he unaffected by the Ring? Why doesn’t Tom complete the rest of the Quest?

2) Tom seems to be almost mythical and elusive within the Forest, yet he is familiar with Farmer Maggot. Does this oppose anything we’ve learned about hobbits and strangers, or can it simply be attributed to how strange Bucklanders are compared to the rest of the Shire?

Nic Rago – Chapters 8 & 9

Chapter 8:

1) What is Tom Bombadil? Is he a hobbit? A Man? An angel-like person like Gandalf?

2) Why is Tom nice to them? Why does he save them? Is he simply a nice person? Or is there more to it?

Chapter 9:

1) Is the Prancing Pony too good to be true? What secrets do you think the guests are hiding?

2) Even though the hobbits know they are on a quest of dire importance and secrecy they still tell possibly incriminating stories, such as Bilbo’s miraculous disappearance, to complete strangers – why?

Will Richardson – Chapters 10 & 11

Chapter 10:

1) Based on the information the hobbits have heard about Rangers and given the fact that Strider admits to spying on them, are they wise in trusting him to lead them? Why or why not?

2) Do the Black Riders have any ulterior motive in simply forcing Merry to faint and then return to the other hobbits, as opposed to capturing or harming him?

Chapter 11:

1) Why would the Hobbits and Strider simply walk away from Bree without trying to cover their tracks or keep their departure quiet?

2) What do you think the “wide ring of ancient stonework, now crumbling” at the top of Amon Sul represents? Likewise, does the history of the watchtower carry any significance to the story?

Cristobal Lopez – Chapter 12

1) What comparison or contrast is Tolkien making by having Strider and the hobbits come across the same road and the same trolls that Bilbo and his companions encountered?

2) As fellowship and friendship are major themes in this book, why is it necessary that Frodo leave his friends behind in the flight to the ford?

3) Why was Frodo feeling the urge to halt?


Fellowship of the Ring, Chap. 1-5


Fellowship of the Ring, Chaps. 1-5

Shira Baskind – Chap. 1

1) Why is it so important that Bilbo leave the ring behind? Furthermore, why must he leave it to Frodo instead of leaving it to Gandalf, or even burying it in his beautiful garden?

2) How does Bilbo’s personality differ from that of the other hobbits that live in the Shire? What advantages/disadvantages has this brought him (i.e. fortune, fame, restlessness, longing)?

3) What role does Gandalf play in Bilbo’s (and now Frodo’s) life? Father? Friend? Protector/Guardian?

Nicholas Rago – Chap. 2

1) When Gandalf mentions the little hope for Gollum, is he foreshadowing a possible eucatastrophic turn of events for Gollum or has Gandalf’s positive nature blinded him to the fact that the Ring has brought Gollum past a point of no return?

2) Why do most Hobbits enjoy living a life that is mostly disconnected from the Men, Elves, and other races that live on Middle Earth?

3) Why is leaving the Shire seen as an unthinkable and almost dishonorable act to most Hobbits?

Patrick Pagenhart – Chap. 3

1) Why does Tolkien make Frodo’s departure from Bag End so prolonged? Especially after Frodo hears of the great danger that faces him?

2) Who are the “Wandering Companies” that Gildor speaks of watching over Frodo and the end of the chapter?

3) What are the parallels between Bilbo’s leaving Bag End in The Hobbit and Frodo’s leaving Bag End in chapter 3, and what are the differences?  

Dr. B – Chap. 4

1) Do “short cuts make long delays” (at least in the case of these four hobbits) as Pippin argues?

2) Who is pursuing the travelers and why? Who unexpectedly helps them? Why are unexpected allies significant, and why do you think Tolkien emphasizes their role?

3) If mushrooms are a symbol in this chapter, what might they symbolize?

Anna Torres – Chap. 5

1) How is the tone of this chapter different, particularly in regards to Buckland in comparison to the Shire? Is this shift significant for the story as a whole?

2) In chapter 3, Gildor advises Frodo to find companions for his journey. In this chapter, Frodo’s friends insist on joining him despite the potential dangers ahead. What might Tolkien be trying to convey about friendship?



"not all who wander are lost"