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 Théoden, the first real indication of his lordly future. Through Gandalf, Merry and Pippin meet Théoden, an encounter that later proves significant. The White Rider brings also a crucial message with him, the...
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