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The Two Towers

The Two Towers


by J.R.R. Tolkien

Analysis: Tough-o-Meter

We've got your back. With the Tough-O-Meter, you'll know whether to bring extra layers or Swiss army knives as you summit the literary mountain. (10 = Toughest)

(3) Base Camp

Tolkien has a clear, straightforward style, so the language of The Two Towers is not too challenging. What might make this book a bit difficult is if you suffer (as some of us here at Shmoop do) from a total inability to either (a) read a map, or (b) remember directions. All the characters in this book are crossing huge stretches of land; they head east and west and north and south and everywhere in between, and we have a lot of trouble keeping up.

What makes following the paths of Aragorn and Company all the more difficult is that all their destinations are, of course, fictional. If someone we know says that they are going to France, we have a rough sense of where they are heading. But Dunharrow? Not so much. All we can advise is that, if you are confused about where Mordor is in relation to Rohan, or which way the River Anduin flows, it's helpful to keep Tolkien's own hand-drawn maps of Middle-earth handy at all times.

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