The Two Towers
by J.R.R. Tolkien
The Two Towers Theme of Love
In The Two Towers it is love that makes Frodo leave behind the Fellowship so they do not get hurt by the Ring's evil; it is love that keeps Sam following Frodo into Mordor when Frodo says he doesn't have to come; it is love that sends Aragorn, Legolas, and Gimli after Merry and Pippin; it is love that allows Gimli and Legolas to develop their funny, bickering friendship; and it is love that leads Éomer to help Théoden as best he can, in spite of Wormtongue's lying. If Sauron uses negative emotions like jealousy, pride, and hatred as weapons, then love is the main weapon in the Good Side's arsenal. It's the glue that keeps them together, and—more importantly—going.
Questions About Love
- How does the story of the Ents and the Entwives represent the difficulties of married life? Does Tolkien mean this to be a cautionary tale about how husbands and wives treat each other? Why or why not?
- How does the representation of Éowyn's love for Aragorn compare to, for example, Sam's love for Frodo? Why does Tolkien choose to represent her unrequited love for Aragorn at all? What does this small hint of romantic love add to The Two Towers?
- How does the love between two friends like Legolas and Gimli compare to the love of a servant to his master, such as Sam's love for Frodo? Does Sam's love for Frodo remain based on their master/servant relationship? Or does their relationship begin to change?
- What are all the different kinds of love we see in The Two Towers?
Chew on This
The true measure of a character's moral value in The Two Towers is not just the love that he has for others, but also the love that others have for him. For example, Boromir is a flawed character, but the affection that the good-guy Faramir shows toward his brother reminds us that at the end of the day, Boromir was a good guy.
By choosing to rescue Frodo rather than to continue the Ring quest on his own, Sam reaffirms his commitment to serving Frodo instead of achieving heroic fame for himself. Sam's final decision reestablishes the master-servant bond between Frodo and Sam.