Study Guide

The Two Towers Loyalty

Loyalty

We're not talking about buying only Apple products even after watching the Steve Jobs biopic. We're talking some serious, wartime pacts and bonds where the difference between trust and deceit is life and death. Where would Saruman be without the loyalty of the orcs and the wildmen and his faithful servant Wormtongue? Sure, Saruman is evil and manipulative (just like the person he's loyal to), but loyalty doesn't have to stem from love and kindness.

Unless it does. Sam is probably the most loyal character in The Two Towers. He's never left Frodo's side since they started their adventure, and doesn't plan on it, especially with Gollum lurking around. But even Gollum seems to be loyal to Frodo, who has treated him so well. It's Frodo we're worried about, as his loyalty wavers between his mission to destroy the Ring and succumbing to the weight of his burden.

Questions About Loyalty

  1. Will Sam always be loyal to Frodo? Loyalty is usually conditional, so if Frodo keeps faltering (by shoving swords in Sam's face) will Sam stay loyal to his old friend or give up after his guidance is rejected for Gollum's.
  2. Treebeard argues that the forest does not owe loyalty to the free people who have neglected Fangorn. Is he right about this? Doesn't loyalty have to start from an action of faith?
  3. Why does Théoden not have faith in men's loyalty to one another? How could he be so stubborn to refuse calling Gondor for aid?

Chew on This

Loyalty is something earned. By having empathy for Gollum and showing him sincere kindness, Frodo has earned Gollum's trust and his service.

Loyalty is always self-serving. Gollum serves Frodo to get the rope from around his neck, not because he has any pity on the new Ring bearer. If anything, he is jealous of him and will turn on him the moment he has a chance.

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