The Two Towers…
The thing I was most looking forward to in my return to Middle-Earth with this film was the rumor that the battle of Helm’s Deep was supposed to run for a good 40 minutes! That was insane, a single on-screen battle running half the length of most action films? Wow.
And of course, right before Towers was released, the Extended Edition of Fellowship of the Ring was released, and only built my excitement for the upcoming film.
So once again, I headed out on opening night, December 18, 2002, and was ready to spend the entre weekend the realms of Middle Earth.
If Fellowship set the standard of what to expect with Peter Jackson’s adaptation of JRR Tolkien’s immortal tale, then Two Towers met and exceeded it.
Front and center was the creation of a photo-real Gollum… Glimpsed only briefly in Fellowship, Gollum has a much more central role in Two Towers, and in Return of the King. Andy Serkis, through a brilliant motion capture performance, and a voice that must have strained his larynx something terrible, brings the pitiful and deceitful creature to life.
The Fellowship has been broken and there are now three story threads running concurrently, not counting all the subplots and character arcs, there is Frodo (Elijah Wood) and Sam (Sean Astin), accompanied now by Gollum as they try to find a way into Mordor, Pippin (Billy Boyd) and Merry (Dominic Monaghan) are with the Ents leading an attack against Saruman (Christopher Lee) at Isengard, and my favorite story arc follows Aragorn (Viggo Mortenson), Legolas (Orlando Bloom) and Gimli (John Rhys-Davies) as they join with Theoden (Bernard Hill) to defend Helm’s Deep against an onslaught of orcs, as they await the return of Gandalf the White (Ian McKellen).
If Fellowship introduced us to the world, Towers opened it up, and showed us so much more of the world, the Golden Hall, the wreckage of Osgiliath, and the epic grandeur of the besieged Helm’s Deep.
I remember being simply stunned with the shot of Aragorn looking out over the parapets to see the landscape filled with Orcs, I remember just staring at it, and whispering, “Gods, so many…”
I throw myself into each and every viewing experience when I go to the theater, and I was stunned by this film each and every time I saw this film, and came to the conclusion that as much as Gandalf is one of my favorite characters, Aragorn is The Man!
This world, these people, were and are so involving for me, that I lose myself in them whenever I see it on the screen, or on the pages of a book.
It’s easy now, looking back to discount them by saying they are only movies, but if you put them on your television, or see them on the big screen, or thumb through the pages, you can’t help but to be taken in by them. It’s a fully created and realized world, and while it may be rough and unhappy at times, it’s still a place I could see calling home…
And in just a few days, I get to return to it with The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey and I’ll get to visit Middle Earth for the next three Christmases.
I can’t wait.
What are your favorite moments in The Two Towers (theatrical or extended)?