Every Monday, our Facebook group has been discussing one or two chapters from the Lord of the Rings, and so I'm happy to be sharing a little bit of our conversation and reflections as we go! If you'd like to read along with us, join our Facebook group! Otherwise, leave your comments below and we can continue the discussion!
Today, we're beginning The Two Towers, starting with chapters one and two: The Departure of Boromir and The Riders of Rohan.
These first two chapters, marking the beginning of the third book of The Lord of the Rings, follow Aragorn, Legolas, and Gimli as they discern their path after the breaking of the fellowship.
After hearing the desperate call of Boromir's horn, Aragorn rushes to his aid to find he has been pierced with many arrows and is dying. Boromir confesses that he tried to take the Ring from Frodo and as atonement, he has defended the hobbits against the Orcs soldiers. Although he fought valiantly, he was unable to overcome against their strength and number, and the hobbits have been taken captive by the Orcs. Aragorn reassures him, "You have conquered. Few have gained such a victory. Be at peace! Minas Tirith shall not fall!" After this, Boromir breathes his last and Aragorn weeps bitterly for the loss of his friend.
Together, Aragorn, Gimli, and Legolas discern that Frodo and Sam have gone by boat towards Mordor and that it is Merry and Pippin that have been taken captive by the orcs. At last, Aragorn decides to pursue Merry and Pippin, and they begin to run following the tracks of the orcs.
"I would have guided Frodo to Mordor and gone with him to the end; but if I seek him now in the wilderness, I must abandon the captives to torment and death... Yet that we remain cannot forsake our companions while we have strength left. Come! We will go now..." - Aragorn
Their journey leads them into the land of Rohan, where they are met by Eomer, the Third Marshal of Riddermark. He tells them that they overcame a company of orcs and killed them all, offering little hope in their search for the hobbits. Aided with horses and guidance from the men of Rohan, the members of the broken fellowship enter Fangorn Forest in search of the hobbits.
Book Club Musings
- As always, what was your favorite scene, passage, or quote from these chapters? Why did it stand out to you?
- Boromir's confession to Aragorn brings great peace to both Boromir and Aragorn. Take heart from their examples and make amends with those around you. Is there anyone in your life who needs your forgiveness? Similarly, do you need to ask anyone for forgiveness for yourself? Reflect on the mention of Boromir's last act in his life: to smile after the comforting words of Aragorn.
- Boromir seemed to bear the weight of the world when he begged Aragorn, "Go to Minas Tirith and save my people! I have failed." This sense of responsibility comes, in a way, from his pride. He has convinced himself that the fate of the world rests on his own shoulders, when in fact there are many more forces at work. Do you ever feel this way? Allow yourself to be humbled and comforted by the thought that although we may sin and fall short, the fate of the world rests in the hands of God and not our own.
- Before deciding to pursue the Orcs, and even afterwards, Aragorn struggles greatly with discerning his path. What does his decision making process involve? How can you learn from him?
What more would you add to the discussion? Leave it in the comments below or join our Facebook group to participate more!