At the end of The Fellowshp of the Ring, the Fellowship are broken up into two perilous quests; the Three Hunters attempt to rescue Merry and Pippin from their captors, and Frodo and Sam on their original mission to journey into Mordor to destroy the One Ring. This weekend, the Hall of Fire crew invite you to discuss the opening chapter in the latter half of The Two Towers, as we join Frodo and Sam on the road to Mordor in:

Book IV, Chapter I – The Taming of Sméagol

For the most part throughout their journey, Frodo and Sam have found themselves being pursued by the creature nicknamed Gollum, the bearer of the One Ring before Bilbo happened upon it on an adventure of his own. However, the two hobbits never had the opportunity to speak to Gollum himself, always the stalker, slinking behind them and guided by his desire to onc eagain regain his precious. All that changed once Gollum fell into the trap laid for him, and was forced to assume the role of guide through the devastated lands around Mordor.

The Taming of Smeagol is a fascinating chapter, principally because it gives us a greater insight into the namesake of the chapter and the two conflicting guises that battle out in his tortured mind: Sméagol the slinker and Gollum the stinker. We also see a touchingly humane side to Frodo, who despite Sam’s advice treats Sméagol with civility rather than cruelty, remembering the conversation with Gandalf in the Mines of Moria over pity and justice. This is one of the more character-driven chapters in The Two Towers, and should be a great basis for discussion this weekend!

Sep 14 & 15 – TTT Book 4, Chap 2 – The Passage of the Marshes
Sep 21 & 22 – Hero & the Heroic in LoTR
Sep 28 & 29 – TTT Book 4, Chap 3 – The Black Gate is closed

#thehalloffire on server; come to’s chat room Barliman’s and then type /join #thehalloffire .

Saturday Chat: 5:30 pm ET (17:30) [also 11:30 pm (23:30) CET and 7:30 am Sunday (07:30) AET]

Sunday Chat: 7:00 pm (19:00) CET [also 1:00 pm (13:00) ET and 4:00 am (04:00) Monday morning AET]

ET = Eastern Time, USA’s East Coast
CET = Central European Time, Central Europe

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