In the ninth chapter of The Two Towers, the reunited hobbits do a whole lot of info-dumping. Intrigued? Then it’s time for Mark to read The Lord of the Rings.
CHAPTER NINE: FLOTSAM AND JETSAM
The Complete List of Hobbit Info-Dumping
A. “Saruman kept enough wisdom not to trust his Orcs.” No, it’s totally cool that you basically hired an entire species to annihilate other people. Good job, Saruman.
B. Longbottom Leaf is totally the good stuff, man. You want a puff?
C. It has been nine days since Pippin and Merry were kidnapped. NINE DAYS. WHAT THE HELL. It feels like an eternity!
D. The name for the Ents that have become more tree-like over time are the Huorns. They’re sort of more unstable and “wild” than Ents are, and part of that power comes from the fact that they are excellent at hiding.
E. Huorns move in dark shadows, which explains what happened the night before on the road to Isengard. It’s heavily implied that the Huorns were the ones who returned to Helm’s Deep to bury the Orcs, and they may have also attacked them.
F. Most of Isengard was abandoned in a way when Saruman sent off his people to march to Helm’s Deep.
G. The entire group comes to realize that the Southerner in Bree was probably one of the half-orc creations of Saruman. Can I just take a moment to appreciate that the scope of this novel means that I can barely remember Bree? I can’t even begin to comprehend the span of time that has passed at this point, and that’s not a criticism. It’s a lovely thing to experience.
H. There’s a deeply informative bit on the power and tolerance levels of Ents. Their thick bark prevents them from serious arrow harm or poisoning, but axe-strokes are their weakness. Yet it takes many of them to actually to take down an Ent, and Merry brilliant says that no man would ever get a second axe-stroke. “A punch from an Ent-fist crumples up iron like thin tin.” I just want Ents as my best friend, okay? Could you imagine if I had them around during junior high and high school when I was being bullied? I WANT TO GIVE MY LIFE A NEW CANON WITH REVENGE ENTS.
I. The Ents were actually the ones to break down the doors of Isengard.
J. Saruman’s great weakness in the fall of Isengard? He never anticipated the Ents, and he had no idea what to do with them.
K. At one point, Saruman tried to escape like the coward he is, and Quickbeam managed to catch him. Good ol’ Quickbeam!
L. Saruman, that dirty traitor, hides out in Orthanc, and at one point lets out liquid fire from some “devilry” in Isengard, and it kills an Ent. I WILL NEVER FORGIVE YOU, SARUMAN.
M. So, all that destruction around Isengard is because of Saruman killing an Ent. The Ents destroyed Isengard and threw the debris at the Orthanc in anger. SWEET BABY GANDALF THAT IS SO TERRIFYING.
N. Actually, I take that back. The image of the Ents keeping watch on Orthanc and disappearing from sight is a whole lot more unsettling to me.
O. I also need you all to know that I am trying to capture every detail I can from Merry and Pippin’s story because I’ve never gone beyond the letter Z in one of these lists and I really want to know what happens then.
P. Treebeard’s plan for Isengard is revealed, and it explains why the waters of the river along the road to Isengard dried up: the Ents purposely blocked off the flow of water in order to flush everything evil out of the city.
Q. Well, before this happens, Gandalf arrives and he’s as sassy as ever. I think he deserves some sort of award for having a counsel with Treebeard and managing to make it only fifteen minutes long. That’s a Middle-earth record as far as I’m concerned.
R. Gandalf secures a group of Huorns to help with the “ten thousand Orcs” he needs to manage in Helm’s Deep. GANDALF, YOU ARE SO BRILLIANT, I SWEAR.
S. WAIT LET ME SORT OF AMEND ITEM P: It’s not just flushing things out; the Ents FLOOD Isengard.
T. Gandalf told Treebeard about Wormtongue and he gets sent across the flood of Isengard to go hang out with his bestie Saruman in Orthanc. STAY PRESSED, WORMTONGUE. y’all need to obey the left-hand evacuation procedure because you and Saruman just got told by a bunch of trees.
U. Okay, so Aragorn is confused about the tobacco from Southfarthing, and I imagine this detail is very important. I don’t know why; Aragorn thinks that Saruman may have been dealing with someone in the Shire. I DON’T LIKE THIS. WHO BETRAYED MY DEAR HOBBITS.
V. Oh fuck, I ran out of things the hobbits info-dumped and I didn’t get to Z.
W. There’s not enough of Gimli and Legolas being all bro-ey and cute and stuff in this chapter.
X. How are they going to get Saruman out of that tower? Go into it themselves?
Y. Seriously, where are Frodo and Sam? What the hell are they up to?
Z. I honestly can’t wait to see this on screen.
A. What????!?!?!?! HOW UPSETTING AND ANTI-CLIMACTIC. I wasted bullet-points for this. Fuck.