The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers (2002)

Film and Plot Synopsis

With the Fellowship of the Ring broken and Sauron’s power continuing to grow stronger, Frodo Baggins and Samwise Gangee continue their quest to take the Ring of Power deep into the enemy territory of Mordor. At the same time, Aragorn leads the remaining members of the Fellowship into Rohan to save the Hobbits Merry and Pippin from an evil group of Uruk-hai. Their quest leads them to the capital city of Rohan where they encounter King Théoden who is possessed by the evil wizard Saruman. Once freed from the influence of Saruman, Théoden leads his people to Helm’s Deep where the first battle for Middle-Earth will begin.

‘The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers’ Movie Summary

The summary below contains spoilers.
The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers (2002)Frodo Baggins (Elijah Wood) wakes from a nightmare where he sees Gandalf (Ian McKellen) fighting the Balroq in Moria. Frodo’s reality is even worse than his dreams. He and Samwise Gangee (Sean Astin) find themselves lost in the Emyn Muil near Mordor. To make matters worse, they are being followed by Gollum (Andy Serkis) who intends to kill them and take the One Ring, the ring of power in Frodo’s possession. Frodo and Sam capture Gollum, but instead of killing the former Hobbit, Frodo takes pity on him and makes Gollum swear to guide them into Mordor to destroy the Ring.

Meanwhile, Aragorn (Viggo Mortensen), Legolas (Orlando Bloom), and Gimli (John Rhys-Davies) pursue a band of Uruk-hai across the lands of Rohan to save their Hobbit companions Meriadoc “Merry” Brandybuck (Dominic Monaghan) and Peregin “Pippin” Took (Billy Boyd). The Uruk-hai are ambushed by a group of Rohirrum, exiled horse riders of Rohan, which allows the Hobbits to escape into the mysterious Fangorn Forest. Aragorn’s group encounters the Rohirrim and their leader Éomer (Karl Urban) who tell them of the ambush. Aragorn leads his group into Fangorn to find their missing companions. They do not find the Hobbits, but the trio does find a resurrected Gandalf who has returned as Gandalf the White to help save Middle Earth.

Gandalf leads the trio to Rohan’s capital, Edoras. Once there, they discover that Rohan’s king, Théoden (Bernard Hill), is under the control of the evil wizard Saruman (Christopher Lee). Gandalf casts a spell that exorcises Saruman from Théoden’s body and restores the King to his former self. Aragorn stops the King from killing Saruman’s accomplice Gríma Wormtongue (Brad Dourif), who flees Edoras and returns to Saruman’s castle at Isengard. Gandalf explains to the King that Saruman intends to send his Uruk-hai army to destroy the men and women of Rohan. Théoden orders his people to evacuate the city and head to the fortress of Helm’s Deep.

Gandalf does not believe that Théoden’s plan is enough and sets out to find the exiled Éomer and his followers, who were exiled by the possessed King. While in route to Helm’s Deep, Aragorn becomes friends with Théoden’s niece, Éowyn, who begins to fall in love with the ranger. The convoy of Rohan citizens is attacked by a group of Warg-riding Orcs. During the battle, Aragorn falls from a high cliff into a river. Everyone presumes that Aragorn is dead, but the ranger survives and rides to Helm’s Deep a little behind Théoden’s group. Along the way, he sees Saruman’s massive army moving towards Helm’s Deep.

At the same time in Rivendell, Aragorn’s true love Arwen Undómiel (Liv Tyler) is told by her father Elrond (Hugo Weaving) that Aragorn will not return. He reminds his daughter that if she remains in Middle-Earth, she will outlive Aragorn by thousands of years, and will face an eternity of loneliness and grief. Elrond begs his daughter to depart for the far shores of Valinor with the rest of her people. Arwen reluctantly agrees to leave. Elrond is contacted by Galadriel of Lothlórien (Cate Blanchett), who convinces the Elven-Lord to honor their alliance to men. Elrond sends an army of elves to assist Théoden and Aragorn at Helm’s Deep.

In Fangorn Forest, Merry and Pippin encounter an Ent named Treebeard (John Rhys-Davies). The Ent, who looks like a living tree, takes the two Hobbits before the Ent Council to decide whether the Ents and their charges, the trees, shall take part in the war for Middle-Earth. The Ent Council decides not to enter the war much to the disappointment of Merry and Pippin.

Treebeard takes Merry and Pippin to the edge of the forest so that they can return to the Shire. However, Pippin tricks Treebeard into taking them in the direction of Isengard. Once there, Treebeard witnesses the deforestation caused by Saruman’s war effort. The angered Ent calls for the other Ents to come to Isengard to overpower Isengard. The Ents, along with Merry and Pippin, defeat Saruman and his Orcs, and they trap the evil wizard in his castle.

Back at Helm’s Deep, Saruman’s forces arrive, and Théoden’s prepares for battle. The King and his allies are overwhelming outnumbered. The forces engage in a massive nighttime battle in the rain. Théoden’s forces successfully hold off the larger Orc army, until the Uruk-hai breach the outer wall with explosives. With the perimeter breached, the Uruk-hai begin to overwhelm the King’s forces and kill the elves’ commander, Haldir (Craig Parker). The human and elf forces retreat into the keep of Helm’s Deep. Aragorn convinces Théoden to ride out on their horses to meet the enemy in one last charge. At dawn, they proceed with the charge, just as Gandalf returns with Éomer and his forces. With reinforcements, Théoden’s forces are victorious. Although they are grateful for the victory, Gandalf warns them all that Sauron will retaliate.

Meanwhile, Gollum leads Frodo and Sam through the Dead Marshes to the Black Gate. However, Gollum recommends that they enter Mordor by another route. Soon after, Frodo and Sam are captured by Ithilien forces led by Faramir (David Wenham), the younger brother of Boromir (Sean Bean). Frodo helps Faramir catch Gollum in order to save the former Ringbearer. Gollum, who had begun to sincerely help the two Hobbits, feels betrayed by Frodo. Faramir learns that Frodo possesses the Ring of Power and attempts to take Frodo back to his father Denethor (John Noble), the Steward of Gondor.

They pass through the Gondorian city of Osgiliath, which is under siege from Sauron’s forces. Frodo tries to explain to Faramir the true nature of the ring, and Sam explains that Boromir was driven mad by its power. Frodo falls under the Ring’s power and is nearly captured by a Nazgûl. However, Sam saves Frodo, who very nearly kills him in response. Sam reminds Frodo that they are fighting for all the good still left in Middle-Earth. Impressed by Frodo and Sam’s resolve, Faramir releases them, and Gollum, to continue their quest. Once away from Osgiliath, Gollum decides to betray Frodo and reclaim the Ring by leading the Hobbits to Shelob, a giant spider.

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New Line Cinema released The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers on December 18, 2002. Peter Jackson directed the film starring Elijah Wood and Ian McKellen.

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