Literature Study GuidesThe Lord Of The RingsThe Two Towers Book 3 Chapter 3 Summary

The Lord of the Rings | Study Guide

J.R.R. Tolkien

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The Lord of the Rings | The Two Towers (Book 3, Chapter 3) : The Uruk-Hai | Summary

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Summary

Pippin and Merry endure rough treatment at the hands of the Orcs. Bound and forced to run beyond the point of exhaustion, they overhear the Orcs arguing about whether to kill them or not. Evidently, some of the Orcs have orders to bring the halflings back alive, but not all the Orcs seem to have the same orders. Some Orcs are loyal to the "Great Eye," and some to Saruman.

Pippin manages to break away from the Orcs for a moment, and drops the brooch from his Elven cloak.

Later, Grishnákh, one of the Orcs, seems to know about the Ring, and Pippin pretends he has it in order to distract him, egging him on. As Grishnákh focuses on Pippin, the Rohirrim attack and Grishnákh is killed. Pippin and Merry manage to escape into the forest of Fangorn.

Analysis

Just as Boromir brought his own peril with him into Lothlórien, the Orcs that capture Merry and Pippin have brought their own peril with them: "Apparently the members of two or three quite different tribes were present ... There was an angry debate concerning what they were to do now." Some of the Orcs are "Isengarders"—who call themselves Uruk-hai—and loyal to Saruman, while others are from Lugbúrz, in Mordor, and directly serve Sauron: "Is Saruman the master or the Great Eye?" one of them asks. Ultimately, there is conflict between these rival groups, making them easy prey for the Riders of Rohan.

Grishnákh, an Orc from Mordor, mentions the "winged Nazgúl," which Sauron won't reveal yet because he is saving them for the war. These are the Black Riders, or Ringwraiths, who were unhorsed at Rivendell but who are now able to fly.

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