We meet an extremely large cast of characters during The
Two Towers; some of the most important include:
Aragorn is the ranger (and so sometimes known as
"Strider") who is also the heir to the throne of Gondor. He represents the best
hopes of the Men of Middle-earth: the king who will return to reclaim his throne
and restore order to the world. Aragorn must become comfortable as a
decision-maker and a leader of others throughout The Two Towers.
Gandalf the White was formerly called "Gandalf the
Grey," but he returns from his encounter with the Balrog as a more powerful
wizard than before. Gandalf acts in many ways as the archetypal Wise Man
throughout the remainder of The Lord of the Rings, carefully and
knowingly guiding others through the dangers they face, and providing aid in
desperate moments (as, for example, at the end of the siege of Helm's Deep).
Saruman is the wizard who has betrayed both the
Council and the natural world by constructing a mechanistic fortress for
himself at Isengard. He aspires, in vain, to power greater than that of the
Dark Lord Sauron himself. His treachery is most clearly manifest in his voice,
which he uses to speak false words of flattering comfort in an attempt to gain
control over others.
Treebeard is the Ent-a shepherd of trees-who finds
and befriends Merry and Pippin in the Forest of Fangorn. Treebeard represents
the natural world. He is the Ent who "rouses" his fellow Ents to go to war
Th´┐Żoden is the king of Rohan who, for many
years, has been under the influence of Saruman. When we meet him, he is
withered and decrepit; once Gandalf frees him from Saruman's influence,
however, he is renewed. Th´┐Żoden, as a "Fisher King"-like figure (see Summary
and Analysis) thus represents his people, who emerge as renewed and (at least
partially) victorious by the book's end.
Grima Wormtongue is the agent of the wizard Saruman
who, through false council, has been poisoning the mind and heart of King
Th´┐Żoden-for example, turning him against his nephew ´┐Żomer. Wormtongue
represents the futility of trusting in evil; by the end of Book III, he is a
prisoner, along with his master, inside the tower of Orthanc, a prisoner the
two of them have essentially created for themselves.
Faramir is a captain of Gondor. He is the brother of
Boromir. Unlike his brother, he is wise enough not to try and force the Ring
from Frodo. He knows that evil cannot be defeated through evil means.
Gollum is the hobbit-like creature who, long ago when
called Sm´┐Żagol, took the One Ring for his own. When he encounters Frodo and Sam
as the hobbits are trying to enter Mordor, he becomes their guide with the
intention of taking the Ring back. As Frodo continually extends mercy and pity
to Gollum, however, Gollum seems to be on the verge of "redemption."
Ultimately, though, Gollum cannot resist the Ring's lure. He arranges to betray
Frodo and Sam to the giant spider Shelob-a resolve hardened when, as he sees
matters, Frodo betrays him to Faramir's men.