The two towers refer to Saruman’s (Isengard) and Sauron’s (Barad-Dur) strongholds. The fellowship has gone its separate ways, so there is much more to see in this film. Saruman’s army is getting bigger each day. We see how Uruk-hai are being bred (gross); Treebeard (voiced by John Rhys-Davies, who also plays Gimli) thinks they are orcs crossed w/ men.
Frodo (Elijah Wood) and Sam (Sean Astin) travel with Gollum (Andy Serkis), a creature that they can’t fully trust. Gollum says that he can’t be far from the ring, and calls Frodo “master.” He had the ring for 500 years, so is in its power (as Galadriel explained in FOTR).
One of the best things about the EE- Sean Bean! We get to learn more about Boromir, his younger brother Faramir (David Wenham), and their father Denethor (John Noble). Faramir offered to go to the council of Elrond at Rivendell, but his father refused him.
Aragorn, Gimli, and Legolas meet Eomer (Karl Urban) and the horsemen loyal to him. He’s in despair, after losing his cousin (Theodred) in battle and being banished from Edoras by Grima. Théoden (Bernard Hill) is under Saruman’s spell, so he can’t function as king. I love the Rohan musical theme!
The White Wizard that everyone seems to fear turns out to be a good guy- Gandalf!
Merry and Pip first see him (in Fangorn Forest). We see the ingenuity of these two hobbits. After escaping from Saruman’s forces, Pip leaves a trail which Aragorn follows. Merry realizes that the Ents (tree herders) can help in the battle for Middle Earth.
The CGI effects on Théoden were very cool! He comes back to his old self in a few moments. But his only son is dead, and he laments this in a nice scene with Gandalf. The young are not supposed to die while “the old linger on.”
My favorite character in this film is Eowyn (Mirando Otto). She is caring, can handle a sword (will see just how well later), and develops a friendship w/ Aragorn. Does she love him? Or does she want to fight beside him as an equal? Maybe both! In the EE, we learn that Eowyn can’t cook very well. Aragorn grows to admire Eowyn.
Gimli is quite funny in this film, though he continues to fight very well (as in FOTR). He and Legolas are more friendly here, but have an ongoing rivalry. We learn that dwarf women also have beards.
Frodo and Sam learn that Boromir is dead from Faramir, captain of Gondor. Faramir is another of my faves in the LOTR films- he’s the reluctant warrior who’s a deep thinker. He sets the hobbits free after realizing the destructive power of the one ring, and the importance of the quest.
Elrond (Hugo Weaving) convinces Arwen (Liv Tyler) to leave Rivendell and travel to The Undying Lands. In a somewhat eerie sequence, he speaks of her future life should she marry Aragorn (a mortal man). I think this is a bit longer in the EE.
The toughest stuff to shoot was the battle at Helm’s Deep, the cast and crew explain on disc 4 of the EE. The elves, lead by Haldir (Craig Parker), come to fight beside the men/boys of Rohan. Then a new day comes, and Gandalf, Eomer, and his men ride in to defeat the Uruk-hai army.