By Matthew Dickerson
Knowledgeable at the Hobbit and The Lord of the earrings trilogy indicates how a Christian worldview and subject matters undergird Tolkien's vintage works
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Additional info for A Hobbit Journey: Discovering the Enchantment of J. R. R. Tolkien's Middle-earth
Oh dear no! ’” (III/iii). When orcs take Frodo prisoner later in the tale, they move beyond the mere threat of torture. Although the actual torture is not described, the results are. It is Sam who ﬁnds Frodo in the tower at Cirith Ungol. Even as he comes to rescue his master, he hears the crack of a whip and then sees the orc Snaga standing over Frodo preparing to hit him again. ” Even apart from the whip, these are clear signs of Frodo having been tortured. The reasons for the torture are probably many.
Up to that point, what little description of the battle Tolkien does provide is given from the perspective of those on top of the walls—Pippin and Beregond—looking out at the distant battleground and trying to guess what is happening. In other words, there is little description of the warfare. Rather, the real narrative action takes place within the city and focuses on how the characters respond to the siege: what they feel, what they think, what they say. The battle Tolkien describes in most detail is the battle against despair, and especially the ability of Gandalf and the Prince of Dol Amroth to bring hope to those who have lost it.
It is clear that Saruman is trying to gain information from Gandalf—information that Gandalf does indeed have about the whereabouts of the Ring. Exactly what means or devices Saruman intends to use to “persuade” Gandalf are left to readers’ imaginations—piercing cold and solitary conﬁnement are only the ﬁrst means—but the text makes it clear that Saruman is willing to inﬂict “trouble and pain” to get the information he wants. Later in the tale, the orc captors of Pippin and Merry also threaten torture.
A Hobbit Journey: Discovering the Enchantment of J. R. R. Tolkien's Middle-earth by Matthew Dickerson