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The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers


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The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers (Movies)
The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers (Movies)
The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers (Movies)
The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers (Movies)
The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers (Movies)
The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers (Movies)
The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers (Movies)
The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers (Movies)
The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers (Movies)
The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers (Movies)
The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers (Movies)
The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers (Movies)
The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers (Movies)
The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers (Movies)
The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers (Movies)
The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers (Movies)
The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers (Movies)
The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers (Movies)
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Information about The Lord of the Rings The Two Towers

The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers is a 2002 (19 years ago) fantasy adventure movie directed by Peter Jackson based on the second volume of J. R. R. Tolkien's The Lord of the Rings. It is the second movie in The Lord of the Rings movie trilogy that was preceded by The Fellowship of the Ring (2001, 20 years ago) and concluded with The Return of the King (2003, 18 years ago).

Continuing the plot of The Fellowship of the Ring, it intercuts three storylines, as Frodo and Sam continue their quest to destroy the One Ring in Mordor and meet Gollum, its former owner. Aragorn, Legolas, and Gimli come across the war torn nation of Rohan as well as the resurrected Gandalf, before fighting at the Battle of Helm's Deep, whilst Merry and Pippin escape capture and meet Treebeard, the Ent.

The movie was critically acclaimed, although the adaptation was more controversial than the first film. It was an enormous box-office success, earning over $900 million worldwide, outgrossing its predecessor, and is currently the 8th highest-grossing movie of all time (inflation-adjusted, it is the 14th most successful movie in North America). The Special Extended DVD (Digital Versatile Disc) Edition was released on Nov. 19, 2003 (18 years ago).


The movie begins with a flashback set to the first film, with Gandalf battling the Balrog on the Bridge of Khazad-dûm, but this time continues from Gandalf's perspective, with the scene continuing to follow both as they hurtle down below, fighting while in free-fall. Frodo awakens from his dream and continues his journey with his trusted and loyal friend, Sam. They are then attacked by the ring-possessed Gollum wishing to retrieve "his precious" from the ones he thinks stole it from him. The Hobbits subdue and bind him with Sam's Elven rope given to him by the Elven elder Galadriel in Lórien. Sam distrusts Gollum and wishes to abandon him, but Frodo understands the burden of the creature and takes pity on him. Realizing they are lost in the Emyn Muil and in need of a guide, Frodo persuades Gollum to lead them to the Black Gate of Mordor.

In Rohan, the pack of Uruk-hai run across the grassy landscape with their captives Merry and Pippin. Aragorn, Legolas and Gimli are in pursuit, following three days of running, Legolas surmises the Hobbits are being taken to Isengard, where Saruman is marshalling his Uruk-hai forces to do the bidding of Sauron. In the kingdom of Rohan, home of the horse lords, King Théoden is mentally and physically weak due to the enchantments of his steward, Gríma Wormtongue, who is secretly in the service of Saruman. Orcs and Wild Men of Dunland incited by Saruman freely roam the land and kill the people including the king's only son Théodred. Théoden's nephew Éomer interrogates Gríma, angrily realizing he has lustful eyes for Éomer's sister Éowyn and that he is now an agent of Saruman. Gríma banishes Éomer for undermining his authority and Éomer sets forth to gather the remaining loyal men of the Rohirrim throughout the land.

Frodo and Sam traverse the Dead Marshes, passing the undead fallen warriors of the Second Age who haunt the marshes and evading a newly seated Ringwraith on his flying fell beast. Later they reach the Black Gate, finding it to be heavily guarded, (they observe a contingent of Easterlings from Rhûn arrive to reinforce the garrison) only to have Gollum reveal to them a less risky path: Sam remains distrustful, but Frodo gives him the benefit of the doubt. Meanwhile, Éomer and his Rohirrim ambush and kill all of the Orcs and Uruk-hai holding the two Hobbits captive at nightfall. During the battle, Merry and Pippin narrowly escape their captors by fleeing into the trees where they are aided by Treebeard the oldest of the Ents.

Éomer later encounters Aragorn, Legolas and Gimli and in turn tells Aragorn there were no survivors of the Orc/Uruk-hai slaughter. Upon arriving at the battle site, Aragorn uses his tracking skills and finds hobbit tracks that lead into nearby Fangorn forest. The three discover a wizard who is ultimately Gandalf reborn, now known as Gandalf the White. The quartet proceed to travel to Edoras, where they exorcise Saruman's hold on King Théoden and banish Wormtongue. Théoden is confronted with his dead son and rather than risk open war, decides to flee to a large fortress called Helm's Deep which in times of trouble has saved the people of Rohan. Gandalf leaves to find Éomer and his Rohirrim, promising to return within five days, as a strong attraction draws Éowyn to Aragorn during the journey to Helm's Deep. Wormtongue flees to Orthanc and tells Saruman of Rohan breaking from their grip; Saruman then decides to destroy Rohan.

The 10,000 strong Uruk-hai besiege Helm's Deep.In Ithilien, Gollum battles his split personality in an attempt to befriend Frodo and Sam and ultimately banishes his "evil" half. The two hobbits are witness to an ambush of Southrons but are taken captive by soldiers of Gondor. Meanwhile, along the journey to Helm's Deep, the travelers are attacked by Saruman's Wargs and their Orc riders. During the battle, Aragorn is dragged by a Warg and falls off a cliff into a raging river as the grief-stricken survivors reluctantly move on to Helm's Deep. In Rivendell, Elrond knows that the age of Elves is ending and convinces Arwen that it is hopeless to stay and should leave for the Grey Havens. Elrond shows her a prophetic vision if she waits for Aragorn, even if he succeeds in destroying Sauron and becomes King of Gondor, he will still succumb to mortality: Arwen will suffer grievously once he is dead and she is left to wither away- she reluctantly agrees to leave. Elsewhere, Frodo and Sam are taken to Henneth Annûn and brought before Faramir, the younger brother of Boromir. Gollum eluded capture and in order to save his life, is lured into a trap unknowingly by Frodo. Faramir learns of the One Ring and, seeking to prove his worth to his father, decides the Ring shall go to Gondor. In Rohan, Aragorn washes up on the river's edge and is nudged back to consciousness by his horse, Brego. Battered but undaunted, he rides to Helm's Deep, passing Saruman's army of Uruk-hai, which numbers at least 10,000 strong. His arrival is met with relief but is short lived with the news of only 300 men in the stronghold. In the midst of despair, a battalion of Elves from Lórien, led by the Elf Haldir, arrives to assist in the ensuing battle. At Fangorn forest, Merry, Pippin, Treebeard and other Ents hold a Council to decide on the roles of the Ents in the war with Saruman.

In the pouring rain, the battle of Helm's Deep begins with a flurry of arrows from both human and Elven archers cutting down dozens of Uruk-hai. Scaling ladders are placed upon the Deeping Wall, and the Uruks swarm up to engage the defenders. The defenses are slowly being breached and the enemy manages to destroy the wall through its sewer drain, using a rudimentary explosive device created by Saruman. Despite Aragorn and Gimli's best efforts, the Uruk-hai manage to penetrate the main door and soon the stronghold is overrun. In the midst of battle, Haldir is slain and the few remaining Elves fall back into the Keep. In the Hornburg, however, the Uruks have also scaled the walls, and have breached the gate, forcing the defenders to retreat into the Keep. In Fangorn, Treebeard and the other Ents have decided to not have any involvement in the war. Frustrated, Pippin cleverly takes him to the section of Fangorn Forest Saruman has decimated near Isengard. Treebeard is filled with rage at Saruman's betrayal and commands all other Ents to seek vengeance. The Ents gather and embark upon 'the Last Mar. of the Ents'.

Meanwhile, as the Keep is now under attack and realizing Gandalf's words before he departed, Aragorn and the rest make one last gallant ride on horseback to attack the Uruk-hai army, in a desperate bid to allow the Rohirrim's women and children to escape. As the riders are surrounded and all seems lost, Gandalf, Éomer, and two thousand Riders of the Rohirrim arrive to push back the Uruk-hai into the just-arrived forest of Huorns outside of Helm's Deep. Elsewhere, the Ents also attack Isengard, tossing stones and rocks while collapsing a dam to flood its surroundings.

At the ruins of Osgiliath, Faramir and the Hobbits are confronted by a Ringwraith and its fell beast. With the help of Sam, Frodo narrowly escapes the Ringwraith's efforts to capture him. Sam narrates how the story must go on and how they should keep pressing forward as Faramir decides to free them to finish their quest. Gandalf and the others now know a full war is inevitable (as Sauron will surely seek retribution for the defeat of Saruman) and hope rests with Frodo and Sam, who have resumed their journey to Mordor with Gollum. Accompanying them once again and having felt betrayed after his subsequent mistreatment by Faramir's men, Gollum's darker nature returns and decides to reclaim the ring by leading Frodo and Sam.


  • Elijah Wood as Frodo Baggins: the Hobbit who must destroy the One Ring, the burden of which is becoming heavier.
  • Sean Astin as Samwise Gamgee: Frodo's loyal Hobbit companion, better known as Sam.
  • Viggo Mortensen as Aragorn: the heir-in-exile to the throne of Gondor who has come to the defence of Rohan.
  • Ian McKellen as Gandalf the White: the Wizard who fell fighting the Balrog, who has now returned, more powerful than ever, to finish his task.
  • Dominic Monaghan as Meriadoc Brandybuck: the Hobbit captured by the Uruk-hai, Pippin's best friend, better known as Merry.
  • Billy Boyd as Peregrin Took: the Hobbit captured by the Uruk-hai, Merry's best friend, better known as Pippin.
  • Orlando Bloom (7 walls) as Legolas: the Elven archer and one of Aragorn's companions.
  • John Rhys-Davies as Gimli: the Dwarf warrior and one of Aragorn's companions.
  • Also voices Treebeard: the leader of the Ents, who is roused to anger against Saruman.
  • Andy Serkis as Sméagol/Gollum: the devious Hobbit-like creature, owner of the Ring for centuries, who guides Frodo on his quest; voice and motion capture.
  • Christopher Lee as Saruman: the Wizard waging war upon Rohan and devastating Fangorn Forest, who allies himself with Sauron.
  • Bernard Hill as Théoden: King of Rohan, who is healed by Gandalf to lead his people once more.
  • Miranda Otto as Éowyn: Théoden's niece, who is in love with Aragorn.
  • Karl Urban as Éomer: Théoden's nephew and previously Chief Marshal of the Riddermark, exiled by Gríma.
  • Brad Dourif as Gríma Wormtongue: Saruman's agent at Edoras, who renders Théoden incapable of decisions, and desires Éowyn.
  • Hugo Weaving as Elrond: the Elven lord of Rivendell who expresses doubt over his daughter's love for Aragorn.
  • Liv Tyler (64 walls) as Arwen: Elrond's daughter and Elven princess. Aragorn's lover.
  • David Wenham as Faramir: the captain of the Ithilien Rangers, who captures Frodo, Sam and Gollum.
  • Cate Blanchett as Galadriel: the Elven queen of Lórien, who discusses the future of Middle-earth with Elrond.
  • Craig Parker as Haldir of Lórien: the leader of the Lórien Elves sent by Elrond and Galadriel to defend Helm's Deep.
  • John Leigh as Háma: the loyal doorwarden of the Golden Hall and a majordomo of Théoden.
  • Bruce Hopkins as Gamling: Théoden's chief lieutenant and a skilled member of the Royal Guard of Rohan.
  • John Bach as Madril: Faramir's closest aide, who informs him of battle preparations.
  • Sean Bean as Boromir: the former member of the Fellowship, brother of Faramir (flashback).
  • John Noble as Denethor: Steward of Gondor and Boromir and Faramir's father.


Production Design
When Alan Lee joined the project in late 1997 (24 years ago), Helm's Deep was the first structure he was tasked to design. At 1:35 scale, it was one of the first miniatures built, and part of the 45 minute video that sold the project to New Line. It was primarily drawn from an illustration Lee had once done for the book, though fellow illustrator and designer John Howe suggested a curved wall. Used in the movie for longshots, Jackson also used this miniature to plan the battle with 40,000 toy soldiers.

As a pivotal part of the story, Helm's Deep was built at Dry Creek Quarry with the Gate, a ramp, and a wall with a removable section and the tower on a second level. Most importantly, there was the 1:4 scale miniature of Helm's Deep that ran 50 feet wide. It was used for forced perspective shots, as well as the major explosion sequence.

The movie explores the armies of Middle-earth. John Howe was the basic designer of the forces of evil. The Uruk-hai were the first army approved by Jackson, and Howe also designed a special crossbow for the characters, one without the redundancy of opening to reload, the realization of an 18th century manuscript. Also created were 100 Elven suits of armour, with emphasis on Autumnal colours due to the theme of Elves leaving Middle-earth. 250 suits were made for the Rohirrim, which for Bernard Hill, even came with leather inside. Emphasized are horses and the sun, even into their swords, which took 3-6 days to forge.

The Rohirrim's capital of Edoras took six months to build on Mount Sunday, with thatched roofs, but that was simply the exterior: the buildings doubled as offices and lunch halls. The army created a road to the location, whilst the interior was filmed at Stone Street Studios with tapestries designed by Lee, and Théoden's wooden throne created by his daughter. Hill endured heavy make-up for the possession scene where his skin was pulled back and released for increased wrinkles. Dourif shaved off his eyebrows and put potato flakes as dandruff in his hair for unnerving effect.

The movie also provides a look at Mordor and Gondor, in terms of Frodo and Sam's story. Barad-dûr is seen fully in a tracking shot, a design which Howe called a mockery of Gothic Cathedrals. He and Lee fully created the Black Gate, though a typo in the script made the miniature into two. The Rangers and Osgiliath, the ruined city reflecting London during the Blitz. The set on a backlot was based around a bridge and reused some of Moria.

Principal photography
The hill known as Mount Sunday, in Canterbury, New Zealand, provided the location for EdorasThe Two Towers shared principal photography with The Fellowship of the Ring and The Return of the King between Oct. 11 1999 (22 years ago) to dec. 22 2000 (21 years ago). Scenes in Rohan were shot early on, and Viggo Mortensen, Orlando Bloom (7 walls) and John Rhys-Davies' scale double Brett Beattie sustained many injuries. Mortensen broke his toe when he kicked an Orc helmet when he found the remains of the Uruk-hai and believes Merry and Pippin to be dead; this take is the one in the finished film. Bloom fell off his horse and broke his rib, whilst Beattie dislocated his knee. All three spent two days of pain for the running sequence with these injuries.

Afterwards, they went on for three months filming the Battle of Helm's Deep. John Mahaffie handled most of the night shoots. Mortensen got his tooth knocked out during the nightshoots, and Bernard Hill also got his ear slashed. Nonetheless, the 700 extras had fun, insulting each other in Māori and improvising scenes, such as the Uruk-hai stamping their spears before the battle begins. They did get annoyed by the craftsmanship of the Art Department: the Gates were too reinforced for the Battering Ram scene. Mortensen greatly respected the stunt team, and head butting them became a sign of respect.

Wood and Astin were joined by Serkis on Apr. 13, 2000 (21 years ago).

Special Effects
For The Two Towers, Weta Digital doubled their staff of 260. In total, they would produce 73 minutes of digital effects with 799 shots. The movie would feature their first challenge in creating a battle scene, as well as creating two digital characters who needed to act rather than be a set piece, unlike the previous film's Cave Troll and Balrog.

Gollum eating a fish.Weta began animating Gollum in late 1998 (23 years ago) to convince New Line they could achieve the effect. Andy Serkis "played" Gollum by providing his voice and movements on set, as well as performing within the motion capture suit later on. His scenes were filmed twice, with and without him. Originally Gollum was set to solely be a CG character, but Jackson was so impressed by Andy Serkis' audition tape that they used him on set as well.

Gollum's CG model was also redesigned during 2001 (20 years ago) when Serkis was cast as Sméagol, Gollum's form before he is cursed by the One Ring, so as to give the impression Andy Serkis as Sméagol transforms into the CG Gollum. The original model can still be glimpsed briefly in the first film. So over Christmas 2001 (20 years ago) the crew proceeded to reanimate all the previous shots accordingly within two months. Another problem was that the crew realized that the cast performed better in the versions of the movie with Serkis. In the end, the CG Gollum was rotoscoped and animated on top of these scenes. Sometimes due to Gollum not being human, they fully animated some shots such as him crawling upside down. Serkis' motion capture animated the body whilst animators did the head. Gino Acevedo supervised realistic skin tones, which took four hours per frame to render.

Treebeard took twenty-eight hours per frame to render. For scenes where he interacts with Merry and Pippin, a fourteen-foot-tall puppet was built on a wheel. Weta took urethane moulds of tree bark and applied them to the sculpt of Treebeard to create his skin. The puppet was shot against bluescreen.


On the reviewer aggregate website Rotten Tomatoes, the movie has a 96% "Certified Fresh" rating, along with an average score of 8.4/10. It also has a 100% "fresh" rating when narrowed to only professional critics. . The Battle of Helm's Deep has been named as one of the greatest screen battles of all time, while Gollum was named as the third most convincing computer generated movie character by Entertainment Weekly in 2007 (14 years ago).

Awards and nominations

  • Academy Awards
  • British Academy movie Awards: Best Costume Design, Best Special Visual Effects, Orange movie of the Year (voted on by the public)
  • Empire Awards: Best picture (wallpaper)
  • Hugo Award (World Science Fiction Society): Best Dramatic Presentation - Long Form
  • MTV Movie Awards 2003 (18 years ago): Best virtual performance (Gollum)
  • Saturn Awards: Best Fantasy Film, Best Costume (Ngila Dickson), Best Supporting Actor (Andy Serkis)


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