Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Two Towers

Probably one of the best things about Two Towers is that virtually everyone is armed and all very quick to use their weapons in self defense. Defensive violence is glorious and the movie rightly trumpets it.  One of the central ideas of this movie is the importance of actively resisting evil.  It's not enough to simply withdraw, as the elves did to Valinor or the Rohan did to Helms deep, but instead you must do battle and confront malicious forces wherever they exist. In short tu ne cede malis sed contra audentior ito. Another common theme is as Acton said that "power corrupts". A craven love for the ring turns Smeagol into a deceitful, murderous beast; he becomes obsessed with weilding power and this in turn destroys him.  The movie isn't perfectly anti-authoritarian. The myth of the 'good king' is pervasive. Theodan, King of the Rohan, has his rule subverted by Wormtongue acting at the behest of Sauroman acting at the behest of Sauron but once the spell is broken all is well again in the Kingdom  (well, except for the ever present threat of ramapaging orcs of course). Throughout the movie kings, at least true kings, are seen as a great force battling on the behalf of their people, instead of the exploiters they truly are. Another troubling pro authority message is  Gollum's slave-master relationship with Frodo, which seems to be a positive influence on him. Over all it was a great movie, which stresses the importance of friendship and the ability of small people to effect great change in the world.

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