The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers - 2002
Age-appropriateness: Frequent, violent, and intense battle scenes. Scary and creepy images and themes. Some tobacco use
Overview: Allegiance are formed in the second installment of The Lord of the Rings. Some good, and some bad. Many characters must discern if the people they meet are trustworthy, which can set up a great conversation with your child about “tricky people”. The story focuses on fighting for hope and looking for others for protection.
Themes: adventure, good vs. evil, perseverance, hope, teamwork, tricky people, resurrection, loving your enemies, protection, war, death, trust, support
The Quick 3
Ask these quick questions to hit the major themes of the film.
1. Tricky People. How do you know if someone is trying to trick you? Have you ever been tricked before?
Multiple characters (Éomer of Rohan, Treebeard the Ent, Faramir of Gondor) didn’t know who to trust. They couldn’t tell whether or not other people were spies or trying to trick them. At times, Gollum was trying to sneak up on Frodo and Sam so he could steal the ring. For further discussion, read this article on How to Talk to Your Child About Tricky People.
2. Protection. Have you ever thought of God as your fortress and your shield? Have you ever felt that kind of protection from God?
The people of Rohan fleed to Helm’s Deep for protection after they were being hunted by Orcs. Psalm 18:2 says, "The Lord is my rock, my fortress and my deliverer; my God is my rock, in whom I take refuge, my shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold.”
3. Teamwork. What are some of the greatest teams that you know of? What makes them so good? The union of the two towers represent the allegiance between Saruman and Sauron. These two evil forces joined together to build up an evil team. The Elves teamed up with the men of Rohan at Helm’s Deep. When a team is assembled, they can accomplish far more than any individual can on their own.
After The Movie Discussion Guide
Follow this 5-10 minute discussion guide to drive an in-depth conversation.
2. The union of the two towers represent the allegiance between Saruman and Sauron. These two evil forces joined together to build up an evil team. The Elves teamed up with the men of Rohan at Helm’s Deep. When a team is assembled, they can accomplish far more than any individual can on their own. What are some of the greatest teams that you know of? What makes them so good?
3. Multiple characters (Éomer of Rohan, Treebeard the Ent, Faramir of Gondor, Sméagol) didn’t know who to trust. They couldn’t tell whether or not other people were spies or trying to trick them. At times, Gollum was trying to sneak up on Frodo and Sam so he could steal the ring. How do you know if someone is trying to trick you? Have you ever been tricked before?
For further discussion, read this article on How to Talk to Your Child About Tricky People.
4. Gandalf the Grey has resurrected into Gandalf the White. When he first appeared to Aragorn, Legolas, and Gimli, he shone a bright, white light. Gandalf sacrificed his life and came back even stronger than he was before. Gandalf retold the story, saying he felt like he died, but then life came back into him. He is a brighter white color, seeming to be more pure and powerful than before. Jesus resurrected from the dead and came back stronger than ever. Like Gandalf, Jesus still had a mission to fulfill. However, Jesus’ story is real! Since Jesus became alive again after dying, what does that say about who Jesus is?
5. The people of Rohan fleed to Helm’s Deep for protection after they were being hunted by Orcs. Psalm 18:2 says, "The Lord is my rock, my fortress and my deliverer; my God is my rock, in whom I take refuge, my shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold.” Have you ever thought of God as your fortress and your shield? Have you ever felt that kind of protection from God?
Minute By Minute Guide
Use this break down of the entire movie in addition to the “After the Movie” discussion guide. Great for repeat viewings.
:09 Samwise says that Gollum deserves to die. Frodo agrees that he might indeed deserve to die, but Frodo pities him. Jesus once said, “You have heard the law that says, ‘Love your neighbor’ and hate your enemy. But I say, love your enemies! Pray for those who persecute you!” (Matthew 5:43-44). Do you find it hard to love your enemies?
:24 Aragorn, Legolas, and Gimli wouldn’t stop trying to save their Hobbit friends, Merry and Pippin. For three days, they chased after the Uruk-hai that captured them. They wouldn’t give up, because they love their friends. How far would you go to help out your friends?
:38 Frodo asks Gollum about his past and where he came from. Gandalf said Gollum’s history is a sad story. Gollum now lives his life totally obsessed over the ring. He’ll do anything to obtain it once again. How do you think Gollum became the way that he is?
1:00 King Théoden’s mind was poisoned by Saruman. With the help of Gríma Wormtongue, Théoden was tricked into being controlled by the evil wizard. He was trapped, not free to make decisions on his own. In a way, sin has a way of trapping people and poisoning their minds. Sin is anything less than God’s best for us, whether it’s a behavior, thought, or an action not taken. Sinful decisions seem to be really good ideas, but they end up hurting us. If we sin long and frequently enough, he might become trapped into always acting in a negative and hurtful way. Do you have any sin in your life that has trapped you before?
1:12 Frodo defends Gollum to Samwise, who continually calls Gollum names. Frodo wants to help Gollum, because he empathizes with the unique struggle Gollum faces. Sam infers they the ring is corrupting Frodo. What do you think Sam and Frodo are going through right now? Why does Sam insult Gollum like he does? Why does Frodo get so upset about it?
1:25 Elrond is upset that Arwen has left her people to go and be with Aragorn. She loves Aragorn and is willing to give up her immortality to be with him. Jesus gave up some of his heavenly privileges in order to come to Earth (Phil. 2:6). But He came to Earth out of his love for you and me. For all people. How much must someone love you if they are willing to give up their life for you?
1:42 Elrond talks to his daughter Arwen, warning her of the inevitable end of her story being full of death. He fears that she will be upset and full of despair if all of the people she loves dies, yet she is still alive. In the Bible, we read that Jesus has power over death itself. Death did not get the final say in Jesus’ life. 1 Corinthians 15:55-77 says, "'O death, where is your victory? O death, where is your sting?' For sin is the sting that results in death, and the law gives sin its power. But thank God! He gives us victory over sin and death through our Lord Jesus Christ.” How hopeful is it to know that death won’t be the final act in our lives? What do you look forward to in heaven?
1:50 Faramir shows mercy to Gollum, choosing not to kill him after he entered the Forbidden Pool. Mercy is not giving the punishment someone deserves. Ephesians 2:4-5 says, "But God is so rich in mercy, and he loved us so much, that even though we were dead because of our sins, he gave us life when he raised Christ from the dead. (It is only by God’s grace that you have been saved!)” Has anyone ever given you mercy?
2:00 King Théoden is reluctant to ask for help. He’s pessimistic about anyone coming to assist the people of Rohan in the Battle of Helm’s Deep. God says that we can always pray to Him for help. He may not always give us want we want, but He’ll always give us what we need. "You can ask for anything in my name, and I will do it, so that the Son can bring glory to the Father. Yes, ask me for anything in my name, and I will do it!” (John 14:13-14). Are you reluctant to ask for help? How easy is it for you to receive help from others?
2:10 The Elves come and support the men of Rohan. Are you able to identify someone in your life who could use some help? How can you help them someone in the next few weeks?
2:40 Gandalf and the Rohirrim provide extra support at Helm’s Deep. They come in and save the soldiers, who were most certainly facing death and destruction. As Gandalf leads the charge down the hill, a bright light shines on the enemy. Matthew 4:16 describes a similar scene: "the people who sat in darkness have seen a great light. And for those who lived in the land where death casts its shadow, a light has shined.” No matter how dark a situation appears, we always have hope with God. Can you remember a really bad situation that seemed like there was little hope?
2:46 Sam explains that the stories that we remember are ones where the situation looked really bad, but they kept on fighting. These types of stories are full of people who had chances to turn back, but they didn’t - they kept going. Sam says, "There is some good in this world, Mr. Frodo. And it’s worth fighting for.” What are the good things in this world that you think are worth fighting for?