The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers
The Lord of the Rings The Two Towers poster
Directed by Peter Jackson
Produced by Peter Jackson
Barrie M. Osborne
Fran Walsh

Elijah Wood
Ian McKellen
Liv Tyler
Viggo Mortensen
Sean Astin
Cate Blanchett
John Rhys-Davies
Bernard Hill
Christopher Lee
Billy Boyd
Dominic Monaghan
Orlando Bloom
Hugo Weaving
Miranda Otto
David Wenham
Brad Dourif
Karl Urban
Sean Bean
Andy Serkis

Music by Howard Shore
Cinematography Andrew Lesnie
Editing by Michael J. Horton
Jabez Olssen
Distributed by New Line Cinema
Release 18 December 2002
Running time 179 minutes
Country United States
Language English
Budget $94 million
Gross revenue $926,047,111
Preceded by The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring
Followed by The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King

The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers is a 2002 epic fantasy film directed by Peter Jackson and based on the second volume of J. R. R. Tolkien's novel The Lord of the Rings. It is the second installment in The Lord of the Rings film series, preceded by The Fellowship of the Ring (2001) and concluding with The Return of the King (2003).

Continuing the plot of The Fellowship of the Ring, the film intercuts three storylines. Frodo and Sam continue their journey towards Mordor to destroy the One Ring, meeting and joined by Gollum, the ring's former owner. Aragorn, Legolas, and Gimli come to the war-torn nation of Rohan and are reunited with the resurrected Gandalf, before fighting at the Battle of Helm's Deep. Merry and Pippin escape capture, meet Treebeard the Ent, and help to plan an attack on Isengard.

Meeting high critical acclaim, the film was an enormous box-office success, earning over $926 million worldwide and is currently the 24th highest-grossing film of all time (inflation-adjusted, it is the sixtieth most successful film in North America). The film also won numerous accolades and was nominated for six Academy Awards, winning two.


Gandalf the Grey gives his life in battle against the Balrog, giving the Fellowship of the Ring time to escape from the Mines of Moria.

Weeks later, Frodo Baggins and Samwise Gamgee continue their journey to Mordor to destroy the One Ring and, with it, the Dark Lord Sauron. One night, they are attacked by the ring's former owner Gollum. The pair capture Gollum, but Frodo takes pity on him, understanding the burden of the Ring. Frodo persuades Gollum to guide them to Mordor. Sam immediately distrusts Gollum on sight and warns Frodo that Gollum will betray them.

In Rohan, Aragorn, Legolas and Gimli pursue the Uruk-hai who have taken Merry and Pippin prisoner. Meanwhile, Rohan's King Théoden has been entranced and physically weakened by Gríma Wormtongue, who is secretly in the service of Saruman the White. Saruman has his Orcs and Wild Men of Dunland lay siege to the lands. Théoden's nephew Éomer accuses Gríma of being a spy; Gríma has him banished for undermining him. Éomer travels to the countryside to gather the remaining men of the Rohirrim. Éomer's army later ambush and kill the Uruk-hai holding Merry and Pippin. Merry and Pippin flee into Fangorn forest and meet Treebeard, the oldest of the Ents.

Frodo, Sam and Gollum traverse the Dead Marshes, evading a Nazgûl. Upon reaching the Black Gate, they find it closed and guarded by Orcs. Gollum convinces the pair that he will lead them to an unguarded entrance. After learning of Éomer's ambush, Aragorn, Legolas and Gimli discover Merry and Pippin's trail. The trio are confronted by Gandalf, reborn as Gandalf the White. Gandalf joins with the trio as they journey to Edoras. After arriving, they free Théoden from Gríma's spell, and inform the king of his son Théodred's death. Théoden moves his people to the stronghold Helm's Deep for safety. Fearing Helm's Deep will not survive, Gandalf leaves to find Éomer. Gríma flees to Orthanc and informs Saruman of a weakness in the outer wall of Helm's Deep. Saruman dispatches his vast army to the stronghold, with the intent of wiping out all of Rohan and Aragorn with them.

Meanwhile, Gollum struggles with his loyalty to Frodo and his consuming need for the Ring. When Sam and Frodo are captured by Rangers of Ithilien, Frodo reveals Gollum's presence to spare his life; Gollum nevertheless feels betrayed, and begins plotting against Frodo. As Théoden's forces travel to Helm's Deep, they are attacked by Saruman's Warg riders and Aragorn is thrown from a cliff to his apparent death in a raging river. In Rivendell, Elrond convinces his daughter Arwen to abandon her love for Aragorn and leave Middle-earth with her fellow Elves. Meanwhile, Éowyn, Théoden's niece, nurtures a growing affection for Aragorn.

Learning that Frodo has the Ring, the Rangers' captain, Faramir, who is also Boromir's brother, orders that it be sent to Gondor. In Rohan, the barely-alive Aragorn washes up on the river bank. He makes his way to Helm's Deep and warns Théoden that he has seen Saruman's army headed for the fortress. Théoden gathers his men to fight against Saruman's army of Uruk-hai. When night falls, a battalion of Elves leaded by Haldir arrive to re-enforce the men of Rohan. In Fangorn Forest, Merry, Pippin, Treebeard and other Ents hold a council to decide on the role of the Ents in the war with Saruman.

The battle of Helm's Deep begins between the Uruk-hai and Rohirrim with Aragorn and his companions. Explosives are used against the weakness in the wall, allowing the Orcs to breach the fortress. In Fangorn, Treebeard and the other Ents initially refuse to get involved in the war until Pippin shows them that Saruman has decimated the forest; enraged, Treebeard commands the Ents to seek vengeance. Aragorn leads Théoden, Legolas and the remaining Rohirrim to attack the Uruk-hai, allowing the Rohirrim's women and children to escape into the mountains. Gandalf appears, accompanied by Éomer and his men. The combined forces cause the Uruk-hai to flee into Fangorn, where the Ents and their Huorn allies attack them. At Isengard, the Ents defeat the Uruk-hai and break the river dam, drowning the surviving Orc defenders, flooding Isengard, and stranding Saruman in his tower.

Faramir has the Hobbits taken to the war-torn Osgiliath, where they are attacked by Orcs led by a Nazgûl. Frodo succumbs to the Ring's influence and attacks Sam, but comes to his senses when Sam tearfully reminds him of their friendship. The Nazgûl is defeated and flees. Faramir, understanding the danger of the Ring, frees the Hobbits and sends them on their journey, joined by Gollum. Gandalf remarks that Sauron will seek retribution for Saruman's defeat, stating that hope now rests with Frodo and Sam. At that same moment, Gollum vows to reclaim the Ring by having "her" kill Frodo and Sam.


  • Elijah Wood as Frodo Baggins: the hobbit who must destroy the One Ring, the burden of which is becoming heavier.
  • Ian McKellen as Gandalf the Grey/Gandalf the White: the Wizard who fell fighting the Balrog, who has now returned, more powerful than ever, to finish his task.
  • Liv Tyler as Arwen: Elrond's daughter and Elven princess. Aragorn's true love.
  • Viggo Mortensen as Aragorn: the heir-in-exile to Gondor's throne who has come to Rohan's defence.
  • Sean Astin as Samwise Gamgee: Frodo's loyal hobbit companion, better known as Sam.
  • Cate Blanchett as Galadriel: the Elven queen of Lórien, who discusses Middle-earth's future with Elrond.
  • 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.
  • Bernard Hill as Théoden: King of Rohan, who is under Saruman's spell until Gandalf heals him so he can lead his people once more.
  • Christopher Lee as Saruman the White: the Wizard waging war upon Rohan and devastating Fangorn Forest, who allies himself with Sauron.
  • Billy Boyd as Peregrin Took: the hobbit captured by the Uruk-hai, Merry's best friend, better known as Pippin.
  • Dominic Monaghan as Meriadoc Brandybuck: the hobbit captured by the Uruk-hai, Pippin's best friend, better known as Merry.
  • Orlando Bloom as Legolas: the Elven archer and one of Aragorn's companions.
  • Hugo Weaving as Elrond: the Elven lord of Rivendell who expresses doubt over his daughter's love for Aragorn.
  • Miranda Otto as Éowyn: Théoden's niece, who is in love with Aragorn.
  • David Wenham as Faramir: the captain of the Ithilien Rangers, who captures Frodo, Sam and Gollum. Also, Boromir's younger brother.
  • Brad Dourif as Gríma Wormtongue: Saruman's agent at Edoras, who renders Théoden incapable of decisions, and desires Éowyn. He is the secondary antagonist.
  • Karl Urban as Éomer: Théoden's nephew and previously Chief Marshal of the Riddermark, exiled by Gríma.
  • Sean Bean as Boromir, who appears in flashbacks, more prominently in the film's extended edition.
  • Andy Serkis as Sméagol/Gollum: a wretched hobbit-like creature, owner of the Ring for centuries, who guides Frodo on his quest; voice and motion capture.
  • 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.

The following appear only in the Extended Edition

  • John Noble as Denethor, Steward of Gondor and the father of Boromir and Faramir.

Lord of the Rings Films vte
Films The Fellowship of the RingThe Two TowersThe Return of the King
Characters Aragorn • Arwen • Bilbo • Boromir • Celeborn • Denethor • Elrond • Éomer • Éowyn • Faramir • Frodo • Galadriel • Gandalf • Gimli • Gollum • Legolas • Merry • Mouth of Sauron • Old Man Willow • Pippin • Radagast • Sam • Saruman • Sauron • Shelob • Théoden • Tom Bombadil • Treebeard • Witch-king • Wormtongue

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