The Two Towers

by: J. R. R. Tolkien

Book III, Chapter 3

Despite the hobbits’ ignoble introduction, however, their positive characteristics emerge clearly. Pippin begins the chapter dreaming that he is calling out for Frodo, reminding us of the strong bond among the four hobbits—the bond that Gandalf predicts will count for much when he argues for Pippin and Merry’s inclusion in the Fellowship in the previous volume of the novel. Though Pippin and Merry never complain about the physical hardships they undergo, they do suffer when they are out of contact with each other. The narrator describes the hobbits’ great sense of relief when they are near enough to each other to talk quietly for a while, taking pleasure in the simple camaraderie of being together even when bound and in captivity.

The importance of camaraderie is emphasized through contrast, in the the almost total absence of it among the Orcs. The Orcs simply do not get along well together, squabbling constantly and at times even fatally. Their frequent lapses into their native Orc dialects, incomprehensible to the Orcs of different tribes, is one sign of how little the creatures care about communication and unity with each other. The Isengard tribe’s betrayal of the other Orcs is the most obvious example of this disunity, but we see considerable quarreling and dislike even within the Isengard tribe itself. We see the Isengarders snarling at each other in their camp, cursing each other with a bitterness that we would expect from enemies, not cohorts. When Pippin is being searched, he senses that his searcher might be attempting to double-deal his companions and seize the Ring for himself. While the two hobbits would do anything for one another, the Orcs seem barely able to hold together long enough to accomplish their kidnapping mission.