This chapter has lots of exciting parts, with the wolves, and then the watcher in the water, and then all the wandering around in Moria. And once again, I don't have lots to say. Hmm. And yet, this and the previous chapter are one of my favorite sections of the book.
Gandalf says that he "once knew every spell in all the tongues of Elves or Men or Orcs" (p. 299) that were used to open enchanted doors. So... there must have been a lot of enchanted doors around at one time, and they've just fallen into disuse? That seems foolish. I mean, if I had an enchanted door that you could only open with the right password, I think I'd keep using it. Sounds very handy in case of a siege, for instance. Or for stockpiling Christmas presents where the kids couldn't get at them.
Once Gandalf figures out how to open the Doors of Durin, he says, "Of course, of course! Absurdly simple" (p. 300). This makes me laugh, not for a LOTR-related reason, but because there's a moment in the Sherlock Holmes story "The Dancing Men" where Holmes doesn't want to explain to Watson how he deduced something because he says that once he explains, Watson will say, "How absurdly simple!" Watson insists that he won't, Holmes explains, and then Watson cries, "How absurdly simple!" It's a funny moment in the story, and particularly funny in the Jeremy Brett movie version. So just thought I'd share :-)
"However it may prove, one must tread the path that need chooses!" (p. 289)
"The wolf that one hears is worse than the orc that one fears" (p. 290).
"That was an eye-opener, and no mistake!" (p. 291)
In the dark at the rear, grim and silent, walked Aragorn (p. 302).
Possible Discussion Questions:
Okay, what is up with Aragorn and Moria? It says here that he went there once, and "the memory is very evil" (p. 289). Is this explained in the appendices, and I've just forgotten because I've only read all of them once, and that was years ago?