Anyway, I think I'm never fonder of Frodo than I am here, when he holds up Galadriel's Phial and his sword and advances toward Shelob. Wow! That's so courageous.
I find the bit of backstory on Shelob really fascinating. She "was there before Sauron" (p. 707) -- craziness! I'm definitely going to read The Silmarillion later this year, after I've finished this trilogy. Speaking of finishing... one more chapter, and we're done with The Two Towers!!! Woo!
Random other thing: it says here that Sam is smaller than Gollum! Not how I picture them (thanks to the movies). Huh.
They walked as it were in a black vapour wrought of veritable darkness itself that, as it was breathed, brought blindness not only to the eyes but to the mind, so that even the memory of colours and of forms and of any light faded out of thought. Night always had been, and always would be, and night was all (p. 702).
Then holding the star aloft and the bright sword advanced, Frodo, hobbit of the Shire, walked steadily down to meet the eyes (p. 705).
Possible Discussion Questions:
Tolkien says Sam hides the Phial out of "his long habit of secrecy" (p. 709). I don't recall Sam being secretive -- I tend to think of him as rather open. Does this strike you as incongruous? Or am I missing the secretiveness up until now?