This is one of those in-between chapters where I don't have a lot to say. Legolas and Gimli's reunion is quite funny, and I love their plan to show each other Fangorn and the Helm's Deep caverns when the war is over. And the reunion of Merry and Pippin with their would-be rescuers is always amusing.
Theoden says of the Ents that "the songs have come down among us out of strange places, and walk visible under the Sun" (p. 537). This seems to be a theme with the Rohirrim, that characters in songs or stories can come alive. A guard at Meduseld (was it Hama?) told Aragorn, "It seems that you are come on the wings of song out of the forgotten days" (p. 500), and Eomer started this whole theme by saying, "Dreams and legends spring to life out of the grass" (p. 423), while good old Eothain the Ever-Courteous scoffed, "Do we walk in legends or on the green earth in the daylight?" (p. 424) when Gimli said they were searching for Halflings. I wonder why this is such a repeated theme while we're in Rohan, but not with the Elves or in Gondor?
Okay, that's the first discussion question for this chapter.
"These hobbits will sit on the edge of ruin and discuss the pleasures of the table, or the small doings of their fathers, grandfathers, and great-grandfathers, and remoter cousins to the ninth degree, if you encourage them with undue patience" (p. 545).
"For however the fortune of war shall go, may it not so end that much that was fair and wonderful shall pass for ever out of Middle-earth?" (p. 537)
Another Discussion Question:
As they approach Isengard, Gandalf and company pass a great pillar of the white hand (symbol of Saruman) that has had its nails painted red. Any theories on why they've been painted red, or by whom? I feel like this is supposed to symbolize something, or be significant, but I'm not sure what it's about.