The Two Towers

(Dir. Peter Jackson 2002)

This is not a proper review. One day I will get round to writing a proper review of the Lord of the Rings films. In summary, my opinions are as follows: first film looks good and sounds good, some good casting and some poor, very annoyingly deviates from the book in unnecessary ways; second film deviates more; third film is utterly atrocious - I have tried hard but I cannot think of a single thing good to say about it.

Now for those who have seen The Two Towers, something for your amusement...

My plans for an impregnable mountain fortress:

  1. I will not build a solid stone ramp right the way up to my main gate. This would render pointless my going to all the trouble of building a  castle on the side of a mountain.
  2. I will dig a ditch in front of the fortress, so that my enemies will have a tough time advancing.
  3. I will invest in this new "moat" technology, as I have great faith in it.
  4. I will put crenellations on top of my battlements, so that my archers have somewhere to hide while loading their bows.
  5. I will put a bannister rail along the back of my battlements, so that I do not suffer many needless casualties from men falling off the wall.
  6. I will install a drawbridge. I am convinced that this will help.
  7. I will make my sally-port more substantial than a simple wooden door, and will locate it where it leads somewhere useful, rather than straight onto an isolated ledge.
  8. Should I sally out from my fortress, I will take care not to start a charge while still inside a room in my keep, especially if I am on horseback. This will avoid sudden embarrassing congestion in the doorway.
  9. I will place the mouthpiece of my signalling horn at a height convenient for a human blower, and not a dwarf.
  10. Should my fortress be attacked, I will not defend it by putting my two best men alone on the outside amongst the mass of the enemy.
  11. When I order my archers to draw bows, I will not wait for ages before giving the order to loose, because that would tire their arms out needlessly.
  12. When I do give the order to loose, I will shout "loose", perhaps "release", or even "shoot". I will not shout "fire" as this will just confuse the men who are not armed with firearms.
  13. I will build a curtain wall, and I will place it somewhere where it actually defends something useful, like the main keep. I will not place it off to one side of the keep, where it defends nothing more than a little muddy cul-de-sac. My enemies cannot be relied upon to waste their men attacking a useless structure.
  14. I will make my main gate very strong, because there is a chance that my enemies might try hitting it with something like a battering ram. I  will do this long in advance of a siege, and not leave it to the last possible minute.
  15. Behind my main gate, I will place a port-cullis. This will make it very hard for enemies to enter.
  16. Behind my port cullis, I will build many arrow slits either side of the path through the bastion, so that any enemies getting past the port cullis will be shot at from both sides.
  17. In the floor of the bastion tower, I will put many murder holes, so that rocks and boiling water can be poured down onto anyone who gets past the port cullis.
  18. I will place a second port cullis, and perhaps a second gate at the back of the bastion, so that any enemies who get through the first port cullis will be trapped in the bastion, while falling prey to 16, and 17 (above).
  19. I will pick a location for my fortress that cannot be cut off easily. A poor location would be at the head of a very steep-sided narrow valley.
  20. I will place my fortress where the enemy cannot climb up and rain rocks down on top of it from the mountain above.

Lloyd 5th March 2003

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