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MonkeyNotes-The Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien
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Shelob’s Lair

Summary

Gollum’s evil side resurfaces with a vengeance as he leads Sam and Frodo into a trap--the lair of the giant spider Shelob. The smell in the place is horrible, but neither Sam nor Frodo realize they are being led into a trap. Gollum thinks Shelob will only care about prey, not the Ring he hopes to recover. Once inside the cave, Gollum disappears.

It is then that Sam and Frodo sense the evil presence of Shelob. It is dark in the cave so they cannot see her. Sam asks Frodo to use Galadriel’s phial to cast light in the cave. They see the hungry evil eyes of their predator. As they try to run she spins a web to trap them. Shelob was, as Sauron called her, "his cat", whom he fed prisoners for which he had no use.

Sam and Frodo escape and come to another pass, where upon Sam hides the Phial, afraid that Orcs might spy them. But as soon as he does that Shelob rushes forward from another hole. Just as Sam is about to warn Frodo, Gollum grabs him from behind. In the ensuing struggle, Sam and Frodo are separated. By the time Sam gets free, he cannot see Frodo.


Notes

It is unfortunate but necessary to the plot that Gollum has this last bout of evil intent. Shelob is merely another villain thrown in to complicate the plot and raise the anxiety levels of the characters and the reader.

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