For: a warped representation of evil, wizardry and occult elements, biblically incompatible mythology, animism, and some humanism
The Two Towers picks up right where The Fellowship of the Ring left off, plot-wise and problem-wise, and, as one might have guessed it would, develops both more fully. The Two Towers attempts to be a satisfactory follow-up to the epic but biblically incompatible part one, but it mixes its bigger bad guys and longer battles with new and improved pagan elements and unbiblical interactions with death and exorcism, and just ends up digging itself in deeper and further away from the light.
A Warped Representation of Evil
The Two Towers adds further and clearer statements about the ring, its near-personhood and its irresistibly corrupting power. Examples include, “The ring is treacherous. It will hold you to your word,” and “It is close now, so close to reaching its goal.” Main character Frodo says, “The ring is taking me,” and neither gives nor is given any hope of successful resistance.
An exorcism scene involves a man who is possessed by a wizard who is just as much flesh as spirit, and just as much outside the victim as in him. The wizard is physically located in a far away tower, but speaks through the man’s mouth. When he is violently cast out of the man, the wizard in the tower goes flying backward with blood on his face.
It is stated that if one particular (good) man takes the ring, “the world will fall.” This is not meant hyperbolically.
Wizardry and Occult Elements
As in the previous movie in the series, one of the heroes of the story and one of the villains are wizards, not just in name but in practice. Wizardry is an abomination, according to scripture.1
Soothsaying (another abomination, biblically1) is positively referenced. A character uses the color of the sunrise to determine that blood had been spilled the night before.
Positively-portrayed characters use telepathy.
A wizard attempts to drive out an evil spell by raising his hand, but when this is not successful he uses his magic staff, which is successful. The staff is also used to magically break weapons and cause metal to catch on fire. The power of evil spells over good people is referenced multiple times as a given.
Biblically Incompatible Mythology
As in The Fellowship of the Ring, the creatures in The Two Towers and their involvement with sin, salvation, evil, and death is incompatible with scripture. See The Fellowship of the Ring Biblically Incompatible Mythology for a detailed explanation.
As an aside, The Two Towers displays a warped depiction of death in a scene of corpses who reanimate as ghosts and attempt to do Frodo serious harm. This is inconsistent with the biblical view of death and the afterlife.
After a man is buried, a wizard says with assurance and authority, “He was strong in life. His spirit will find its way to the halls of your fathers.” There is a strongly implied connection between the two statements, which has no place in a biblical view of death and the afterlife. The phrase “the halls of your fathers” is probably derived from paganism. The future tense, “will find its way,” clearly indicates that the man’s death did not bring him to any definite eternal destination.
Trees in The Two Towers are portrayed as living, moving, communicating and emotional entities. They are referenced (without hyperbole or anthropomorphism) as being angry, intending harm to some characters, friends of other characters, and with voices of their own. A dwarf is instructed to lower his axe to avoid giving offense to the trees.
Positively-portrayed characters in The Two Towers appear to have a humanistic understanding of reality, giving merely this-world, non-spiritual assurances bordering at times on practical atheism. For example, a lady tells her lover, who is discouraged and uncertain, “If you trust nothing else… trust us.” This statement would technically place God in the “nothing else” category. Also, Frodo’s companion Sam says that people in stories keep going because they’re holding on to something, and when Frodo asks what the two of them are holding on to, Sam replies, “That there’s some good in this world, Mr. Frodo, and it’s worth fighting for.” While this is one of many possible motives for holding on, it is obviously insufficient from a Christian perspective.
On the negative side of humanism, a positively-portrayed character tells an immortal (see Biblically Incompatible Mythology, above) lady that when her mortal lover dies, “There will be no comfort to you. No comfort to ease the pain of his passing… You will linger on in darkness and doubt… Here you will dwell, bound to your grief until all the world has changed and the long years of your life are utterly spent.” He is portrayed as discouraging but correct. Biblically, however, it is only those who do not have saving faith who grieve in this way.2
1 Deuteronomy 18:10-12
2 1 Thessalonians 4:13. Also see Psalm 147:3, Isaiah 26:3, and 2 Corinthians 1:3-4.