January 19, 2018

Company meets with Celeborn and Galadriel

Shire Reckoning: January 17, 3019 (Afteryule 17, 1420)

Pages To Read:
-FR.Lothlorien “In the morning they went on again” (~p.17) – FR.MirrorOfGaladriel “no sound or dream disturbed their slumber” (~p.6)

– Along the way through Lothlórien, the group meets some other elves. They report some news, most notably a message from the Lord and Lady of the Gladhrim, who allow everyone (including Gimli) to walk freely. They remove Gimli’s blindfold first and beg his pardon.
– When everyone has their sight restored, the find themselves at the foot of a spectacular hill covered in flowers: Cerin Amroth. Named for Amroth from the Lay of Nimrodel, it is crowed with huge golden Mallorn trees. (Art: Cerin Amroth by MatejCadil).
– After a break, Frodo walks through the trees on the hill, accompanied by Haldir. Frodo gets a strange feeling, as if being in Lothlórien is like being inside a song, or a dream.
– When Frodo returns to the main group, he sees Aragorn lost in thought, holding a flower. For a moment, he appears as if he is a young lord and says something in Elvish.
– In the evening, they finally approach Caras Galadhon, the primary city of Lothlórien. Here dwells Lord Celeborn and Galadriel, the Lady of Lórien. (art by Joe Gilronan)
– Caras Galadhon lies on a hill and most of the city is elevated in the treetops.
– The Company reaches a huge tree which houses Celeborn and Galdriel, who wish to meet with them. After climbing a bajillion ladders, they finally arrive at a huge tree-house, surrounding the tree trunk.
– Celeborn and Galadriel sit in majestic thrones at the center of the hall. They are tall, beautiful, and grave. (Art: Galadriel, by black3)
– Celeborn greets them and asks if someone is missing, seeing only eight companions. Galadriel speaks up, asking directly for the location of Gandalf. Aragorn reports that he fell into shadow in Moria, much to the grief of the Gladhrim.
– Aragorn recounts the tale of Moria, with Legolas and Gimli chiming in to confirm that they had seen the Balrog, Durin’s Bane. Celeborn kind of blames the dwarves for awakening the Balrog, but Galadriel reminds him that the Company is blameless and that the dwarves who went to Moria were justified in returning. Gimli is moved both by Galadriel’s words and her beauty.
– Celeborn offers them aid, and Galadriel gives some advice. Before dismissing them, Galadriel gazes at every member of the Company in turn, seemingly searching their souls.
– Later, Sam tells Merry and Pippin that when Galadriel had looked at him, he felt as if she was offering him a choice to return home and plant a garden. Merry agrees, but doesn’t tell what she had offered him. In fact, the whole Company felt that she had offered them a choice to do something they greatly desired by leaving behind the Quest.
– No one other than Sam is willing to tell what Galadriel had offered them, especially Boromir and Frodo who argue a bit. Boromir, ever the skeptic, voices concerns that Galadriel had been tempting them maliciously, but Aragorn warns him that there is no evil to be found in Lórien unless someone brings it in themselves.
– The Company finally drifts off to sleep, relaxing for the first time in a long while.

Trivia, Quotes, and Details:
– The final scene of Chapter 6 is definitely a highlight for today. As a reminder: in their tale from the Appendix, Aragorn and Arwen professed their love to each other on Cerin Amroth back in 2980. Notably, this is where Arwen decided to become mortal in order to be with him, hence why Aragorn is so emotional today. The phrase he says is ‘Arwen vanimelda, namárië‘ which means ‘Fair Arwen, farewell,’ referencing his fear that he may never see her again. Thus although Arwen is mostly physically absent from LOTR, she remains present spiritually through Aragorn’s motivation and memories of her.
– Galadriel doesn’t offer many details during the meeting, but it is clear that she knows more than she lets on. Galadriel is a pretty important elf who has a really good backstory, going back to the First Age, which I will hopefully get to touch on in the future.
– Great mysterious quote from Galadriel: “‘I will not give you counsel, saying do this, or do that. For not in doing or contriving, nor in choosing between this course and another, can I avail; but only in knowing what was and is, and in part also what will be. But this I will say to you: your Quest stands upon the edge of a knife. Stray but a little and it will fail, to the ruin of all. Yet hope remains while all the Company is true.’

From The Tale of Years:
The Fellowship comes to Caras Galadhon at evening.

Notes: The meeting with Celeborn and Galadriel is an important turning point as it kind of decides their next course of action. It’s a bit of a mini reprise of the Council of Elrond, and like the CoE, it is followed by an oddly long break in an Elvish realm. From today, the Company spends about a month in Caras Galadhon, recuperating. Yes, a month. Less than the two months in Rivendell, but still. I still have lots of content though, so don’t worry, the blog won’t get too quiet! ~Tom


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