The Mirror of Galadriel
Shire Reckoning: February 15, 3019 (Solmath 15, 1420)
Pages to read:
– FR.Mirror “One evening Frodo and Sam” (~p.8) – FR.FarewellToLorien “the night was growing old” (~p.3)
The Mirror of Galadriel:
– Frodo and Sam are sitting around one night, talking about the magical feeling of Lothlórien. Sam comments how the Elves of Lórien are a bit like the hobbits of the Shire, comparing the quiet lands and how the Elves feel like they belong there.
– Frodo realizes that they will probably have to leave Lothlórien soon, and Sam says that this is probably for the best, as they need to get continue on their quest.
– Suddenly, they see the Lady Galadriel approaching. Wordless, she beckons them to follow.
– Sam and Frodo follow Galadriel down into an enclosed garden, where a wide basin of water stands on a pedestal.
– She explains that looking into the mirror reveal the past, present, or even the future.
– Galadriel gets Sam to look by reminding him that he wanted to see Elf-magic. Frodo is tempted as well, by the desire to hear news of home.
– Sam goes first. At first, he only sees stars in the water, but suddenly the Mirror changes and Sam see trees waving in the wind.
– Sam then gets a glimpse of Frodo climbing up a grim stairway, and then it cuts back to the Shire, where there are trees being cut down by Ted Sandyman.
– Sam is enraged and wanted to return to the Shire at once, but Galadriel reminds him that the Mirror only shows possible futures, and Sam decides to stay with Frodo.
– Frodo takes a turn at the Mirror. The first thing he sees is a figure dressed in white walking along a long grey road. He then sees Bilbo for a moment before the scene changes to the Sea. He sees glimpses of a huge battle, a white fortress, and black ships.
– Finally, a huge eye appears, and Frodo feels the Ring being pulled toward it. The eye is huge and terrible, but cannot see Frodo.
– Frodo pulls back and Galadriel acknowledges that the eye was representative of Sauron. She holds her hand up to the stars, and Frodo perceives that she wears Nenya, one of the Three rings of power of the Elves. She explains that the power of Lothlórien is tied to this ring, and therefore the One Ring. If Frodo succeeds in his quest, Galadriel’s power will diminish and she will have to take her people across the sea.
– Frodo freely offers Galadriel the One Ring, saying that it is too great a burden for him. Galadriel laughs and admits she has fantasized about this moment. She proclaims that she would become a great and powerful Queen.
– However, she manages to resist the temptation, and declines the Ring, saying “‘I pass the test. I will diminish, and go into the West, and remain Galadriel.’“
– After this dramatic scene, Galadriel reminds Frodo that he must prepare to leave in the morning. As they are walking back, she also reminds Frodo to never put the Ring on again, for the temptation to use its power would be too great.
Farewell to Lórien:
– Later that night, the Company gathers in Celeborn and Galadriel’s abode. Celeborn states that they must get on with their journey and gives them boats to aid with the next leg: traveling down the Great River. This will also delay the decision to take the eastern route to Mordor or the western route to Gondor.
– The Company stays up all night debating what to do next. The original plan, and the one that Boromir endorses, is to go to Gondor, a relatively safe nation which could aid in opposing Sauron’s forces. Aragorn seems to think that it would be better to just head straight to Mordor. Frodo is unsure of the path he will take, but is suspicious of Boromir’s reasoning.
– Finally, the Company goes to bed, having made no clear decision.
– Famous Sam quote that’s kinda hidden in this chapter: “‘”It’s the job that’s never started as takes longest to finish,” as my old gaffer used to say.’“
– Good quote from Galadriel about the function of the mirror: “‘What you will see, if you leave the Mirror free to work, I cannot tell. For it shows things that were, and things that are, and things yet may be. But which it is that he sees, even the wisest cannot always tell.’“
– For reference, Galadriel was part of the exodus from Valinor at the beginning of the First Age, and she refused to return to Valinor at the beginning of the Second Age even though she was offered the choice. So the choice to decline the Ring and let her power fade is kind of a big deal for her.
– Most famous quote from Galadriel is of course her proclamation during that scene: “‘And now at last it comes. You will give me the Ring freely! In place of the Dark Lord you will set up a Queen. And I shall not be dark, but beautiful and terrible as the Morning and the Night! Fair as the Sea and the Sun and the Snow upon the Mountain! Dreadful as the Storm and the Lightning! Stronger than the foundations of the earth. All shall love me and despair!’“
– Evening at Caras Galadhon, by ralphdamiani. Beautiful painting of evening in the city.
– The Mirror of Galadriel, by peet. Simple art of the mirror scene.
– The Mirror of Galadriel, by aegeri. Another pretty painting of Frodo and Bilbo at the mirror.
– The Mirror of Galdriel, by dashiellsilva. Amazing, huge, and detailed art of Frodo’s vision.
Notes: Finally people acknowledge that they need to get the show on the road! Pretty dramatic scene with the Mirror, and Galadriel’s big claim to fame. Unfortunately won’t get to see too much more of her in Lord of the Rings, even though she’s one of the more interesting Elven characters in Tolkien’s overall verse, if you ask me. Also sorry for posting so late in the day… it kinda works at least in my time zone due to it being an evenig scene and all. ~Tom