Book II Chapter VI: Lothlorien
One of the most prominent themes throughout Tolkien’s work is the concept of good vs. evil. The company just went through hell in Moria and now there will be a moment of peace as the company heads for Lothlorien. On their journey, Gimli takes Frodo to take a quick glance of Kheled-zaram. This is a lake that is revered by the Dwarves. One of the many moments where Gimli breaks the stereotype of a rough and stern dwarf. I like to think that this is his way of grieving after what happened in Moria. He needed a glimmer of hope and looking at the lake provided that, even if it was just for a minute. Then there is Aragorn. He is always showing concern for his friends. He will lay down his life for them. He is angry with Gandalf and himself for what occurred in Moria, but they must keep moving and he assumed the leading role in the Fellowship. Boromir is still an ass. (Sorry, not sorry.) He fears the rumors he has heard of Lorien and is very vocal about it. Boromir reminds me of that one Facebook friend that everyone has who believes in conspiracy theories but has no actual evidence of anything, and lashes out in frustration. As they travel through, Legolas tells the story of Nimrodel and the evil that the dwarves had awakened. So far, Legolas and Gimli have been at each other’s throats with constant bickering. Their preconceived notions of each others races blind them, making it difficult to work together.
The company is exhausted. They must keep moving since they are being hunted by Orcs and followed by another mysterious creature. (Foreshadowing much?) When they finally come upon Haldir, he explains that only Gimli must be blindfolded, that is their law. Gimli refuses. This goes to show the deep-rooted issues between Elves and Dwarves. Aragorn being the best, as always, suggests that they should ALL be blindfolded. They are a Fellowship after all.
Book II Chapter VII: The Mirror of Galadriel
The Fellowship is brought to Caras Galadhon- City of the Trees which is overseen by Lord Celeborn and Lady Galadriel. They are both stunning and don’t seem young or old. I love this chapter. It is intriguing and heartbreaking all at the same time. Sam and Frodo go with Galadriel to the mirror. The mirror prophesizes but like all prophesy, it has limits. For Sam, it shows what destruction will happen in the Shire. Frodo sees a few things but the one thing that sticks out the most, is a glimpse of someone who he thinks is Gandalf, but it cannot be because he is all in white.
During this time, Frodo spots Galadriel’s ring. It is Nenya the Ring of Adamant. It was made by Celebrimbor and given to her. Sauron does not know she has one of the Rings. Frodo wishes that she could carry the burden of THE Ring. But she passes the test.
“For if you fail then we are laid bare to the Enemy. Yet if you succeed, then our power is diminished and Lothlorien will fade and the tides of Time will sweep it away.”The Fellowship of the Ring, Galadriel
This is heartbreaking to read. Magic is fading-leaving Middle Earth. The world of magic and the Elves will end. And it will either become the land of darkness or the land of Men. It is depressing because it is such a beautiful world with the Elves but I love that Galadriel makes an emphasis on that one cannot make a difference with magic alone. There are more important abilities that are needed, abilities like courage.
Book II Chapter VIII: Farewell to Lorien
It is time for the Fellowship to continue on, without Gandalf there is the uncertainty of where to go next. Boromir is adamant that they go to Minis Tirith and even says that he will go on his own if he must. This is very telling. He would separate from the Fellowship on a Quest he agreed to? Very telling. He also makes a comment (AGAIN) that he doesn’t think that they should destroy the Ring at all. This just goes to show the very corruptive nature of the Ring.
Celeborn gives them boats to sail to wherever their destination may be but advises them to stay clear of Fangorn Forest. Boromir and his seemingly infinite wisdom deny that advice and reduce Celeborn’s warnings to an Old Wives Tale. SERIOUSLY. Celeborn THE WISE is giving you advice but yep, you know better. I know so many people like this that it drives me insane. They believe in danger from rumors to encourage their own bias, but will not listen to those who are wiser and known to help. Sorry. This became more personal than I had intended. However, Celeborn replies in a much more graceful manner than I would have:
“But do not despise the lore that has come down from distant years; for oft it may chance that old wives keep in memory word things that once were needful for the wise to know.”The Fellowship of the Ring, Celeborn
Galadriel gives amazing gifts. Aragorn gets a sheath and an Elfstone. Legolas a new bow. Sam a box of dirt that will spark regrowth that could be utilized after the war. Frodo gets the Light of Earendil, “may it be a light to you in dark places when all other lights go out…” (Galadriel)
However, remember those Gimli moments I was speaking of. He changes the course of Dwarf/Elven relationships. When Galadriel asks what he wants, he just wants a piece of her hair to show friendship and forgiveness between their people. EVERYONE IS SHOCKED. I am not. Gimli has a heart of gold. With this, Legolas and Gimli quickly become brothers. I say brothers because I always felt that their relationship went deeper than best friends forever.
Like I said in the beginning. Tolkien is constantly switching from dark to light, evil to good. We are leaving the chapter of peace and we should start to prepare for what will come next.