FOTR, Book 2, Chapters 6 to 8

Come here to join in a structured study of Tolkien's Works. Please read the guidelines before posting. New and veteran readers welcome.

FOTR, Book 2, Chapters 6 to 8

Postby rowanberry » Sun Dec 17, 2006 1:44 pm

Welcome to the December discussion of the VTSG! Due to unexpected delays, here are the summaries for Chapters 6 and 7 for starters; the summary for Chapter 8 and the questions will follow tomorrow.

Chapter 6: Lothlórien

After they’ve got out of Moria, the remaining members of the Fellowship don’t have time to stay and mourn for Gandalf; they have to be out of the area before it gets dark and orcs start following them. Aragorn allows Gimli though to take a brief look at Durin’s Stone at the Mirrormere, a legendary place for dwarves, and he asks Frodo to come with him; Sam also follows his master.

But soon, they must go on. After some time, they stop for a while to rest, eat, and tend Frodo’s and Sam’s injuries; then, the secret of Frodo’s survival, the mithril shirt, is revealed to his companions.

It is already dark when they reach the eaves of Lothlórien, the fairest of the lands of the elves according to what Legolas has heard, and Aragorn seems to be familiar with the place. But Boromir resists, because of all the rumours he has heard of it in Gondor. He finally agrees to follow Aragorn there though.

They stop to rest at the river Nimrodel, a tributary of Silverlode that flows through Lothlórien. Legolas tells his companions tales of Lothlórien that he has heard back home in Mirkwood, and sings a song about the elf-maiden Nimrodel, after whom the stream has been named. They decide that, it is safer to spend the night in a tree, and Legolas is about to climb one to see if it would be suitable; but then, they are stopped by Elven guardsmen, Haldir and his two brothers, Rúmil and Orophin. The company stays over the night with them, on the flets built by the elves in the trees. In the night, Frodo hears orcs pass below them; and he also sees some creature with gleaming eyes climbing the tree. He is sure that he heard and saw something already earlier, when they were resting. But, the creature disappears when Haldir returns and tells that they have lured the orcs into a trap.

The guards are aware of the Fellowship’s mission, and because they trust Aragorn and Legolas, they promise to lead the company through Lothlórien, but only if Gimli is blindfolded – there is an old suspicion toward dwarves. The dwarf doesn’t take this well, but Aragorn solves the situation by insisting that all members of the Fellowship will go blindfolded as well. On the way, they meet a host of elves on their way to the northern borders, and they bring word from the Lord and Lady of the land that the company can go free.

Haldir leads them to a hill named Cerin Amroth, and asks Frodo to climb with him to a flet in a high tree there. From the heights, the hobbit can see the whole forest and beyond. When he gets down again, Frodo finds Aragorn as if wrapped in some memory; he even looks different, much younger than he is now.

Chapter 7: The Mirror of Galadriel

In the evening, the company reaches Caras Galadhon, the city of the elves of Lothlórien. They are received by Lord Celeborn and Lady Galadriel, the rulers of the land. The news of Gandalf’s fall in the battle with the Balrog enrages Celeborn, who blames the dwarves on waking up the evil in Moria; but Galadriel is diplomatic, declares those who followed Gandalf to Moria blameless to what happened to him, and speaks to Gimli in a friendly manner.

In the evening, before going to sleep, the companions talk a bit though, and they all had felt that, the Lady had spoken to them in their mind, testing them and their loyalty to the quest.

The company stays in Lothlórien for some time. One evening, when Frodo and Sam are walking and talking, the Lady Galadriel approaches them and beckons them to follow her. She leads them to an enclosed garden, where a silver basin stands on a pedestal by a stream: the Mirror of Galadriel.

She fills the basin with water, and asks the hobbits to look into it. Sam looks first, and sees strange things going on in the Shire: trees hewn, ugly buildings put up, and his own father expelled from his home. For a moment, he feels that he has to go home at once, but in the end decides to follow Frodo, whatever might be going on in the Shire.

Then, it’s Frodo’s turn. He sees visions of Gandalf and Bilbo, and of ships with black sails, one bearing a banner with the emblem of a white tree, and smokes from fire and battle. Last, when he thinks that the visions have already ended, he sees a terrible eye, and feels that it’s searching for him. The Ring about his neck feels heavy.

When he pulls away, the Lady says that she knows what he saw last, and comforts Frodo that, the Eye cannot see into Lothlórien. She lifts her hand, and Frodo sees a ring in her finger; she reveals that she is the keeper of Nenya, one of the three Elven Rings. If Frodo’s task fails, Lothlórien will be laid bare to the Enemy; and if the task succeeds, the power of the Three will vanish, and Lothlórien will fade. In any case, the time of the elves will be over. But, the elves would rather give up everything that they love, than to surrender to Sauron.

Frodo offers the One Ring to Galadriel, who admits that, she has secretly desired the Ring, and has had thoughts about what she would do if she would get it. She is seriously tempted to take it. But, she understands that, in the end, she couldn’t control it, and right then and there, she lets go of that desire. She also warns Frodo from trying to see the other rings and know the thoughts of their bearers – the hobbit wouldn’t be strong enough for it, and trying it would only lead to his own destruction.
User avatar
rowanberry
+++Out Of Cheese Error+++


 
Posts: 20480
Joined: Thu Apr 11, 2002 12:26 am
Location: Back row of the chorus in a silly Bollywood movie
Top

Postby rowanberry » Mon Dec 18, 2006 11:01 am

Chapter 8: Farewell to Lórien

The next day, the Fellowship continues their journey. All decide to go on, although they are offered a possibility to stay as long as the Quest has either succeeded or failed. Celeborn offers to them boats, so that they can travel down the river Anduin, which makes the journey faster for a while. The elves also provide them with good provisions, of which most important is lembas, the Elvish waybread, as well as clothes and other useful things, like rope.

Before they leave, the Lord and the Lady give them a parting feast by the Silverlode. After they’ve eaten, Celeborn tells them a bit about what kind of lands lie ahead, and warns them about the Fangorn Forest. Each member of the Fellowship also receives a personal gift from Galadriel, something that is significant to its recipient; she lets Gimli choose himself what he would like to have, and finally, the dwarf asks for a strand of her hair. She gives him three, and after that, Gimli is totally smitten.

Followed by a song of farewell by Galadriel, the companions start their journey. Soon they reach the Great River, and Lothlórien is hidden from them.


Some questions to think about:

1. Judging from Legolas’s and Celeborn’s words, the elves of Mirkwood and Lothlórien have had very little contact for a long time. Yet, messages travel between Rivendell and Lothlórien. What could have separated the two realms of Wood-elves that way?

2. Suspicion and fear for the unknown; there are quite a few examples in these three chapters?

3. Frodo’s feeling that time has stopped in Lothlórien; what does this kind of protection say about the Elves?

4. How much of the history of Galadriel and Celeborn do we learn here? Is there a feeling that, there would be a lot more to be told?

5. The characters of Galadriel and Celeborn. The Lord stays a bit in the background; does it seem that, the Lady is the actual ruler of the land, or is she rather sort of a PR person for it?

6. Sam’s and Frodo’s visions in the Mirror. Some of them were from the future, but what are Frodo’s visions of the past that he himself hasn’t lived?

7. The significance of Galadriel’s refusal to take the Ring?

8. Galadriel warns Frodo from trying to see the other Rings and know the thoughts of their wearers, because it would destroy him. What in it would become his destruction? Would it just reveal him to the Enemy, or would rather training his will to the domination of others corrupt his spirit first?

9. The significance of Galadriel’s gifts, especially her gifts to Aragorn, Gimli, and Frodo?

10. Galadriel’s songs of homesickness. Was she really banned from the West at that time?


Again, feel free to add more questions, if you come up with any.
User avatar
rowanberry
+++Out Of Cheese Error+++


 
Posts: 20480
Joined: Thu Apr 11, 2002 12:26 am
Location: Back row of the chorus in a silly Bollywood movie
Top

Postby Arvegil » Mon Dec 18, 2006 12:09 pm

1. Judging from Legolas’s and Celeborn’s words, the elves of Mirkwood and Lothlórien have had very little contact for a long time. Yet, messages travel between Rivendell and Lothlórien. What could have separated the two realms of Wood-elves that way?

Dol Guldur is right between the two, making communications difficult. On the other hand, in the summer, the red pass provides a relatively safe, if not easy, means of communication between Rivendell and Lothlorien.

Really, except for due east (Dale/ Erebor), Mirkwood's Elves are pretty isolated. Dol Guldur to the south, the withered heath to the north, spiders and Orcs due west.
User avatar
Arvegil
Ranger of the North

 
Posts: 1439
Joined: Thu Oct 23, 2003 3:37 pm
Top

Postby rowanberry » Wed Dec 20, 2006 12:01 pm

True, Dol Guldur makes communications between the two Elvish realms difficult. But, if they would have wanted, the messengers could have gone through the Pass of Caradhras in the Lothlórien end to the western side of the Misty Mountains, travelled that way to Rivendell, and crossed the mountains again by the High Pass. The latter was passable in the summer, and according to Glóin's words in Rivendell, was kept open by the Beornings.

To me, it seems that, both Lothlórien and Mirkwood were quite isolationist.
User avatar
rowanberry
+++Out Of Cheese Error+++


 
Posts: 20480
Joined: Thu Apr 11, 2002 12:26 am
Location: Back row of the chorus in a silly Bollywood movie
Top

Postby Nadreck_of_Palain7 » Thu Dec 21, 2006 7:30 pm

1. Judging from Legolas’s and Celeborn’s words, the elves of Mirkwood and Lothlórien have had very little contact for a long time. Yet, messages travel between Rivendell and Lothlórien. What could have separated the two realms of Wood-elves that way?


I think that culture might have as much to do with it as geography. Lorien and Rivendell are ruled by Noldorin. Thranduil's realm did not appear to have any Noldor in the population.

3. Frodo’s feeling that time has stopped in Lothlórien; what does this kind of protection say about the Elves?


I think the power of Galadriel's Elven Ring was mainly responsible for this effect. The power of that Ring seems to be a power of preservation, and to preserve for such a long period is to defy time.

5. The characters of Galadriel and Celeborn. The Lord stays a bit in the background; does it seem that, the Lady is the actual ruler of the land, or is she rather sort of a PR person for it?


I do not think that there is any question that Galadriel is the main ruler. Just the fact that she had the Elven Ring indicates that.

8. Galadriel warns Frodo from trying to see the other Rings and know the thoughts of their wearers, because it would destroy him. What in it would become his destruction? Would it just reveal him to the Enemy, or would rather training his will to the domination of others corrupt his spirit first?


Even with the One Ring it is doubtful that Frodo, who has no interest in power or domination, could stand up to Sauron and the Nazgul once he revelaed himself to them by trying to use the Ring. But even if Frodo through long training and preparation learned to use the full power of the Ring, he would become evil, which from Frodo's and Galadriel's viewpoint would be just as much a destruction as if he was killed.
User avatar
Nadreck_of_Palain7
Ranger of the North

 
Posts: 1311
Joined: Sun Mar 20, 2005 11:36 pm
Top

Postby Mahima » Mon Jan 08, 2007 8:57 pm

3. Frodo’s feeling that time has stopped in Lothlórien; what does this kind of protection say about the Elves?


I think, more than anything it shows how much the Elves on Middle-Earth yearned for the undying lands and for time immortal. They tried to recreate Undying Lands on earth, in the small area that they lived.

This could also be a partial answer to the separation between Mirkwood and Lothlórien - the elves of Lothlórien may not have wished to step out of their created oasis.
User avatar
Mahima
Ranger of the North

 
Posts: 3531
Joined: Thu May 02, 2002 10:04 pm
Top

Postby Arvegil » Wed Jan 10, 2007 8:49 am

"3. Frodo’s feeling that time has stopped in Lothlórien; what does this kind of protection say about the Elves? "

Tolkien stated in several of the published letters that the primary ability of the three Elf-Rings was their ability to stop the effects of time, in effect preserving things and protecting them from the changeing nature of mortal lands. This may be Tolkien signalling this- showing how a less experienced mortal experiences a land protected by one of the Three.
User avatar
Arvegil
Ranger of the North

 
Posts: 1439
Joined: Thu Oct 23, 2003 3:37 pm
Top

Postby Morwenna » Mon Apr 30, 2007 5:40 pm

#9:
Galadriel's gifts are meant to be either useful or commemorative. Frodo, Aragorn, and Sam get useful ones, and one wonders how much she knows that Frodo's and Sam's gifts will be useful indeed. Frodo gets a light for dark places (and one of the highest gifts she could give, captured light from Earendil's star, which will prove necessary for entering Mordor), Sam gets earth from her orchard, with directions how to use it (referring back to the visions he has seen in her mirror), and, as he will later discover, a mallorn seed.
Gimli's gift is commemorative in nature, but has great importance to the future relations between elves and dwarves. His request for a single strand of her hair (which she gives threefold) she takes as proof of his true nature (as opposed to the supposed greed of dwarves) and declares that his hands shall flow with gold, and yet over him gold will have no dominion. This is both an acknowledgement and a prophecy.
Morwenna
Ranger of the North


 
Posts: 4431
Joined: Sun Mar 11, 2007 1:41 pm
Location: New Haven CT
Top

Postby Mahima » Tue May 01, 2007 6:30 am

Thats an interesting analysis of Galadriel's gifts, Morwenna. What about Aragorn's?
User avatar
Mahima
Ranger of the North

 
Posts: 3531
Joined: Thu May 02, 2002 10:04 pm
Top

Postby Morwenna » Tue May 01, 2007 8:55 pm

*Blush* I forgot Aragorn's gift!! *another blush*
Morwenna
Ranger of the North


 
Posts: 4431
Joined: Sun Mar 11, 2007 1:41 pm
Location: New Haven CT
Top

Postby rowanberry » Wed May 02, 2007 11:05 am

In Of the Laws and Customs Among the Eldar in HoME 10, it is told that among the Noldor, the mother of the bride gave to the bridegroom (and the father of the bridegroom to the bride) a gift of jewelry. By giving the Elessar to Aragorn, Galadriel in a way seems to have acted in place of Celebrían her daughter, and given her blessing to the union of Aragorn and Arwen.

But, the sheath for Andúril sure was useful.
User avatar
rowanberry
+++Out Of Cheese Error+++


 
Posts: 20480
Joined: Thu Apr 11, 2002 12:26 am
Location: Back row of the chorus in a silly Bollywood movie
Top

Postby ToshoftheWuffingas » Mon May 21, 2007 6:35 am

Looking at these three chapters, not a tremendous amount happens for nearly 50 pages, what is 5% of the book. It takes two chapters to get from Moria to Galadriel's mirror. It gives a welcome change of pace that hasn't relented since the attempt on the Redhorn Pass and enables the reader to appreciate the politics of Middle-earth and the personalities a little deeper and we discover yet another unique society. But all the same Tolkien by now must be trusting he has hooked his readers to allow such a leisurely unfolding.
One question I found myself asking. Who uses the Redhorn Pass and the Dimrill Stair? It was obviously important as one of the rare routes over the Misty Mountains yet Lothlorien guarded its borders fiercely and Aragorn tells Boromir, 'there is no other way for us.'
User avatar
ToshoftheWuffingas
Ranger of the North

 
Posts: 2266
Joined: Fri Apr 30, 2004 11:31 am
Top

Postby Mahima » Fri May 25, 2007 10:52 am

Tosh, we also got a lesiurely unfolding when Tom Bombadil came by. Didn't we? I don't have my book with me, but seem to remember that as slow-paced too.
User avatar
Mahima
Ranger of the North

 
Posts: 3531
Joined: Thu May 02, 2002 10:04 pm
Top

Postby ToshoftheWuffingas » Fri May 25, 2007 2:23 pm

I certainly enjoy the slower moving parts of the story and they are important for the structure and pace. The Bombadil interlude from the rescue from Old Man Willow to the seizure by the Barrow wight takes only 18 pages in the copy before me. The slow start of the book from Bilbo's party via Gandalf's exposition in the Shadow of the Past to the first encounter with the Black Rider takes 54 pages. The Prof uses 56 pages to get from the flight from Moria to the first orc attack on the Anduin where Legolas kills the Nazgul's flying steed. Important though the Lorien interlude is, it is not exactly full of incident. I think it shows confidence as a storyteller to allow a slowing down of the action
User avatar
ToshoftheWuffingas
Ranger of the North

 
Posts: 2266
Joined: Fri Apr 30, 2004 11:31 am
Top

Postby Arvegil » Tue May 29, 2007 2:31 pm

ToshoftheWuffingas wrote:One question I found myself asking. Who uses the Redhorn Pass and the Dimrill Stair? It was obviously important as one of the rare routes over the Misty Mountains yet Lothlorien guarded its borders fiercely and Aragorn tells Boromir, 'there is no other way for us.'


It appears that Lothlorien and Rivendell are in communication. All of Elrond's children spent time in both locations, pre- War of the Ring.
User avatar
Arvegil
Ranger of the North

 
Posts: 1439
Joined: Thu Oct 23, 2003 3:37 pm
Top

Postby ToshoftheWuffingas » Thu May 31, 2007 12:18 pm

It appears that Lothlorien and Rivendell are in communication. All of Elrond's children spent time in both locations, pre- War of the Ring.


Sure. Moreover Elrond's scouts use that route between the Fords of Bruinen and the Council of Elrond. I meant for the world of men; such an important and well-known route was basically forbidden to them. It seems to make Rohan the only route between Eriador and most of the upper Anduin.
User avatar
ToshoftheWuffingas
Ranger of the North

 
Posts: 2266
Joined: Fri Apr 30, 2004 11:31 am
Top

Postby Morwenna » Tue Jul 31, 2007 6:08 pm

It certainly was the only route between Eriador and the lower Anduin; but there were hardly any Men (except the Beornings) left around the upper Anduin by the time of LOTR, IIRC. The Rohirrim originally came from there, but that was a long time back. The next closest settlement of Men at that latitude was Dale. The greatest concentration of Men was in the Numenorean kingdoms. If there were more settlements still active around the upper Anduin, there might have been another pass over the mountains developed for their use.
Morwenna
Ranger of the North


 
Posts: 4431
Joined: Sun Mar 11, 2007 1:41 pm
Location: New Haven CT
Top

Postby jlk7e » Fri Aug 10, 2007 3:23 pm

Certainly there are men (the Beornings, the Woodmen - who may be more or less the same group) in the upper Anduin area. By the time of the War of the Ring, they seem to be an organized state of some sort - Grimbeorn holds open the High Pass. But they seem to, well, use the High Pass. Why go all the way down to Redhorn, when there's a path right next to them? The only folks we have living in the vicinity of the Redhorn are the Elves of Lórien, and the Orcs and trolls in Moria, who obviously have no need to use t he pass. The High Pass would appear to serve whatever need that Mirkwood elves, men of Dale and Esgaroth, Dwarves of Erebor and the Iron Hills, and Beornings have to cross into Eriador, and of Blue Mountain Dwarves to move into Rhovanion. Hobbits don't go to Rhovanion, Elrond's and Galadriel's (and presumably Círdan's?) Elves use both passes, as presumably do the Dúnedain of the north, to whatever extent they go into Rhovanion. Although it isn't clear where exactly the Dúnedain of the north live...
User avatar
jlk7e
Citizen of Imladris
 
Posts: 46
Joined: Mon Jan 13, 2003 12:11 pm
Top


Return to Virtual Tolkien Study Group

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest