Kristian Damm Jensen
2004-06-07 20:08:21 UTC
when the deadline approached. I was right. But anyway here it is the
ongoing saga of (drums) Chapter Of The Week!!!
Read and (hopefully) enjoy!
Book2, Chapter 8: Farewell to Lórien
To read previous Chapter of the Week discussions, or to sign up to
introduce a future chapter, go to http://parasha.maoltuile.org
The company are summoned before Celeborn and Galadriel to discuss the
further course of their journey. They are all resolved to go forward,
but undecided on the route. Aragorn is especially split, since on the
one hand he feel he has to go with Frodo and on the other that he has
been summoned to Gondor.
Celeborn points out that there are no crossings and no bridges on
Anduin between Lórien and Gondor. Those heading for Gondor must choose
the western bank, those seeking to de-stroy the ring the eastern.
Aragorn express the opinion that even Gandalf had no clear pur-pose
beyond Lórien.  Seeing their - mostly Aragorn's - distress at
having the choice of route thus forced upon them he offers them boats,
that they may travel easily down Anduin and delay their choice. All
are happy, except for Sam.
They then take their leave of Celeborn and Galadriel and return to
their lodging, where they discuss what to do, still without reaching
During the discussion Boromir makes a Freudian slip, revealing how the
ring is beginning to draw him. No one notices, except Frodo.
As they pack they are given various helpful items: lembas, waybread
, which Gimli mis-takes for Cram, and cloaks. 
Next morning Haldir returns to be their guide. He tells of the Dimrill
Dale full of vapour and clouds of smoke, trouble mountains, and noises
in the deeps of the earth
At noon they had walked ten miles when they came on a high green wall
 through which they pass out of the trees onto a lawn reaching as a
tongue between the Silverlode and An-duin. Here they find a hythe
where three boats have been made ready for them. And to Sam's delight,
They try out the boats. Aragorn, Frodo and Sam in one; Boromir, Merry,
and Pippin in an-other; and Legolas and Gimli in the last one. At this
point we are told that Legolas and Gimli "had now become fast
friends". They paddle up-stream on the Silverlode where at one point
they meet Celeborn and Galadriel travelling in a large, swan-shaped
ship. They are in-vited to a parting feast at the hythe.
When they have eaten Celeborn talks to them of the land ahead of them,
as they pass down Anduin. Among other things, this is were the forest
Fangorn is first mentioned in a warning: "That is a strange land, and
is now little known." 
Galadriel then brings around a cup to Celeborn and each of the
Company, that they drink the cup of farewell. 
She then takes command and bring out the parting gifts. 
Aragorn is given a sheath for Andúril. "The blade that is drawn from
this sheath shall not be stained or broken even in defeat." After a
short exchange, whose meaning a rather obscure, Galadriel gives him "a
great stone of a clear green, set in a silver brooch that was wrought
in the likeness of an eagle with outspread wings" for " it was left
in my care to be given to you, should you pass through this land".
Upon thanking her, Aragorn's last words are "O Lady of Lórien of whom
were sprung Celebrían and Arwen Evenstar. What praise could I say
more?" Those who kept their eyes open in Rivendell will now understand
what this was all about. To all others it will remain a mystery for a
further 600 pages. :-)
Boromir is then given a belt of gold, Merry and Pippin silver belts
and Legolas a bow. 
Sam is given a small box of earth from her orchard. 
She then turns to Gimli and asks him what gift he would want. 
After much pressing he at last agree "to name a single strand of your
hair, ... I do not ask for such a gift. But you commanded me to name
my desire." During the following exchange she grants him his wish,
and he says he will "Treasure it in memory of your words to me at our
first meeting. And if ever I return to the smithies of my home, it
shall be set in imperishable crystal to be an heirloom of my house,
and a pledge of good will between the Mountain and the Wood until the
end of days."
At last she turns to Frodo, and gives him phial in which the light of
Eärendil's star has been caught. She adds: "Remember Galadriel and her
Galadriel and Celeborn then leads the Company back to the hythe and
they set out into the river. Again we are treated to the semi-magical
property of Lórien, when the leave it behind: "For so it seemed to
them: Lórien was slipping backward, like a bright ship masted with
en-chanted trees, sailing on to forgotten shores, while they sat
helpless upon the margin of the grey and leafless world."
As they pass away from Lórien they hear The Lady sing one last time,
this time in "the an-cient tongue of the Elves beyond the Sea". Frodo
does not understand the words: "fair was the music, but it did not
comfort him". 
As they pass out of sight of Lórien, all of them have tears in their
eyes, and Gimli weeps.  We have then an exchange between Legolas
and Gimli on the nature of pain, joy, memory and loss. Gimli says
"Torment in the dark was the danger that I feared, and it did not hold
me back. But I would not have come, had I known the danger of light
and joy. Now I have taken my worst wound in this parting, even if I
were to go this night straight to the Dark Lord." Beautiful.
The chapter end with a particularly well written paragraph, which I
will quote in full:
"So the Company went on their long way, down the wide hurrying waters,
borne ever southwards. Bare woods stalked along either bank, and they
could not see any glimpse of the lands behind. The breeze died away
and the River flowed without a sound. No voice of bird broke the
silence. The sun grew misty as the day grew old, until it gleamed in a
pale sky like a high white pearl. Then it faded into the West, and
dusk came early, followed by a grey and starless night. Far into the
dark quiet hours they floated on, guiding their boats under the
overhanging shadows of the western woods. Great trees passed by like
ghosts, thrusting their twisted thirsty roots through the mist down
into the water. It was dreary and cold. Frodo sat and listened to the
faint lap and gurgle of the River fretting among the tree-roots and
driftwood near the shore, until his head nodded and he fell into an
Wonderful imagery, at once taking us back to "real" world (i.e. out of
Faerie ), and setting the stage and mood for the next chapter. All
in one, and quite short.
Comments & Questions
 What *would* Gandalf have done, had he survived Moria?
 Lembas has been discussed before in these groups. It "is more
strengthening than any food made by Men" and one cake is "enough for a
long day's march" they "will keep sweet for many many days, if they
are unbroken and left in their leaf-wrappings". Clearly lembas is not
merely physically nourishing, but works rather on a spiritual level.
 Again the ambiguity of elven magic: "Are these magic cloaks?"
Pippin asks. "I do not know what you mean by that," is the reply.
"They are elvish robes certainly, if that is what you mean. Leaf and
branch, water and stone: they have the hue and beauty of all these
things under the twilight of Lórien that we love; for we put the
thought of all that we love into all that we make. Yet they are
garments, not armour, and they will not turn shaft or blade. But they
should serve you well: they are light to wear, and warm enough or cool
enough at need. And you will find them a great aid in keeping out of
the sight of unfriendly eyes, whether you walk among the stones or the
Now, are these cloaks magic?
 "A high green wall"? A hedge or truly a wall, and if the latter,
then why build a wall?
 Lórien and Fangorn are almost next door neighbours. Are we to take
it, that Celeborn was so ill-informed of what was happening a scant
100 miles from his borders? He didn't even know that Ents lived there?
 Note that at the "official" part of the come-together she defers
to Celeborn in all matters, even to the point of serving him and his
guests. But when we get down to serious business, the parting gifts
(to at least Aragorn, Gimli and Frodo, the gifts were very serious
business) he is entirely on the side.
 This is the Elessar of which we learn next to nothing in LotR, but
quite a lot in Unfin-ished Tales. It will be some time before CotW get
 Not the most imaginative of gifts.
 The wit of Galadriel really shows here a small box that would be
almost worthless to most, but is perhaps the most precious thing she
could possibly have given Sam (even had the scouring of the Shire
never happened). Hm. Did she foresee it, when she gave this to Sam?
 What is this? Didn't she plan for a gift to Gimli, since she has
to ask him? What if he had desired a full chain mail, would she simply
have sent for it?
 That he should remember Galadriel I can understand. But why the
 Wouldn't that be Quenya? But didn't Frodo understand Quenya
perfectly well, as dem-onstrated by his meeting with Gildor in the
 I can't blame him. So do I, every time I read this bit.
 I'm seriouly under the influence of Shippey: "Tolkien, Author of
the Century" at the moment.
In this chapter we see Celeborn for the second time. This time around
he turns out much more favourably than the first. He is kind and
helpful, not wanting to press advice on anyone ("Elves seldom give
unguarded advice, for advice is a dangerous gift" Gildor) he
nonetheless see an opportunity to help when he offers them boats
Galadriel features prominently but I don't feel we learn anything new
We are treated to two sides of Aragorn in this chapter. The undecided
Aragorn, not knowing which way to go: with Frodo to Mordor or with
Boromir to Gondor. This Aragorn will stay with us for quite a long
time (he never truly disappear until the battle of Helms deep), but
from time to time we get a glimpse of the other Aragorn: the "tall and
kingly" Aragorn, that we see for the first time in this chapter.
Gimli is perhaps the most interesting figure in this chapter. The way
he acts he presents a counterpoint to almost all stereotypes of
dwarves. They are greedy, he is modest; they have a harsh tongue, he
soft-spoken and eloquent; they are stout stone-faced warriors, he acts
like a teenager in love. It is in this chapter we really get to know
Gimli, and personally I love this portrayal of him.
Now it's all yours to tear apart and make of what you will. Hopefully
some interesting discussion.