Tolkien Tuesday #36

~ 4 October 2022 ~

Can you believe there are only three more chapters after this one until the end of The Fellowship of the Ring? I can’t…

Having spent a few hours today on all things Tolkien Tuesday, I also found time to work out the draft prompts for this year’s 13 Days of Samhain… I think it must be the combination of a generally autumnal feeling here, and reading about a very fae-like place…

The Reading, and Ensuing Thoughts

This week we started Book 2, Chapter 7: The Mirror of Galadriel.

As day fades into night, the company are led by Haldir into Caras Galadhon, the city of the Galadhrim, where Lord Celeborn and Lady Galadriel live. Around the city walls runs a white paved road which leads them to the city gate. Once inside it is as if they have entered an enchanted realm and all they see is wondrous and appears almost magical.

Lord Celeborn and Lady Galadriel wish to speak with the fellowship, and so they must ascend above into the tree canopy of the greatest tree they have ever seen. The climb isn’t easy but there are many places to rest along the way.

Photo by Mehmet Kaya on Pexels.com

When they reach the uppermost platform, they find Lord Celeborn and Lady Galadriel sitting beneath a canopy constructed out of a living bough. Each of the company is welcomed warmly and by name. Yet quickly their talk turns to sadness, for their hosts ask what has happened to Gandalf. Aragorn recounts their journey from Caradhras to the bridge. Legolas says it was a Balrog of Morgoth who battled Gandalf for the bridge.

In shock it seems, Celeborn regrets his warm welcome to Gimli and those who travel with him, for it was the dwarves which disturbed the evil beneath Moria. However, Galadriel is quick to point out this is unnecessarily rash. She then goes on to speak to Gimli of the beauty of his ancestral home, and admits that if the role was reversed, she and Celeborn would not be able to keep away from their own no matter the evil that may have dwelt in it. Gimli, charmed by her kindness and wisdom, bows to her. Celeborn ask Gimli to forget his harsh words.

Galadriel then points out that the world is in greater peril than they thought and that it wouldn’t take very much for their quest to fail. “Yet hope remains while all the company is true,” she says. She then proceeds to test them each in turn. Afterwards, she releases them all from her gaze and tells them they are safe here. Celeborn says they can rest and that no more will be spoken of their quest just yet.

For the next few days, they rest and heal in body, but the grief they feel over Gandalf comes to the fore. They speak a little of the test Galadriel put each of them through, but not many of them wishes to share their personal trial. For the most part, they are left alone, and Legolas comes and goes, splitting his time between his companions and the elves. Sometimes he takes Gimli with him. Frodo composes a poem in honour of Gandalf, and Sam adds his own verse on the subject of fireworks.

The descriptions in this section were wonderful, though I thought it interesting that although the company had to wait outside the walls until dusk, it wasn’t until dusk that they started the long walk around the white paved road to the gate.

Next week we will finish Book 2, Chapter 7: The Mirror of Galadriel

Middle Earth Musings and Meditations

The enchanting magical mystery of Lothlorien continues in this chapter, and the parallels and influences of the land of the fae become even more apparent.

We have fantastical descriptions of Caras Galadhon: encircled by an overlapping wall, voices heard but the speakers are not seen, magical gates which appear to open themselves, trees of such vast proportions that dwellings can be constructed amongst their branches…

Time is quite an abstract concept seeing as though it doesn’t particularly concern elves. This is clearly shown when Celeborn says to Aragorn it has been 38 years “…of the world outside” since your last visit, which in one sense tells us it’s been a while, but it does little to further the reader’s understanding of that passage of time. It’s as if he’s letting everyone know he understands the concept of time, and that plenty of it has passed, but that it holds little consequence for him. (Do we yet know Aragorn’s exact age? There is a nod here towards his heritage) There is a timelessness in these passages, and one isn’t quite sure just how much time has passed and how many days they have spent there.

The seasons are not clear cut here. Sometimes it is as if summer, others as if spring, and at others still, winter. Sometimes it is the weather and the woodland, which is being described as correlating to a season, at others, it is the feelings which one associates with a particular season which is of note. Autumn was not mentioned though.

Photo by Min An on Pexels.com

Elsewhere

I’ve started the index of posts for this read along, as mentioned in last week’s post. I suspect it might take me a few weeks to get up to speed with it, but for now you can find what (little) I’ve done here.

Also, something interesting I noticed when looking back over the earlier posts is that I didn’t include a summary of that week’s reading, only my thoughts on it. And I’m not sure which format is best…Any thoughts? Which do you prefer?

The Lord of the Rings Question of the Week:

What aspects of Gandalf do you think are worthy of remembrance, if you were to write a poem in his memory?

Superficially, I would say his bushy eyebrows, hat and fireworks. Less superficially…his keen sense of friendship, his sense of humour – one of my favourite passages involving Gandalf is the “Good morning” exchange with Bilbo in The Hobbit, and his practical wisdom along with his vast amount of knowledge.

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20 thoughts on “Tolkien Tuesday #36

  1. Pingback: The Wisdom of Gandalf – Let's Write……

  2. It is true we have a weird sense (or lack) of the seasons. In the mountains, the snow could happen at any time of the year. We do know the season they left in but you’re right, we have no idea how much time has passed. (I sometimes wish it were so for me!)

    Gandalf is so many things. Wise, though not infallible; funny, serious, courageous. I cannot focus on his physical attributes other than to mention he would go nowhere without his staff…

    Liked by 2 people

  3. I like your descriptions about what happens in the chapter and then your thoughts. It does make me think again about happened in the chapter. What do I like about Gandalf? I like his unwavering vigilance against the Enemy and how he is aware of his own vulnerabilities, such as knowng taking the Ring of Power for himself would lead to his own corruption and eventually becoming a Dark Lord no less terrible than Sauron.

    Liked by 3 people

  4. Pingback: Our Dear Friend – Breathing Inspiration

  5. Pingback: Tolkien Tuesday #37 | Sammi Cox

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