Tolkien Tuesday #39

~ 25 October 2022 ~

Two more chapters to go, and we will have finished our almost year-long journey through The Fellowship of the Ring…And what a journey it’s been so far! So let’s press on, grab a cup of something nice (as always, I’m drinking tea!), and take a look at this week’s half chapter…

The Reading, and Ensuing Thoughts

This week we conclude Book 2, Chapter 8: Farewell to Lorien.

Photo by Anna Guerrero on

Once the meal with Celeborn and Galadriel is concluded, the topic of conversation turns once more to the route they might take and the geography of the land they are about to travel through. When mention is made of the Forest of Fangorn, Boromir says he has heard much of the forest, but it all sounds like old wives’ tales to him. In reply, Celeborn says:

“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 of things that once were needful for the wise to know.”

They drink from the cup of parting and then the hosts bestow gifts on their guests. Aragorn is given a sheath for his sword and a brooch which once belonged to Arwen. Boromir receives a belt of gold. Merry and Pippin are given silver belts. Legolas receives a bow of the Galadhrim and a quiver of arrows. Sam is given a small box of earth from Galadriel’s garden, enchanted with her blessing. Gimli is granted three hairs from Galadriel’s golden head. Frodo is given a crystal phial full of starlight.

Then it is time to leave. They climb into the three boats, Aragorn with Sam and Frodo, Boromir with Merry and Pippin, and Legolas and Gimli together. There is naturally a melancholy associated with this parting, for in leaving Lorien they are leaving an enchanted land of beauty and safety and returning to a world full of danger and bleakness.

As I read this half chapter, elven goodbyes came across as being highly ritualised, at least here. Also, I really felt the transition from Lorien to the outside world, more so than I think I have before. I suspect an element of that is with past reads, I have wanted to press on and get to the more high-energy parts of the story, yet having to read slowly this time, I have been forced to experience the sanctuary that is Lothlorien, and I felt a little reluctant to leave.

Next week we will begin Book 2, Chapter 9: The Great River.

Middle Earth Musings and Meditations

Photo by Pixabay on

As Celeborn and Galadriel offer their guests gifts, I’m reminded of this scene in the film, and the differences between the two. And for me, the book definitely comes out on top here. Why?

Mainly because in the film Sam is shown as well, almost ungrateful with his gift (in the film his gift is rope), asking instead if he could not have “one of those nice, shiny daggers” that Merry and Pippin are given.

Personally, I don’t think that fits in with his personality. Rather it is out-of-character for him to ask for something “better” than rope. After all, we know how much he loves rope and laments forgetting to pack it when they are leaving Rivendell, and is even saddened to learn that if the elves of Lothlorien knew he was interested in rope, they would have taught him how they make theirs…

Even if his gift had not been rope…even if he hadn’t been given a gift at all…I can’t imagine him ever complaining about it or asking for something else.

And, out of the gifts they are given according to the book, I think Sam’s is perhaps my favourite. Understated, when compared to gold, silver and gemstones, but so very important…


I don’t have anything to add here this week…

The Lord of the Rings Question of the Week:

We’ve visited, and spent quite a bit of time at, two elven locations, Rivendell and Lothlorien? Which one is your favourite? If you could only visit one, which would it be?

That’s a tough question because I like the sound of both.

Loving trees and rivers, and how it can be considered as a land of fairy, Lothlorien really does appeal to me. But… I think… (can you sense how uncertain I am with this answer?) that Rivendell might just inch ahead, as a place to read, and learn, and listen to stories being told in front of a nice, warm fire. Also, I see Rivendell as a retreat from the world, but Lothlorien is almost separated from it…

15 thoughts on “Tolkien Tuesday #39

  1. I would stay in Rivendell and vacation in Lothlorien… Okay, I am totally cheating but Lothlorien is so much more fantastical, up in the trees and such.
    I agree with you. No way would Sam whine about what he was given. I think the rope is so perfect on every level.
    It was a lovely end to a chapter. They got a chance to breathe before having to prepare for more danger.

    Liked by 3 people

  2. I spent my childhood up trees (mostly oaks). They were my ships, my castles, my spaceships, they were a portal to another world. But growing into my teens, I spent many many days in libraries, or with my head buried in my parents’ books. So here I’m going to say Rivendell and show that I’m proper grown-up now (ha!)

    Liked by 2 people

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