of the Rings : Book 2, Chapter 8
Farewell to Lorien
A Discussion Led by Kimi
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Book II, Chapter 8: 1. "They all resolved to
go forward," - Kimi
said Galadriel, looking into their eyes.
Just how clearly do you think Galadriel can read thoughts? Has she done no more than sense the resolve in the heart of each member of the Company, or does she perceive detailed thoughts?
As an adjunct to this question:
when Galadriel "tested" the Company in the previous chapter, did she read
each person's desire and formulate a temptation for them, or did the tempted
one build their own temptation under Galadriel's penetrating gaze (i.e. did
she nudge them into thinking about something particularly dear to them)?
clearly? - Blue
In a later chapter, we find that Elrond, Galadriel and Gandalf can communicate with one another telepathically, at least while they are in one-another's presence. I guess that we can only speculate as to whether or not they can do so over any kind of a distance. But, back to the point at hand, I think that, given this extraordinary ability, that she can read the thoughts of others very clearly. She may know their thoughts even more clearly than they do themselves.
As for the temptations, I
think that she simply asked each of them..."What is it that you desire
above all else?" and then suggested that she could supply that which
reckon that too... - AlanPartridge hmmm...good point.
Never thought of that. - Binky
she didn't suggest the temptation: rather each member was allowed to let himself reveal them to Galadriel. That way she would be able to tell what each member was *truly* like. I guess Boromir let himself down, as Aragorn warned him (twice I think) about the only evil in Lorien is that which its guest bring with them. Galadriel was trying to find if evil had been brought to Caras Galadhon.
hmmm...good point. Never thought of that. - Binky
Since Sam said that he
felt like... - Patty
he didn't have anything on and he didn't like it... I assume she didn't formulate that temptation for him! Seriously, though, that sounds like exactly what she did, offering (later in the paragraph) Sam a clear field to go back home to his garden (and presumably, Rosie), and as the others said, similar things and their choice would be kept secret..I do wonder, though, if she really could literally tell that Boromir wanted the ring.
I think she did
'offer' Boromir the ring - Cat
of Queen Berúthiel
I think she suggested to Boromir 'What would you do if I made it possible for you to use the ring?' or something like that. Boromir was smart enough to realise that she would never give it to him, and thus, later on he says something about how he does not trust her and the fact that 'She offered things that she had no power to give' or something along those lines (sorry, no books with me).
However, she saw that Boromir wanted the ring and formulated the temptation for him. Maybe before that he desired the ring, but never admitted to himself that that was what he wanted. After Lothlorien, his behaviour becomes more startling (biting nails, driving his boat near Frodo's), possibly because he now has admitted to himself that he does really want the ring.
Maybe one of the powers of Galadriel's ring is to 'Divine Desires in Others' (reading Nenya manual pg 458. Hey, these rings are complicated to use!)
the kingship of Gondor... - Binky
remember he wanted that as well....perhaps he saw the ring as a means to his end...
Good point. I never thought of that option. - Cat of Queen Berúthiel
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Book II, Chapter 8: 2. "Maybe the paths that
you each shall tread - Kimi
are already laid before your feet, though you do not see them."
This sounds like predestination,
and seems to remove the possibility of free will. What do you think
Galadriel might mean by this remark?
that she meant - Blue
that the Fellowship, individually as well as collectively, was uncertain as to what path or paths it would take to complete the quest. Yet, there is a path that each of them will take, though they do not know what path it will be. The path will be there to take, when they come to it; each of them will "know" which path they must take when the time for decision actually presents itself.
This has nothing to do, in my
mind, with any legitimate theological debate over the role of free will
vs. predestination. Dubalub is exactly correct - anyone contending that
Tolkien imagined a world in which predestination ruled over free will is
ignoring his deeply-held religious beliefs and background. He would not,
indeed could not, have imagined such a world.
agree. - Annael
I thought of this as a rather comforting thing to say. In particular, she may have been aware of Aragorn's and Frodo's doubts about where to go when and was speaking to reassure them.
She also has a measure of
foresight. Perhaps the Mirror grants her visions of the various
members of the Company at different places. Getting ahead of things:
I always thought it was odd that Galadriel sent messages with
Gandalf to Aragorn, Gimli, and Legolas alone. She seemed to know
Gandalf would be meeting up with them sooner than with anyone else.
I think she meant... - leo
that for some members of the fellowship there was no doubt about where they were gonna go after Lorien; Boromir and Aragorn should go to Minas Tirith for instance, and Frodo should go to Mordor. These paths they should take, although they are still 'debating' over it, not knowing for sure or not wanting to decide this...
Do you mean predestined to
free will? No, just because you *know* somethings going to happen... - AlanPartridge
doesn't mean there's no free will. If Galadriel saw (and even then she had no absolute certainty it *would* happen) that the Fellowship would break up, it doesn't mean it's doomed to.
I suppose you're saying is the event based on the 'prophecy' or the prophecy based on the event.
I think, from Galadriel's point that the visions can be prevented that the prophecy is based on what might happen.
It's not a case of predestination; rather far-sightedness.
what about.... - Ophelia
Iluvatar? In the Sil it often says that something unlooked for was a portion of a melody that had not been understood- I got the impression that he'd created the whole story from beginning to end, and all the Ainur and the Children were simply stuck inside it. That would be predestination, wouldn't it?
My view of God and
therefore the fictional Illuvatar... - AlanPartridge
is that he is both outside of time and able to intervene in time. This means that he knows what happens because it is (and so is He "I AM"). It is paradoxical - but I think that's the nature of God. He knows what he's going to do - because he's already done it in the 'out of time' perspective.
I don't understand it, mainly because I'm not God. My thrust of the arguement is based on my knowledge who would not consciously decide, 'x' is going to hell because I predestine it. I believe God wants to save whoever he can (everybody has the opportunity to do what they want) and tries to influence ppl 'inside time.' The fact that he exists outside AS WELL just makes it complicated and a general headache.
I agree, Time is included in creation. But that doesn't mean it is all controlled by God or Illuvatar. God does not control creation; it's His, but he shares it with us. In the same way we exist in time (although we have eternity in our hearts) but are free to choose what we do with the time.
I think creation is a
free thing under God's/Illuvatar's dominion - but not his
tyrannical control that arbitrarily dooms certain ppl to
damnation and certain ppl to paradise. That's not the God I
je comprends. - Ophelia
Like the dragon, in "Grendel"... A being that exists only in the spiritual dimensions and can therefore break the rules of the four that we know.
I think she meant that the
future was laid out there... - Patty
but it is a future based on what happens due to the individual's choices. Therefore, the individual had choice, put someone, Galadriel, a prophet( in religion) could see the result of that choice and spoke of it. In no way does that actually influence your free will.
i don't think it's
predestination exactly... - Aiya
I think it's more like Galadriel forsaw that they would be taking different paths (i.e. frodo & sam to mordor)... and she was letting them know to expect things to change. The closest I saw to predestination in the story was Galadriel's mirror- and that always seemed to be showing only a likely future- one that was fluid and able to be changed...
Theology 101 I see.. - dudalb
I doubt it is predestination in the Calvinistic sense for no other reason then that Tolkien was a devout Catholic and would not have used it....
Even God appeared
to have changed his mind on occaison... - Binky
if he had a good enough reason...I'm thinking of Jonah and the people of Ninevah...they repented and were not destroyed as foretold...but then again maybe God knew full well they were going to repent and didn't change his mind at all...gets a bit sticky...doesn't it ?:)
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Book II, Chapter 8: 3. "Aragorn was
still divided in his mind" - Kimi
The passage that follows this sentence is a rare example of the author's using Aragorn's point of view; he describes Aragorn's state of mind in some detail.
It's unusual for Tolkien to
depart from a hobbit point of view in LOTR. Why do you think he might have
done so here?
He has to
do this - Blue
Otherwise, the rest of the story goes like this....
Frodo and Sam go off to Mordor, and all the chapters with them are intact as-is. After the celebration on the Field of Cormallen, they all go back to Minas Tirith.
Frodo says to Merry & Pippin, "What did the two of you do, while we were off destroying the ring?"
"Well, we were captured by orcs after they killed Boromir, but we managed to excape. Then we met Treebeard, and went with him to Entmoot. They decided to attack Saruman in Isengard, and we went along. After that battle, Gandalf showed up again, and later Aragorn, Gimli & Legolas. They told us that they had followed the orcs, but they lost the trail, went to Edoras, then fought a great battle before they came to Isengard....."
Makes for a lot less
interesting story that way.
A shift of perspective - Trufflehunter
Up until this point the world is presented to the reader through the hobbits' eyes. This chapter marks a real change of perspective and tone in the novel. It has been slowly shaking off the shackles of its origin as a 'sequel to The Hobbit' and is drawn from this point on into something much deeper--the world of The Silmarillion.
Middle-earth is no longer the 'Land of the Hobbits'. It is a world steeped in history. The world of 'the Big People'. But a world in which 'the Little People' have an important part to play.
The hurrieder I go, the
behinder I get
true... - AlanPartridge
it's probably the last major step that began at Rivendell, or perhaps even Bree. Tolkien shows us how our own worlds are contracted versions of reality and that exploring ourselves and the world is the way for self-discovery.
It's also a neccessity
really... - AlanPartridge
Because Aragorn will become the focus of half the narrative after the Fellowship breaks up. Tolkien needs to get us empathising with Aragorn BEFORE he is thrust out into a lonely narrative with an unresponsive reader. The same is true of Legolas and Gimli. Legolas' song at the Nimrodel and his kinship with the Galadhrim and Gimli's love of Lorien and Galadriel. We are being introduced to characters that in all honesty have taken a back seat either narrative or character-development wise.
Tolkien wasn't gonna leave us stranded on the Emyn Muil with three characters we don't know - so he introduces us to them on a more personal level in and as they leave Lorien.
It also (as has been stated) reveals a deeper sense of knowing Aragorn. He has not had a chance to really make decisions - all they've done is fled to Lorien. I think it shows his true leadership skills. He makes choices - hard choices - but he weighs them up carefully and once he has made up his mind does not waver from the path. They could have given up in their chase of the pastures of Rohan but the three kept together - led by the decision Aragorn had made.
The glimpse into Aragorn's
mind also allows the reader to begin to decide what *they* think will
happen and what *they* think Aragorn should do. Basically, it's allowing
the reader to 'take part', albeit passively, in Aragorn's decision
making and allows us to feel closer to him as a result.
very good AlanP. It was necessary.. - Patty
to get us used to being privy to Aragorn's thoughts since he was about to be separated from the hobbits and his part of the story would have to be told separately or else would have to be told in a way that would sound stilted, as Blue points out.
Good points, AP! - Annael
My opinion. . . - hyakuhei
Aragorn was a leader. For a while, he was THE leader. He was the Fellowship's 'superman' for a while: the brave fighter that always seemed to have the answers. I believe Tolkien taking the time to show that even 'superman' has problems, something that makes the character more believable and more interesting. I may be straying, but it reminds me of playing video games. If you play the game fairly and struggle to win, there is a greater since of fulfillment than when you cheat with something like invincibility. This was Strider's struggle. He didn't cheat and that's why I think that in the end he is one of my favorite characters. But, quoting Dennis Miller, that's just my opinion, I could be wrong...
I think that Aragorn is
probably the only one... - Patty
who had the real burden of choice. Boromir's duty was pretty clear...to Minas Tirith he was bidden to return. Frodo, Sam and by their own request Pippin and Merry were pretty much bound for Mordor. Gimli and Legolas could have gone either way but were not "answering a summons" as Aragorn felt the message of the dream represented so their choice wasn't a burden. Aragorn's really was; that's why I think was important to Tolkien that we see that.
I agree, Patty. - Cat
of Queen Berúthiel
Aragorn really is the only one who must choose. Some people previously have written that he is a poor decision maker because he uses the river option to put off his choice. But I think that for him it was the personal choice that was hard. Tolkien cannot show this better that by using his POV.
AlanPartridge has also brought out some good points in regard to crafting the story and making people empathise with the charaters.
maybe he just got bored
with hobbits.... :):) - Aiya
nah- he probably just felt it was time for us to understand a little bit more about Aragorn. Up til then he's a fairly remote figure... Almost untouchably remote.. the only time we really see him with his guard down is for a moment in elrond's house
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Book II, Chapter 8: 4. Boromir and Lórien - Kimi
Boromir was against the Company's entering Lórien from the time they stood under the eaves. He described it as "perilous", and said that few who entered there came out again.
The next day he found himself and all his companions blind-folded and at the mercy of the Elves of Lórien, which given his feelings about Lórien must have made him apprehensive.
After the testing of the Company, Boromir says "I do not feel too sure of this Elvish Lady and her purposes."
And in this chapter his desire to take the Ring to Minas Tirith is becoming more and more evident; certainly enough to trouble Frodo.
Two questions, then: how far
advanced is the idea of trying to persuade (or even force) Frodo to bring
the Ring to Minas Tirith in Boromir at this point? And what do you think he
now feels about the Golden Wood and its Lady?
mostly with what's been said below. - Annael
I see Boromir as divided. On the one hand there's the Man of Gondor, brave, loyal, and true to his word. He is, in essence, a good man. But there is also the proud heir to the Stewardship who is somewhat rigid and limited in his outlook. Galadriel brings out both sides. I think Boromir distrusted Lothlorien and Galadriel before ever coming there. Then at their very first meeting, Galadriel seems to offer Boromir the Ring (or holds up a mental mirror that shows him his secret desires). His distrust of her now has a basis in fact: right off the bat she's trying to tempt him into betraying his word, and with something she has no right to give. The good man sees all this as very wrong, and "refuses to listen." His pride is also offended. Then they don't see her again until they leave. So why should he start to trust her - or any other Elf?
But by holding up that mirror, Galadriel has made Boromir aware of something he otherwise may have kept so tightly locked down that he'd never have acted on it. The thought of the Ring gives impetus to his desire to come sweeping back into Minas Tirith as a conquering hero. If he could take the Ring and defeat Sauron (which he continues to think is possible, since he doesn't trust the Elves' word on this). Defeating Sauron is, of course, a good thing. In his mind he is still a good man wanting to do the right thing - which is how the Ring captures people like him. And once he's defeated Sauron, who would then say "but you still can't be King of Gondor"? So his pride is also being worked on.
So to answer your question, I
think that the idea of getting the Ring to Gondor really takes hold in
Boromir while they are in Lothlorien, BECAUSE of Galadriel. Boromir now
distrusts her and Elves even more. In his mind, he is a good guy, and
she is not . . . and the seeds of his justification to himself for
trying to take the Ring away are sown.
Not only Boromir - Blue
but Eomer is also somewhat afraid of Lorien, and the Roherrim's name for it, Dwimordene - Enchanted or even Haunted Wood (cf Eowyn's name for the Nazgul, "Dwimmerlaik") suggests that it is a place of great peril. I suspect that, as in the case of Fangorn, there are many tales of men who entered but never returned.
Now Boromir, as a descendent of the line of Stewards, should know better, but it is undoubtedly many, many generations since men have had dealings with Lorien - perhaps not since Galadriel assisted Eorl by conjuring up a fog to cover his ride to the assistance of Gondor, so perhaps his lack of knowledge of lore (or his lack of belief in what lore he knows, perhaps) is excusable.
As for Boromir's plans, it
was always his plan, and indeed Aragorn's plan as well, to journey to
Minas Tirith. Gandalf's death put Aragorn's plans in doubt. But I don't
think that Boromir's encounter with Galadriel, or indeed with Elrond or
even Gandalf, has changed much his attitudes. His speech to Frodo in the
upcoming chapter tells us a great deal about what he thinks about elves
and wizards, and his perception of their weakness in the face of the
potential lure of the ring and its corrupting influence. And, he thinks
little of the Hobbits, a small and weak people outside of even the
fringes of "civilization". I think that he believes that he will be
able to persuade the Company to come with him the Minas Tirith now that
Gandalf is apparently dead.
Boromir always wanted the
Ring... - AlanPartridge
from the moment he saw and realised what it could do. The weight of the arguments of Gandalf and Elrond probably convinced him for a while, but after Gandalf's (apparent death and therefore failure) not only was their leader missing, but Boromir must have thought if Gandalf cannot stand, who will?
I think Moria and the loss there must have reawakened his desire. I don't think Galadriel actively offered each member their desire; rather she let them decide what it was to show her what they were like. Boromir brought the evil with him. Galadriel forced him to face it and in the end he was betrayed by it.
The Ring must have tugged at
his will throughout the entire journey 9maybe subconsciously) awakening
fully in Lorien, when he admitted to himself what he desired.
it's hard to say... - leo
we haven't seen any signs of Boromir trying to take the Ring, or force Frodo to go to Minas Tirith before the Fellowship enters Lorien, so it is easy to say that this idea came to his mind when he was staying there. Perhaps it was Galadriel who awakened this feeling in Boromirs mind when she 'interrogeted' each member of the Fellowship at their first meeting. Everyone had the feeling that Galadriel offered him a choice; returning home or going further. Boromir said that this was needless in his case, because his home was where he was going too, he did not want to say what exactly Galadriel offered him. I'm pretty sure Galadriel offered him the Ring in some way. The question remians why did she? Did she want Boromir to try and take the Ring so Frodo would be persuaded enough to go to Mordor on his own?
As far as Boromir's feelings for Lorien and Galadriel, nothing is mentioned about this, because we hardly see or hear anything of him in the chapters about Lorien. I think he still was a bit suspicious about everything that happened there, but also I think he was careful, remembeering Aragorns words about the only evil in Lorien is the evil being brought there by someone. I think he tried to hide his feeling as much as possible, somehow fearing Galadriel...
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Book II, Chapter 8: 5. "They are fair
garments, and the web is good" - Kimi
This is part of the answer given to Pippin when he asks if the cloaks are magic.
"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."
We've discussed Elvish "magic"
before, and I made the comment last time that it's difficult to distinguish
magic from craftsmanship. Does this passage give us any further insights
into what might give Elvish artifacts their special qualities?
distinguishes Elven "magic" - Blue
from what the Elves perceive others to think of as "magic" seems to be not merely an advanced craftsmanship beyond that of other beings (an example of Clarke's Third Law), but the actualization of thought. They put their love of the things of nature into the making of these cloaks, and they "magically" take on a chameleon-like ability to appear to change hue to match their surroundings. Sam's rope, that appears to come when wanted, seems to be of the same kind of magic.
The elves tell them that the
cloaks will not turn blade or arrow; they are not "magical" in that way.
Yet, the Elves appear capable of this "other" kind of magic as well. Aragorn is presented with a sheath for Anduril that is "magical" in this other sense. This seems to be a different variety of magic entirely, and yet more mysterious.
Surely anything made with love, care and skill has something magical about it? - AlanPartridge
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Book II, Chapter 8: 6. "Sad and
sweet was the sound of her voice" - Kimi
Galadriel and Celeborn come to meet the Company in a ship wrought in the likeness of a great swan. This is surely in memory of the Swan-ships of Alqualondë, the home of Galadriel's mother; the ships that were taken and later burned by Fëanor.
She sings this song:
I sang of leaves, of leaves of
gold, and leaves of gold there grew:
Of wind I sang, a wind there came and in the branches blew.
Beyond the Sun, beyond the Moon, the foam was on the Sea,
And by the strand of Ilmarin there grew a golden Tree.
Beneath the stars of Ever-eve in Eldamar it shone,
In Eldamar beside the walls of Elven Tirion.
There long the golden leaves have grown upon the branching years,
While here beyond the Sundering Seas now fall the Elven-tears.
O Lórien! The Winter comes, the bare and leafless Day;
The leaves are falling in the stream, the River flows away.
O Lórien! Too long I have dwelt upon this Hither Shore
And in a fading crown have twined the golden elanor.
But if of ships I now should sing, what ship would come to me,
What ship would bear me ever back across so wide a Sea?
The song seems to express both
her sadness for the lost Eldamar of her youth and her sorrow for the
inevitable fading of Lórien. Do you think that Galadriel is still unsure at
this point (despite her repentance and statement that "I will diminish, and
go into the West, and remain Galadriel" in the previous chapter) whether or
not she will be allowed to go back to Valinor?
yes I think
she was - leo
The last lines of this song kinda prove this for me. I'm not sure when she knows or gets told that she can return to Valinor, but I think it was after she aided the fellowship and resisted the power of the ring when it was offered to her.
Perhaps it was Gandalf who
told her that she could return when he came to Lorien, shortly after the
Galadriel is one of the High Elves - Ron
Galadriel is one of the mighty of the first-born and like Glorfindal should exist in both realms. Now she might not want to maintain the hold on the other realm due to her exile ( the Nolder had no shortage of stubborn pride).
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