Literally. My March follow-up post for the LOTR Read-Along, hosted by Lorren at The Story Girl, contains SPOILERS.
The last part of The Fellowship of the Ring is one of my favourite parts of The Lord of the Rings. Escaping the orcs of Moria, the fellowship finds refuge in Lothlórien, an enchanted forest from where no one comes out unchanged. There is “the heart of Elvendom on earth” where ancient things still live and time passes differently.
There is a lot of poetry included in this part of book, hinting at ancient people and events, which makes a reader more and more curious about the Elves and their history. I enjoyed the poetry very much. The following sadly beautiful verses particularly speak to me:
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?
Lórien is ruled by Lord Celeborn and Lady Galadriel. Galadriel is a strong, wise woman, a High Elf from ancient times and she is a likable character, although she is surrounded by an aura of mystery.
The Company gets time to rest and regain their strengths back in Lórien, but is also tested, because Galadriel can read their secret wishes and tests what would they do if she made those wishes possible to come true.
Nevertheless, accordingly to the Elves’ custom, the Company does not get advice. They are left to make their decisions on their own. In Lórien and after leaving it, a reader witnesses Aragorn weighing between going with Frodo till the end of his Quest or with Boromir to help defend his rightful kingdom. Aragorn never doubts his strength or his rights as the heir of Elendil. However, I think this weighing between the possible roads was probably mistakenly interpreted as Aragorn doubting in himself by the LOTR film trilogy makers, which resulted in presenting Aragorn a weak exile who refuses to follow his fate, and I disliked that.
There is also great example of a paradox between what people say and do. Boromir calls men such as himself true in their hearts, men who cannot be corrupted by the Ring. Yet, it is him who actually is influenced by the Ring, desiring it to the extent which makes the Fellowship fall apart in the end. This is an illustration about how evil wants to convince people it does not exist, which is its greatest victory.
However, even though the Fellowship ends up scattered, the road goes on. So, I’m looking forward to The Two Towers and continued battle between good and evil. Even though it is all happening in a remarkably strange, invented world, I like the LOTR because of the realistic lessons I can draw inspiration from to help me face the harsh present world.