LotRFI Pt. 18–Lothlórien

FR, II, vi starts with a good bit of character development: Aragorn laments his prescience; Gimli reflects at Kheled-Zâram; Legolas talks about the relations between his kindred and the elves of the Golden Wood; Boromir shares a mistrustful legend of his people; and the hobbits yearn for a return journey.

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Once the company enters the Golden Wood, they encounter sentries from Lothlórien. These guards are mistrustful of the Fellowship and confront them with force. For the first time in my reading of LotR, I did not know if I could trust all of the elves in the story. The tension between the Fellowship and this small group of guards continues word arrives from Lothlórien that the Fellowship is expected and allowed to walk freely. I must admit that I was wary of the elves up until the Fellowship left Lothlórien.

I thought that the depiction of the Cerin Amroth and Caras Galadon were too good to be true. I suppose that this is another example of taking Frodo too seriously when he warns that the agents of the enemy seem fair and feel foul (to paraphrase FR, I, x, 171). Galadriel’s mind tricks when she greets the Fellowship certainly bolster this interpretation. As Boromir reflects:

‘Maybe it was only a test, and she thought to read our thoughts for her own good purpose; but almost I should have said that she was tempting us, and offering what she pretended to have the power to give’ (FR, II, vii, 358).

This made me question Galadriel’s motivation for welcoming the Fellowship. I knew that Aragorn has spoken of Galadriel as a friend, but I did not know if perhaps she had changed allegiances, maybe she was like Saruman. I should admit that I completely missed the relationship between Arwen and Aragorn in my first reading of the text, which means that I did not have this extra connection to reinforce the idea of Galadriel’s commitment to Aragorn.

Where Do We Go From Here?

I want to talk about Galadriel and her mirror a bit more, then on to the final chapter of FotR​.

What Do You Think?

Did you always trust the Lothlorien elves?
How did you interpret Galadriel’s temptations?
​Did I miss anything important? Let me know!

3 thoughts on “LotRFI Pt. 18–Lothlórien

  1. Miles S

    What do you make of the passage below which appears when the company arrives at the hill of Cerin Amroth. Do you think this was Tolkien’s way of reflecting the timeless nature of Lothlorien?

    “When he had gone and passed again into the outer world, still Frodo the wanderer from the Shire would walk there, upon the grass among elanor and niphredil in fair Lothlorien.”

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I would say that my current reading agrees with that. In my first reading, though, I would probably have thought more about how this passage demonstrates how impactful the experience was for Frodo, and less of a statement about the setting itself. I still retain a bit of this in my current interpretation, but it is blended with your larger point.


  2. I think that on my first reading I didn’t know what to make of these Elves. There was a temptation to trust all the Elves and classify all of them as good, but I think I could sense peril in the Golden Wood and in Galadriel in particular.

    Liked by 1 person

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