FoTR - Farewell to Lórien: Bk II, Chapter VIII

A chapter by chapter as well as general discussion of Tolkien's masterpiece
Riv Res
Manwë
Posts: 2111
Joined: Fri Jun 24, 2005 6:35 am
Location: Walking the fields of the Pelennor with the King

FoTR - Farewell to Lórien: Bk II, Chapter VIII

Postby Riv Res » Tue May 08, 2007 12:47 am

Farewell to Lórien


Image
Lothlorien

© Iolanthe


The remaining Fellowship moves on in their quest.

This is a short chapter, but one full of symbolism, for it is here that the Lady Galadriel bestows the precious gifts on the members of the Fellowship. Foreboding is also on the wind, for even as they leave the wondrous realm of the Elves, the Fellowship senses they are being followed.

Gotta LOVE that Tolkien! :wink:
0 x

Merry
Varda
Posts: 3263
Joined: Wed Aug 17, 2005 7:01 am
Location: Middle-west

Postby Merry » Tue May 08, 2007 1:45 am

I think it was on my first reading of the gift-giving that I first really fell in love with Middle-earth. Sigh. . .
0 x
Sing and be glad, all ye children of the West,
for your King shall come again,
and he shall dwell among you
all the days of your life.

Riv Res
Manwë
Posts: 2111
Joined: Fri Jun 24, 2005 6:35 am
Location: Walking the fields of the Pelennor with the King

Postby Riv Res » Tue May 08, 2007 4:44 am

I think that it was in the gift giving scene that it REALLY struck me that Tolkien was setting up the character of Aragorn to be a mighty King. The sheath for Andúril was almost to be expected there, but the foretelling that the sword drawn from the sheath would not be broken even in defeat was a revealing moment. Then...of course...the giving of the Elfstone and the invoking of the name of Elessar was wonderful.

But Aragorn's own words were the best part, "Lady, you know all my desire, and long held in keeping the only treasure that i seek. Yet it is not yours to give me, even if you would; and only through darkness shall I come to it"

LOL...the Ring be damned, I kept devouring this book to see what would happen to Aragorn. :lol: :lol:
0 x

Lindariel
Posts: 1062
Joined: Fri Sep 23, 2005 8:30 pm
Location: The Hall of Fire, Imladris (otherwise known as Northern Virginia)

Postby Lindariel » Tue May 08, 2007 2:22 pm

Ah! This chapter contains my second favorite Tolkien poem -- Galadriel's breath-taking and haunting Namárië:

Ai! laurië lantar lassi súrinen,
yéni únótimë ve rámar aldaron!
Yéni ve lintë yuldar avánier
mi oromardi lissë-miruvóreva
Andúnë pella, Vadro tellumar
ne luini yassen tintilar i eleni
óryo airetári-lírien.

Sí man i yulma nin enquantuva?

An sí Tintallë Varda Oiolossëo
ve fanyar máryat Elentári ortanë
ar ilyë tier undulávë lumbulë
ar sindanóriello caita mornië
i falmalinnar imbë met,
ar hísië untúpa Calaciryo míri oialë.
Sí vanwa ná, Rómello vanwa, Valimar!
Namárië! Nai hiruvalyë Valimar!
Nai elyë hiruva! Namárië!


[Ooooh! Shivers of awe and delight] I have NO idea what Finnish sounds like, but that's the language Tolkien used as the foundation for Quenya. The translation is just heart-breaking:

Ah! like gold fall the leaves in the wind,
long years numberless as the wings of trees!
The long years have passed like swift draughts
of the sweet mead in lofty halls
beyond the West, beneath the blue vaults of Varda
wherein the stars tremble
in the voice of her song, holy and queenly.

Who now shall refill the cup for me?

For now the Kindler, Varda, the Queen of the stars,
from Mount Everwhite has uplifed her hands like clouds
and all paths are drowned deep in shadow;
and out of a grey country darkness lies
on the foaming waves between us,
and mist covers the jewels of Calacirya forever.
Now lost, lost to those of the East is Valimar!
Farewell! Maybe thou shalt find Valimar!
Maybe even thou shalt find it! Farewell!


This text just DESTROYS me:

"Who now shall refill the cup for me?"
"Now lost, lost to those of the East is Valimar!"

Galadriel's grief and homesickness could not be more immediate! And it is quite clear that her memories of seeing Varda on Mount Everwhite are painfully fresh despite the millenia that have passed since her exile in Middle-earth.

And her final lines, directed to Frodo, are SO profoundly generous! "Maybe thou shalt find Valimar!" She indirectly reminds him that he, a tiny hobbit of the Shire, has the capacity to accomplish what she cannot do herself, despite her great power -- save the world -- a momentous achievement that would surely earn him a place in the Undying Lands, even though he is not an elf!

I also find it interesting that she sings to them in Quenya, the ancient language of the Noldor that had been banned in Middle-earth by Thingol after he learned of the Kin-Slaying at Alqualonde. It is another testament of her homesickness that she would sing to them in this forbidden "underground" language. Especially in front of Celeborn, who is Thingol's kinsman!

Every time I read this, I try to imagine Galadriel's voice as she sings -- a rich, golden alto floating to them over the Anduin. [More shivers.]

For a detailed linguistic analysis, please see http://www.uib.no/People/hnohf/namarie.htm .
0 x
Lindariel Image

“Therefore I say: Eä! Let these things Be! And I will send forth into the Void the Flame Imperishable, and it shall be at the heart of the World, and the World shall Be.”

Merry
Varda
Posts: 3263
Joined: Wed Aug 17, 2005 7:01 am
Location: Middle-west

Postby Merry » Wed May 09, 2007 2:37 am

What a great little essay, Lindariel! I also had thought of the significance of Galadriel's singing in Quenya, but not what that might mean to Celeborn. He has always been kind of a mystery to me.

I think one of Tolkien's great insights and gifts to us, his readers, is the lesson that even though all seems lost, we must still do what is right. Galadriel does this with grace.
0 x
Sing and be glad, all ye children of the West,
for your King shall come again,
and he shall dwell among you
all the days of your life.

bruce rerek
Posts: 309
Joined: Sat Sep 17, 2005 2:16 pm
Location: Brooklyn
Contact:

Postby bruce rerek » Tue Jul 17, 2007 3:04 pm

Hello again, sorry for the absence, to quote Gandalf, I was delayed.

The poignancy of Galadriel's leave taking and the gift giving is so rich in uniting the three ages. What else could even the most gifted of the Elves do other than fashion secondary creations? With the phial of Galadriel one is reminded of the Silmarillions and the desire just teetering on lust to harnessing that which is divine? Yet, in this age to capture divine light was not for ego but for the sustenance of hope and life. Ah! indeed the yellow leaves, that which is becoming and never ended, for Galadriel's realm is also encased in a phial of her will not to let her realm pass into lore.
In the First Age, Melian gave to Cuthalion (Beleg, strong bow) "And she gave him store of lembas, the waybread of the Elves, wrapped in leaves of silver, and the the treads that bound it were sealed as a single flower of Telperion; for according to the custom of the Eldalie the keeping and giving of lembas belonged to the Queen alone In nothing did Melian show greater favor to Turin than in this gift; for the Eldar had never before allowed Men to use this waybread, and seldom did so again" Silmarillion, Of Turin Turambar pg. 202)
Yes, the overarching sadness, the Elves described their time on Middle Earth as, the long defeat. That they will pass and when Frodo's task is done he shall pass to the West, and the world will change. One gift did not make all so sorrowful. The Elf Stone, the stone of hope is also mirrored in the small box with Galadriel's initial on it. For after all was altered, another generation will take place.
Truly wonderful work indeed.
0 x
Bruce
Mornie utlie
Believe and you will find your way
Mornie alantie
a promise lives within you now

Merry
Varda
Posts: 3263
Joined: Wed Aug 17, 2005 7:01 am
Location: Middle-west

Postby Merry » Tue Jul 17, 2007 4:35 pm

Hey, look, everybody: bruce rerek is back! Wonderful to see you here, friend! I hope that what delayed you was not as unpleasant as what delayed Gandalf.

Excellent point: I never saw it like that. The knives that were given to Merry and Pippin could also be understood in this light, could they not?

(I really dislike, in the movie version, that Sam is ungrateful for his gift and asked for another. That would not have happened.)
0 x
Sing and be glad, all ye children of the West,
for your King shall come again,
and he shall dwell among you
all the days of your life.

Lindariel
Posts: 1062
Joined: Fri Sep 23, 2005 8:30 pm
Location: The Hall of Fire, Imladris (otherwise known as Northern Virginia)

Postby Lindariel » Tue Jul 17, 2007 7:34 pm

Oh, Merry, I'm glad you mentioned this! I dislilked that as well. Not only is Sam given the WRONG gift, but he is made to look ungrateful for the elven rope! Now, I understand that PJ changed the gift because he cut the entire Scouring of the Shire, hence the gift of the box of earth from Galadriel's garden becomes superfluous. But he didn't have to make Sam seem ungrateful for the gift of rope.

In the book, Sam is constantly berating himself for forgetting to pack rope, and hence treated the elven rope with loving care and almost reverence. I LOVE the scene in the Emyn Muil when Frodo and Sam use the rope to scale a particularly difficult and dangerous passage, and then Sam is horrified to realize that there is no way to retrieve the rope, thus leaving a lovely path for Gollum to follow. When he lovingly tugs on the rope to say goodbye, it comes loose in his hands! Frodo chides him for tying a bad knot, but Sam insists he made a good strong knot and tested it before their descent, and since the end of the rope isn't frayed, Sam concludes that the rope must be magic and came when it was called. Just LOVE that scene!

This bit for Sam during PJ's gift-giving scene was just completely out of character, and I disliked it as heartily as you did!
0 x
Lindariel Image



“Therefore I say: Eä! Let these things Be! And I will send forth into the Void the Flame Imperishable, and it shall be at the heart of the World, and the World shall Be.”

Iolanthe
Uinen
Posts: 2339
Joined: Thu Aug 25, 2005 2:21 pm
Location: Washing my hair in the Sundering Sea

Postby Iolanthe » Wed Jul 18, 2007 9:54 am

It's lovely to have you back, Bruce :wave: :D . I really like your comparison here:

bruce rerek wrote:Galadriel's realm is also encased in a phial of her will not to let her realm pass into lore.
0 x
Now let the song begin! Let us sing together
Of sun, stars, moon and mist, rain and cloudy weather...

bruce rerek
Posts: 309
Joined: Sat Sep 17, 2005 2:16 pm
Location: Brooklyn
Contact:

Postby bruce rerek » Wed Jul 18, 2007 1:51 pm

Thanks all for the warm welcome, I am afraid I was detoured by my ongoing research into the history of philosophy and several trips to Oxford. I am back and will endeavor to add my thoughts when I can.
One cannot help detect a certain sadness in the changing of the world. The professor often came to see modernism as a diminishment of life rather than an improvement. Motor cars and radios in pubs were just a few of his pet peeves. In fact, for this writer to see the Gap, McDonald's, and other chains on the Corn Market in Oxford was a real let down. But let me not go off thread.
What I find very touching in this chapter is the leaving of an era, probably what Tolkien found as the wanning of the Victorian era and the tension of modern times of post war England. Despite their wisdom and clever attributes the Elves knew that their time was spent. They had created great beauty and wonder, and for millenniums Galadriel ruled her own realm and crafted wonderments. Now, all that will diminish, the Mallorns, the ring of Adamant, and all of Elvedom on Middle Earth.
0 x
Bruce

Mornie utlie

Believe and you will find your way

Mornie alantie

a promise lives within you now

Philipa
Ulmo
Posts: 1866
Joined: Wed Jul 13, 2005 8:03 pm
Location: Surfing on the OO or hanging with the Teleri
Contact:

Postby Philipa » Wed Jul 18, 2007 10:35 pm

:shock: Bruce? :D

I have nothing amazing to add but to say I always felt so sad after reading this chapter. Unlike the movies this is the farewell of Elvdom in the long tale of the third age of M-e. :( As written Tolkien wrapped us a wonderful gift to see the Elves as they really are.
0 x
Aiya Earendil Elenion Ancalima!

Thoughts from Eryn Lasgalen An online guide to all things Tolkien

Merry
Varda
Posts: 3263
Joined: Wed Aug 17, 2005 7:01 am
Location: Middle-west

Postby Merry » Thu Jul 19, 2007 1:57 am

Yes. I think there is a kind of irony in this: elves don't die as individuals, but they are dying as a culture. At the same time, humans die as individuals, but there are predictions all through LOTR that as a race or culture, they will be dominant and outlive the other races of Middle-earth.
0 x
Sing and be glad, all ye children of the West,
for your King shall come again,
and he shall dwell among you
all the days of your life.

Iolanthe
Uinen
Posts: 2339
Joined: Thu Aug 25, 2005 2:21 pm
Location: Washing my hair in the Sundering Sea

Postby Iolanthe » Thu Jul 19, 2007 10:51 am

That's a great observation Merry - I've never quite looked at it that way before. I've been trying to cobble together an essay on Tolkien's assertion that LotR is about death and immortality so I've been thinking around these issues a lot.
0 x
Now let the song begin! Let us sing together
Of sun, stars, moon and mist, rain and cloudy weather...

bruce rerek
Posts: 309
Joined: Sat Sep 17, 2005 2:16 pm
Location: Brooklyn
Contact:

Postby bruce rerek » Thu Jul 19, 2007 1:53 pm

Aristotle maintained that the good is found as the mean between defect and excess, where justice which is the right order of all the faculties of rational beings. With respect to mortality, Tolkien contrasts that which is graced and that which is willed. The power of the One Ring kept its keeper within the circles of the world beyond natural life and it's will could only enslave. The Ring Wraiths are former shadows of what were once men, Gollum a twisted and ruined creature, all bound to the call of the master ring.
The immortality of the Elves is a bit more complicated. In their long lived lives memory and artifice binds them to their existence. Galadriel was present at the crossing the great ice wastes after Feanor burned his ships in pursuit of the Simarillions, the forging of the rings, and the coming of the dominion of man. For all that immortality could seem to offer it is an unchanging state. Think of the gifts she graced the Fellowship, powerful artifices of a race, perhaps even heirlooms for when the forests are no longer populated by the enchanted.
The mean seems to lie with Man. It is our fate to come to our fullness of time, that one cannot escape, but we also cannot escape what to do with the time we are given.
0 x
Bruce

Mornie utlie

Believe and you will find your way

Mornie alantie

a promise lives within you now

Merry
Varda
Posts: 3263
Joined: Wed Aug 17, 2005 7:01 am
Location: Middle-west

Postby Merry » Thu Jul 19, 2007 5:06 pm

Yes, bruce, I think that works. Tolkien makes that happen on a material level by making a man like Aragorn, in whose DNA we find the 'extreme' kinds of people.
0 x
Sing and be glad, all ye children of the West,
for your King shall come again,
and he shall dwell among you
all the days of your life.


Return to “The Lord of the Rings”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest