The Fellowship of the Ring, Book 2, Chapter 9: The Great River
Chapter synopsis: The Company travels southwards down the Anduin, the Great River, on the Elven-boats for several days. Gollum is following them on a log of wood, which is potentially dangerous not only because of Gollum himself but also because he could attract the attention of Orcs holding the lands east of the river. They also notice an eagle far up in the sky, and decide to travel by night to minimize the chances of being spotted. One night they come very close to the Rapids of Sarn Gebir, and are there attacked by Orcs from the east-bank. A strange dark shape flies over them, and Legolas shoots it down with his bow; this dismays the enemies, the attack stops and the Company retreats into a bay a short way up the river. Here they notice that they had spent almost a month in Lórien. They carry their boats and baggage along an old path past the Rapids, and continue the voyage past the Argonath, the Pillars of the Kings, great statues of Isildur and Anárion built long ago by the Númenóreans. They come near the Falls of Rauros, where their final course must be decided: to go east to Mordor, or to turn south towards Minas Tirith.
Good guests know when to leave. Better hosts know when to make them.
The Fellowship of the Ring, Book 2, Chapter 8: Farewell to Lórien
Chapter synopsis: The Company is about to leave Lórien, and the Elves give them three light boats to ease their journey down the Anduin; they also give the Company grey elven-cloaks, several good ropes, and some lembas, a special kind of bread, very little of which can give one enough strength for an entire day. As they sail down the river for a while, they meet a ship whose shape resembles a swan. Aboard it there are Celeborn and Galadriel, and the Company is invited aboard for a farewell feast. Galadriel gives a gift to each member of the Company, most notably a crystal phial to Frodo, a box of soil from Lórien to Sam, and a silver brooch with a green gem to Aragorn. Then the Company finally leaves Lórien and continue their voyage; leaving that fair land is a great grief to all of them.
The Fellowship of the Ring, Book 2, Chapter 7: The Mirror of Galadriel
The Company spends several days in the capital city of Lothlórien; they meet Lord Celeborn and Lady Galadriel there, and talk with them about their Quest and about Gandalf. One evening Galadriel takes Frodo and Sam to a garden enclosed with a hedge; she fills a silver basin with water from a stream, which creates a magic Mirror. She permits them to look into the mirror, but warns them that it may show the past or the future, and it can be treacherous to shape one’s actions according to the visions in the mirror. Sam looks in the mirror first, and sees trees being cut down all over the Shire. Then Frodo looks in the mirror, and sees many things: Gandalf in a white robe; Bilbo, walking about his room; the Sea; the Eye of Sauron. Frodo sees upon Galadriel’s finger Nenya, one of the Three Rings, and offers her the One Ring, but she rejects it.
Here’s my latest book review for TheOneRing.net. This one has a trivia contest where the question is, “What year was TheOneRing.net founded?” I’ll give you a hint: it was the same year principal photography began for The Lord of the Rings movies.
J.W. Braun’s Mailbag:
Are there plans for extended editions of The Hobbit films? – Mattie
If I were to take your question literally, my guess is the answer is no. Some years back, Peter Jackson mentioned that he couldn’t have planned the extended editions for The Lord of the Rings because it would have been maddeningly difficult to manage two scripts (and shoot two different versions) for each film. What happened, however, was that the natural process of preparing the films for the theater (where pacing and running times are critical issues) led to the possibility of alternate versions for home viewing (where momentum and time matter less, because the viewer has the option of using the pause or stop button on their remote control.) So even if extended editions for The Hobbit aren’t in the works right now, it’s possible we could still see one sometime next year. – JW
Dear Mr. Braun: In response to your recent post about the continuity problems: if memory serves, Sam is wearing the Ring when he throws himself at the doors which separate him from his master Frodo at the close of Book IV of LotR. At the beginning of Book VI, the next mention of a change in the disposition of The Ring is when Sam puts it back on. No reference is made to Sam having taking the Ring off between the time he puts it on near the end of Book IV and the time he puts it on near the beginning of Book VI. – Bert
It ‘s true that Tolkien does not mention that either the Ring has slipped off Sam’s finger or has been taken off by Sam some time between the end of Book IV and when Sam puts it back on at the beginning of Book VI. While we can infer that this must have happened, it would have been better for Tolkien to have included in the story. Then again, Tolkien puts ten chapters between Books IV and VI, and so most people will never know the difference! (Actually, on a sidenote, I have actually read The Lord of the Rings a few times by skipping Book IV at first, going straight from Book III to Book V – before then reading Books IV and Book VI one after another. It’s not something I’d ever recommend to a first time reader, because there’s a reason Tolkien wrote the story in the order he did; but if you’ve already read The Lord of the Rings, and you want to reread the books with a new twist, I’d give it a try. It’s really interesting to read the story told in Books III and V without having the momentum broken in the middle, and the same is true of Books IV and VI. Also, by reading Frodo and Sam’s adventures without breaking away to read about other characters, I feel I’m able to understand even more how they feel about their isolated journey.) – JW
JW, do you think the creatures in The Hobbit films will talk, unlike the trolls, eagles, and Shelob in Jackson’s Lord of the Rings? – Doug
(Spoiler Alert!) It’s a pretty good bet that Smaug will talk, and probably some goblins too! As for the spiders and eagles, no voice actors have been announced, and it could be that Peter Jackson has decided it would be more consistent with his Lord of the Rings films for these creatures to remain silent in the hobbit movies. Of course, if we’re talking about consistency, then the trolls in The Hobbit should be speaking, right? In the first Lord of the Rings film, Bilbo says the trolls “were all arguing amongst themselves about how they were going to cook us.” And as my TORN colleague Quickbeam has recently reported, that’s exactly what will happen in the first hobbit film! – JW