Literature Study GuidesThe Lord Of The RingsThe Fellowship Of The Ring Book 2 Chapter 8 Summary

The Lord of the Rings | Study Guide

J.R.R. Tolkien

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The Lord of the Rings | The Fellowship of the Ring (Book 2, Chapter 8) : Farewell to Lórien | Summary

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Summary

Celeborn gives members of the Fellowship the choice to stay in Lothlórien or continue the quest, and they all choose the latter. However, it becomes clear Boromir intends to go to Minas Tirith, which is on the west side of Anduin, the Great River, while Mordor lies to the east. Aragorn is torn between these two paths. Celeborn gives them boats so they can travel down the river and avoid making the choice for a little while. The Elves also give them cloaks, rope, food, and drink for the journey.

Galadriel gives individual gifts to each member of the Fellowship, as well. To Aragorn, she gives a sheath for his sword and a green jewel set in a brooch; to Boromir, a golden belt; to Merry and Pippin, small silver belts; to Legolas, a bow and arrows; to Sam, a bit of soil from her own orchard; to Gimli, a lock of her own hair; and to Frodo, a small crystal phial full of the light of "Eärendil's star, set amid the waters of [Galadriel's] fountain."

After the farewells, the Company travels southward on the Great River.

Analysis

As the Company prepares to leave Lothlórien, the Lord and Lady gift the members of the Company with items of considerable value and significance. First: the boats. It is clear Aragorn is having trouble making the choice between going straight to Mordor or going to Minas Tirith. Boromir, of course, pushes for Minas Tirith. Celeborn helps Aragorn put off this choice by giving them boats, but this impending choice will now become the driving force of the plot for the remainder of this book and the beginning of Book 3.

Second: the Elven cloaks. These hide the members from view at several crucial moments as events unfold. And even the brooches that clasp them together play a part in the story. Third: rope. Sam's acceptance of the rope here means he and Frodo can climb a steep cliff on their way to Mordor. Fourth: the phial of light, which will aid Frodo and Sam in their hour of need in Cirith Ungol. Fifth: the jeweled brooch given to Aragorn, which contains a stone given by Galadriel to Celebrían, her daughter, and from Celebrían to Arwen, her daughter and Aragorn's true love. Sixth: additional weapons, food, and drink. Only Gimli's gift seems to have no practical value, but is a sign of friendship and healing between Elves and Dwarves that carries symbolic significance.

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