Lord of the Rings

The Mirror of Galadriel

At last they came to Caras Galadon, the city of the Galadrim. They were ushered into the Home of Celeborn and Galadriel.

Celeborn greeted each of them by name as they entered. When he asked about Gandalf Aragorn recounted the story of the Balrog at the Bridge of Khazad-Dum.

"These are evil tidings," said Celeborn, "the most evil that have been spoken here in long years full of grievous deeds. Had I known that the Dwarves had stirred up this evil in Moria again, I would have forbidden Gimli to pass our northern borders."

"Do not repent of your welcome of the Dwarf," said Galadriel, "or blame him for wishing to look on the ancient home of his kin. Fair were the many-pillared halls of Khazad-Dum in Eldar Days before the fall of mighty kings beneath the stone."

Gimli rose and bowed in dwarf-fashion, saying: "Yet more fair is the living land of Lorien, and the Lady Galadriel is above all the jewels that lie beneath the earth."

Celeborn asked Gimli to forgive his rash words, and he and Galadriel bid the Company rest and be healed while they stayed in Lorien.

The Company stayed for some days in Lorien. One evening, Frodo and Sam were walking together in the cool twilight. The Lady Galadriel came walking beneath the trees. Without a word she beckoned for them to follow her. She led them into a garden.

In the center of the garden was a shallow basin. "Here is the Mirror of Galadriel," she said. "It shows things that were, and things that are, and things that yet may be. Do you wish to look?"

Sam leaned over to look. It seemed to him that he saw many scenes--trees, Frodo lying asleep, himself searching. Then he saw scenes of the Shire, but it was greatly changed from the Shire he knew. Trees were cut down, there was a new building where the Old Mill had stood, his own father was turned from his home. "There's some devilry at work in the Shire!" he cried, "I must go home!"

"You did not wish to go home before you looked in the Mirror," said Galadriel, "and yet you knew that evil things might well be happening in the Shire. Remember that the Mirror shows many things that have not come to pass, and may still not."

Sam put his head in his hands. "I wish I had never come here," he moaned, "but I'll stay with Mr. Frodo."

Next, Frodo stood to look in the Mirror.

Frodo saw a twilit land, with a small figure walking down a long road. It reminded him of Gandalf, on one of his many lonely journeys long ago, or maybe it was Saruman?

The scene changed. Frodo caught a glimpse of Bilbo pacing in his room. The table was littered with papers, and rain was beating on the windows.

The scene shifted again, leading to many swift scenes that Frodo in some way knew to be parts of a great history in which he had become involved--the sea, a ship riding out of the West, a city with seven towers.

Then the Mirror went altogether dark, and in the midst of the black abyss there appeared a single Eye. They eye grew to fill the Mirror, and its gaze was terrible. Frodo knew that the eye was searching for him.

The vision faded, and Frodo was in the garden once more. "I know what it was that you last saw," said Galadriel, "for that is also in my mind. I perceive the mind of the Dark Lord, but he is shut off from my thoughts."

Galadriel raised her arms towards the east in defiance, and Frodo saw that she was wearing a ring. Suddenly he understood; she bore one of the three Elven rings.

"You are wise and fearless and fair, Lady Galadriel," said Frodo. "I will give you the One Ring if you ask for it. It is a matter too great for me.

Galadriel laughed. "In place of the Dark Lord you will set up a Queen. And I shall not be dark, but beautiful and terrible as the Morning and the Night. All shall love me and despair!" A light sprang from her ring and she seemed beautiful beyond enduring, terrible and worshipful.

Then she let her hand fall, and the light faded, and lo! she was once more an elf-woman, whose gentle voice was soft and sad. "I pass the test," she said. "I will diminish, and go into the West, and remain Galadriel."

Galadriel led Frodo and Sam back to their resting place, told them that the next morning they would depart and bade them good night.

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