The Fellowship of the Ring: Novel Summary: Book II Chapter 8

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Book II, Chapter 8: "Farwell to Lórien"
Lord Celeborn tells the Fellowship that all who are resolved to continue with Frodo on his quest must now leave Lothlórien. Boromir is determined to go to Minas Tirith, the capital city of Gondor, his home; Aragorn has not decided whether the entire Fellowship is to go with Boromir or not, for he does not know Gandalf's original plans for the company beyond Lothlórien. For his own part, he had planned to go with Boromir to Minas Tirith's aid; now, however, he feels he cannot forsake Frodo, even though he is unsure of how much aid he could be. Celeborn points out that the direction the Fellowship will take depends on whether or not they will all go to Minas Tirith; unsurprisingly, Boromir recommends traveling by the western shore of the Great River (Anduin), which leads to Gondor. Celeborn gives boats for the Fellowship's use. The Elves supply the Fellowship with lembas bread, one cake of which can supply strength for an entire day. The Elves also give each member of the company a hood and a cloak, which could prove "a great aid in keeping out of the sight of unfriendly eyes."

Boromir argues the case for the whole Fellowship going to Minas Tirith: "If you wish only to destroy the Ring . . . then there is little use in war and weapons . . . [b]ut if you wish to destroy the armed might of the Dark Lord [Sauron], then it is folly to go without force into his domain; and folly to throw away." Frodo is troubled by Boromir's words, for they suggest to him that Boromir still wishes to use the Ring for Gondor's defense, even though Elrond at Rivendell had warned him against it.

Haldir leads the Fellowship out of Lothlórien. When they reach their three boats, Sam discovers, to his relief, that the boats are stocked with Elven rope; the fact that he forgot to bring rope with him has been bothering him the entire journey. Before they depart, the members of the Fellowship enjoy a final meal with Celeborn and Galadriel. "Frodo ate and drank little, heeding only the beauty of the Lady and her voice. She seemed . . . present and yet remote, a living vision of that which has already been left far behind by the flowing streams of Time." Here, as throughout The Lord of the Rings, Tolkien uses the Elves to illustrate the transitory nature of all things.

Galadriel gives gifts of parting to each member of the Fellowship. To Aragorn she gives a sheath that will insure his sword is never broken, and a silver brooch in which is set a green stone; she calls Aragorn by the name prophesied for him, "Elessar," or Elfstone. To Boromir she gives a golden belt; to Merry and Pippin, silver belts. She gives Legolas a bow; she gives Sam soil from her orchard to use in his own should he return to the Shire. Galadriel asks Gimli to name his gift; he asks, embarrassed, for a single strand of her hair, "which surpasses the gold of the earth . . ." She gives him three strands. Finally, Galadriel gives to Frodo a small crystal phial containing light: "May it be a light to you in dark places, when all other lights go out."

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