The Fellowship of the Ring Book 2, Chapter 7 Summary
The Mirror of Galadriel
The sun is setting as the Company reaches a wide, treeless space.
There is a row of enormous mallorn trees wreathed with lights; this is the city of Caras Galadhorn, the city of the Galadhrim. It is also the home of Lord Celeborn and Galadriel, the Lady of Lórien.
The Company travels over a white road to a large gate. The doors open soundlessly, with no visible guards.
They see no people in the City of the Trees.
A fountain is lit with silver lights, and on the far side of the lawn is the largest of all of the trees they have seen.
Three Elves are sitting at the base of a broad white ladder. They rise and blow a small horn. A horn then sounds from above, in the trees.
Haldir goes up first, followed by Frodo and Legolas.
They reach a talan, a platform, on which an enormous house is built.
In it sits Celeborn and Galadriel side by side.
Celeborn wonders why there only eight companions, but Galadriel already knows that Gandalf the Grey fell in Moria.
Aragorn tells the whole story.
Celeborn's immediate response to the news of the Balrog is to blame the Dwarves, who have "stirred up this evil in Moria again" (2.7.26).
But Galadriel reproves Celeborn for thinking that Gandalf didn't know what he was doing.
Also, Galadriel sympathizes with Gimli for wanting to get a glimpse of the great halls of Khazad-dûm.
Gimli is immediately smitten with Galadriel.
Celeborn apologizes for being so hasty in judgment.
Galadriel warns that their quest is in a precarious position, and they have to be very careful.
She says emphatically that "hope remains while all the Company is true" (2.7.33).
Here, she looks very closely at each of the Company's members.
Only Aragorn and Legolas can hold her eyes for long.
She then sends the Company off to bed.
That night, the Company talks about the things they saw when Galadriel looked at them.
Each of them had seen a choice between the danger that lies ahead and something they really wanted.
Frodo won't tell what he saw. Secrets don't make friends, Frodo.
But Boromir continues to think that Galadriel is working some evil on the Company.
The Company spends several days in Lothlórien, mostly on their own.
They hear the Elves lamenting for Gandalf, who they call Mithrandir, and Frodo makes up a song about Gandalf's death to mourn him.
One night, Galadriel comes to speak to Frodo and Sam.
She beckons them to a fountain. There is a basin nearby, with a pitcher for water; Galadriel calls it the Mirror of Galadriel.
She asks Frodo and Sam to look at it, if they want to.
Sam sees a vision of the Shire being torn up, Ted Sandyman cutting down trees, and the Gaffer left homeless.
He leaps up and resolves to go right back to the Shire.
Galadriel counsels him: "Remember that the Mirror shows many things, and not all have yet come to pass. Some never come to be, unless those that behold the visions turn aside from their paths to prevent them" (2.7.82).
Sam is deeply unsettled.
Frodo looks into the Mirror and sees someone approaching all in white; it looks like Gandalf, but how can it be?
Frodo also sees Bilbo walking restlessly.
He sees a dark ship and a white fortress with seven towers.
And then he sees a single Eye that fills almost the whole Mirror.
The Eye is looking everywhere for Frodo. It is the Eye of Sauron.
Galadriel stops him before the weight of the Ring around his neck pulls him into the water. She knows that he sees Sauron, because she sees him, too.
Sauron would like to gain access to Galadriel's mind because she carries an Elvish Ring of Power, Nenya, the Ring of Adamant.
Galadriel tells Frodo that his coming puts the Elves in a dilemma.
If Frodo fails in his quest, Sauron will take over the world and destroy everything, even Lothlórien.
But if he succeeds, the power of the Three Rings of the Elves will fade, and Lothlórien will die; the Elves will pass into the West, and her people will be forgotten in Middle-earth.
But the Elves are willing to accept that fate if it means that they will be free of Sauron.
Frodo offers Galadriel the Ring, since she is wise and fearless and "[i]t is too great a matter for [him]" (2.7.98).
Galadriel admits that she has often thought what she would do with the Ruling Ring, but she refuses. She would start out trying to do good, but the power would corrupt her ultimately.