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Quotes

Quote #10

Sam sat tapping the hilt of his sword as if he were counting on his fingers, and looking at the sky. "It's very strange," he murmured. "The Moon's the same in the Shire and in Wilderland, or it ought to be. But either it's out of its running, or I'm all wrong in my reckoning. You'll remember, Mr. Frodo, the Moon was waning as we lay on the flet up in that tree: a week from the full, I reckon. And we'd been a week on the way last night, when up pops a New Moon as thin as a nail-paring, as if we had never stayed no time in the Elvish country." [...]

"And perhaps that was the way of it," said Frodo. "In that land, maybe, we were in a time that is elsewhere long gone by. It was not, I think, until Silverlode bore us back to Anduin that we returned to the time that flows through mortal lands to the Great Sea. And I don't remember any moon, either new or old, in Caras Galadhon: only stars by night and sun by day."

Legolas stirred in his boat. "Nay, time does not tarry ever," he said; "but change and growth is not in all things and places alike." (2.9.65-8)

Tolkien is drawing on classic folklore about fairies and Elves in this passage: if you go into an Elf's home, you don't know how much time is passing. When you come out again, it may be no time at all, or it may be years; it's like Narnia in the C.S. Lewis books. The introduction of Lothlórien somewhat complicates the notion of home that begins the The Fellowship of the Ring. We start with the cozy Shire, and that seems deeply homey. And then, of course, there is Rivendell, the Last Homely House. But Lothlórien, as melancholy and unearthly as it is, is also a place of settlement and growth: after all, the Lady gives Sam a box of earth from her garden to use on his. That suggests kinship between the Shire and Lothlórien. At the same time, Lothlórien is so wildly different from the Shire in character and appearance that "change and growth" is not the same there as it is in the Shire. One of the challenges of the Lord of the Ring series will be to bring these two opposite representations of home closer together, since members of the Fellowship have seen and loved both.

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