Galadriel gives farewell gifts to the Fellowship
Event Type: General
Age: 3rd Age - Ring War
Date: February 16, 3019
Now Galadriel rose from the grass, and taking a cup from one of her maidens she filled it with white mead and gave it to Celeborn.
'Now it is time to drink the cup of farewell,' she said. 'Drink, Lord of the Galadhrim!....
Then she brought the cup to each of the Company, and bade them drink and farewell. But when they had drunk she commanded them to sit again on the grass.... Her maidens stood silent about her.... At last she spoke again.
'[Before] you go, I have brought in my ship gifts which the Lord and Lady of the Galadhrim now offer you in memory of Lothlórien.' Then she called to each in turn.
'Here is the gift of Celeborn and Galadriel to the leader of your Company,' she said to Aragorn, and she gave him a sheath that had been made to fit his sword. It was overlaid with a tracery of flowers and leaves wrought of silver and gold, and on it were set in elven runes formed of many gems the name Andúril and the lineage of the sword.
'The blade that is drawn from this sheath shall not be stained or broken even in defeat,' she said. 'But is there aught else that you desire of me at our parting? For... it may be that we shall not meet again....'
And Aragorn answered: 'Lady, you know all my desire, and long held in keeping the only treasure that I seek. Yet it is not yours to give me, even if you would....'
'Yet maybe this will lighten your heart,' said Galadriel; 'for it was left in my care to be given to you, should you pass through this land.' Then she lifted from her lap a great stone of a clear green, set in a silver brooch that was wrought in the likeness of an eagle with outspread wings; and as she held it up the gem flashed like the sun shining through the leaves of spring. 'This stone I gave to Celebrían my daughter, and she to hers; and now it comes to you as a token of hope. 1 In this hour take the name that was foretold 2 for you, Elessar, the Elfstone of the house of Elendil!'
Then Aragorn took the stone and pinned the brooch upon his breast, and those who saw him wondered; for they had not marked before how tall and kingly he stood, and it seemed to them that many years of toil had fallen from his shoulders. 'For the gifts that you have given me I thank you,' he said....
The Lady bowed her head, and she turned then to Boromir, and to him she gave a belt of gold; and to Merry and Pippin she gave small silver belts, each with a clasp wrought like a golden flower. To Legolas she gave a bow such as the Galadhrim used, longer and stouter than the bows of Mirkwood, and strung with a string of elf-hair. With it went a quiver of arrows.
'For you little gardener and lover of trees,' she said to Sam, 'I have only a small gift.' She put into his hand a little box of plain grey wood, unadorned save for a single silver rune upon the lid. 'Here is set G for Galadriel,' she said; 'but also it may stand for garden in your tongue. In this box there is earth from my orchard, and such blessing as Galadriel has still to bestow is upon it. It will not keep you on your road, nor defend you against any peril; but if you keep it and see your home again at last, then perhaps it may reward you. Though you should find all barren and laid waste, there will be few gardens in Middle-earth that will bloom like your garden, if you sprinkle this earth there. Then you may remember Galadriel, and catch a glimpse far off of Lórien....'
Sam went red to the ears and muttered something inaudible, as he clutched the box and bowed as well as he could.
'And what gift would a Dwarf ask of the Elves?' said Galadriel turning to Gimli.
'None, Lady,' answered Gimli. 'It is enough for me to have seen the Lady of the Galadhrim, and to have heard her gentle words.'
'Hear all ye Elves!' she cried to those about her. 'Let none say again that Dwarves are grasping and ungracious! Yet surely, Gimli son of Glóin, you desire something that I could give? Name it, I bid you! You shall not be the only guest without a gift.'
'There is nothing, Lady Galadriel,' said Gimli, bowing low and stammering. 'Nothing, unless it might be — unless it is permitted to ask, nay, to name a single strand of your hair, which surpasses the gold of the earth as the stars surpass the gems of the mine. I do not ask for such a gift. But you commanded me to name my desire.'....
Celeborn gazed at the Dwarf in wonder, but the Lady smiled. 'It is said that the skill of the Dwarves is in their hands rather than in their tongues ' she said; 'yet that is not true of Gimli. For none have ever made to me a request so bold and yet so courteous. And how shall I refuse, since I commanded him to speak? But tell me, what would you do with such a gift?'
'Treasure it, Lady,' he answered, 'in memory of your words to me at our first meeting. And if ever I return to the smithies of my home, it shall be set in imperishable crystal to be an heirloom of my house, and a pledge of good will between the Mountain and the Wood until the end of days.'
Then the Lady unbraided one of her long tresses, and cut off three golden hairs, and laid them in Gimli's hand. 'These words shall go with the gift,' she said. 'I do not foretell, for all foretelling is now vain: on the one hand lies darkness, and on the other only hope. But if hope should not fail, then I say to you, Gimli son of Glóin, that your hands shall flow with gold, and yet over you gold shall have no dominion.
'And you, Ring-bearer,' she said, turning to Frodo. 'I come to you last who are not last in my thoughts. For you I have prepared this.' She held up a small crystal phial: it glittered as she moved it.... 'In this phial,' she said, 'is caught the light of Eärendil's star, set amid the waters of my fountain. It will shine still brighter when night is about you. May it be a light to you in dark places, when all other lights go out. Remember Galadriel and her Mirror!'
Frodo took the phial.... He bowed, but found no words to say.
Now the Lady arose, and Celeborn led them back.... All at last was made ready.
The Fellowship of the Ring, LoTR Book 2, Ch 8, Farewell to Lórien
1 Among the Noldor... it was a custom that the bride's mother should give to the bridegroom a jewel upon a chain or collar; and the bridegroom's father should give a like gift to the bride. These gifts were sometimes given before the [wedding] feast. (Thus the gift of Galadriel to Aragorn, since she was in place of Arwen's mother, was in part a bridal gift and earnest of the wedding that was later accomplished.)
Morgoth's Ring, HoME Vol 10, Part 3, Section 2, Laws and Customs Among the Eldar
2 The name was foretold by Ivorwen, his maternal grandmother:
Preserved with other difficult and disjointed notes, [a brief but remarkable text... [from] Marquette] is very roughly written on a slip of paper torn from a rejected manuscript. That manuscript can be identified as the close predecessor of the Appendix A text.... The writing on the verso reads:and his father gave him the name Aragorn, a name used in the House of the Chieftains. But Ivorwen at his naming stood by, and said 'Kingly Valour' (for so that name is interpreted): 'that he shall have, but I see on his breast a green stone, and from that his true name shall come and his chief renown: for he shall be a healer and a renewer.'Above this is written: 'and they did not know what she meant, for there was no green stone to be seen by other eyes' (followed by illegible words); and beneath it: 'for the green Elfstone was given to him by Galadriel'. A large X is also written, but it is not clear whether this relates to the whole page or only to a part of it.
The Peoples of Middle-Earth, HoME Vol 12, Foreword: Note on the Text
Elena Tiriel 14Feb10, 14Mar10