Elves of Lórien provision the Fellowship for travel
Event Type: General
Age: 3rd Age - Ring War
Date: February 16, 3019
In the morning, as they were beginning to pack their slender goods, Elves that could speak their tongue came to them and brought them many gifts of food and clothing for the journey. The food was mostly in the form of very thin cakes, made of a meal that was baked a light brown on the outside, and inside was the colour of cream. Gimli took up one of the cakes and looked at it with a doubtful eye.
'Cram,' he said under his breath, as he broke off a crisp corner and nibbled at it. His expression quickly changed, and he ate all the rest of the cake with relish.
'No more, no more!' cried the Elves laughing. 'You have eaten enough already for a long day's march.'
'I thought it was only a kind of cram, such as the Dale-men make for journeys in the wild,' said the Dwarf.
'So it is,' they answered. 'But we call it lembas or waybread, and it is more strengthening than any food made by Men, and it is more pleasant than cram, by all accounts.'
'Indeed it is,' said Gimli. 'Why it is better than the honey-cakes of the Beornings, and that is great praise, for the Beornings are the best bakers that I know of.... You are kindly hosts!'
'All the same, we bid you spare the food,' they said. 'Eat little at a time, and only at need. For these things are given to serve you when all else fails. The cakes will keep sweet for many many days, if they are unbroken and left in their leaf-wrappings, as we have brought them. One will keep a traveller on his feet for a day of long labour....'
The Elves next unwrapped and gave to each of the Company the clothes they had brought. For each they had provided a hood and cloak, made according to his size, of the light but warm silken stuff that the Galadhrim wove.... Each cloak was fastened about the neck with a brooch like a green leaf veined with silver.
'Are these magic cloaks?' asked Pippin, looking at them with wonder.
'I do not know what you mean by that,' answered the leader of the Elves. 'They are fair garments, and the web is good, for it was made in this land.... Leaf and branch, water and stone: they have the hue and beauty of all these things under the twilight of Lórien that we love.... Yet they are garments, not armour, and they will not turn shaft or blade. But they should serve you well: they are light to wear, and warm enough or cool enough at need. And you will find them a great aid in keeping out of the sight of unfriendly eyes, whether you walk among the stones or the trees. You are indeed high in the favour of the Lady! For she herself and her maidens wove this stuff; and never before have we clad strangers in the garb of our own people.'
After their morning meal the Company said farewell to the lawn by the fountain. Their hearts were heavy.... As they stood for a moment..., Haldir came walking towards them.... Frodo greeted him with delight.
'I have returned from the Northern Fences,' said the Elf, 'and I am sent now to be your guide again.... But come! Your path now goes south.'
As they walked through Caras Galadhon the green ways were empty; but in the trees above them many voices were murmuring and singing.... At last Haldir led them down the southward slopes of the hill, and they... left the city of the Elves. Then they... took a path that went off into a deep thicket of mallorn-trees, and passed on, winding through rolling woodlands of silver shadow, leading them ever down, southwards and eastwards, towards the shores of the River.
They had gone some ten miles... when they came on a high green wall. Passing through an opening they came suddenly out of the trees. Before them lay a long lawn of shining grass, studded with golden elanor.... The lawn ran out into a narrow tongue between bright margins: on the right and west the Silverlode flowed glittering; on the left and east the Great River rolled its broad waters, deep and dark....
On the bank of the Silverlode, at some distance up from the meeting of the streams, there was a hythe 1 of white stones and white wood. By it were moored many boats and barges.... Three small grey boats had been made ready for the travellers, and in these the Elves stowed their goods. And they added also coils of rope, three to each boat. Slender they looked, but strong, silken to the touch, grey of hue like the elven-cloaks.
'What are these?' asked Sam, handling one that lay upon the greensward.
'Ropes indeed!' answered an Elf from the boats. 'Never travel far without a rope! And one that is long and strong and light. Such are these. They may be a help in many needs.'
'You don't need to tell me that!' said Sam. 'I came without any and I've been worried ever since. But I was wondering what these were made of, knowing a bit about rope-making: it's in the family as you might say.'
'They are made of hithlain,' said the Elf.... 'Had we known that this craft delighted you, we could have taught you much. But now alas! unless you should at some time return hither, you must be content with our gift. May it serve you well!'
'Come!' said Haldir. 'All is now ready for you. Enter the boats! But take care at first!'
'Heed the words!' said the other Elves. 'These boats are light-built, and they are crafty and unlike the boats of other folk. They will not sink, lade them as you will; but they are wayward if mishandled. It would be wise if you accustomed yourselves to stepping in and out, here where there is a landing-place, before you set off downstream.'....
The Company was arranged in this way: Aragorn, Frodo, and Sam were in one boat; Boromir, Merry, and Pippin in another; and in the third were Legolas and Gimli, who had now become fast friends.... The boats were moved and steered with short-handled paddles that had broad leaf-shaped blades. When all was ready Aragorn led them on a trial up the Silverlode. The current was swift and they went forward slowly. Sam sat in the bows, clutching the sides, and looking back wistfully to the shore.
The Fellowship of the Ring, LoTR Book 2, Ch 8, Farewell to Lórien
1 Hythe (also spelled Hithe): A small haven.
From "Hythe." Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary. 1913. C. & G. Merriam Co. 15 Feb. 2010
Elena Tiriel 14Feb10