CD No. 5 Episode V : The Mirror of Galadriel

[The Balrog roars]

Gandalf: Back from this place, or I shall plunge you into the abyss! Then fall, spawn of Melkor, fall!

[Gandalf's staff breaks the bridge. The Balrog flings its whip, catching hold of Gandalf, who cries out]

Frodo: Gandalf!

[Gandalf's voice is quickly lost]

Gandalf: Fly, you fools!

Frodo: Gandalf! He's gone!

Aragorn: Come! I will lead you now! We must obey his last command. Follow me! Do not look back.

[They run]

Aragorn: We are not through yet.

Legolas: There is light ahead!

Gimli: And Orcs guarding the gate!

Aragorn: Follow me.

[He unsheathes his sword]

Aragorn: Elendil!

[The Orcs scream in terror]

Merry: They're running away!

Aragorn: Now, quickly!

- - - - -

Narrator: Out of the gates they ran, and sprang down the huge and age-worn steps, the threshold of Moria. Dimrill Dale lay about them. It was but one hour after noon. Grief, at last, wholly overcame them, and they wept long.

Aragorn: Farewell, Gandalf! Did I not say to you: if you pass the doors of Moria, beware? Alas that I spoke true!

Boromir: What hope is there for us without him?

Aragorn: We must do without hope. At least we may yet be avenged. Let us gird ourselves and weep no more! Come! We have a long road, and much to do.

Gimli: But where shall we go?

Aragorn: I shall take you by the road that Gandalf chose, the road down the Silverlode, to Lothlórien.

Sam: But - begging your pardon, but do we have to go on just yet? Poor Mr. Frodo's not had a chance to rest himself since that filthy Orc thrust his spear at him.

Aragorn: I am sorry, Frodo! So much has happened this day that I had forgotten that you were hurt. We have done nothing to ease you. Come now! Let us see your wound.

Frodo: I'm all right, Aragorn. All I need is food and a little rest.

Aragorn: No! We must have a look. I still marvel that you are alive at all. Help me pull his jacket off, Sam.

Sam: Sir.

Frodo: No, oh...

Aragorn: Look, my friends!

[The rings of the mithril corslet shake and members of the Company gasp]

Aragorn: Here's a pretty hobbit-skin to wrap an elven-princeling in!

[He laughs]

Gimli: A mithril coat! I have never heard tell of one so fair. Is this the coat that Gandalf spoke of? Then he undervalued it. But it was well given!

Merry: Oh, dear old Bilbo, I love him more than ever. I do hope we get a chance of telling him about it!

- - - - -

Narrator: When they had eaten, the Company continued on their way. For three hours they travelled. The night wind blew chill up the valley to meet them. Before them, a wide grey shadow loomed.

[A river's waters quietly bubble and turn in the distance]

Legolas: Do you hear the wind among the leaves? Lothlórien! Lothlórien! The fairest of the dwellings of the Elves. We have come to the eaves of the Golden Wood. Alas that it is winter!

Aragorn: Lothlórien! Let us hope that the virtue of the Elves will keep us tonight from the peril that comes behind.

Gimli: If Elves indeed still dwell in this darkening world.

Legolas: Here is Nimrodel! Of this stream the Silvan Elves made many songs long ago, and still we sing them in the North, remembering the rainbow on its falls, and the golden flowers that floated in its foam. But all is dark now since sorrow came upon Lothlórien.

Frodo: What sorrow?

Legolas: The sorrow that came when the Dwarves awakened evil in the mountains.

Gimli: But the Dwarves did not make the evil.

Legolas: I did not say so; yet evil came.

[Soft voices sing above them]

Frodo: Listen! Is it the wind in the trees, or are there voices?

Haldir: Daro!

Legolas: Be still! Do not move or speak! I will climb up into the tree. Wait here.

Frodo: Yes...

[Leaves rustle as Legolas climbs through the branches]

Merry: Who are they?

Sam: They're Elves.

Legolas: Frodo, come up!

Frodo: Yes.

Legolas: They wish to talk to you.

Pippin: Ah, they've let down a rope ladder!

Legolas: Come, Frodo!

[Frodo climbs]

Haldir: Welcome! We have heard rumours of your coming, for the messengers of Elrond passed by Lórien on their way home up the Dimrill Stair. Haldir is my name. So, you are Frodo?

Frodo: I am.

[Haldir laughs]

Haldir: You do not look evil! And since you come with an Elf of our kindred, we are willing to befriend you. Tomorrow I will lead you to Celeborn. Tonight, you must stay here. How many are you?

Legolas: Eight. Myself, four hobbits; and two men, one of whom, Aragorn, is an Elf-friend of the folk of Westernesse.

Haldir: His name is known in Lórien, and he has the favour of the Lady Galadriel. But you have yet spoken only of seven.

Legolas: The eighth is a dwarf.

Haldir: Dwarf! Since the Dark Days, they are not permitted in our land.

Legolas: But Elrond himself chose him to be one of our companions. He is brave and faithful.

Haldir: Then, he shall pass. But it is against our liking. You shall take refuge with him and the two men in the next tree. The hobbits shall stay with us - we do not fear them!

- - - - -

Narrator: The hobbits found it hard to go to sleep that night, for they do not like heights. But lulled by the murmur of the falls of Nimrodel, they slept. Late in the night, Frodo awoke.

[The crass voices of Orcs pass below. Frodo gasps]

Frodo: Wha...?

Haldir: Don't worry. I'm stowing the rope-ladder.

Frodo: But what is it?

Haldir: Orcs. But have no fear. They're going away. Go back to sleep!

Frodo: Yes... but orcs can climb trees...

[A figure climbs upward on the tree, sniffing and hissing]

Frodo: What's that? Something is climbing the tree! That's not an Orc - but it isn't an Elf, either.

Gollum: The Precious... it's here... I know it is.

[He hisses]

Gollum: I can feel it. I can almost smell it. Precious...

Frodo: Two, great pale eyes...

Gollum: Baggins! It's a Baggins! A Baggins with the Precious! It's mine. It's mine.

[Frodo quickly opens the trap door]

Frodo: Who's there?

[Gollum screams and scampers away]

Gollum: Gollum!

Haldir: Did you see it?

Frodo: Yes!

Haldir: I've never seen anything like that before. It was no Orc. They have passed by. But we must take the road south as soon as it is fully light.

Frodo: Yes...

- - - - -

Narrator: The following morning, the Company crossed the Silverlode and entered Lórien.

[Elves sing around them]

Frodo: Like stepping over a bridge of time into a corner of the Elder Days - a world that is no more, but where ancient things still live on in the waking world.

- - - - -

Narrator: After they had walked many leagues through the trees, they came to an open space where stood a great mound covered with a sward of grass as green as Spring-time in the Elder Days. Upon it, as a double crown, grew two circles of trees: the outer had bark of snowy white, and were leafless but beautiful in their shapely nakedness; the inner were mallorn-trees of great height, still arrayed in pale gold. High amid the branches of a towering tree that stood in the centre of all there gleamed a great white platform.

[Elves sing]

Haldir: You are come to Cerin Amroth. For this is the heart of the ancient realm as it was long ago.

Frodo: In winter here, no heart could mourn for summer or for spring.

Sam: No. It's sunlight and bright day, right enough. I thought that Elves were all for moon and stars: but this is more elvish than anything I ever heard tell of. I feel as if I - I was inside a song, if you take my meaning.

Aragorn: Here is the heart of Elvendom on earth. Arwen vanimelda, namárië! Here my heart dwells ever, unless there be light beyond the dark roads that we must tread. Let us continue our journey to Caras Galadhrim, to the City of Green Towers.

- - - - -

Haldir: Here dwell Celeborn and Galadriel. It is their wish that you should ascend and speak with them.

Narrator: They climbed slowly up a mallorn tree taller than any they had yet seen. And at a great height above the ground, they came to a wide wooden platform. On two chairs beneath the bole of the tree, there sat side by side Celeborn and Galadriel. They were clad wholly in white; and the hair of the Lady was of deep gold, and the hair of the Lord Celeborn was of silver long and bright; but no sign of age was upon them, unless it were in the depths of their eyes.

Celeborn: Sit down beside my chair, Frodo of the Shire! When all have come we will speak together. Welcome Aragorn son of Arathorn! It is eight and thirty years of the world outside since you came to this land; and those years lie heavy on you. But the end is near, for good or ill. Here lay aside your burden for a while! Welcome Gimli son of Glóin! It is long indeed since we saw one of Durin's folk in Caras Galadhon. But today we have broken our long law against your race. May it be a sign that though the world is now dark better days are at hand, and that friendship shall be renewed between our peoples.

Galadriel: But where is Gandalf the Grey? He set out with your Company, yet I know he did not pass the borders of this land. Tell us where he is; for I much desired to speak with him again.

Aragorn: Alas! Gandalf the Grey fell into shadow. He remained in Moria and did not escape.

Frodo: He save us, and he fell.

Celeborn: How came he by his death?

Aragorn: He fell into the abyss locked in combat with some evil of the ancient world, more terrible than I have ever seen.

Gimli: It is that which haunts our darkest dreams, Durin's Bane.

Celeborn: Alas! We have long feared that under Caradhras a terror slept. But had I known that the Dwarves had stirred up this evil in Moria again, I would have forbidden you to pass through Lórien, you and all that went with you. And if it were possible, one would say that at the last Gandalf fell from wisdom into folly.

Galadriel: However it may be with a guide, the followers are blameless. Do not repent of your welcome to the Dwarf. If our folk had been exiled long and far from Lothlórien, which of us, even Celeborn the Wise, would pass nigh and not wish to look upon their ancient home, though it had become an abode of dragons? Fair were the many-pillared halls of Khazad-dûm in Elder Days before the fall of mighty kings beneath the stone.

Gimli: Yet more fair is the living land of Lórien, and the Lady Galadriel is above all jewels that lie beneath the earth!

Celeborn: Let Gimli forget my harsh words: I spoke in the trouble of my heart. I will do what I can to aid you, each according to his wish and need, but especially that one of the little folk who bears the burden.

Galadriel: Your quest is known to us, Frodo. Yet not in vain will it prove that you came to this land seeking aid, as Gandalf himself plainly purposed. For Celeborn, Lord of the Galadhrim is accounted the wisest of Elves of Middle-earth, and I have dwelt with him years uncounted. I will not give you counsel, saying do this, or do that. For I can avail only in knowing what was and is, and, in part also what shall be. But this will I say to you: your Quest stands upon the edge of a knife. Stray but a little and it will fail, to the ruin of all. Yet hope remains while all the Company is true.

Narrator: And with that word she held them with her eyes, and in silence looked searchingly at each of them in turn. None save Legolas and Aragorn could long endure her glance. Sam quickly blushed and hung his head.

Galadriel: Do not let your hearts be troubled. Tonight you shall sleep in peace.

- - - - -

Pippin: And what did you blush for, Sam Gamgee? Anyone would have thought you had a guilty conscience.

Sam: I - if you want to know, I felt as if I hadn't got nothing on, and I didn't like it. She seemed to be looking inside me and asking me what I would do if... if she gave me a chance of flying back to the Shire to a nice little hold with... w - with a bit of garden of my own.

Merry: Oh, that's funny. That's almost exactly what I felt myself; only, only well, no, I don't think I'll say any more.

Gimli: It seemed to me, too, that I was offered a choice.

Boromir: To me it seemed exceedingly strange. Maybe it was only a test, and she thought to read our thoughts for her own good purpose; but almost I would have said that she was tempting us, and offereing what she pretended to have the power to give. It need not be said that I refused to listen. The Men of Minas Tirith are true to their word. But what of you, Ring-bearer? She held you long in her gaze.

Frodo: Yes, but whatever came into my mind I will keep there.

Boromir: Well, have a care! I do not feel too sure of this Elvish Lady and her purposes.

Aragorn: Speak no evil of the Lady Galadriel! You know not what you say. There is in her and in this land no evil, unless a man bring it hither himself. Then let him beware! But tonight I shall sleep without fear for the first time since I left Rivendell. And may I sleep deep, and forget a while my grief! I am weary in body and in heart.

- - - - -

Narrator: They remained some days in Lothlórien, so far as they could tell or remember. The air was cool and soft, as if it were early spring, yet they felt about them the deep and thoughtful quiet of winter.

[Birds sing]

Frodo: I've been trying to put into words what I feel about Gandalf, Sam.

Sam: Wh... you, Mr. Frodo?

Frodo: Yes.

Sam: I didn't know you were one for the rhymes. But then you do take after old Mr. Bilbo in many ways. Will you speak it to me?

[Frodo stammers a bit]

Frodo: Well, I'll do my best, Sam, though I can only remember snatches of it. Erm...

[He coughs]

When evening in the Shire was grey
his footsteps on the Hill were heard;
before the dawn he went away
on journey long without a word.

From Wilderland to Western shore,
from northern waste to southern hill,
through dragon-lair and hidden door
and darkling woods he walked at will.

A deadly sword, a healing hand,
a back that bent beneath its load;
a trumpet-voice, a burning brand,
a weary pilgrim on the road.

A lord of wisdom throned he sat,
swift in anger, quick to laugh;
an old man in a battered hat
who leaned upon a thorny staff.

He stood upon the bridge alone
and Fire and Shadow both defied;
his staff was broken on the stone,
in Khazad-dûm his wisdom died.

Sam: Why, that's very good, Mr. Frodo.

Frodo: Well, it's the best that I can do - yet. But I can't think about it any more. Let's talk about something else, Sam.

Sam: Yes...

Frodo: Oh, yes! What do you think of Elves now, Sam?

Sam: I - I've never heard of a better land than this. It's like being at home and on holiday at the same time, if you understand me.

Frodo: Yes.

Sam: I don't want to leave. All the same, I'm beginning to feel that if we've got to go on, then we'd best get it over. It's the job that never gets started as takes longest to finish, as my old gaffer used to say. And I don't reckon that these folk can do much more to help us, magic or no.

Narrator: Even as he spoke, they saw, as if she came in answer to their thoughts, the Lady Galadriel approaching. She spoke no word, but beckoned to them. Down a long flight of steps the Lady went into a deep green hollow, through which ran murmuring the silver stream that issued from the hill of Caras Galadthon. With water from the stream Galadriel filled a basin of silver to the brim, and breathed on it.

[Water runs in the distant background]

Galadriel: Here is the Mirror of Galadriel. I have brought you here that you may look in it, if you will.

Frodo: What shall we look for, a - and what shall we see?

Galadriel: What you will see, if you leave the Mirror free to work I cannot tell. For it shows things that were, and things that are, and things that yet may be. But which it is that he sees, even the wisest cannot always tell. Do you wish to look?

[Frodo sighs]

Galadriel: And you, Sam Gamgee? Do you wish to see Elf-magic?

Sam: Well, I - I'll have a peep, Lady, if you're willing.

Galadriel: Come, you shall look and see what you may. Do not touch the water!

[Sam gasps]

Sam: There's only stars.

[He cries out in surprise]

Sam: They've all gone out. It's daylight - and there are trees. No! It's gone again. And there's Mr. Frodo. He's lying fast asleep under a dark cliff. He looks very pale. And I'm climbing, I'm climbing up some winding stairs that never seem to end. I'm looking for something. It's gone. There are the trees again! Somebody's cut them down! It's Ted Sandyman. They didn't ought to be felled: it's that avenue beyond the Mill that shades the road to Bywater. But the Old Mill's gone, and there's a great tall chimney, with black smoke pouring out of it, and folk working away fit-to-bust. There's some devilry at work in the Shire. I can't stay here. I must go home. Well, they've dug up Bagshot Row, and there's the poor old gaffer going down the Hill with his bits of things in a barrow. Well, I must go home!

Galadriel: You cannot go home alone. You did not wish to go home without your master before you looked in the Mirror, and yet you knew that evil things might well be happening in the Shire. 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. The Mirror is dangerous as a guide of deeds.

Sam: No, I'll go home by the long road with Mr. Frodo, or not at all. But I hope I do get back some day. If what I've seen turns out true, somebody's going to catch it hot!

Galadriel: Do you wish now to look, Frodo?

Frodo: Do you advise me to look?

Galadriel: I do not counsel you one way or the other. You may learn something, and whether what you see be fair or evil, that may be profitable, and yet it may not. Seeing is both good and perilous. Yet I think, Frodo, that you have courage and wisdom enough for the venture, or I would not have brought you here. Do as you will!

Frodo: I will look.

[He breathes in sharply]

Frodo: A twilit land and a long grey road winding towards the mountains. There's somebody coming down the road, clothed in white, with a white staff. Gandalf? Gandalf! But I cannot see his face, and now he's turned aside. G - Gandalf? Or was it Saruman? Mm! There's - there's Bilbo walking about his room! There are papers all over his table, b - but... he's gone. And that must be... that must be the Sea.

[He gasps]

Frodo: I never saw it before. There's a great storm coming a - and a ship with torn sails riding up out of the West. A wide river flowing through a populous city. A white fortress with s... seven towers. A ship with black sails, a banner bearing the emblem of a white tree shining in the sunlight. The smoke and fire of battle, and a small ship, twinkling with lights, passing away into the mist. And... and - and that's all. It's over. Ah - no. There is something else. An Eye. It's growing larger. An Eye rimmed with fire, yellow as a cat's, and its pupil is a great dark slit. It's looking for me, but it can't see me.

[He groans]

Frodo: The Ring is growing heavier! The chain round my neck is p - pulling me down towards the water!

Galadriel: Do not touch the mirror!

[Frodo breathes heavily]

Galadriel: I know what it was you last saw, for that is also in my mind. Do not be afraid! Do not think that only by singing amid the trees, nor even by the slender arrows of elven-bows, is this land of Lothlórien maintained and defended against its Enemy. I say to you, Frodo, that even as I speak to you, I perceive the Dark Lord and know his mind. And he gropes ever to see me and my thought. But still the door is closed!

Narrator: She lifted up her white arms, and spread out her hands towards the East in a gesture of rejection and denial. Eärendil, the Evening Star, most beloved of the Elves, shone clear above, and its rays glanced upon a ring about her finger.

Galadriel: Yes, you understand. It is one of the Three rings which was saved by the Elves, and which is kept hidden from Sauron. But it cannot be hidden from the Ring-bearer, and one who has seen the Eye. Verily it is in the land of Lórien that one of the Three remains. Of Narya, the red Ring of Fire, I cannot speak. Vilya, the sapphire Ring of Air is on the finger of Elrond. Nenya, the Ring of Water, the Ring of Adament is in my keeping. Sauron suspects, but he does not know - not yet. Do you not see now wherefore your coming is to us as the footsteps of Doom? For if you fail, then we are laid bare to the Enemy. Yet if you succeed, then our power is diminished, and Lothlórien will fade, and the tides of Time will sweep it away. I would wish, were it of any avail, that the One Ring had never been wrought, or had remained for ever lost.

Frodo: You are wise and fearless, Lady Galadriel. I will give you the One Ring, if you ask for it. It is too great a matter for me.

Galadriel: Wise the Lady Galadriel may be, yet here has she met her match in courtesy. Gently are you revenged for my testing of your heart at our first meeting. You begin to see with a keen eye. I do not deny that my heart has greatly desired to ask what you offer. For many long years I have pondered what I might do, should the Great Ring come into my hands, and behold! It is brought within my grasp. You will give me the Ring freely! In place of the Dark Lord you will set me up as Queen. And I shall not be dark, but beautiful and terrible as the Morning and the Night! Fair as the Sea and the Sun and the Snow upon the Mountain! Dreadful as the Storm and the Lightning! Stronger than the foundations of the earth. All shall love me and despair!

Narrator: The Lady Galadriel lifted up her hand and from the Ring of Adament there issued a great light that illuminated her alone. She stood before Frodo seeming now tall beyond measurement, terrible and worshipful. Then she let her hand fall. The light faded, and lo! She was shrunken: a slender elf-woman, clad in simple white, whose gentle voice was soft and sad.

Galadriel: I pass the test. I will diminish, and go into the West and remain Galadriel. Let us return! In the morning you must depart. For we have chosen, and the tides of fate are flowing.

- - - - -

Celeborn: Now is the time when those who wish to continue the Quest must hardern their hearts to leave this land.

Galadriel: I have looked into their hearts. They have all resolved to go forward.

Boromir: As for me, my way home lies forward and not back.

Celeborn: But is all this Company going with you to Minas Tirith?

Aragorn: We have not decided our course.

Celeborn: Yet when you leave this land, you can no longer forget the Great River. On which side will you journey? The way to Minas Tirith lies upon this side, upon the west; but the straight road of the Quest to Mordor lies east of the River, upon the darker shore. Which shore will you now take?

Boromir: If my advice is heeded, it will be the western shore, and the way to Minas Tirith. But I am not the leader of the Company.

Celeborn: I see that you do not yet know what to do. It is not my part to choose for you; but I will help you as I may. I will furnish the Company with boats. They must be small and light, for if you go far by water, there are places where you will be forced to carry them. Yet they will not give you counsel: in the end you must leave them and the River, and turn west - or east.

- - - - -

Narrator: In the morning, as they were beginning to pack their slender goods, Elves came to them and brought them many gifts of food and clothing for the journey. The food was mostly in the form of very thing cakes.

Gimli: Mm, Cram!

[The Elf laughs]

Elf: No more, no more!

Elf: You have eaten enough already for a long day's march.

Gimli: I thought it was only a kind of cram, such as the Dale-men make for journeys in the wild.

Elf: So it is. But we call it lembas or waybread, and it is more strengthening than any food made by Men.

Elf: And these will serve you for your protection on the journey that lies ahead.

Pippin: Are these magic cloaks?

Elf: I do not know what you mean by that. They are Elvish robes certainly. 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 Galadriel! For she herself and her maidens wove this stuff.

Gimli: She is most gracious.

Elf: It is time for us all to go to the Great River. The hour is come when you must take your leave of us.

- - - - -

[A river runs and a bird sings]

Galadriel: I have brought you gifts in memory of Lothlórien. Aragorn, here is a sheath for Andúril, your sword. The blade that is drawn from this sheath shall not be stained or broken even in defeat. But is there aught else that you desire of me at our parting? For darkness will now flow between us, and it may be that we shall not meet again, unless it be far hence upon a road that has no returning.

Aragorn: Lady, you know all my desire, and long held in keeping the only treasure I seek. Yet it is not yours to give me, even if you would; and only through darkness shall I come to it.

Galadriel: Yet maybe this will lighten your heart, for it was left in my care to be given to you, should you pass through this land. This stone I gave to Celebrían, my daughter, and she to her daughter Arwen; and now it comes to you as a token of hope. In this hour take the name that was foretold for you, Elessar, the Elfstone of the house of Elendil!

Narrator: Galadriel 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 use.

Galadriel: For you, Sam Gamgee, I have a small gift. Here on this little box is set G for Galadriel, but also it may stand for garden in your tongue. The box contains earth from my orchard. 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 may you remember Galadriel, and catch a glimpse far off of Lórien, that you have seen only in our winter. For our spring and summer are gone by, and they will never be seen on earth again save in memory. And what gift would a Dwarf ask of the Elves?

Gimli: None, m'Lady. It is enough for me to have seen the Lady of the Galadhrim, and to have heard her gentle words.

Galadriel: 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.

Gimli: There is nothing. Nothing, unless it 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.

Galadriel: It is said that the skill of the Dwarves is in their hands rather than in their tongues, yet that is not true of Gimli. For none have ever made me a request so bold and yet so courteous. But tell me, what would you do with such a gift?

Gimli: Treasure it, Lady, 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 Mountains and the Wood until the end of days.

Galadriel: These words shall go with the gift. I do not foretell, for all foretelling is now in 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. I come to you last who are not last in my thoughts. For you I have prepared this phial. In it 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 are out. Remember Galadriel and her Mirror!

Frodo: Yes.

- - - - -

Narrator: A yellow noon lay on the green land, and the water glittered with silver. The Company took their places in the boats, and the Elves of Lórien with long grey poles thrust them out into the flowing stream, and the rippling waters bore them slowly away.

[The river flows. A voice sings softly behind the voices of Gimli and Legolas:

O Lórien! The Winter comes, the bare and leafless Day.
O Lórien! The leaves are falling in the stream, the River flows away.
O Lórien! Long I have dwelt upon this Hither Shore
And in a fading crown have twined the golden elanor.
O Lórien! But if of ships I now should sing, what ship would come to me
What ship would ever bear me back across the Sundering Sea?]

Gimli: I have looked the last upon that which was fairest. Henceforward I will call nothing fair, unless it be her gift. Tell me, Legolas, why did I come on this Quest? Little did I know where the chief peril lay! Torment in the dark was the danger that I feared, and it did not hold me back. But I would not have come, had I known the danger of light and joy. Now I have taken my worst wound in this parting.

Legolas: I count you blessed, Gimli son of Glóin: for your loss you suffer of your own free will, and you might have chosen to remain. But you have not forsaken your companions, and the least reward that you shall have is that the memory of Lothlórien shall remain ever clear and unstained in your heart.

Gimli: Memory is not what the heart desires. That is only a mirror. Or so says the heart of Gimli the Dwarf.

[The waters rush around the boat.]

Gimli: Look to the boat!

Legolas: Hm?

Gimli: She is too low in the water with all this baggage, and the Great River is swift. I do not wish to drown my grief in cold water. Give me that paddle.

[Legolas laughs]

- - - - -

Narrator: For four days, the Company travelled down the Great River Anduin. The dull grey hours passed without event. The lands changed slowly: the trees thinned and then failed altogether. They camped at night on a small island close to the western bank.

[The waters of the Anduin are heard running]

Sam: Mr. Frodo! Are you still awake?

Frodo: Just about, Sam.

Sam: Mr. Frodo, I had a funny dream an hour or two before we stopped. Or maybe it wasn't a dream. Funny it was anyway. I saw a log with eyes! At first I thought it was just an ordinary log, floating along behind Gimli's boat. Then it seemed as if the log was slowly catching us up. Then I saw the eyes: two pale sort of points, shiny-like, on a hump at the near end of the log. What's more, it wasn't a log, for it had paddle-feet. That's when I sat right up and rubbed my eyes, meaning to give a shout, if it was still there when I had rubbed the drowse out of my head. But whether those two lamps spotted me moving and staring, or whether I came to my senses, I don't know. When I looked again, it wasn't there. What do you make of it, Mr. Frodo?

Frodo: Hm. I should make nothing of it, Sam, if it was the first time those eyes had been seen. But it isn't. I saw them back north before we reached Lórien. And in the tree by the Silverlode. And I have often thought that I heard the sound of feet pattering behind us.

Sam: I don't want to disturb you, Mr. Frodo; but thinking of one thing and another, and Mr. Bilbo's stories and all, I fancy I could put a name on that creature, at a guess. A nasty name. Gollum, maybe?

Frodo: Yes, that is what I have feared for some time. The miserable creature must have been hiding in the woods by the River, watching us start off!

Sam: Yes, that's about it. And we'd better be a bit more watchful ourselves, or we'll feel some nasty fingers round our necks one of these nights, if we ever wake up to feel anything.

Frodo: Yes.

Sam: I'll keep watch tonight.

Frodo: All right, Sam.

- - - - -

Narrator: The night passed without Gollum showing so much as a shadow again. Now, the Company journeyed mostly by night and twilight, resting by day, and lying as hidden as the land allowed, always keeping watch for bands of marauding Orcs. On the ninth day, they reached the impassable rapids of Sarn Gebir and they carried their boats along the bank until they came to a wide ravine which narrowed in the distance to a chasm with cliffs rising to an unimaginable height on either side.

[The water flows loudly]

Boromir: The gates of Argonath! Have we passed by the rapids of Sarn Gebir to perish here?

Aragorn: Fear not! The water is swiftly flowing, but it is clear. Long have I desired to look upon this place, to see those two great pinnacles of stone! Those are the pillars of the kings. Keep the boats in line and hold the middle of the stream!

Frodo: They have been shaped into the figures of kings!

Aragorn: They are the likenesses of Isildur and Anárion, my sires of old. Under their shadow, we have naught to fear.

Sam: What a place! What a horrible place! Just let get me out of this boat, and I'll never wet my toes in a puddle again, let alone a river!

Narrator: But suddenly, the boats shot through the chasm, out into a wider, clearer sky. They came into a long, oval lake, and at the far southern end rose three mountain peaks.

- - - - -

Narrator: Wilderland was behind them. They could go no further without choice between the east way and the west.

Aragorn: The day has come at last, the day of choice which we have long delayed. What shall now become of our Company that has travelled so far in fellowship? Shall we turn west with Boromir and go to the wars in Gondor; or shall we turn east to the Fear and Shadow; or shall we break our fellowship and go this way and that as each may choose? Whatever we do must be done soon. We cannot long halt here. The enemy is on the eastern shore, we know; but I fear that the Orcs may already be on this side of the River.

Boromir: I shall go to Minas Tirith, alone if need be, for it is my duty. If you only with to destroy the Ring, then there is little use in war and weapons; and the Men of Minas Tirith cannot help. But if you wish to destroy the armed might of the Dark Lord, then it is folly to go without force into his domain; and folly to throw it away.

Frodo: What do you mean?

Boromir: I - I mean, it would be folly to throw lives away. It is a choice between defending a strong place and walking openly into the arms of death.

Aragorn: Be that as it may. I fear that the burden of decision is layed upon you, Frodo. You are the Bearer appointed by the Council. Your own way you alone can choose. In this matter I cannot advise you. I am not Gandalf, and though I have tried to bear his part, I do not know what design or hope he had for this hour, if indeed he had any.

Frodo: I know that haste is needed, yet I cannot choose. Oh, the burden is heavy. Gi - give me an hour longer, and I will speak. Let me be alone!

Aragorn: Very well. But do not stray far or out of call.

- - - - -

Narrator: Frodo wandered aimlessly at first, but found that his feet were leading him up towards the slope of a hill. He came to a path, the dwindling ruins of a road of long ago. For some while he climbed, not caring which way he went, until he came to a grassy place. Rowan-trees grew about it, and in the midst was a wide flat stone.

Boromir: I was afraid for you, Frodo.

[Frodo starts]

Frodo: Boromir.

Boromir: If Aragorn is right and the Orcs are near, then none of us should wander alone, and you least of all: so much depends on you. And my heart is heavy too. May I stay now and talk for a while, since I found you? It would comfort me.

Frodo: Yes.

Boromir: Where there are so many, all speech becomes a debate without end. Two together may perhaps find wisdom.

Frodo: You are kind. But I do not think that any speech will help me. For I know what I should do, but I am afraid of doing it, Boromir: I am afraid.

Boromir: Are you sure that you do not suffer needlessly?

Frodo: Hm?

Boromir: I wish to help you. You need counsel in your hard choice. Will you not take mine?

Frodo: I think I know already what counsel you would give, Boromir, to go with you to Gondor. But the world is changing. The walls of Minas Tirith may be strong, but they are not strong enough. If they fail, what then?

Boromir: We shall fall in battle valiantly. Yet there is still hope that they will not fail.

Frodo: No hope while the Ring lasts.

Boromir: Ah! The Ring! Is it not a strange fate that we should suffer so much fear and doubt for so small a thing? So small a thing! And I have seen it only for an instant in the House of Elrond. Could I not have a sight of it again?

Frodo: It is best that it should lie hidden.

Boromir: As you wish. I care not. Yet may I not even speak of it? The world is changing, you say. Minas Tirith will fall, if the Ring lasts. But why? Why, if it were with us?

Frodo: Were you not at the Council, Boromir? Because we cannot use it, and what is done with it turns to evil.

Boromir: So they have told you, Gandalf, Elrond, and the rest. But we of Minas Tirith are not Elves or Dwarves, we are Men! We do not desire the powers of wizard-lords, only strength to defend ourselves, strength in a just cause. In our need chance brings to light the Ring of Power. It is mad not to use it, to use the power of the Enemy against him. What could not a warrior do in this hour, a great leader? The Ring would give me power of Command. How I would drive the hosts of Mordor, and all men would flock to my banner! Surely you see it, my friend? You say that you are afraid. If it is so, the boldest should pardon you. But is it not really your good sense that revolts?

Frodo: No, I am afraid. Simply afraid. But I am glad to have heard you speak so fully, Boromir. My mind is clearer now.

Boromir: Then you will come to Minas Tirith?

Frodo: You misunderstand me.

Boromir: Will you not at least let me make trial of my plan?

Frodo: No!

Boromir: Lend me the Ring!

Frodo: No! The Council laid it upon me to bear it.

Boromir: If any mortals have claim to the Ring, is the men of Númenor and not Halflings. It is not yours save by unhappy chance. It might have been mine. It should be mine! Give it to me!

Frodo: No, Boromir!

Boromir: Why not be free of it? You can lay the blame on me, if you will. You can say that I was too strong and took it by force.

[He draws his sword]

Boromir: For I am too strong for you, halfling!

[Frodo puts on the Ring]

Boromir: W - where are you? Where have you gone? Miserable trickster! Let me get my hands on you! Now I see your mind. You will take the Ring to Sauron and sell us all. Curse you and all halflings to death and darkness! Oh... What have I said? Oh, what have I done? Frodo! A madness took me, but it has passed. Frodo! Frodo, come back! Come back! Come back!

[His voices fades into the distance]

Boromir: Come back, come back!

Frodo: I will do now what I must. This at least is plain: the evil of the Ring is already at work, even in the Company, and the Ring must leave them before it does more harm. I will go alone. Some I cannot trust, and those I can trust are too dear to me. I will go alone. At once.

- - - - -

[Leaves rustle on the ground]

Aragorn: Boromir, where have you been? Have you seen Frodo?

Boromir: Yes, and no. Yes: I found him some way up the hill, and spoke to him. I urged him to come to Minas Tirith and not to go east. I grew angry and he left me. He vanished. I have never seen such a thing happen before. Though I have heard of it in tales. He must have put the Ring on. I thought he would return to you.

Aragorn: Is that all you have to say?

Boromir: Yes. I will say no more yet.

Aragorn: Boromir, how long is it since you saw Frodo?

Boromir: Half an hour, maybe. Or it might be an hour. I have wandered for some time, since. I do not know! I do not know!

Pippin: An hour since he vanished! Where is he?

Merry: We must find him at once.

[Pippin and Merry run into the woods calling for Frodo]

Aragorn: Wait a minute! Come back - we shall all be scattered and lost! Boromir! I do not know what part you have played in this mischief, but help now! Go after those two young hobbits, and guard them at the least, even if you cannot find Frodo. I shall return soon. Sam!

Sam: Sir?

Aragorn: Follow me, and keep your eyes open!

Sam: Yes, sir!

[Leaves crunch beneath them]

Aragorn: Frodo, Frodo!

Sam: Mr. Frodo! Mr. Frodo! Oh, Mr. Frodo, sir! Mr. Frodo - Mr. Frodo, Mr. Frodo! Whoa now, steady, Sam Gamgee. Your legs are too short, so use your head! Where could he have gone? Well, he can't fly across rivers, and he can't jump waterfalls. He - he's got to get back to the boat. Back to the boats. Back to the boats, Sam, like lightning!

- - - - -

[Water flows loudly]

Sam: Oh, what's that boat doing, sliding down the bank all by itself? Oh, it's Mr. Frodo - he's put the Ring on! Ah - coming, Mr. Frodo! I'm coming!

[He flails in the water, crying out]

Sam: Help! Help, Mr. Frodo! I can't swim!

Frodo: Up you come, Sam my lad!

[Sam grunts]

Frodo: Now, take my hand, come on!

Sam: I can't... I can't - I can't see your hand!

Frodo: Oh...!

[Frodo pulls off the Ring]

Sam: Save me, Mr. Frodo! I'm drownded!

[He gasps for air]

Frodo: Hold on, Sam, hold on to the boat! I'll paddle it back to the bank. Hold on - there! Now, can you touch the bottom?

[Sam breathes heavily]

Sam: Oh! Thank you kindly, Mr. Frodo.

Frodo: Up - there. Oh, Sam, Sam! Of all the counfounded nuisances...

Sam: Huh?

Frodo: are the worst! If it hadn't been for you, I would have been safely on my way.

Sam: Safely! All alone, without me to help you? I couldn't have borne it, it would have been the death of me.

Frodo: It would be the death of you to come with me, Sam. And I could not bear that. I am going to Mordor.

Sam: Well, I know that well enough, Mr. Frodo. Of course you are. I'm coming with you. Or neither of us is going. I'll knock holes in all the boats first.

[Frodo laughs, and then Sam]

Frodo: Well leave one! We'll need it.

Sam: Ah!

Frodo: But you can't come like this without your gear or your food or anything.

Sam: Oh, just you hold on a minute. I'll get my stuff!

Frodo: Oh, Sam...

Sam: I thought - I thought we should be off today. And d'you know what I remembered this time?

Frodo: What?

Sam: Rope! Slender Elven rope from Lothlórien.

Frodo: Well, Sam, it is plain that we were meant to go together. And we will go. And may the others find a safe road. Strider will look after them. I don't suppose we shall see them again.

Sam: Yet we may, Mr. Frodo. We may.

- - - - -

Pippin: Frodo!

Merry: Frodo!

Pippin: Frodo, where are you?

Merry: Frodo!

[Leaves crunch beneath them as the search]

Pippin: Frodo!

Merry: Frodo, where are you?

Pippin: Look. There's something through the trees, over there. Is that him? Frodo?

[Orcs begin to laugh]

Pippin: Orcs! Help, help!

[The hobbits out their swords]

Orc: You can throw those little daggers away, my tinies. We're not going to fight you.

Boromir: Then you shall fight me!

Merry: Boromir!

Boromir: Get behind me, both of you.

[The Orcs attack, screaming]

Pippin: They're coming out of the trees! There are dozens of them - sound your horn, Boromir, warn the others!

[Boromir's horn resonates through the forest and the Orcs advance]