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The return of Gandalf as Gandalf the White is undated in the narrative, but is given as February 14th in the Tale of Years.
Nineteen days after destroying the Balrog, Gandalf returns to life. ‘Naked I lay upon the mountain-top…faint to my ears came the gathered rumour of all lands: the springing and the dying, the song and the weeping, and the slow everlasting groan of overburdened stone.’
In editions of The Lord of the Rings published before 2005, the Tale of Years says that February 14th is also the date on which Frodo and Sam look in the Mirror of Galadriel. But the Company float away from Lorien on the 16th, which leaves one day missing. In more recent editions, Hammond and Scull (see their note for page 1092) resolve the contradiction by updating the Tale of Years to put the Mirror of Galadriel on February 15th.
As for the time of day, Frodo and Sam meet Galadriel after a few minutes of ‘walking together in the cool twilight.’
Sam and Frodo see Galadriel walking tall and fair beneath the mallorn-trees. She leads them to a garden that’s open to the twilight sky, and pours water from a stream into a basin. ‘Here is the Mirror of Galadriel. I have brought you here so that you may look in it, if you will.’
Sam looks in the Mirror: Frodo lying pale and still; trees being felled in the Shire.
Frodo sees a wizard in white; Bilbo pacing; Númenor; then a great Eye searching for him. He looks up and sees that Galadriel wears Nenya, the Ring of Adamant.
He offers her the Ruling Ring.
Galadriel laughs. ‘Gently are you revenged for my testing of your heart at our first meeting.’ Her ring blazes with light. ‘In place of the Dark Lord you will set up a Queen.’
She drops her hand. ‘I pass the test. I will diminish, and go into the West, and remain Galadriel.’
Sam still thinks Galadriel should take the Ring. ‘You’d stop them digging up the gaffer and turning him adrift. You’d make some folk pay for their dirty work.’
‘I would. That is how it would begin. But it would not stop with that, alas!’
She leads them away from the garden.
No precise time is given for the Company’s audience with the Lord and Lady, only that it takes place ‘That night.’ The dialog reported in the narrative must fall even later in the evening, for it was only after they had talked ‘at length’ that ‘Celeborn spoke of their departure.’
The Company are called before the Lady Galadriel and the Lord Celeborn. Will they now travel the west bank of Anduin to Minas Tirith, or the east bank toward Mordor? Seeing their doubt, Celeborn offers Elven-boats. The Company look more hopeful (except Sam) and offer thanks.
They start getting ready to leave ‘in the morning’.
As the Company are packing, the Elves bring them not only lembas but also grey elven-cloaks—woven by the Lady and her maidens. They are the first garments of Lórien ever given to strangers.
The Company start walking the ten miles south to where their new boats are waiting.
By the end of their morning walk ‘noon was at hand’ after which they pack their belongings into the three boats.
Having loaded their three Elven boats and received instruction in their use, the Company set out on the water for the first time. They slowly paddle upstream on the Silverlode as practice.
A swan-boat approaches bearing Galadriel.
‘I sang of leaves, of leaves of gold
And leaves of gold there grew
Of wind I sang, a wind there came
And in the branches blew
Beyond the Sun beyond the Moon
The foam was on the Sea
And by the strand of Ilmarin
There grew a golden Tree…’
‘…O Lórien! Too long I have dwelt
Upon this Hither Shore
And in a fading crown have twined
The golden elanor.
But if of ships I now should sing,
What ship would come to me,
What ship would bear me ever back
Across so wide a Sea?’
After a feast on the grass, Galadriel gives gifts to the Company.
Aragorn—a sheath for Andúril, and a green Elf-stone.
Boromir—a belt of gold.
Merry and Pippin—silver belts.
Frodo—a phial of light.
Gimli names a strand of her hair. He receives three.
The Company embark upon the Anduin. They float south into lands still grey with late winter as the colours of Lórien recede into the distance. They hear Galadriel far behind, singing in the ancient Elven-tongue.
’Ai! laurië lantar lassi súrinen,
Yéni únótimë ve rámar aldaron!…’
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