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The date of the Company’s arrival in Lorien is well-established. You can either count on your fingers the number of days that have passed since Frodo’s dream in the snows upon Caradhras or you can consult the Tale of Years which says ‘The Company comes to Caras Galadhon at evening’—both will give a date of January 17th. So the Company’s walk from Nimrodel to Caras Galadhon must have started on January 16th.
The first event of January 16th occurs when ‘The sickle Moon was gleaming dimly among the leaves’. The waning Moon rises after midnight, and would be highest in the hours just before dawn.
In the small hours, Orcs from Moria reach the Falls of Nimrodel where the Company are asleep on flets. The Elves are able to lure the Orcs deeper into the wood.
Gollum finds Frodo’s tree and starts climbing toward the Ring-bearer, but flees when one of the Elven guards returns.
‘The morning was still young and cold when the Company set out again’ but they then follow the road south ‘for some way’ before turning aside, so it’s presumably mid-morning by the time they cross the Silverlode.
The Elves lead the Company east off the road and tie a simple bridge of three ropes across the Silverlode. One at a time, the members of the Company cross the swirling water. This puts them safely on the opposite side of the river from the Orcs.
Now that the Company have reached the Naith, the Elves are ready to blindfold Gimli.
‘The agreement was made without my consent. I will not walk blindfold, like a beggar or a prisoner. And I am no spy. My folk have never had dealings with any of the servants of the Enemy.’
‘I do not doubt you, yet this is our law. I am not the master of the law and cannot set it aside. I have done much in letting you set foot over Celebrant.’
Aragorn orders that they all be blindfolded—‘It is hard upon the Dwarf to be thus singled out.’
The Elves lead them south.
The Company walks for the rest of the day, sleeps while still blindfolded, and walks through the morning of the following day. ‘At noon they halted, and Frodo was aware that they had passed out under the shining Sun.’
Messages from the Lord and Lady reach the Company’s escort: the blindfolds can be removed. Haldir removes Gimli’s first. ‘Your pardon! Look on us now with friendly eyes! Look and be glad, for you are the first dwarf to behold the trees of the Naith of Lórien since Durin’s Day!’
While the others rest on the grass, Sam stands gazing in wonder. ‘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 was inside a song, if you take my meaning.’
Haldir leads Frodo and Sam up the highest tree of Cerin Amroth. To the south they see the Elven city, Caras Galadhon; far to the east, the shadows of its rival, Dol Guldur.
When they return to the ground they overhear Aragorn, who is standing alone: ‘Arwen vanimelda, namárië!’
At what time do the Company reach Caras Galadhon? They don’t set out again until the Sun is ‘sinking behind the mountains’ and by the time they reach the walls of Caras Galadhon ‘the night deepened more’ and ‘lights sprang forth, until all the hill seemed afire with stars.’ Their audience with the Lord Celeborn and Lady Galadriel must therefore take place late enough for the night to have grown completely dark.
The Company of the Ring are brought before the Lord Celeborn and the Lady Galadriel, who are dismayed to hear of Gandalf’s fall. Celeborn is angry at Balin’s Dwarves for rousing the Balrog and, for a moment, wishes he had welcomed neither Gimli nor the Company into Lórien.
Celeborn: ‘If it were possible, one would say that at the last Gandalf fell from wisdom into folly, going needlessly into the net of Moria.’
Galadriel: ‘He would be rash indeed that said that thing. Needless were none of the deeds of Gandalf in life.’
Galadriel turns to Gimli, and uses Dwarvish names. ‘Dark is the water of Kheled-zâram, and cold are the springs of Kibil-nâla, and fair were the many-pillared halls of Khazad-dûm.’
Gimli bows. ‘Yet more fair is the living land of Lórien, and the Lady Galadriel…’
After the Lord Celeborn invites the Company to remain in Lórien and rest, they return to the ground to sleep. The Elves have set up a pavilion for them. As the night deepens they discuss their journey—and the long searching look that the Lady Galadriel gave each of them.
Pippin: ‘What did you blush for, Sam? Anyone would have thought you had a guilty conscience.’
Sam: ‘I felt as if I hadn’t got nothing on. She seemed to be looking inside me and asking what I would do if she gave me the chance of flying back home—with a bit of garden of my own.’
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