The Fellowship of the Ring Book 2, Chapter 6
Aragorn warns them that it would be perilous for them to remain too long outside the gates of Moria. He laments the loss of Gandalf. Mountains dominate the landscape. They follow the broken roadway and Aragorn thinks, "'The orcs will not, maybe, come out till after dusk, but we must be far away before nightfall.'" Book 2, Chapter 6, pg. 396. Gimli shows them the beautiful lake that graces the eastern entrance to Moria. It reflects all of the mountains around it. They turn and begin to travel quickly. They follow a river that runs into a valley where the woods of Lothlorien lie. This is where they might find safety. They travel too quickly and the hobbits begin to fall behind. Aragorn notices this and encourages the hobbits to hurry. After a while, they stop. Sam is wounded, but his wound is not poisoned and it will heal. Aragorn wants to look at Frodo's wounds and he makes him take off his shirt; this is the first time that anyone in the company sees that Frodo is wearing Bilbo's mithril mail. Aragorn laughs when he sees that Frodo is only bruised. He encourages the Hobbit to put the mail back on and never take it off.
The night falls and there are many stars but no moon. Frodo thinks he sees light and hears feet as they keep moving. Soon they come to the edge of Lothlorien. Legolas does not know whether elves still inhabit the fair forest. Aragorn thinks that they should keep going until they find a safe place to stop. Boromir does not want to enter Lothlorien because the men tell tales of dangerous and wicked things happening in the forest. Aragorn tells him that it is less perilous than going around it, and it is likely that the orcs will hesitate to enter it. After a mile, they come to a stream and wade across it. They rest and Legolas tells them stories of the region. There was a maiden who used to live there. When the dwarves awakened evil in the nearby mountains, the elves were filled with sorrow. The maiden had a house in the trees. Aragorn decides that they should rest for the night in the trees to avoid anything on the ground. Legolas swings up on a branch and a voice hails him from the top. There are elves in the tree who want Legolas to climb up and speak with them. They also want him to bring Frodo up with them. A ladder is let down and the Hobbit climbs up. The elves tell him that they rarely speak to outsiders. They did not know that hobbits still existed on the earth. Frodo tells them that there are others below; the elves are not happy that there is a dwarf among the crowd. Frodo convinces them to let them all up no matter what race they are.
They climb up and the elves decide to give them shelter for the night. The hobbits are to stay in the first tree and the others are to stay in one that is very near. The name of the elf that speaks to them and is most helpful is Haldir. The elves feed them but the hobbits, who are naturally afraid of heights and avoid them at all costs, have much trouble sleeping. Frodo lies awake and looks at the stars. Later, he wakes from a brief sleep to gaze at the sickle moon. He hears a rustle below and then the sounds of many orcs. An elf tells him to lie still and be quiet. They hear something scurry up the tree and Haldir cannot recognize it. It flees as soon as the branches shake, sensing hostile elves. The elves have warned their countrymen and they are setting an ambush that will hopefully stop the orcs.
In the morning they leave early and walk over the beautiful landscape of the enchanted forest. They come to a stream without a bridge and when they ask how they are to cross it the elves set up three ropes across the river to stand on and guide yourself across. Sam has the most trouble balancing. They enter a sacred area of the forest and the elves want to blindfold Gimli because he is a dwarf and this region is not to be seen by hostile outsiders. He does not like this at all:
"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. Neither have we done harm to the elves. I am no more likely to betray you than Legolas, or any of my other companions'" Book 2, Chapter 6, pg. 410
The elf tells him that it is the law and Gimli puts his hand on his ax hilt. Aragorn speaks up and demands that they all be blindfolded if one of them must be. Legolas speaks up and says it is not right for him to be blindfolded, but he agrees to avoid any further trouble. Haldir speaks of the dangers surrounding Lothlorien on all sides. The influence of Sauron is everywhere and the new evil from Saruman is affecting regions that were once free from the dark lord's power. Merry speaks of the Grey Havens to the west of the Shire. Haldir asks if he has ever seen them and Merry admits that he has not. Haldir does not think that the shadow of Mordor will ever recede.
They walk slowly at first as they hear and smell Lothlorien. They march all day and rest at night. In the morning, they run into a band of elves who were at the ambush of the orcs. Many were killed. One strange creature escaped through their ranks. A messenger also tells them that all blindfolds on their guests are to be removed, including Gimli. They rest at a holy place, a hill with crowns of trees and golden star-shaped flowers. Frodo stares in wonder, taking in the sight. He tells Sam that he feels as if he were inside the most beautiful song ever. Haldir asks him if he wants to climb the hill and look from its top. They ascend into the circle of trees. Near the top, they step onto a platform and see a hill of mighty trees off in the distance. This is the green city, the capital of Lothlorien. From this vantage point, they can see into southern Mirkwood. Haldir speaks of the evil that once dwelled there, Sauron.