The Fellowship of the Ring Book 2, Chapter 7
The sun sinks behind the mountain range and sheds a shadow over the forest. The party moves closer to the hill covered with giant trees. This is the city of Lady Galadriel. They go around to the southern end of the city and come to a white bridge. The gates of the city open to them and they enter. Once inside, they see no elves moving around anywhere. They can only hear voices. On the south side of a wide lawn there is the largest tree, where Lady Galadriel dwells with Celeborn. They climb the ladder into this tree loft and find a platform bigger than a large house. There is a royal hall and the chamber is walled with silver and roofed with gold. Celeborn and Galadriel sit next to each other dressed in white. Celeborn asks Frodo to sit next to him and welcomes Aragorn back to the palace. He names each member of the party and welcomes them personally. Galadriel asks after Gandalf the Grey. Aragorn tells them the story of the wizard's demise and the elves all lament. He recounts the entire tale. Celeborn calls the Balrog one of the greatest evils in the world. He blames the dwarves for releasing it from its slumber and allowing it to terrorize their part of the world. Galadriel says that Gandalf's death was for a purpose and chastises her husband for being so quick to blame the evil on the dwarves. They did not create the Balrog. She says she understands the dwarves' need to see their homeland and Gimli bows to her. Celeborn apologizes for his speech.
Galadriel recalls when she first summoned the council to expel Sauron from Mirkwood. She had wanted Gandalf to be in charge, not Saruman. She tells the company not ever to waver from their quest because it is supremely important. She does say that they should sleep easy for the night because they are safe in Lothlorien. The company sleeps on the ground below the trees in a place prepared by the elves. Seeing the beautiful Lady made the hobbits want to return to the Shire and lead a peaceful life with families of their own. The Lady looks at Frodo for awhile with an inquisitive face, but Frodo refuses to share the content of his mind. Boromir says that he does not trust Galadriel and Aragorn warns him not to speak ill of the Lady. He assures him that if anything in the entire world can be trusted, her word can be. One by one they slip off to sleep. For many days they linger in the beauty of Lothlorien. Legolas is not frequently with the group. He is very interested in speaking and meeting with his elf brothers. He takes Gimli with him almost all the time and the two become unlikely friends. The companions speak remorsefully of Gandalf and the Elves sing a sorrowful song in his honor. Frodo is inspired by this and thinks of writing a song to commemorate Gandalf's heroic fall in Moria.
Frodo realizes that they must soon leave the city and forest if they are ever to accomplish their task. Sam has a better opinion of elves than he used to. Frodo says, "'I don't miss Gandalf's fireworks, but his bushy eyebrows, and his quick temper, and his voice.'" Book 2, Chapter 7, pg. 426. As they speak, Galadriel appears and beckons for them. They follow her into a green grove and find a basin of silver water. She tells them that this is her mirror and when someone peers into it they see some truth of the past, present, or future. Everyone sees something different. Frodo is hesitant to look, but Sam wants to look right away. When he first looks in he sees only stars, but it begins to change. The next image is of the Shire. Someone is cutting down trees and overturning houses. He sees his grandfather struggling with someone. Sam immediately wants to go home, but Galadriel tells him that he must stay with Frodo.
Frodo hesitates before he looks. He peers within and sees what seems to be the shape of Gandalf. The wizard is wearing a white cloak instead of his usual grey. He also holds a new white staff in his hand. After this, he sees a white fortress with seven towers. The fortress in consumed in a battle with evil forces. The mirror goes black and a red giant eye appears within. It begins to grow larger and Frodo thinks it is watching him. He begins to panic, but the vision fades. Galadriel assures him that the dark lord cannot reach him through the mirror. She knows what he has seen and she bids him to look at her hand. She bears one of the elf rings of power. She knows that her power to protect Lothlorien, even Lothlorien's power to be a lush and beautiful city, may disappear if the ring of power is destroyed. She has resigned herself to this because Sauron must be defeated. Frodo offers her the great ring to wield. She laughs and says she has longed for the ring for a great time and wished to take it. As she speaks, she seems taller and more intimidating, but the change suddenly stops. She says that she will not succumb to her desire to have the ring. She tells Frodo that his senses have become sharper because of the long time he has been bearing the ring. Sam cannot see the ring on her finger. It has become part of her. Even though it is a good power, she is now one with the ring.