Here is my lord and love asleep beside me, his face calm and beautiful as he dreams. He was uneasy before our long debate. He has yielded to me, and now I am uneasy. I rise from our bed and go to the stairs and climb to the shelf where I can stand and look out over the trees. The moon is high and full and the tops of the trees of Lorien are like the sea in the moon?s light, the wind moving over the golden leaves makes them shimmer like water. I hold up my hand and Nenya, the Ring of Adamant, glints coldly, glittering like one of the distant stars. Somewhere in the darkness below my chamber, in the city of the Galadrim, is the other Ring, the nameless ring of the nameless one. Hung on a chain around the frail neck of the Halfling Frodo. I see it before my mind?s eye, an orbit of Evil encircling Power, glowing like an un-Sun, spreading darkness not light.
Below us our guests are asleep. Their dreams are untroubled, they lie as sweetly as babes, safe here in our care, netted around by my enchantments. Yet I am wakeful.
Celeborn and I are now of one mind in this matter. I would do as I must, but still I am glad he now sees with my eyes. It is given to us to aid the Eight who have come to us, and aid them we will. But what of the Ninth? What of Mithrandir? He has fallen, they say. Yet surely such a fall would echo in my heart? I seek his thought, yet is hidden. There is much that I know, and there is much I do not know. I will bend my wish to the Eagles of the sky, that can soar above the Earth. Mithrandir! It is I, Galadriel, who calls to you!
In the corner of my sight, where I can see only if I do not look, is the Eye. It wearies even me, to keep my heart and mind shielded from it. Would that I could rest! Would that I could put care aside, as our guests have. Yet this is not to be. Not yet, not yet. The greatest labour is yet to come, and I must garner all my strength, I cannot be weary or doubtful. Celeborn knows me so well! Long he held my gaze with his, when I counseled that we open our land to these travelers. It is given to me to see with longer sight than he, but surely he sees more clearly, at times. No matter what course we take, no matter what plans we make, we cannot know all ends. Risk all, or lose all. Risk all and lose all. So nicely it weighs in the balance.
They sleep, the Halflings. What manner of folk are they? I search my long memory and I recall only tales of little beings who live like coneys, with voices like the piping of birds. Yet this Frodo the Ringbearer was not abashed by my questioning, he endured my gaze better than any, save Legolas Greenleaf and my dear Aragorn. But does he have the power to endure, the strength to bear this burden to the bitter end? Alas, for Lorien, for us all, if he does not. Alas for Lorien, if he does. This is what we are come to, that our Doom is out of our hands. Yet, it always was. Even I, Galadriel, have no Power over Fate. Even were I to possess the Ring--there it is, the question I would fain dismiss unasked: if I had the Ring? Surely, surely I could bend it to my will? What knows this Frodo of our needs? He bears it blindly, his only thought to bear it, and bear it, until he can throw it away?why should not it come to me? Has it come to me, just in the nick of time?
My Lord Celeborn, my best and most loving counselor?in his wisdom, is this what he feared? That at the end of days, I would fall? Nay, not that. He feared I would consider it, that is all. He feared I would torment myself with this question and to my shame I see that I have. Yet in my heart I must stay true, must not deny my innermost thought. Celeborn, Celeborn, you always see your Galadriel so clearly! How many long ages have you been trying to protect me from myself?
The Man Boromir, even now he sleeps with his sword unsheathed and near to his hand. Even here, in Caras Galadon. He is danger going about on two legs, this Boromir. Proud and honourable, but with the weakness of Men. (The weakness of Men? When I have allowed the magnet of Power to pull my thought aside into the path of doubt? Take shame, Galadriel, and admit that not only Men are weak.) My heart forbodes me that grief will befall because of him, yet I know I do not see all ends and I must not mar what I would make: renewed purpose and will in the Fellowship. Aragorn is come into his own, it will fall to him to deal with Boromir, and he has the strength to do it. But what of Aragorn, and his desire to return to the city of the Numenoreans? How can that come about, now, with Gandalf gone? How I wish I could pierce the veils that swirl about Mithradir!
The Dwarf Gimli has a noble spirit. Our old allies, our old adversaries, the Dwarves. He is the equal of any of Durin?s folk that I have met in my time in Middle Earth, proud and contentious and eager to defend his honour and the honour of his folk. Yet, unlike so many of his people, he has some skill with words, relying not on deeds of endurance and valour alone to speak for him. Such a fire in his eye! An axe-bearer, here in a kingdom of trees. This is what our days are come to.
Our Kinsman, Legolas Greenleaf: we say kinsman, but many branches on our family trees must be searched before we connect with the folk of Mirkwood. I recall his father Thranduil to my mind though it is long since we met. Like Thranduil, Legolas is stern of bearing for an Elf, not given to mirth, and he has taken these Halflings to his heart. What his keen eyes and skill at arms may do, he will do. Elrond chose well here, as with Gimli, if choosing it be. So often it has been seen that events fall out as needs be, and was it chance alone that brought the Nine together in Imladris?
Since I cannot rest, I will stand here in the moonlight and plan: that is, I will weave webs, I will knit nets of thought, I will stir the waters. The Enemy does not sleep, he is ever wakeful and alive with malice. His thought darts about here and there, touching on this place, then on that. Searching, searching. So great and yet so fearful, so unsure. I could pity Saruman, did I not despise him so thoroughly, because his treachery has exposed him to the Eye. Him I never trusted. Here was one occasion when Galadriel failed in her scheming, when Saruman not Mithrandir was made head of the White Council. And now both are lost to us, in the uttermost hour of our need. We must cut our cloaks to suit our cloth, now; since the rope of our hope is broken, we must tie a knot, and go on.
The guests must be refreshed, their hurts healed, their heartaches eased, before they leave our land, such is the use of hospitality in Lorien. That which I have to give them, I shall give. That which I can tell them, I will tell. Here is the test for Galadriel, to not give too much, to not tell too much. The weak have this dreadful power over the strong: they need us. It feeds my vanity, that Celeborn is too kind to call vanity?my love of being gracious and great and queenly?these things come easily to me. It is humility I stand in need of, I know that. That Halfling Frodo, whose clear eyes met mine, whose simplicity and ordinary goodness shine like beacons even here in this city of Light, he has given me a lesson all unknowing. This is indeed the hour when the small challenge the great, the weak unseat the strong. I bow to him, and to the inevitable, whatever it may be.
So I will return to my rest, and I will lie beside Celeborn and take his hand in mine as always. He will know; he has always lived in the changeable weather of my mood. I am his sun and wind, he is my rock.