Another refreshingly short chapter! Though one of those in-between chapters, where we spend all our time traveling from one event to the next.
As you know, I love Rivendell. I think it sounds restful and quiet and calm -- like a library crossed with a spa. But I don't love Lothlorien. It's a little too otherworldly for me, I think. Frodo thinks that "[i]n Rivendell there was memory of ancient things; in Lorien the ancient things still lived on in the waking world" (p. 340). To be honest, that kind of creeps me out. My brain says that it'd be cool to be able to interact with ancient things and people, but my instincts want nothing to do with it. So I don't blame Boromir and Gimli for hesitating to go there.
But anyway, there's one bit here that makes me laugh every time. When Haldir and his brothers encountered the fellowship, Legolas told Sam that "they say that you breathe so loud that they could shoot you in the dark," which seems really rude, but I just have to laugh because "Sam hastily put his hand over his mouth" when Legolas said that, and then when Legolas, Frodo, and Sam get invited up onto one of the elves' flets, it says "behind came Sam trying not to breathe loudly" (p. 333). And that amuses me to no end, the image of Sam climbing a rope ladder and spending more energy on breathing quietly than on climbing.
Also, I love the Elvish word for orcs: yrch. It sounds like someone saying 'yuck,' which is probably exactly what I'd say if I saw an orc. After I quit screaming and running away, anyway.
"We must do without hope," he said. "At least we may yet be avenged" (p. 324).
"Indeed in nothing is the power of the Dark Lord more clearly shown than in the estrangement that divides all those who still oppose him" (p. 339).
"We live now upon an island amid many perils, and our hands are more often upon the bowstring than upon the harp" (p. 339).
"The world is indeed full of peril, and in it there are many dark places; but still there is much that is fair, and though in all lands love is now mingled with grief, it grows perhaps the greater" (p. 339).
On the land of Lorien there was no stain (p. 341).
Possible Discussion Questions:
There's a poignant moment where Merry tells Haldir, "I have never been out of my own land before. And if I had known what the world outside was like, I don't think I should have had the heart to leave it" (p. 339). I'm reminded of what Elrond told Pippin when he and Merry didn't want to be left behind. Elrond said they wanted to go along "because you do not understand and cannot imagine what lies ahead" (p. 269). However, later on, Aragorn will disagree with Elrond's statement when he says of Merry, "[h]e knows not to what end he rides; yet if he knew, he still would go on" (p. 762). Who do you think understood the hobbits better, Elrond or Aragorn? Or does this reflect a change in Merry and Pippin, part of their character arcs?