After a day of walking, the Company reaches Caras Galadhon, the central city of the forest. Here they are able to gaze in awe at the wondrous treescapes as they meet Lothlórien’s rulers, Celeborn and Galadriel. The Lord and Lady of Lórien seem ancient, fair, and wise to all their guests, and they grieve to hear of Gandalf’s fall. Galadriel seems to test the moral resolve of each member of the Company by looking into their eyes and speaking to them inside their minds; all of them pass a test of desire, although Boromir will not reveal what the Lady offered him.
Like Rivendell, Tolkien portrays Lothlórien as a destination of moral virtue. He shows this through the beauty and elegance of its people and its environment, where everything appears beautiful and in harmony with nature. The elvish names also reflect this innate goodness as they roll softly off the tongue.
The Fellowship spends many days resting in the elf-forest, during which Legolas and Gimli begin to develop a strong friendship. Frodo uses these restful days to craft a song that memorializes Gandalf. Also of note is the day that Galadriel shows Frodo and Sam her Mirror. The Lady of Lórien uses this magical basin filled with stream water to receive visions of possible futures. She offers the two hobbits the chance to look into her Mirror, warning them not to touch the water. The two hobbits choose to look into the Mirror of Galadriel, and both see frightening scenes—Sam’s beloved home, family, and friends are in danger, while Frodo sees a host of frightening images including a great, fiery eye that is intently searching the land. Galadriel reminds Frodo not to touch the water, and the sound of her voice disrupts his visions.
Galadriel has the power of foresight through her use of the magically enhanced mirror. Foresight is again a prediction that seems to stem from the mysterious, overarching power of fate. Sam and Frodo are frightened by their visions, but when offered a choice to abandon the quest and return home, they selflessly choose to continue in order to defy Sauron’s evil. The fiery eye will come to be closely associated with Sauron, as he relentlessly seeks the Ring.
Through her powers, Galadriel has also experienced the visions Frodo has seen. She comforts the Ring-bearer against the seemingly undefeatable might of Sauron, revealing that she actively resists Sauron’s psychological attacks. During this conversation, Frodo becomes aware of a bright ring on her hand and guesses that it is an elvish ring of power. Galadriel confirms his hunch.
Frodo is greatly heartened by the knowledge that there are powers great enough in Middle-earth to actively resist Sauron’s might. His status as a Ring-bearer perhaps gives him greater insights into understanding other magical objects, such as Galadriel’s ring. The fact that she possesses another ring of power marks her as one of the major figures of Middle-earth.
Frodo is so awed by Galadriel’s power and wisdom that he offers her the Ring, feeling that she is more appropriate to bear it than he is. Despite her desire for the power she could wield with the Ring, Galadriel acknowledges that it would corrupt her into a Dark Queen, and she rejects Frodo’s offer. She leads Frodo and Sam back to the rest of the Company.
Like Gandalf and Elrond before her, Galadriel proves her wisdom and virtue by refusing the great temptation of the Ring. She knows it would ultimately consume her and lead her to commit great evils. In fact, these three characters are ultimately revealed to be the bearers of the three elven rings of power, and the fact that they all resist the One Ring shows their worthiness.