What can I say of our time in Lothlorien that isn’t already in the Red Book? Mr. Frodo asked all of us about that time, about our thoughts and what we membered and all, and even Strider answered some of his questions afore we left Minas Tirith.
Here was Elves of a different sort from those we’d seen in Rivendell, Elves who was more removed from the outer world. It were the most Elvish place I’ve seen, and the thought it is fading now is a grief to me. Some day, maybe, the Mallorn tree now growing in the Party Field will be the only memorial to what Lothlorien once was.
Frodo was quieter than he was afore, after he was stabbed by the Black Rider; after Gandalf fell he were in shock for some time. He barely spoke, didn’t want Strider to check his bruises or see the mithril shirt, was reluctant to be touched. It were as if he were afraid he was infected with bad luck and it were catching. No, not bad luck--as if the evil of the Ring could get loose and destroy the rest of us if we came too close.
I still don’t know what image he saw when the Lady Galadriel first looked at him that first night in her city. He never told anyone nor wrote it down anywhere as I can find. But something in that look eased a bit of his hurt, as did the rest in Lothlorien. He finally worked on his own song of grief for Gandalf, and it were a beautiful one. One of the Elves who brought us our food brought me some ink and parchment and all when I asked it of him, and I wrote the poem down and put it in my pack. I missed it when I emptied out the rest of our things in Mordor, and I found it when we was in Minas Tirith, and I gave it to Mr. Frodo. And he wrote it into the Red Book, and it’ll never be forgotten. And I gave the rest of the parchment and the ink and the quill to him, but he didn’t take it with him when we left Lothlorien, said he’d have no chance to write in the wilderness, nor any way of caring for the ink.
Afore we left, during our last meal together, Galadriel took me aside, quiet like.
“We honor your master for what he does for the sake of all free peoples, Samwise Gamgee,” she said, “but you, too, are worthy of great praise. I can give you nothing great enough to reward you for what you have done and will do, but I would have you know that it does deserve the greatest of honor.
“May the Valar and all Powers for Good protect you and your Master on your long journey. But I will warn you now, it has already cost him much and will cost him more ere he comes to the end. The wounds he bears already will not heal within Middle Earth, and to what his burden will bring him cannot yet be told.”
And then she touched my forehead, and looked sadly into my eyes afore we returned to the rest. Boromir noted our walking away, and looked at me with suspicion as I came back; and Legolas noted it, too, and gave me a smile as I sat back down. I think perhaps Strider saw, too; but he said nothing. Gimli and Mr. Frodo and the others didn’t seem to notice at all.