Her eyes -- I recognize them as those I envisioned in my mind. I endeavor not to stare but am wholly unable to resist, for Haldir spoke truly; she is the Lady of Light.
Lord Celeborn’s speech is measured, as one unaccustomed to using the common tongue; shifting in one’s mind from one language to another before speaking.
“The enemy knows you have entered here. What hope you had in secrecy is now gone. Eight there are here, yet nine there were set out from Rivendell. Tell me, where is Gandalf? For I much desire to speak with him. I can no longer see him from afar.”
My heart quails; how shall we move forward if the enemy is now aware of our path? What hope is there in accomplishing the deed, if the Eye is trained on us? Gandalf... my heart tears afresh within my breast, bereft. What to say?
The Lady answers for us, her voice revealing first her awareness, and then her dismay.
“Gandalf the Grey did not pass through the borders of this land. He has fallen into shadow.”
Legolas elaborates; the cutting bitterness in his voice unhidden and unmistakable.
“He was taken by both shadow and flame, a Balrog of Morgoth, for we went needless into the net of Moria.”
The Lady chastens him gently.
“Needless were none of the deeds of Gandalf in life. We do not yet know his full purpose.”
Gimli sighs dejectedly beside me. Even through my grief, I sense the warm comfort of the Lady’s words for him.
“Do not let the great emptiness of Khazad-Dûm fill your heart, Gimli son of Glóin, for the world has grown full of peril, and in all lands love is now mingled with grief.”
I hear Boromir’s sharp intake of breath, as one who fights with tears.
The Lord Celeborn continues, dispirited.
“What now becomes of this Fellowship; without Gandalf hope is lost.”
He speaks truly. The Lady manifests a paradoxical nature as she conveys both warning and comfort.
“The Quest stands upon the edge of a knife. Stray but a little, and it will fail, to the ruin of all. Yet hope remains, while the Company is true. Do not let your hearts be troubled. Go now, and rest, for you are weary with sorrow and much toil. Tonight, you will sleep in...”
Peace is lost to me as a voice whispers in my mind. “Welcome, Frodo of the Shire, one who has seen the Eye.”