The Mirror of Galadriel

by Varda-(Valar)
November 2, 2006

Elves > Galadriel > Objects > Mirror of Galadriel

    In placement, the Mirror was on the southern slope of the hill of Caras Galadhon, behind a high green hedge in an enclosed garden open to the sky. There were no trees. Sam and Frodo could see the evening star shining with white fire over the western woods. To go down into the garden, they walked down a long flight of steps. The hollow was deep green, with a silver stream running through it that came from a fountain on the hill. At the bottom of the hollow of the garden was a silver basin that was wide and shallow, set on a low pedestal carved like a branching tree. Beside it was a silver ewer (pitcher). Galadriel poured water from the stream into the basin and breathed on it. This can be considered a magical act. She didn't speak until the water was still again. The air was very still and the dell was dark (at least dark enough to see the evening star).
    Galadriel said that she could command the Mirror to reveal many things. To some, she could show what they desired to see. The Mirror would also show things unbidden, often stranger and more profitable than what a person might ask to be shown. It showed things that were, things that are, and things that yet may be, but even the wisest could not always tell which was which, and not all the future possibilities would come to pass. Since trying to act on what was seen in the Mirror might cause that thing to happen, those visions were dangerous to use as a guide to actions.
    At first Sam saw stars reflected in it, then the stars went out, then it seemed as if a dark veil was withdrawn and he saw images. The images had to do with the viewer, not actually random, but it did not wait for the viewer to try to understand it.
    The phial of Galadriel contained water from the Mirror of Galadriel.

    J.R.R. Tolkien. "The Mirror of Galadriel", Fellowship of the Ring