When the fellowship of the ring left Lothlórien, Sam commented on the position of the moon and questioned how long they had stayed in Lothlórien. Aragorn replied to Sam as follows:

The old moon passed, and a new moon waxed and waned in the world outside, while we tarried there. And yestereve a new moon came again. Winter is nearly gone.

-The Fellowship of the Ring, Book II, Chapter IX

Moreover, "What is the timeline for The Lord of the Rings trilogy?" indicates the fellowship remained in Lothlórien approximately a month. Since it seems that the fellowship had a somewhat urgent quest to complete, why had they "tarried" in Lothlórien?

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    Given that it says "Winter is nearly gone", perhaps they decided that it was safer to stay there during the worst months of the year (and they could take time out and figure out what to do now that Gandalf, their de facto leader, was no longer with them). Leaving this as a comment because I don't have any real basis for this aside from speculation. Dec 20, 2017 at 4:38
  • I guess they were waiting for Gandalf. Galadriel said he is not dead but surrounded by darkness. I can't find any good quotes though.
    – user65648
    Dec 20, 2017 at 4:54

1 Answer 1


Time passes different in Lothlórien

While the company may have appeared to have "tarried" as their time in Lothlórien wore on, an earlier draft on the topic suggests that they themselves hadn't aged.

The Coy. [Company] stays in Lórien for many days. They cannot count the time, for they do not age in that time, but outside in fact 30 days goes by.

They cannot count the time, for they themselves do not age or only very slowly. Outside in fact about 30 days passes.

The History of Middle-earth - Volume XII: The Peoples of Middle-earth, Chapter VI: Tale of Years

This may have been the same in the published Legendarium, however at the time Tolkien meddled with the idea that some form of time manipulation by Galadriel may have prevented the ageing of the lands of Lothlórien.

This idea is supported by Celeborn in "The Mirror of Galadriel" (the chapter):

It is eight and thirty years of the world outside since you came to this land; and those years lie heavy on you. But the end is near, for good or ill. Here lay aside your burden for a while!

The Fellowship of the Ring - Book II, Chapter 7: The Mirror of Galadriel

Celeborn speaks of two very interesting things here, the first being that the years in "the world outside" seem to be different to those recorded in Lothlórien, again suggesting that time passes differently. Furthermore, he suggests that Aragorn can set his burden aside for a while, suggesting that Lothlórien seems like an ancient spa resort, where one forgets their pains and worries.

When asking about Gandalf, Legolas gives us a little more insight into the magical affects of Lothlórien.

At first we were weary and danger was too close behind and afterwards we almost forgot our grief for a time, as we walked in gladness on the fair paths of Lórien.


A final point on why the company stayed so long is to replenish and recover after the loss of Gandalf.

you should have refuge in this City, until you were healed and refreshed. Now you shall rest, and we will not speak of your further road for a while.


The time spent in Lórien was beneficial to the Company and the gifts they received proving instrumental in their success.

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    That first quote is not found in the place you cite it to.
    – ibid
    Nov 16, 2021 at 15:31
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    And that second quote could use more quoting - it started, "Welcome, Aragorn, son of Arathorn. It is eight and thirty-years since...". My first reading of that, I thought the Fellowship had been trapped there for decades. :)
    – John C
    Mar 9, 2022 at 23:09

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