When parting Lothlorien, Galadriel gives to Frodo the phial containing the light from Earandil's star. This gift has a crucial impact on the mission to destroy the Ring as it not only stops both Frodo and Sam being killed by Shelob, but also allows them to pass the watchers guarding the Tower of Cirith Ungol. I was wondering if this gift was based on specific visions that Galadriel may have seen in her mirror, or just considered as a potentially useful gift given the destination of the Ring-bearer.

I was wondering if (outside of the Lord of the Rings) any mention is made of a specific motivation behind the preparation of this gift?

  • 3
    I'd even extend this question to the other gifts as well (at least most of them): The rope as well as the cloaks played essential roals. They're just not that uncommon in their final use.
    – Mario
    Aug 11, 2012 at 22:12
  • 2
    The phial serves to tie together the tales of the jewels and the rings.
    – TRiG
    Dec 8, 2012 at 0:13
  • Gandalf seems to think that coincidence doesn't really exist.
    – Wad Cheber
    Jul 20, 2015 at 21:16

2 Answers 2


Ultimately we only know what was touched on in the Lord of the Rings. There's no extra information on Galadriel's foreknowledge, decision process on the gift giving or her general motivations in this instance.

It's reasonable to assume she probably had some inkling of a foreshadowing, even if it was as vague as "Frodo will need light to shine the way", given her Mirror, but we don't know if she had any specific knowledge that lead to the gift.

  • I has always understood that "May it be a light for you in dark places, when all other lights go out" had two meanings. One, that it would be a literal light, as the Ringbearer's road would be the darkest of all the Company's, and two, the light would give the Ringbearer hope in places where he would need it most of all. Apr 20, 2015 at 13:52

It is most likely that Galadriel knew the only way for Frodo to get into Mordor would be through Cirith Ungol. She has knowledge of the land, and would know it would be impossible to get in through the front door. It's like if you've never been camping before and I give you a torch, some matches and a warm cloak - and they all help you when camping, I don't think that would make me a fortune teller or anything.

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