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Phial of Galadriel

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The Phial of Galadriel by John Howe.
"...and slowly the ship slipped away down the long grey firth; and the light of the glass of Galadriel that Frodo bore glimmered and was lost."
The Return of the King, The Grey Havens

The Phial of Galadriel or Star-glass, was the gift that Galadriel's bestowed to Frodo Baggins upon his departure from Lothlórien.[1]

History

As Frodo, Sam and Gollum approached the Stairs of Cirith Ungol, Frodo sees a great mass of cavalrymen led by the Lord of the Nazgûl. When the Witch-king stops, Frodo fears that he had spotted them; against his will, Frodo moves his hand towards the ring. However he toughes the Phial - which he had forgotten - and the Witch-king ends his pause and continues on his way.[2]

Both Frodo and Samwise Gamgee used the phial to fend off the attacks of Shelob, and escape her lair on the borders of Mordor.[3] Sam later used it to overcome the will of the Two Watchers at the Tower of Cirith Ungol.[4] Sam also attempted to use the light in the Crack of Doom but the light from the glass faded because they were in the heart of Sauron's domain.[5]

When Gollum led Frodo and Sam into Shelob's Lair, Frodo exclaims in Quenya, "Aiya Eärendil Elenion Ancalima!"; this translates as "Hail Eärendil, brightest of stars!". This is in reference to the light of the star of Eärendil, the Silmaril he wore upon his brow, the brightest star in the sky.[6] It was the light of this star which is trapped within the Star-glass.

Upon Frodos departure from Middle-earth, the light from the phial faded as it reached the shores of Eldamar.[7]

References

  1. The Fellowship of the Ring, Farewell to Lórien.
  2. The Two Towers, The Stairs of Cirith Ungol.
  3. The Two Towers, Shelob's Lair.
  4. The Return of the King, The Tower of Cirith Ungol.
  5. The Return of the King, Mount Doom
  6. The Silmarillion,Of the Voyage of Eärendil and the War of Wrath
  7. The Fellowship of the Ring, Farewell to Lórien.
Gifts of Galadriel
Andúril's sheath Elfstone Boromir's belt
Merry and Pippin's belts Sam's garden box Hair of Galadriel
Bow of the Galadhrim Phial of Galadriel