The messenger of Elrond had gone, leaving behind a heavy silence between the monarchs of the Golden Wood.
“So, they are coming here.” Lord Celeborn’s voice was deep and expressive in the few words.
“Yes,” Queen Galadriel answered and her voice was as vacant as his had been full, “The Ring is coming to Lothlorien.” She turned her piercing eyes on the tall lord, still sitting, as he had been when the messenger had come. “The most powerful thing in Middle Earth… Celeborn, I am of the wisest of the Eldar, one who wields much power of my own, yet not even I have ever come as near to such power as we will soon harbor in our home.”
Lord Celeborn looked up sharply to meet her gaze, “And yet I wonder if most of its power does not lie in its ability to deceive in respect to how much power it really does hold.”
“Perhaps, my Lord…” Suddenly, she turned and walked quickly to the edge of their private flet. “But think, think, Celeborn! The wonders, the good we could use it for!” Her voice became low, poignant, quiveringly joyful as she looked eastward into the smoking horror that lay there, “Moria restored and cleansed, the dunadain exalted, the innocent protected, Lothlorien expanded, our people…”
Celeborn stood up and stared at her; she had been open with her longings as she always had been, but the joy had faded out of her voice at the last words and her face, silhouetted against the gray mallorn trunk, was terribly strained. Slowly his own eyes lit with a hidden passion and an awful terror, “`we’, my Lady? We? No! It would not be so and you know it! Listen! For uncounted years we have dwelt together, and from the beginning I laid down whatever wisdom my people attributed to me so that I could bask yours. But still it was we, for where you were the wisdom; I was the strength, where your beauty shone like the stars I was the darkness behind, supporting and giving contrast to your light. Galadriel, my Lady,” He stepped forward and stretched a graceful hand out to her, “if you were to take the Ring, and it would be you for I am not wise enough to do so even if I wanted to, if you were to take this thing the “we” would be abolished. I would then become the most faithful, the most devoted of your servants, but I could never stand beside you as I always have, and that would break me, Lady.”
Not once through this had Galadriel moved, but now as he finished she turned her face completely away from him and was silent. He too, had bared his heart and had told the truth she must face, now it was for her to choose between standing alone from this point on, or accepting the strength that had always been hers to take.
She turned back to her husband and met his eyes with a return of the queenly smile touching her lips as he laid her hand regally in his, “You are right, my Lord Celeborn, you are right,” the smile quirked almost teasingly, “this time.”
The final battle still awaited her, the temptation would be it’s strongest when the ring was within arm’s reach, but she did not stand alone, she had a strong ally.