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Member Websites

The member web pages that CoE provides you with allow you to create a small personal website that meets your many interests. CoE has made it quite simple to make your own personal site by allowing you to create it using a template structure. Below are the features that you get when you decide to own a site provided by CoE.


CoE has included specific features such as containing a member’s name in the content that links to their profile on CoE. This is very similar to LiveJournal’s (or LJ’s) user feature.

A member can choose from several different layouts and change the colors of their web page. By simply using table colors, border colors, and font colors a member can make their web pages look really nice.

Another feature implemented to make creation much easier is the use of BBCode to input content. This feature allows members to manipulate their content with CoE’s very own forum’s BBCode.

A member has the ability to create multiple pages with multiple layouts, or they have the choice to keep the pages and layouts all the same. You can upload images and use them around the site as backgrounds, banners, or just pictures within the content of your site.

Now remember you can only have up to five pages and ten images, unless you upgrade your site. (We’ll get to the upgrading part later on.) You are also allowed to have an extra page (not included in the previous count) for a guest book designed specifically for the member websites.

As I mentioned earlier you are able to upgrade your account, which will be discussed in full below. The features that come with an upgrade are the ability to create twelve web pages and store up to fifty images, as well as the use of both BBCode and HTML to create your site. When you upgrade, there are more special templates that appear as well. These include a blank template allowing the user full control over the web page.

How to Upgrade:

To upgrade your member website simply send in a ten dollar payment to Rivka (see the “Support CoE” area in the CoE forums) and then contact Veaglarwen to let her know that you’ve sent in the payment. Once everything is approved, Veaglarwen will then turn on your “Paid Status” and send you a PM letting you know it is in effect. After that, the possibilities end where your creativity ends.


The member websites come with their own FAQs which can be found here. If this doesn’t seem to help you may ask questions in the Member Website Help thread where one of the staff members will try to answer all of your questions.

If you need help with BBCode or HTML, you’ll have to do a Google search to find tutorials on those, because CoE doesn’t offer specific coding support.

Now that I’ve went over the feature, upgrading, and help areas, I’d like to tell you about some member websites that I just love to love.

This month’s featured member website is one of my personal favorites. This site is an absolute must for members who are interested in or speak the Elvish language (either Quenya or Sindarin). The Elvish dialects are used frequently throughout the site; it even has a General Elvish Discussion forum where you discuss anything and everything in Elvish! Also if you’re looking for a vast site this is the one for you. It has a whopping thirty-two forums (including the two admin forums)! All of which are interesting in their own way. NamarieGaladriel definitely does a good job with the site, check it out sometime.

Last but not least, is the Realm of Nessa’s very own member website; provided by ~wild_shieldmaiden~, this is the Realm of Nessa’s first website. It has everything you need to know about the Realm, including who the active members are, a personal biography of each, and our very own parodies composed by the Realm. This member website is a must for all of you who are thinking of joining the Realm of Nessa. Check it out. (It’s currently under construction.)

Well, that about sums it up. Now, you know absolutely everything there is to know about member websites. So, if you haven’t set one up yet, now is the time to do it. The key thing to remember is: have fun!

Special thanks to: Veaglarwen: Thank you for your patience and your courtesy. Without you I would never have completed this article! NamarieGaladriel: Your member website is truly wonderful, thanks for letting me write about it! ~wild_shieldmaiden~: Thanks for using your space for the Realm’s site! We really appreciate it!

by Morlothwen

An Interview with little2

Have you ever found yourself wondering just who does lead the Realm of Nessa? Have you ever found yourself wondering just how crazy the Realm Head could be, while basing your judgment on their members? Well, the Realm of Nessa has compiled a list of twenty questions to answer your ever-present queries! Besides, who said that curiosity truly killed the cat? Not us, that’s for sure!

Q: We all know you have a bit of an obsession with photography. How many photos would you say you take per week?
A: Oh dear… on estimate? Wow. A lot. I don’t go anywhere without my digital camera. But, I’d probably have to say… around 60 or so. Depends on how eventful my week is.

Q: What is your favorite song from the LOTR soundtracks?
A: “Twilight and Shadow”… *dreamy sigh*…

Q: How did you become the head of Nessa?
A: Well we all know that Vala used to be the Nessa Head. But it got to the point where she just didn’t have time for it anymore and so she asked me to take over since I had just recently become a staff member and was familiar with all the tasks that would be required of me. And I guess you know the rest.

Q: Aside from being Nessa head, which of your jobs on CoE is your favorite, and why?
A: Probably Casting Forum Moderator. I’ve always been a fangirl at heart. 😉

Q: Do YOU find the idea of yourself as the literal head of Nessa to be amusing?
A: Ha… I can see it now. It’s not pretty… but I can see it, alright. *insert giggle fit here*

Q: Has being in charge of such a giddy bunch ever caused you to throw up your hands in despair?
A: Oh yes. Quite often. -SARCASM-

Q: What is your favorite thing about the LOTR stories? What first attracted you to them?
A: Well, the first thing that attracted me to them was a chance to get out of school when we went on a field trip to see FOTR in theaters with my 7th grade ACE class. 😛 My favorite thing about it, though, is probably just the sense of reality that it embodies, even though it’s such a surreal story. The attention to detail and the history and cultures make everything feel and seem so incredibly believable, and I love being able to get lost in a story to the point where I sometimes forget it didn’t actually happen. That’s when you know the author did his or her job.

Q: What was one of the reasons you decided to take up dancing?
A: I was so young, I can’t say I really remember. I think it was my mom’s idea, and I just kind of went along with it because I was so indifferent about everything at that age. I’m sure glad I got in when I did, though!

Q: What is your favorite Tolkien book, and why?
A: “Return of the King.” Reading about everything finally coming together and sorting out and everyone finally coming back together and settling down after such a life-altering time such as what they went through makes me so incredibly sad, almost downright depressed, but I still love recalling all those climactic moments in ROTK and seeing everyone finally be able to achieve what they’ve been working towards throughout their journey. Plus, I love a book that can make me cry, and if “Return of the King” doesn’t make me cry, then I don’t know what does. 😉

Q: Which Realm Parody is your personal favorite?
A: “Bakshi’s Revenge.” Yeah, buddy. Can’t beat the original.

Q: How do you feel about the LFF (Llama’s Frolic Freely)?
A: Ah yes… I am most definitely an avid LFF supporter. There’s nothing more tragic than a caged llama. 🙁

Q: If you where to ride a llama would you ride one that has a gimp leg or a gimp tail?
A: Hum… tough choice. Probably gimp tail. That way I didn’t fall off because the llama limped.

Q: Would you be able to fall through a crack that wasn’t there?
A: More than likely. Yes.

Q: Why are you so obsessed with Dominic Monaghan?
A: Gee, I don’t know… perhaps because he’s FREAKING HOTT. *ahem* Right… sorry. Sometimes I find it hard to control my inner fangirl. Which is why I’m the Casting Forum Moderator. It’s almost like therapy for me. 😛

Q: Has Nessa had any inspiration upon your dancing?
A: Actually, yes. Ha… ok, I lied. Just then. Not really, unfortunately. But that’s not a bad idea. I just might have to try and envision Nessa frolicking with the deer next time I’m in ballet. 😉

Q: Whatever happened to your obsession with a certain ranger?
A: Oh, it’s still there. It’s just diluted by the many other obsessions I’ve acquired. Don’t worry… I’ll always be a true Aragorn gal at heart.

Q: Tell me, just how crazy can one Nessian get?
A: Too crazy to be expressed by words. I shall leave it at that.

Q: How many dance performances have you done? Which was your favorite and why?
A: Oh my… many. I lost count long ago. There’s the week-long recitals I’ve done since 1st grade, the Company performances, the regular ABD performances, the competitions, the annual trips to dance at 6 Flags, and many more; but my favorite would probably have to be from 2 years ago when my dance company performed on a cruise ship to the Bahamas. The dancing was fun, yes, but I think we all know that we were only there for the cruise. 😉

Q: What was the most stressful thing you have had to do as a mod so far?
A: Just keeping your section up to date in the middle of school and dance and homework and having a social life is pretty stressful in itself. If there are times when I have to skip a day of modding, I get sort of stressed out because I know that I left my other mod hanging and then I feel bad but I have no computer access and… just… yeah. It’s hard to get your priorities in order, LoL. But besides that, my job has never really gotten stressful enough to make a certain situation stick out where I think of it right off the top of my head. It’s actually kind of fun. 🙂 Actually, now that I think of it, doing this newsletter was pretty stressful. 😉

Q: When did you join the site, and how did you find it?
A: I joined May 4, 2003, making me a member for a good year and a half now. I originally stumbled over it quite a few times when I went through an Elvish stage and was determined to learn it. I kept hearing things or finding things that linked back to CoE for their Elvish lessons, so I finally gave in and joined. But, as it turns out, once I joined, I got so caught up in everything else this site has to offer, I never got around to the Elvish lessons. Oh well… perhaps someday.

And there you have it ladies and gentlemen, the all too illustrious iLikeLOTRaLittle2much!

by the Realm of Nessa and compiled by litlëlinë

How Nessians Came to Love All Things “Llama-ish”

Anyone who looks at the realm page on CoE cannot help but notice a certain tagline on the Nessa’s realm description, “She likes deer. We like llamas.” But, how did this love of llamas come to be? Why are Nessians so proud of their love for llamas? Well, this Nessian did some investigating… and here’s what I dug up.

An e-mail address invokes a story

In the wonderful Realm of Nessa there exists a Birthday Wagon… which has its own spiffy little thread. This thread is where members post their birthdays and their e-mail addresses. After a certain Nessian (me) posted her birthday and e-mail address, a fellow Nessian became rather excited about the e-mail address, and had to explain to everyone why. You see, this e-mail address contained the word “llama” in it… and apparently two other Nessians had an inside joke about llamas. One claimed she owned one, and the other is known as the Majestic Llama. These three soon bonded over there love of llamas… and the Realm was never quite the same…

Along came Bakshi

The Realm of Nessa decided one fateful day to start a realm parody about the married life of Eowyn and Faramir. Somehow, the parody turned into a lovely story about the humans of Middle-Earth becoming infatuated with the ever-so fashionable outfit Boromir wears in Bakshi’s cartoon version of “Lord of the Rings”. Somehow, llamas sneaked their way into the parody as being the preferred mode of transportation of one King Elessar. This interesting plot developed, and in turn, introduced llamas into the previously llama-barren lands of Middle-Earth.

TPAM loves llamas

The Person Above Me, a thread game favorite of many, is not left untouched by the Realm’s love of llamas. For a brief stint, llamas were a hot topic in the Nessian’s own TPAM thread. The discussion of llamas is always apt to re-appear in such threads… and quite frequently does.

Nice to meet you! Have a llama…

Much to the enjoyment of Nessians everywhere, Morlothwen decides to start handing out llama souvenirs to new members who post in the “Getting to know you…” thread. Most new-comers are thrilled with the plush imaginary toys, and many wonder why it’s a llama. Few can explain it to them.

Follow those Mushrooms!

In the next Realm parody, the characters of Lord of the Rings chase down some stolen mushrooms to make the ultimate shampoo. What did the heroes chase those thieves down on? Why, llama’s of course! The parody, “As Middle-Earth Turns” starts the funniest parody trend ever: Llamas as a Middle-Earth mode of transportation.


The Tales of the Maidens of Nessa, the next realm parody, finds the realm entering the world of Middle-Earth, and searching for Nessa’s dry-cleaning. Such a quest requires reliable transportation, so we chose to ride llamas, naturally.

TOTMON: Part Two

In a continuation of the first parody, TOTMON Two finds the maidens of Nessa on a completely unselfish quest for Lady Nessa. The realm must track down Llama Terminators and stop them from killing innocent llamas. This parody marks the realms continuation of traveling on llamas, and introduces llama riding accessories such as llama saddles, llama saddle seatbelts, and rockets, which caused the need for the seatbelts.

Let those llamas FROLIC!!!

After relating a story to fellow Nessians in the “General Discussion” thread in which I saw a sad llama at the county fair, I spark a passion in the hearts of the Realm to let suppressed llamas frolic. This tale led to the founding of LFF, or Llamas Frolic Freely. Memberships are always available.

When will this madness end?

So, there you have it. As for why we’re so proud of our love for llamas, why wouldn’t we be? They’re furry, cute, and their fur makes great warm sweaters. I fear nothing is safe from the Nessian’s love of all things llama-ish. Now it’s even spreading into the Council Courier. Is nothing sacred? Well, llamas might be, but the rest of the world beware! It all started with an e-mail address, and an inside joke. Now, it’s a parody writer’s source of amusement. Where will it spread to next? The world will just have to wait and see…

by vanyar

What Makes a True Nessian?

Since it is indeed the Realm of Nessa who put this edition of the Council Courier together, we decided to provide the rest of the CoE community with a window into the Realm of Nessa, and share with you a few of the traits that us Nessians all share.

A True Nessian…

…possesses a deep, deep obsession with llamas and all things llama-ish, and tend to get overly excited at the mere mention of the word, “llama”. For further explanation, see vanyar’s article entitled, “How Nessians Came to Love All Things Llama-ish”.

…has an undying love of Pop-Tarts.

…loves to dance, whether they’re good at it or not. Or as liltëlinë put it, “Has the ability to rhythmically (or not so rhythmically) move oneself without experiencing the feeling of self-consciousness coming from the presence of other human beings resting their gaze upon you”.

…over-uses emoticons to an extreme.

…enjoys reading/writing whimsical parodies.

…cares about her/his fellow Nessians and gives them Huggles whenever the need arises.

…does what they can for the good of the Realm.

…knows how to brighten everyone’s day.

…is a big fan of the Disney movies Bambi and The Emperor’s New Groove. After all, Nessa likes deer, we like llamas.

And last, and perhaps most importantly, a true Nessian loves to have a good time and doesn’t take things too seriously.

And there you have them! Enjoy!~

by kingurl

Haldir: Film Profile

Haldir is an Elf from Lothlórien, a guardian of the wood in the service of Lord Celeborn and Lady Galadriel. He is the one who encounters the Fellowship when they arrive in the wood, and brings them to Caras Galadhon, the capital of Lothlórien. He comes across as a little arrogant, being not in the least impressed by the companions, but immediately recognizes Legolas as one of his own kin. Attentive viewers will also have noticed him in the line of Elves giving cloaks to the members of the Fellowship before they leave Lothlórien.
So far, so good.

Haldir makes an unexpected come-back in ‘The Two Towers’, where he leads the Elvish warriors sent by Elrond at Galadriel’s request. They come to the aid of the Men of Rohan at the Battle of Helm’s Deep, to honour the old alliance of Elendil and Gil-galad at the Battle of the… Last Alliance. Note that it’s the ‘last’ alliance.
Anyway, said captain climbs onto the battlements and quite heroically glares at his foes, until Aragorn sounds the retreat and Haldir doesn’t make it in time. Alas! He is taken out with one blow to the back and dies in Aragorn’s arms.
Not so good.

All in all, Haldir is a quite controversial character: there are those who like him, those who do not like him, those who think he was fine in ‘Fellowship of the Ring’ but should have stayed away from Helm’s Deep, those who think it was great to see him appear in full glittering outfit looking all smug and smiling creepily at poor old Théoden, those who think it was great that he died (for various reason, obviously), those who want to kill Peter Jackson for letting him die, those who write fanfiction stories about his miraculous return from the Halls of Mandos and of course those who think he’ll make a cameo appearance in the Extended Edition of Return of the King. Personally, I prefer Éomer, but at least Haldir has given us fans, both of the books and the movies, a lot to discuss, think and dream about.

by Figwit

Haldir: Book Profile

Haldir was a Marchwarden who guarded the northern borders of Lothlórien, and he was one of only a few of the Galadhrim who went abroad to gather news and watch enemies. He had two brothers, Rúmil and Orophin.

He was the first to greet the Fellowship when they arrived at the Golden Wood, and he and Rúmil became their guides and guards on their journey into Lothlórien. He showed the Company how to cross the Celebrant, and at the Naith of Lórien, he stopped to blindfold Gimli. He finally left the Fellowship in the care of Galadriel and Celeborn at Caras Galadhon.

Haldir had a good knowledge of the world of the elves and the outside world, as can be clearly seen in this quote:

“Yet I do not believe that the world about us will ever again be as it was of old, or the light of the Sun as it was aforetime. For the Elves, I fear, it will prove at best a truce, in which they may pass to the Sea unhindered and leave the Middle-earth for ever. Alas for Lothlórien that I love!” (“The Fellowship of the Ring”, Lothlórien)

Haldir encountered the Fellowship again when they were leaving Lothlórien. He had returned from the Northern Fences, and was again their guide to the Silverlode, where he put them in boats to carry on their journey.

He is mentioned briefly in “The Two Towers” when Sam speaks of the Elven rope he was carrying made of hithlain. He does not appear in “The Return of the King”.

The meaning of his name is not clear, but it is either ‘hidden hero’ or ‘tall one’. It is not mentioned when he was born, or if he had a wife.

by atalante_star

Mod of the Month

-an interview with Diva

How did you find CoE?
I originally refused to see the LotR films, I had owned the books for many years by then but hadn’t quite acclimated to Tolkien’s writing style. Then one fateful night in November, about eleven months after FotR had come to the cinema, circumstances led me to watch the film. By the time the credits were rolling, I knew I was hooked. I soon became desperately obsessed and searched for as many LotR sites as I could find. CoE came up, and when I clicked the link I realized that this site was definitely of high quality, and had tons of information to help me re-tackle the written works. I lurked for a few months before joining, and haven’t looked back since.

What are your duties here at CoE?
My moderating duties in the Casting Forum and Prancing Pony include checking to make sure that posts are appropriate, to help keep the excellent standards of CoE, and keeping the forums nice and tidy by cleaning up duplicate threads. I also moderate the CouncilFree chatroom, which means that I make sure that the topic of conversation is respectful and interesting. Also, as a staff member, I am always available for questions or concerns that any member would like to bring to my attention.

What are your favourite areas of the site?
I enjoy reading the posts in the Prancing Pony forum because I enjoy the general off-the-wall discussions that take place there. Also, the articles and encyclopedia on the site are great resources.

How often do you visit CoE?
I visit CoE anywhere from two to five times a day.

How many times have you read the books?
Not many 😉 But I’ve read the Hobbit at least four times, and the Appendices at least ten times.

Who is your favourite LOTR character?
Aragorn is certainly my favorite, always has been and always will be. I even own a replica of the film version of the Ring of Barahir, and wear it daily on my left index finger. However, Eowyn is the character that I identify with the most, we share many things in common. Most notably attitudes and beliefs.

Do you have a favourite scene from the trilogy?
Nope. But if I had to pick a few top ones it would be “At the Sign of the Prancing Pony,” “Forth Eorlingas,” “The Ride of the Rohirrim,” and “The Return of the King.”

What character left out of the films do you miss most?
Glorfindel, definitely. Wow – I actually picked an elf, I’m amazed at myself.

Do you know any Sindarin or Quenya?
Most definitely not, nor am I interested in learning. Though I must admit one picks up some phrases due to constant usage in the chat, but my answer remains. I am no elf.

What are you looking forward most to in ROTK EE?
The Houses of Healing. I’m no romantic [far far from it,] but I’d still like to see that section of the book on film. And, of course, Eowyn’s starry mantle.

Admin of the Month

-an interview with Lollypop

How did you find CoE?
I was searching for pictures from the films and found CoE’s gallery. I thought the site looked interesting and started to read the forums; after browsing for a while, I decided I wanted to take part in the conversations too and signed up. That was nearly 2 years ago, and I’m still here! CoE’s such a great community!

What are your duties here at CoE?
I’m the Fan Creations Administrator, so I oversee the Fan Creations section of the site. I search for artists and authors who might like to have their works published here at CoE, and also articles for the Creations Corner, which is a section that gives tips for people who wish to create something of their own. I also view all the fan fictions submitted to us with Aisheeya, our Fan Fiction Assistant. I’m also moderating the Creations Forum with Goldsand.

What are your favourite areas of the site?
Well, naturally my own area. Also the galleries. I used to post to the forums a lot, but lately I’ve been too busy to do that. I’ve probably used nearly every area of the site at least once, since CoE is a great resource site. I read the encyclopeadia, download fonts, translate names to Sindarin… I like cooking, so I’ve posted some recipes in the past, etc. Two years ago I practically lived in the Councilfree chatroom.

How often do you visit CoE?
Daily. If nothing else, I at least check the submitted fictions and the Creations Forum.

How many times have you read the books?
I’m not sure. I re-read lots of books, but I don’t necessarily re-read them from the beginning to the end. A book I’m currently reading might remind me of some passage in another book, so I put the first book down and go find the other one, look up the part I was thinking of and start reading… then I might finish that book again, the first book completely forgotten, or get reminded of yet another book… I have hundreds of books, so this can continue forever!

All I can say for sure is, that I’ve read LotR completely at least once. Some parts of it I’ve read dozens of times and some others maybe just twice.

Aisheeya and I are currently translating LotR to the dialect of Ostrobothnia (you can follow our progress in here:, but the site is written in Ostrobothnian, so most of you won’t probably understand any of it. Sorry…) so I’m reading the books a lot right now.

Who is your favourite LOTR character?
All elves really. Most of my favourite characters are actually from the Silmarillion, or they make only short appearances in LotR. Descendants of Thingol and Melian are my favourites, so if I’d have to be more specific, I’d say Elrond and his children.

Do you have a favourite scene from the trilogy?
In the books, Gildor, the feast in the Last Homely House and the Hall of Fire, the Council of Elrond, Lórien, the Houses of Healing, Grey Havens.

I’m not a big fan of the films, but I liked the Last Alliance, the Council of Elrond, Arwen and Aragorn’s wedding and most of the scenes in Edoras. Unlike many others, I actually liked Arwen’s flight to the Ford quite a lot too, but that’s probably just because I like Liv Tyler… There was never too much of her in the films!

What character left out of the films do you miss most?
Tom Bombadil. I understand why they left him out, but I still missed him. I’ve said this before somewhere, but I’ll say it again: I’d love to have seen him played by Ardal O’Hanlon! He’s a bit young, but surely they could’ve aged him somehow with make-ups.

Do you know any Sindarin or Quenya?
I’ve picked up a few words, mostly from all the fan fiction I’ve read. But I don’t speak it, and wouldn’t understand if someone came to me and started talking in either one of those languages.

Quenya is partly based on Finnish, so many of the words are familiar to me, but the meanings are completely different. I’ve used this example before, but I’ll use it again, because I think it’s so good: The Quenya word ammë, which means mother, is bathtub in Finnish (without the umlaut).

What are you looking forward most to in ROTK EE?
The Houses of Healing, definitely, though I fear I might get disappointed again. Like I said, I’m not a big fan of the films and I fear they’ll have twisted the scenes into some lame “miraculous healing – hallelujah” thing.

I wouldn’t mind more Elrond & Arwen either… 😉

Short Bio
I’m a 23-year-old girl from Finland, I was born in Ostrobothnia (Western Finland) but I currently study travel industry at a polytechnic in Eastern Finland (so I live there).

Boromir in Tolkien Art

*note: this article is best viewed in a full screen window* For a character present in the books for so short a time, it would be easy to discount Boromir’s importance in ‘The Lord of the Rings’ – but nothing is so simple in Tolkien’s world. Boromir is a brave and noble man and a […]

Tolkien’s Catholic Inspiration for Galadriel

When one considers J.R.R. Tolkien’s sources for ‘The Lord of the Rings’ and its accompanying mythology, one must not neglect to examine Tolkien’s Catholic faith. Tolkien’s mother Mabel converted to Catholicism when he was eight years old, and she then brought her sons up in that faith until she died four years later. Tolkien and his younger brother were then given into the care of a priest named Father Francis Morgan, who became a considerable influence on the author.

Tolkien’s Catholic faith was a very important aspect of his life. While the Lord of the Rings trilogy is not an overtly religious story, Tolkien’s Catholic faith can readily be seen upon reading it. Indeed, in a letter to a friend in 1953, Tolkien wrote, that ‘The Lord of the Rings’ was “…fundamentally [a] Catholic and Religious work; unconsciously so at first, but consciously in the revision.” One example of Catholicism in the Lord of the Rings is Galadriel and how she relates to Mary, Mother of God.

Tolkien once wrote that Mary gave him his understanding of “beauty in majesty and simplicity.” To understand how the creation of Galadriel was influenced by Mary, one must first know something about how Catholics view Mary. As the Mother of Jesus, Mary is a very important figure in Catholicism. With a special Grace from God, she was born without sin and lived and died without ever sinning. Catholics hold her in special reverence, though they do not worship her, and regard her as “the Mother of the Church,” among other names. Mary is “Our Lady.” Sam uses a similar name when he repeatedly calls Galadriel “the Lady.” In many ways, Galadriel exemplifies Mary’s qualities.

First, Mary is often portrayed in much the same way as Galadriel: ethereal, bathed in light, gentle, beautiful, and inspiring. Each is viewed as a “queen”: Mary as Queen of the Catholic Church and Galadriel as the Lady of Lothlorien. Much as Galadriel is held in reverence by the Elves and the other inhabitants of Middle-earth, Mary is beloved by Catholics. Many in the history of the Catholic Church have been converted and reconciled through Mary’s grace and gentleness. In the same way, Gimli, a Dwarf, a race that does not get along with the Elves, has a change of heart after meeting Galadriel. Tolkien wrote, “And the dwarf . . . looked up and met her eyes; and it seemed to him that he looked into the heart of an enemy and saw there love and understanding. Wonder came into his face and he smiled in answer” (LOTR). Gimli is thereafter known as Gimli Elf-Friend. The light of Galadriel inspires grace, just as Mary does.

Another example of the parallels between Mary and Galadriel is their bestowing of gifts. As the Fellowship prepares to leave Lothlorien, to continue their journey, Galadriel gives the members special Elven gifts, especially the cloaks. These gifts continually help the travelers on their mission to rid Middle-earth of the evil corrupting it. The gift of the cloaks, which would “aide in keeping out the sight of unfriendly eyes” and were “made by the Lady,” is similar to a gift Mary made to Saint Simon of Stock. According to Catholic legend, Mary gave the saint a scapular, a cloth worn around the neck, which she and some angels had made. Mary told St. Simon that anyone who lived a holy life, wearing the scapular, would be protected from the devil’s sight. Both Mary and Galadriel give gifts which protect the recipients from evil.

Finally, Mary and Galadriel inspire hope for the faithful. Catholics look to Mary as they would to their own mothers, for guidance, encouragement, and blessings. The members of the Fellowship treat Galadriel similarly. When in Mordor, Sam prayerfully says, “If only the Lady could see or hear us, I’d say to her: ‘Your Ladyship, all we want is light and water; just clean water and plain daylight, better than jewels, begging your pardon.'” Frodo and Sam are then indeed granted these things, which revive them enough to be able to continue their arduous journey.

Mary’s grace helps Catholics be at peace, just as Galadriel’s does when she tells the weary travelers, “Do not let your hearts be troubled . . . Tonight you shall sleep in peace.” Her gift of the phial is a light “in dark places, when all other lights go out,” just as Mary’s love is to Catholics. These gifts of Mary and Galadriel are not mere symbolic, but tangible and readily felt by those who believe.

Galadriel’s role in ‘The Lord of the Rings’ is similar to the role of Jesus’ mother Mary in the Catholic Church. Both are awe-inspiring as Ladies who bring about changes of heart. Both provide gifts and grace to those in need. And both inspire hope in the hearts of their followers that they may continue on their journey. Tolkien’s strong belief in his Catholic faith inspired him to write his beliefs into his masterpiece. One might even say, as he did, that his faith in Mary moved him to write the books that have been an inspiration to many.

by Lady_Nienna