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Earnur
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Post Galadriel
on: March 10, 2005 09:54
When reading The Mirror of Galadriel and Farewell to Lorien (FotR) a few days ago, I noticed a few things regarding Galadriel. Just a couple of details, but they got me thinking.

The first thing is that despite her wisdom, she seems to have kept some of the "eagerness" and "rashness" of the Noldor. Just take a look at this quote:
'I do not deny that my heart has greatly desired to ask for what you offer. For many long years I had pondered what I might do, should the Great Ring come into my hands, and behold! it was brought within my grasp. The evil that was devised long ago works on in many ways, whether Sauron himself stands or falls. Would not that have been a noble deed to set to the credit of this Ring, if I had taken it by force or fear from my guest?
'And now at last it comes. You will give me the Ring freely! In place of a Dark Lord you will set up a Queen [...]
Although it's quite clear that Galadriel would never actually take the Ring from Frodo, doesn't this quote show that she still has some of the Noldorin "hunger" for power and craftsmanship? Just a thought.

Something else I noticed seemed quite strange to me:
'Yet I could wish, were it of any avail, that the One Ring had never been wrought, or had remained for ever lost.'
So Galadriel wishes that it would have remained lost? As long as the Ring exist, even though it's lost, Sauron will remain strong, and he would be invincible. Destroying the Ring was the only way to destroy Sauron. He could not be defeated by conventional means. Keeping the Ring hidden was never an option. Even if Sauron never regained it, his life force would be preserved in the Ring, making him more or less invulnerable. Maybe a "little slip of the pen" by Tolkien?

And last but not least:
She [Galadriel] seemed no longer perilous or terrible, nor filled with hidden power. Already she seems to him [Frodo], as by men of later days Elves still at times are seen: present and yet remote, a living vision of that which has already been left far behind by the flowing streams of Time.
Is this a foreboding of what's going to happen to the Elves? The Ring will be destroyed and end the power of The Three, taking away the power that preserved the Elves and their lands.

[Edited on 2/1/2010 by cirdaneth]
atalante_star
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Post RE: Galadriel
on: March 11, 2005 05:35
The first thing is that despite her wisdom, she seems to have kept some of the "eagerness" and "rashness" of the Noldor.

Although it's quite clear that Galadriel would never actually take the Ring from Frodo, doesn't this quote show that she still has some of the Noldorin "hunger" for power and craftsmanship? Just a thought.

Yes, I think so - and why not! She was as ambitious and eager as the rest of the Noldo when younger (and significantly more than most of her siblings) and I don't think anyone can completely deny their upbringing, however she may have increased in wisdom and thoughtfulness through the ages. I always kind of thought that's why she has Celeborn - a balance to her potentual for "Noldo-ness" lol
Earnur
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Post RE: Galadriel
on: March 11, 2005 08:07
I always kind of thought that's why she has Celeborn - a balance to her potentual for "Noldo-ness" lol


Yes, good point!

Celeborn was what kept her from establishing her own realm, like the other Noldorin Lords did. She was so curious about ME, and took part in Fëanor's rebellion, although she didn't take part in the nasty things of course. *Cough*kinslaying, burning ships, swearing an oath

What about Melian? Wouldn't she also have influenced Galadriel? Galadriel certainly gained most of her wisdom from Melian.
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Post RE: Galadriel
on: March 12, 2005 12:49
'Yet I could wish, were it of any avail, that the One Ring had never been wrought, or had remained for ever lost.'

I agree with pv, and of course it should also be noticed that she doesn't actually say 'I wish' but 'I could wish', which I think is a sign that she is aware that it is better the way things are -and that they couldn't be any other way, but still you are allowed to some 'wishful thinking'..... I don't think she'd ever actually sacrifice ME for the sake of Lothlórien only, but you can hardly blame her for wishing it could be otherwise....

What about Melian? Wouldn't she also have influenced Galadriel? Galadriel certainly gained most of her wisdom from Melian.

Galadriel gained much wisdom from Melian to be sure -but we mustn't underestimate the power and teachings of experience and time.... Through the ages she had much time to contemplate -about the teachings of Melian, about the world, the fate of the Noldor etc, she must have learned so much from that, growing ever wiser and wiser..... Most likely she was aware of her own Noldo-cravings, which is probably one of the reasons she and Celeborn are so great for each other, she is aware that he helps her not paying heed to the noldoness.... Kind of like he is the beacon to which she heads whenever she is on dangerous grounds.... or something

She [Galadriel] seemed no longer perilous or terrible, nor filled with hidden power. Already she seems to him [Frodo], as by men of later days Elves still at times are seen: present and yet remote, a living vision of that which has already been left far behind by the flowing streams of Time.
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Is this a foreboding of what's going to happen to the Elves? The Ring will be destroyed and end the power of The Three, taking away the power that preserved the Elves and their lands.

It is very likely topp be that, yes.... The image is so much more powerful because it is used to describe her -someone we know to be VERY powerful and wise and splendid, someone who has marked herself through history... Seeing her 'diminished' to something like that is very sad indeed.... Yet I am not so sure the faded image of Galadriel forebodes the image of all the faded-Elves to be.... Galadriel's heritage is very much different from the others, she has been to Valinor -she is one of the wisest Elves remaining in ME.... A faded Elf from Mirkwood I believe would be something different... of course there'd be similarities.... But whereas Galadriel faded image is one of Antigue Rome or Greece the Mirkwood Elves would rather be something Vikingy or Celtic or I don't know... Not necesarily culturelike -but the essence of the Elves is different.... What they represented is different.... The Mirkwood Elves were wise and all, but they were more simple than the once Valinorean Elves etc....:dizzy:
pv
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Post RE: Galadriel
on: March 12, 2005 03:23
It's interesting that both Atalante and Eressea feel that Celeborn keeps Galadriel in check! But sometimes, Galadriel curbs Celeborn's excesses, too. (She gently reprimands him and asks him to show more empathy, when he ticks off Gimli.)
Theirs is probably the ideal marriage because they are able to take correction from each-other, and neither one is a doormat.
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PotbellyHairyfoot
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Post RE: Galadriel
on: December 30, 2007 11:26
ED: Moved from "Greatest Elf" thread, now deleted.
i've been thinking about this for along time and staying out of the discussion as I usually find little to praise about most of the Elvish "Kings".
After giving the topic a lot of thought I finally realized that the greatest elvish "king" was Galadriel. Although she never officially become the Queen of Lothlorien , she did in reality rule there.
Before the first Age, she did accompany her kin on the journey back to middle-earth though she did so for her own rreasons and did not take up the Oath of Feanor. She spent most of the First Age learning from Melian and honing her abilities.
In the Second Age she started to come into her own. She saw through Sauron's disguise when he was aiding in the manufacture of the Rings of power , and left Eregion long before the problem's started. She moved to Lothlorien and following the example set up by Melian in the First Age, She made Lothlorien into a protected refuge for the elves. ( More on this topic later- got to get ready for my son's wedding now)

Some of Galadriel's accomplishments.
Although she didn't officially become "Queen" she did become the ruler of Lothlorien after Amroth left.
She was wise enough not to trust Feanor and refused him a strand of her hair, and she also wisely didn't swear to the Oath of Feanor, but accompanied her kin back to Middle-Earth for her own reasons.
In the First age, she gained a great deal of kowledge, and wisdom, from Melian, distanced herself from most of her kin, and avoided the troubles that befell many of her kin.
In the Second Age she saw through the disguise of Sauron, when he approached the elves of Eregion pretending to be a friend, and moved away before the damage was done.
In the Third Age she finally came into her own, and was considered one of the greatest, and wisest, elves still remaining on Middle-earth. Her assistance ( rope , the Phial , the boats, her advice to Frodo, etc.) was instrumental in the success of Frodo's mission and she was also instumental in the shaping of the fourth Age( throwing down the walls of Dol Guldur and the return of the Shire to its pleasant -Pre war of the ring- status with the box of soil given Sam)

Atalante replied:
But even Galadriel never called herself the ruler of Lothlorien (I don't *think*). Didn't she see herself more as a steward of the land?

I agree that she is among the greatest elves, but among the greatest kings/queens? Firstly, she was never included in the official list of Elven Kings (if you want to be formal about things ) and secondly, as I don't think she saw herself as a ruler, I would not really want to include her in a discussion of rulers.

Um. There's no reason on earth why she should have sworn the Oath of Feanor. Only Feanor and his sons did that. Galadriel was the daughter of Finarfin - and the rather hot-headed daughter of Finarfin at that.

When Feanor stirred the Noldor to rebellion, Galadriel was one of only few of his brothers' children who stood with him, eager to be gone to Middle-earth.

She also lied to Melian about the deeds of the Noldor ...

I'm not sure I would take distancing onself from one's people as the sign of a good ruler. It seems a bit isolationist to me ...

But as we've been fully acknowledging in this discussion, just because an elf is great and good, it doesn't mean that they were necessarily a good king / queen.

Galadriel was one awesome elf - but the greatest King/Queen? No .... and I would argue that she really shouldn't even be counted among the rulers of the elves.

[Edited on 31/12/2007 by cirdaneth]
cirdaneth
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Post RE: Galadriel
on: January 02, 2010 01:12
Here's another old thread worth continuing. Please remember that most of the posts are several years old and the last couple were moved here from elsewhere. Well worth reading.
Spragh
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Post RE: Galadriel
on: January 02, 2010 01:55
I think that she had to go trough the some kind of a test within her self with the ring that decided the fate of many.Pleasing her eagernes for power just for a moment,just to recodnize it and than discard it,coz that eagernes must be present in every single hart when the person come so close to that powerful ring.She was honest to her self,just that.But still,she is wise enough to not be owerflow,despite the risk that is present.As for the line of not founding the ring,i think that she was more simbolic and maybe a little bit scared by the hard times that dweles.She knows that ring must be destroyed,but i think Tolkien was tryn to say that she is weak as any other in hard moments,and that only power of will overcome's evil and heavy tasks.Every one has a weakspot,and sometimes the strongest give's despare a little time.All she wanted to say is that she is scared about what is going to hapened.And that she is having a hard time to face the upcoming time.And,one of the most sadiest line for me,about the Elves...It could be that the three ring power when gone,drew some power from them.But only the power that gave them.They were just the same as before the rings.It have something else within.I mean they were not the same,but,for another reason.Elves were the oldest and wise creatures,deeply understanding,everything affect them.The time of men did not start at the end of Sauron,for me it started a lot earlier.When Sauron fell,it just final act.Whell then,imagine a single Elf soul,feeling about all the past,facing the present,very sad times and the future...future that parts them from Arda,coz they are in small measure there.And remember,Elves were kings of Arda,not man,in start.They fought all foes while men were still learn to walk.That is why i think that the remained elves are paler,and weaker,as for the lack of present meaning of them in Arda.Not egoism,but fate.And,they are remains,and you can not expect from them to blister and shine.
Elthir
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Post RE: Galadriel
on: January 04, 2010 03:03
Earnur wrote: although she didn't take part in the nasty things of course. *Cough*kinslaying, burning ships,...


According to Tolkien's later ideas, Galadriel does appear to fight at least. Did she slay any Elves? The accounts don't say so specifically, though one late version notes: '... though she fought fiercely against Feanor in defence of her mother's kin.'

PotbellyHairyfoot wrote: In the Second Age she started to come into her own. She saw through Sauron's disguise when he was aiding in the manufacture of the Rings of power, and left Eregion long before the problem's started.


I think this part of Galadriel's history is problematic. Christopher Tolkien notes that no explanation is given why Galadriel scorned Sauron, nor why, if she saw through his disguise, she permitted him to remain in Eregion -- keeping in mind that in this 'short and hasty outline, very roughly composed' (the text called Concerning Galadriel and Celeborn), Galadriel and Celeborn initially ruled Eregion.

In my opinion Tolkien dropped this in any case, and made Celebrimbor the initial ruler of Eregion (Second Edition of The Lord of the Rings), and had Celeborn and Galadriel move to Lindorinand after Eregion's fall (although they did not take up rule there until the loss of Amroth, much later).

Atalante wrote: But even Galadriel never called herself the ruler of Lothlorien (I don't *think*). Didn't she see herself more as a steward of the land?


There is text in Unfinished Tales noting that they took no title of King and Queen, and said they were only guardians of the realm, but even so, after the loss of Amroth: 'Galadriel and Celeborn took up their permanent abode in Lorien, and its government.'

In The Lord of the Rings, Gimli refers to Galadriel as a Queen, in any case.



[Edited on 13/5/2010 by Elthir]
cirdaneth
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on: October 01, 2015 07:26
* bump
Elthir
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on: October 01, 2015 11:37
Ah, gives me a chance to respond again, this time taking another path with respect to this first matter:

Earnur wrote: although she didn't take part in the nasty things of course. *Cough* kinslaying, burning ships,...


While it's true, as I responded earlier, that Tolkien later imagined Galadriel defending the Teleri at Swanhaven (see The Shibboleth of Feanor for example), in my personal version of things, she was not involved at all in the Kinslaying.

In Christopher Tolkien's constructed Silmarillion there is no mention of Galadriel at Swanhaven. Without delving into the textual history here, it's my belief that when Galadriel entered the Silmarillion tradition (after The Lord of the Rings was "finished" but not yet published)...

... she with her brothers simply came too late to Swanhaven, and thus were not involved in the Kinslaying in any measure.

Importantly then, I think this was the idea written in the same "phase" as Galadriel's conversation with Melian, and her brother's defense about the Kinslaying to Thingol too. And while it's true that Galadriel preferred to remain silent to Melian about this, if I am correct it was still true that she and her brothers had had no part in the Kinslaying at least.

And as far as I'm aware Tolkien never revised these conversations after he (later) decided that Galadriel, and even Finrod, took some part in the fray against Feanor. Did he mean to, or did it not matter much since they fought in defense of the Teleri? Or did he mean to but just never get around to it?

Tolkien never revised certain sections of the Silmarillion after the early 1950s (to greatly simplify this matter for brevity), or made only cursory corrections to some parts of it.

This might illustrate one problem with respect to some of Tolkien's history: a possibly false synthesis can arise, the assumption that Tolkien intended some later idea to stand with earlier passages. Not impossible of course (and depends upon the scenario), but also not necessarily so I think.

In other words: are the conversations written with one idea in mind meant to stand when Galadriel becomes part of the Kinslaying in any measure -- even in an arguably "good" measure, if one imagines that in her fierce defense of the Teleri she did not actually slay any Elves?

Here, unless I've missed something (possible obviously), we can't really know.

__________

In any case I prefer (what I think is) the early 1950s version: Galadriel and Felagund were not present at the Kinslaying, as Earnur posted.

On this matter see also description from the text Concerning Galadriel and Celeborn, (Unfinished Tales) which in general I find problematic, but in my opinion helps illustrate that, at this time as well, Tolkien imagined that the Finarfinians had had no part in the Kinslaying of Swanhaven.

__________

PotbellyHairyfoot wrote: In the Second Age she started to come into her own. She saw through Sauron's disguise when he was aiding in the manufacture of the Rings of power , and left Eregion long before the problem's started. (...) In the Second Age she saw through the disguise of Sauron, when he approached the elves of Eregion pretending to be a friend, and moved away before the damage was done.


I responded generally to this earlier, but more specifically, in this text Galadriel is actually co-founder and co-ruler of Eregion, and it's said that she "scorned" Sauron in his fair form, but seemingly allowed him to remain in Eregion.

Here she's in a position of power, as was Gil-galad in Lindon, but in Eregion Sauron gets a foothold somehow.

One could argue that the text does not say Galadriel allowed Annatar to work with the Mirdain. Christopher Tolkien's paraphrasing relates that Sauron used his arts upon the Mirdain, but he worked in secret, unknown to Celeborn and Galadriel, and before long he had the Jewel-smiths under his control.

Thus admittedly Galadriel didn't know about Sauron seducing the Mirdain, but if she scorned him, why was he allowed to even get near the Mirdain? Christopher Tolkien notes:

"No explanation is offered in this rapid outline of why Galadriel scorned Sauron, unless she saw through his disguise, or of why, if she did perceive his true nature, she permitted him to remain in Eregion"

Christopher Tolkien, Unfinished Tales, Concerning Galadriel and Celeborn


Again compare to Gil-galad, who doubted Sauron's fair seeming and thus "Annatar" never got a foothold in Lindon to do his thing.

So Gil-galad might seem wiser, or at least more effective in his dealing with Sauron, than Galadriel. And later on (from an external perspective) Gil-galad became a Finarfinian, the grandson of one of Galadriel's brothers. Was Tolkien really going to keep Galadriel as co-ruler of the very realm that Sauron made strides in, leading to the Rings of Power?

I think no, and Celebrimbor becomes a Feanorean and is added (second edition of The Return of the King, Appendix B) as the ruler of Eregion. Now Sauron gains a foothold in a realm ruled by a Feanorean!

And I realize by problems you likely mean the Ring ruse and Sauron's attack on Eregion and so on. But for clarity in the thread, while Galadriel did leave Eregion as you say, I think it should be added that she was ousted from power in Eregion by the Mirdain.

Anyway, as I said above, I think Tolkien abandoned these ideas in any case (without going into all the texts and all my reasoning, as this post is rather long already). As the years went by I think Galadriel's importance continued to grow in Tokien's mind. In 1967 Tolkien publishes (The Road Goes Ever On) her role as one of the leaders of the Noldor who crossed the Grinding Ice, and thus she's banned for this while other Noldor are pardoned...

... I like this story, Galadriel is later a penitent, wiser figure, who rejects the One when freely offered to her. So she is ultimately pardoned. But her special role in the Rebellion of the Noldor plus the "Annatar scenario" in Eregion, even if she was unaware of the seduction of the Jewel-smiths?

I think this latter idea proved too much, and having a Feanorean (Celebrimbor) replace her as Lord of Eregion fits nicely enough with the Feanorean matters of the Eldar Days, including the Silmarils of course.

Sorry, long post!

[Edited on 10/03/2015 by Elthir]
Arveleg
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on: September 09, 2016 08:59
It's good to read such deep discussion of Galadriel! Ever since I first read Lord of the Rings I thought Galadriel had a strong rebellious strain in her, yet the years had tempered her. In reading the Silmarillion and Unfinished Tales, the story grew ever more complex. Still, book Galadriel has always been one of my favourite characters.
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Gandolorin
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on: October 08, 2016 03:44
Now I'm fairly certain that any professional geneticist would groan and roll his eyes at the concepts of inheritance as presented by JRRT (and loads of other authors over more than 2000 years), having read quite a bit about the topic.

That said, JRRT's world is one of High Fantasy (close to peerless in this genre, in my personal opinion), so we need not be real-world nitpicky about details; and Elven genetics could function differently, anyway.

I'm writing this because in this thread, I find too much emphasis of Galadriel being a Noldo. Actually, she ain't, certainly nowhere near "pure-bred" (a term that irritates me even in the breeding of dogs etc.)
Galadriel is half Teleri, from her mother Eärwen; one quarter Noldor, through her paternal grandfather Finwë; but also one quarter Vanyar, through her paternal grandmother Indis!

The entirely Noldor line of the Elves in Middle-earth died out with Celebrimbor, last of the Fëanorians. The Vanyar - Noldor line of Elves went extinct with Gil-galad, this line of inheritance only survived in the Half-Elven line descended from Idril, daughter of Turgon, and Tuor, who himself was descended from all three Houses of the Edain. At the beginning of the Third Age, all that is left of this Elven nobility are the mortal descendants of Elros in Middle-earth, Elrond, and Galadriel. At the end of the Third Age, Aragorn as last remnant of the lineage of Elros, Arwen granddaughter of Galadriel and daughter of Elrond, Elladan & Elrohir ditto, and again Elrond and Galadriel. And Eldarion son of Aragorn and Arwen unifies all of the royal lines of the Elves and the Three Houses of Men.

So Galadriel is THE central figure of the Eruhini in the entire history of Arda and Middle-earth (Cirdan may lay claim to being older by unknown First Age eons, but he is never a central figure). She spans all ages, including the nebulously "known" eons of the First Age predating the years of the sun (and thus immensely older than Elrond). By descent and experience, I find her matchless.
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Elthir
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on: October 09, 2016 12:26
Interesting from the Shibboleth of Feanor, where Tolkien describes, for example...

She was proud, strong, and self-willed, as were all the descendants of Finwe save Finarfin; and like her brother Finrod, of all her kin the nearest to her heart, she had dreams of far lands and dominions that might be her own to order as she would without tutelage. Yet deeper still there dwelt in her the noble and generous spirit of the Vanyar, and a reverence for the Valar that she could not forget. From her earliest years she had a marvellous gift of insight into the minds of others, but judged them with mercy and understanding, and she withheld her goodwill from none save only Feanor. In him she perceived a darkness that she hated and feared, though she did not perceive that the shadow of the same evil had fallen upon the minds of all the Noldor, and upon her own.

JRRT The Shibboleth of Feanor


[Edited on 10/09/2016 by Elthir]
Gandolorin
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on: October 10, 2016 02:58
Making too much of the descendant trough some (fore-) father here, for my taste, though there is a mention of her Vanyar ancestry, though what JRRT meant to say precisely with "deeper still" remains unclear (more fundamental? further from the surface?). But She is Finarfin's daughter, and half Telerin in addition (as were all of her brothers), so the emphasis on Finwë seems even more anachronistic!
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