Our Sponsor Sideshow Collectibles Send us News
Lord of the Rings Tolkien
Search Tolkien
Lord of The RingsTheOneRing.net - Forged By And For Fans Of JRR Tolkien
Lord of The Rings Serving Middle-Earth Since The First Age

Lord of the Rings Movie News - J.R.R. Tolkien
Do you enjoy the 100% volunteer, not for profit services of TheOneRing.net?
Consider a donation!

  Main Index   Search Posts   Who's Online   Log in
The One Ring Forums: Tolkien Topics: Reading Room:
Unfinished Tales Discussion: The History of Celeborn and Galadriel
First page Previous page 1 2 3 4 5 Next page Last page  View All

CuriousG
Valinor


Feb 5 2014, 4:52am

Post #26 of 125 (250 views)
Shortcut
Galadriel as chessmaster [In reply to] Can't Post

In LOTR, Galadriel is revealed as a strategist in several ways:

1. It was her initiative to form the White Council. Not the Wizards, and not Cirdan or Elrond.
2. She tested the Fellowship to find any weak links, and took Frodo to the Mirror to gain a clearer understanding of his role in the world's fate.
3. The gifts she gave the Fellowship all played significant roles. As just one example, Sam couldn't have rescued Frodo without the Phial.
4. She sent the Eagle to look for Gandalf. (Manwe didn't send it, nor Elrond, and it didn't go on its own.)
5. She prodded Aragorn to take the Paths of the Dead to save Gondor from defeat.

in UT, she befriends the Khazad-dum Dwarves as allies, even though as a long-time Doriath citizen, she could have subscribed to the racial hatred of Dwarves common among other Elves for sacking it. Then she solidifies Lorien as an Eldar outpost against Sauron, evidently believing that Thranduil wasn't doing enough on his own, or that he couldn't. She'll go a step further in the Cirion and Eorl chapter by sending a concealing mist to aid the Rohirrim, both rescuing Gondor and adding another bulwark state to halt the spread of Sauron's power westward.

Is there a strategic or tactical trick that this woman didn't miss?


Mikah
Lorien

Feb 5 2014, 6:57am

Post #27 of 125 (240 views)
Shortcut
Ah yes Nandorin! [In reply to] Can't Post

Maybe Celeborn being a man of few words is exactly what makes him wise? Strong silent type perhaps? Something attracted Galadriel to him...Wink


Mikah
Lorien

Feb 5 2014, 7:12am

Post #28 of 125 (228 views)
Shortcut
Thank you Sador... [In reply to] Can't Post

I appreciate your kind words. I really struggled with this chapter. I found myself pretty confused throughout the whole thing! I am not too proud to say that I had to appeal to Brethil for a bit of editing. I felt as though my post on the various nuances of Celeborn and Galadriel was as disjointed as the chapter.

Here you have done a fantastic job at summation. I have always gotten the same feeling that you do regarding Galadriel. The more important she became to Tolkien, the more important her backstory becomes; and more convoluted. I believe that there are versions of Celeborn and Galadriel's relationship which are more plausible than others, which brings me to my question to you: which story do you find to be the most cohesive related to the rest of the history of Middle Earth? What are your thoughts on the kinslaying? Was it likely she participated?


Mikah
Lorien

Feb 5 2014, 7:54am

Post #29 of 125 (238 views)
Shortcut
Slightly less confused now... [In reply to] Can't Post

Regarding this piece of Tolkien lore. I had always speculated that the bad blood between Celeborn, Galadriel, and Thranduil had something to do with Thingol. I feel you are exactly correct in saying that perhaps Thingol and Thranduil are cut from the same literary cloth. They really are, aren't they?

Now if Galadriel and Celeborn met in Doriath as one narration tells us, it brings me to another question. How was Celeborn not affected by Thingol's feelings toward the Noldor? Come to think of it though, Thingol was not aware of the kinslaying until after Galadriel had befriended his wife, was he? Hmm. There I go, thinking out loud again. In light of this, it would make sense that this would be the reason for the drama between a few of the most powerful Elves in Middle Earth at this time.

Now as far as the kinslaying goes. Perhaps Tolkien did want her removed from it. She definitely becomes more wise, graceful, and benevolent as the ages progressed. When the kinslaying occurred, they were under the shadow of Morgoth. It seemed to affect everyone in Arda, caused them to do things that they perhaps would not have normally considered. I think about the murder of Finwe, the destruction of the trees, and the theft of the hallowed jewels. I am not certain that the Noldor were exactly in their right minds when this all happened. This includes Galadriel, if she was indeed present. I believe that Tolkien states that Feanor's words drove them to madness, or something along those lines. This is not difficult to perceive, the mightiest elf in Valinor at the time rallying the Noldor in a time of confusion. Think of how crazed Feanor must have been. Although his fall was utterly vile, he had also suffered more than any elf we know of at that time. He was on the brink of madness, as were many of the Noldor. Morgoth's despicable actions more than affected them, it was almost personal. Considering all of this, it is not a far stretch to see how the kinslaying could have happened...even for someone like Galadriel. It seems as though her wisdom and courtesy comes with age. Oh sheesh there I go again...on another tangent!


Mikah
Lorien

Feb 5 2014, 8:17am

Post #30 of 125 (259 views)
Shortcut
You make an excellent point....... [In reply to] Can't Post

You know Rem, the thought of the Valar banishing Galadriel for simply leaving never sat well with me either. I just could not conceive of such a thing. It would seem to me that the Valar at least cared for the Noldor, we know Ulmo did. Manwe as well. He would not have aided Fingon in rescuing Maedhros if he did not. And I have a feeling that Maedhros was perhaps more likely to be guilty in the kinslaying than Galadriel. So the thought of banning her just did not make sense.

Now your idea of her not wishing to return (whatever the reason) is something to consider. As you point out her time in ME is what caused her to become the person she was destined to be. A person typically gains wisdom from making mistakes and humility is a natural reaction to acknowledging the makes that we make. More than likely, many of her most noble traits would not have manifested had she left ME sooner than she did. They would not have had to.

I think it important to not that when she talks of taking the Ring, she does not say that 'Galadriel' would become powerful, but that a 'Queen' would rise. She would then become someone else, and no longer follow the intent of Eru, forsaking who she was meant to be. (Melkor became Morgoth) By returning earlier, she could very well have taken the path of seeking power in Valinor, and become as corrupted as Melkor and Saruman did.

So true, this is an important point. She was fully capable of becoming as corrupt as possibly Melkor and most definitely Saruman. After all, the more proud they are, the further the fall from grace. Hers is a story of redemption. A person who makes the right choice, when it would be so much easier to make the wrong one.

You asked to not get you started on the oath, but now I am curious. Do you believe it really contributed that heavily to the downfall of the SoF and would it have caused the fall of Galadriel had she pledged it as well? Would the Valar had not forgiven them had they humbled themselves and begged pardon?


Mikah
Lorien

Feb 5 2014, 8:35am

Post #31 of 125 (236 views)
Shortcut
OH! You mean Celeborn! [In reply to] Can't Post

Hi CG! It is disappointing indeed that we have woefully little information regarding the leading man, um elf, in Galadriel's life. The only way that I can reconcile this is that Tolkien did not get around to expanding his backstory. I mean, as you point out CG, something attracted her to him. I imagine she could have had anyone she wanted in ME at the time. Why him? There had to be something there. I would be so curious to know what Tolkien had in his imagination regarding Celeborn.

Nomadic Galadriel is a rather strange concept isn't it? Honestly she wanders so much that I had trouble keeping track of her. I would become confused...go get a drink of water and BAM! there she was in Eregion and I would think, huh???? It doesn't just detract from her dignity, but it detracts from the story as well. This is a chapter when outlines and highlighters come in very handy.

Now as far as Alqualonde goes, I would definitely like to discuss that, but must return once I have had some sleep. I would also like to comment on your other two posts as well. I will approach them with more sleep and less caffeine. I had almost forgotten about the Doom of Mandos....


noWizardme
Tol Eressea


Feb 5 2014, 9:31am

Post #32 of 125 (242 views)
Shortcut
Maybe Celeborn's true wisdom is... [In reply to] Can't Post

Maybe Celeborn's wisdom is...that he realises Galadriel is immeasurably much better at the politics. Maybe he has the insight to go with this, and the humility mostly to shut up and not block her shots whilst she gets on with the important business of keeping Sauron's claws of Lorien (and possibly the whole of the West). If so, then well done him.

Being able to take the background role could actually be an act of deep wisdom, especially if elvish custom would make that an unusual role for the Lord (I have no idea what Elvish custom would be). Sometimes an extrovert, charismatic, hard-charging partner (marriage or business, either gender) needs a counterweight in someone quieter and more centred. I can think of several real-life examples. Maybe, Galadriel's long learned to note the thoughtful expression that sometimes comes over Celeborn:
Celeborn : "Don't you think that was a little TOO ruthless, dear?"
Galadriel: "Was it? Oh....well, maybe it was..."

Fiction tropes work such that the if you imagine Galadriel as Lord and Celeborn as Lady we maybe wouldn't notice this at all. Ditzy Queens in the background to energetic consorts don't stand out in fantasy literature (they have to be beautiful, though: the tropes insist).

So, now I'm not sure whether:
to applaud Tolkien for writing a couple that are pretty original in fantasy fiction, but have an arrangement which certainly is encountered in real life, or;
to feel that a bit more writing attention on Celeborn was needed, so that we don't liken him personality-wise to Bill the Pony (In CuriousG's wonderful phrase)!

Disclaimers: The words of noWizardme may stand on their heads! I'm often wrong about things, and its fun to be taught more....

"nowimë I am in the West, Furincurunir to the Dwarves (or at least, to their best friend) and by other names in other lands. Mostly they just say 'Oh no it's him - look busy!' "
Or "Hold off! unhand me, grey-beard loon!"


FarFromHome
Valinor


Feb 5 2014, 9:50am

Post #33 of 125 (225 views)
Shortcut
There's more. [In reply to] Can't Post


In Reply To
Is there a strategic or tactical trick that this woman didn't miss?

She's the one who made sure that Aragorn and Arwen got together. Elrond would have avoided it if he could, and did his best by sending Aragorn away for many years. But when the travel-worn Aragorn happened to visit Lothlorien, Galadriel made sure that the match was made:
"Galadriel bade him cast aside his wayworn raiment, and she clothed him in silver and white, with a cloak of elven-grey and a bright gem on his brow. Then more than any king of Men he appeared, and seemed rather an Elf-lord from the Isles of the West. And thus it was that Arwen first beheld him again after their long parting; and as he came walking towards her under the trees of Caras Galadhon laden with flowers of gold, her choice was made and her doom appointed." (LotR Appendix A)
And as we know, Elrond again laid as many conditions as he could on the match, and again Galadriel did what she could to make it happen, by passing on the legendary Elf-stone on behalf of her granddaughter Arwen:
"This stone I gave to Celebrían my daughter, and she to hers; and now it comes to you as a token of hope. In this hour take the name that was foretold for you, Elessar, the Elfstone of the House of Elendil!" (Farewell to Lorien)
Poor Elrond, this is Galadriel as the ultimate meddling (grand)mother-in-law!

Tongue

They went in, and Sam shut the door.
But even as he did so, he heard suddenly,
deep and unstilled,
the sigh and murmur of the Sea upon the shores of Middle-earth.
From the unpublished Epilogue to the Lord of the Rings



FarFromHome
Valinor


Feb 5 2014, 10:00am

Post #34 of 125 (229 views)
Shortcut
Hey, who are you calling personality-free? [In reply to] Can't Post


Quote
...less personality than Bill the Pony

Bill the Pony has heaps of personality. He's one of my favourite characters! Cool

Seriously though, I quite like the idea of a male consort who stays in the background. It's almost a necessity, maybe, when a woman is in charge. The husband of Angela Merkel is practically unknown to the public, and Margaret Thatcher's husband also kept a low profile. Even the Duke of Edinburgh, despite his occasional gaffes, keeps pretty quiet and lets his wife have the spotlight. It's a sign of wisdom, not nebbishness, in my book when a husband allows his wife the space to do her job.


They went in, and Sam shut the door.
But even as he did so, he heard suddenly,
deep and unstilled,
the sigh and murmur of the Sea upon the shores of Middle-earth.
From the unpublished Epilogue to the Lord of the Rings



FarFromHome
Valinor


Feb 5 2014, 10:19am

Post #35 of 125 (258 views)
Shortcut
A quote that might help [In reply to] Can't Post

Yesterday while looking up the quotes about Galadriel and the Virgin Mary, I came across this:
Galadriel was a penitent; in her youth a leader of the rebellion against the Valar... At the end of the First Age she proudly refused forgiveness or permission to return. She was pardoned for her resistance to the ... temptation to take the Ring for herself. (Letter 320)
That seems to correspond quite well with your second point. It seems that her sin was one of pride* - she was too proud to seek or even accept forgiveness for what she'd done in her youth. Pride is one of the sins that the Ring plays on, so perhaps it's fair to say that her rejection of its temptation was what made her finally overcome her pride and, as she says, pass the "test". It seems from what Tolkien writes in that Letter that her pardon was always there for her to take, once she overcame the pride that prevented her from accepting it.

* Edit: It strikes me that the "shadow of the same evil" that Galadriel perceived in Feanor is in fact this very sin of pride.

They went in, and Sam shut the door.
But even as he did so, he heard suddenly,
deep and unstilled,
the sigh and murmur of the Sea upon the shores of Middle-earth.
From the unpublished Epilogue to the Lord of the Rings



(This post was edited by FarFromHome on Feb 5 2014, 10:24am)


sador
Half-elven


Feb 5 2014, 4:06pm

Post #36 of 125 (228 views)
Shortcut
"Based on 'philosophical' rather than 'historical' considerations" [In reply to] Can't Post

This is how Christopher Tolkien describes his father's latest version of Galadriel's history; which I take as a polite way of saying it makes no sense.
After my previous post, which was rather tangential to our subject (but thank you for your kind words!), it behooves me to consider the actual history of Galadriel. I will consider the four options you have raised, and then tackle your actual questions (in perhaps another response, maybe tomorrow).


1. They met before the end of the First Age in Celeborn’s own land of Lorien. As C. Tolkien points out this would make Celeborn most probably a Nandorin Elf.
Well, the obvious difficulty with this is how does Amroth fit in; as well as how come Lorien survived the terrible war which devastated Eregion, while being nearly-deserted once an unknown terror under Caradhras kicked the dwarves out.
Admittedly, these two difficulties are inherent in the story and geography as stated in The Lord of the Rings; but normally I would have expected the earliest version, being written close upon the publication of LotR, to have better answers. Perhaps this led to the idea of Amroth as Celeborn and Galadriel's son, but I do not feel it is sufficient.

This version is noteworthy for its implications on the respective strengths of Galadriel and Celeborn. If Galadriel had crossed the Mountains alone, and was welcomed by the Nandorin lord of Lorien - well, she has come to him looking for help and shelter, or at least for a helpmeet. Couldn't he have pulled an Eol, ensnaring her like her cousin in Nan Elmoth?
Another interesting point, which needs to be made here, is that Celeborn seems to have been not just a sidekick, but actually an experienced general, as is indicated by both the war with Sauron after Eregion fell, and by appendix B, in which he manages to repel three assaults upon Lorien, before crossing the River with his own host to dismantle Dol Guldur (Galadriel came in just for the magic part at the end).
By the way, this cast a third doubt on Tolkien's statement that Galadriel looked favourably upon dwarves, perceiving in them the finest warriors to pose against Sauron's orcs. After all, it wasn't her who organized the battles. The first two, by the way, are that when considering it in the context of her admitted desire of the Ring and Boromir's experience of her tempting him, this statement becomes a bit sinister; and that dwarves never seem to have been super-heroes. Did she consider them as mere cannon-fodder, or did she watch Jackson's DOS too many times?

But despite all of the above, and despite Michael Martinez's well-argued apologia, CuriousG seem to be right; Celeborn is so overshadowed by far by his charismatic wife, it takes a lot of careful and creative reading to endow him with a personality. And it seems that in his later years, Tolkien was so much concerned with Galadriel, especially from a 'philosophical' point of view - I mean, how can she be both a Virgin Mary-equivalent and a rebel at the same time? So her was pushed aside even further to the shadow.

A last point which should be made - the idea that the Nandor were Telerin is a late one; at first, JRRT envivisoned them as Noldor who had forsook the Great March. I haven't checked the dates Christopher Tolkien attributes to the various ideas, but I wonder whether at the time Galadriel's opaque statement regarding his origins was written, Celeborn was not supposed to have been a Noldorin elf, and hence a far relative of hers.


2. A later version of the story suggests that “Galadriel passed over the Mountains of Ered Luin with her husband Celeborn (one of the Sindar) and went to Eregion.”
3. The Silmarillion makes mention of their meeting in Doriath and Celeborn’s kinship with King Thingol.

These two are essentially the same - the no. 2 quote (from The Lost Road) is at variance with Galadriel's statement in LotR regarding when they crossed the Mountains. As I personally agree with Martinez's opinion that the only writings which can be considered as "canon" are The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings (according to the second edition, which was revised by the author), I consider this to be the "true" story. Both the later version were at the most outlines for further revisions.

One thing which this backstory does, is provide us with a motive for Celeborn's enmity to dwarves (which, as Martinez pointed out, is not really great in LotR); I assume this is what led Tolkien to write the story of Celeborn staying behind in Eregion after Galadriel left through Moria.
But I find this story very weak; for one thing, if Celeborn was in such a trauma from the sack of Doriath, would he have stayed behind at the mercy of a bunch of sedituous Noldor? And whatever Celebrimbor was, most of the Eregion smiths were followers of Feanor and his sons. Wouldn't he prefer a three-days trek through the halls of a still-friendly kingdom of dwarves? And why couldn't he take the Redhorn Pass - after all, this was long before Sauron let loose his armies against the area? Makes absolutely no sense whatsoever.
The only story I might find probable is that Galadriel, having fallen out with Celebrimbor and finding herself in a minority, simply left with a monumental huff, while the more mellow husband stayed behind, possibly retaining the titular lordship of Eregion (although of course, without any actual power). But Tolkien would never go in that direction.


4. They meet in Alqualonde when Galadriel went to dwell with her mother’s kin. Here Celeborn is grandson of Olwe. Here Galadriel has no part of the rebellion of the Noldor, but departs with Celeborn to Middle-Earth.

I agree with you that this is the least likely; and I think that Christopher does, too, as he had hinted in the statement I've quoted in this post's title. But I will enlarge on this, please G-d, in the next post, in which I will answer your questions.



Elthir
Gondor

Feb 5 2014, 6:49pm

Post #37 of 125 (206 views)
Shortcut
Galadriel the slayer? [In reply to] Can't Post


Quote
I believe that there are versions of Celeborn and Galadriel's relationship which are more plausible than others, which brings me to my question to you:...



... or to me or anyone if I/we desire to answer it, I hope Smile



Quote
... which story do you find to be the most cohesive related to the rest of the history of Middle Earth?




For me no doubt the one Christopher Tolkien chose for his 1977 Silmarillion, which agrees with The Road Goes Ever On [published by JRRT himself] regarding the explicit reference that Galadriel was a leader of the Rebellion, and goes on to explain how her lament in The Lord of the Rings relates to her history as a penitent Rebel.



Quote
What are your thoughts on the kinslaying? Was it likely she participated?



Externally I believe she in fact was not present in the version Tolkien wrote in the early 1950s, the version largely taken up by CJRT for the 1977 Silmarillion. In late texts Tolkien does place her there, 'fighting' in defense of the Teleri. Fighting but not killing? Hard to say.


I'm a little surprised that in the very late adumbrated account where Tolkien removes Galadriel from the rebellion, he yet retains the now imagined conception that she fought at Swanhaven. If a comparison to the Virgin Mary was indeed at the heart of this text [Galadriel 'unstained' according to a very late letter], I wonder if Tolkien should not have simply 'better' removed her from the scene...

... again. Still, she fought for her kin against Feanor I guess. Again, does that necessarily mean she herself took life?

I'll say this. I much prefer the 1950s Galadriel: absent from the Kinslaying, but banned for her special role in leading the Exiles to Middle-earth; and still too proud to return even if she could have [internally she could not have until after her rejection of the One], at least at the end of the First Age.

I think Galadriel's words to Melian [constructed Siilmarillion], as well as the Finarfinian reaction in Thingol's halls, were meant to be read in this light, as this discourse comes from the same early 1950s phase -- the children of Finarfin just arrived too late, and so they speak as described; they were not involved in the slayings at least.

Plus the late adumbrated tale that removes Galadriel from the Rebellion raises more potential questions in my opinion: one concerning Galadriel's close kinship with Celeborn for instance; another [arguably] raising the question [at least] as to why Celeborn, if really from Aman, tarried in Middle-earth when Galadriel departed [published by JRRT]; and a third that Tolkien had already published Celeborn was Sindarin.

I'll take the penitent rebel marrying Celeborn the Sinda of Doriath... after she [ahem, cough] passed over some mountains in Beleriand.

JRRT never said that Galadriel alone crossed the Blue Mountains or the Misty Mountains in The Lord of the Rings [cough again, for reasons I'll leave alone for now].

Wink




Brethil
Half-elven


Feb 5 2014, 7:02pm

Post #38 of 125 (225 views)
Shortcut
The same shadow [In reply to] Can't Post


In Reply To
* Edit: It strikes me that the "shadow of the same evil" that Galadriel perceived in Feanor is in fact this very sin of pride.
That is the same feeling I get myself. That pride - not the other ills that may or may not have happened - was the ultimate unifying quality that Galadriel and Feanor share in all versions. And in line with his own faith, I think atonement and the 'penitent' spirit in the face of Pride (yup, the Capital letter version!) was enough for her to have to overcome.


Have an idea relating to the world of JRR Tolkien that you would like to write about? If so, the Third TORn Amateur Symposium will be running in the Reading Room April, 2014. *The Call for Submissions is up*!





Brethil
Half-elven


Feb 5 2014, 7:19pm

Post #39 of 125 (218 views)
Shortcut
Commander in Chief [In reply to] Can't Post


In Reply To
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." Interesting sentence. What do you think he meant by that concerning Galadriel? As FFH posted, I think that 'pride' is the commonality between Galadriel and Feanor. And that seems very real-world and believable to me: one can spot in others what is amiss with oneself, and often it repels (as it did in her case.)

Very interesting indeed! I'm so glad you brought this up, Mikah, because one thing I find satisfying about Galadriel's backstory (whatever the version) is that she was as great as Feanor in her own way. Her own special gift was that penetrating telepathy that she ruthlessly unleashed on the Fellowship as soon as she met them, which bothers me in a way. Couldn't she have done the 21st century thing and had one-on-one interviews with them first, or maybe a cocktail mixer where everyone could loosen up first and get to know each other, and maybe she could learn through skilled listening what she would have learned from a mental hijacking? Noooooooooooooo. She goes straight for the "I'm going to invade your mind and tempt you with something false but seductive to test your loyalty." I almost never side with Boromir, but I do in this instance where he says it was an unfair and deceitful thing to do.
But it shows that that was her nature, to see inside people, and she'd been doing that for thousands of years, and she'd seen some pretty awful things. She'd looked into "the greatest of the Noldor," Uncle Feanor, and saw the worst of the Noldor there. Tolkien credits her with having Feanor's pride, ambition, and strength of character, but having the advantage of growing with wisdom over time. I think it took her three Ages (more or less) to see that Melkor's shadow had fallen on her also in Valinor, something that wasn't supposed to be possible. Discerning that darkness in herself had to make her more wary about seeking it in others--everyone. She clearly saw something amiss in Saruman to want to have Gandalf head the White Council instead. And most amazing of all, she can see inside Sauron's mind, "or all of his mind that concerns the Elves." What effect did it have on her to see all the evil in others? Did it make her more resolute to be a good guy, or more suspicious of others, or more objective and philosophical about good vs evil in everyone?


That insight - yes, she was doing it from the start. Add a Ring to that innate skill...and maybe you get the strong mind that can merely see into the minds of others and not hesitate to do so? We read about her viewing the Dwarves with the eye of a commander: I think that is a great summation of her, even if it is written almost in passing. A natural leader of strong mind and spirit, she is then given an item that can strengthen both of those even more.
So deceitful...perhaps.

But I suppose the deceit may be in the eye of the beholder too. Boromir had things to hide, so the intrusion was just that - invasive and unwelcome? In the larger picture I can see that she would need that knowledge and need it without guile. Tactically the best moment to glean undefended information was right then, when the Fellowship was vulnerable.

As a Commander, mind you: other ethics (which you point out rightly) aside. I wonder if that aspect of Galadriel (in JRRT''s mind) overshadowed Celeborn? No matter what version we accept of him, he seems very passive compared to her...even narrow-minded if we go the route of his refusal to enter Khazad-dum and accompany his wife. Instead he sort of lame-ducks it around Eregion, being 'disregarded'. If power of will repelled her from Feanor, it seems she went quite the opposite direction in mate-choice! But from a real-world dynamic, it makes sense.

In the 'philosophical' later revision, with them meeting in Alqualonde and fighting Feanor, at least Celeborn has a bit of a role to play. So in that revision it seems like he was softening the edges all around: Galadriel removed form Kinslaying shadow, and having the Ban be more of an issue of cardinal yet atonable sin (pride) and Celeborn more of an active partner.












Have an idea relating to the world of JRR Tolkien that you would like to write about? If so, the Third TORn Amateur Symposium will be running in the Reading Room April, 2014. *The Call for Submissions is up*!





(This post was edited by Brethil on Feb 5 2014, 7:21pm)


Brethil
Half-elven


Feb 5 2014, 7:34pm

Post #40 of 125 (207 views)
Shortcut
Galadriel and Feanor parallels [In reply to] Can't Post


In Reply To
Now if Galadriel and Celeborn met in Doriath as one narration tells us, it brings me to another question. How was Celeborn not affected by Thingol's feelings toward the Noldor? Come to think of it though, Thingol was not aware of the kinslaying until after Galadriel had befriended his wife, was he? Hmm. There I go, thinking out loud again. In light of this, it would make sense that this would be the reason for the drama between a few of the most powerful Elves in Middle Earth at this time. Very good Thinking Out Loud. I suppose if we accept the later version, it removes guilt from both of them as well as removing any barrier that Celeborn might have felt towards Galadriel. Amazing how complex it became once he decided to retrofit her into the Return isn't it? With as much fuss and muss as it causes, I think he felt a real *need* to have Galadriel present in the First Age and have a marked - shall we say iconic? - role? And throwing her in with Feanor...I think he felt an sense of needing to 'pair' those tales. (He did seem to like pairing, and twinning: I think because he enjoyed studies in contrasts from like origins.)

Now as far as the kinslaying goes. Perhaps Tolkien did want her removed from it. She definitely becomes more wise, graceful, and benevolent as the ages progressed. When the kinslaying occurred, they were under the shadow of Morgoth. It seemed to affect everyone in Arda, caused them to do things that they perhaps would not have normally considered. I think about the murder of Finwe, the destruction of the trees, and the theft of the hallowed jewels. I am not certain that the Noldor were exactly in their right minds when this all happened. This includes Galadriel, if she was indeed present. I believe that Tolkien states that Feanor's words drove them to madness, or something along those lines. This is not difficult to perceive, the mightiest elf in Valinor at the time rallying the Noldor in a time of confusion. Think of how crazed Feanor must have been. Although his fall was utterly vile, he had also suffered more than any elf we know of at that time. He was on the brink of madness, as were many of the Noldor. Morgoth's despicable actions more than affected them, it was almost personal. Considering all of this, it is not a far stretch to see how the kinslaying could have happened...even for someone like Galadriel. It seems as though her wisdom and courtesy comes with age. Oh sheesh there I go again...on another tangent!
Your summation is excellent! In all aspects, the Marring is key even if it is so removed from the tale at hand. A perfect example in the complexity of Feanor and the use (and misuse) of his tremendous passion and gifts. Morgoth really struck at him so many times: the marring that seems to have caused the loss of Miriel, the death of the Trees and the slaying of his father. And as a net result: the darkening of his eternal fea! He too ended up under a Ban: never to return to Arda and to stay with Mandos (whom I doubt is lively company). Something those two souls have in common, Feanor and Galadriel: a divine Ban. But hers could be atoned - especially if we take the guilt-free version - and his could not.


Have an idea relating to the world of JRR Tolkien that you would like to write about? If so, the Third TORn Amateur Symposium will be running in the Reading Room April, 2014. *The Call for Submissions is up*!





Mikah
Lorien

Feb 6 2014, 3:23am

Post #41 of 125 (198 views)
Shortcut
Wise he was indeed! [In reply to] Can't Post

You make a lot of sense here. Your post really got me to thinking about the complexities of this relationship. She really would have to marry someone like Celeborn, wouldn't she? Could you really imagine her marrying a personality such as Feanor, Thranduil, or Thingol? It would seem to me that if she married someone too ambitious, their will's would always be at strife with one another. A person too proud would not much care to be the background in her foreground. I am sure that Tolkien was insightful enough to know this. So you really do make a good point here.

I can only speak for myself however, when I say that I do wish we had more information on him. I think he has the ability to be a most interesting character, had he been developed. I do wonder what it was that Galadriel saw which caused her to choose him. I highly doubt that Celeborn is the pushover that I make him out to be in my own imagination. I can not picture her being attracted to such a man...I mean elf!


Mikah
Lorien

Feb 6 2014, 3:57am

Post #42 of 125 (196 views)
Shortcut
At first glance... [In reply to] Can't Post

I had been willing to consider the first possibility of their meeting. However,you have pointed out inconsistencies in the story that do seem to make titdefinitely less plausible than I had first considered In my mind however, it does cast Celeborn in a more favorable light doesn't it?

And it seems that in his later years, Tolkien was so much concerned with Galadriel, especially from a 'philosophical' point of view - I mean, how can she be both a Virgin Mary-equivalent and a rebel at the same time? So her was pushed aside even further to the shadow.

I believe that this would take much thought on Tolkien's part and I can see why it would require so much attention. When Brethil first pointed out to me the Virgin Mary comparison, my thoughts were much the same. I just did not see the parallels. We have had some very good posts in this thread which have helped to clarity this for me. But I can not imagine that it was an easy task to reconcile the two and from my understanding, Tolkien seemed intent on this comparison. I wonder why it was he felt so drawn to correlating the two?


Mikah
Lorien

Feb 6 2014, 4:13am

Post #43 of 125 (182 views)
Shortcut
And my question to you! [In reply to] Can't Post

... or to me or anyone if I/we desire to answer it, I hopeSmile

Of course! Wink And I am in much agreement with you. Even with the flaws in the story I do accept The Sil's version of their meeting as the most likely. And honestly, for me, it casts her in a more interesting light. I love a story of redemption. A person who has flaws and is at times victim to them, yet overcoming them in the manner which she did rejecting the ring.

I do understand how this version makes it a bit more difficult to draw the Virgin Mary comparisons. However, I have always been of the mind that it is often adversity that builds character. I can not imagine an unblemished Galadriel having the type of character that she had. An unblemished Galadriel would not need it. As always these are just my thoughts.


Brethil
Half-elven


Feb 6 2014, 4:20am

Post #44 of 125 (198 views)
Shortcut
Correlating Galadriel and Mary [In reply to] Can't Post


In Reply To
I believe that this would take much thought on Tolkien's part and I can see why it would require so much attention. When Brethil first pointed out to me the Virgin Mary comparison, my thoughts were much the same. I just did not see the parallels. We have had some very good posts in this thread which have helped to clarity this for me. But I can not imagine that it was an easy task to reconcile the two and from my understanding, Tolkien seemed intent on this comparison. I wonder why it was he felt so drawn to correlating the two?

This is all very IMO (so you are warned): I wonder here if is real-world faith (which we know was a profound influence) is what he desired to have overlap with fantasy-historical reality with Galadriel being, not the actual mother of, but the founding mother (in her way) of the line of Aragorn, which leads to modern times. A very Catholic idea. In that way aligning with Mary and thus maybe altering her from her original conception as the idea grew? (I'm thinking of the 1968 Letter, #294, which details how the bloodline through Elendil and then to Shield Sheafing via Germanic legend is remotely ancestral to the present Queen). The myth of Galadriel the rebellious Noldo transformed into an Elf-woman of strength yet penitence, who lends her very blood to the enrichment of Mankind?

CT writes in the introduction to The Lost Road that he is unsure of the original date of the concept but the fantasy time-travel story "The Lost Road" (which became Numenor, and the Akallabeth) was submitted to Unwin and Allen in 1937. The letter above was written in 1968, and we have the latest and last revisions to Galadriel circa 1972. A wide expanse of time and life experience for the ideas to evolve.

Pure speculation on my part! Not sure if I have read anything definitive from JRRT about this but I feel like that concept of linking Numenor (and thus Aragorn) with modern real-world bloodlines related to his idea that the mythic and Faerie gifted Man with its blood far back in time. And maybe that is where Galadriel as Mary comes in?





Have an idea relating to the world of JRR Tolkien that you would like to write about? If so, the Third TORn Amateur Symposium will be running in the Reading Room April, 2014. *The Call for Submissions is up*!





(This post was edited by Brethil on Feb 6 2014, 4:21am)


Mikah
Lorien

Feb 6 2014, 4:33am

Post #45 of 125 (192 views)
Shortcut
A little tricksy?? [In reply to] Can't Post

You know, I see both sides of this. Honestly, like Curious George, I too felt a bit of sympathy for Boromir in regards to Galadriel's "mental hijacking" of the fellowship. I would have probably felt the same way. My thoughts would have been along the line of "if I wanted you to know what I thought I would tell you." It is a violation to say the least.

On the other hand, I also understand Galadriel's perceived necessity. She had seen so much corruption over the ages, now they have the ring to contend with. A ring capable of corrupting and darkening anybody. How was she to know if the ring had corrupted them without her mind invasion? I can not imagine anyone willingly divulging this information. A little tricksy? A little false? Perhaps it was, but in her mind I believe she saw it as a necessity.

On the other hand...I know that I would not like it if it was done to me, so I kind of feel for Boromir here.


Brethil
Half-elven


Feb 6 2014, 4:49am

Post #46 of 125 (191 views)
Shortcut
Tricksy indeed... [In reply to] Can't Post

The morality of Immortality. Alliteration aside (and it does work doesn't it?) her views are wider and less .... human? than ours.
I wonder if with his own war experiences, he felt that to obtain information this was both acceptable and pragmatic?

Have an idea relating to the world of JRR Tolkien that you would like to write about? If so, the Third TORn Amateur Symposium will be running in the Reading Room April, 2014. *The Call for Submissions is up*!





Mikah
Lorien

Feb 6 2014, 5:06am

Post #47 of 125 (221 views)
Shortcut
Tolkien and Faith [In reply to] Can't Post

IThis is all very IMO (so you are warned): I wonder here if is real-world faith (which we know was a profound influence) is what he desired to have overlap with fantasy-historical reality with Galadriel being, not the actual mother of, but the founding mother (in her way) of the line of Aragorn, which leads to modern times. A very Catholic idea

This is rather brilliant Bethil believe that I get so involved in Tolkien's fantasy world that at times I forget about the importance of his faith. I don't know how at times I can forget. After all, we are talking about the man that converted CS Lewis to Christianity. That is no small achievement and one so important to Christian Theology. So reading your post, I believe that you are right and it would be natural for a faith of such immense importance to the man to be interwoven in his characters.

I think to truly understand the parallels one would need to comprehend who exactly Mary is and what she means to the Catholic religion. I must confess, that although I am a practicing Christian, I am not Catholic and do not profess to know how Catholics view Mary. But this really is most profound and does help to clarify some things for me. Thank you.


sador
Half-elven


Feb 6 2014, 11:56am

Post #48 of 125 (196 views)
Shortcut
Why o why? [In reply to] Can't Post

The transformation of Galadriel's image over the years is quite complete; after all, in all of Tolkien's late writings there is nothing regarding Galadriel's admitted desire for the Ring - I am not of two minds regarding her temptation of Boromir, by the way - but only of her passing the test and so being restored to the favour of the Valar; Tolkien seems to struggle with the nature of her rebellion, and whatever it was that she had to repent?
She has become a larger-than-life figure, the true foil and antagonist of Feanor. Gone are Fingolfin and his sons (the original foils), Gil-galad has become an empty figure, and even the whole range of other LotR characters who might have been tempted by the Ring (Bombadil, saruman, Denethor...) or no longer perceived as important; the whole stage is occupied by these two greatest of the Eldar, and how they struggle with the Valar, and each other.

Why? What made this one of a whole series of fascinating secondary characters in LotR, who was somehow added to the Silmarillion legends, such a great figure?
I have no idea; but there are at least four directions in which reasons could be found; and it is likely that the combination of more than one of them was at play.



FarFromHome and others have mentioned already the religious aspect; but there is also Tolkien's tendency to hero-worship, as could be seen in the essay of the Istari and the elevation of Gandalf with each successive writing.



The is also the issue of gender (one which I've never written about on TORn):
At least two male posters have, in this very discussion, mentioned admiringly the way Galadriel put Celeborn firmly in his place. Michael Martinez has tried to read this passage in a way which shows Celeborn in a more favourable light; and someone who is bent on Galadriel-bashing would have said that she was determined to keep the Fellowship near, as a part of her deep scheme to get Frodo to offer her the Ring - but most readers, even the male ones, read this scene on surface level, and revel in it.
The feminist revolution has impacted all of us, and having a strong female character appeals to our sensibilities. It has also an additional advantage of helping Tolkien's image in our eyes as fans. Tolkien has been bashed by the outside world of literati as a xenophobe, classist, reactionary, and even misogynist. Indeed, The Hobbit is comletely female-free, except for the late and lamented Belladonna; Arwen is a pretty princess, and even Eowyn starts as a rebel but finally sttles down for a good marriage - but we do have Galadriel! No wonder she enjoys such a popularity.
I do not think that Tolkien was a feminist in the sense the term is usually mentioned; but he has lived through the 50s and 60s, and might have been interested in creating a powerful role model. His religion indeed offered one, in the Virgin Mary, and in other female saints. So Galadriel developed in this direction.
As a matter of fact, going by LotR alone, Galadriel seems to fit better into a different archetype - that of a good sorceress. Like Glinda the Good Witch, if you please - good, wise, powerful, reading others' hearts, wielding great magic, having an army at her command - but still not one you would like to expose to the Ruling Ring. In fact Luthien could be seen in the same light.
But once Tolkien had to provide a female role model - she veered in the saintly direction.




Add to all of the above the details of Tolkien's personal life, his own struggles with his religion, his hopes and/or disappointments with his children, and his aging together with his wife. When Christopher Tolkien writes that the last version would have necessiated a major revision of the whole legendarium, and that his father doubtlessly intended to do it, I can't help wondering if he relly thinks so.
In the last year of his life, just after having buried Edith (and designed his own epitaph) - did JRRT ever believe he would revise the whole Silmarillion, or even that he was capable of it? Or was he in this coda to Galadriel's history, making I final comment about his own before sailing west - asserting that he had made no cardinal sin, only clinged stubbornly to that world he had created for himself, and delayed turning his mind and heart towards his true distination? Was this a final plea to be received back into Grace - made stronger by the fact that none but himself and his Creator would know of this?



ETA: as I've suspected, this took far too long to write, even having cut out more than half of the thoughts your question raised. And it also means that I won't get around to answering your excellent questions until - probably Sunday. Sorry.


(This post was edited by sador on Feb 6 2014, 11:59am)


FarFromHome
Valinor


Feb 6 2014, 5:23pm

Post #49 of 125 (174 views)
Shortcut
"though we sowed the seed of dragons, 'twas our right" [In reply to] Can't Post


Quote
Or was he in this coda to Galadriel's history, making I final comment about his own before sailing west - asserting that he had made no cardinal sin, only clinged stubbornly to that world he had created for himself, and delayed turning his mind and heart towards his true distination?

You seem to be assuming that Tolkien felt guilt for "clinging stubbornly" to his own mythology rather than focusing on his religion. Yet at the time he wrote Mythopoeia, at least, he believed that his own mythology and the "true myth" of his religion were inextricably connected - that his "sub-creation" represented no more and no less than shards of "splintered light" from the great White light of religious truth, and that he had the "right" to sub-create following the example of the Creator himself:
"We make still by the law in which we're made".

It seems to me that Tolkien believed his writing to be a part of his striving to express the great truth represented by his Catholic faith. Leaf by Niggle is another work that expresses this same confidence. If he felt guilt, it wasn't in neglecting his religion for his art, but in neglecting the demands of his mundane life for it. For most of his life, I think, he was confident that his creative life was of a piece with his religious belief, not separate from it and certainly not in opposition to it.

Though perhaps as his creative powers waned in old age he may have lost his confidence? Some of his later writings (such as the Sea-Bell, for example) do make you wonder.
In answer to your question, "did JRRT ever believe he would revise the whole Silmarillion, or even that he was capable of it?", I'd say that he must have known that he no longer had the strength to do it. Yet I can imagine him realizing that it needed to be done - LotR reached heights (and depths) that the Simarillion stories as written cannot match. Galadriel in particular has so much complexity (in philosophical terms rather than in plot terms) that she just can't be crowbarred in anywhere in the old stories and still retain all the layers of meaning that he must have seen in her.

They went in, and Sam shut the door.
But even as he did so, he heard suddenly,
deep and unstilled,
the sigh and murmur of the Sea upon the shores of Middle-earth.
From the unpublished Epilogue to the Lord of the Rings



sador
Half-elven


Feb 6 2014, 6:17pm

Post #50 of 125 (173 views)
Shortcut
Yes, of course! But he was young then... [In reply to] Can't Post

When Tolkien wrote Mythopoeia, he had no doubts, I agree. I'm not so sure regarding Leaf by Niggle, and later works (The Sea-Bell, The Last Ship, Smith of Wooton Major) could easily be read as expressing self-doubt (as far as I know, this is a debate between Fleiger and Shippey). And for an old, bereaved man, who has just lost his beloved of half-a-century - I think it is quite likely that he was looking backward rather than forward when he wrote that last fragment regarding Galadriel. It is telling, too - that he wrote "Luthien" on his wife's tombstone, and then went to his study and wrote a radically different version of Galadriel (I would go as far as calling it an apologia for her), greatly at odds with all he wrote about her before.


I'm far from being at that stage myself - but Tolkien had lived through great transformations of the country, the society and the church which he loved and believed in; for sure he was not happy with all of them.
And then he was a teacher and an author, and was looking back on his students, readers and even emulators. Most important, he was a father - was he happy with the choices his children made? I do not know, and am not sure I want to - though I would love to know a bit more about Christopher's life and views, seeing how important he is in the creation of the Silmarillion and the rest of his father's literary legacy.
But I'm sure Tolkien had his doubts.


First page Previous page 1 2 3 4 5 Next page Last page  View All
 
 

Search for (options) Powered by Gossamer Forum v.1.2.3

home | advertising | contact us | back to top | search news | join list | Content Rating

This site is maintained and updated by fans of The Lord of the Rings, and is in no way affiliated with Tolkien Enterprises or the Tolkien Estate. We in no way claim the artwork displayed to be our own. Copyrights and trademarks for the books, films, articles, and other promotional materials are held by their respective owners and their use is allowed under the fair use clause of the Copyright Law. Design and original photography however are copyright © 1999-2012 TheOneRing.net. Binary hosting provided by Nexcess.net

Do not follow this link, or your host will be blocked from this site. This is a spider trap.