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Why did Galadriel stay so long in Middle Earth?

davehenrie
Registered User

Dec 9 2012, 6:31am

Post #1 of 19 (390 views)
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Why did Galadriel stay so long in Middle Earth? Can't Post

  The Trilogy, even the appendices, doesn't really delve into Galadriel's long stay in Middle Earth. She was one of the first to return with the Noldorian Exhiles. Yet long after all her kin and compatriots either perished or returned to the Undying Lands, she remained. Some of the Lost Tales(I'm sorry I can't remember which) inferred her stay was both her choice but also punishment. Was she a willing participant in the Kin-Slaying? If I recall, even her Daughter left after being wounded while crossing the Misty Mtns.(foggy brain...Elrond's Wife?) So other than her joining with Celeborn, was there a larger pennance due before she was allowed to return?


N.E. Brigand
Half-elven


Dec 9 2012, 6:48am

Post #2 of 19 (246 views)
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"Unfinished Tales" not "Lost Tales". [In reply to] Can't Post

And see also Tolkien's letters, as well as his notes on The Road Goes Ever On song cycle. (But all my comments below are from memory, and should be checked.)


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She was one of the first to return with the Noldorin Exiles.


She returned no sooner than anyone else, although in one version, she and Teleporno were considering a return on their own.


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Yet long after all her kin and compatriots either perished or returned to the Undying Lands, she remained.


Not all of them. Gildor refers to his party as "Exiles" when he meets Frodo in the Shire.


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Some of the Lost Tales (I'm sorry I can't remember which) inferred her stay was both her choice but also punishment. Was she a willing participant in the Kin-slaying?


Tolkien says not.


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If I recall, even her daughter left after being wounded while crossing the Misty Mtns. (foggy brain... Elrond's Wife?).


Yes, Elrond was married to Galadriel and Celeborn's daugter, Celebrian, who sailed for Aman after being kidnapped by orcs in the mountains.


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So other than her joining with Celeborn, was there a larger penance due before she was allowed to return?


Yes, but she earned a ticket home by rejecting the Ring, when it was in her power to take it.

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Fredeghar Wayfarer
Lorien


Dec 9 2012, 7:01am

Post #3 of 19 (229 views)
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Hard to say [In reply to] Can't Post

There are conflicting versions of Galadriel's history, which Unfinished Tales delves into. In the earlier version, she supported Feanor and fought at Alqualonde (though I don't think she killed any of the Teleri). Her stay in Middle-earth was an exile like the rest of the Noldor.

In the later version, she despised Feanor and did not take part in the Kinslaying. She and Celeborn left Valinor by a separate ship because of Galadriel's desire to see the wide lands of Middle-earth. They left without permission and fell under the Ban of the Valar. They were pardoned by the Valar at the end of the First Age but chose to stay in Middle-earth out of pride.

The second one was what Tolkien preferred later in life and it seems more consistent with Galadriel's character. So I'd consider that one canon. But who's to say for sure?


(This post was edited by Fredeghar Wayfarer on Dec 9 2012, 7:02am)


Elizabeth
Valinor


Dec 9 2012, 7:30am

Post #4 of 19 (287 views)
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Which version do you prefer? [In reply to] Can't Post

Tolkien's view of Galadriel (and Celeborn) evolved over the years.

In the earlier versions, she joined with her brothers in the rebellion, and although she wasn't directly involved in the kinslaying, she joined with them in the migration across the Helcaraxe to Middle Earth. She settled in Doriath, and married Celeborn, a Sindarin Lord.

In later versions, she enjoyed something of a rehabilitation, in which Celeborn/Teleporno (gotta love the Quenya version of his name) was a Teleri noble (not only not invoved in the kinslaying, but actively resisting Fëanor's attack), and they migrated to Middle Earth for adventure, settling in Lothlorien and having a son (Amroth, although in the earlier versions Amroth was their predecessor in Lothlorien).

I like the earlier Galadriel better.






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DanielLB
Immortal


Dec 9 2012, 9:59am

Post #5 of 19 (250 views)
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I agree Elizabeth [In reply to] Can't Post

I think the original version is "better". I think it gives Galadriel more depth to her character. Even though she is one of the mightiest of Elves in the Third Age, and very much highly regarded, she still had this not-so-innocent history.

The later versions are too boring. Wink

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Nerven
Rivendell

Dec 9 2012, 1:13pm

Post #6 of 19 (230 views)
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Galadriel banned [In reply to] Can't Post

Thas a bit complicated, either she was freely in ME and wanted to help the people or she was forced to be in ME cause of the rebellion. But in both cases she never wished to return to Valinor until Saron was defeated.

Tolkien last word on the subject was that she left separated from the rebellion and that she was "unstained" but then in the earlier versions I never had the feeling that she was "stained". The Valar must have something against freethinker, otherwise I really donīt get the ban.

I donīt know which version I prefer, I like both but then I anyway never got why she was banned. What was her crime, I always thought that the Valar said that the Eldar were no prisinors and could leave Aman if they want. Nothing else Galadriel did, she left Aman when she wanted and is therefore called a rebell. Really what had she done? I understand why the Valar wanted to punish the oathtakers and kinslayers, but why Galadriel? Maybe she convinced otheres to come with her, but that was it. Iīm sure she never forced someone to come with her and they were surely old enough to make their own decisions.

I just think that the Valar are unfair. Her only sin would be disobedience but Galadriel was not their belongings, as werenīt the other elves.

I actually like the Valar, but I never got why they were so narrow minded with that.

But maybe I got the relationship between that Valar and the Eldar wrong, are the Eldar subject to the Valar and have to do what they demand? I rather thought that the Valar are their teachers.


Nerven
Rivendell

Dec 9 2012, 1:33pm

Post #7 of 19 (192 views)
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Valar and Eldar [In reply to] Can't Post

Of course that is the land of the Valar and the elves have to follow their rules, but there shold be limits otherwise the elves would be their servants. So I really donīt get why they were so mad about that elves leaving Valior.

Regarding Galadriel, I really see nothing bad in her, not in the early version too, she never fought gainst the Teleri and took no oath, the only thing that people could make think that she is stained is that she wanted a realm of her own. I donīt see that as evil, she wanted to accomplish something in her life and not jst sit idle under a tree and sing. Some people are contend with that but others are not. If you are highly intelligent (and Galadriel is discribed as being brilliant in mind, eqal to Feanor) you need some challenge and she never wanted to repress the people, she kinda wanted to have responsibility. Thereīs nothing evil in that.
Thatīs the way I see Galadriel and therefore I think it is highly unjust how the Valar treat her, only because she wanted to leave.


(This post was edited by Nerven on Dec 9 2012, 1:40pm)


Nerven
Rivendell

Dec 9 2012, 1:45pm

Post #8 of 19 (208 views)
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Eldar and Valar [In reply to] Can't Post

Isnīt it fact that even in the latest version, where Tolkien himself sais that she is unstained and left separatly, that she was under the ban, she was not even a rebell in that version but still banned only becase she left, so one could assme that Valinor was indeed a prison.


(This post was edited by Nerven on Dec 9 2012, 1:46pm)


Elthir
Gondor

Dec 9 2012, 2:21pm

Post #9 of 19 (214 views)
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Galadriel was banned [In reply to] Can't Post


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'After the overthrow of Morgoth at the end of the First Age a ban was set upon her return, and she had replied proudly that she had no wish to do so.'

JRRT, The Road Goes Ever On




Tolkien himself published this. And this agrees with the following from a letter dating to 1967:



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The Exiles were allowed to return – save for a few chief actors in the rebellion, of whom at the time of The Lord of the Rings only Galadriel remained.

JRRT, Letters




Tolkien's later musings about an 'unstained' Galadriel conflict with what he had already published, and the idea of Celeborn as a Teler from Aman also conflicts with author-published text.


The version Christopher Tolkien chose for the 1977 Silmarillion is in accordance with what JRRT published, and is from a phase where Galadriel, although a leader in the Rebellion, took no part in the Kinslaying at Swanhaven (she defended the Teleri in later, posthumously published versions, but it is not specfically noted if she took life or not).


(This post was edited by Elthir on Dec 9 2012, 2:24pm)


Elthir
Gondor

Dec 9 2012, 2:42pm

Post #10 of 19 (176 views)
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Amroth [In reply to] Can't Post


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In later versions, she enjoyed something of a rehabilitation, in which Celeborn/Teleporno (gotta love the Quenya version of his name) was a Teleri noble (not only not invoved in the kinslaying, but actively resisting Fëanor's attack), and they migrated to Middle Earth for adventure, settling in Lothlorien and having a son (Amroth, although in the earlier versions Amroth was their predecessor in Lothlorien).




If I recall correctly the [rejected] idea of Amroth as Galadriel's son hails from a text called Concerning Galadriel and Celeborn [or switch the order of the names] -- and is thus not part of the very late scenario you descibe here.

Amroth as the son of Amdir should have been in place by the time an older Tolkien [possibly forgetting what he had published] mused about Galadriel's separate departure from Middle-earth.


(This post was edited by Elthir on Dec 9 2012, 2:43pm)


Elthir
Gondor

Dec 9 2012, 3:00pm

Post #11 of 19 (176 views)
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Early version [In reply to] Can't Post


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There are conflicting versions of Galadriel's history, which Unfinished Tales delves into. In the earlier version, she supported Feanor and fought at Alqualonde (though I don't think she killed any of the Teleri). Her stay in Middle-earth was an exile like the rest of the Noldor.




In the early version Galadriel arguably took no part in the Kinslaying, just as the sons of Finarfin had not (although at this point they were technically the sons of Finrod, as Finrod was still named Inglor at this point). This idea is later echoed in Concerning Galadriel and Celeborn, so basically we have text written both before and after The Lord of the Rings where Galadriel had no part in the Kinslaying* despite even later descriptions.

The specific ban on Galadriel [in general the Noldor were allowed to return West at the end of the First Age] only found its way into print in the 1960s when Tolkien considered her song in The Road Goes Ever On.

______
*although again, technically it was merely the 'sons of Finrod' in the mid to later 1930s of course, as Galadriel as Finrod/Finarfin's daughter had not yet been imagined.


(This post was edited by Elthir on Dec 9 2012, 3:04pm)


grammaboodawg
Immortal


Dec 9 2012, 5:51pm

Post #12 of 19 (165 views)
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Others gave the true reasons... [In reply to] Can't Post

but my first reaction was that it was her home. Hard fought, long protected, well loved. As someone who did a lot of moving around, once I established my own little world here in my home, I have no plans to leave... ever ;)



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Elthir
Gondor

Dec 9 2012, 6:05pm

Post #13 of 19 (167 views)
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postscript [In reply to] Can't Post

Just to add: I am skipping over the [also] early idea that Galadriel was Felagund's daughter (and Gil-galad's sister). When Galadriel enters the Silmarillion tradition in the early 1950s she ultimately becomes Felagund's sister of course, and this is still 'early' compared to other texts; and what I am trying to note above is that the idea was already in place, in the Silmarillion tradition, that Felagund's kin were not present at the Kinslaying.

And this idea appears to have remained the case until [generally speaking] sometime after Tolkien wrote Concerning Galadriel And Celeborn [which was written after The Lord of the Rings was published] -- which still references the notion.


Ardamírë
Valinor


Dec 9 2012, 7:47pm

Post #14 of 19 (145 views)
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Very true [In reply to] Can't Post

For those who haven't moved around much, they won't understand the desire to establish roots in one place.

For Galadriel, you multiply that by a few millennia and her pride in ruling her own realm, and there's no reason to leave. Obviously not completely "canonical" but an interesting thought nonetheless.

"...and his first memory of Middle-earth was the green stone above her breast as she sang above his cradle while Gondolin was still in flower." -Unfinished Tales


dijomaja
Lorien

Dec 9 2012, 8:06pm

Post #15 of 19 (151 views)
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I'm meddling in the affairs of loremasters, but... [In reply to] Can't Post

...I always thought Galadriel's attitude reminded me of Milton's Lucifer: "Better to rule in Hell than to serve in Heaven". Is it possible that Tolkien created this interesting character and tried to rehabilitate her reputation later?


Nerven
Rivendell

Dec 9 2012, 8:38pm

Post #16 of 19 (137 views)
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galadriel [In reply to] Can't Post

IMHO that is too far-fetched. The other princes, Finrod, Turgon and Fingolfin I believe, went to ME too becase they dremed of having realms to rule and I wouldnīt compare them to Lucifer.

I think her motives are very easy to understand: boredom!!! She had all lerned what she could and there was nothing new to discover. It has more to do with juvenility.

Itīs true he wanted to rehabilitate her but more cause he saw Mary in her. I donīt think he ever compared her to Lucifer, poor Galadriel, she really never wasnīt such a bad girlWink

Is it in Tolkiens word really such a sin to have the need of ruling? It can be negative, as in the cases of Saron and Morgoth, but it can also be very positive. Every society needs a ruler and persons who arenīt born for ruling would be thankfull that someone takes the responsibility.

I donīt think Galadriel wanted to become a ruler because she wanted glamour (that she already had in Valinor, being described as the greatest of the Noldor, expect Feanor maybe and his equal if unlike endowments) but to have something to do, maybe she was restless.


(This post was edited by Nerven on Dec 9 2012, 8:46pm)


Otaku-sempai
Half-elven


Dec 9 2012, 9:08pm

Post #17 of 19 (153 views)
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Simple... [In reply to] Can't Post

It's good to be the Queen.

'There are older and fouler things than Orcs in the deep places of the world.' - Gandalf the Grey, The Fellowship of the Ring


Plurmo
Rohan

Dec 10 2012, 2:17am

Post #18 of 19 (142 views)
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She was an enigma to the Valar. [In reply to] Can't Post

Despite her many good deeds she was, in a sense even more than Sauron, the great hope of Evil in Middle-earth.
There are many doubts about how powerful Galadriel was compared to the other Great, but there are no doubts about who was the greatest natural ruler. And she was enormously ambitious. And she was an enigma to the Valar.

The same way Fëanor could be said to be the usurper of a gift from Yavanna, Galadriel could be said to be the usurper of a Gift from Mandos. Not even him was able to foresee which choice Galadriel would take should the One Ring came to her.

This "defiance" is somewhat translated into an undeclared ban. She had either to choose Evil or to Withstand it under the greatest of temptations in order to erase the doubt the Valar had about her and be allowed to return to The West. Only this test would guarantee (in the eyes of the Valar) that she would not be the origin of the next strife between the Elves and the Valar.

So, she stayed until the Valar found a way for the One Ring to be offered to her freely and her choice made clear. This was a gamble of such a risk that Ilúvatar still to this days laughs when he remembers hearing at the other side of the Universe the resounding sighs of relief coming from the chambers in Valinor.


Nerven
Rivendell

Dec 10 2012, 4:36pm

Post #19 of 19 (149 views)
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galadriel [In reply to] Can't Post

Yes, sheīs really a very special individual. Strangly I too always had the image of a huge relieve of the Valar, after she denied the ringWink

It really seems that the curse of Mandos never really "got" her, I mean every one of her kin was affected by it in some way, only Galadriel was unaffected, it seems to me. Of course she had her hardships but it could have been much worse.

 
 

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