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:
Arwen

DaughterofLaketown
Gondor


Mar 26 2014, 1:11pm

Post #1 of 23 (1048 views)
Shortcut
Arwen Can't Post

Curious mostly about how many people actually like Arwen? I don't really because I never saw anything particularly special about her. So anyone care to enlighten me on why they like Arwen or why not?


Cillendor
Lorien


Mar 26 2014, 4:44pm

Post #2 of 23 (858 views)
Shortcut
I'm indifferent, I guess. [In reply to] Can't Post

I think most people who dislike her probably read the books first and didn't appreciate how prominent she became, even stealing Glorfindel's role. I read the books once as a kid before seeing the movies, but I was probably only ten and didn't appreciate them much at the time. When the movie came out a year or two later, I had no recollection of Glorfindel, so Arwen didn't bother me that much.

Looking back on it now, I'm not too bothered by it still, but I do have one gripe, and it's not even really due to her. It really frustrates me what PJ&Co did with Elrond in the LOTR trilogy. He seems much better in AUJ, especially the EE version where he actually speaks up and does more than parrot Saruman, but his treatment throughout most of LOTR was terrible. I didn't really like his character until ROTK when he delivers Andril to Aragorn.

I bring this up here because I think it has much to do with Arwen. In LOTR, we're given a very limited understanding of Elrond's character. We see him leading the Battle of the Last Alliance (taking over Gil-galad's role, incidentally). Then we see him angrily telling Isildur to destroy the Ring (yet doing nothing to stop him). After that, he's just critical of Aragorn (his foster-son!) and Men in general. But it's his relationship to Arwen that bothers me the most. In the books, he's supposed to tell Aragorn that only the King of Arnor and Gondor would be worthy of marrying her, but in the films, he's expressly against it until he finally realizes it's inevitable. He seems more like a grumpy, controlling father than a wise, ageless leader.

Really, Arwen and Liv Tyler's portrayal of her isn't what annoys me about her, but it's how PJ changed her subplot in a way that negatively affected Elrond that drives me crazy. He's one of my favorite characters in the entire legendarium, and I think he was short-changed. As far as Arwen goes, though, I mostly enjoyed her expanded character.


Elizabeth
Valinor


Mar 26 2014, 5:58pm

Post #3 of 23 (852 views)
Shortcut
Tolkien didn't flesh her out much. [In reply to] Can't Post

He apparently thought about giving her more attention, but just couldn't find a way that didn't detract from the main plot. So, we catch a brief glimpse of her in Rivendell, and then she turns up seemingly out of nowhere, with a huge entourage, to marry the King. We're left with an image of a stay-at-home supporter embroidering gems on a flag to be sent to her beloved. She did have a sympathetic moment with Frodo, but that's about it. Even the lovely Appendix section about Aragorn and Arwen focussed mostly on Aragorn, except for the poignant glimpse of her as a bereaved widow dying alone.

I understand Jackson trying to make a more satisfactory story for her, but unfortunately it was not well thought-out, either: the whole "Arwen is dying" subplot really made no sense whatever. We can be grateful he dropped the "Arwen at Helm's Deep" concept.

As a character, she remains largely unrealized.








Otaku-sempai
Half-elven


Mar 26 2014, 8:00pm

Post #4 of 23 (838 views)
Shortcut
I like Arwen just fine. [In reply to] Can't Post

I think that one has to read the relevant section of LotR Appendix A to fully appreciate the character of Arwen. She doesn't get enough coverage in the text of the novel to give anyone a sense of her personality.

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


Elwen
Lorien


Mar 26 2014, 8:47pm

Post #5 of 23 (877 views)
Shortcut
I like Arwen, particularly in the books... [In reply to] Can't Post

I know some people feel that she's just this princess who sits in the background and sews a flag, then shows up out of the blue to marry Aragorn, and they find that frustrating. I think she's a constant presence in the book actually.

When I'm feeling particularly romantic, I tend to see her as a major motivation for Aragorn's quest to reclaim Gondor. He is making himself "worthy" of her, in much the same way Beren set out to "win" Luthien's hand. I realize this is a patriarchal thing for me to say, but there it is. It's a fairly patriarchal world in Middle Earth. (Lorien excepted.)
When Tolkien writes before the departure of the Fellowship, "Aragorn sat with his head bowed to his knees; only Elrond knew fully what this hour meant to him," I've always seen that as an acknowledgement of way Arwen is weighing on Aragorn's mind and on his quest.

It was Arwen who left the Elfstone in Galadriel's possesion. ("it was left in my care to be given to you, should you pass through this land.' Then she lifted from her lap a great stone of a clear green, set in a silver brooch that was wrought in the likeness of an eagle with outspread wings; and as she held it up the gem flashed like the sun shining through the leaves of spring. 'This stone I gave to Celebrian my daughter, and she to hers; and now it comes to you as a token of hope.") Thus, when Aragorn was at the trying moment of completely shouldering the leadership of the Fellowship, Arwen's gift was there to give him encouragement, "and it seemed to them that many years of toil had fallen from his shoulders."

Arwen is the one who believes in Aragorn, even when he doesn't necessarily believe in himself, and that's an important part of any relationship. When she sends that banner, she's not just giving him a present she sewed up pretty for her man; she is lending Aragorn strength from afar through her support. "The days now are short. Either our hope cometh, or all hopes end. Therefore I send thee what I have made for thee. Fare well, Elfstone!

The Tale of Aragorn and Arwen is for me the greatest treasure of the appendices. I love this line in particular: "I say to you, King of the Numenoreans, not till now have I understood the tale of your people and their fall. As wicked fools I scorned them, but I pity them at last. For if this is indeed, as the Eldar say, the gift of the One to Men, it is bitter to receive." There is a great deal of strength in not only admitting she had not understood, but that now she does, and to some extent she agrees.

I think my feelings on Arwen are why I was so irritated by her treatment in the films. There are many different strengths that can be shown by women. We didn't need Arwen to show up galloping a horse and brandishing a sword at the Nazgul. Eowyn was going to handle that nicely, and show that aspect of a strong woman. Arwen in the books show another kind of strength, and one that shouldn't be minimized just because it is perhaps, a little old-fashioned to our modern eyes. She provides support and encouragement for her partner in a time of great trial, and while not as dramatic as swinging a sword, just as important in the long run.

Others could probably put this more eloquently, but I'm doing this on the sly at work Evil...so please forgive a little bit of disjunction in my ideas.

 photo b46d46c9-4c74-4ab7-b020-9f8681a9c904_zps24eb4def.jpg
Even elves love a Friday Fiesta


EomundDaughter
Lorien

Mar 26 2014, 9:18pm

Post #6 of 23 (822 views)
Shortcut
Its hopeful when [In reply to] Can't Post

a human can be worthy of elven love like that. Arwen chose to be mortal for Aragorn. Don't know if any other character would agree to that.


DaughterofLaketown
Gondor


Mar 26 2014, 11:14pm

Post #7 of 23 (814 views)
Shortcut
That was one of the nicest arguments for Arwen I have ever heard. [In reply to] Can't Post

 
I think my feelings on Arwen are why I was so irritated by her treatment in the films. There are many different strengths that can be shown by women. We didn't need Arwen to show up galloping a horse and brandishing a sword at the Nazgul. Eowyn was going to handle that nicely, and show that aspect of a strong woman. Arwen in the books show another kind of strength, and one that shouldn't be minimized just because it is perhaps, a little old-fashioned to our modern eyes. She provides support and encouragement for her partner in a time of great trial, and while not as dramatic as swinging a sword, just as important in the long run.


Others could probably put this more eloquently, but I'm doing this on the sly at work Evil...so please forgive a little bit of disjunction in my ideas.


Quote

Thank you for opening my eyes. I bow to your eloquence.
Smile


IdrilofGondolin
Rohan

Mar 27 2014, 12:49am

Post #8 of 23 (867 views)
Shortcut
Arwen Queen of Elves and Men [In reply to] Can't Post

Arwen is one of my favorite characters. She she wise and thoughtful and she makes one of the great sacrifices. Through her the Kings of Men can continue because she forsook her immortality.

There is a line about Arwen that says something like "she watched over him in thought." I always took that to mean that she was telepathically in touch with Aragorn. So she is with him on the Quest, strengthening him and helping him. That's what it means to be one flesh.

Two years ago I taught a course called "Reading Tolkien". The last project was a Readers' Theater titled "Aragorn Son of Arathorn. We compiled all of Aragorn's stories from every possible text and wove them together. Arwen appears in various places throughout the story. The reader reading Arwen's part read all of the passages that included the Great Standard. Remember that Arwen wove who she was and who Aragorn was with her into every part of that banner. It was her gift to Aragorn not of hope, but certainty that he would prevail.

One of the great love stories. Simple, profound and true.


nandorin elf
Bree


Mar 27 2014, 1:46am

Post #9 of 23 (806 views)
Shortcut
I think I have a new appreciation for her. [In reply to] Can't Post

I never thought of it that way. That she was giving him support when he most needed it. I never disliked her, but I guess I never realized how much her actions illustrate the relationship they had. Thanks for a new perspective, Elwen!


demnation
Rohan

Mar 27 2014, 5:02am

Post #10 of 23 (796 views)
Shortcut
Wonderfully put, Elwen [In reply to] Can't Post

And you are so very right about Arwen's importance in Aragorn's story. Every time I think of them, I think of that wonderful little scene at the end of the Lothlorien chapter of LOTR when Frodo sees Aragorn standing at Cerin Amroth. It's those little glimpses that show that she is weighing heavily on his mind.

"It is not our part to master all the tides of the world, but to do what is in us for the succour of those years wherein we are set, uprooting the evil in the fields that we know, so that those who live after may have clean earth to till. What weather they shall have is not ours to rule." Gandalf, "The Last Debate."


Elwen
Lorien


Mar 27 2014, 7:57pm

Post #11 of 23 (798 views)
Shortcut
Thanks and you bring to mind another key moment... [In reply to] Can't Post

He is remembering their betrothal.... but I've often wondered if there is something of a foreshadowing there. Aragorn says, "..and here my heart dwells ever..." Is that an unwitting forshadowing of the fact that Cerin Amroth becomes Arwen's final resting place? Or am I reading too much into it?

 photo b46d46c9-4c74-4ab7-b020-9f8681a9c904_zps24eb4def.jpg
Even elves love a Friday Fiesta


CuriousG
Valinor


Mar 27 2014, 9:03pm

Post #12 of 23 (790 views)
Shortcut
It's a little baffling that he would say that [In reply to] Can't Post

and not that his heart would dwell in areas where he grew up (Eriador) or first met Arwen (Rivendell) or where they spent their wedded life (Gondor and Arnor). He and Arwen spent some significant emotional time at Cerin Amroth, but never made it their dwelling place.

But it would make sense that if his heart did dwell there forever in some abstract way, that that was why Arwen chose it as her personal graveyard, the closest she could be to him. So yes indeedy, I would agree with you about the foreshadowing. He didn't foresee in detail what would happen, but he sensed that it was the location of the ultimate end of their love together.


Bracegirdle
Tol Eressea


Mar 27 2014, 9:08pm

Post #13 of 23 (805 views)
Shortcut
I hadn't thought of this... [In reply to] Can't Post


Quote
There is a line about Arwen that says something like "she watched over him in thought." I always took that to mean that she was telepathically in touch with Aragorn. So she is with him on the Quest, strengthening him and helping him. That's what it means to be one flesh.


There is a passage in Many Partings:

For they did not move or speak with mouth, looking from mind to mind; and only their shining eyes stirred and kindled as their thoughts went to and fro.

This indicates a type of telepathy at least with the Elves and Maiar (the Hobbits were asleep). So Arwen could possibly have mentally followed Aragorn in his travels. But Im not sure whether this was reciprocal. Would Aragorn (a Man) have a similar ability?

From World's End then he turned away,
and yearned again to find afar .
his home through shadows journeying,
and burning as an island star . . .

-Bilbo Baggins

(This post was edited by Bracegirdle on Mar 27 2014, 9:09pm)


DaughterofLaketown
Gondor


Mar 27 2014, 9:39pm

Post #14 of 23 (762 views)
Shortcut
A romantic like me would think he could [In reply to] Can't Post

SmileHeart


Darkstone
Immortal


Mar 27 2014, 9:53pm

Post #15 of 23 (796 views)
Shortcut
Probably [In reply to] Can't Post

The Incarnates [Man is an Incarnate.- DS] have by the nature of sma the same faculties; but their perception is dimmed by the hra, for their fa is united to their hra and its normal procedure is through the hra, which is in itself part of E, without thought. The dimming is indeed double; for thought has to pass one mantle of hra and penetrate another. For this reason in Incarnates transmission of thought requires strengthening to be effective. Strengthening can be by affinity, by urgency, or by authority. Affinity may be due to kinship; for this may increase the likeness of hra to hra, and so of the concerns and modes of thought of the indwelling far, kinship is also normally accompanied by love and sympathy. Affinity may come simply from love and friendship, which is likeness or affinity of fa to fa.
-JRR Tolkien, The sanwe-kenta, or "Enquiry into the Communication of Thought", Vinyar Tengwar, Number 39, July 1998.

So if Aragorn loved Arwen enough, then yes.

******************************************
The audacious proposal stirred his heart. And the stirring became a song, and it mingled with the songs of Gil-galad and Celebrian, and with those of Feanor and Fingon. The song-weaving created a larger song, and then another, until suddenly it was as if a long forgotten memory woke and for one breathtaking moment the Music of the Ainur revealed itself in all glory. He opened his lips to sing and share this song. Then he realized that the others would not understand. Not even Mithrandir given his current state of mind. So he smiled and simply said "A diversion.


Elizabeth
Valinor


Mar 28 2014, 2:26am

Post #16 of 23 (753 views)
Shortcut
Oh, thank you, Darkstone! [In reply to] Can't Post

It's so much clearer now Smile








Elthir
Gondor

Mar 28 2014, 11:53am

Post #17 of 23 (753 views)
Shortcut
Osanwe in check [In reply to] Can't Post

I haven't read the essay Osanwe-centa recently, but it is noted [as I found this quote on line] that language is the better form of communication among incarnates, as well as generally noted that the Incarnate tended more and more to reserve this practice, to use it only in great need and urgency. As this was written after The Lord of the Rings was published, to my mind it implies the description in Many Partings was somewhat unusual (and employing it at night, when others are sleeping, seems somewhat notable too).


Quote

'Lastly, tengwesta has also become an impediment. It is in incarnates clearer and more precise than their direct reception of thought. By it also they can communicate easily with others, when no strength is added to their thoughts: as, for example, when strangers first meet. And, as we have seen, the use of language soon becomes habitual, so that the practice of osanwe (interchange of thought) is neglected and becomes more difficult. Thus we see that the Incarnate tend more and more to use or to endeavour to use osanwe only in great need and urgency, and especially when lambe is unavailing.'


JRRT, Osanwe-centa, Vinyar Tengwar 39




William Cloud Hicklin makes the point of this becoming a 'dangerous machine' as well:


Quote
'The silent conversation between the Wise in Dunland, late in RK, is certainly Osanwe (...). But the essay on Osanwe-kenta makes it, not clear, but at least fuzzily implies, that conversational long-distance radio comms (as in the movies) was theoretical, not practical, for Incarnates, even the greatest among the Eldar.

It is, as T says of the Eagles, a dangerous 'machine'- otherwise, Gandalf would have been, like, "Elrond! Galadriel! Help! Saruman's a rat-fink and trapped me on top of his tower!" And Gildor would have been all "Elrond, send Glorfindel here ASAP to take over as escort for this Halfling, because Gandalf is missing" etc etc ad nauseam.

At long distances, the best it could manage was to 'transmit' intense emotional states to those to whom the 'sender' was very close- so accordingly there might have been an element of this in Arwen's 'sensing' Aragorn's desire for the Dunedain to join him. But Middle-earth conference calls? I don't think so.

(Also- if the Noldor could use Osanwe for long-distance conversation, why bother making the Palantiri?)



Anyway, just to add.

Plus he did mention Arwen and Aragorn. On topic Wink


(This post was edited by Elthir on Mar 28 2014, 11:56am)


Elthir
Gondor

Mar 28 2014, 12:37pm

Post #18 of 23 (740 views)
Shortcut
Man the Incarnate [In reply to] Can't Post

Man is included in general statements about the Incarnates, yes, but finally finding my VT issue, earlier in the text Pengolodh states more specifically: 'Men have the same faculty as the Quendi, but it is in itself weaker, and is weaker in operation owing to the stength of the hroa, over which most men have small control by the will.' And the assertions about osanwe by Pengolodh [it's stated] are concerned primarily with the Eldar and Valar, including the lesser Maiar.

Now Aragorn is hardly 'most men' in any case, but I think it should be noted that the essay yet makes a general distinction that while Man has the same faculties, as in the section you posted, and that all minds are equal in status, in general minds: 'differ in capacity and strength' Again, according to Pengolodh in Osanwe-kenta anyway, but at least it's food for thought when also considering the limitations mentioned later -- all of which I did not post, although generally speaking once again, distance does not appear to be one of the limitations.

Also, for the thread in general: the interpretations of Osanwe-centa I posted above from Mr. Hicklin are his not [necessarily] mine, but I do think there is a point behind his raising the possibility of this becoming a 'dangerous machine', which is why I added his comment.

I tried to edit that into the actual post with his statement, but it took too long to find my VT 39 and once again my five minutes were up.

Crazy


(This post was edited by Elthir on Mar 28 2014, 12:39pm)


Rembrethil
Tol Eressea


Mar 28 2014, 1:28pm

Post #19 of 23 (712 views)
Shortcut
A memorial of thier life together? [In reply to] Can't Post

IIRC, Arwen did meet Aragorn in Rivendell, but after her choice was explained by Elrond, Aragorn left Rivendell, and when he visited Lorien, he saw Arwen on Cerin Amroth and 'knew her choice was made'. So, in as sense, it can be seen as the place they were 'engaged', where Arwen made her choice to be mortal. Such a choice made by an Elf to be with a human has to be exceptionally special. Maybe that is why she returned there, to reaffirm the choice and recapture some of the bliss there was at the beginning of that journey before death had separated them.

Call me Rem, and remember, not all who ramble are lost...Uh...where was I?


squire
Valinor


Mar 28 2014, 6:38pm

Post #20 of 23 (698 views)
Shortcut
Transmissio ex machina [In reply to] Can't Post

I see in your other post here that you aren't sure you agree with Hicklin about the 'machine' problem with long-distance telepathy in Middle-earth. But that was the first thing I thought of when the question was first raised regarding Aragorn and Arwen 'keeping in touch' that way. As we know from Tolkien's comments about his Eagles, he was very sensitive to that kind of criticism. The Palantiri essay in UT is also an extended attempt to limit the stones' powers so that they could not have been used more than they were in the story.

I always interpreted the telepathic conversation among the Wise in 'Many Partings' as an exercise of magical talent that was quite limited in range, perhaps to sight distances on the order of meters or yards. I got that impression partly from the text ("only their shining eyes stirred and kindled as their thoughts went to and fro"), and partly from the absence of any such skill being used over long distances earlier in the story, when (as Hicklin so lightly notes) it would have come in handy!



squire online:
RR Discussions: The Valaquenta, A Shortcut to Mushrooms, and Of Herbs and Stewed Rabbit
Lights! Action! Discuss on the Movie board!: 'A Journey in the Dark'. and 'Designing The Two Towers'.
Footeramas: The 3rd & 4th TORn Reading Room LotR Discussion and NOW the 1st BotR Discussion too! and "Tolkien would have LOVED it!"
squiretalk introduces the J.R.R. Tolkien Encyclopedia: A Reader's Diary


= Forum has no new posts. Forum needs no new posts.


Otaku-sempai
Half-elven


Mar 28 2014, 7:30pm

Post #21 of 23 (693 views)
Shortcut
For the most part, probably not. [In reply to] Can't Post


In Reply To
This indicates a type of telepathy at least with the Elves and Maiar (the Hobbits were asleep). So Arwen could possibly have mentally followed Aragorn in his travels. But Im not sure whether this was reciprocal. Would Aragorn (a Man) have a similar ability?



I would not think that most Men would be capable of such mind-to-mind communication. However, the Numenoreans and their Dunedain descendants have Elvish blood, so it might be possible for some Men of purer Numenorean stock.

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


Bracegirdle
Tol Eressea


Mar 28 2014, 9:15pm

Post #22 of 23 (683 views)
Shortcut
Agreed Otaku [In reply to] Can't Post

 
This indicates a type of telepathy at least with the Elves and Maiar (the Hobbits were asleep). So Arwen could possibly have mentally followed Aragorn in his travels. But Im not sure whether this was reciprocal. Would Aragorn (a Man) have a similar ability?
------------------------------

Quote
I would not think that most Men would be capable of such mind-to-mind communication. However, the Numenoreans and their Dunedain descendants have Elvish blood, so it might be possible for some Men of purer Numenorean stock.

-----------------------------------
Although Aragorn was a direct descendant of Elros wouldn't his Elvish blood and his Maiar blood have pretty much vanished after some 60 generations?
Therefore we must ask what is pure (or "purer") Numenorean stock at the time of the WOR? Practically non-existent I would think. Cheers


Bracegirdle
Tol Eressea


Mar 29 2014, 1:10am

Post #23 of 23 (704 views)
Shortcut
My mind writes in mysterious ways [In reply to] Can't Post

Although Aragorn was a direct descendant of Elros wouldn't his Elvish blood and his Maiar blood have pretty much vanished after some 60 generations?
Therefore we must ask what is pure (or "purer") Numenorean stock at the time of the WOR? Practically non-existent I would think
------------------------
I believe my statement above is a little obtuse.
Even though Aragorn was descended from Elros, then Elendil and Isildur (The Surviving Faithful) etc. Whether we call them Faithful, Numenoreans, or Dunedain they were men. What I really wanted to attempt to say was that after so many generations the Elvish and Maiar blood would be nil, as I assume there were few if any Man/Elf marraiges after the fall of Numenor.

So Aragorn's and his ilk would have small chance of having any Elvish qualities such as telepathy.

From World's End then he turned away,
and yearned again to find afar .
his home through shadows journeying,
and burning as an island star . . .

-Bilbo Baggins

 
 

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.