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Topic: Why Galadriel

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Anarion, Son of Elendil - rank 8
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Why Galadriel

What made Galadriel the greatest of all the Eldar save Feanor? Surely beings like Fingolfin, Finarfin, Finwe, Ingwe, Elwe etc were greater than she?

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Chief Maiar
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One of the reasons could be because she was unlike to any other cala'quendi (and all know the mori'quendi were never as enlightened) because she yearned to rule,(I do have a quote for this but not with ATM) to have land of her own where she was ultimate (similar in characteristics to Sauron, Morgoth, Saruman..etc) but her saving grace was that unlike those mentioned she was benevelent. This closeness to 'the dark-side' brings strength and power though the fact she was not evil gives her a unique aspect. I believe she was also quite akin to Feanor in character in some aspects.

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Witchking of Angmar - Rank 10
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indeed.
I just thought to give a few quotes regarding this matter, the fact that she was indeed similar to Feanor.
Firstly, yes Galadriel was indeed very tempted as she did have the power to wield the ring and also to use it.

"In the 'Mirror of Galadriel', 1381, it appears that Galadriel conceived of herself as capable of wielding the Ring and supplanting the Dark Lord."
"In any case Elrond or Galadriel would have proceeded in the policy now adopted by Sauron: they would have built up an empire with great and absolutely subservient generals and armies and engines of war, until they could challenge Sauron and destroy him by force."
(letter #246)

Also about her desire to rule a land in ME:
"...but Galadriel, the only woman of the Noldor to stand that day tall and valiant among the contending princes, was eager to be gone. No oaths she swore, but the words of Fëanor concerning Middle-earth had kindled in her heart, for she yearned to see the wide unguarded lands and to rule there a realm at her own will. Of like mind with Galadriel was Fingon Fingolfin's son, being moved also by Fëanor’s words, though he loved him little;"
(the Silmarillion)

Also very important is this quote.
"I was particularly interested in your remarks about Galadriel. .... I think it is true that I owe much of this character to Christian and Catholic teaching and imagination about Mary, but actually Galadriel was a penitent: in her youth a leader in the rebellion against the Valar (the angelic guardians). At the end of the First Age she proudly refused forgiveness or permission to return. She was pardoned because of her resistance to the final and overwhelming temptation to take the Ring for herself."

Still Galadriel wasn't one of the rebels because she chose to, it was only a bad turn of things.
"Galadriel was 'unstained': she had committed no evil deeds. She was an enemy of Fëanor. She did not reach Middle-earth with the other Noldor, but independently. Her reasons for desiring to go to Middle-earth were legitimate, and she would have been permitted to depart, but for the misfortune that before she set out the revolt of Fëanor broke out, and she became involved in the desperate measures of Manwe, and the ban on all emigration."
(letter #353)

So as we see even though she did indeed take part in the rebellion, it wasn't this event that necessarily made her like Feanor, but that fact that just like him she was also proud and valiant. Perhaps the fact that of all Eldar women she was the only one to act like this and maybe because she afterwards used her power to maintain Lorien and fight against the dark power made her become second greatest among all Eldar.





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Samwise Gamgee - rank 9
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I think TM has sumed it up, but this brings another question to my mind. Why would Tolkien choose a women to be the second greatest of all the Eldar???

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Witchking of Angmar - Rank 10
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a woman?
discrimination is never present in Tolkien's world.

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Samwise Gamgee - rank 9
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No but he does seem to give men/males more attributes than females on the whole. The time era he comes from was very much all male rather than females. They were seen to stay in the house and potter around.

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Witchking of Angmar - Rank 10
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still...
that is still no real point
he respected women in his work and if he chose Galadriel as second greatest of the Eldar there is no point to question why he did that though he was a woman?
if he did so I respect it.

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Samwise Gamgee - rank 9
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Whether you 'respect' it or no is beside the point, it is why he did it is the curiosity.

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Witchking of Angmar - Rank 10
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why?
cause he just had that idea...
just like why did he write lotr?
cause he felt like that way...
he never really says why he chose Galadriel

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Samwise Gamgee - rank 9
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That is what the basic point of this question is about - Why did he choose Galadriel?

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Witchking of Angmar - Rank 10
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well...I already explained you why with the quotes
but the fact she was a woman has nothing to do with she beeing in that position

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After re-reading the text in UT, it seems difficult to accurately piece together the life of Galadriel and Celeborn.

It is obvious that Tolkien changed his mind often on how to best characterize Galadriel and Celeborn. The question is why is she the second greatest of the Eldar. I don't think she is.

I think that was JRR Tolkien's intent, had he actually published the Silmarillion, but what we are left with is CT's Silmarillion. So are we supposed to go with the intention of the author or what was actually published? Depends on how big a Galadriel fan you are from my point of view.

Galadriel is certainly a major figure in the history of Middle-Earth, but to elevate her above Finwe, Fingolfin, Elwe, Olwe, Turgon, Luthien, Celebrimbor, and Cirdan just doesnt seem correct.

-- Edited by Celethil at 20:42, 2006-09-03

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Witchking of Angmar - Rank 10
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Celethil, I think we shouldn't start the discussion about what is or isn't canon here.
And frankly, I think JRR Tolkien very well said it:

“I am not now at all sure that the tendency to treat the whole thing as a kind of vast game is really good. ... It is, I suppose, a tribute to the curious effect that story has ... that so many should clamour for sheer ‘information’ or ‘lore’.”

So what if he perhaps wanted to change his mind about Galadriel? Could very well be so, but there is no need to be sad or disappointed that CT published the Silmarillion in its last form. If that is what was left, then that is what we read. And I personally believe that his books are more then just lore, they are books that as a fan you shouldn't only read with the mind, but with your heart as well. Of course, this is a lore-based forum where we talk about lore, but I still think the canon problem isn't important.

Doesn't it seem correct that Galadriel is second greatest from all Elves? Could be, but there are many more such things in his writings.

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The Might wrote:

And frankly, I think JRR Tolkien very well said it:

“I am not now at all sure that the tendency to treat the whole thing as a kind of vast game is really good. ... It is, I suppose, a tribute to the curious effect that story has ... that so many should clamour for sheer ‘information’ or ‘lore’.”





This quote should NEVER be used by those who like to use quotes to support their arguments. Can you spell IRONY? LOL


Sorry. No offense intended, but that is just funny.

The very topic of this thread calls into question what the reader considers canon. As I said in my previous post, the answer to the question depends on how much of a Galadriel fan the reader is. There is no empirical evidence that Galadriel is the second greatest of the Eldar, in the history of the Elves or of Men.

Since this is the UT Forum though, I should accept it as canon for UT purposes. Then I guess I could speculate that as Tolkien got older he revisted LoTR and it probably seemed to him that Galadriel was much more than just ruler of Lorien. He realized that she was one of the few of the Noldor that had survived the Three Ages of the Sun, and that he had not yet completely fleshed out her history.

Btw I like truly enjoy the Silmarillion. I just dont like when it gets muddled by the later works of Tolkien that were not published. The Silmarillion could just as easily be revised by Tolkien Enterprises or CT to integrate the UTs into it. Which would have made more sense for gamers and loremasters and such.


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no offense taken
indeed I like using quotes, but I only find these aspects of his work interesting...I don't really care what is and what isn't considered canon
of course that there is good reason why Galadriel shouldn't be the second greatest Noldor, of course it could very well be that Tolkien wanted to change her history, especially considering the fact that the Galadriel topic was the one he was working on before he died (that is said in UT).
but still...this is the way CT chose to do the Silmarillion, and whether right or wrong or efficient or inefficient, I agree with CTs decisions, considering the ammount of time needed to do such a work...it wasn't easy for him, and it isn't easy for us. And whether the information we have on ME makes or doesn't make so much sense we should be greateful for this wonderful world that Tolkien created.

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I don't know about the greatest of the Eldar, but of the Noldor, it's plain and simply stated that of the Noldor she was the greatest save Feanor.  Also consider looking at these quotes:


"Though grievous harm was done to the fair woods on the borders, the assaults were driven back; and when the Shadow passed, Celeborn came forth and led the host of Lorien over Anduin in many boats.  They took Dol Guldor, and Galadriel threw down its walls and laid bare its pits, and the forest was cleansed."~Appendix B: Tale of Years


"...and finding no other way they [Galadriel and the Host of Fingolfin] endured at last the terror of the Helcaraxe and the cruel hills of ice.  Few of the deeds of the Noldor thereafter surpassed that desperate crossing in hardihood or woe."~The Silmarillion, of the Flight of the Noldor


Her mother-name was Nerwen 'man-maiden,' and she grew tall beyond the measure of even the women of the Noldor; she was strong of body, mind, and will, a match for the loremasters and the athletes of the Eldar in the days of their youth.~Home XII, Late Writings


I agree with TM and don't see why it's so hard to accept that Galadriel was the greatest of the Noldor, save Feanor.  Again, I don't think we can say conclusively that of all the Eldar, she was the greatest, but it's right before us that of the Noldor, only Feanor was greater.  Also, considering how much we know and the information that we have on Galadriel, I can't see why it's so puzzling.


Celethil, even if what is canon and what isn't is up to question.  It's quite clear that all throughout Tolkien's writings Galadriel was of extreme power, and one of the greatest.



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I am Lórien, Lord of Dreams, my true name is 'Irmo' in Quenya.
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There is no doubt that Galadriel is one of the greatest of the Eldar. I am not arguing that point. Your quotes definitely prove that, but to say she is second only to Feanor is questionable unless you accept the one quote from UT as canon.

Fingolfin, Ecthelion, Fingon, Celebrimbor, Thingol, Earendil, Gil-Galad, and perhaps even Glorfindel would all qualify for the title of second greatest of the Eldar.

Fingolfin in particular strikes me as most likely to be second greatest of the Eldar or at least of the Noldor, given the nature of his deed.

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...but to say she is second only to Feanor is questionable unless you accept the one quote from UT as canon.~Celethil



Thing is now it becomes your burden to disprove the statement in the UT.  I don't think it can be so easily cast aside, without so much of a reason, and simply thrown away as being 'non-canonical.'  It becomes your burden to disprove it and how it doesn't fit in with the rest of the works.


I'll first start off with Glorfindel being more powerful than Galadriel can be tossed out:


A queen she was of the woodland Elves, the wife of Celeborn of Doriath, yet she herself was of the Noldor and remember the Day before days in Valinor, and she was the mightiest and fairest of all the Elves that remained in Middle-earth."~The Silmarillion, of the Rings of Power


I think what might be causing a bit of confusing is the application of the term 'greatest.'  It can be a bit tricky.  When Tolkien says greatest, talking about one particular skill (or a few particular attributes) he means that individual is surpassed by none in that skill.  For example:


Greatest in strength and deeds of prowess is Tulkas...~The Valaquenta


So, here as far as the Valar go, Tulkas was the greatest...strength wise.  As far as strength goes, Tulkas was the strongest.  Doesn't mean he was the wisest, or the one with the greatest inherent power, but as far as strength goes, he's the greatest.


When Tolkien uses the term 'greatest' in the general sense, referring to someone as being the 'greatest,' he means exactly that they are the greatest.  He means their attributes and skills as a whole, not just talking about one or two skills that person happens to have.  A lot of people place limits on Galadriel when she is referred to as the greatest.  But when she (or anyone) is referred to as the 'greatest' in the general sense, it means they as a whole are the best ( in power, in wisdom, in  knowledge...etc).  For example:


Among those of his servants that have names the greatest was that spirit whom the Eldar called Sauron...~The Valaquenta


Feanor: Eldest son of Finwe, half-brother of Fingolfin and Finarfin, greatest of the Noldor...~Index to The Silmarillion


So here Sauron was the greatest of Morgoth's servants, and Feanor was the greatest of the Noldor.  Meaning just that, their skills as a whole, their inherent power and their abilities were not surpassed.  Of Melkor's servants no one surpassed Sauron, of the Noldor Feanor was the best.  So, when it says that Galadriel is the greatest, save for Feanor, that's what it means.  And it simply can't be tossed out as 'non-canonical' unless you can provide support to show that it does conflict with some other work.


I don't see how hard it is to believe that of the Noldor Galadriel was second only to Feanor.  She doesn't just have one or two attributes she's 'great' at, but she's a match for everyone.  She could match the loremasters of the Eldar (so there's wisdom and knowledge), she was also a match for their athletes (so strength and body).  She was great magically and power wise (the Mirror of Galadriel, and her dismantling the walls of Dol Guldur).  Also was a student of the Maia Melian, where she learned many things from.  And she wasn't afraid of backing down from a fight:


Even after the merciless assault upon the Telerin and the rape of their ships, though she fought fiercely against Feanor in the defense of her mother's kin, she did not turn back.~HoME XII, Late Writings


Galadriel wasn't simply the greatest in one or two areas, but she was a great individual as a whole.  She was wise, strong, proud, fierce, inherently powerful, and learned from one of the best Maia's.  Unless you can show me, I really don't see how we should just cast aside the statement in the UT as being 'non-canonical.'



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I am Lórien, Lord of Dreams, my true name is 'Irmo' in Quenya.
Witchking of Angmar - Rank 10
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I don't think it's that hard to think why this happened
Tolkien wasn't over with this topic, and he was actually working on a more in-depth and more complex story of Galadriel when he got sick and died...so maybe he was going to show us why she deserved that rank, but unfortunately he never had the chance to...

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I agree completely with your conclusion TM.

Lord Lorien-

The quote you gave from the Silmarillion does indeed eliminate, Glorfindel and Cirdan and Elrond. It is however linked to a very specific period in history (the end of the 3rd Age) and we know that for a fact because it names her 'fairest', and that it in no way extends back to the First Age. There is nothing to prove or disprove the claim that Galadriel is the second greatest of the Noldor, just as there is nothing that would prove or disprove Fingolfin holds that title.

This is another case of Tolkien's later thoughts appearing to conflict with the account given in the Silmarillion.

The fact that the quote naming her greatest and fairest remaining in Middle-Earth, occurs after the death of Gil-Galad, implies that there were greater elves in Middle-Earth prior to that point in history.

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The quote you gave from the Silmarillion does indeed eliminate, Glorfindel and Cirdan and Elrond. It is however linked to a very specific period in history (the end of the 3rd Age)~Celethil

Yes it is only referring to the elves in the Third Age, but was just using it to disqualify Glorfindel.


This is another case of Tolkien's later thoughts appearing to conflict with the account given in the Silmarillion.


And now it becomes your job to show why it conflicts with what Tolkien wrote earlier (if you so desire that is).  So far all I've seen is quotes from the Silmarillion and Lord of the Rings to support Galadriel was an elf of extreme power.


The fact that the quote naming her greatest and fairest remaining in Middle-Earth, occurs after the death of Gil-Galad, implies that there were greater elves in Middle-Earth prior to that point in history



I'll agree that that is a possible interpretation, but I think it's going to require a little more than just how you interpret that quote.  I'm still searching for the quote in Unfinished Tales, been kind of skimming trying to find it.  But I'm pretty sure it says that Galadriel was the greatest of the Noldor, save for Feanor.  I'm pretty confident it doesn't say she was the greatest of the Eldar, but that she was the greatest of the Noldor (excluding Feanor of course).


P.S. sometimes it's a little hard to tell the tone of words when you're only reading.  I'm not criticizing or trying to sound rude to anyone, if it does you have my sincere apology.  I'm just trying to spark some interesting conversation and get a nice debate going here.



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I am Lórien, Lord of Dreams, my true name is 'Irmo' in Quenya.
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Its a discussion so I am not applying emotion to your posts. No worries on that.

Here are the quotes you were looking for in UT...

Galadriel was the greatest of the Noldor, except Fëanor maybe, though she was wiser than he, and her wisdom increased with the long years.

A wholly different story, adumbrated but never told, of Galadriel's conduct at the time of the rebellion of the Noldor appears in a very late and partly illegible note: the last writing of my father's on the subject of Galadriel and Celeborn, and probably the last on Middle-earth and Valinor, set down in the last month of his life. In this he emphasized the commanding stature of Galadriel already in Valinor, the equal if unlike endowments of Fëanor; and it is said here that so far from joining in Fëanor's revolt she was in every way opposed to him.


And finally there is the preface to the chapter...

There is no part of the history of Middle-earth more full of problems than the story of Galadriel and Celeborn, and it must be admitted that there are severe inconsistencies "embedded in the traditions"; or, to look at the matter from another point of view, that the role and impor¬tance of Galadriel only emerged slowly, and that her story underwent continual refashionings.



That is to say once again, I agree that Tolkien's later thoughts were that Galadriel was indeed second greatest of the Noldor, if not equal to Feanor, but the very introduction to the chapter in UT states that the concept of Galadriel was never finished. That is why the question of the UT being canon comes into this discussion.

As the Silmarillion is presented to us, there is no doubt that Galadriel is mighty among the Noldor, but she is strangely absent or rather not mentioned (or I missed it in my reading) in the Battle of Sudden Flame where she lost two brothers and her uncle.

I would count Luthien as greater than Galadriel and yet lesser than Feanor. I am just mentioning that because I never mentioned her earlier.

-- Edited by Celethil at 02:32, 2006-09-06

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Therefore I say that we will go on, and this doom I add: the deeds that we shall do shall be the matter of song until the last days of Arda
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Thankyou for supplying those quotes Celethil, I now understand what you are saying.  Clearly Galadriel and Celeborn's story evolved over the years, so Silmarillion Galadriel was not the greatest, save Feanor, but eventually in Tolkien's mind she became so.

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I am Lórien, Lord of Dreams, my true name is 'Irmo' in Quenya.
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No worries. I didnt want anyone to think that I was bashing Galadriel. The Silmarillion clearly names Feanor as the greatest of the Noldor, though I really wish that CT would revise the Silmarillion and complete some of his father's work rather than feeding us UT.



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Therefore I say that we will go on, and this doom I add: the deeds that we shall do shall be the matter of song until the last days of Arda
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I think we reached something like a common idea on this topic, and I say I have no more objections to the last posts made by Celethil and Lord Lorien...guess this matter is cleared up for me

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'That is to say once again, I agree that Tolkien's later thoughts were that Galadriel was indeed second greatest of the Noldor, if not equal to Feanor, but the very introduction to the chapter in UT states that the concept of Galadriel was never finished. That is why the question of the UT being canon comes into this discussion.' 

Being fairly outspoken against this late idea, I would certainly agree that the text is questionable. But that said, what about this elevation of Galadriel within it? in other words, what motive or reason would Tolkien have to not raise Galadriel's 'greatness' if indeed he had reason to abandon the late adumbrated tale?

It could be argued that, in this version, Galadriel was even more 'sinless' being removed from the Noldorin Rebellion, and maybe this could go hand in hand with her elevation here -- and thus, if this story crumbles, so might her comparative greatness to Feanor.

But even if so, we would be talking about measure here: for in the Shibboleth of Feanor, where: 'Galadriel was the greatest of the Noldor, except Feanor maybe, though she was wiser than he, and her wisdom increased with the long years' -- in this text Galadriel is still part of the Rebellion, and out of pride was unwilling to return 'a defeated suppliant for pardon' -- and it's added that she desired to follow Feanor and to thwart him in all ways that she could.

So here Tolkien has said a quite notable thing about Galadriel, before he tried to remove her from the Rebellion in the last month of his life (the 'unstained' Galadriel of a late letter seemingly). Moreover, later in the same text it's noted: 'These two kinsfolk, the greatest of the Eldar in Valinor*, were unfriends for ever.'

'As the Silmarillion is presented to us, there is no doubt that Galadriel is mighty among the Noldor, but she is strangely absent or rather not mentioned (or I missed it in my reading) in the Battle of Sudden Flame where she lost two brothers and her uncle.'

Yes even in the early 1950s Galadriel is notable, for she was 'the only woman of the Noldor to stand that day tall and valiant among the contending princes' (Annals of Aman) or 'the fairest lady of the house of Finwe, and the most valiant.' (Silmarillion)

Anyway, I don't find it that strange myself, as Galadriel was seemingly in Doriath at this point, and the battle began suddenly and fell first upon the sons of Finrod. Also, within the history wherein Galadriel was elevated very high (again this very late adumbrated tale paraphrased in Unfinished Tales) she with Celeborn did not join in the war against Angband (and they actually depart over Ered Lindon at some point before the end of the First Age).

In other words, she would not be involved here in any case.

'I would count Luthien as greater than Galadriel and yet lesser than Feanor. I am just mentioning that because I never mentioned her earlier.'

When CJRT ultimately printed more of The Shibboleth of Feanor than he had in Unfinished Tales (there referred to as 'a very late and primarily philological essay' incidentally), we find a footnote from JRRT himself (it is the footnote to the sentence quoted above, concerning Galadriel and Feanor as the greatest of the Eldar in Valinor): 'Who together with the greatest of all the Eldar, Luthien Tinuviel, daughter of Elu Thingol, are the chief matter of the legends and histories of the Elves.'

And yes (just in case) I know, old thread biggrin

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Ach, that should read, the battle fell first upon the 'sons of Finarfin' rather...

... the peril of referring to citations written in the early 1950s biggrin

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I thought these couple of references might provide some background to the discussion.

Galadriel appears in The Lord of the Rings, The Silmarillion, and Unfinished Tales.
She was described as very beautiful, her hair being the most notable feature about her. It reminded the Eldar of the light of the Two Trees. Galadriel, at least in her earlier years, was of a somewhat proud and rebellious nature. She was free-spirited, and during her time in Aman had many dreams of wide unexplored lands.
Galadriel  was a high royal Elf of both the Noldor and the Teleri, being a grandchild of both King Finwë and King Olwë, and was also close kin of King Ingwë of the Vanyar through her grandmother Indis.
Galadriel was the only daughter and youngest child of Finarfin, prince of the Noldor, and of Eärwen, who was cousin to Lúthien. Her elder brothers were Finrod Felagund, Angrod, and Aegnor. She was born in Valinor during the Years of the Trees.
Her favorite brother was Finrod, for he, too, shared this vision. She could explore the minds and hearts of others, and her gaze was seeing. It may be because of her unusual beauty and power that she became proud.
After following (or leading) her kindred to Middle-earth she fell under the Ban of the Valar.
While in the early years in Middle-earth she lived mainly with one of her brothers, Finrod Felagund of Nargothrond, but spent much time at the court of Thingol and Melian in Menegroth, from whom she learnt many things concerning Middle-earth. In one account she met Celeborn, a kinsman of Thingol, in Doriath. After meeting  Teleporno (Celeborn),  they eventually fell in love, and he called her in his own.
She had a daughter Celebrían, who married her friend Elrond making Galadriel  Elrond's mother-in-law and therefore Arwen's grandmother.

But by the Third Age she is also seen to act with wisdom and gentleness. In The Lord of the Rings, she appears very gentle, firm, and wise. She was revered even more than Celeborn by the Galadhrim and all who met her. Towards the end of her stay in Middle-earth she was co-ruler of Lothlórien along with her husband, Lord Celeborn,

Tolkien refers to her as "the mightiest and fairest of all the Elves that remained in Middle-Earth" (after the death of Gil-galad) (The Silmarillion , "Of the Rings of Power and the Third Age", pg. 298).
and the "greatest of elven women".(The Lord of the Rings, The Return of the King, Appendix B: "The Tale of Years")
As one of the members of the royal house of Finwë and having the blood of the Vanyar from her paternal grandmother, Indis, she was often called the fairest of all Elves, be it on the shores of Aman or of Middle-earth.

Her character was similarly a blend of characteristics of the kindreds of the Eldar from whom she was descended. She had the pride and ambition of the Noldor, but in her they were tempered by the gentleness and insight of the Vanyar. She shared the latter virtues of character with her father Finarfin and her brother Finrod.
"She was proud, strong, and self-willed, as were all the descendants of Finwë save Finarfin; and like her brother Finrod, of all her kin the nearest to her heart, she had dreams of far lands and dominions that might be her own to order as she would without tutelage. Yet deeper still there dwelt in her the noble and generous spirit of the Vanyar, and a reverence for the Valar that she could not forget. From her earliest years she had a marvelous gift of insight into the minds of others, but judged them with mercy and understanding, and she withheld her goodwill from none save only Fëanor. In him she perceived a darkness that she hated and feared, though she did not perceive that the shadow of the same evil had fallen upon the minds of all the Noldor, and upon her own."
(Unfinished Tales,  "The History of Galadriel and Celeborn")

She was said to be a match for both the loremasters and athletes of the Eldar. She was the mightiest of the women of the Eldar.


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Fundin, Lord of Moria - Rank 5
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I actually tried to trace the possible movements of Galadriel once the Noldor arrived in Middle-earth -- up until the time she (appears to) have settled for some time in Doriath. It began because of something Robert Foster noted in his Guide To Middle-Earth, that: 'In Middle-earth she dwelt with Finrod on Tol Sirion, but when her brother...'

I couldn't find positive evidence of this myself -- or did I miss it? If not, it's a good enough guess, but perhaps not necessarily so. I was also wondering because I wanted to make better internal sense of Galadriel's 'mountain-crossings' noted in the author-published accounts...

... but I think I've already bored this forum regarding that topic!

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Lord Elrond of Rivendell - Rank 9
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Galin,
Actually I think the patterns of Galadriels movements is very import.
When she was learning from Melian?
Where was her daughter born?
When did she take over after Amroths death?
Where was she when she began warning Celibrimbor about Sauron?
It does make a difference.
(and so what if some are bored? Different strokes for different folks!  And I am not bored ... ignorant and confused maybe but not bored)

Keep going old friend.
It may take me years but I will catch up.
Bear


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Fundin, Lord of Moria - Rank 5
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Thanks Bear. I searched the interweb, found my post, and here present my award winning findings -- although the award was for 'dullest post of the day' (30 Dec 2008). Once upon that time, I rambled exceedingly...

Robert Foster notes concerning Galadriel: 'In Middle-earth she dwelt with Finrod on Tol Sirion, but when her brother moved to Nargothrond she went to Doriath...'

This appears to be based on the 1977 Silmarillion:

Quote: 'And when again thirty years had passed, Turgon son of Fingolfin left Nevrast where he dwelt and sought out Finrod his friend upon the island of Tol Sirion, and they journeyed southward along the river, being weary...'

Of the Return of the Noldor


The Quenta Silmarillion of the 1930s reads (Galadriel does not appear at this time in any case):

Quote: 'But on a time Turgon left Nivrost where he dwelt and went to visit Inglor his friend, and they journeyed southward along Sirion, being weary for a while of the Northern mountains; and as they journeyed night came upon them beyond the meres of Twilight beside the waters of Sirion, and they slept upon his banks beneath the summer stars.'

Quenta Silmarillion §100


This was seemingly unaltered, according to the later Quenta revisions. In the Grey Annals, year 50:

Quote: 'Here after long peace, as Inglor and Turgon journeyed together, and lay by night near the twilight Meres, Ulmo laid a deep sleep upon them and troubled them in dreams. And thereafter each sought separately for places of strength and refuge in the land, lest Morgoth should burst from Angband as their dreams foreboded.'


Thus the Elves concerned appear to have been in Middle-earth around 50 Sun Years, and two years later (SY 52) Inglor (Finrod) and Galadriel were said to be guests of Thingol. In SY 60 we have the Glorious Battle, and the Grey Annals note that in Quenta Noldorinwa it is recounted in what manner the lords of the Noldor and Sindar ordered the land after the Glorious Battle. I'm not sure if Minas Tirith had been completed until after this battle.

Basically, although Foster is not necessarily wrong in any case (and he went by the published Silmarillion it should be noted), I can't find a specific reference that Turgon met Finrod on Tol Sirion before the dreams of Ulmo came to them, or anything specific placing Finrod or Galadriel at Tol Sirion at this time. According to Grey Annals SY6, Angrod was the first of the Exiles to come to Menegroth, and Angrod came to Mithrim out of Doriath in Year 7, and soon after the Sons of Feanor left Mithrim and went eastward. Mereth Aderthad occurs in year 20, and then we jump to years 50 and 52 as noted already (thus CJRT's 'when again thirty years had passed' as well).

So I guess my question is, were Finrod and (arguably) Galadriel necessarily situated on Tol Sirion before she went to Doriath? Could it not be possible too that Galadriel remained in Hithlum until going to Doriath?

I feel like I'm missing something however biggrin



-- Edited by Galin on Friday 22nd of October 2010 04:52:39 AM

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Loremaster Elf of Mirkwood - Rank 4
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Tolkien gives a little snippet about the greatness of Galadriel in the appendixses at the end of The Lord of the Rings. I don't have the book with me but I think it in "The End of the Third Age" where its talks about the how and why of Gimli being allowed to sail into the West with the "pesky Elf". The conclusion of the writer of Red Book was that it was that Galadriel still had a great deal of pull with the Valar that she could partician for a non-elf, non-ringbearer and get the desired results. Thats a lot of influence this lady has on those around her.

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I don't know if I can support this textually or not, but I think given her benevolence, her patience, and her long-term wisdom, that a case could be made for Galadriel as the greatest of the Noldor in Middle Earth. Some of the above answers equate greatness with might, something that Tolkien himself is very careful not to do. Wisdom is the greatest quality. It is ultimately the wisdom of Gandalf in LOTR, for example, that triumphs over Sauron in choosing the path of destroying the ring. Might must be used to hold back the enemy, but that is not what ultimately defeats him. Those, like Feanor, who have both might and wisdom, yet whose wisdom becomes clouded even if when their might remains, always meet death. Galadriel did not.

Someone asked why Tolkien would have chosen a woman, which is a weird question. The female characters in the Tolkien Oeuvre, while they don't carry the action, are always shown as strong and wise, often more so than their male counterparts; Melian, Luthien, Arwen, Galadriel. (As a tangent, am I the only one who is annoyed by the characterization of Celeborn in the movies?) Even Lobelia Sackville-Baggins shows her mettle in Scouring of the Shire. I've read things in the past that say there is a sexist angle to Tolkien, but that doesn't play out in the actual texts.


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Rick Nagy
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A small point but I vaguely recall something along the lines of Celeborn being the wisest elf in Middle-earth. Anyone else remember this?

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Fundin, Lord of Moria - Rank 5
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You might be thinking of this Glorfindel, from Galadriel...

 

'For the Lord of the Galadhrim is accounted the wisest of the Elves in Middle-earth, and a giver of gifts beyond the power of kings. He has dwelt in the West since...'

 

There's also an essay on Cirdan in The Peoples of Middle-Earth that mentions Celeborn: 'He is said in the Annals of the Third Age (c.1000) to have seen further and deeper into the future than anyone else in Middle-earth. This does not include the Istari (who came from Valinor), but must include even Elrond, Galadriel, and Celeborn.'

 

Hmm.

 



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Thorin Oakenshield - Rank 6
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Perhaps that second quote also answers the question on whether Gandalf had foresight.

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