Forum: The Prancing Pony

Discussing: Galadriel in the Second Age

Galadriel in the Second Age

Thought I'd move this into an arena that might get wider comment.

Okay, in Hollin, interacting with both Elves and Dwarves. I can't remember exactly what information UT gives, and of course Galadriel's history is one of the most complex in all of Tolkien's writings. But certainly she ruled with Celeborn in that area for a good long time, right? Presumably had some close ties with Celebrimbor. Did G & C up and go to Lorien before or after the forging of the Rings? Would the two events have had any connection? When was Celebrian born (do we know? if not you'd get to decide), and would there have been any political motives behind her birth?

How amicable would Galadriel's relations with Dwarves be? She was a Noldo, so they'd have all the craftiness in common, but on the other hand she lived with Thingol and Melian for millennia and Dwarves killed Thingol. Did the Dwarves play any role in the forging of the Rings, either?

What about war? Would Galadriel have actually gone to war herself? She'd certainly have had the guts for it, she crossed the Helcaraxe. But would it have been appropriate or necessary for her to do so?

Just some questions to entertain you and perhaps spawn a Nuzgul or so!

Celandine

 

 

Re: Galadriel in the Second Age

Whoa, missed this post in the midst of all the others!

JRRT has a lot of fascinating hints about what might have been going on in Hollin after the War of Wrath and before the first Ring War. I think of it as the last gasp of the struggle between the children of Finwë. You have Celebrimbor (Fëanor), Gil-galad and Elrond (Fingolfin), and Galadriel (Finarfin) as the main political actors of the time within the Noldor. There has to be contestation between these actors, though Elrond will be very young (relatively speaking) and emerges at the end of the First Ring War potentially in opposition to his elder kin.

Galadriel would still be a very proud and ambitious leader at this time. She is looking for a kingdom. How Celeborn may influence her actions is a matter of curiosity to me. I'd have to go look up the various to and fro travels between Hollin and Lórien, but JRRT does talk about Galadriel using Khazad-dûm as a travel route. I think that she and Celebrimbor would both be relatively cozy with Dwarves, while Celeborn would be almost irrationally opposed to them. Of course, there is the question of the Doriath refugees under Oropher and Thranduil.

Would Galadriel have gone to war? Hmm, good question. I think she would have been one of the war strategists, but would not have gone directly into general battle. She would have been present at the battle field, I think, observing and commanding. I'm reasonably sure the woman is wicked with a bow.

My problem is I have the entire Lions of Khazad-dûm AU scenario which I rather like, but am not sure I want to build into the story. It makes a truckload of sense from a political standpoint, and would really let me build in Dwarves. If I went that route, the division between Elrond and the other Noldor would be heightened.

Anyhow, some quick thoughts,

Ang

 

 

Re: Galadriel in the Second Age

Interesting - I hadn't thought of it in terms of the conflict between Finwë's descendants, but that would absolutely make sense. Hmm... makes me wonder, if Celebrimbor had survived into the Third Age instead of Elrond, would there continue to be that potential rivalry between him and Galadriel? Fingolfin's descendants and Finarfin's did generally seem to get along well.

Re: Lions, you could simply use whatever aspects of that fit into the new story, and not worry about others. There's no requirement that all one's stories fit into a single consistent whole! (I suppose my Steward ones are pretty consistent, but the others are sufficiently disconnected that it's pointless to consider. No, hang on, "The Quarry" as an AU is not - the others are all basically "canon" gapfiller. But it's so much later that I hardly think of that one as belonging to the Steward sequence.)

Why would Celeborn be particularly more mistrustful of Dwarves than Galadriel, in your mind? What's his motivation there? Just the actions of the Dwarves in Doriath?

 

 

Re: Galadriel in the Second Age

Celeborn - First, that he was more distrustful of Gimli in FoTR, second, thet JRRT specifically says in The History of Galadriel and Celeborn, UT :

Celeborn and Galadriel therefore went eastwards, about the year 700 of the Second Age, and established the (primarily but by no means solely) Noldorin realm of Eregion. It may be that Galadriel chose it because she knew of the Dwarves of Khazad-dûm (Moria). There were and always remained some Dwarves on the eastern side of Ered Lindon, where the very ancient mansions of Nogrod and Belegost had been -- not far from Nenuial; but they had transferred most of their strength to Khazad-dûm. Celeborn had no liking for Dwarves of any race...,and never forgave them for their part in the destruction of Doriath...In any case, Galadriel was more far-sighted in this than Celeborn; and she perceived from the beginning that Middle-earth could not be saved from the 'residue of evil' that Morgoth had left behind him save by a union of all the peoples who were in their way and in their measure opposed to him. She looked upon the Dwarves also with the eye of a commander, seeing in them the fienst warriors to pit against the Orcs. Moreover Galadriel was a Noldo, and she had a natural symapthy with their minds and their passionate love of crafts of hand...

Anyway, there is much more material like that in the essay. I'm fascinated by the tension between Noldor, Sindar and Dwarves in the Second Age, and what Galadriel's role in it was. The Lions material could be lifted out of the Laurë stories without much trouble, though it does remain AU in terms of Second Age. But a productive AU, and one that does not preclude the later events of the Age.

Ang

 

 

Re: Galadriel in the Second Age

I don't remember the exact date, but Galadriel left for Imladris after Sauron's war on Eregion, and walked east through Kazad Dûm with Celebrain. Celeborn refused to go with her because of the route and stayed in Lorien. She stayed in Imladris for a long time, like 100 years or more. It was then Celebrain and Elrond got to know each other , which eventually led to their marrage. (1500 years later. And you think your guy has comittment problems.)

 

 

Re: Galadriel in the Second Age

Couple things (been thinking about this all day since reading your intial remarks) --

One thing which was interesting was the messy situation with Celebrimbor, where a) he's romantically drawn to this older, married, incredibly-charismatic woman in a leadership position; b) he gets lured into setting up a rebel hegemony against her authority, simultaneously. This sounds so much like something out of the courts of Aquitaine, don't it? The opportunity for building Dorothy Dunne-level cultural-political melees is boundless.

Then (with Ang's thoughts) going into how this is down the line the old House rivalries of the ruling family (more Aquitaine style politics, plus.) You have also the metaphyiscal mess, where a lot of SA survivors are really leery, even the Noldor or half-Noldor ones, of going down the road of tech and mastery and "civilization" once again, on the grounds that last time they managed to wreck half the continent and maybe their "primitive" relatives had the better idea -- "Back to Nature" and all. And now you've got the Mirdain starting it all up again -- "Building A Better Tomorrow" etc.

This also harks back to the House Feanor mess in the first place -- "We know better what's best for everyone, and we're going to do it regardless of what anyone else tells us." In a sense Celebrimbor can only partly get away from his family destiny.

Then when it all melts down, such attempts at rescue as are made come from the same culture/authorities that they were thumbing their noses at.

Finally, moving forward -- has everyone else realized that with Arwen marrying Aragorn, the benefits are not as one-sided as they seem.
In their children, both the symbol and the actuality of dominion over Middle-earth return at long last to the House of Finarfin, *and* will remain so, despite the withdrawal of the Eldar from Middle-earth. In dynastic terms, this is a win for Galadriel as well.

 

 

Re: Galadriel in the Second Age

maybe their "primitive" relatives had the better idea -- "Back to Nature" and all

Running into the wild and finding shelter in a peaceful forest where the sun never sets sounds a lot like a post-WWII concept, what with horrors still lingering around Tolkien's life.

In dynastic terms, this is a win for Galadriel as well.

Galadriel does have strange dictatorial tendecies. I hadn't thought of this as a win for her house as well but.... of course. Perhaps from the very beginning Galadriel saw in A/A more than the romantic knight in shining armour dream.


 

 

Re: Galadriel in the Second Age

Running into the wild and finding shelter in a peaceful forest where the sun never sets sounds a lot like a post-WWII concept, what with horrors still lingering around Tolkien's life.

It's actually intensely WWI - though it was definitely getting started earlier in reaction to the fullblown antisplendor of places like Birmingham and the coal mines of Alsace-Lorraine and nasty inner-city messes like Dickens describes in Bleak House, or the violating of the ocean that Conrad decries in An Outcast of the Islands, back in the very beginning years of the 20th c.

But Paul Fussel in The Great War and Modern Memory talks in detail about the longing for *sky* and woods and land that wasn't blown to stinking chemical-filled mud seeded through with explosives and the body parts of your friends and enemies (people tended to be killed more by flying fragments of people than by fragments of explosives) and one particularly intense image, from his citations - and he was afaik entirely unaware of JRRT when he wrote the book - was the singing of nightingales in nearby areas where there were still woods, while the guns were firing, and how deeply that natural sound came to mean *life* to frontline veterans. (Yeah. This made stuff click loudly for me, too.)

In dynastic terms, this is a win for Galadriel as well.

Galadriel does have strange dictatorial tendecies. I hadn't thought of this as a win for her house as well but.... of course.


Galadriel is the last survivor of the most ancient reigning dynasty in the world. She *is* for all intents and purposes the House of Finwe, the first rulers of the Eldar, chosen by the gods as it were, in Middle-earth. She doesn't have the option to *not* be political - not legitimately, at least. For her to walk away from the statesman role would be less permissible than say, Winston Churchill in WWII. She's not even one of the Caesars - they were just jumped-up generals when you come down to it - but more like one of the Egyptian Dynastic houses.

She wasn't just born to it, she also *chose* it and you can't just put that down. Once you take on responsibility for that many people into your life, you have to stay the course - you can't walk out on them, ethically. People do, of course - run out on their wives and kids or take their pets to the pound when it isn't fun any more - but "fun" hasn't been a part of it for Galadriel for a very long time.

This is something we're not typically used to thinking of these days, royalty and rule as a *responsibility*, not just a bunch of perks, but it was very real in the ancient world. One "god-king" lost his job because he wouldn't keep up with the rituals - another king, of a different religion entirely, promised that he would faithfully do the job, regardless, and was given the crown in spite of his different ethnic background.

Perhaps from the very beginning Galadriel saw in A/A more than the romantic knight in shining armour dream.

It's unthinkable that she *not* see it in political terms, as well as in significantly *mystical* ones, way before any romantic images. (However, given this is Arda, political and mystical are not entirely two different things!)

There is also very strongly in Arda the sense of what I call "the moment" - the point when Tiresias comes to your gates and tells you to back off or your whole bloodline is going to end in ruin, when you have to cross the Rubicon, when you lose one stirrup and have to decide if you rein in, or kick off the other and keep riding, moments of personal or cultural risk, some of which have a feeling that Something greater is working, and if you blow this one nothing will ever go right again. (I would supply more examples from Gk Tragedy and the Silmarillion, but I would never stop...)

Sometimes you just have to go with Destiny's cues. And try not to make the same mistakes over again, while you're at it.

Like when the mortal descendent of the guy your brother died to save shows up wearing your brother's ring and wants to marry your granddaughter...


(Why yes, I *am* writing a POV-short on Galadriel, after getting involved in this discussion, isn't that an odd coincidence? )

 

 

Re: Galadriel & Aragorn -- Ring War

Paul Fussel

I ran into his "Wartime" (about WWII) when I was working out aspects of my B5 "Earth Minbari War" novellette. After the intro and two chapters I had to drop down to skimming because it was too ... much. As it was, I was bouncing off the walls for three days. It wasn't until after Fussel that I finally saw "Saving Private Ryan" (TV screen) and I watched it, impassive, grumbling "this isn't 'real', it has a plot."

Sometimes you just have to go with Destiny's cues. And try not to make the same mistakes over again, while you're at it.

Which is how I see Aragorn (and how he sees himself) in S&K ...

(Why yes, I *am* writing a POV-short on Galadriel, after getting involved in this discussion, isn't that an odd coincidence? )

... and chapter 4 of S&K (Lothlorien) has got gaping Galadriel holes in it which, after frustrating pondering, I've put on the back burner waiting for my muse to figure it out. This, what you're writing, may be just the ticket to kick it loose. All I know is that in my AU she's more tempted than in the original. Aragorn is judging signs fatalistically and she doesn't like that, tries to get him to look in the mirror but he refuses. And there should be the scene with Frodo/Sam at the Mirror and it will happen subtly different. But I don't know how yet.

Me & my muse are very anxious to read your thoughts on this matter ... Good luck!

Julie

 

 

Re: Galadriel in the Second Age

Sometimes you just have to go with Destiny's cues. And try not to make the same mistakes over again, while you're at it.

Under this new (albeit incredibly obvious) light, I just realise I have a whole chapter to re-write a new one to entirely re-plan.

Hoo boy. That‘s why I like this place.

 

 

Re: Galadriel in the Second Age

Under this new (albeit incredibly obvious) light, I just realise I have a whole chapter to re-write a new one to entirely re-plan.

Hoo boy. That‘s why I like this place.


Oh dear. That happened to me with the Script, Act II when it was pointed out that in the later versions of the story Gwindor wasn't taken prisoner until after the Quest, at the Nirnaeth, requiring a rewrite of several scenes. It worked out better in the long run, but it's still a lot of work.

 

 

Re: Galadriel & Aragorn -- Ring War

Me & my muse are very anxious to read your thoughts on this matter ... Good luck!

Well, it's all together now, Julie -- all 2 pages of it -- and posted in the usual places. I certainly hope it helps! (I'm thinking of offering some kind of prize to whoever spots the most obscure references in it...)

 

 

In Forums

Discussion Info

Intended for: General Audience

This forum is open to all HASA members. It is read-only for the general public.

Membership on HASA is free and it takes only a few minutes to join. If you would like to participate, please click here.

If you are already a member, please log in to participate.

« Back to The Prancing Pony