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 Post subject: Galadriel's current biography at AU
PostPosted: October 26th, 2015, 11:32 am 
Gondorian
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Not sure where to post this but I just read Galadriel's page in the character biographies section, and in my opinion it needs a bit of revision. I'm glad to see the notion of Galadriel's ban in the bio, as this was published by Tolkien himself in 1967 in The Road Goes Ever On.

That said, a few things...

Quote:
Name Meaning: Lady of Light (Sindarin Elvish) Aliases: Altariel, Alatariel, the Lady of Lorien, Galadhriel, the Lady of the Wood, the Lady of the Galadrim, the Sorceress of the Golden Wood, the Mistress of Magic, the White Lady, Queen Galadriel, Nerwen


Although Tolkien himself worded the meaning differently at different times, I would probably give the meaning as "Lady crowned with light" as Galadriel includes an element derived from "crown" and the name refers to her hair. Also I would add Artanis along with Nerwende (already there in the short form as Nerwen).

In short, the bio as it now stands has Galadriel's Mother-name Nerwen ("man-maiden"), but not her Father-name Artanis ("noble woman")

Quote:
Siblings: Finrod, Orodreth, Angrod, and Aegnor


I don't consider this wrong, and it agrees with the constructed Silmarillion (which is probably intentional) but I might footnote that Orodreth was ultimately dropped as Galadriel's brother. In the latest known scenario Tolkien imagined Orodreth as the son of Angrod and the father of Gil-galad, and was possibly (seemingly) given a new Sindarin name as well: Arothir (the name Arothir is certainly attested I'm just not wholly positive that "Orodreth" had been dropped).

Quote:
History: (...) When Fëanor's Silmarils were stolen, Galadriel was the only woman who played a prominent part in the rebellion of the Noldor. She was eager to journey to Middle-earth, and may even have joined in the Kinslaying at Alqualondë: she certainly did not hinder the bloodshed.


I don't think I would say that Galadriel "certainly did not hinder the bloodshed".

According to the Silmarillion as constructed and published by Christopher Tolkien in 1977, there seems no way to know for certain that Galadriel had even been present for the bloodshed, and actually I believe this to have been the case when Tolkien introduced her into the tales of the Elder Days. However, as that argument might induce sleep, I'll note it more fully below the line of sleep (further down in this post).

It's probably best not to operate heavy machinery when reading the material below the line ;-)

And in later texts (not taken up into the constructed Silmarillion by Christopher Tolkien) Galadriel defends the Teleri here. I'm not saying this should be added to the bio, but just to note it.

In any case, while the statement is technically correct even if Galadriel arrived too late to do anything about the bloodshed, the statement suggests (to me) that she could have hindered it, but did not.

Again, even if only the 1977 Silmarillion is being employed here, the passage describing the Kinslaying says nothing about what the Finarfinians did or did not do, or even could do. We don't even know if they were present before all was said and done. We know Angrod later tells Thingol that the Finarfinians came not red handed from Aman.


Quote:
After Doriath fell, Galadriel and Celeborn fled to Arvernien.


To my mind this is not really a certainty although it seems to fit the scenario of the constructed Silmarillion. The movements of Galadriel and Celeborn can sometimes be rather hazy. A passage in The Lord of the Rings suggests that Galadriel (but seemingly without Celeborn) might have left Beleriand before the Fall of Nargothrond: "He has dwelt in the West since the days of dawn, and I have dwelt with him years uncounted; for ere the fall of Nargothrond or Gondolin I passed over the mountains, and together through ages of the world we have fought the long defeat."

But this appears to represent an earlier idea (see Christopher Tolkien's commentary about this in Unfinished tales) in which Celeborn was a Nandorin Elf and Galadriel left Beleriand and met him already ruling in Lorien. If so it might seem strange that JRRT never revised this passage in The Lord of the Rings, for even by the end of the first edition Celeborn had become a Sindarin Elf, and is explicitly referred to as Sindarin in the first edition version of Appendix B -- a section which was revised for the second edition, confusingly enough perhaps, although Tolkien would once again note Celeborn as Sindarin in The Road Goes Ever On (1967).

Anyway the later idea was (as already noted in the biography) that Galadriel met Celeborn in Doriath and (as also in The Road Goes Ever On), after the Fall of Morgoth they passed over the Blue Mountains and passed to Eregion. If so, where were these two characters before the Fall of Morgoth? "It is a natural assumption that Celeborn and Galadriel were present at the ruin of Doriath (it is said in one place that Celeborn "escaped the sack of Doriath"), and perhaps aided the escape of Elwing to the Havens of Sirion with the Silmaril -- but this is nowhere stated." Christopher Tolkien, The History of Galadriel and Celeborn, Unfinished Tales

So things can get a little hazy here (and I'm wholly ignoring Tolkien's very latest text on Galadriel and Celeborn, in which Galadriel is removed from Feanor's Rebellion and Celeborn is a Telerin prince of Aman, due to the information there conflicting with what the author himself published about Galadriel's role in the Rebellion). Once again I would be inclined to simply jump to "known" history, skipping over the difficult parts.


Quote:
In the early Second Age, they founded Lothlórien, which she modelled after Doriath, and made the land beautiful with the help of the Ring of Adamant, Nenya. Nenya was one of the Three Elven Rings, and was given to her by Celebrimbor at its making. Sauron endlessly tried to know Galadriel's mind, but it was closed to him, though she could read his thoughts.


I don't think Galadriel and Celeborn founded Lorien even according to just The Lord of the Rings, as Amroth was seemingly king there before them: Haldir notes that Cerin Amroth was the heart of the old realm, and Legolas' song of Nimrodel marks Amroth himself as a king, seemingly a king of Lorien in my opinion. I suppose it's arguably not wholly explicit here, but I think it's strongly suggested.

Also even if Galadriel and Celeborn had founded Lorien early in the Second Age, the Three did not exist untill SA c. 1590, and Sauron forged the One c. 1600, Celebrimbor perceiving the designs of Sauron in this same year. While the three were "hidden" in 1693 I would think they would not be used after Celebrimbor perceived Sauron's ruse.

That really only leaves about (considering "c." next to these dates) ten years between the forging of the Three and the making of the One: in other words, even if Lorien had been founded early in the Second Age, Galadriel could not have used Nenya in Lorien before the Three existed (of course), and very arguably not again after Celebrimbor and the Elves became aware of Sauron's deception.

I suppose the wording in the bio could intend to mean "founded" as in "took over an existing realm and made it so very different as to be considered a new realm"... but in any event, Tolkien's later concept (Unfinished Tales) was that after Amroth's death in the Third Age Galadriel and Celeborn took up rule in Lorien. What they did before this -- between the fall of Eregion and the loss of Amroth -- would take some time to explain and require some subjective choices, so here again I would suggest leaving the matter vague in any bio.

Quote:
In autumn of TA 3021, because of her long opposition to Sauron, the ban was lifted: she was finally permitted to fulfill her desire and pass over the Sea.


As I say I agree with including Galadriel's ban, but I would rather say generally that the ban was lifted, and give the date of Galadriel's sailing, which is not quite the same thing as worded in the bio.

And I know this post seems long, but it's mostly explanation; in other words, the actual revisions I would make based on these explanations would not amount to relatively that much.

The line of sleep...

__________


the ban

So in published accounts Galadriel is a Noldo, her husband a Sinda, and the reader of The Lord of the Rings (at least) does not know specifically why Galadriel hadn't passed Over Sea. She seems to think she can, as after her rejection of the One she says: 'I will diminish, and go into the West, and remain Galadriel'.

But other statements that follow this one seem to suggest Galadriel might not be allowed West, which becomes noted only much later in 1967, in Tolkien's The Road Goes Ever On.

According to The Lord of the Rings Galadriel appears to have passed over the Blue Mountains before the fall of Nargothrond, and met Celeborn in Lorien, but the mountains are not actually named, and Celeborn, being Sindarin, must have been in Beleriand before ending up in Lorien. Even according to the first edition (Appendix B) it's said that some time in the Second Age Celeborn passed to the south of Greenwood [although this will change for the second edition of the 1960s].

After Galadriel appears in The Lord of the Rings she will then enter the Silmarillion tradition of course. Skipping over some various notions as Tolkien explored her "true" history, Galadriel was born in Eldamar in the Year 1362 [Year of the Trees], the daughter of Finrod [later Finarfin]. After the speech of Feanor, Galadriel '... the only woman of the Noldor to stand that day tall and valiant among the contending princes' was eager to be gone [eager to see Middle-earth]. She swore no oath, but Feanor's words had kindled her heart, and she longed to see the wide lands of Middle-earth and to rule there a realm maybe, at her own will."

She is here said [Annals of Aman] to be the youngest of the House of Finwe, and ultimately she became a leader. After Feanor sailed off: 'Therefore, led by Fingolfin and his sons, and by Inglor [Finrod] and Galadriel the valiant and fair, they dared to pass into the untrodden North,...'

the kinslaying

These last two quotes are part of the version chosen by Christopher Tolkien for the 1977 Silmarillion, including Galadriel's later conversation with Melian. Here I'll note something about the Kinslaying: in this conception, in a certain 'phase' of writing, so to speak, I believe that Galadriel was simply not present for the Kinslaying.

Before Galadriel existed in Tolkien's imagination, in the Silmarillion as it stood in the mid to later 1930s, the people of Finrod 'had no part in the dreadful deed that was then done', as during the march [earlier in the text] '... and at the rear came sorrowing Finrod and Inglor and many of the noblest and fairest of the Noldor; and they looked often backward, until the lamp of Ingwe was lost in the gathering tide of gloom...'

So to me it seems clear that [the idea is]: the folk of Finrod [later his name became Finarfin and Inglor Felagund became Finrod Felagund] were the hindmost group, and simply came too late in any case. When this passage was written Tolkien had not yet realized Galadriel existed...

... but she was ultimately 'dropped' into this family.

Tolkien essentially revised this passage in The Annals of Aman in the early 1950s, and dropped the statement I quoted above [had no part in the dreadful deed], and at this point at least he seems to have left it alone in Quenta Silmarillion itself.

Anyway, if we jump to a later text written after the publication of The Lord of the Rings [from 'Concerning Galadriel and Celeborn'], we still find the description: 'She was welcome in Doriath, because her mother Earwen, daughter of Olwe, was Telerin and the niece of Thingol, and because the people of Finarfin had had no part in the Kinslaying of Alqualonde; and she became a friend of Melian.'

So in the 1930s Finrod's [Finarfin's] folk had had no part in the Kinslaying [arguably being part of the hindmost group in any case], and Galadriel drops into this family. Then a revision to the 1930s version takes out the explicit reference, but a yet later text states the same basic thing in my opinion -- although admittedly without noting that they were hindmost in the march of the Noldor, but that they had had "no part" suggests to me that the older idea was possibly still in play.


In any case, as I say above, I don't think it needs to be suggested that Galadriel could have hindered the bloodshed but didn't. That might be someone's interpretation of the silence in the 1977 Silmarilion, but even considering this alone, it remains equally possible, if not certain, that she arrived too late, even as late as after the battle had ended.


Just my opinions. If anyone reading this is still awake :)


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 Post subject: Re: Galadriel's current biography at AU
PostPosted: October 27th, 2015, 3:31 pm 
Balrog
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Wow! You did a lot of work on your post. Thanks for being so thorough. It makes for very interesting, and illuminating, reading. Image

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 Post subject: Re: Galadriel's current biography at AU
PostPosted: October 28th, 2015, 7:34 am 
Warden of the Knight
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Agreed! Loved the read Nd good suggestions as far as I am concerned. Your reasoning makes sense.

To a tually get them edited would take a mod who knew how to access the main site... And honestly I don't know that any of the ones that get on anymore know how.... Someone would have to reach out to the owner of the site but she is very busy and rarely gets on.

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 Post subject: Re: Galadriel's current biography at AU
PostPosted: October 28th, 2015, 12:26 pm 
Gondorian
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Thanks for the replies!

Despite the long post, I'm not really that concerned about getting the page edited based on my opinions... I guess I was in the mood for some posting about Galadriel.

:-D


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 Post subject: Re: Galadriel's current biography at AU
PostPosted: October 28th, 2015, 12:31 pm 
Warden of the Knight
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Good post all in all then. :) I did much enjoy reading it. The facts you brought out were quite informative. :)


I only wish I had the knowledge to write something quite so intiligent but unfortunately I do not. :p

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 Post subject: Re: Galadriel's current biography at AU
PostPosted: October 28th, 2015, 1:30 pm 
Gondorian
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Reading my post again, I probably should qualify this...

Quote:
But other statements that follow this one seem to suggest Galadriel might not be allowed West, which becomes noted only much later in 1967, in Tolkien's The Road Goes Ever On.


... or at least emphasize "seem to suggest", because the issue of Galadriel's ban is a fairly sticky one, especially if we consider just The Lord of the Rings (1954, 1955). Some folk think that despite Galadriel's song (her lament), her statement to Frodo (she will diminish and pass into the West and so on) illustrates that she was not banned...

... others think that despite her statement to Frodo, her song indicates that she desired to pass West but "could" not.

Well which is it? :-D

Christopher Tolkien noted that he was inclined to think the ban was not in place when his father wrote The Lord of the Rings. Possible, no doubt. And in at least one text written after The Lord of the Rings there doesn't seem to be any special ban on Galadriel.

That said, in The Road Goes Ever On (RGEO) Tolkien directly and explicitly published that she was banned, and pointed to certain words in her songs (in The Lord of the Rings) that illustrate this. The date of this book being 1967, we can see that this was more than ten years after The Lord of the Rings was published.

So you (anyone) can maybe see how "canon" gets mingled in here. I think the direct reference to Galadriel's ban -- published by the author himself -- certainly outweighs ideas he never publlished, no matter when written. And in my opinion RGEO even outweighs Galadriel's remark to Frodo, despite that that too was published by JRRT of course.

Why? Because RGEO is so explicit and is delivered by the "translator" of the tales (Tolkien), who is supposed to have more information than the reader -- compared to a statement made by a character in the tale (Galadriel), and also taking into account the "seeming" suggestion of a ban from her songs.

I reconcile the two by saying that Galadriel was possibly speaking to Frodo in hope (I will pass into the West if allowed), and simply not feeling that this was the time to digress about her past (and her ban).

That's all I can think of right now :-D

I first tried the idea that maybe after rejecting the One Galadriel suddenly knew (by Valarin mind message [Cirdan had had one anyway], or by intuition or something) that her ban was or would be lifted, but that doesn't work too well, as her songs come after this scene with Frodo, and as I say Tolkien used parts of her songs to illustrate that she was personally banned from Aman, due to being the last survivor of the princes and queens who had lead the Rebel Noldor over the Grinding Ice.

Interesting that Finrod was also a leader with Galadriel and would, I expect, have fallen under this same ban, but he died and would later be reincarnated (after a given time) in Aman...

... at least reincarnated at some point :)


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 Post subject: Re: Galadriel's current biography at AU
PostPosted: October 28th, 2015, 3:07 pm 
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Is it possible at all that Galadriel didn't think they would really prevent her from going and so when she made the comment to frodo she honestly thought they would let her go. Then, when they didn't her song could have been a lament of sorts?

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 Post subject: Re: Galadriel's current biography at AU
PostPosted: October 29th, 2015, 8:57 am 
Gondorian
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The problem here is that Galadriel's song comes fairly soon after this statement to Frodo and it's not that relatively long until she does sail (especially to the perception of an Elf). I suppose we could imagine some sort of mind message* here. So if when speaking to Frodo Galadriel thought (in theory) that she wasn't still banned (perhaps given her resistance to Sauron over the years, and the ban being so very long ago), but later received a message of rejection leading to her lament...

... yet what happened is that the Valar did lift Galadriel's ban, and in large part due to her rejection of the One.

"The question Sí man i yulma nin enquantuva? and the question at the end of her song (Vol. I, p. 389), What ship would bear me ever back across so wide a Sea?, refer to the special position of Galadriel. She was the last survivor of the princes and queens who had led the revolting Noldor to exile in Middle-earth. 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. She passed over the Mountains of Eredluin with her husband Celeborn (one of the Sindar) and went to Eregion. But it was impossible for one of the High-Elves to overcome the yearning for the Sea, and the longing to pass over it again to the land of their former bliss. She was now burdened with this desire. In the event, after the fall of Sauron, in reward for all that she had done to oppose him, but above all for her rejection of the Ring when it came within her power, the ban was lifted, and she returned over the Sea, as is told at the end of The Lord of the Rings." JRRT, The Road Goes Ever On


So it would seem strange to me for Galadriel to think she could sail during her scene with Frodo -- then be told she could not, resulting in her lament. Then later have the ban lifted.

Or did I mix that up?

If I recall correctly we do not know how Galadriel knew the ban had been lifted, or exactly when it had been lifted, if after Sauron's fall as RGEO appears to indicate, but if she had sung those lines which Tolkien notes in RGEO, then took Frodo to the mirror and so on, and made her statement to him, one could perhaps argue that she somehow knew, or at least guesed in that moment, that the ban had finally been lifted.

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*for example in a late text Tolkien noted that Cirdan had received a message, in his mind so to speak (to simplify the nice description concerning this), about remaining in Beleriand when he desired to sail West in the First Age.


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 Post subject: Re: Galadriel's current biography at AU
PostPosted: October 29th, 2015, 12:16 pm 
Warden of the Knight
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Hm... Quite an interesting prediciment. So unless she sung the song forst something doesn't match up.

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 Post subject: Re: Galadriel's current biography at AU
PostPosted: October 30th, 2015, 10:33 am 
Gondorian
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Yep, that's why I have come up with the notion that Galadriel meant I will pass into the West "in a hopeful sort of way", even though that's not described of course. In notes never published by Tolkien himself, he would even describe (in The Peoples of Middle-Earth I think)...

"The first song of Galadriel is treated in this way: it is given only in translation (as is all the rest of her speech in dialogue). Because in this case a verse translation was attempted, to represent as far as possible the metrical devices of the original - a considered composition no doubt made long before the coming of Frodo and independent of the arrival in Lorien of the One Ring.

Whereas the Farewell was addressed direct to Frodo, and was an extempore outpouring in free rhythmic style, reflecting the overwhelming increase in her regret and longing, and her personal despair after she had survived the terrible temptation."


Extempore meaning (for anyone who might not know) "spoken, carried out, or composed with little or no preparation or forethought". So based on this we could hardly say that Galadriel only sang both these songs because she had once invented them before Frodo came along with the One...

... although considering that JRRT himself never published these notes specifically, he need not be bound by them. But still, RGEO itself, in my opinion, is enough. Again this is Tolkien "as translator" who should know the true story no matter what Galadriel had said to Frodo in that moment, so for me the ban is true, and for me it makes the better story too...

... I love the penitent, once banned Galadriel!


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 Post subject: Re: Galadriel's current biography at AU
PostPosted: October 30th, 2015, 12:47 pm 
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Yeah. I would agree that there was for sure a bann in place. The sketchy details around just when it was lifted and why have my mind in a bit of a conundrum. :p but I like your idea of maybe it was just a hopefull thought.

Given that some elves have foresight it would be possible (as mentioned I think) if she foreknew that the ban would be lifted. But in the longing she for it to be lifted she may have slipped back into lament at it's still pressent condition.

Perhaps her foresight was only in part and she knew it would be lifted but not when. She, having just resisted the one, perhaps assumed that it would be then and there. Finding out otherwise she lamented in longing for the unknown day that it would be lifted.

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