Friday, October 5, 2018

A Modern Woman's Temptation

I decided to re-read Lord Of The Rings. Today I was by the Mirror of Galadriel chapter. Galadriel is supposedly a super-positive character. Aragorn stresses several times that "there is no evil in Lorien".  Yet,besides Boromir, she's the only one on the side of Good who, by her own words, comes close to taking the Ring by force or at least, pondering on the possibility.

She's overall insanely ambitious, and if I remember her story from Silmarillion  correctly, she was the only one female present among the Elvish princes when they were discussing their war preparations against Morgoth after the Silmarils were stolen. She's a woman constantly interfering into the business of men with an ambition to project power and rule like a man.

But she also suffers from the typical female vanity. She wishes more than just to be obeyed and/or feared. All shall love me and despair! is a prudish way to say I wish all men desire me! In that aspect she's little different from a teenage girl posting bikini pictures on Facebook. Both are attention whores seekers.

I guess what makes Galadriel a positive character is the fact that in the end she wins over her (double) temptation. She accepts her fate as a woman (though an Elf with magical powers). She will diminish and go into exile, she says but her present life in Lorien is also not one of great heroic deeds. She already has one of the rings of power in her possession and she uses it to keep the weather mild and provide peaceful environment for her people. And she spends her days weaving clothes for the men.

Now I won't declare that I can fully guess Tolkien's intentions (though he was probably no friend to feminism which was already quite prominent in his time). I don't know whom Galadriel was based upon. May be, it was a great lady of his acquaintance. Yet, she appears to me to point to the typical modern woman with her double temptation: the wish to live and project power in a male way (through her career, paycheck, social position) while also having additional (sexual) power over men.

Her weapons were her crystal eyes
Making every man mad
Black as the dark night she was
Got what noone else had

Somehow it doesn't make modern women happier than their unenlightened mothers and grannies used to be. May be, it's time to diminish and return to the traditional female occupation to provide peaceful environment for her menfolk and family in general?


  1. Amen! Your last line sums it up perfectly!

  2. Thanks, Jo, I'm glad you liked it:)

  3. I had already read this article recently. I love it then and loved it when I reread it from our link. It says soooooo much! Although I would love to be the slimmer, energetic, limber person I used to be when I was younger I am so happy to be living the life here at home. Peaceful is the word...for me and in our home. :) Sarah

  4. You mean the one from Daily Mail? I wrote a long answer to your comment but have come to the conclusion that it's a whole new topic:) Maybe, I'll write a post about it soon!

  5. I wrote a long comment but it vanished. :(

    I don't think Tolkien's intention was to write against feminism: he said he hates allegory, and he also created character like Eowyn! If she is not feminist character, I do not know who is. And a woman fighting in armour is next to unpossible; medieval armours were at least 1/4 of knights body weight and boys were trained to carry them from very young age; in battle they had to carry it for hours and hours. They even had to poo in them... And Eowyn rocks it just like that?

    Have you read the Belgariad? I loved it when I was a teenager. Now when I think about it I notice that even though some women participate in the adventures (because of romance, they must), they still remain rather feminine. For example when Ce'Nedra starts wearing an armour, it is a lightweight one and she has absolutely no intention to fight in it; she wants to create a symbol of herself, little bit like Jeanne D'Arc.

  6. And what did happen to Eowyn in the end? She got married and repented of her desiring to being equal to men, exactly the same story as Galadriel. Tolkien was a pre-Vatican 2 Catholic, I doubt he agreed with feminism at all:)

    Never heard about the story you mention, is it interesting?


    Belgariad is a fantasy series for teenagers. It has a sequel called Malloreon. Written by David Eddings. I loved Belgariad when I was young, but I don't know how a grown up reader would see them. I think even a grown up would find them entertaining.