I read the essay on Celeborn by Mr. Martinez last night, good stuff! I do have to say that there are some particular elements of his writing style that I personally don’t care for, but he’s obviously extremely knowledgeable when it comes to Tolkien. I don’t know, maybe it was just that particular essay, that’s the first time I’ve read any of his work, so maybe I need to read more of his offerings. I really enjoyed the latter half of his essay though.
Personally I have never had a problem with Celeborn. The way I’ve always looked at it is, heh, if he’s Galadriel’s husband, and he’s the one she choose, then there has to be a reason, and that’s always been good enough for me. I really enjoyed all of the extra scenes we got with him in the extended edition of FOTR, because I’ve always felt like he got the short end of the stick, and I was glad we got to see more of his character. I think Mr. Martinez states the real problem with his character maybe not getting enough respect exactly how it is, he’s “a glittering jewel lying half-buried amid other jewels, some brighter or less covered up.” I think that really sums it up.
I do have to take exception with a comment he made at the beginning of his essay, “Like Galadriel gets off her royal duff and does something. Sorry. That Warg won’t howl.” Please, you have got be kidding me! I’ll give Mr. Martinez the benefit of the doubt here, and assume that this was just another place he thought he was being funny because, anyone who doesn’t understand that Galadriel is one of the single most important characters regarding Tolkien’s Middle Earth is missing the swan ship. In fact one could make a serious case that in LOTR she (her contributions) is the single most important person responsible for the ultimate success of the Ring-bearer’s quest. I could go off, and write a ten-page essay on this subject, but I don’t need ten pages to get to the point. Hello Elven rope, hello Elven cloaks, hello Lembas, and most importantly, hello the Phail of Galadriel (which she herself prepared specifically for Frodo)! Without her contributions to Frodo and Sam, the quest would have never succeeded. I’m not in anyway whatsoever trying to diminish the vastly important roles that the other characters played in aiding the quest, but without Galadriel getting involved, the party’s over! Also, correct me if I’m wrong, but I’ve always thought that in TTT (Shelob’s lair) that it was her voice speaking when Frodo says “Aiya Earendil Elenion Ancalima!” She is watching over him from afar, and protecting him with her power. Further on page 373 of TTT its “Galadriel” that Frodo cries to muster his courage, not anybody else’s name. Let us not forget that in the time of the third age, Galadriel is the single most powerful Elf left in Middle Earth! To imply that she did nothing is absurd.
Another thing that bothers me is this idea that Galadriel was some power hungry monster. It wasn’t so much as she was power hungry, rather than she was born, and destined to be powerful (although I will admit that she had always desired to have her own kingdom). It constantly amazes me that for all these so called Tolkien experts (who are far more well read, and far more intelligent than I am) that bash on Galadriel, and say that she was power hungry, not one of them ever mentions that she was from the blood line of Indis the Fair. If you know your Silmarillon history, than you know that (from page 66, the Silmarillion), “the children of Indis were great and glorious, and their children also; and if they had not lived the history of the Eldar would have been diminished.” So you see again, what we are really getting here with Galadriel’s character is not so much her being power hungry, but her being destined to be powerful, and to do great deeds. This element of her character is really the direct result of her being from that bloodline, and the vast amount of time she spent with Melian in Doriath, and the enormous influence that Melian had on her. It is my own personal view (which I have previously stated over in the Silmarillion discussion group, assignment 7) that Galadriel acquired a great deal of her knowledge, and power from all her time spent with Melian, and in fact, I view Galadriel now as sort of a Third Age Melian, kind of fulfilling that role. For anyone who just refuses to give up the notion that Galadriel was a power monger know this, that whatever her faults may have been, they were pure, and she was pure. Aragorn states this to Boromir very eloquently on page 402 of FOTR, “Speak no evil of the Lady Galadriel! You know not what you say. There is no evil in her and in this land no evil, unless a man bring it hither himself.”
Alas I have rambled on here, my apologies, but I felt it my duty to defend the honor of the Lady of Light. After all this thread is about poor Celeborn, and here he is getting lost among brighter jewels again. Props to thee Celeborn, and as Mr. Martinez so accurately stated, anyone who can land a Galadriel is a winner in my book!