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Thread: Galadriel: The Greatest Studen

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I was wondering, as I often do, especially now that I've found this group:
Has anyone else noticed that the greatest student in all of Middle-Earth is Galadriel? Probably because she is oldest surviving Noldo in Middle-Earth and the third-oldest Elf mentioned in the books. (Cirdan the Shipwright is the oldest, and Celeborn I would put at second.)
I can name two separate instances of what she did that she must have learned from someone else:
First of all, she learned a lot from Melian the Maia, wife of Elwe Singollo and mother of Luthien. As you recall, after the return of Morgoth to Middle-Earth after slaying the Two Trees and the theft of the Silmarils, she surrounded the Kingdom of Doriath with an unseen wall of shadows and bewilderment: the Girdle of Melian, so that no one could enter against her will or the will of the King, unless they had a power greater than hers. (Imagine if she had used her Bra instead of her Girdle!) Galdriel was able to do something similar in Lothlorien in the Third Age. As stated in the Appendices, the Power that dwelt there was too great for any to overcome, unless Sauron had come there himself. Even the Ringwraiths all together wouldn't have been able to conquer Lorien, unless Sauron was there to lead them personally. She was able to use the White Ring, Nenya, to strengthen the defenses, but I'm willing to bet that she learned that particular trick from Melian. After all, it is clearly stated that the power of the Three Rings was in Making, Healing, and Preserving things unstained by time.
The second example is the Phial of Galadriel. In her own way, she learned from Feanor and made a kind of Silmaril. She did just what he did: she trapped the light of the Silmaril in the waters of her Mirror (which is her version of the Palantiri, which were also made by Feanor) and then enclosed it in the crystal phial. Unlike the actual Silmarils, the Phial could be broken, and its power was finite, as Sam learned when he pulled it out in the Samath Naur, the Crack of Doom, and found that its light was weak so deep in the heart of Sauron's realm.
The Phial also hearkens back to the Feanorian lamps used by the Noldor in the First Age, (see The Unfinished Tales, Chapter One, Of Tuor and His Coming to Gondolin ) but while these lamps were indeed marvelously made and unquenchable, they did not have the power of the Phial.
These are just two examples that I could think of, or three examples, if you count the Mirror, but I'm sure there are others. I look forward to the responses this post generates, whether agreeing with me or disputing my arguments, or just commenting in general.
I am quite Galadriel challenged, I admire her but know little about her or earlier years, the little trivia that everyone else and their pets know, but I am very willing to learn.
Grondy dear, Vir? Anyone?
Don't ask me about that woman. I was extremely disappointed when she rejected the "dark side" in favour of diminishing and going into the West.

But at least she went into the West alone, without her garden lord, son of one red cutie Muppet.

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As you recall, after the return of Morgoth to Middle-Earth after slaying the Two Trees and the theft of the Silmarils, she surrounded the Kingdom of Doriath with an unseen wall of shadows and bewilderment: the Girdle of Melian, so that no one could enter against her will or the will of the King, unless they had a power greater than hers.
Or one driven by a fate stronger than hers.

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Probably because she is oldest surviving Noldo in Middle-Earth and the third-oldest Elf mentioned in the books. (Cirdan the Shipwright is the oldest, and Celeborn I would put at second.)

Of the Eldar, perhaps. But we must not forget the Avari who most probably never left Middle-eart after they rejected following Oromë to Aman.
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The second example is the Phial of Galadriel. In her own way, she learned from Feanor and made a kind of Silmaril. She did just what he did: she trapped the light of the Silmaril in the waters of her Mirror (which is her version of the Palantiri, which were also made by Feanor) and then enclosed it in the crystal phial.

I was about the refute this bit about her trapping the light of the Silmaril in the phial, until I remembered that it was the Silmaril that gave light to Eärendil's star. - this trapping can be found during the gift giving of their 'Farewell to Lórien' in FotR.
That is very enchanting and hard to comprehend. How does one trap light I wonder. In the world apart from Middle-Earth if you hold a vial in sunlight with or without the cap on it is there and is quite lovely. But once you walk into the dark it is gone. I wish I knew how it was done.
I guess you can call her the Thomas Edison of her time. Smile Smilie
I wonder what other channels she got on her Mirror? Cable or Satellite?
That just HAS to go on a t-shirt . Great........Smile Smilie
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I guess you can call her the Thomas Edison of her time.

She was more the Marie Curie of her time. That'd explain Frodo perceiving her as slightly transparant.
I thought she had a radient glow about her.
One, I think can both glow and have a transparency at the same time. She was very very much something that a dwarf should be so smitten with her luminous beauty, so much so that he was willing to do a sort of suel with a certain elf over which was the more gloriously beautiful, lady Galadriel or lady Arwen, the Evenstar of her people.
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so much so that he was willing to do a sort of suel with a certain elf over which was the more gloriously beautiful, lady Galadriel or lady Arwen, the Evenstar of her people.

Nay, 'twas a duel with one of the Éorlingas.

Quite a waste of time too, imho. If Arwen really was the likeness of Lúthien, it's a no brainer who was most beautiful.

Then again, I guess being ensnared in the webs of a cruel, pale enchantress of the woods makes one a bit irrational. Or maybe he simply failed to understand that the Dark Queen's seemingly gracious words to him in Caras Galadhon were merely wickedly concealed sarcastic jabs.
And Gimli was further ensorceled by the three golden hairs she overtly placed upon his person to ensure his enrapture was complete. Elf Winking Smilie
Which he said he was going to place in imperishable crystal as a symbol of friendship between the people of the Mountain and of the Wood. And he was ready to duel with Eomer himself about who was more beautiful, Arwen or Galadriel. Gimli was more drawn toward the morning rather than the evening.
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'Alas!' said Eomer. 'I will not say that she is the fairest lady that lives.'
'Then I must go for my axe,' said Gimli.
'But first I will plead this excuse,' said Eomer. 'Had I seen her in other company, I would have said all that you could wish. But now I will put Queen Arwen Evenstar first, and I am ready to do battle on my own part with any who deny me, Shall I call for my sword?'
Then Gimli bowed low. 'Nay, you are excused for my part, lord,' he said. 'You have chosen the Evening; but my love is given to the Morning. And my heart forebodes that soon it will pass away for ever.' - from 'Many Partings' in The Return of the King.

So the age of chivalry had not yet passed away in that age. I think this passage is even sadder than that when Gimli speaks to Legolas of his sorrow upon leaving Lothlorien at the beginning of their boat trip down the Anduin, found near the end of The Fellowship of the Ring.
But at least Gimli was allowed to pass into the West with Legolas and to (supposedly) see Galadriel again. Whereas Arwen chose mortality and died out of the world shortly after Aragorn/Elessar died.
Ah, but would Arwen not share in the gift that Illuvatar bestows upon the 2nd born, the race of mortal men, where Eomer could then see her again in the fulfilment of the 3rd music?
Yes, but then Arwen would more likely be interested in seeing Aragorn, her Elessar, rather than Eomer. My mind often slips a cog now and then too, and we knew what Tinúviel really meant. Happy Elf Smilie
And since Éomer soon had a wife himself after the War of the Ring, he wasn't allowed anymore to mention, let alone think, that there might be other women more beautiful than his own.
I am quite certain, that Eomer, having fallen deeply in love, no longer thought any but his beloved to now be the most beautiful ever. Smile Smilie
Yes, yes, I'm sure Arwen and Aragorn only had eyes for each other and likewise Eomer and his wife... all I was saying is that it wasn't the end of Arwen, just cos she chose immortality.
Here would come Clover's Love Triangles again, we never did mention Éomer? Smile Smilie There are really too many to say... All main characters did get someone in the end, whether a close friend or a love... I like to think that Arwen is still with Elessar, standing atop the hill where she died... The memory still lingering ever after... a respectful end.
I like to think at times she finally came to her senses after the death of King Elessar the Mad, revoked the Choice of Lúthien, journeyed to the Undying Lands and married Legolas.

At least that would've been less melodramatic.
And would leaver us in stiches instead of all those tears.
I wonder why none of the Valar chose to take up the job of representing Love. Elf Rolling Eyes Smilie
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I wonder why none of the Valar chose to take up the job of representing Love.

Nienna might, which would explain the never-ending cascade of tears from her eyes, as in Tolkien's works Love only leads to suffering, pain & death.

With each Vala holding responsibility over a very specific niche, together with Love being so central in Tolkien's works, one might conclude that at one time there must have been at least some Ainu responsible for it... and one might conclude that for such a critical element of Eä it would be logical for the mightiest Ainu to be appointed with it: hence one should conclude that originally Melkor held sway over the element of Love... yet at one time suddenly Melkor starts sharing in all gifts of his brethren, becoming some kind of jack-of-all-trades trickster figure.

One might wonder why Melkor so suddenly turned away from his niche? What could have happened? And more importantly, could this be the reason for his discontent, why he began scoring the Void for the Flame Imperishable? What drove him to this?

Careful and minute investigation of the ancient texts, in particular the Ainulindalë, brings up the answer: it is mentioned that he had once loved Varda and wished her to be his spouse, but she cruelly rejected him, instead choosing his brother over him.

This seems to be the straw that broke the camel's back, and made Melkor fall... Melkor, who should've been the Paragon of the Valar, Ilúvatar's chosen on Arda fell all because of the wiles of one Valië, sending Melkor quaking to the Void overcome by woe. No wonder he then started to search for the Flame Imperishable, trying to remain faithful and true to his appointed niche - he wished to create beings of his own to love or at least find beings to distribute love amongst them, but this proved to be impossible.

One can only imagine the terror & misery Melkor must've felt when he discovered that all the power that was given to him turned out to be for naught, as he could not use it for what he wanted it to use, and obviously he no longer wished to share it with his brethren, who he -through the cruel mockery of one Valië- had begun to see as enemies. Indeed, no longer wishing to be burdened with Love which he had begun to see as a convoluted, chaotic & cruel stirring of fate he turned away from it and instead tried to involve himself in the niches of his brethren, with catastrophical results - he was a great craftsman, but Aulë was better; he was a great warrior, but Tulkas was better; he was a great hunter, but Oromë was better, et cetera.

This "fall" from Ilúvatar's Chosen to a mere bystander drove him to madness, and made him the Enemy of the World; he cannot be excused of the responsibility for all his actions ever since he descended into Arda, yet one must always hold in mind what lay at the root: a rejection.

When one understands this, one comes upon an emotional & climactic moment in the Valaquenta when Nienna stands up for her brother when he was thrown in front of Manwë's throne in chains... indeed, why wouldn't she stand up for him? She took up the burden of Love after Melkor's fall, and ever since had been continuously feeling the strong, negative emotions associated with it - anger, hate, fear, sorrow, et cetera. Who else but her could understand Melkor's reasons? It only speaks for her kindness & wisdom that she in turn did not fall... at least not until the end of the Third Age.
Well, they do say never trust a woman.....Poor melkor
Beautifully said Virumor, I think you have stumbled upon the reason for Melkor's evil doing: it was not because Melkor was evil from the beginning, but because of a broken heart.

Obviously those who have said, 'There is nothing worse than a woman scorned,' never met Melkor.
Many many of us have suffered broken hearts, but that didn't mean we decided that from that moment on we had to turn to evil and destroy as many helpless and innocent people as we possibly could before we were taken down.
Poor Melkor my foot, or both feet. what an absolute jerk. And the waste of a once fine mind.
If he would have preferred to live a hermetic life or somesuch, how different would have been the tale. Smile Smilie
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If he would have preferred to live a hermetic life or some such, how different would have been the tale.

Yup, Eru Ilúvatar would have had to devise some other method of presenting all his children a challenge in life. They couldn't have just sat around for centuries on end simply having tea and crumpets and singing His name in praise. That is a fine afterlife activity, but certainly wouldn't have been exciting enough to sell more than about thirty-seven books. Elf Rolling Eyes Smilie

Moderator Smilie This discussion should be continued under Melkor or Morgoth. Meanwhile, back to Galadriel...
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Yup, Eru Ilúvatar would have had to devise some other method of presenting all his children a challenge in life. They couldn't have just sat around for centuries on end simply having tea and crumpets and singing His name in praise.

That's assuming Eru was responsible for Melkor's choice...

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Meanwhile, back to Galadriel...

Don't worry, I'll post a rant about her treacherous wiles soon.
I can scarce wait to hear about her treacherous wiles. I am going to make popcorn and take notes in my special pink sparkly book. Smile Smilie
Vir has always had what I like to think of as a Love-Hate relationship with Galadriel. I personally think that he finds strong women (physically and mentally) alarming.

And speaking of Galadriel as a student:
Galadriel also took the art of lembas-baking from Doriath to Lothlorien. It was said that Melian gave lembas bread to Beleg Cuthalion asan extraordinary sign of favour when he embarked upon his search for his dear friend and bane Turin. So, while Galadriel didn't exactly invent lembas, she did preserve the art, and may have even introduced it to the bakeries of Rivendell, the Grey Havens, and other Elven dwellings.
Lembas is good with raspberry jam too.
huh. I think blackberry or olallieberry jam would do better. It is a little-known fact that Olallieberry was Aragorn's favorite morning repast, especially on lembas-toast. And because this is a thread about Galadriel as a student, I'll just add that she learned to spread jam on her toast from Aragorn... and later took this knowledge back to the undying lands where it was ever practiced in remembrance of him by her, Legolas, Gimli, Bilbo, Frodo, Sam, and Gandalf, (who took it up in place of smoking, since upon returning to Maia form and becoming known as Orome again, found that smoking pipe-weed was severely out of fashion in that place, besides which Manwe outlawed it on account of Varda realizing that it caused lung cancer in the visiting hobbits, who were there to be healed, not kept coughing....)
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Galadriel also took the art of lembas-baking from Doriath to Lothlorien. (...) So, while Galadriel didn't exactly invent lembas, she did preserve the art, and may have even introduced it to the bakeries of Rivendell, the Grey Havens, and other Elven dwellings.


Can I ask what the source of this is? We know that Galadriel had lembas to give, of course, but I don't recall this matter being so specifically associated with her.

In Tolkien's essay Of Lembas anyway (in Peoples of Middle-Earth), it was said of the Yavannildi that the art of the making of Lembas '... was a secret among them, and so ever has remained.'
Considering who she was (a Noldo always eager for knowledge that would help her best her peers) and where she came from (Tirion, theatre of constant political intrigue between the descendants of the sons of Finwë), I'd say she cruelly wrested the knowledge from the mind of someone who possessed the knowledge.
Cruelly wrested Vir? Illuminate us if you please.
and going back to what Cloveress said about your love hate thingy with strong women, you aren't married to a strong beautiful woman are you, and you have found refuge in the bathroom with your laptop, writing these scathing remarks?
I hope your bathroom is large, roomy and comfy? Smile Smilie
Galadriel was not a strong woman. She locked herself away in her little forest realm for over 6,000 years, clinging to her pretty little ring & garden lord, only to come out again when the evil was already vanquished to destroy a dungeon already devoid of minions.

If there is one strong woman in Tolkien's works, it has to be either Haleth or Lúthien.
Great students (academics) are seldom strong people physically; their strength is in their brains, but again that all depends on the meaning of "strong" doesn't it. Wiggle Smilie
Tolkien described Galadriel...

'she was strong of body, mind, and will' (Shibboleth of Feanor)

"Strong of mind & will" = euphemism for "stubborn as a mule". She was, after all, a woman.
But could not those words refer dear Vir to many of the ? What about Sam ? I am starting to think you have a picture of the Golden Lady upon your wall.