Ruling Queens
#1
Did Men invent this institution?
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#2
Perhaps, but they didn't invent the concept. Galadriel's reason for joining the rebellion was to rule a realm at her will. She does't seem to have followed through, but the thought was certainly there.

Men seem to have evolved the idea independantly, as Haleth was the first explicitly named female leader, and her leadership predated meeting the Eldar.
Always after a defeat and a respite, the Shadow takes another shape and grows again.

I don't have any humble opinions.
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#3
I think Galadriel's giving up her ambition for a realm of her own was part of hjer "growing wisdom." But, after all, though she was not called a Queen, or Celeborn a King, they definitely called the shots in Lothlorien.
"What song the Sirens sang, or what name Achilles assumed when he hid himself among women, though puzzling questions are not beyond conjecture." - Sir Thomas Browne, Religio Medici
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#4
In the Mirkwood Realm, Thranduil was undisputedly king. But in Lotlorien not so. I wonder if Galadriel would have been the only choice for a supreme ruler, and the Elves were not ready to accept it. Is that why a regular monarchy was never instituted in Lothlorien?
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#5
It also seems like none of the High Kings of the Noldor had wives. What if they had, wouldn't that make her High Queen?

Is it just me, or does it seem as if Tolkien went to great lengths to keep Elven women from positions of power? I mean, although he made Galadriel powerful, in the end, she was never a queen.
'Say on!' said Andreth. 'Say: who art now but a wise-woman, alone, and age that shall not touch him has already set winter's grey in thy hair! But say not thou to me, for so he once did!'
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#6
Didn't it say in UT that after Amroth was lost, Celeborn and Galadriel visited and found Loriand in disarray, and agreed to take over to set things to rights, but since nobody knew what had happened to Amroth, decided not to be King and Queen? I'll look it up. Anyway, she was more powerful than a mere Queen, she was a Ring-Bearer.
"What song the Sirens sang, or what name Achilles assumed when he hid himself among women, though puzzling questions are not beyond conjecture." - Sir Thomas Browne, Religio Medici
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#7
Many that live deserve death. And some die that deserve life. Can you give it to them? Then be not too eager to deal out death in the name of justice, fearing for your own safety. Even the wise cannot see all ends.
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#8
Quote:Originally posted by Sister Golden Hair
It also seems like none of the High Kings of the Noldor had wives. What if they had, wouldn't that make her High Queen?

Is it just me, or does it seem as if Tolkien went to great lengths to keep Elven women from positions of power? I mean, although he made Galadriel powerful, in the end, she was never a queen.

I'm not sure I understand your wives comment. Do you mean 'while High King?' Finwe had two, while Feanor, Fingolfin, and Turgon were all married as well, although the latter three were either widowed or estranged while they reigned. Finarfin also was married. Not sure on Fingon or Gil-galad.
Always after a defeat and a respite, the Shadow takes another shape and grows again.

I don't have any humble opinions.
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#9
Quote:Originally posted by Sister Golden Hair
Is it just me, or does it seem as if Tolkien went to great lengths to keep Elven women from positions of power? I mean, although he made Galadriel powerful, in the end, she was never a queen.

I doubt Tolkien went to great lengths consciously. I think it was more of a reflection of what was widely considered the societal norm of his time, specifically the late Victorian and Edwardian periods.

I think Galadriel reflects many aspects of those norms. She is powerful, but exercises her power within Lothlorien. Even then she does not have absolute power, it is shared with her husband. She exercises little if any of her power outside of Lothlorien. When forces from Lothlorien attack Dol Guldor, Celeborn leads them, not she. These mirror a society in which men and women were viewed have having different spheres in which they functioned, men dealing primarily with the outside world (Dol Guldor), while women dealt with primarily hearth and home (Lothlorien).

To me, Eowyn reflects another aspect of the same society. She is not content with hearth and home, she wants more and desires to enter the sphere of men. However, when she does this, she does it in the guise of a man, Dernhelm, and not as a woman. To me, this is similar to female writers who entered the world of male authors by writing under a male pen name and other women who entered males areas, such as the military, by posing as men.

My thoughts, for what their worth, Sister.
"Is it not a strange fate that we should suffer so much fear and doubt for small a thing? So small a thing?"
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#10
Thank you Aelmer.Smile

Quote:Originally posted by Bacchus

I'm not sure I understand your wives comment. Do you mean 'while High King?' Finwe had two, while Feanor, Fingolfin, and Turgon were all married as well, although the latter three were either widowed or estranged while they reigned. Finarfin also was married. Not sure on Fingon or Gil-galad.
What I meant Bacchus, was none of the High Kings in Middle-earth appear to have had wives. Either they remained in Valinor, or died as Turgon's wife did. My remarks weren't meant to include Finwe, Feanor or Finarfin.
'Say on!' said Andreth. 'Say: who art now but a wise-woman, alone, and age that shall not touch him has already set winter's grey in thy hair! But say not thou to me, for so he once did!'
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#11
"What song the Sirens sang, or what name Achilles assumed when he hid himself among women, though puzzling questions are not beyond conjecture." - Sir Thomas Browne, Religio Medici
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#12
Unfinished Tales also says:

Quote:Galadriel was the greatest of the Noldor, except Feanor maybe, though she was wiser than he, and her wisdom increased with the long years.
'Say on!' said Andreth. 'Say: who art now but a wise-woman, alone, and age that shall not touch him has already set winter's grey in thy hair! But say not thou to me, for so he once did!'
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#13
Quote:Originally Posted By Sister Golden Hair:Unfinished Tales also says:




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Galadriel was the greatest of the Noldor, except Feanor maybe, though she was wiser than he, and her wisdom increased with the long years.


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Yes!!! That is one of my favorites!!! :bg:
"What song the Sirens sang, or what name Achilles assumed when he hid himself among women, though puzzling questions are not beyond conjecture." - Sir Thomas Browne, Religio Medici
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#14
Quote:Originally posted by Aelmer

I think Galadriel reflects many aspects of those norms. She is powerful, but exercises her power within Lothlorien. Even then she does not have absolute power, it is shared with her husband. She exercises little if any of her power outside of Lothlorien. When forces from Lothlorien attack Dol Guldor, Celeborn leads them, not she. These mirror a society in which men and women were viewed have having different spheres in which they functioned, men dealing primarily with the outside world (Dol Guldor), while women dealt with primarily hearth and home (Lothlorien).

To me, Eowyn reflects another aspect of the same society. She is not content with hearth and home, she wants more and desires to enter the sphere of men. However, when she does this, she does it in the guise of a man, Dernhelm, and not as a woman. To me, this is similar to female writers who entered the world of male authors by writing under a male pen name and other women who entered males areas, such as the military, by posing as men.

I do think Tolkien largely reflected his times, in the sense that women played a relatively limited role in the narrative. On the other hand, I tend to think he was somewhat broad-minded about women for a couple of reasons. First, of course, is Eowyn's role. Yes, she disguised herself as a man, but that's precisely what she would have done in a semi-medieval society. The very fact that Tolkien came up with such a story line points to a certain respect for women's abilities, even in such a traditionally male pursuit as battle.

Secondly, there is the fact that the Numenorians wind up having the royal succession through the oldest child, not simply the male line. I find it interesting that Elendil's line, the line that remains "faithful", is the line that would have had the throne in Numenor had the rule about the eldest child been in effect at the time of Silmarien. For that matter, the "higher" (i.e. elven) lineage of Elrond and Elros really comes through Idril and Luthien, and the highest of all (Maia) comes through Melian.

The role that Haleth plays also points to a certain respect for female abilities.

One question I do find intriguing about Eowyn, by the way, is the question of personal responsibility. In general Tolkien is pretty big on the question of duty. Even when Beregond saves Faramir, he still has to suffer through one heart-rending moment when Aragorn tells him he has to leave the Guard and the City. Surely Aragorn must have known how hard that would hit him, and phrased it that way as a punishment (albeit momentary, since he rewarded him in his next breath) for leaving his post. Similarly, Aragorn points out to Eowyn that few people can live their life as they choose, and that a man in her position would be derelict if he left his post with the people at Dunharrow. Yet Eowyn gets off scott-free, saving the day and getting Faramir as well.
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#15
But, that is a well-established tradition, too, forgiveness for daring greatly and successfully. Eowyn did not get off "Scot-free," she was nearly killed by the Witch-King, rendering the common cause far more good than she could ever have done by waiting forlorn in Dunharrow. Beregond's sin was far greater than desertion, which older civilizations were quite lenient about, anyway. He actually, in addition to leaving his post, defied his liege-Lord, and attacked his comrades, however misguided.
"What song the Sirens sang, or what name Achilles assumed when he hid himself among women, though puzzling questions are not beyond conjecture." - Sir Thomas Browne, Religio Medici
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#16
For what it is worth, both Galadriel and Eowyn were rebels. But for very very different reasons. Eowyn explicitly stated that she was trying to escape the inevitable fate of a woman in her society. Galadriel revolted against the gods themselves; it was hardly an emancipatory act.
Many that live deserve death. And some die that deserve life. Can you give it to them? Then be not too eager to deal out death in the name of justice, fearing for your own safety. Even the wise cannot see all ends.
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#17
Quote:Originally posted by Kirinki54
For what it is worth, both Galadriel and Eowyn were rebels. But for very very different reasons. Eowyn explicitly stated that she was trying to escape the inevitable fate of a woman in her society. Galadriel revolted against the gods themselves; it was hardly an emancipatory act.
Yep, Galadriel left Valinor to find a realm for herself, untutored by the Valar. Eowyn, though, seems to refer to a status in her society which has become defunct or disused, a "shieldmaiden," which has always reminded me of the Valkyries.
"What song the Sirens sang, or what name Achilles assumed when he hid himself among women, though puzzling questions are not beyond conjecture." - Sir Thomas Browne, Religio Medici
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