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Minas Tirith Forums » History of Middle-earth » Celeborn and Galadriel... (Page 1)
Author Topic: Celeborn and Galadriel...
Eledhsúle
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In the Unfinished Tales, is a story of Celeborn and Galadriel...

Now I just wanted to tell everyone who happens to read this that...
I think it's wrong, plain wrong that Tolkien didn't tell anything more personal about them...
Okay he did tell of their feelings but not towards each other!
I would have loved to read about how they met, did they fell in love like Beren and Luthien or like Amroth and (god, forgot her name, s*it)Nimrodel?... EDIT; just edited this so I wouldn't seem too stupid!
If you know that there is a book of his, that tells more pecificly about them, please let me know, and I'll hunt that book down!
As a romantic, I would really wanna know more about what they felt...

[ 04-26-2002, 03:13 AM: Message edited by: Eledhsúle ]

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Roll of Honor Gandalf the White
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It's Amroth and Nimrodel.

The story of Celeborn and Galadriel is not a love story. You can't be in the frame of mind that any character in Middle-Earth who gets married has a huge story behind their love like Beren and Luthien.

Celeborn and Galadriel did not have to go through endless perils to marry each other, and it would be kind of silly to write a story about them where nothing happened aside from that they fell in love... There wouldn't be much of a story to tell.

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Thorin
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If you read the Silmarillion (sorry, I can't remember exactly where!) it states that Galadriel wanted to stay in Doriath after the Noldor returned to ME because she was smitten with Celeborn. I get the impression Celeborn was not a Noldor but a Teleri of Thingol & Melian's people.
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Orofacion of the Vanyar
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You're right, Celeborn was most certainly not a Noldor. GtW pretty much said it, not all stories of two lovebirds is dramatic and romantisized.
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Roll of Honor Herendil
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From the Sil:

quote:
Galadriel his sister went not with him to Nargothrond, for in Doriath dwelt Celeborn, kinsman of Thingol, and there was great love between them.
There you have their feelings towards each other.

[ 07-27-2004, 04:39 PM: Message edited by: Herendil ]

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Eledhsúle
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I guess some of you are right, not every story is a love story...
Thanks for reply'ng though, just bare the fact that I'm a romanticperson... []

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Roll of Honor Adulithien
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Just wanted to point out one other thing. In one account, Celeborn and Galadriel are actually spoken of as being fairly closely related. Interesting story indeed. And some accounts do list Celeborn definitely as a Teleri.

The problem with these things are the timeframe in which they were written. A lot of the information in the Sil and UT was written in the last month or two of Tolkien's life, and his son goes into great detail in the Preface of UT to justify why he decided to publish it all posthumously.

Tolkien was incredibly critical of his own work, and to have such a detailed microcosm, he had to compare a LOT of notes to keep things straight. He hadn't quite worked out all the kinks of certain things, like Celeborn and Galadriel's story, when he died, and these things were published in unrevised form. Which is why some places (the Sil, UT) call Celeborn a Telerin prince, the grandson of Olwë, and other places call him a Sindarin elf from Beleriand (Appendix B, LoTR).

You can only expect so much!

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Galadhir
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Actually Celeborn and Galadriel's romance must be a very interesting story, if you think about it. (If you go on the backstory that he was Sindar and she Noldor). What about the culture clash? What about the racism - the fact that as a Calaquendi she thought she was a higher, more perfect form of elf than he was? And the fact that her relatives also thought so. What did they think about their princess marrying this Dark Elf? And what did he think about them and their persistent looking down their noses at him?

And that's all before we get to the crisis, where he finds out her family have murdered many of his family in Aman.

It's a fascinating opportunity for a tale, IMO. In fact, Eledhsule, it's a story I've started writing myself. If you're interested, check it out here:

Oak and Willow

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Thingol of Doriath
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quote:
What about the culture clash? What about the racism - the fact that as a Calaquendi she thought she was a higher, more perfect form of elf than he was? And the fact that her relatives also thought so. What did they think about their princess marrying this Dark Elf? And what did he think about them and their persistent looking down their noses at him?

While this is true... and Galadriel is obviously a more powerful Elf than her husband, she does show him much respect calling him "Celeborn the Wise" in front of the Fellowship as well as saying:

quote:
Yet not in vain will it prove, maybe, that you came to this land seeking aid, as Gandalf himself plainly purposed. For the Lord of the Galadrim is accounted the wisest of the Elves of Middle-earth, and a giver of gifts beyond the power of kings.
This has always bothered me... it's a bald-faced lie. We know that at least Círdan and Galadriel, possibly Elrond and Glorfindel, were considered wiser than Celeborn. We also know that the Fellowship were there mainly for the guidance of Galadriel's... Celeborn didn't do much for them.

I always got the feeling, while reading this chapter, that Galadriel does this to sooth his male ego. He didn't like being considered weaker than his wife. Of course this is just my feelings...

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Michael Martinez
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quote:
quote:
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Yet not in vain will it prove, maybe, that you came to this land seeking aid, as Gandalf himself plainly purposed. For the Lord of the Galadrim is accounted the wisest of the Elves of Middle-earth, and a giver of gifts beyond the power of kings.
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

This has always bothered me... it's a bald-faced lie. We know that at least Círdan and Galadriel, possibly Elrond and Glorfindel, were considered wiser than Celeborn. We also know that the Fellowship were there mainly for the guidance of Galadriel's... Celeborn didn't do much for them.

I don't see how it can be a bald-faced lie. Nor do we know that anyone was considered wiser than Celeborn (by other characters in the stories). Certainly Tolkien never said anything like that.

And had it not been for Celeborn, the Fellowship would have been lost.

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Roll of Honor Sauron's Secret Agent
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quote:
Nor do we know that anyone was considered wiser than Celeborn
But he didn't obviously do much, did he? It's all very well being wise, but surely wisdom is only valid if it produces results?
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Thingol of Doriath
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Michael-

quote:
Nor do we know that anyone was considered wiser than Celeborn (by other characters in the stories). Certainly Tolkien never said anything like that.

I do believe that Tolkien did say this on several occaisions. Off the top of my head I know that Tolkien describes Círdan as seeing farther and deeper than anyone in Middle-earth, Galadriel is described as the greatest of the Noldor, wiser than even Fëanor. In all discussions concerning the Wise... Elrond, Galadriel and Círdan are often mentioned(along with the Iastari). Gandalf is often described as taking counsel with Galadriel and Elrond... yet Celeborn's name is not often mentioned.

I do realize that just because he is not mentioned does not mean that he is not the wisest... though it points to it I believe. I'm not saying that Celeborn was dumb in any way, he certainly was wise... though I see no evidence of him being the wisest Elf in Middle-earth.

It is very late... so I apologize for not providing exact quotes. I'll do so in the morning. []

quote:
And had it not been for Celeborn, the Fellowship would have been lost.

How do you figure this? It was Galadriel that probed their minds, showed Frodo and Sam the Mirror and gave the most important gifts... as well as sending messages to Aragorn, Legolas and Gimli.

[ 07-27-2004, 08:11 PM: Message edited by: Singollo of Doriath ]

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Galadhir
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quote:
quote:
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Yet not in vain will it prove, maybe, that you came to this land seeking aid, as Gandalf himself plainly purposed. For the Lord of the Galadrim is accounted the wisest of the Elves of Middle-earth, and a giver of gifts beyond the power of kings.
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

This has always bothered me... it's a bald-faced lie. We know that at least Círdan and Galadriel, possibly Elrond and Glorfindel, were considered wiser than Celeborn. We also know that the Fellowship were there mainly for the guidance of Galadriel's... Celeborn didn't do much for them.

Why do you assume that she's lying? Aren't we encouraged to see Galadriel as a fount of wisdom and truth - so why, when it comes to Celeborn, do we suddenly not believe her?

As a matter of fact all this quote says is that he is wiser than Cirdan, as Galadriel is not of Middle-earth, and Elrond is not an elf. Cirdan has abilities such as foresight and prophesy, which Celeborn doesn't show, but those are not the same thing as wisdom.

quote:
But he didn't obviously do much, did he? It's all very well being wise, but surely wisdom is only valid if it produces results?
Well, he let the Fellowship into Lorien, he reprovisioned them - gave them cloaks and boats and food and rope etc, and then he led the army of Lorien in repelling 3 attacks from Dol Guldur, (thus protecting Rohan's Northern flank) drove them back and took the Enemy's citadel. A damn sight more than Elrond did.

Also, wisdom is not only valid if it produces results - very often it's the wise people who aren't listened to, while the stupid move the wheels of the world. Unlike Galadriel's rather showy mystic abilities, wisdom isn't always apparent on a first meeting, particularly if it's coupled (as it is in Celeborn's case) with a Silmarillion-like temper and disregard of public relations.

And where in the text does Celeborn show any evidence of having a tender male ego that needs to be protected? He married Galadriel and has lived with her for 7000 odd years - chances are he's quite used by now to being thought of as 'Galadriel's husband'. The sheer humility and rock-solid self confidence he must have in order to cope with that is impressive enough, without graciously accepting and acting on a correction from her in public.

He doesn't seem to me to care either way what the Fellowship think of him - which in itself is wise, as Galadriel's chasing after fame was one of the things that got her Exiled in the first place. So maybe Galadriel said that he was the wisest of Elves of Middle-earth just because *she* cared what they thought and wanted them to know about it? She's the one whose secret ambition is that 'all shall love me and despair', after all - she's the one with the ego problem, not him.

[ 07-28-2004, 05:32 AM: Message edited by: Galadhir ]

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Thingol of Doriath
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Ok... back with quotes. [] Sort of...

The trouble I face in proving this is Tolkien's usage of adjectives. Greatest, wisest, most powerful, etc; It's true that Tolkien never comes right out and says that a certain character is wiser than Celeborn... however, by means of deduction and a little detective work I think that it becomes apparent. []

quote:
(Círdan) is said... to have seen further and deeper into the future than anyone else in Middle-earth. This does include the Istari(who came from Valinor), but must include even Elrond, Galadriel, and Celeborn.

-"Last Writings" PoMe

quote:
...he received in his heart a message, which he knew to come from the Valar... from that night onwards Círdan received a foresight touching all matters of importance, beyond the measure of all other Elves upon Middle-earth.

-"Last Writings" PoMe

Does foresight equal wisdom? Yes. Does it make him the wisest? Debateable... but I believe it to be so.

quote:
...and in that time was first made the Council of the Wise that is called the White Council, and therein were Elrond and Galadriel and Círdan, and other lords of the Eldar, and with them were Mithrandir and Curunír.

-"Of the Rings of Power" The Silmarillion

I know... Celeborn was surely present at White Council meetings, especially when they were held in Lórien, and he was included in the "other lords of the Eldar". But I think it is remarkable that is isn't often mentioned when the White Council is discussed.

quote:
Throughout the Third Age the guardianship of the Three Rings was known only to those who posessed them. But at the end it became known that they had been held first by the three greatest of the Eldar: Gil-Galad, Galadriel and Círdan.

-"Appendix B" LotR

Does greatest equal wisest? When it comes to Elves I believe that it is a deciding factor. But I understand that it is up for debate.

However, I believe, that it is undoubtable that Galadriel was wiser than Celeborn. She was a pupil of Aulë, Yavanna and Melian for many ages... she was born and lived in Valinor. She was certainly more powerful... it was she who threw down the walls of Dol Guldur, she who wielded a ring of power.

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

-"History of Galadriel and Celeborn" Unfinished Tales

If Celeborn was wiser than Galadriel, than, by deduction, he would be wiser than Fëanor... which is impossible in my opinion.

quote:
...being brilliant in mind and swift in action she had early absorbed all that she was capable of the teaching which the Valar thought fit to give the Eldar.

-"History of Galadriel and Celeborn"

quote:
Galadriel was more far-sighted in this than Celeborn.

-"History of Galadriel and Celeborn"

Besides all of this... Galadriel's posession of Nenya gave her power and information leading to wisdom.

quote:
I perceive the Dark Lord and know his mind, or all of his mind that concerns the Elves.

-Galadriel "The Mirror of Galadriel" The Fellowship of the Ring"

Now... I know that all of this is "circumstantial" evidence and nowhere does it say that these Eldar are wiser than Celeborn. But I believe that it does point to Celeborn not being the wisest Elf in Middle-earth. Therefore... Galadriel was stretching the truth(or lying) when she said this to the Fellowship.

*whew* []

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Thingol of Doriath
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quote:
And where in the text does Celeborn show any evidence of having a tender male ego that needs to be protected?
That was a joke on my part. []

I'm not bashing Celeborn. [] I like him... I just found it odd that Galadriel defers to her husband when greeting the Fellowship. They are there for her help, her guidance. She knew that Gandlf was a member of the Fellowship... Celeborn didn't. Which one can deduce to mean that Celeborn was out of the loop. []

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Galadhir
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quote:
'Here there are eight,' he said. 'Nine were to set out, so said the messages.'
Celeborn is not out of the loop - he's read or heard Elrond's messages, he knows there's someone missing. Galadriel knows that Gandalf set out with them (I've always assumed by some kind of ringbearer thing) but equally doesn't know where he is now or what's happened.

Equally, he's not described as the wisest of elves *in* Middle-earth, but wisest of elves *of* Middle-earth, so essentially we're arguing about whether he's wiser than Cirdan or not. You say foresight = wisdom, I say it doesn't, because you can see the future but still not act wisely on that knowledge.

I certainly would not argue that Cirdan was not wise as well, (Cirdan's cool, in my book) but I would argue that since Galadriel has come out and said that Celeborn was the wisest elf of Middle-earth her statement should be taken as some evidence that he might indeed be just that.

As for Feanor, my goodness, Celeborn is clearly a damn sight wiser than Feanor, but then a small mollusc is wiser than Feanor, so that's not saying much. Feanor is powerful, brilliant, charismatic, a dangerous genius, but you can hardly call him wise. The fact that Feanor hugely overestimated his own strength, rode into a bunch of Balrogs and died, while Celeborn outlived both Morgoth and Sauron (despite being personally known to Annatar) is some proof of that.

But we may be arguing over the definition of wisdom. Wisdom is not power, or prescience, or foresight, or anything mystic like that. According to my dictionary (The Oxford Reference dictionary) wisdom is

quote:
2. experience and knowledge, together with the power of applying them critically or practically. 3.Sagacity, prudence; common sense.
Look at what Celeborn does - he finds out what happened, he decides to help the Fellowship, he sends them off to rest and recover. Then he finds out who's going on, asks them if they know where they're going to, figures out a way to keep their options open while still getting them quickly and easily along the right way, and gives them travel directions.

If that's not the essence of good practical common sense I don't know what is []

As for why she defers to him - he's the Lord of Lorien, he makes the decisions for Lothlorien:

quote:
had I known... I would have forbidden you to pass the northern borders, you and all that went with you.
If she disagrees with him she persuades him to change his mind (or not, in the case of Eregion) - she can't overrule him, just as Melian can't overrule Thingol.
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Halion
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At least I think we know who is the wisest of all the children of the world.

[]

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Michael Martinez
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quote:
Sauron's Secret Agent wrote:

quote:
Michael wrote:
Nor do we know that anyone was considered wiser than Celeborn

But he didn't obviously do much, did he? It's all very well being wise, but surely wisdom is only valid if it produces results?
What is a wise person supposed to do?

Celeborn was the leader of the Elves of Lothlorien. It seems to me he had had plenty to do which just didn't have anything to do with the main story.

Singollo:

quote:
From "The Mirror of Galadriel":
'Your quest is known to us,' said Galadriel, looking at Frodo. `But we will not here speak of it more openly. Yet not in vain will it prove, maybe, that you came to this land seeking aid, as Gandalf himself plainly purposed. For the Lord of the Galadhrim is accounted the wisest of the Elves of Middle-earth, and a giver of gifts beyond the power of kings. 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.

Who sees farther and deeper doesn't equate with who is deemed wisest.

Who has the greatest gift of foresight doesn't equate with who is deemed wisest.

Who was considered the greatest among the Eldar doesn't equate with is deemed wisest.

Wisdom is not greatness, nor foresight, nor perception. It is wisdom, and represents something which may contribute toward greatness, foresight, and perception, but is distinct from them.

quote:
Singollo wrote:
quote:
Michael wrote:
And had it not been for Celeborn, the Fellowship would have been lost.

How do you figure this? It was Galadriel that probed their minds, showed Frodo and Sam the Mirror and gave the most important gifts... as well as sending messages to Aragorn, Legolas and Gimli.
Celeborn gave the most important gift: the boats.

All the gold belts and hair in Lorien were worthless compared to the boats.

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Thingol of Doriath
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Maerbenn-

Uhm... Finwë wasn't alive(or at least living in M-e) during LotR. []

Michael-

quote:
Celeborn gave the most important gift: the boats.
And this makes him wise? [] I think my five year old cousin could figure that they needed boats... [] "most important"? Would you really consider the boats more important than the Phial, cloaks and rope? Ok, it's only my opinion... but I would rank the boats slightly above the hair and belts only.

quote:
Who sees farther and deeper doesn't equate with who is deemed wisest.

Who has the greatest gift of foresight doesn't equate with who is deemed wisest.

Who was considered the greatest among the Eldar doesn't equate with is deemed wisest.

In all fairness... that is your opinion. My opinion is otherwise.

quote:
All the gold belts and hair in Lorien were worthless compared to the boats.

I think you are forgetting a few gifts [] ... I'm sure Merry and Pippin would agree that their clasps(leaves) proved more useful for their well-being than the boats. Frodo and Sam wouldn't have finished the quest without the Phial of Galadriel and the cloaks(woven by Galadriel)... they would have glady, in hindsight, walked to Rauros and kept those gifts.

Galadhir-

quote:
Look at what Celeborn does - he finds out what happened, he decides to help the Fellowship, he sends them off to rest and recover. Then he finds out who's going on, asks them if they know where they're going to, figures out a way to keep their options open while still getting them quickly and easily along the right way, and gives them travel directions.

If that's not the essence of good practical common sense I don't know what is

I'm sorry... I don't equate common sense with wisdom. [] What you describe him doing is just the obvious thing to do in that situation. Certainly doesn't do anything extraordinary there...

quote:
As for Feanor, my goodness, Celeborn is clearly a damn sight wiser than Feanor,
Fëanor was wise... he just lacked any common sense. See the difference? [] You know I dislike Fëanor... so let's not argue about that.

As for the "of" vs "in Middle-earth" theory of yours... ok, I can buy that. That excludes Galadriel and Glorfindel. Elrond was Half-Elven, as you said... and Círdan got a large part of his wisdom through divine intervention(not of Middle-earth). In that case I agree... Celeborn is wiser than Thranduil and the other Elves left in Middle-earth.

It seems we have a difference of opinion... who is the wisest, what makes a person wise, what actions are deemed wise, etc; I would rank Celeborn as one of the top 5 Elves based on wisdom left in Middle-earth(in my opinion), I just don't see him wiser than Galadriel, Círdan and Elrond... sorry. Let's not let this get into a 20 page "Fëanor sucks! Fëanor rocks!" thread... let's just agree to disagree. []

[ 07-28-2004, 06:46 PM: Message edited by: Singollo of Doriath ]

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Roll of Honor Gna
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Galadhir wrote:

quote:
Cirdan has abilities such as foresight and prophesy, which Celeborn doesn't show, but those are not the same thing as wisdom.
I agree with this distinction between wisdom and foresight, particularly in the context of Tolkien, who often used somewhat archaic terminology, phrasing, and definitions (just observing, not finding fault). Even modern dictionaries define wisdom as "accumulated knowledge", or "ability to discern inner qualities and relationships". The first, "accumulated knowledge", definition would certainly apply to a loremaster such as Elrond or to one of the Istari, and perhaps even to Círdan as mariner and shipwright. The second definition is much more difficult to assess, especially for a character that we know so little about (Celeborn). But if Celeborn was indeed among the wisest in this sense, it might explain his apparent aloofness, detachment, reticence, caution, etc. His wisdom would arise from patient observation and knowledge of character and personality.

Galadriel's "showy mystic abilities" is an interesting point too-although I agree with Singollo about the important uses and qualities of her gifts to the Fellowship, in a way they also reveal a bit of her Noldor vanity. Also, how much does she discern about Sam and Frodo, for example, from their experiences with the Mirror, and how much does she discern from direct interaction or observation?

Although I know that Fëanor has been discussed ad nauseum, and I agree that Fëanor possessed great intelligence, I do not think he was wise. He was quick (able to grasp new concepts rapidly and make associations between diverse ideas), he was innovative (creative, inventive), and he was able to manipulate effectively the hearts and minds of others, but he was not wise.

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Thingol of Doriath
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I agree Gna... "wisdom" is too vague of a concept. Though, I feel, in any concept, Galadriel is wiser than her husband.

quote:
in a way they also reveal a bit of her Noldor vanity
This brings me back to my original question/confusion. Galadriel was incredibly vain... which makes it even more odd that she defers to her husband. She was in Middle-earth to rule... she was powerful, wise... one of the greatest of the Eldar. Why not take credit when credit is due?

"Greetings Fellowship. I know that you need my help and are here for just that purpose... I am just that fabulous. Celeborn... get the guests some tea."

That would have been more in character for her. [] [] Joking(sort of), by the way...

As I said in my first post... I found her comments and deference to Celeborn odd, and out of character.

[ 07-28-2004, 07:23 PM: Message edited by: Singollo of Doriath ]

From: Sverige! | Registered: Oct 2002  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Orofacion of the Vanyar
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I think it's fairly indisputable that Galadriel was the greater elf then Celeborn overall. However as to her deference to her husband, perhaps that is simply the elvish way. We really do not have much insight into elven marriage, the only other fairly detailed elven relationship we have is Melian and Thingol, though the former isn't even an elf. However she did assume the character and position of a female elf, so I'd like to think she accepted their ways. Melian, though the greater being, did act in a more subservient manner. It could very well be that despite greatness, the wife presented the husband before herself. This is an ancient custom that came be dated back to the ancient Egyptians, so it's not uncommon.
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Thingol of Doriath
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Finally... an answer I can accept.
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Orofacion of the Vanyar
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Because it strokes your Sindarin ego? []
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Roll of Honor Gna
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I think I'll re-read the Mirror of Galadriel chapter again when I have time. I'm wondering if Galadriel's approach to discerning the characters and intentions of Sam and Frodo is somewhat like a psychologist or psychiatrist who uses the latest trendy questionnaires, testing methods, and functional MRIs to understand her patients. In this (admittedly weird) analogy, Celeborn would be more like the traditional psychotherapist, who uses a few probing questions to induce the patient to open up and reveal inner thoughts and memories.
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