• Of Galadriel

    Of Galadriel

    Galadriel was born the only daughter and youngest child of Finarfin, Prince of the Noldor and Earwen. Her brothers were Finrod Felagund, Angrod and Aegnor. She was the cousin of Luthien. Galadriel was born in Valinor during the Years of the Trees, in the First Age (before there were a sun and moon). She was a member of the royal house of Finwe and from her paternal grandmother, Indis possessed the blood of the Vanyar.

    There were at least three separate versions of Galadriel in the writings of Tolkien for the First Age. Each version's history was drastically different, especially involving the Kingslaying at Alqualonde and the Exiled of Valinor.

    In the first, Galadriel was a willing participant and leader in the rebellion of the Noldor and their flight from Valinor, being the only female to "stand tall", though she had already parted way with Feanor and his sons and did not participate in the Kingslayings at Alqualonde. She lived in Beleriand with her brother Finrod at Nargothrond and in Doraith under Thingol and Melian. It was in Doraith she first met Celeborn.

    After the War of Wrath, the Valar prohibited the leaders of the Exiles from returning to the Undying Lands. Galadriel, as one of these leaders, remained in Middle Earth in exile. Only after refusing the One Ring when offered by Frodo, was Galadriel allowed to return to Valinor. This history was presented in The Road Goes Ever On and used in The Simarillion.

    Another version, which is more detailed, tells of Galadriel living with her mother's kindred in Alqualonde, a Telerin port city, where she met Celeborn. The two elves sailed from the West and came to Beleriand separately from the two main hosts of Noldor (Feanor's host by ship, Fingoflin's by foot). Thus Galadriel was not directly involved with the revolt of the Noldor and actually fought against them during the Kingslaying. She fell under the Ban by leaving the Undying Lands without permission. In Beleriand Galadriel and Celeborn dwelt with Thingol in Doraith. She re-established contact with her brothers after the Noldor entered Beleriand.

    In one version, the Vala offer her a pardon and asked to return to Valinor, but she refuses out of pride and therefore remained under the Ban. In another version, she is not even subject to the Ban, but remained in Middle Earth by her own wish to. These are taken from the Unfinished tales.

    In all versions, she and Celeborn take no part in the Battles of Beleriand, as they judge the War of the Jewels to be hopeless against Morgoth's strength. They leave Beleriand before the War of Wrath.

    In the Second Age, Galadriel and Celeborn tavel to Lindon, where they rule a group of elves, under Gil-galad, the High King of the Noldor. After a time they move to the shores of Lake Nenuial (Evendim) and were known as the Lord and Lady of all the Elves of Eriador. Around S.A. 700 they moved east again, either establishing or joining the realm of Eregion. They made contact with a Nandorin settlement in Anduin which later becomes Lothlorien. At some point they leave Eregion and come to Lothlorien to rule. In some accounts this is temporary and Galadriel and Celeborn do return to Lothlorien in the Third Age after Dol Amroth is lost.

    Galadriel and Celeborn's daughter, Celebrian married Elrond Half-Elven, making them the grandparents of the twin sons Elladan and Elrohir and the daughter Arwen Undomiel, future queen of the United Kingdoms of Gondor and Arnor.
    Galadriel plants Mallorn seeds she received from Gil-galad who received them from Tar-Aldarion, the Numenorean King. Under Galadriel's power (possibly the Ring Nenya) the Mallorn great to great heights, but still they were less tall and less wide than the Mallorn groves of Numenor.

    Galadriel distrusted Annatar, the lore-master who taught the craft of Rings to Celebrimbor and the other Noldor of Eregion. Some accounts have Celebrimbor revolting against Galadriel, forcing her to flee to Lorien via the gates of Moria though Celeborn refused to enter Moria and thus remained in the east. Galadriel's distrust was proven correct when Annatar was revealed to be Sauron in disguise. When Sauron attacked Eregion, Celebrimbor gave Galadriel Nenya, the Ring of Water and/or the Ring of Adamant.

    Celeborn, who had joined with the host of Elrond fought, but were unable to completely relieve Eregion of Sauron's influences, fled to Imladris. Celeborn was reunited with Galadriel and they dwelt in Imladris for many years before removing to Bellfalas and dwelling in Dol Amroth.

    In the Third Age, Galadriel feared using Nenya until the One Ring was lost by Isildur. When the One Ring was lost, she started using Nenya to making Lorien a fair refuge for the Nandor. Galadriel was in constant vigilance against Sauron. Sauron desired to see into the mind of Galadriel and they often strived against each other in thought, though without the One Ring Sauron was always defeated in this regard.

    In the latter of the Third Age, Lothlorien was closed to outsiders and the Galadhrim maintained communications only with Imladris, not so much with the Silvan elves of Mirkwood. She became a member of the White Council, along with Sauruman The White, Elerond Half-Elven and Gandolf the Grey, in an effort to keep the forces of Sauron at bay.

    During the War of the Ring at the end of the Third Age, she offered refuge to the Fellowship of the Ring, rebuking Celeborn's temptation to regret his decision to allow Gimli the Dwarf passage through Lorien by granting him 3 locks of her hair, a request she denied Feanor thousands of years before. She tested each of the Fellowship and was then tested by Frodo Baggins when he offered to give her the One Ring. Her refusal of this gift led to her acceptance that her ring Nenya would fail and that her people would diminish and fade with the One Ring's destruction and that her only escape from the fading of the Elves and the Dominion of Man would be to return to Valinor. In this acceptance of the renunciation of power, her Ban from Valinor and exile to Middle Earth ended and the Vala granted her leave to return over the sea.

    The day the Fellowship left Lothlorien, Gandolf the White arrived carried by the great eagle Gwaihir. Galadriel healed what wounds remained and reclothed him in White, signaling his status of head of the Istari. Later, during the War of the Ring, Lorien was besieged three times by the armies of Dul Guldur. Lorien was able to resist the attacks, as the Power that dwelt in Lorien was too great for any to overcome, unless Sauron had come there himself, again referring to Nenya.

    After Sauron perished, Celeborn led the host of Lorien across the Anduin and captured Dol Guldur. Galadriel was said to have thrown down its walls and laid bare its pits, all the while recalling the deeds of Luthien Tinuviel who had done the same thing at Tol Sirion in the First Age.

    Galadriel left Middle Earth from the Grey Havens and passed over the Great Sea with Elrond, Gandolf the White, Bilbo and Frodo Baggins. There is no record to indicate if or when or how or from where Celeborn left Middle Earth. When she sailed West from the Grey Havens, Galadriel was well over 7000 years old. She was the only leader of the Noldorin exiles that ever returned to Valinor.
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