Dreamflower: A Galadriel Fan Site

home   biographical   quotes   art   fan fiction   film   site   links

Galadriel Quotes From Unfinished Tales
<< back


[The mallorn's] bark was silver and smooth, and its boughs somewhat upswept after the manner of the beech; but it never grew save with a single trunk. Its leaves, like those of the beech but greater, were pale green above and beneath were silver glistering in the sun; in the autumn they did not fall, but turned to pale gold. In the spring it bore golden blossom in clusters like a cherry, which bloomed on during the summer; and as soon as the flowers opened the leaves fell, so that through spring and summer a grove of malinornë was carpeted and roofed with gold, but its pillars were of grey silver. Its fruit was a nut with a silver shale; and some were given as gift by Tar-Aldarion, the sixth King of Númenor, to King Gil-galad of Lindon. They did not take root in that land; but Gil-galad gave some to his kinswoman Galadriel, and under her power they grew and flourished in the guarded land of Lothlórien beside the River Anduin, until the High Elves at last left Middle-earth; but they did not reach the height or girth of the great groves of Númenor.
-"Description of the Island of Númenor"

Galadriel was the greatest of the Noldor, except Fëanor maybe, though she was wiser than he, and her wisdom increased with the long years.
Her mother-name was Nerwen ("man-maiden"), and she grew to be tall beyond the measure even of the women of the Noldor; she was strong of body, mind, and will, a match for both the loremasters and the athletes of the Eldar in the days of their youth. Even among the Eldar she was accounted beautiful, and her hair was held a marvel unmatched. It was golden like the hair of her father and of her foremother Indis, but richer and more radiant, for its gold was touched by some memory of the starlike silver of her mother; and the Eldar said that the light of the Two Trees, Laurelin and Telperion, had been snared in her tresses. Many thought that this saying first gave to Fëanor the thought of imprisoning and blending the light of the Trees that later took shape in his hands as the Silmarils. For Fëanor beheld the hair of Galadriel with wonder and delight. He begged three times for a tress, but Galadriel would not give him even one hair. These two kinsfolk, the greatest of the Eldar of Valinor, were unfriends for ever.
Galadriel was born in the bliss of Valinor, but it was not long, in the reckoning of the Blessed Realm, before that was dimmed; and thereafter she had no peace within. For in that testing time amid the strife of the Noldor she was drawn this way and that. She was proud, strong, and selfwilled, as were all the descendants of Finwë save Finarfin; and like her brother Finrod, of all her kin the nearest to her heart, she had dreams of far lands and dominions that might be her own to order as she would without tutelage. Yet deeper still there dwelt in her the noble and generous spirit of the Vanyar, and a reverence for the Valar that she could not forget. From her earliest years she had a marvellous gift of insight into the minds of others, but judged them with mercy and understanding, and she withheld her goodwill from none save only Fëanor. In him she perceived a darkness that she hated and feared, though she did not perceive that the shadow of the same evil had fallen upon the minds of all the Noldor, and upon her own.
-"The History of Galadriel and Celeborn"
(from "The Shibboleth of Fëanor," also published in HoME 12)

Even after the merciless assault upon the Teleri and the rape of their ships, though she fought fiercely against Fëanor in defence of her mother's kin, she did not turn back. Her pride was unwilling to return, a defeated suppliant for pardon; but now she burned with desire to follow Fëanor with her anger to whatever lands he might come, and to thwart him in all ways that she could. Pride still moved her when, at the end of the Elder Days after the final overthrow of Morgoth, she refused the pardon of the Valar for all who had fought against him, and remained in Middle-earth. It was not until two long ages more had passed, when at last all that she had desired in her youth came to her hand, the Ring of Power and the dominion of Middle-earth which she had dreamed, that her wisdom was full grown and she rejected it, and passing the last test departed from Middle-earth for ever.
-"The History of Galadriel and Celeborn" ("The Shibboleth of Fëanor")

Celeborn and Galadriel therefore went eastwards, about the year 700 of the Second Age, and established the (primarily but by no means solely) Noldorin realm of Eregion. It may be that Galadriel chose it because she knew of the Dwarves of Khazad-dûm (Moria)[....]Celeborn had no liking for Dwarves of any race (as he showed to Gimli in Lothlórien), and never forgave them for their part in the destruction of Doriath; but it was only the host of Nogrod that took part in that assault, and it was destroyed in the battle of Sam Athrad {The Silmarillion pp. 233-5]. The Dwarves of Belegost were filled with dismay at the calamity and fear for its outcome, and this hastened their departure eastwards to Khazad-dûm. Thus the Dwarves of Moria may be presumed to have been innocent of the ruin of Doriath and not hostile to the Elves. In any case, Galadriel was more far-sighted in this than Celeborn; and she perceived from the beginning that Middle-earth could not be saved from "the residue of evil" that Morgoth had left behind him save by a union of all the peoples who were in their way and in their measure opposed to him. She looked upon the Dwarves also with the eye of a commander, seeing in them the finest warriors to pit against the Orcs. Moreover Galadriel was a Noldo, and she had a natural sympathy with their minds and their passionate love of crafts of hand, a sympathy much greater than that found among many of the Eldar: the Dwarves were "the Children of Aulë," and Galadriel, like others of the Noldor, had been a pupil of Aulë and Yavanna in Valinor.
-"The History of Galadriel and Celeborn" ("Concerning Galadriel and Celeborn")

In Eregion Sauron posed as an emissary of the Valar, sent by them to Middle-earth ("thus anticipating the Istari") or ordered by them to remain there to give aid to the Elves. He perceived at once that Galadriel would be his chief adversary and obstacle, and he endeavoured therefore to placate her, bearing her scorn with outward patience and courtesy. [...] Sauron used all his arts upon Celebrimbor and his fellow-smiths, who had formed a society or brotherhood, very powerful in Eregion, the Gwaith-i-Mírdain; but he worked in secret, unknown to Galadriel and Celeborn. Before long Sauron had the Gwaith-i-Mírdain under his influence, for at first they had great profit from his instruction in secret matters of their craft. So great became his hold on the Mírdain that at length he persuaded them to revolt against Galadriel and Celeborn and to seize power in Eregion; and that was at some time between 1350 and 1400 of the Second Age.
-"The History of Galadriel and Celeborn" ("Concerning Galadriel and Celeborn")

Now Celebrimbor was not corrupted in heart or faith, but had accepted Sauron as what he posed to be; and when at length he discovered the existence of the One Ring he revolted against Sauron, and went to Lórinand to take counsel once more with Galadriel. They should have destroyed all the Rings of Power at this time, "but they failed to find the strength." Galadriel counselled him that the Three Rings of the Elves should be hidden, never used, and dispersed, far from Eregion where Sauron believed them to be. It was at that time that she received Nenya, the White Ring, from Celebrimbor, and by its power the realm of Lórinand was strengthened and made beautiful; but its power upon her was great also and unforseen, for it increased her latent desire for the Sea and for return into the West, so that her joy in Middle-earth was diminished. [My note: Later, Tolkien changes his mind about Galadriel being in Lórien at this point.]
-"The History of Galadriel and Celeborn" ("Concerning Galadriel and Celeborn")

But during the Third Age Galadriel became filled with foreboding, and with Celeborn she journeyed to Lórien and stayed there long with Amroth, being especially concerned to learn all news and rumours of the growing shadow in Mirkwood and the dark stronghold in Dol Guldur. But his people were content with Amroth; he was valiant and wise, and his little kingdom was yet prosperous and beautiful. Therefore after long journeys of enquiry in Rhovanion, from Gondor and the borders of Mordor to Thranduil in the north, Celeborn and Galadriel passed over the mountains to Imladris, and there dwelt for many years; for Elrond was their kinsman, since he had early in the Third Age [in the year 109, according to the Tale of Years] wedded their daughter Celebrían.
After the disaster in Moria [in the year 1980] and the sorrows of Lórien, which was now left without a ruler (for Amroth was drowned in the sea in the Bay of Belfalas and left no heir), Celeborn and Galadriel returned to Lórien, and were welcomed by the people. There they dwelt while the Third Age lasted, but they took no title of King or Queen; for they said that they were only guardians of this small but fair realm, the last eastward outpost of the Elves.
-"The History of Galadriel and Celeborn" ("Amroth and Nimrodel")

The other tale runs so: that long ago, ere Sauron deluded the smiths of Eregion, Galadriel came there, and she said to Celebrimbor, the chief of the Elven-smiths: "I am grieved in Middle-earth, for leaves fall and flowers fade that I have loved, so that the land of my dwelling is filled with regret that no Spring can redress."
"How otherwise can it be for the Eldar, if they cling to Middle-earth?" said Celebrimbor. "Will you then pass over Sea?"
"Nay," she said. "Angrod is gone, and Aegnor is gone, and Felagund is no more. Of Finarfin's children I am the last. But my heart is still proud. What wrong did the golden house of Finarfin do that I should ask the pardon of the Valar, or be content with an isle in the sea whose native land was Aman the Blessed? Here I am mightier."
"What would you then?" said Celebrimbor.
"I would have trees and grass about me that do not die - here in the land that is mine," she answered. "What has become of the skill of the Eldar?" And Celebrimbor said: "Where now is the Stone of Eärendil? And Enerdhil who made it is gone." "They have passed over Sea," said Galadriel, "with almost all fair things else. But must then Middle-earth fade and perish for ever?"
"That is its fate, I deem," said Celebrimbor. "But you know that I love you (though you turned to Celeborn of the Trees), and for that love I will do what I can, if haply by my art your grief can be lessened."
-"The History of Galadriel and Celeborn" ("The Elessar")

In a note to the text it is explained that Lórinand was the Nandorin name of this region (afterwards called Lórien and Lothlórien), and contained the Elvish word meaning "golden light": "valley of gold." The Quenya form would be Laurenandë, the Sindarin Glornan or Nan Laur. Both here and elsewhere the meaning of the name is explained by reference to the golden mallorn-trees of Lothlórien; but they were brought there by Galadriel (for the story of their origin see p.176), and in another, later, discussion the name Lórinand is said to have been itself a transformation, after the introduction of the mallorns, of a yet older name Lindórinand, "Vale of the Land of the Singers." Since the Elves of this land were in origin Teleri, there is here no doubt present the name by which the Teleri called themselves, Lindar, "the Singers." From many other discussions of the names of Lothlórien, to some extent at variance among themselves, it emerges that all the later names were probably due to Galadriel herself, combining different elements: laurë "gold," nan(d) "valley," ndor "land," tin- "sing"; and in Laurelindórinan "Valley of Singing Gold" (which Treebeard told the Hobbits was the earlier name) deliberately echoing the name of the Golden Tree that grew in Valinor, "for which, as is plain, Galadriel's longing increased year by year to, at last, an overwhelming regret."
Lórien itself was originally the Quenya name of a region in Valinor, often used as the name of the Vala (Irmo) to whom it belonged; "a place of rest and shadowy trees and fountains, a retreat from cares and griefs." The further change from Lórinand "Valley of Gold" to Lórien "may well be due to Galadriel herself," for "the resemblance cannot be accidental. She had endeavoured to make Lórien a refuge and an island of peace and beauty, a memorial of ancient days, but was now filled with regret and misgiving, knowing that the golden dream was hastening to a grey awakening. It may be noted that Treebeard interpreted Lothlórien as 'Dream-flower.'"
-"The History of Galadriel and Celeborn"
(Christopher Tolkien's note to "Concerning Galadriel and Celeborn")

Galadriel, "the tallest of all the women of the Eldar of whom tales tell," was said to be man-high, but it is noted "according to the measure of the Dúnedain and the men of old," indicating a height of about six feet four inches. [...] Another note remarks of Celeborn that he was "a Linda of Valinor" (that is, one of the Teleri, whose own name for themselves was Lindar, the Singers), and that "he was held by them to be tall, as his name indicated ("silver-tall"); but the Teleri were in general somewhat less in build and stature than the Noldor."
-"The Disaster of the Gladden Fields (Appendix: "Númenórean Linear Measures")
[By the way, Best Appendix Title Ever.]

Galadriel, the greatest of the Eldar surviving in Middle-earth, was potent mainly in wisdom and goodness, as a director or counsellor in the struggle, unconquerable in resistance (especially in mind and spirit) but incapable of punitive action. In her scale she had become like Manwë with regard to the greater total action. Manwë, however, even after the Downfall of Númenor and the breaking of the old world, even in the Third Age when the Blessed Realm had been removed from the "Circles of the World," was still not a mere observer.
-"The Istari"




LotR quotes - Silm quotes - HoME quotes - Letters quotes - Poetry