Galadriel by Curtiss Shaffer

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It was said that her height was two rangar, or “man-high” – about 6 ft. 4 in. However, Galadriel’s most striking feature is her beautiful long silver-golden hair. The Elves of Tirion said it captured the radiance of the Two Trees Laurelin and Telperion themselves. “Even among the Eldar she was accounted beautiful, and her hair is held a marvel unmatched. It is golden like the hair of her father and of her foremother Indis, but richer and more radiant, for its gold is touched by some memory of the starlike silver of her mother; and the Eldar say that the light of the Two Trees, Laurelin and Telperion, has been snared in her tresses.” It was greatly admired by Feanor and may have inspired him to create the Silmarilli. “Many thought that this saying first gave to Feanor the thought of imprisoning and blending the light of the Trees that later took shape in his hands as the Silmarils. For Feanor beheld the hair of Galadriel with wonder and delight.” Nevertheless, she never repays Feanor’s admiration with the generosity she shows to Gimli the Dwarf in The Fellowship of the Ring. Feanor had begged her thrice for a tress and thrice she refused to give him even one hair. It is said that these two kinsfolk, being considered the greatest of the Eldar of Valinor, remain unfriends forever.

Her character was similarly a blend of characteristics of the kindreds of the Eldar from whom she was descended. She had the pride and ambition of the Noldor, but in her they were tempered by the gentleness and insight of the Vanyar. She shared the latter virtues of character with her father Finarfin and her brother Finrod. “She was proud, strong, and selfwilled, as were all the descendants of Finwa 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 Faenor. 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.” Her sympathy for Gimli the Dwarf in Lothlorien, when she rebuked her husband Celeborn for being tempted to regret his decision to admit the Dwarf to that land, won Gimli’s heart forever.

In his J.R.R. Tolkien Encyclopedia, Michael D. C. Drout describes Galadriel as one of the most powerful and most detailedly described characters and claims that she is the greatest of all elves.

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tolkien, lord of the rings, silmarillion, mythological, faery, galadriel, fantasy, fairy, middle earth, lothlorien, queen, queen of the forest, elvin, elf, elvin queen, first age, second age, third age, white council

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