The Lord of the Rings has few female characters – but they are extremely strong

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Many have criticized JRR Tolkien’s timeless masterpiece The Lord of the Rings, as well as the film adaptations made by Peter Jackson, for having presented few female characters. While this review is definitely valid, the small number of women who feature prominently in the narrative are extremely powerful in a multitude of unique ways. Each of these fictional women is memorable and iconic, and each represents a different part of the vibrant world of Middle-earth.

Let’s talk about the fierce female characters of The Lord of the Rings, what makes each of them special and why it’s a shame they didn’t have more time in the spotlight.


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Lady Galadriel is both angelic and terrifying in The Lord of the Rings

By far the most powerful of all the characters on this list, the Lady of Light is also one of the oldest beings in Middle-earth, having emigrated from the divine land of Valinor in the First Age. Ruler of the great elven fortress Lothlórien and bearer of Nenya, one of the Three Rings of Power, Galadriel’s age, wisdom and strength are unmatched.

Part of what makes Galadriel such a fascinating figure is his duality. Although she is angelic and goddess-like, she also possesses dark depths and terrifying power, which erupted when Frodo tempts her with the One Ring. Faced with the chance to hold the most powerful and dangerous of magical items, she transforms for a moment into a dark queen, able to overpower the wills of all beings. “All will love me and despair,” she thunders, to Frodo’s terror. Even more impressive, however, is that this moment ends quickly, his inner strength and sagacity allowing him to conquer his dark side and pass the test.

Galadriel plays a vital role in the quest for Fellowship, providing refuge and useful gifts after their ordeal in Moria, and acting as a spiritual guide throughout their journeys. His role in the War of the Ring is even more substantial in the books; his actions are at the origin of many important events, such as the rehabilitation of Gandalf after his battle against the Balrogs and the destruction of the dark fortress of Dol Guldur. Some of the latter materials were used in the Hobbit cinematic trilogy, allowing audiences another chance to appreciate the tour de force of Cate Blanchett’s character. Still, Galadriel’s life story is a long and epic one that practically deserves a whole series of films. Viewers can at least expect to see some of its early days adapted for screen in the next product by Amazon. the Lord of the Rings series.

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Arwen is better served by movies than Tolkien’s books

In some ways, the movies arguably did better by Arwen than Tolkien’s text. Being gorgeous and perfect, she is often said to be the reincarnation of Lúthien, the most revered of female elves. Despite her remarkable beauty and intimate bond with Aragorn, one of the most important characters in history, Arwen’s appearance in the books is short, with most of her story told in the appendices.

Peter Jackson’s films greatly expand his role, especially in The Ffriendship of the ring, in which she heroically carries a fatally wounded Frodo to Rivendell, a task initially performed in the book by a male elf named Glorfindel. This warrior princess aspect of Arwen remains somewhat divisive in the fandom, although many fans love the extra dimension he gives to her character.

After his heroic turn Camaraderie, Arwen’s role in the films shrinks to that of a damsel in distress, her health declining as Sauron’s power grows. It’s not entirely clear how the writers justified tying his life to the fate of Middle-earth, besides giving Aragorn a more personal interest in the war. Tragically, footage of Arwen fighting at Helm’s Deep was filmed, but ultimately was not used. It would have been thrilling to see her bring her fighting skills to this famous battle, and it is sad that she Two towers screen time has been reduced, leaving an arc that starts off strong but fades sluggishly.

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Shelob the big spider is older than Sauron

This infamous and terrifying arachnid is much more than a random monster. Shelob is an ancient being begotten by Ungoliant, who was a primordial demon of darkness and one of the main antagonists of Tolkien’s epic creation. The Silmarillion. In fact, she is older than Sauron himself, having settled in the mountains near Mordor long before he claimed this land. Like her formidable mother before her, she gave birth to many slaughtered spider beasts, which infest the forests of Mirkwood and cause many problems for Bilbo’s company in The Hobbit.

Shelob and Sauron share an unspoken alliance; she acts as a sort of unofficial watchdog, holding the Cirith Ungol Pass unchallenged for hundreds of years and never letting any prey escape. However, after his unprecedented defeat at the hands of Samwise Gamgee, Shelob retreats into the tunnels and is never heard from again. It’s an ignominious end for such a unique and powerful entity, and one can’t help but wonder what her eventual fate could have been.

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Éowyn only gets one moment in the spotlight, but it’s iconic

eowyn-vs-witchking

The beloved heroine of generations of fantasy fans, Eowyn’s legendary status cannot be understated. Originally from Rohan, a kingdom of men renowned for their horse riding and combat prowess, she is the niece of King Théoden and one of Tolkien’s most popular characters.

Eowyn claims the title of Shieldmaiden, having extensive training in the arts of war. As she curtly informs Aragorn in the movies, “the women of this country learned a long time ago that those who don’t have a sword can always die on them.” However, that doesn’t mean that Eowyn is fully freed from the shackles of medieval femininity, and she frets at the expectations of domesticity and quiet leadership, instead desiring to earn glory on the battlefield. She finally seizes her chance in the climactic battle of the Pelennor Fields, when she utters her iconic “I’m not a man!” as she slays the dreaded Witch-King of Angmar, leader of the Nazgûl.

Unfortunately, this moment of triumph, while very impressive, turns out to be his last. After recovering from the battle, she married Faramir and devoted herself to the healing arts. While this is valid for her ambitions to change, it’s a shame that the only warrior who had a real opportunity to show her might in the main story still only had a moment of heroism before she abruptly stepped back for the sake of it. always.

Éowyn was a seminal creation, and its importance in our culture remains. Many hold her in their hearts as the foundation upon which countless strong female characters have been built. His struggle against societal expectations and his fear of missing out on his chances are timeless themes that will always resonate with young people trying to find their way in life.

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