The Fellowship of the Ring
Strength and Skill Quotes
How we cite our quotes:
[Celeborn and Galadriel] stood up to greet their guests, after the manner of the Elves, even those who were accounted mighty kings. Very tall they were, and the Lady no less tall than the Lord; and they were grave and beautiful. They were clad wholly in white; and the hair of the Lady was of deep gold, and the hair of the Lord Celeborn was of silver long and bright; but no sign of age was upon them, unless it were in the depths of their eyes; for these were keen as lances in the starlight, and yet profound, the wells of deep memory [...]
Her voice was clear and musical, but deeper than woman's wont. (2.7.10, 17)
Here, we get a nice snapshot of what Tolkien values in leaders: they should be beautiful, grave, and filled with "the wells of deep memory." Galadriel is one of the only major women characters in over a thousand pages of the Lord of the Rings series; it's a remarkably woman-less series, really. And even Galadriel, superwoman that she is, appears ambiguous in terms of gender: she is "no less tall" than Celeborn, with a voice "deeper than a woman's wont." So she is a woman, but not in the same way that Rosie Cotton, Sam's sweetheart, is a woman; her responsibility and power almost appear to move her beyond gender. Galadriel's power also shines in contrast to Lord Celeborn's, who (though great in his own way) seems noticeably less wise than his wife, even though she reassures us that he is "accounted the wisest of the Elves of Middle-earth."