Tolkien Female Characters

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The Portrayal of Female Characters in Tolkien’s Epic Series When reading J.R.R. Tolkien’s most popular work, the Lord of the Rings trilogy, the lack of female characters can be noticed throughout the storyline. Having said that however, throughout the three books, The Fellowship of the Ring, The Two Towers and the Return of the King, there are a number of female characters that go against the stereotypical role of women and subvert the norm of submission to a patriarchal authority. In the three books, Arwen, Éowyn, and Galadriel do not conform to the submissive role that was expected from women during Tolkien’s time, as contrasted with characters such as Goldberry, Lobelia Sackville-Baggins and Farmer Maggot’s daughters. Arwen is an elven princess, and the daughter of [Lord] Elrond and Lady Celebrían, who rules Rivendell. In the book, Arwen has a romantic relationship with Aragorn, the last heir in Men’s royal lineage, but this alliance is fraught with complications due to her Elven immortality and his birthright as Middle Earth’s only hope against Sauron, Tolkien’s antagonist and “Dark Lord” (The Fellowship of the Ring,132). Arwen also has a complex relationship with her father, Elrond. She is both his daughter and the last hope left for the Elven people in Rivendell. Her duties cause additional conflict for her as she wishes to serve her people. Éowyn is a noblewoman of Rohan, a township in Middle Earth, who battles with the norms and traditions imposed on her regarding a woman’s role in society. She wishes to serve her people by fighting alongside the men in combat when Sauron’s rule threatens their lives, as shown by her masquerade as Dernhelm, a man she pretends to be in order to fight. Éowyn maintains a dutiful loving respectful relationship with her uncle, King Théoden of Rohan, who addresses her as “Éowyn, sister-daughter” (The Two Towers, page 104).
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