The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring

Norse Influences on Galadriel in The Fellowship of the Ring

J.R.R. Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings trilogy is a testament to the man’s passion for mythology. As was also the case with his zeal for philology, Tolkien utilized elements of mythology to reinvent the past, creating a living, breathing, nearly palpable world through great depth of detail and breadth of material. One of the manifestations of these interests can be found in the character Galadriel in the first book of his trio, The Fellowship of the Ring. In it, Tolkien infuses Galadriel with facets of Norse mythology, namely the goddess Freyja with her power, beauty, and magic crafts, and the all-knowing Norns.

The influence of the Norse goddess Freyja on the creation of Galadriel suffuses her (Galadriel’s) character with an aura of authority and supremacy among all other elves. One apparent manifestation of this power is in the names of Freyja and her twin brother Frey, which respectively translate to “Lady” and “Lord” (Sturluson 52). This title undoubtedly reflects the prominent status of both of these deities, with Frey called “an exceedingly famous god” (52) and Freyja “the most renowned of the goddesses” (53). Celeborn and Galadriel are also referred to as “the Lord and Lady” (Tolkien 338) of the fabled Lothlorien, which...

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