Women In Tolkien's The Lord Of The Rings

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“Some damn his [Tolkien’s] fiction for its old-fashioned, misogynistic depiction of women. […] Tolkien presents a society […] in which women have traditionally been seen as decorative but ultimately powerless, as pawns in a man’s world” (Neville, 101). This has been one of the criticisms that are often believed about the women in Tolkien’s Middle Earth. Some have said that the reason for it could be the much of Tolkien’s world is based on Germanic culture, in which women have traditional roles. Others have alleged that the women are this way because of the view of a woman’s place in society at the time that Tolkien wrote The Lord of the Rings. Yet when looking at these women, they seem far from weak powerless pawns of men. Tolkien’s women…show more content…
An explanation for this can come from the Germanic culture’s myths of the Valkyrie. The roles that the Valkyrie can help to explain the idea that Eowyn can have a traditional role, and still be a warrior and leader of her people. The Valkyrie “comes from the old Norse valkyrja, meaning ‘battle-determiner’ […] her position as a battle maiden” (Donovan). The idea that women in Germanic myths can fight, might show that it would not be uncommon for women in Germanic culture to fight. This would help to explain why Eowyn was taught to fight. Since Rohan’s culture is based on Anglo-Saxon culture, the idea that Eowyn can fight in battle would make sense. Eowyn is a woman that fills a non-traditional role for women, with a strong will, with the “martial abilities equal to those of the most heroic men”…show more content…
When this name is called, it seems to be to ward off an evil force. The reader sees Frodo used the name of Elbereth to ward of the Ring wraiths, when he gets stabbed (Tolkien, Fellowship 191) and again at the ford, “By Elbereth and Luthien the Fair, […] you shall have neither the Ring nor me!” (Tolkien, Fellowship 209). This name seems to help ward off the forces of evil and to give courage to the speaker to face the evil. When Sam is fighting Shelob, he calls Elbereth name to help ward off Shelob (Tolkien, Two 712). This name has power to help forces of good ward off evil. This woman never enter into the story, yet she is there helping the forces of good as they take on evil. As Aragorn tells Frodo, “all blades perish that pierce that dreadful King. More deadly to him was the name of Elbereth” (Tolkien, Fellowship
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