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Meanderings by josh m. shepherd: #3: Elves And Ego
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The land around the beautiful figure darkened, a shadow she had never known. Eldamar's only daylight, once given by the glow of the jewels, went black. Hours later she knew why. Not long ago a certain being had forfeited his position among the other angelic hosts, or Valar; now Morgoth, the first rebel, had stolen the Elves' very joy. Galadriel, the white lady, had one thought: the light must return.

The 'beautiful and terrible' elf witch.Confused yet? Pardon my sketchy first paragraph and let the Middle-earth history lesson begin. The female elf above and the 'Lady of the Wood' played by Cate Blanchett in the movies are one and the same. Even fans of the movie mistakenly call Galadriel an "elf witch," quoting a member of the Ring Fellowship who later took back his words. Naturally, Christians who have issues with the first 'Rings' movie point out these scenes as creepy and certainly not edifying.

An elf, or at least a wise person, would want to know some of Galadriel's back-story before making judgment.

Early in the First Age, a third of the Elves were taken from Middle-earth to Eldamar (or "the West") where the powerful Valar taught them the ways of Iluvatar (God). The shining jewels had been the work of an elf—a charismatic artist who perhaps took too much pride in his work. While Morgoth's lust had driven him to steal, this elf's actions were no better.

An army of elven warriors.Filled with anger, the artisan gathered together his Elvish kinfolk. They swore an Oath "vowing to pursue with vengeance and hatred" Morgoth and any other who stood between them and the jewels (The Silmarillion 90).

Galadriel did not swear, yet nor did she heed her father's counsel to stay in Western lands: the white lady joined the rebellion. "To rule a realm at her own will" (Ibid.) was Galadriel's wish, and she would seek it in Middle-earth. The Valar despaired of their "children" leaving safety. Such is free will, making lovers enemies in a day's time.

The bite of cold waters—and sword blades—met the rebels as they set out, for the ships they stole were guarded; and they barely avoided ice at one point in the voyage. Upon landing, the Elves' leader arrogantly burned their ships. Surely Galadriel could echo the words of Job 17:7, "My eye has also grown dim because of sorrow, and all my members are like shadows."

In Middle-earth, the exiles found even the Elves to be different and unchanged. This the rebels used to their advantage, accepting the new name and exalted position of "Noldor," the Wise.

The elves in battle.Soon they took up their cause with weapons. In round after round of pursuit and falling back, the Noldor were led into a well-laid trap. Their tactics were elegant, but without enough trickery. Morgoth tested their defenses for a time, then unleashed forces unknown on the Elf-artist and his kinsmen. Of war he knew much.


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