Sunday, June 07, 2009

Misunderstanding Galadriel

Galadriel is a secondary character in Tolkien's "The Lord of the Rings." If you're unfamiliar with the books (which would be a shame, since they're the greatest work of fiction of the 20th century), then think of the character Cate Blanchett plays. Yes, that's right. The one that goes crazy scary when Frodo offers her the Ring. And the one who gives many of the main characters gifts and shelter. Without her help, they would have failed.
Two of my favorite quotes in the "Two Towers" involve main characters who defend Galadriel.
First, Eomer (another secondary character) says to Aragorn, Legolas, and Gimli, after they tell him they have the favor of "the Lady,": "Then there is a Lady in the Golden Wood, as old tales tell! Few escape her nets, they say. These are strange days! But if you have her favour, then you also are net-weavers and sorcerers, maybe." Gimli replies: "Let (me) warn you against foolish words. You thought to speak evil of that which is fair beyond the reach of your thought, and only little wit can excuse you."
Second, after Eomer reports home to his father Theoden (and to Wormtongue, who controls Theoden), Wormtongue says to Gandalf, "Then it is true...that you are in league with the Sorceress of the Golden Wood? It is not to be wondered at: webs of deceit were ever woven in Dwimordene." Gimli tries to confront Wormtongue about this slight on Galadriel, but Gandalf holds him back and tells Wormtongue, "The wise speak only of what they know."
I like these quotes because they illustrate two things I cannot stand: people who speak evil of good things they do not comprehend, and people who discuss matters they are entirely ignorant of.
In some circles, people are proud of being ignorant. They claim they are unbiased because they've never formally studied a subject. They claim they are more humble and hardworking because they never traveled. They claim they know there is no God without ever asking Him sincerely if He exists. And they are of little wit and not wise.
May we strive to have more "wit" and be wise. And may we encourage others to do likewise.


JorgenMan said...

Uh, I think you mean "Wormtongue".

JorgenMan said...

Good post. I've always thought it important to be sure not to throw around big opinions on things one doesn't know about. My dad has always been a good example of this to me. I think that's a good way to ensure that you are trusted on the things you do know about.

Tim said...

Thanks, Jorgenman. I'll make the edit. I've got the flu, and my mind isn't working right. That's my excuse, and I'm sticking with it.