First page > Previous > First Age > Next


by Irmo-(Valar)

3. First Age

Of course, after all that had happened, there was no love between Galadriel and her people for Fëanor and his folk, so rather than rejoining the other Noldor in Beleriand they chose to become the guests of her uncle Elwë Singollo[1], who under the name of Thingol had become king of all the Eldar - called Sindar - in Beleriand. The Sindar had forsaken the journey to Valinor, but Elwë was reckoned among the high-elves, for he was one of the three king-ambassadors who were taken by Oromë to witness the splendor of Aman. But Thingol had never returned to Valinor, for back in Beleriand he had met and fallen in love with Melian the Maia. And together they built the realm of Doriath, and the hidden fortified caves of Menegroth.

Melian was a kinswoman of Yavanna, but had long been a student of Irmo in his realm of Lorien in Aman. She had mastered all arts of weaving dreams and singing spells and illusions. And she helped Elwë - great among the Eldar - to become a king of splendour and renown. Their realm of Doriath she protected by Melian's Girdle of woven spells and dreams, which none could pass unnoticed or unwelcome[2]. And all people of Beleriand came to them for help and advice.

Galadriel befriended Melian and spent many years with her and learned from her even more than she had already been taught in Valinor. From Melian she also learned much lore about the lands of Middle-earth. Later, when Finrod had built his great realm of Nargothrond, she often went to visit her brother but she chose to keep her aboide in the house of Thingol and Melian. For it was in Doriath that Galadriel met Celeborn, kinsman of King Thingol[3], and their love was great.

Long had Galadriel tried to keep the harshness about the Doom of the Noldor and the Kinslaying from Thingol, but unavoidably in the end he came to know the truth. And Thingol's heart was hot with anger and he forbade the use of Quenya in his realm and ordained that all should speak the Sindarin language. And he banned the sons of Finarfin from his home, yet Galadriel was allowed to stay.

Thus it was that Galadriel did not partake in the Wars of Beleriand, in which all of her brothers eventually were ended. Also slain were all others of her cohort of the royal house of the Noldor so that in the end only she survives of the first three generations, save her father Finarfin, who lives in Valinor.

Of the unnumbered tears of the Noldor in Beleriand much has been written that needs no repeat here. But Galadriel heard of all that happened through Thingol and Melian, and through Finrod and Orodreth, her brothers.

After the sacking of Doriath and the slaying of Thingol by the dwarves of Nogrod, Melian returns to the gardens of Lorien in Valinor, but Galadriel and Celeborn wander the lands of Ossiriand (Lindon) and even cross the Blue Mountains eastward.

When at last the Age ends with the War of Wrath, and Morgoth and most but not all of his works are undone, and Eonwë calls the Eldar back to Valinor and invokes the Grace of the Valar and calls the Doom lifted, Galadriel chooses to stay in Middle-earth with Celeborn. With them are Gil-Galad, grandson of Fingolfin, and also Celebrimbor, grandson of Fëanor, who are the sole remaining members of their royal lines. And with them is also the son of Eärendil, Elrond, very young yet by the reckoning of the Eldar[4]. Whether Galadriel and the other Noldor stayed in Middle-earth out of pride, because they felt guilty, or through foresight of roles yet to fulfill, or maybe even by consent or instruction of the Valar, is unknown. It has been suggested that Galadriel fell not under the Grace of the Valar and was still banned, being the only surviving leader of the Noldor leaving Valinor[5]. Be that true or not, prolonged banishment she chose.

[1] Elwë was the brother of Olwë, Galadriel's grandfather.

[2] With the later exception of Beren, but Melian had foreseen and foretold he would be coming.

[3] It has been said that Celeborn was a son of Elmo, younger brother of Olwë and Elwë, of whom no other tale is known.

[4] Elrond has never been in Aman, but his lineage is formidable. Elrond is the son of Eärendil, son of Idril, daughter of Turgon, son of Fingolfin, son of Finwë; and of Elwing, daughter of Dior, son of Luthien, daughter of Thingol and Melian. By the start of the 2nd Age Elrond was about 70 years old. At that time Galadriel's years counted close to 2,000.

[5] What would Galadriel have done to deserve such a treatment? See also the section: On the relation between Galadriel and the Valar.

First > Previous > First Age > Next