Tolkien Would Be So Disappointed With Galadriel in The Rings of Power

Tolkien Would Be So Disappointed With Galadriel in The Rings of Power
Image credit: Prime Video

Since the release of The Rings of Power, viewers have considered what Middle-Earth's creator would have thought of the series.

Tolkien, who died in 1973, never got to witness any of the on-screen adaptations of his books. The original story which appears in the show is an early adaption of some of the book's characters, including Galadriel, who has remained the most controversial. Many fans are now debating what Tolkien's impression of the series' Galadriel would have been. If she is a well-intended version of the character or a misunderstood substitute.

Why the series gets Galadriel wrong

Generally speaking, the series has received praise for its high-quality scenery and visual effects. Unfortunately, the show's dialogue and its interpretation of the story has not gained much positive commentary. Instead, some have judged the show as a poor attempt at replicating Tolkien. This is no more apparent than in comparison with Galadriel from the series (portrayed by Morfydd Clark ), next to her character in the book.

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Using a great deal of creative license, Amazon has turned Galadriel into a vengeful and hot-headed warrior, obsessed with predominantly serving her own interests; her desire for revenge. This is a large contrast between the graceful and generous nature of her counterpart in the books. Leading fans to question if the vast differences between these two versions could confidently be compared as the same character at all.

Galadriel's damning behavior

What's more, Galadriel's behavior within the series not only goes against the basis of the original character but against the very lore of the franchise itself. This is most apparent in episode six of the season, during a scene where she is interrogating Adar himself. In the scene, Galadriel very much loses her cool. Which again is another example of separation from her true personality. During Adar's interrogation, Galadriel clearly threatens his well-being as the conversation grows increasingly hostile. The treatment only ends when Galadriel is stopped from slicing his throat by Halbrand, who enters with some rather impeccable timing. Adar is left visibly marked against his throat made by Galadriel's blade.

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The reason this is so out of character for Galadriel is due to Adar and the orcs' very existence. According to the lore, something which Tolkien was very exact about, orcs were not created by Morgoth but rather corrupted and twisted into the forms that we are most familiar with. For this reason, orcs are no more naturally evil than any of the other races of Middle-Earth. This is why the elves, therefore, refrain from torturing or tormenting any of them any more than is necessary.

Galadriel even so much as refers to this directly within the scene, when Adar refers to the captured orcs as his children and she corrects him by naming them as his slaves. And yet she warns him only minutes after, that she intends to commit genocide against the entire orc race, and leave him for last. Showing no refrain from her treatment of him or her other captives. Hardly the honorable and just Galadriel we are usually familiar with.

It was clear from the show's very beginning that Galadriel would be an entirely new interpretation, that represented her as a very different personality than originally portrayed in later stories. However, her character seems flawed almost beyond redemption here. Extremely dissimilar to the good and light (in an almost literal sense) that she represented within Tolkien's books. Tolkien's feelings towards this representation of her character would most likely be disappointment. Not only has the series altered her nature, but it has altered what she represents most within the story, hope.