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Comments For Character of the Month Biographies
I really liked your graphic on Earwen for Legendarium Ladies April on Tumblr, and it made me re-read your bio of her.
It's very interesting. Apparently, in different ways, she is the one who made her children want to go to Middle-earth and Anaire want to stay in Aman, if you take both of these on board. Not necessarily a contradiction, but worth thinking about.
Apart from her reactions to the Kinslaying of Alqualonde, which are a more obvious unresolved question, of course!
I do believe that! The dreams we instill in our children often cause them to pursue paths we would prefer them not to take.
Thanks for the comment!
Yet another great biography, oshun! Cconsidering the scarceness of material on most of the female characters in the Silmarillion you have managed to present us with a good analysis about Earwen's role in the history of the Eldar. It is frustrating that she appears mostly as Galadriel's or Finrod's mother, or Olwe's daughter, or Finarfin's wife and does not stand out as herself, given the influence that, as you say, she must have held before and after the Darkening. Shame, really... Truly enjoyable!
EDIT - Deleted review and reposted it because for some reason it got filed under Angrod (?). Hope it works this time.
As usual, you have gleaned tidbits of information on what is ostensibly a minor character from the legendarium and illustrated that perhaps Earwen is not so minor after all. Your examples highlight how a single sentence (Earwen's yearning for distant lands) on JRRT's part hints at much greater things behind the character.
One could argue that Tolkien does not necessarily view the women in his world as subservient to the men in strict sense that this is observed in the history of our primary world, but simply unworthy of detailed note in most cases.
In my opinion, that's a very compelling argument: many women in his legendarium may not subservient, and in fact might have exhibited strong leadership qualities in their own way...but they are just not worthy of note. To paraphrase Dwimodene, these women are textual ghosts.
Nicely done, Oshun, and I'll take this opportunity to recommend Dawn's The Work of Small Hands, an excellent treatment of Earwen as well as the ramifications of literal darkness on human beings and their culture.
I hadn't read The Work of Small Hands in a couple of years at least and It certainly impressed me anew yesterday. The theme of darkness is marvelous, the descriptions are so intense throughout. I thought of the glory of Noldorin creativity and then darkness falling over the land, much like periods of expansion of knowledge in human history forllowed by the breakdown in communication of the dark Middle Ages, which is then followed by the re-birth of light of knowledge and discovery of the Renaissance. Of course, that is probably turning Tolkien's world on its head. But tremendous imagery in Dawn's novella in any case--first the dark, then the departure and the need to re-build, with the underlying theme of the smaller hands operating out of the spot light throughout the entire story.
You've done a lot here with little information. I love all your speculations as to Eärwen's character and influence through her progeny in the great events of Middle-earth history. I particularly like the thought that she must have been a strong character to produce a daughter like Galadriel. Thanks for illuminating another of Tolkien's women, who do seem mostly relegated to the role of procreators. I think you've thrown out the glove here for someone to write Eärwen's story. What about you doing it?
Thanks so much!!
Or you could write Earwen's story! I'm laughing because I was telling Dawn earlier the writers I would like to see write it. Sorry I missed you. I'd like that. I want it big and funny and tragic all rolled into one huge story. Dawn wrote the tip of the iceberg in her excellent novella The Work of Small Hands http://www.silmarillionwritersguild.org/archive/home/viewstory.php?sid=303 (set after Finarfin drags his butt back to Tirion, tale between his legs, after the rest go off to M-e and she tries to put him back together again). It is a fabulous story of the darkening of Valinor and the women left to deal with a situation they had never imagined in their worst nightmares. Very strong story! But I want the epic version--the whole series of novels, I suppose: the childhood in Alqualonde, the love story, child bearing (she did enough of that!!), the reaction to her husband and kids taking off in the first place, etc., etc.