In Part 2 of this post on why there are so few women in Tolkien’s Middle-Earth, Kate works out why Eowyn is a terrific heroine, why Arwen cannot compete, and why the Entwives are important.
The first females to be written into Middle-Earth were elves, Tolkien’s ideal for female beauty and wisdom. Their importance, and power, overshadowed any other women that Tolkien needed in his stories. Human women may have been equally beautiful, but they were less wise because they didn’t live anything like as long. Hobbit women were peasants in bright colours. How did elf women affect how Tolkien went on to write other female characters?
Let’s go back to Tolkien’s experiments with language, because this is relevant for how Middle-Earth, and its peoples, were developed. As the narrative in The Lord of the Rings moves between the different civilisations in Middle-Earth, Tolkien changes his vocabulary, and linguistic style…
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