The myth of mother: Retracing the roots of motherhood in Tolkien’s decaying Middle-earth

— Helen Lawson, PhD student, Durham University

Paper given 9 July 2021 at Medieval climates, cosmologies, & ecosystems in the works of J.R.R. Tolkien II

This paper will examine how the gradual decline in mother goddess’ figures from Tolkien’s Middle-earth legendarium directly impacts its ecosystem by forcing Middle-earth into a state of decay. Examining the symbiotic relationship between Melian and Menegroth, Galadriel and Lothlórien, and the Entwives and the Brown Lands, I note a recurring theme where these women’s stable-fertile-ecosystems are threatened by the disruptive forces of men. In this light, the Age of Men promised at the conclusion of Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings is achieved only at the cost of excluding all mothers from the narrative — which thus ensures global infertility.

Authoritative information may be found here.

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source URL 🌐Institute for Medieval Studies - Faculty of Arts - University of Leeds
date recorded 📅2021-07-26
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