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Guþcwen and Ides Ellenrof: The Old English warrior woman as role model for female characters in Tolkien’s works

— Flora Sophie Lemburg

17 August 2021 | Journal of Tolkien Research, Volume 12, № 2, 8

This paper examines the connection between the motif of the Old English warrior woman and Tolkien’s female characters. It provides a critique of Leslie Donovan’s paper The valkyrie reflex in J.R.R. Tolkien´s The Lord of the Rings: Galadriel, Shelob, Éowyn and Arwen” and contrasts previous research on Tolkien’s female characters focussed either on gender-studies or on a Germanic” influence with a more direct and specific connection between Medieval English and his works. The motif of the Old English warrior woman is established by investigating the female characters Judith, Elene, and Juliana from the Old English poems Judith, Elene, Juliana. The main character traits of the motif are beauty, radiance and leadership in combat. Tolkien’s characters Lúthien, Idril, Galadriel, and Éowyn are modelled on this motif.

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date recorded 📅2021-08-25
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