Is Galadriel Good or Bad? (& Why She Turns Dark)

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As The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power is nearing its release date, one of the things that people are now excited about is the younger version of Galadriel, who played small yet pivotal roles in the trilogy movies of The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings. Of course, she was always praised as the greatest of the high elves in Middle Earth during the Third Age. But we’ve also seen her dark side in The Hobbit and LOTR. So, is Galadriel good or bad? 

Galadriel is aligned with the good people of Middle Earth because her goals are seemingly in line with the betterment of everyone else living there. On top of that, she aided Frodo and his allies in the destruction of the One Ring during the events of LOTR and was pivotal in the First Age against Morgoth.

Even though Galadriel was able to showcase her ability to turn dark, this was merely a sneak peek into what could have been had she taken the One Ring for herself and became the dark queen that ruled Middle Earth. Otherwise, she is aligned with good and was able to reject the temptation of the One Ring when Frodo offered it to her. Now, let’s get to know more about Galadriel.

Is Galadriel Good Or Bad?

While a good part of the entire The Lord of the Rings storyline revolves around Frodo’s quest to destroy the One Ring that Sauron wanted to recover so that he could once again rule Middle Earth as a tyrannical dark lord, there are other characters who are pivotal in the entire history of this incredible JRR Tolkien universe.

Some of these characters have actually been alive for as long as Middle Earth has been around because of the fact that they are immortal. They also played pivotal roles during the events of the Third Age, which was the time when Frodo and the Fellowship of the Ring went on a quest to destroy the One Ring. These allies came in the form of some of the oldest and wisest elves, and none of them was older and wiser than Lady Galadriel herself.

Lady Galadriel is one of the rulers of Lothlórien, which is one of the greatest elven realms on Middle Earth. She was the one who was responsible for giving some tools that helped the Fellowship of the Ring in their quest to protect the realm of men from Mordor and allowed Frodo to destroy the One Ring. But, other than that, her involvement during the Third Age wasn’t quite as big as the other characters that were involved in the destruction of the One Ring. So, is Galadriel good or bad?

rings of power galadriel

The fact that Galadriel has been actively fighting the forces of darkness for as long as anyone could remember means that she is aligned with good. She was one of the many high elves that moved from Valinor to Middle Earth before the beginning of the First Age, and she has been actively aiding in the fight against the forces of darkness since then.

Galadriel was involved in the battles against Morgoth, who was the original dark lord before Sauron rose in power. Of course, after she and her allies defeated Morgoth at the end of the First Age, she played an active role during the Second Age as well when Sauron was in disguise in his attempt to rise in power through the Rings of Power and the creation of the One Ring.


Who Is Galadriel Based On? What Was J.R.R. Tolkien’s Inspiration for Her?

Then there is also the fact that, in the Third Age, she was instrumental in aiding Frodo and the Fellowship of the Ring by giving them some tools and her blessing. Before that, she teamed up with Gandalf and Elrond to oust Sauron from Dol Guldur and force him to retreat to Mordor. In that regard, she was active in the fight against both Morgoth and his former lieutenant, Sauron.

Of course, we also know for a fact that Galadriel never coveted power because she actually left Middle Earth after the defeat of Sauron. She was willing enough to return to Valinor after the Valar were ready to welcome her back, as she allowed men to thrive in Middle Earth with her departure. All that said, Lady Galadriel has always been aligned with good as she has always helped the people of Middle Earth fight against whatever darkness was before them.

Why Did Galadriel Turn Dark?

During the time when Frodo and the Fellowship of the Ring were in Lothlórien, the young hobbit was able to experience a moment with Galadriel herself, who spoke to him about the temptation of the One Ring. That was when Frodo offered the Ring to Galadriel, who looked as if she could not resist the temptation of such a powerful gift.

It was at that very moment that Galadriel turned dark while uttering the words: “In place of a dark lord, you will have a queen! Not dark, but beautiful and terrible as the dawn! Treacherous as the sea! Stronger than the foundations of the Earth! All shall love me and despair!”

evil galadriel

However, instead of taking the One Ring for herself, Galadriel refused the offer and said: “I pass the test. I will diminish and go into the West and remain Galadriel.” She later gave her own Ring of Power to Frodo.

When Galadriel turned dark the moment Frodo was ready to offer her the One Ring, that was a sneak peek of what could have been had she taken the Ring for herself. She clearly said that she would be the one to rule Middle Earth as its beautiful, terrible, and treacherous queen that everyone would be forced to love. 


The Rings of Power: Character Heights, Ages, Birthdays & Powers

In short, this dark form that Galadriel took in that scene was the form that she might have taken had she used the One Ring for her own desires. But luckily for the people of Middle Earth, she was able to resist the power of the One Ring.

Why Didn’t Galadriel Take The Ring?

After Galadriel turned dark for a while when Frodo tried to offer her the One Ring, she was quick enough to reject the offer. That was when she returned to her usual form, as she said that she “passed the test.”

This test that she was talking about was probably the test of whether or not she was worthy enough to return to Valinor after she was banned by the Valar returning many years ago. Of course, the reason why she didn’t take the ring was most likely related to the fact that she told Frodo that she saw what the hobbit foresaw in the mirror when he took a glimpse of what his future held if he would ever fail in his quest to destroy the One Ring.

Galadriel saw the world was going to fall into darkness, with Sauron once again returning to power as the dark lord that would rule over Middle Earth. Seeing this vision probably made her rethink what could have happened had she taken the One Ring. And it is worth talking more about Galadriel’s past for us to understand more about this decision.

mirror vision

One of the reasons why Galadriel left Valinor was the fact that she wanted her own kingdom to rule. In Valinor, she was a high elf that paled in comparison to the godly beings, such as the Valar and the Maiar. However, in Middle Earth, she had the chance to become a ruler of her own people. It was not as if she was power-hungry, but she just simply desired to become a benevolent ruler that wanted only what was best for her people.

But when she saw the vision that Frodo saw, Galadriel might have understood that the same thing would have happened had she taken the One Ring from the hobbit. It might have been true that she could have been the ruler of Middle Earth, but it would have come at an incredibly terrible price. The same things she saw in Frodo’s visions (death and destruction) would have happened had she taken the One Ring and forced her way into power as the ruler of Middle Earth.

In that regard, she understood that even though taking the One Ring would have essentially allowed them to get rid of Sauron, they would have simply traded one dark lord for another. And when she finally rejected the One Ring, that was when she realized that she passed the test and was ready to once again reside in Valinor to live a more humble life among the Valar and the Maiar.

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