Was Galadriel a Warrior & Why Is She Becoming One in The Rings of Power?

was galadriel warrior

New trailer for Amazon’s The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power just dropped and it shows Galadriel in quite a different light than we’re used to seeing her in. Galadriel from the trailer is fully armored, wearing a sword, and is referred to as commander of the Northern Armies. A lot of the fans are wondering, is warrior Galadriel Canon and if it isn’t why is she becoming one in The Rings of Power? In today’s article, we’re going to answer those questions and analyze Galadriel’s youth in more depth. So, Was Galadriel a warrior and why does she become one in The Rings of Power?

It’s strongly insinuated through Tolkien’s works that Galadriel was a warrior in her youth. She was described as highly athletic, strong, wise, and a fierce fighter with a mind of a commander ever watchful for the return of the evil. The reason why she is shown as a warrior in the trailer for The Rings of Power is that the series will show us Galadriel in her youth, and in her youth, she was quite different than we’ve seen her in the movies. 

Now that you know the short answer and that Galadriel was in fact described as a warrior quite a few times, it’s time to analyze the issues in more depth. Let’s see how much the new trailer for The Rings of Power matches the established Tolkien canon.

Was Galadriel a warrior?

It was strongly insinuated that Galadriel was a warrior in her youth but it was never explicitly stated. In Tolkien’s Unfinished Tales Galadriel is described as a warrior princess of sorts taking part in athletic feats. Galadriel had a strong body, and a wise mind, she was tall and athletic a true amazon of a woman. She could easily match loremasters and athletes of the Eldar while she was young.

Her original name was Artanis Nerwen the Man-maiden until her husband Celeborn gave her a new name “Galadriel”. We were already aware that Galadriel was among the most powerful characters in Lord of the Rings, and that Sauron considered her as one of the biggest obstacles in establishing his evil dominion in Middle-earth. There’s no reason to think that Galadriel wasn’t a warrior, especially when she was both strong in body and in mind. 

In what battles was Galadriel in?

Galadriel took part in quite a few battles. She joined the rebellion against Valar, Kinslaying at Alqualondë in which she is described as “fighting fiercely against Fëanor in defense of her mother’s kin”. Her second battle was when a band of rebels that she led got attacked by the armies of Morgoth. During the battles of Lorien, Galadriel managed to level the fortress at Dol Guldur singlehandedly 

“Three times Lórien had been assailed from Dol Guldur, but besides the valour of the elven people of that land, the power [of Galadriel] that dwelt there was too great for any to overcome unless Sauron had come there himself. Though grievous harm was done to the fair woods on the borders, the assaults were driven back”

The Lord of the Rings Appendices

Did Galadriel ever have a sword?

While Galadriel was never explicitly shown having a sword, and Tolkien never explicitly wrote that she used a sword, there’s no reason to believe that Galadriel never had or used a sword considering she did take part in a few battles.

RELATED: The Lord of the Rings: 20 Most Powerful Weapons (Ranked)

Did Galadriel ever command an army?

There are no written records that state explicitly that Galadriel was a commander or commander of Northern Armies. Galadriel was only described as having a mind of a commander 

“she looked upon the dwarves also with the eye of a commander, seeing in them the finest warriors to pit against the Orcs.”

Unfinished Tales

But that description was probably just a figure of speech and nothing more. 

Why is Galadriel becoming a warrior in the Rings of Power?

Galadriel is becoming a warrior in the Rings of Power because the series will show her in her youth when she was much more rebellious and eager to fight than in the Lord of the Rings movies. We’ve already discussed how Tolkien described Galadriel in his other works, as strong, fierce, prideful, and angry.

By the time the events of Lord of the Rings unfolded, we’ve seen Galadriel in the role of an ethereally beautiful and wise beyond measure elven healer. It’s only fair that the show shows her in a different light, in youth. Galadriel isn’t becoming a warrior, she was always among the most powerful elves and strong and it’s time we see just how much. 

Why is Galadriel wearing armor for the show?

Galadriel is wearing armor for the show because she is shown taking part in a battle as commander of the Northern Armies. Parts shown in the trailer may not be cannon but it’s common sense that if you find yourself near the battle, or taking part in battle you should probably wear something to protect yourself.

Was Galadriel a Warrior & Why Is She Becoming One in The Rings of Power?
Galadriel wearing an armor

Galadriel’s protective magic wasn’t as developed in the second age, Galadriel’s ring Nenya only gained power after the ruling ring was destroyed so it would make sense that she should be wearing armor. 

Was Galadriel a warrior in the Silmarillion

Galadriel was never explicitly referred to as a warrior, and by the third age and the events of the Lord of the Rings, she already lost a bit of her fire and capability for “punitive action” and violence. That would imply she was much more aggressive in the second age. But the direct answer to the question would be that no, she was not a warrior in the Silmarillion

In conclusion, was Galadriel a warrior and why is she becoming one in the Rings of Power?

Now that we’ve analyzed every aspect of Galadriel from the new Rings of Power trailer it’s safe to say that everything we’ve seen is not exactly canon. Galadriel’s warrior status was only insinuated and the majority of references we have only describe her as a “strong woman” and nowhere does it specifically say that she was a warrior.

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But considering that she joined at least two confirmed battles we can assume that Galadriel was a warrior. In the books or previous Lord of the Rings movies, she was never shown being in armor or wearing a sword, and honestly, it didn’t seem like Galadriel would even have use for such items, but it’s common sense to be armored and armed. The issue most fans have with “new” Galadriel is the sense that they are erasing her “elven perfection and feminity” by putting her in armor and giving her a title of a commander. I wouldn’t say that’s true. I think they are just showing us a different aspect of Galadriel that was always there in her youth.

She was strong and capable, but by the time we saw her in the Lord of the Rings, she’s lost some of her fire. Galadriel has grown tired and weary, and it again, makes sense that she will not approach issues with the same attitude and fervor she did when she was young back in the second age. 

  • Back in Valentina's glory days you would've found her roaming idyllic landscapes of Azeroth or simply looking for some player-versus-player trouble. She enjoys all genres of Video Games but RPG's set in well-built and elaborate worlds hold a special place in her heart.