Tolkien Gateway

Letter 320

The Letters of J.R.R. Tolkien
Letter 320
RecipientMrs. Ruth Austin
Date25 January 1971
Subject(s)Galadriel's nature and story

Letter 320 is a letter written by J.R.R. Tolkien and published in The Letters of J.R.R. Tolkien.

[edit] Summary

Tolkien was particularly interested in Austin’s remarks about Galadriel. He thought it was true that her character owed much to Christian and Catholic teaching and imagination about Mary, but he pointed out that Galadriel was actually a penitent. She was a rebel leader against the Valar (angelic guardians) and proudly refused forgiveness or permission to return at the end of the First Age. Eventually she was pardoned for resisting the temptation to take the Ring for herself.

[edit] Other versions of the legendarium

As Christopher Tolkien explained in the Unfinished Tales, the story of Galadriel underwent continual refashionings. The version above is but one variation.[1]


  1. J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), Unfinished Tales, "The History of Galadriel and Celeborn"