The Christian Feminist Podcast #153: The Women of The Lord of the Rings

Ilia Danner Grubbs, Christina Bieber Lake, and special guest Brian Grubbs discuss the female characters in the works of J. R. R. Tolkien


A little background on our experiences with Tolkien’s work


  • The main women of Middle Earth
    • Galadriel, Arwen, Eowyn, Rosie, Lobelia, Goldberry, Luthien
    • Notable minor characters: the entwives, Shelob, Gilraen, Ioreth, and several more in the Silmarillion 
  • Does Tolkien write women “well”?
    • Medieval tropes
      • the virgin/the witch/the mother
      • the confined/obedient vs unconfined/troublesome women?
    • Are they complex and realistic in their actions and experiences?
    • Is he guilty of the “Valkyrie Reflex?”
  • What gender roles do we see/not see in these books?
    • Katherine Hasser notes an interesting lack of gender roles in Hobbit society
    • Eowyn goes against the traditional female role
  • What theological ideas do we see through the women of LOTR?
    • Biblical allusions/metaphors
    • Overarching themes centered around them?


Christina: Chapter 11 of Simone De Beauvoir’s The Second Sex

Brian: Amon Sul Podcast

A Hobbit, a Wardrobe, and a Great War

Ilia: Letters from Father Christmas

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