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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