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Old 12-05-2002, 08:01 PM   #1
the mortal elf
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Tolkien Gimli and Galadriel

This question has been lingering around in my head for quite some time now:

Did Gimli actually fall in love with Galadriel, or was he just incredibly respectful to and awed by her? I know that in the appendices, it says that Gimli may have been let into Valinor because of his 'great reverence for the lady Galadriel' or something like that (can't find the exact quote.) Along with the rest of the clues which are in LotR (such as his argument with Eomer) I'm pretty much convinced that he fell in love with her. What do you think?

If this has been discussed before, feel free to redirect me. [img]smilies/biggrin.gif[/img]
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Old 12-05-2002, 08:16 PM   #2
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((in a delicate voice)) I believe Gimli felt she was a radiant beauty...he might have thought it was love, but dear...((in her demon voice)) he doesn't know better! Muahahaha
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Old 12-05-2002, 08:22 PM   #3
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it would be interesting to see them dance (and see their children.)
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Old 12-05-2002, 08:38 PM   #4
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1420!

That's a good question but I also think that he did fall in love with her. If he didn't fall in love with her and just did it out of respect, then it was nice of him. But I really think that he fell in love with her. However, he might have exaggerated just to form a bond between him and the elves, and especially Legolas. And since he had despised elves, you'd think that he wouldn't like her all that much, but I think that once he saw her it was more of a shock to him. He must have thought, 'how could elves be so bad when they are this beautiful.' It might have made her seem even more beautiful. Galadriel might also seem more beautiful due to her elven ring, but that's besides the point.

Tolkien might have wanted to show that people can put aside their differences to work together. Legolas of the elves, and Gimli of the Dwarves did, and it showed them how much of a friend they could be to each other. Tolkien showed this through the Battle of the Five Armies, as dwarves and elves united against the goblins. Also he might have did this to show a clear and present danger. They must focus on the the bigger and more vital problem: the goblins. And in LotR, the clear and present danger was the ring.

Well there are some thoughts for you. Heres a funny one. Maybe since dwarves had such ugly women, Gimli could have thought that Galadriel was way more beautiful than she actually was. And maybe because their wives were so ugly, they'd rather live in the dark, than see how ugly their wives were. And that's why they lived in the mountains. Just kidding. [img]smilies/smile.gif[/img] [img]smilies/smile.gif[/img] [img]smilies/smile.gif[/img]
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Old 12-05-2002, 09:56 PM   #5
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I think anyone who had seen Galadriel's beauty would have fallen in love with it, and her, like in the sense that we have all fallen in love with the Lord of the Rings books.

But no, I don't think it was a man-to-woman love at all. A dwarf and a high-elf? C'mon! Though I suppose his standard HAD somewhat been lowered if all the dwarf-woman looked like the men...
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Old 12-05-2002, 10:04 PM   #6
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I believe that Gimli felt love for her in a way that he wouldn't have towards, say, Legolas or any other guy-elf. So, yeah, it wasn't total platonic admiration, but I don't think he even began to form sexual fantasies or anything like that. She was too far above him for that...kind of like his own personal Elbereth Gilthoniel.

Celeborn certainly never seemed very threatened by him, at any rate. [img]smilies/wink.gif[/img]
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Old 12-05-2002, 11:12 PM   #7
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I think that Gimli fell in love with Galadriel in a sense, but I don't think it was in a romantic way. I think he was instead more or less left speechless by her great beauty, knowledge, power, and majesty. I mean Galadriel had been around since the First Age, so it must have been pretty impressive to meet her. Especially for Gimli as a dwarf who by nature was prejudiced against elves. He probably was shocked to find out what he had been missing. But anyway I think he did become attached to Galadriel even more closely than some of the other members of the fellowship, and I think he would have been devoted to her for life, but I don't think it was the passionate, romantice type of love.

[ December 06, 2002: Message edited by: dernhelm ]
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Old 12-05-2002, 11:27 PM   #8
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Quote:
I think that Gimli fell in love with Galadriel in a sense, but I don't think it was in a romantic way. I think he was instead more or less left speechless by her great beauty, knowledge, power, and majesty...[she was to him] like his own personal Elbereth Gilthoniel.
Excellently put, Diamond. My compliments. I have nothing more to add. [img]smilies/smile.gif[/img]
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Old 12-05-2002, 11:33 PM   #9
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Two words: Courtly Love.

Gimli (as everyone above has already pointed out) loves Galadriel but not in a relationship-related way; he doesn't see her as his equal, but rather as an ideal to strive for, especially as in the usual courtly love situation she's already married to someone else and thus REALLY unattainable. Not that he's striving to *become* her or anything [img]smilies/smile.gif[/img] but rather that he's striving to make the world a place which is worthy of containing her. And if this means hacking off a lot of Orc heads and trying to pull trolls off of Pippin, then so be it [img]smilies/wink.gif[/img]. Incidentally, her gift of three strands of hair is a perfect courtly love token; in fact, it's a very good one - usually the knight-errant just got a handkerchief or something like that, but he gets something much closer to her than that.
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Old 12-06-2002, 03:08 AM   #10
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Precisely, Kalimac. The Dwarven culture strikes me as being the one in Middle-earth that is closest to the ideals of knighthood in Medieval times. Gimli is very susceptible to beauty, whether it be Galadriel or the Glittering Caves, and he expresses his deep admiration very poetically.

And yes, mortal elf, it is love - there are many kinds of love, and people of earlier times did not hesitate to call their feelings 'love', whether they had to do with a romantic or sexual relationship or not. We discussed this on the Hope-lessly in Love thread; so many people seem uncomfortable with calling Éowyn's feelings 'love' and called it a 'crush' - which I think is depreciating the depth of her emotions. Gimli's emotions were certainly deep and earthier (appropriately for a Dwarf!) than a purely 'putting her on a pedestal and worshiping her' admiration.

This is what he says to Legolas when they leave Lothlórien and Legolas tries to comfort him by saying that he will have unfading memories to treasure in his heart:
Quote:
True words doubtless; yet all such comfort is cold. Memory is not what the heart desires. That is only a mirror.
If someone said that of me, I would certainly consider it love! [img]smilies/smile.gif[/img]
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Old 12-06-2002, 11:01 AM   #11
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Silmaril

Thank you for the compliment, Nuranar, but the first part of that quote belonged to dernhelm. [img]smilies/smile.gif[/img] (I'll still take credit for the part about Elbereth Gilthoniel, though [img]smilies/wink.gif[/img] ).
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Old 12-06-2002, 02:00 PM   #12
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Silmaril

Ah, I should read more carefully. My compliments to the both of you!
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Old 12-06-2002, 05:39 PM   #13
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He was definitely in love with her.

MLD-Grounds-Keeper-Willie says:

Quote:
He must have thought, 'how could elves be so bad when they are this beautiful.' It might have made her seem even more beautiful. Galadriel might also seem more beautiful due to her elven ring, but that's besides the point.
She didn't need the ring.

From 77:

Quote:
A sister they had, [the sons of Finarfin] Galadriel, most beautiful of all the house of Finwe; her hair was lit with gold as though it had caught in a mesh the radiance of Laurelin.
Gimli tells Legolas that he would even welcome a message from Galadriel speaking of his death. And when Gandalf the White delivers her message to him (calling him Lockbearer) he dances and sings.
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Old 12-06-2002, 09:03 PM   #14
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Tolkien

Thanks you guys. Some of your replies are really insightful. I didn't intend to suggest any kind of sexual attration or anything like that. I just wanted to know whether it was real love, which most of you seem to think it was. I've been of that opinion for quite some time, but I've just been trying to convince a friend and she won't believe me. Maybe this will help.
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Old 12-06-2002, 09:48 PM   #15
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I think Tolkien writes in one of his published Letters that Galadriel is kindred in his imagination with the Virgin Mary. I may have the sense wrong, but there was something there if my memory serves me correctly.

Here's the point: I'm not Roman Catholic, but I've got some RC friends who are definitely in love with the Virgin Mary - it's called adoration. Their voices choke up in a different way about the Virgin than they do even about their own wives and mothers. I think this is what Gimli had for Galadriel - and her warmth toward him certainly changed him for the better - or should I say - brought out the best in him. So there was love, but of an adoration kind. That's been hinted at above, but I wanted to get the "A" word into the discussion.
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Old 12-06-2002, 09:52 PM   #16
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It most certainly was not love, not the kind of love a husband gives to his wife anyway. You are looking at it from a modern mentality. In the kind of mindset the noble of Middle-Earth had in the end of the Third Age, a kind more abundant in the Middle-Ages too, beautiful ladies -- especially graceful ones, like Galadriel -- were respected and praised by all men, for their beauty and gracefulness. This was all. Gimli, I am sure, had no feelings of love for her any more than that.

Remember the words between Eomer and Gimli?

Quote:
Eomer: 'I have seen her; and I will not say that she is the fairest lady who walks the earth.'

Gimli: 'Then I must fetch my axe.'

Eomer: '... (something about Arwen) and I say that she is more fair than anything else.'

Gimli: 'Then you are forgiven. For you have chosen the Evening; but my love is given rather to the Morning.'
(My quotes are never very precise. My bookshelf is a long walk away from my computer [img]smilies/wink.gif[/img])

Eomer seemed to share the same feelings as Gimli, but instead of for Galadriel, for Arwen. Yet Eomer was certainly not 'in love' with Arwen. He was simply applying the above to her, as Gimli was doing to Galadriel.
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Old 12-07-2002, 10:29 AM   #17
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Gwaihir, your quote is close enough. Note, "...my love is given to the morning..."

I think we agree. It is not a husband/romantic lover kind of thing, but an adoration; your words, "respect" and "praise" are apt, though I feel "respect" doesn't go far enough.

I find it interesting that GIMLI is the one who waxes poetic (a dwarf!), bringing in the symbolism of morning and evening.
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Old 11-25-2003, 09:59 PM   #18
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I agree. It was definitely a more respectful, worshipful relationship.
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Old 02-01-2004, 07:50 PM   #19
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Good comments, but I also believe that this was a really significant thing for Gimli, because he really isn't too fond of elves before his visit to the Lady. It's really after this that his bond with Legolas forms, and I believe that this event is what convinces him that elves really do have something going for them (though dwarves, obviously, are physically superior [img]smilies/wink.gif[/img]) This is one reason I love Tolkein's work, because there is another level of feeling between love and the worship of a deity. It's lovely!
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Old 02-02-2004, 05:08 AM   #20
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Sting

To reiterate Kalimac's point about courtly love: Gimli's initial death-threat to Eomer regarding the beauty of Galadriel, and an insistence that he admit she is 'the fairest of them all' is a classic example of a knight defending the honour of his lady under the chivalric system. And yes, it is rather endearing to think of a dwarf as knight errant:
Quote:
He rose clumsily and bowed in dwarf-fashion, saying: ‘Yet more fair is the
living land of Lorien, and the Lady Galadriel is above all the jewels that lie
beneath the earth!
There was never any question of consummation or what we would call a relationship, with courtly love. Adoration is the right word, I think, and yes, I think that the worship of the Virgin Mary is a similar phenomenon.
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Old 02-02-2004, 09:06 PM   #21
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Sting

Quote:
I think Tolkien writes in one of his published Letters that Galadriel is kindred in his imagination with the Virgin Mary. I may have the sense wrong, but there was something there if my memory serves me correctly.
That is exactly the kind of love I was thinking about when I first read the first few replies on the thread. It seemed to me like a very religious type of respect and love. But then it is also very knightly. I guess the both of them are kind of similar... It is the kind of love and respect where a person would do anything for the person, idol, being. They would go into battle, slay mighty dragons. He most likely looked at Galadriel as being very "godly", as being very much above him. Much like a knight or a worshipper. I think his love towards Galadriel consisted of a wide variety of different types of love.

Such a nice thread for this time before Valentine's Day [img]smilies/wink.gif[/img]
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Old 02-03-2004, 09:53 AM   #22
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Sting

You're all right in a sense but don't forget that what started all this 'adoration/courtly love/a mixture of both' was the fact that Galadriel was the one to show him friendship and understanding when he least expected it:
Quote:
and it seemed to him that he looked suddenly into the heart of an enemy and saw there love and understanding.
He regarded Elves somehow with hostility before (as was already pointed out), including Legolas. By showing him love and understanding, Galadriel makes him more friendly and understanding towards Elves in general, she 'changes' him not for her but for the world and the benefit of his companions. A Galadriel figure would be very useful in our time, to change intolerance to love. Women usually want to change men, but very few do it so selflessly. So the love came originally from Galadriel, and Gimli was the recipient.

yep, this does makes a cute topic for Valentine's day! [img]smilies/tongue.gif[/img]
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Old 02-03-2004, 08:13 PM   #23
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Definitely the courtly love and adoration and the fact that with all this elf racism against dwarves, she had been kind. But she must also have been touched and flattered - don't forget, Feanor couldn't get ONE hair from her, and Gimli got three! :-) Dwarves, of all people, can appreciate beauty - they create it! Even the artistic Elves have been known to order jewellery from the dwarves.

Not sure I like all this rudeness about dwarf women. After all, beauty is in the eye of the beholder and no doubt male dwarves - those of them who can get women, which is only about 1/3 of them - write sonnets to the silkiness of the beloved's beard. Stop laughing, I mean it! Quite probably in Africa, say, a white person is thought of as an ugly fish-belly colour - and we're the same species!
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Old 02-03-2004, 08:45 PM   #24
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The fact that Galadriel is so overwhelmningly beautiful probably contributed to the change that she caused in Gimli. Most women that try to change their friends, boyfriends, or spouses generally aren't that beautiful. If they were, then I'm sure that more change would have occurred. [img]smilies/wink.gif[/img]
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Old 02-12-2004, 12:22 AM   #25
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i think yes gimli at first respected galadriel but afterwards i.e.while leaving lothlorein he quite fell in love with her and that is why he demanded her hair string as a memory of her

because he knew that he could not even marry her.
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Old 02-12-2004, 01:14 AM   #26
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A lurker chimes in since she's re-reading the trilogy and developing a newfound respect for Gimli...like any intersting fictional character, he changes greatly throughout the course of the story and I think his encounter with Galadriel was a catalyst for that change.
And I agree that it is a pure, courtly devotion, not love as we moderns would know it.
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Old 02-12-2004, 01:29 AM   #27
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Quote:
Originally posted by rutslegolas
i think yes gimli at first respected galadriel but afterwards i.e.while leaving lothlorein he quite fell in love with her and that is why he demanded her hair string as a memory of herbecause he knew that he could not even marry her.
As have been repeated endlessly in this thread, it is almost CERTAIN that the love is nothing more then courtly respect.

Quote:
"Alas! I will not say that she is the fairest lady on earth that lives."
"Then I must go for my axe"
"If I saw her in any other company, I would have said all your heart desires, but now my heart is given to Lady Arwen
I doubt Eomer is the type to chase after married women, especially Aragorn's wife!
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Old 02-12-2004, 05:47 PM   #28
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About Gimli: I thought it was obvious that this is quite typical "courtly love" and adoration! It seems that many people nowadays just are not able to picture such a relationship anymore. Galadriel became Gimli's Guiding Star.

Anyhow,I think it's sad that in our time people can't read the word "love" without immediately thinking about a sexual or at least romantic attraction...
As Estelyn wrote:
Quote:
there are many kinds of love, and people of earlier times did not hesitate to call their feelings 'love', whether they had to do with a romantic or sexual relationship or not.
In LotR "love" is usually used in the old sense, (like it also is in the Bible!)
Thus, if Sam says that he loves Frodo, there's nothing homoerotic about it, as some people seem to suspect.
Another exemple is Eomer saying to Aragorn: "Since the day when you rose before me out of the green grass of the downs I have loved you, and that love shall not fail."
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Old 02-12-2004, 06:49 PM   #29
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In The Hobbit, Tolkien says:

Quote:
Dwarves are not heroes, but calculating folk with a great idea of the value of money; some are tricky and treacherous and pretty bad lots; some are not, but are decent people like Thorin and Company, if you don't expect too much.(from "Inside Information")
I think Gimli's love/adoration of Galadriel is a way that he 'rises above' his dwarf-mentality. Galadriel is not something he can put a monetary value on, and his love (& her beauty) shows him a different view of life.
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Old 02-13-2004, 10:09 PM   #30
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Don't forget that when Galadriel asks Gimli what he's going to do with the hair, he says that he'll set it in crystal as an heirloom to remind everyone of the perpetual friendship between "wood and mountain", .i.e. Elves and Dwarves. In other words, not merely an attraction or a courtly thing or whatever (and BTW, there's nothing "mere" about courtly love, either, the knight had to go off and do any ridiculous thing the beloved asked and in the mediaeval romances they wanted some totally absurd things!). It's a case of, "We've been enemies a long time, lady, let's make it up." And then she prophesies that gold will flow through his hands but have no control over him (almost "un-dwarvish"? "We don't really love gold, we just say that to get it into bed" to paraphrase Terry Pratchett).
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Old 02-14-2004, 01:02 AM   #31
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Originally posted by Lobelia
Don't forget that when Galadriel asks Gimli what he's going to do with the hair, he says that he'll set it in crystal as an heirloom to remind everyone of the perpetual friendship between "wood and mountain", .i.e. Elves and Dwarves. In other words, not merely an attraction or a courtly thing or whatever (and BTW, there's nothing "mere" about courtly love, either, the knight had to go off and do any ridiculous thing the beloved asked and in the mediaeval romances they wanted some totally absurd things!). It's a case of, "We've been enemies a long time, lady, let's make it up." And then she prophesies that gold will flow through his hands but have no control over him (almost "un-dwarvish"? "We don't really love gold, we just say that to get it into bed" to paraphrase Terry Pratchett).
I like your analysis Lobelia,
and that Terry Pratchett quote made me spew my tea.
Thanks for livening up a dull Tokyo afternoon.
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Old 02-04-2005, 04:28 PM   #32
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Old 02-06-2005, 12:39 PM   #33
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Really just a footnote to the many excellent posts made already - I would just say that, while I think Gimli was profoundly affected by Galadriel's understanding and intercession for him when they first met, which I think inspired that fiercely protective dwarf loyalty which was in part to escalate the confrontation with Eomer. I think Gimli had a very strong response to beauty which can be seen in his reaction to Aglarond - and his very spirited defence of it when Legolas makes his flippant response to his remarks. That exchange reminds me a bit of the ones with Eomer.
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Old 02-06-2005, 01:49 PM   #34
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I think Gimli had a very strong response to beauty which can be seen in his reaction to Aglarond - and his very spirited defence of it when Legolas makes his flippant response to his remarks. That exchange reminds me a bit of the ones with Eomer.
I agree very much with this, Mithalwen! Gimli may be rough on the outside, but he has the soul of a poet. I grieve at the onesided portrayal of him in the movies .
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Old 02-06-2005, 09:18 PM   #35
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Speaking as a great cynic of love I must say I don't believe in love at first sight in the real world, but seeing as Middle-Earth is not the real world I say Gimli loved Galadriel. But I don't think he was in love with her. I think Gimli was striken with Galadriel and her beauty and wisdom and he found his respect for Elves through her. Even if it wasn't love Gimli surely had some sort of respect for the lady.
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Old 05-31-2006, 01:07 PM   #36
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Gimli was definitely in love with Galadriel
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Old 06-25-2006, 03:47 AM   #37
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define me 'being in love', than
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