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Portrayal of Women in TCOTC
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The Dreaming
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PostPosted: Fri Oct 08, 2004 8:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Murrin wrote:
Osondrea? Loerya? Amatin?


AHH YES. Pretty sure it was Amatin. (I was thinking specifically of people at the time of TIW anf TPTP.)
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PostPosted: Fri Oct 08, 2004 9:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Loerya was the one with the daughters. Amatin was the one who was devoted to Kevin's Lore.
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PostPosted: Sat Oct 09, 2004 4:07 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The Dreaming wrote:
In books like Lord of the Rings, the only time you ever see a chick is when she has the hots for Aragorn.


Not true even of the movie, which emphasized that part of the story much more than the books did. If Galadriel ever had the hots for anyone, it was thousands of years before the Third Age. I mean, she and Celeborn had their last child thousands of years ago, and I don't suppose even Elves are that careful.

And you do have various minor characters who had nothing particular to do with Aragorn: Lobelia Sackville-Baggins, Rosie Cotton, Ioreth the wise woman . . . and if you don't mind stretching your definitions, Shelob was a female character. OK, not human, but nor were most of the others.

Still, the comparative fewness and unimportance of women in LOTR means that it lacks an element of appeal that could have given it a broader audience. (If 100 million copies sold isn't broad enough, you know.) Not that adding elements is necessarily a good thing. I mean, LOTR also doesn't have any high-speed car chases, spaceships, or scenes where Hercule announces the identity of the murderer, and I consider this a major point in its favour. Wink
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PostPosted: Sat Oct 09, 2004 5:27 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

[quote="Variol Farseer"]
Not true even of the movie, which emphasized that part of the story much more than the books did. If Galadriel ever had the hots for anyone, it was thousands of years before the Third Age. I mean, she and Celeborn had their last child thousands of years ago, and I don't suppose even Elves are that careful.

[quote]

Hmm, forgot about Galadriel for a second, you're right. But would Lord of the Rings be exactly the same if Galadriel were a man? I think so. (hmm, I eat my own point later here... oh well)

I also donít think little minor character's like Lobelia really take anything away from my argument.

Lord of The Rings was meant to serve the missing legends and mythology that Britain lacked. After all, the Christians did a pretty good job of eradicating all of Britainís ancient Oral traditions. (All that was left was a bastardized legend about a roman governor who united Britain under his cavalry and Beowulf.) These are definitely worlds of Men.

The Chronicles is high fantasy with the medieval turned way down, thus, you can have a limited distinction between men and women. Lindon, not being from the Land, was definitely distinct from covenant, but looking at characters like Shetra and the First, it is obvious that there is no such thing as sexual discrimination in the Land.

Mordantís Need definitely has MUCH more medieval in it than the land, therefore the distinctions between man and woman are MUCH more pronounced. Just look at Saddith for god's sake! Myste, Elega and Torrent are all definitely women also.

P.S. Reference to Arturian legend is a tenuous one, not much is really known about the man behind the legend, save that he probably existed.
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PostPosted: Sat Oct 09, 2004 11:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

dlbpharmd wrote:
Jem - if you haven't already, you should watch the SRD clip regarding favorite characters (located on the SRD website.) He tells a great story about why Linden is so important to him.


How Do you get to this on SRD...I've tried to no avail.
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PostPosted: Sun Oct 10, 2004 4:52 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
In books like Lord of the Rings, the only time you ever see a chick is when she has the hots for Aragorn.


Quote:
Not true even of the movie, which emphasized that part of the story much more than the books did. If Galadriel ever had the hots for anyone, it was thousands of years before the Third Age. I mean, she and Celeborn had their last child thousands of years ago, and I don't suppose even Elves are that careful.


There are definitely more male characters, and more developed male characters, in LOTR (and in fantasy in general). The movies obviously tried to give the women more screen time, and though it emphasized Arwen's and Eowyn's hots for Aragorn, it didn't remove their agency. I mean, both women still made their own decisions, had their own, independent power, and were able to act for themselves to obtain their own goals. Strong women characters can still be in love.

In thinking about TCOTC, there are more incidental characters that are women than probably on average, and some could easily have been male characters without changing anything. Is that an improvement or ignoring femininity? I guess maybe some ignoring, but mostly progress.
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PostPosted: Sun Oct 10, 2004 6:12 am    Post subject: re Reply with quote

I think I just like that TCTC has female chars who are noticeably feminine but have other characteristics, or who are not made "special" by their sex. Of course there was sexual discrimination in mordant's need, that was part of the setting of the books; a time in which it was a "man's world" in Elega's ownish words...And the setting of the Land on the other hand specifically should not include discrimination, it being what it was. But all of Donaldson's female characters had something besides femaleness going for them in the way of reader-interest drawing qualities...Not that Arwen and Eowen don't have such, it's just that they don't have as much characterness as an SRD character would, period. LoTR is written on the "story" axis where TCTC is written on the "character" axis, sort of external vs. internal...All stories have elements of both, but some are more a tale of one axis than the other...it's one a.m. and I have ceased to make sense... Embarassed
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PostPosted: Sun Oct 10, 2004 6:18 am    Post subject: Re: re Reply with quote

fightingmyinstincts wrote:
LoTR is written on the "story" axis where TCTC is written on the "character" axis, sort of external vs. internal...All stories have elements of both, but some are more a tale of one axis than the other...it's one a.m. and I have ceased to make sense... Embarassed


You're making perfect sense to me, and it's only 12:20 a.m. as I'm reading this! Smile
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PostPosted: Sun Oct 10, 2004 10:02 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Perfect sense fmi. Very Happy

From my count, there are only nine named females in LOTR that speak: Rosie Cotton, her mother, Lobelia Sackville-Baggins, Farmer Maggot's wife, Goldberry, Arwen, Galadriel, Eowyn, and Ioreth. At a pinch, Shelob could also be considered female, taking the total to 10.

The Fellowship of the Ring was the first fantasy book I ever read, at the age of 12. Lord Foul's Bane was the second, a fortnight later, at the age of 13. What struck me about SRD's work was the abumdance of powerful female characters in comparison to Tolkien. I think this is why we notice, because the work that re-birthed fantasy is so male dominted.

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PostPosted: Sun Oct 10, 2004 12:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

drew wrote:
dlbpharmd wrote:
Jem - if you haven't already, you should watch the SRD clip regarding favorite characters (located on the SRD website.) He tells a great story about why Linden is so important to him.


How Do you get to this on SRD...I've tried to no avail.


www.stephenrdonaldson.com

Click on "From the Author" then "Structured Interviews" then "June 2004".

The clip we're talking about is the one entitled "which character are you most proud of?"
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PostPosted: Sun Oct 10, 2004 3:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

One of the underlying themes of Mordant's Need is the empowerment of women. Smile In the beginning, seemingly the only way to get ahead in that society if you are a female is Saddith's way...through a man. That is no longer true by the end. Smile I don't want to get into it anymore, though, because I know a lot of people haven't read it, and I don't want to get too spoiley. Wink
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PostPosted: Sun Oct 10, 2004 7:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

As far as Tolkien's writing goes... it's no surprise that LOTR (and the rest of his writing) have a noticable paucity of female characters. Although he was married, he lived and moved in an almost exclusively male world, being a professor at an all-male university. He wisely chose not to pretend deep insight into the female character, because he simply had none. Where he did use female characters, he simply sketched them in pretty broad strokes.
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PostPosted: Sun Oct 10, 2004 9:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi, folks. For the last few hours, I've been blissfully perusing the back pages of the TC forum for other threads discussing women in the Chronicles. Here are ones I found absorbing to read:

Elena-when she was alive how much did Despite influence her?

From the above thread, duchess made a very interesting post about the possible origins of Elena's character that I'd like to share:

duchess of malfi wrote:
I recently read some books of Russian mythology and i wonder if Donaldson possibly got the idea of Elena from one of them. In the myth of the firebird there is a beautiful and powerful princess named Elena. At the end of the story she comes under the influence of dark magic and betrays everything and everyone she loves the most. In one version of the myth that I read she does this because she is sort of shallow and selfish, but in the other, and more appropriate one, she means well and her betrayal is inadvertent (and also repaired when the dark magic is vanquished). Donaldson's Elena betrays the Land, but I don't think that she herself is an evil person. I think that Foul has been working on her most of her life. Doesn't he say right in the message to the Lords that he will hold the power of life and death in his hand before 42 years go by? This is a clear reference to Elena and the very, very, very bad thing that she comes to do when she calls Kevin from his grave. Foul somehow knows (and plans, I think) about what is going to happen.


Elena coming onto Thomas

Haruchai women

Donaldson's babes

Linden's mother

The Linden Avery Anti-Fan Club?

Linden Avery's Very Own Discussion Topic

Elena, daughter of Lena

For those that love Linden Avery

Ode to High Lord Elena

Haruchai women

There are two "Haruchai women" threads, one started by Ahanna in Nov 2002 and a later one by Durris in Jan 2004. Both have good discussions about that mysterious other half of the Haruchai race we never see.

"Donaldson's babes" is pretty hilarious. It's not some sexist free-for-all, just good fun. Mr. Green

The "Linden Avery Anti-Fan Club?" is really not as nasty as it sounds. The title is a question, not an assertion. DukkhaWaynhim and the gang offer terrific insights into this complex heroine.

"Elena, daughter of Lena" almost did become a nasty debate for a while. Things have calmed down since, but Elena is always capable of inspiring heated talk. That's just the kind of character she is. Wink

If you want what might be considered truly nasty discussions, just browse for topics on Lena. In my time here, I've seen nothing else at the Watch that approaches the intensity of argument concerning the act done to Lena by you-know-who. If talk about Elena is heated, talk about Lena is nuclear. So I'm not touching any Lena discussions with a 10-ft. staff, not even the Staff of Law. Wink You enter those discussions at your own peril.
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PostPosted: Wed Feb 23, 2011 6:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Bumping this for my current interest. It also has links to related topics before this post, making it convenient also. Very Happy
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PostPosted: Sun Feb 27, 2011 4:17 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

While this has been bumped I read through it (I wasn't on the watch in '04 - despite having read the first 2 Chrons a few times by then).

I feel compelled to say that I really liked the female characters in Frank Herbert's Dune series.. Very prominent, strong characters like the Lady Jessica, Chani, Irulan, the other women we see throughout the storie in the ranks of the Bene Gesserit and Honoured Matres.. This is also continued in the completion of the series by Herbert's son and another authour - and indeed in the prequels like the Machine Crusade and the Butlerian Jihad, most of the key figures are female..
I would say that they are also as well-rounded characters as the females in TCoTC as well, though it's been a while since I read them..
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PostPosted: Mon Apr 11, 2011 6:41 am    Post subject: Re: re Reply with quote

duchess of malfi wrote:
fightingmyinstincts wrote:
yes, it's decidedly nice to see women as something other than, "Oh, look, it's our token female badass" or "Ooh, a tavern wence!" I have always had that problem with fantasy...


Yes, or the spoiled, headstrong, bratty princess...or the powerful female magic user with terminal PMS Wink

And its great to see you back, FMI!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Very Happy Very Happy Very Happy Cool Cool Cool


Crap. Wish I was a better roleplayer. My first true D&D character was female and she was one of those last two. And not the princess one. Mind you, she wound up becoming a fine lady...who also happened to be the Goddess of Magic (Mystra, in case anyone was wondering.).

Also...WHAT IS WITH THE HATING OF LINDEN!!?? She is awesome. Hello, she fixed the Sunbane...and made the new Staff of Law.
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PostPosted: Mon Apr 11, 2011 9:53 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Is it bad every one of the above tropes makes me think of a character from the Belgariad? Big Grin
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 13, 2011 10:37 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yes, but to be fair, some of those female charachters have gone on to be great participants in the stories they 'inhabit' and quickly put their own stamp on the 'standard trope' template from which they spring. And I always quite liked that soft slightly cartoony feel that books like the 'Shannara' series had - OK, it's simple and formulaic, but it can still be damn good fun!

By the way in a quote somewhere up above The Duchess of Amalfi (I think) says that Elena betrayed the Land, though she was not inherently evil. I cannot but but be Shocked by this idea. Elena absolutely did NOT betray the Land. Out of her love and sacrifice for the Land she made a mistake. Wheter Corruption had a part in that mistake or not I do not know - but I do know there was no betrayal involved in it.
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 13, 2011 10:48 am    Post subject: Re: re Reply with quote

Falconer Winterleaf wrote:
Also...WHAT IS WITH THE HATING OF LINDEN!!?? She is awesome. Hello, she fixed the Sunbane...and made the new Staff of Law.

Absolutely behind this comment 100%!
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 14, 2011 12:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

AMEN to y'all about Linden. Very Happy

RE Linden, the folks on this forum are divided into several camps: zealous "Linden Lovers," members of THOOLAH ("The Holy Order Of Linden Avery Haters"), and p'raps a few people who wonder what all the fuss is about and wish we'd just stop talking about the subject.

Looks like the ranks of the Linden Lovers grow this day!!! Wink

peter wrote:
By the way in a quote somewhere up above The Duchess of Amalfi (I think) says that Elena betrayed the Land, though she was not inherently evil. I cannot but but be Shocked by this idea. Elena absolutely did NOT betray the Land. Out of her love and sacrifice for the Land she made a mistake. Wheter Corruption had a part in that mistake or not I do not know - but I do know there was no betrayal involved in it.


Okayyy... I'mma just gonna say - "thems sounds like fightin' words"!!! Didn't you see what Matrixman's post there?!?!?

Cambo- Ive only read one Eddings book, don't remember the female chars very well, but... Probably a bad thing! Wink
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