In the Fellowship movie, Gimli warns the Hobbits about the "elf witch" who lives in Lórien. He says that men who look upon her "fall under her spell and are never seen again" It seems to me that Gimli is suggesting that Galadriel is a seductress. Is this just Gimli's dwarf paranoia or is there some solid reason?

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    Maybe because (nearly) all mortal men that goes into Lorien never come back ? I don't think it is about seduction.
    – Max
    Aug 9, 2015 at 14:01
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    Jackson was so interested in pace that he made years long sequences into hours. He didn't have much time to develop or explain the Dwarf-Elf tension and I think this is just a way to help build that sense of distrust while keeping the pace up.
    – ThruGog
    Aug 9, 2015 at 15:05

2 Answers 2


We can't say a lot in the context of the movie; the line sets up a couple of character threads, and Galadriel is clearly an awesome1 figure, but it's no more than a throwaway.

However, it serves to condense a longer conversation to similar effect from the book (some important points emphasized):

'Lothlórien!' said Aragorn. 'Glad I am to hear again the wind in the trees! We are still little more than five leagues from the Gates, but we can go no further. Here let us hope that the virtue of the Elves will keep us tonight from the peril that comes behind.'

'If Elves indeed still dwell here in the darkening world,' said Gimli.

'It is long since any of my own folk journeyed hither back to the land whence we wandered long ago,' said Legolas, 'but we hear that Lórien is not yet deserted, for there is a secret power here that holds evil from the land. Nevertheless its folk are seldom seen, and maybe they dwell now deep in the woods and far from the northern border.'

'Indeed deep in the wood they dwell,' said Aragorn, and sighed as if some memory stirred in him. 'We must fend for ourselves tonight. We will go forward a short way, until the trees are all about us, and then we will turn aside from the path and seek a place to rest in.'

He stepped forward, but Boromir stood irresolute and did not follow. 'Is there no other way?' he said.

'What other fairer way would you desire?' said Aragorn.

'A plain road, though it led through a hedge of swords,' said Boromir. 'By strange paths has this company been led, and so far to evil fortune. Against my will we passed under the shades of Moria, to our loss. And now we must enter the Golden Wood, you say. But of that perilous land we have heard in Gondor, and it is said that few come out who once go in, and of that few none have escaped unscathed.'

'Say not unscathed, but if you say unchanged, then maybe you will speak the truth,' said Aragorn.

Fellowship of the Ring Book II Chapter 6: "Lothlórien"

From the above, a few things are clear:

  • The Elves of Lórien are much less visible (to the outside world) than the Elves of Mirkwood or Rivendell
  • Probably inspired in part by that isolation, people have made up scary stories about places and people they don't understand

What's more Lórien feels different, as we can tell when the Fellowship is being led through it:

As soon as [Frodo] set foot upon the far bank of Silverlode a strange feeling had come upon him, and it deepened as he walked on into the Naith: it seemed to him that he had stepped over a bridge of time into a corner of the Elder Days, and was now walking in a world that was no more. In Rivendell there was memory of ancient things; in Lórien the ancient things still lived on in the waking world.

Fellowship of the Ring Book II Chapter 6: "Lothlórien"

All in all it would be a very strange place to visit, even if one didn't have occasion to meet Galadriel. If one did, considering the effect she has on the Company, it's not hard to imagine that some unusual stories were circulating among the other peoples of Middle-earth.

In fact, imagine the reaction of another Dwarf (Gloín, say) to Gimli both before and after his experience in Lórien.

Pre-Lórien, Gimli is a good little Dwarf with a healthy (to a dwarf) distrust of Elves. After the encounter:

'I have looked the last upon that which was fairest,' [Gimli] said to Legolas his companion. 'Henceforward I will call nothing fair, unless it be her gift.'

Fellowship of the Ring Book II Chapter 8: "Farewell to Lórien"

Without knowing better, as we do, it's hard not to see that as Gimli being put under an enchantment of some sort.

1 I'm using this word very carefully; Galadriel is "awesome" in the "grand and wonderful and more than a little bit terrifying" sense

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    "1 I'm using this word very carefully; Galadriel is "awesome" in the "grand and wonderful and more than a little bit terrifying" sense".... Saying "awe inspiring" may alleviate the colloquial nature of awesome?
    – user001
    Apr 1, 2016 at 10:10

I don't have the book handy with me, but Gimli's lines are definitely a composite of the character quotes (mentioned upthread) with Éomer's reference to Galadriel as an Elf sorceress.

He explained to Éomer that they had come through Lothlórien, to which Éomer inquired if they were sorcerers working for the Lady of the Wood. This Lady was Galadriel, and Gimli the Dwarf was deeply offended to learn that Éomer would dare to insult her.

Ironically, this is obviously an attempt to set up a transition in Gimli's character to be illustrated by a change of heart in the above dialogue which sadly got left on the cutting-room floor in The Two Towers.

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