Tolkien fact 8 – Gimli’s Golden Gift

[Originally posted on March 10th, 2015]

The Extended Editions of the LotR movies portray many scenes from the books that are left out in the theatrical versions. One such extended scene has implications that stretch far back into the history of Tolkien’s world. As the Fellowship prepares to leave Lothlórien, Lady Galadriel gives each of them gifts. Some of these are shown in the theatrical versions (like Frodo’s Phial and the Fellowship’s brooches and cloaks) and others are not. One important gift that is left out is what Galadriel gives to Gimli. It is not so much portrayed in the movies, but in the book Gimli is absolutely enamored with Galadriel, to the point that he is willing to fight Éomer later when he off-handedly slights her. Here I must also say that Galadriel is very old. She was around before the Sun and Moon were made and is from a line of Elves that is very powerful and important. Fëanor, the elf who made the Silmarils, also deeply admired her, particularly her hair. He asked three times for a single strand of her hair and three times she refused because she mistrusted and despised him and thought he was treacherous.
In The Fellowship, Galadriel does not know what to give to Gimli and asked what he would desire. He sincerely and authentically asks for a strand of her hair from her head. She, however, gives to him three strands of hair. He spends many of the next few days considering what kinds of gems and settings he could preserve them in.
The significance of this is not mentioned anywhere in LotR but can be seen as directly relating to Fëanor’s requests. You can take this however you wish as well: perhaps Galadriel felt bad for denying Fëanor so long ago and wanted to atone for it through Gimli. Maybe it is to show in contrast her acceptance for Gimli despite him being a dwarf. Either way it is interesting.

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