The Encyclopedia of Arda - an interactive guide to the world of J.R.R. Tolkien
Dates
Both Galadriel and Aredhel dated back into the Years of the Trees; Galadriel passed into the West on 29 September III 3021; Erendis lived between II 771 and II 985; Éowyn was born in III 2995 and survived into the Fourth Age
Location
Particularly associated with Galadriel in Lórien
Races
Divisions
Galadriel and Aredhel were both of the Noldor; Erendis was one of the Dúnedain of Númenor; Éowyn was one of the Rohirrim
Title of
Especially Galadriel, but also used of Aredhel, Erendis and Éowyn

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  • Updated 9 September 2019
  • This entry is complete

White Lady

Noblest of the ladies of Elves and Men

A title that recurs several times across the histories of both Elves and Men, from the First Age through to the Third and beyond. It is used most usually to refer to Galadriel of Lórien, whose custom it was to robe herself in white. In the First Age, however, the title had also been used of Galadriel's cousin Aredhel, the White Lady of the Noldor (though in Aredhel's case it described the extraordinary paleness of her skin rather than her preferred mode of dress).

As well as these two Elves, there were also two White Ladies among the race of Men. In the Second Age, Erendis of Númenor withdrew to live in her remote White House, and became known as the White Lady of Emerië. The final White Lady was Éowyn of Rohan, who - like Galadriel - seems to have gained the title due to her preference for dressing in white.

Aredhel Ar-Feiniel White Lady of the Noldor
The daughter of Fingolfin of the Noldor had pale skin and dressed in silvers and whites, giving rise to her name Ar-Feiniel (which translates as 'White Lady'). She was born in Valinor, but travelled back to Middle-earth with the Noldor. There she dwelt with her brother Turgon in Gondolin, but wandered into the wild to encounter Eöl the Dark Elf. She eventually abandoned Eöl to return to Gondolin with their son Maeglin, but Eöl followed her to the city and slew her with a poisoned dart.
Éowyn White Lady of Rohan
A shieldmaiden of Rohan, who secretly accompanied the force led by her uncle King Théoden to the relief of Minas Tirith in the War of the Ring. In the great Battle of the Pelennor Fields before that city, she defeated the Witch-king, most powerful of Sauron's servants. Later she met Faramir, son of Steward Denethor, and after the War they dwelt together in his fief of Ithilien beyond Anduin.
Erendis White Lady of Emerië
The wife of Aldarion, King's Heir of Númenor, and the mother of Ancalimë (who would become Númenor's first Ruling Queen). In later years Erendis and Aldarion became estranged, and Erendis withdrew to the country lands of Emerië, where she dwelt in a White House. It was apparently this White House that gave rise to the title of White Lady during the time Erendis dwelt there.
Galadriel White Lady of Lórien
In Gondor, at least, the Lady of Lórien was often called simply the 'White Lady'. The tradition seems to have grown up from the fact that Galadriel was habitually dressed all in white, as she was when she met the Company of the Ring.

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About this entry:

  • Updated 9 September 2019
  • This entry is complete

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