I'm actually fascinated by the fact that Arwen embroiders. A lot of Tolkien's female (elvish) characters are ridiculously artistically talented, including Nerdanel (a sculptor), Miriel (a weaver and the inventor of embroidery!), Melian (a musician, architect, and weaver, though she isn't properly elvish), Luthien (also a musician and something of a weaver)… So we might be tempted to brush off Arwen's devotion to embroidery as somewhat sexist, but actually, she's following in a long tradition of artistically inclined females who, significantly, tend to be generous, unselfish, and generally ethical with their art (especially when compared to people like Fëanor).
Ironically--and if I had more space I would've mentioned this in the article--Glorfindel was part of the Fellowship in the very beginning, but Tolkien almost immediately took him out! Then it became Gandalf and like 5 hobbits, if you can imagine that...
All your comments are fascinating, and since good scholarship is supposed to generate conversation, I’m considering this article a success!
I’m noticing, though, that a number of people disagree with my reading of Éowyn and Faramir as pacifists, so I wrote up a blog post on my own blog explaining exactly how I reached that conclusion. You don’t have to agree; just hear me out. Here it is:
@srEDIT: Yes, there are Arabic numerals on the covers, but Roman numerals are used in the lists found in the opening pages. In my experience, Tolkien scholars and journals use Roman numerals without exception (there could be some who/which prefer Arabic, but I’m speaking solely from my experience). It avoids confusion with the page number(s). Christopher Tolkien uses Roman numerals in citing the volumes also, which may explain how it came into accepted practice. Although, I have seem some journals/books that use alphabetic abbreviations, like MR for Morgoth’s Ring, etc. But when numbers are used, it's generally Roman numerals.
The books of LotR are conventionally handled in a similar way, though there’s more variation here because of the numerous versions available: book, chapter, page, like so: (III, i, 10), which would refer to book 3 (NOT The Return of the King but the actual third book), the first chapter (“The Departure of Boromir”), and page 10.
Andreth has certainly been on my mind lately… Maybe a duo-post: Andreth and Adanel, Wisewomen of Arnor? Also, I’m loving the idea that this series might develop into a critical AND appreciatory series for the oft-overlooked women of Middle-earth.
The info about Indis you requested can be found in X 179.
Thank you all for your awesome responses! I'm enjoying working on this series. Nerdanel has been a personal favorite ever since I first got into the HoMe books, so she seemed like a natural place to start.
Feel free to request a character if you wish! There are so many to choose from. I'd love to hear who you're interested in learning more about!