Of weeping warriors and rebellious princesses: Gender in Tolkien
Whenever “gender” is mentioned in connection with Tolkien’s Middle-earth legendarium, there is usually either criticism that there are too few female characters in The Lord of the Rings (not to mention The Hobbit) or Éowyn and Galadriel are singled out as the only “strong” female characters. In general, Tolkien is considered rather conservative with his understanding of gender roles.
But is that really all there is to say about it? For example, what about female characters in the Silmarillion and the other works? And what about male characters? Do they only serve stereotypical male hero clichés? And what do you get when you apply pop culture tropes to Tolkien’s works?
These are the questions that the lecture at MagicCon 5 explores.
It will not only focus on the famous characters from the Lord of the Rings trilogy, but will also look at other, possibly lesser known characters. Thereby not only single characters are in focus, but a certain overall picture shall be conveyed, without claiming to be complete. Tolkien’s idea of “gender” might look more advanced than first thought…