galad (“light, radiance”) + rî (“crown”) + iell (“daughter” [Etym. SEL-D] traditional ending for women’s names) Sindarin equivalent of Tel. Alatâriel(lë))
noun. lady, crowned with a radiant garland
_prop. n. _Q. Altăriel. . This gloss was rejected.
noun. 'woman crowned with glory
1a prop. n. 'woman crowned with glory, radiance'. A sindarized version of original Q. Altariel(le).
noun. 'lady with the gleaming crown'
1b prop. n. 'lady with the gleaming crown', sc. golden head of hair. This form was a suggestion made by Tolkien in the course of his thought, see PE17:59-60. Q. Naldariel(le).
noun. Strangers erroneously associated Galadriel with Silvan galad 'tree'
1c prop. n. Strangers erroneously associated Galadriel with Silvan galad 'tree'. Q. Ñaltariel, T. Altarielle.
feminine name. Glittering-garland
A Noldorin lady and only daughter of Finarfin, Galadriel was the ruler of Lórien at the end of the Third Age (LotR/353). Her name is a compound of galad “radiance, glittering reflection” and -riel “crowned maiden”. Its full meaning is “maiden crowned with a garland of bright radiance” (PM/347), but for the sake of brevity this entry uses the less literal translation “Glittering-garland” (Let/423).
Etymology: The history of Galadriel’s name is quite complex. Her given names were Q. Nerwen and Q. Artanis, but her mother Eärwen was Telerin. Later in life Galadriel adopted the Telerin name T. Alatáriel, which in Quenya was Q. Altáriel (PM/346). This new name may have been due to the Telerin influence of her mother, or it may have been given to Galadriel by her husband, who may or may not have been a Telerin elf (see Celeborn for discussion). She was given this name because of her long golden hair (Let/428). Like her older brothers, Galadriel journeyed to Beleriand to aid in the war against Morgoth, where her name Altáriel was adapted into Sindarin as Galadriel (PM/347, PE17/60).
Many years later, when Galadriel became ruler of Lórien, her Silvan-elf subjects associated her name with Nan. galad “tree”. Sometimes her Sindarin name was altered to Galadhriel (S. galadh “tree”) to reflect this association (UT/267), but properly speaking her name had nothing to do with trees.
Conceptual Development: See the entry for the primitive form of her name, ✶Ñ(g)alatā-rigelle, for a discussion of the conceptual developments in this name’s etymology, and N. Galadhrien for a discussion of earlier forms of this name.
- ✶Ñ(g)alatā-rigelle “maiden crowned with a garland of radiance” ✧ MR/182; MR/470; NM/353; PE17/050; PE17/050; PE17/060
- Q. Altáriel “Galadriel” ✧ PM/347
Word Gloss galad “radiance, glittering reflection; light, fire, brightness, shining; bliss, radiance, glittering reflection; light, fire, brightness, shining; bliss; [ᴱN.] dawn” -riel “crowned maiden”
Development Stages Sources ✶galata-rīg-elle > Galadriel [galatarīgelle] > [galatarīɣelle] > [galatarīɣell] > [galadarīɣell] > [galadarīell] > [galadrīell] > [galadriel] ✧ MR/182 ✶galata-rĭg-elle > Galadriel [galatarigelle] > [galatariɣelle] > [galatariɣell] > [galadariɣell] > [galadariell] > [galadriell] > [galadriel] ✧ MR/470 ✶ñalata-riʒelle > Galadriel [ŋalatariɣelle] > [ŋgalatariɣelle] > [galatariɣelle] > [galatariɣell] > [galadariɣell] > [galadariell] > [galadriell] > [galadriel] ✧ NM/353 ✶galatā-rigellē̆ > Galadriel [galatarigelle] > [galatariɣelle] > [galatariɣell] > [galadariɣell] > [galadariell] > [galadriell] > [galadriel] ✧ PE17/050 ✶Kalatā-rigelle > Caladriel [calatarigelle] > [calatariɣelle] > [calatariɣell] > [caladariɣell] > [caladariell] > [caladriell] > [caladriel] ✧ PE17/050 ✶ñgal(a)tā-rig-el- > Galadriel [ŋalatarigel] > [ŋgalatarigel] > [galatarigel] > [galatariɣel] > [galadariɣel] > [galadariel] > [galadriel] ✧ PE17/060
- Galaðriel ✧ NM/350; WJ/035; WJI/Galadriel
- Caladriel ✧ PE17/050 (Caladriel); PE17/050
- Galadhriel ✧ SA/kal; UT/267
Galadriel is a Sindarin name translated by Tolkien as "glittering garland", "Maiden crowned with gleaming hair", and "maiden crowned with a radiant garland". It has been suggested that Galadriel consists of galad ("light, radiance") + rî ("crown") + iell ("daughter"). Tolkien notes that the element galad had no relation to Sindarin galadh ("tree", or Silvan galad "tree"), but that such a connexion often was made and her name then became Galadhriel.
rî (construct ri) (wreath, crown), no distinct pl. form except with article (idh rî);
(construct ri) (wreath, crown), no distinct pl. form except with article (idh rî);
#riel (garlanded maiden), pl. ?rîl (idh rîl), coll. pl. riellath. Isolated from the name Galadriel.
(garlanded maiden), pl. ?rîl (idh rîl), coll. pl. riellath. Isolated from the name Galadriel.
(princess), pl. ?rîl (idh rîl). Isolated from the name Galadriel.