is galadriel really so good?

Galadriel-243x281Robert T. Tally Jr. at the LA Review of Books:

Admittedly, I come to this as a notorious Orc-sympathizer, but I cannot bring myself to trust Galadriel, as well as the elves more generally. In my view, Galadriel has a rather ambiguous moral character. She is benevolent, to be sure, but her sense of good and evil rests on a dubious foundation, inasmuch as she perceives change itself as undesirable. For those beings who are not entirely satisfied with the status quo, Galadriel’s intentions may not be so noble, and her powers may well seem like forms of dark magic.

In my “Song of Saruman” essay, I suggested that the traitorous White Wizard was really an inverted Galadriel. When she refuses to take up the One Ring, she “passed the test,” whereas Saruman’s desire for power — even if it was for the power to do good — led him to become a Sauron-like villain. But lest we chalk up Galadriel’s noble choice to some inherent beatitude, thus denying how powerful the temptation really was and in turn robbing her of the truly heroic aspect of her refusal, we ought to remember that Galadriel is far more like Saruman, or even Sauron, than most Tolkien enthusiasts care to believe.

As we learn from her fascinating backstory, Galadriel came to Middle-earth as an unrepentant imperialist.

more here.