Galadriel's Famous Quote Decoded: The Hidden Message You Never Noticed

Galadriel's Famous Quote Decoded: The Hidden Message You Never Noticed
Image credit: Legion-Media

Galadriel did not have that much screentime in Peter Jackson's The Lord of the Rings movies, but nonetheless, she got some memorable scenes.

None moreso than her face-to-face meeting with Frodo, where she faces the temptation of the One Ring, briefly taking on the fearsome green glow of an evil tyrant and turning into what fans call "drowned Galadriel" or "thermonuclear Galadriel", before overcoming it and speaking her most famous line:

"I pass the test. I will diminish, and go into the West, and remain Galadriel."

Until recently, the most obvious and the only common interpretation of that phrase took "the test" as a literal thing, which she has passed as opposed to failing, when she rejected the Ring and did not surrender to her darkest desires.

But since the release of The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power Season 1, we also have an alternate interpretation of that phrase readily available. Galadriel's character in The Rings of Power is much criticized.

To be precise, she is objectively portrayed as a very flawed person, and one's opinion of the show is highly dependent on whether you believe that this portrayal is intentional and Galadriel's flaws are meant as something she must overcome, or whether you believe that the showrunners partially or wholly failed to recognize what sort of character they're presenting to us.

Anyway, one of her chief flaws is her bull-headed conviction that she must accomplish everything in general, and her life-long quest of destroying Sauron in particular, by herself. She is blindly unreasonable in her pursuit of Sauron, to the point when she would rather strand herself right in the middle of ocean, rather than to leave Middle-earth and her enemy behind.

In the light of this, her phrase in The Fellowship of the Ring suddenly takes another meaning.

She "passes the test" in the sense of passing the task of finally defeating Sauron for good to someone else, right after providence seemingly delivers the surefire method of doing so into her hands; and agrees that she must finally go into the West, something that she rejected so strongly before.

Thus she manages to overcome her ancient obsession and finally admits her own failings and imperfection, which blinded her to Sauron's schemes before.