That author’s attempt to force a Rosie Cotton Penelope comparison really doesn’t work imo, but what it did make me think of was how Arwen is a Penelope figure!
She stays behind while Aragorn wanders and encounters danger, and of course there is her banner weaving. I won’t try to force too much of a comparison, because that’s exactly what annoyed me in the paper I read tonight-- but some similarities at least exist. Rivendell is not an island, but it is Aragorn’s home, and it is surrounded by water, and is so strongly set apart from the surrounding world that it might as well be an island.
Arwen isn’t as active a figure as Penelope, who fends off suitors and has to be resourceful-- instead her role is vanishingly small, I suppose because she was an afterthought. Trying to argue that weaving a banner makes her not passive is, well, not convincing to me to say the least. I do weave and embroider am aware weaving and embroidering complicated things takes effort; but no, it is not at all comparable to a heroic quest to fulfill your destiny to become King in order to win someone’s hand by any measure. Even less so because creating something like this is such a typical example of a the accepted passtimes for a noble lady (pun intended). Interpreting the banner ‘magical’ in some way doesn’t really change that, and besides is entirely headcanon i.e. has no bearing on who Arwen is in the existing text. A good idea for fanfic though.
Anyway, moving on!
Because of the minor Arwen and Aragorn Penelope and Odysseus thing (again, please don’t take me for that author’s type ... I swear I know there are very limited similaries) I looked at the text about the banner again, annnd
That’s where I realised there is a far more fun and sort of textually supported craft for Arwen to be good at. And that’s lapidary!
I’m looking at the exact wording of this sentence about the standard; “And the stars flamed in the sunlight, for they were wrought of gems by Arwen daughter of Elrond;”
You might just assume she embroidered gems onto fabric. Or. You could take the text literally, and assume this means Arwen did in fact create those gems.
I like this a lot because the Elessar (at least in one version) was made by Celebrimbor, and ends up being given to Aragorn by Galadriel. The idea that Arwen shares Celebrimbor’s craft and gifts Aragorn gems is very pleasing to me for multiple reasons. Not just because it grants Arwen a slightly less stereotypical craft for a noble lady. It also just ties things together so nicely. The gems on the banner depict seven stars. Those seven stars are the seven palantíri, a symbol of the King of Gondor yes; but those palantiri were made by Feanor, Celebrimbor’s own grandfather (speculation; most likely, I think, for his sons-- given their number).
Maybe Arwen learned from Celebrian, who might very well have learned from Celebrimbor himself-- given that she was born in S.A. 300 and lived in Eregion until S.A. 1350 it’s not at all impossible. Either way the seven stars and gemcraft on the banner are enough of a connection between Arwen and Celebrimbor already, indirect as it is.
The rings in the Lord of the Rings are those created by Celebrimbor and Sauron.
And poor Celebrimbor, of course, ended as--
And all eyes followed his gaze, and behold! upon the foremost ship a great standard broke, and the wind displayed it--