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Celeborn

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This article is about the Lord of Lórien. For the the Tree, see Celeborn (White Tree).
Celeborn
Sinda
Ebe Kastein - Celeborn.jpg
"Celeborn" by Ebe Kastein
Biographical Information
Other namesTeleporno (T)
TitlesLord of the Galadhrim, Lord of Lórien, The Wise
LocationDoriath, Harlindon, Eriador, Eregion, Imladris, Belfalas, Lothlórien, East Lórien
LanguageSindarin, Westron
BirthSee below
RuleFrom T.A. 1981
Sailed westOn the Last Ship[1][2]
Grey Havens
Family
HouseA member of the royal house of Doriath
ParentageGaladhon
SiblingsGalathil
SpouseGaladriel
ChildrenCelebrían
Physical Description
GenderMale
Height6 feet 4 inches (193cm)[note 1]
Hair colorSilver, long[3]
GalleryImages of Celeborn

Celeborn (S: "silver-tall", pron. [ˈkeleborn]) was one of the noblest of the Sindar[4][5] — who wedded the Lady Galadriel of the House of Finarfin and with her, he remained in Middle-earth after the end of the First Age.

Contents

History

Early life

"Love at First Sight" by Līga Kļaviņa

Celeborn was a Sindarin prince of Doriath,[6] being the grandson of Elmo, the brother of Thingol; thus, he was the grand-nephew of the King of Doriath.[7]

In the early First Age, Finrod and Galadriel came to Doriath as guests of Thingol. There, Celeborn and Galadriel met, fell in love, and were soon wedded. Galadriel remained in Doriath with Celeborn after Finrod went to the Caverns of Narog to establish the stronghold of Nargothrond.[6]

For the rest of the First Age, Celeborn and Galadriel are not mentioned to have played any significant role in the general course of events of the Age, while their relatives, both Sindar and Noldor, did. By the Fall of Nargothrond in F.A. 495, Galadriel passed over the Blue Mountains so it seems likely that Celeborn followed her although this is not known for certain.[8]

Second Age

After the fall of Beleriand, Celeborn and Galadriel lived in Lindon for some time. Celeborn ruled the fief of Harlindon, which was composed mostly of Sindar, under High King Gil-galad.[9]

Galadriel and Celeborn crossed into Eriador with many Noldor, Sindar, and Green-elves in their following. For a while, they dwelt in the country about Lake Nenuial, ruling the Eldar in Eriador, including the wandering companies of the native Nandor.[note 2][7] They departed for Eregion and arrived there by S.A. 750.[7][10] It was ruled by Celebrimbor, grandson of Fëanor and the distant half-cousin of Galadriel.

It was only sometime between S.A. 1350 and 1400[7] that Galadriel crossed the Hithaeglir through Khazad-dûm and relocated there with her daughter Celebrían, becoming great among the Wood-elves.[7] Celeborn decided to stay in Eregion due to his enmity towards the Dwarves.[7] It is said that Celeborn fought in the Sack of Eregion leading the remnants of Eregion out of the battle. He and Elrond narrowly escaped to a dell, where the latter founded Rivendell.[7]

After the War of the Elves and Sauron, Galadriel passed again through Moria with Celebrían and came to Imladris, seeking Celeborn.[7] There she found him, and there they dwelt together for a long time.[7] Some time later, Galadriel and Celeborn departed from Imladris and went to the little-inhabited lands between the mouth of the Gwathló and Ethir Anduin.[7] There they dwelt in Belfalas, at the place that was afterwards called Dol Amroth; and their company was swelled by Silvan Elves from Lórinand.[7]

Third Age

"The Swan-Boat of Galadriel" by Rowena Morrill

After long journeys in Rhovanion, from Gondor and the borders of Mordor to Thranduil in the north, Celeborn and Galadriel passed over the mountains to Imladris, and there dwelt for many years.[11] It was there, in T.A. 109[12], that his daughter Celebrían wedded Elrond Half-elven of Rivendell.

When Amroth, the King of Lórien, perished in T.A. 1981, Celeborn and Galadriel took up the rule of Lindórinand jointly, and were called the Lord and Lady of Lothlórien, the new name for Lindórinand, and together, they built Caras Galadhon.

During the War of the Ring in T.A. 3019, Lothlórien received the Fellowship of the Ring, composed of various travellers on the quest to destroy the One Ring. He offered advice and boats for the Anduin, sending them on their way. After the Galadhrim repelled the forces of Dol Guldur three times, Celeborn the forces of the Galadhrim across the Anduin and took the fortress. Galadriel threw down its walls and purified the forest.[13][14]

On 6 April,[14] that was the Elven day of New Year, Thranduil met with Celeborn in the midst of Mirkwood and renamed it Eryn Lasgalen, "The Wood of the Green Leaves". With the forest now cleansed, it was divided among the Elves and Men; Celeborn took all the forest south of the Narrows and established East Lórien.[13]

Celeborn attended the wedding of Aragorn II Elessar and his granddaughter Arwen, and on the journey to return, he bade a fond farewell to Treebeard as well. He and Galadriel escorted Gandalf and the Hobbits until the Mountains of Moria, and on 13 September they turned to return to Lothlórien.[14]

Later History

After Galadriel's departure, it is believed that Celeborn relocated to Rivendell to reside with Elladan, Elrohir, and some of the Noldor, having also grown weary of East Lórien.[1][13]

At some unknown date, he sought the Grey Havens and sailed west aboard Last Ship with his mighty kinsman Cirdan the Shipwright, but when he did so, he took with him the last memory of the Elder Days in Middle-earth.[1]

Other versions of the legendarium

Up to the time when The Lord of the Rings was published, there had been no mention of Celeborn in the previously written legendarium. Tolkien later attempted multiple times to fix upon the story behind such an important Elf. He remains a fairly unsubstantial character in the legendarium, for despite his profound effect upon the doings of the Elder Days, there is very little direct information on him as a person.

In his first writings (which make up the bulk of the matter of Celeborn) and the works published during Tolkien's lifetime, the Elf-lord is portrayed as a kinsman of Thingol and one of the Sindar,[4][5] and met Galadriel when she came with the Noldor into exile. In a brief, speculative paper written by Tolkien included in Unfinished Tales, Celeborn is made Thingol's grandnephew, by the King’s brother Elmo, who is also linked to Círdan. Elmo appears nowhere else in the Legendarium.

Telerin descent

According to an alternate history of Celeborn and Galadriel in Unfinished Tales, Celeborn was a Teler of noble rank in Alqualondë,[15] born Teleporno,[16] grandson of Olwë, prince of Alqualondë (thus he was a kinsman of Thingol in Beleriand).[17][18]

Artanis, Olwë's granddaughter and a Noldorin princess of great beauty, often spent long visits to Alqualondë and her mother’s kin. During this time the two fell in love, and Teleporno gave her the romantic epithet Alatáriel, meaning "Maiden Crowned with Radiant Garland".[19]

Later, Teleporno and Artanis helped to defend Alqualondë from the Noldor during the First Kinslaying.[17][15] Nevertheless, Artanis’s heart was fired by the stories of Fëanor of the open lands across the sea. She urged Teleporno to take a ship eastward to Endor, and he gave in. In doing so the two fell under the Ban of the Valar.

In Beleriand, Teleporno and Artanis were greeted by Elu Thingol, King of Doriath. Teleporno eventually "Sindarized" his name to Celeborn; Artanis Sindarinized the epithet Celeborn had given her, and Alatáriel became Galadriel.

Controversy

On the other hand, the making of Celeborn into a Telerin Elf of Aman contradicts not only statements in The Silmarillion, but also those cited already from The Road Goes Ever On and Appendix B to The Lord of the Rings”
Christopher Tolkien, "The History of Galadriel and Celeborn"

Celeborn as a Telerin prince seems a late development. This altered origin was not adopted into the published Silmarillion, primarily because it contradicted published canon, and was not incorporated in Tolkien's drafts of the earlier parts, and therefore would have necessitated a major rewrite by Christopher Tolkien and Guy Gavriel Kay to account for a separate departure of Galadriel.

It's unknown whether Tolkien would have revised the story or would have felt bound by published writings.

Celeborn's Telerin ancestry would have made the couple first cousins. In the Morgoth's Ring, it is stated that first cousins might marry, but seldom did so, or desired to do so.[20] Furthermore, in the published Silmarillion, it is stated in reference to Maeglin's attraction to his first cousin Idril that "Eldar wedded not with kin so near."[21]

Etymology

Celeborn is a Sindarin name, consisting of celeb ("silver") + a derivative of ornā ("tall"). Teleporno, his original Telerin name, has an identical meaning. The name Teleporno was "Sindarized" as Celeborn: Telerin telpe ("silver") (Quenya tyelpe) was transformed to Sindarin celeb.[22] Teleporno's name gained an additional Quenya form, Telporno (pron. [telˈporno]).

He was given the epithet "the Wise" by Galadriel.[23]

Portrayal in adaptations

Celeborn in adaptations

1978: The Lord of the Rings:

Celeborn only has a brief, role and speaks only one line. He appeared beside Galadriel for a brief shot.

1981: The Lord of the Rings

Celeborn was voiced by Simon Cadell. Unusually, virtually the whole dialogue Celeborn speaks in the book is utilised in the radio adaptation.

1992: Der Herr der Ringe (1992 German radio series):

Celeborn is played by Wolfgang Hinze.

2001: The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring:

Celeborn is played by Marton Csokas. The role was extremely small in the theatrical version, but expanded slightly in the Extended Edition of The Fellowship of the Ring. In that version, he participates in giving gifts to the Fellowship as they are leaving Lórien. Notably, he gives Aragorn a dagger and warns him of the dangers the Fellowship will face while sailing down the Anduin.

2002: The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring (video game):

Celeborn makes a brief appearance in Lothlorien.

2003: The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King:

Celeborn leaves for Valinor with Galadriel and the other Ringbearers, rather than remaining behind as in the book.

2006: The Lord of the Rings: The Battle for Middle-earth II:

Celeborn only appears during the "Evil" campaign, when he is slain by the Forces of Sauron.

2007-: The Lord of the Rings Online:

During an extended flashback depicting the War of the Last Alliance, Celeborn can be found in Echad-in-Edhil in Mordor next to Amroth, Lord of Lorien. After the War's end, Celeborn spends the early years of the Third Age hunting down Shelob in Ephel Dúath and eventually is able to trap her by placing Light of Eärendil at the exits of Shelob's Lair, trapping her inside for many centuries.
During the War of the Ring, Celeborn can be found next to Galadriel on a main talan in Caras Galadhon, from where he negotiates with the Dwarves of the Iron Garrison, sends the player to combat the ancient evil in the depths of Moria and organizes a military assault against Dol Guldur in Mirkwood. After the fall of the Dark Tower, Celeborn meets with Thranduil to rename Mirkwood Eryn Lasgalen and give the middle section of it to the Woodmen. Celeborn and Galadriel then travel to Minas Tirith to attend the Great Wedding of Aragorn and Arwen, after which Celeborn ventures into the Morgul Vale once again to finish Shelob for good and leads a group including Legolas, Mablung and the player inside her Lair, Torech Ungol.

Notes

  1. In the chapter "The Mirror of Galadriel", the heights of Galadriel and Celeborn are described: "Very tall they were, and the Lady no less tall than the Lord". Galadriel's height of 6'4 comes from "Appendix: Númenórean Linear Measures" to "The Disaster of the Gladden Fields" in Unfinished Tales.
  2. The time and place of Celebrian's birth, whether here or later in Eregion, or even later in Lórien, is not specified.

References

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, "Prologue"
  2. J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, Appendix A, "The Númenorean Kings", "Eriador, Arnor, and the Heirs of Isildur"
  3. J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, The Fellowship of the Ring, "The Mirror of Galadriel"
  4. 4.0 4.1 J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, Appendix B, "The Second Age"
  5. 5.0 5.1 J.R.R. Tolkien, "Notes and Translations", in The Road Goes Ever On (J.R.R. Tolkien, Donald Swann)
  6. 6.0 6.1 J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The Silmarillion, "Quenta Silmarillion: Of the Return of the Noldor"
  7. 7.00 7.01 7.02 7.03 7.04 7.05 7.06 7.07 7.08 7.09 7.10 J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), Unfinished Tales, "The History of Galadriel and Celeborn", "Concerning Galadriel and Celeborn"
  8. J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, The Fellowship of the Ring, "The Mirror of Galadriel"
  9. J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The Peoples of Middle-earth, "Of Dwarves and Men"
  10. J.R.R. Tolkien, "Notes and Translations", in The Road Goes Ever On (J.R.R. Tolkien, Donald Swann)
  11. J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), Unfinished Tales, "The History of Galadriel and Celeborn", "Amroth and Nimrodel"
  12. J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, Appendix B, "The Third Age"
  13. 13.0 13.1 13.2 J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, Appendix B, "The Great Years"
  14. 14.0 14.1 14.2 J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, Appendix B, "The Chief Days from the Fall of Barad-dûr to the End of the Third Age"
  15. 15.0 15.1 J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), Morgoth's Ring, "Part Two. The Annals of Aman: Commentary on the fifth section of the Annals of Aman", notes and corrections, §149
  16. J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The Peoples of Middle-earth, "XI. The Shibboleth of Fëanor", pp. 347, 364 (note 46)
  17. 17.0 17.1 J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), Unfinished Tales, "The History of Galadriel and Celeborn", eighteenth paragraph
  18. J.R.R. Tolkien; Humphrey Carpenter, Christopher Tolkien (eds.), The Letters of J.R.R. Tolkien, Letter 347, (dated 17 December 1972), answer to question 3. that Celeborn is a translation of Telporno and that he was only a kinsman of Thingol from afar off, because he came from Valinor
  19. J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The Peoples of Middle-earth, "XI. The Shibboleth of Fëanor"
  20. J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), Morgoth's Ring, "Part Three. The Later Quenta Silmarillion: (II) The Second Phase: Laws and Customs among the Eldar"
  21. J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The Silmarillion, "Quenta Silmarillion: Of Maeglin"
  22. J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), Unfinished Tales, "The History of Galadriel and Celeborn", "Appendix E: The Names of Celeborn and Galadriel"
  23. J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, The Fellowship of the Ring, "The Mirror of Galadriel", twenty-fifth paragraph