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This article is about the Lord of Lórien. For the the Tree, see Celeborn (White Tree).
Līga Kļaviņa - Celeborn.jpg
Biographical Information
Other namesT. Teleporno; Lord of the Wood, Lord of Lórien, Lord of the Galadhrim
TitlesLord of the Golden Wood
BirthUncertain, see below
DeathDid not die; sailed West in the early Fourth Age
ParentageUncertain, see below
Physical Description
Hair colorSilver, long[1]
GalleryImages of Celeborn

Celeborn (S: "silver-tall", pron. [ˈkeleborn]) was a noble of the Sindar, who wedded the famous Galadriel of the Noldor and eventually became Lord of Lórien.



Early life

Celeborn was a Sindarin prince from Doriath, the grandson of Elmo (the brother of Elwe/Thingol)[2] There has been many debates about his origins and early life. See Controversy.

First Age

Galadriel and Celeborn as drawn by Rowena Morrill.

In Early First Age Finrod and Galadriel came to Doriath as guests of Elu Thingol, the King of Doriath. There Celeborn and Galadriel fell in love and were wedded. Galadriel remained in Doriath with Celeborn after Finrod went to the Caverns of Narog to establish the stronghold of Nargothrond. For the rest of the First Age Celeborn and Galadriel appear to have remained largely inactive, not affecting the course of events in Beleriand so much as their relatives, both Sindarin and Noldorin. It is not mentioned whether Celeborn and Galadriel were present at the Sack of Doriath. They may have escaped to the Havens or the Isle of Balar.

Second Age

After the fall of Beleriand, Celeborn and Galadriel came to Lindon the coastal region west of the Blue Mountains. Celeborn ruled the fief of Harlindon, which was composed mostly of Sindar, under the High King Gil-galad. They eventually came to Eregion where they dwelt for a time with Celebrimbor and the jewelsmiths of Gwaith-i-Mírdain. After Celebrimbor had largely taken over, they made contact with the Nandor of Lórinand, across the Hithaeglir. Not long after they went through Khazad-dûm to live there, becoming great among its people.

Third Age

After the Sack of Eregion, Celeborn and Galadriel came to Lórinand, the land of Silvan Elves on the eastern side of the Misty Mountains which was ruled by King Amdir. When Amdir died in the Battle of Dagorlad, his son Amroth succeeded him. In early Third Age Amroth was weary of Middle-earth and wished to sail to the West. He departed to Edhellond and by the year 1981 T.A. King Amroth drowned in the Bay of Belfalas. Celeborn and Galadriel took the title Lord and Lady of Lothlórien, the Sindarin name for Lórinand and together they built Caras Galadhon.

Celeborn and Galadriel produced a daughter named Celebrían, who later married Elrond Half-elven of Rivendell, thus making Celeborn and her wife Galadriel the grandparents of the twins Elladan and Elrohir and their younger sister Arwen Undómiel. Celebrían's exact date and place of birth are not specified.

Celeborn's most significant recorded actions came in the year following, when he repulsed three attacks by orcs of Dol Guldur. Celeborn then marshall his forces to cross the Anduin and lay siege to Dol Guldur. He captured the fortress, and Galadriel threw down its walls and purified it.

After the War of the Ring

Celeborn attended the wedding of King Elessar and his granddaughter Arwen, and on the journey to return bade a fond farewell to Treebeard as well.

"I do not think we shall meet again."
"I do not know, Eldest.
Treebeard and Celeborn, Many Partings.

Celeborn returned to Lothlórien, but the power of Nenya was broken. It no longer was filled with the light and life it had before. Galadriel shortly after passed West with the other Ring-bearers, and Celeborn, weary, moved to Imladris to live with Elladan and Elrohir, Elrond’s sons. After Círdan's departure Celeborn was the last of the Wise in Middle-earth, they that had seen the glory of Valinor and the struggles of Elvenkind. It is not recorded when he sought the Grey Havens and sailed west, but when he did so he took with him the last memory of the Elder Days in Middle-earth7.


What can be gleaned of his personality is that he was quick-thinking and swift to act, one of the wisest elves of Middle-earth in the Third Age. He was a warrior too, leading his followers into battle against Dol Guldur and other menaces. He is constantly shown deferring to his wife; sometimes for good[3], sometimes for ill[4].

Other Versions of the Legendarium

According to an alternate history of Celeborn and Galadriel in Unfinished Tales, Celeborn was a Teler of noble rank in Alqualondë, born Teleporno, grandson of Olwë, King of the Falmari.[4][5]

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".[5] Teleporno's name gained an additional Quenya form, Telporno (pron. [telˈporno]).

Later, Teleporno and Artanis helped to defend Alqualondë from the Noldor during the First Kinslaying. 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 westward 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, High King of the Sindar and Lord of Doriath. The two gave him news of his old brothers and friends, Olwë and Finwë, but they said nothing about the kinslaying. Teleporno eventually Sindarinized his name to Celeborn; Artanis Sindarinized the epithet Celeborn had given her, and Alatáriel became Galadriel.


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, mostly overshadowed by his wife.

Robert Foster mentions that although Celeborn is famed and named "the Wise", "he does not seem especially bright" in The Lord of the Rings[6].

In his first writings (which make up the bulk of the matter of Celeborn), the elf-lord is portrayed as a kinsman of Thingol, and met Galadriel when she came with the Noldor into exile. This was the approach chosen by Christopher Tolkien and Guy Kay for The Silmarillion. In a brief, speculative paper written by Tolkien included in Unfinished Tales, Celeborn is made Thingol’s grandnephew, by the King’s brother Elmo. Elmo, also linked to Círdan, appears nowhere else in the legendarium.

A Sindarin origin as Elmo's grandson has been the most widely accepted one of all but Celeborn as a Telerin prince seems a late development, and there is some dispute as to which is the more canonical.

In Tolkien's last writings Celeborn is a Falmarin Elf from Valinor, then named Teleporno in Telerin (this brings him closer to being a peer and equal to Galadriel and makes their partnership seem more balanced).[7] The name Teleporno was then "Sindarized" as Celeborn. In this account Celeborn is stated to have been a grandson of the Telerin king Olwë, so that he still was a kinsman of the Sindarin king Thingol.[4]

This altered origin was not adopted into the published Silmarillion, primarily because it would have necessitated a major rewrite of the earlier parts to account for a separate departure of Galadriel.

“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, Unfinished Tales

A further problem was that this descent would have made the couple first or second cousin (assuming that he was still to be considered closely related to Thingol), and Elves never married close kin.


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.[8]

He was given the epithet "the Wise" by Galadriel in The Lord of the Rings.

Portrayal in adaptations

1978: The Lord of the Rings:

Celeborn did not have a speaking role. He only appeared beside Galadriel for a brief shot.

1981: The Lord of the Rings

Celeborn was voiced by Simon Cadell.

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 is he is slain by the Forces of Sauron.

2007: The Lord of the Rings Online:

Celeborn can be found alongside Galadriel on a main talan in Caras Galadhon. He is involved in various storylines, including negotiations with the Dwarves of the Iron Hill Garrison and organization of a military assault against Dol Guldur in Mirkwood.

See also


  1. J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, The Fellowship of the Ring, "The Mirror of Galadriel"
  2. J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The Silmarillion, "Quenta Silmarillion: Of the Return of the Noldor"
  3. The Lord of the Rings
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), Unfinished Tales, "The History of Galadriel and Celeborn"
  5. 5.0 5.1 J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The Peoples of Middle-earth, "The Shibboleth of Fëanor"
  6. Robert Foster, The Complete Guide to Middle-earth, entry "Celeborn"
  7. J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The Peoples of Middle-earth, "The Shibboleth of Fëanor", pp. 347, 364 (note 46)
  8. J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), Unfinished Tales, "The History of Galadriel and Celeborn", "Appendix E: The Names of Celeborn and Galadriel"