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The Celos was a lesser river or stream that flowed out of the White Mountains into the Gondorian land of Lebennin, a little to the west of Minas Tirith. It was a tributary of the larger River Sirith.



The smaller-scale map that accompanies The Lord of the Rings and Unfinished Tales shows the Celos flowing into the Sirith from the east,[1] while the large-scale contour map of Gondor shows it flowing from the west.[2] A brief reference in Unfinished Tales suggests that the Celos was the next river eastward from the Gilrain, which would make the large-scale map correct.[3][note 1] Christopher Tolkien noted the error of the small-scale map in The Treason of Isengard; the correct location of the Celos is thus being the western tributary.[4]


The Sindarin name Celos derives from the root KELU- ("flow out swiftly") + ending -sse, -ssa. The Quenya cognate is kelussë ("freshet, water falling out swiftly from a rocky spring").[5][6]


  1. The river's name on that map, incidentally, is spelled Kelos, but the pronunciation is the same in either case.


  1. J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, "The West of Middle-earth at the End of the Third Age" [map]
  2. J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, The Return of the King, "Map of Rohan, Gondor, and Mordor"
  3. J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), Unfinished Tales, "The History of Galadriel and Celeborn"
  4. J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The Treason of Isengard, "The First Map of The Lord of the Rings", p. 322 (note 9)
  5. J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), Unfinished Tales, Index
  6. J.R.R. Tolkien, "The Rivers and Beacon-hills of Gondor" (edited by Carl F. Hostetter), in Vinyar Tengwar, Number 42, July 2001, p. 11