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Elmo is only mentioned in the Unfinished Tales in discussions on Galadriel and Celeborn. Because Celeborn is in The Silmarillion presented as a "kinsman of Thingol", Tolkien wished to develop this family link. One of his solutions was to establish Celeborn as the grandson of Elmo, a non-important brother of Elwë who remained behind when Elwë was lost, becoming one of the Sindar of Doriath.

In writings which appear to be later than the one discussed above, Celeborn is made into a Telerin Elf, and a relative of Olwë of Valinor instead, but this was not further developed or published.

It therefore remains unsure if Elmo would have remained in the Middle-earth canon, as his position in the royal Sindarin family tree disappeared. Slightly later writings however make Círdan a descendant of Elmo, making him a kinsman to Thingol (and Celeborn). Certain is that Círdan had silver hair, a trait which otherwise only ran in Elwë and Olwë's family line, and Círdan's original name Nowë is similar to Elwë and Olwë.