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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, Eregion, Eriador, Belfalas, Imladris, Lothlórien, East Lórien
LanguageSindarin, Westron, and Silvan Elvish
BirthUncertain, see below
RuleT.A. 1981 - early Fourth Age
Sailed westEarly Fourth Age[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 Galadriel of the Noldor. After crossing the Blue Mountains at the beginning of the Second Age and living in the realm of Eregion for a while, he founded the realm of Imladris with Elrond and with Galadriel, later moved to Lothlórien to become the Lord and Lady of Lórien. Their daughter Celebrían married Elrond whose daughter Arwen chose a mortal life to wed Aragorn.

Contents

[edit] History

[edit] Early life

See also: #Telerin descent

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

"Love at First Sight" by Līga Kļaviņa

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 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 Sindarin and Noldorin did. By the Fall of Nargothrond in F.A. 495 Galadriel passed over the mountains.[8]

[edit] 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 of the Noldor Gil-galad.[9]

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

It was only sometime between S.A. 1350 and 1400[7] did Galadriel cross the Hithaeglir through Khazad-dûm and relocated to 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, and 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; she 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]

[edit] 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 their daughter Celebrían[note 2] wedded Elrond Half-elven of Rivendell.

When King Amroth son of Amdír perished in T.A. 1981, Celeborn and Galadriel took up the rule of Lindórinand jointly, and were called the Lord and Lady of Galadhrim 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, speeding them on their way.

Celeborn's most significant recorded actions came in the same year (in March 3019), when he repulsed three attacks by Orcs of Dol Guldur. Celeborn then marshalled his forces to cross the Anduin and lay siege to Dol Guldur. He captured the fortress, and Galadriel threw down its walls and purified the forest.

On 6 April, Thranduil met with Celeborn in the midst of Mirkwood and renamed it Eryn Lasgalen, "The Wood of the Greenleaves". With the forest cleansed and Sauron's forces destroyed, the forest was divided. Thranduil received the northern region of the Eryn Lasgalen as far as the Mountains and ruled there into the Fourth Age and Celeborn ruled the woods south of the Narrows called East Lórien.[13]

[edit] Later History

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

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.

Celeborn returned to Lothlórien, but the power of Nenya was broken. It no longer was filled with the light and life it had before. It is believed that Celeborn also relocated to Rivendell to reside with Elladan, Elrohir, and a few Noldor after the departure of Galadriel, having also grown weary of East Lórien.[14][15]

Early in the Fourth Age, he sought the Grey Havens and sailed west aboard Last Ship with Cirdan the Shipwright, but when he did so, he took with him the last memory of the Elder Days in Middle-earth.[14]

[edit] Character

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.

[edit] 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.

[edit] Telerin descent

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

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".[18] 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 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.

[edit] Controversy

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.

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"

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

His Telerin ancestry would have made the couple first or second cousin. In the Morgoth's Ring it is stated that the first cousins might marry, but seldom did so, or desired to do so.[19]

[edit] 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.[20]

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

[edit] 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.

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.

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. Celebrían's exact date and place of birth are not specified.

References

  1. 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", "The Tale of Aragorn and Arwen"
  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. J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, Appendix B
  14. 14.0 14.1 J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, "Prologue"
  15. J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, Appendix B, "The Great Years"
  16. J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The Peoples of Middle-earth, "XI. The Shibboleth of Fëanor", pp. 347, 364 (note 46)
  17. J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), Unfinished Tales, "The History of Galadriel and Celeborn"
  18. J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The Peoples of Middle-earth, "XI. The Shibboleth of Fëanor"
  19. 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"
  20. J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), Unfinished Tales, "The History of Galadriel and Celeborn", "Appendix E: The Names of Celeborn and Galadriel"