Of Celeborn & Galadriel

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virumor
Posts: 3567

Of Celeborn & Galadriel

Post#1 » Mon Dec 25, 2006 5:45 pm

Regardless of how and when Celeborn and Galadriel had met each other, as narrated in the Silmarillion and Unfinished Tales into great detail, there is something puzzling about their relationship. Undoubtedly, considering Tolkien's background, their unison was the Elven equivalent of a marriage amongst Men:


'Your quest is known to us,' said Galadriel, looking at Frodo. `But we will not here speak of it more openly. Yet not in vain will it prove, maybe, that you came to this land seeking aid, as Gandalf himself plainly purposed. For the Lord of the Galadhrim is accounted the wisest of the Elves of Middle-earth, and a giver of gifts beyond the power of kings. [u]He has dwelt in the West since the days of dawn, and I have dwelt with him years uncounted; for ere the fall of Nargothrond or Gondolin I passed over the mountains, and together through ages of the world we have fought the long defeat.[/u]
('I it was who first summoned the White Council. And if my designs had not gone amiss, it would have been governed by Gandalf the Grey, and then mayhap things would have gone otherwise. But even now there is hope left. I will not give you counsel, saying do this, or do that. For not in doing or contriving, nor in choosing between this course and another, can I avail; but only in knowing what was and is, and in part also what shall be. But this I will say to you: your Quest stands upon the edge of a knife. Stray but a little and it will fail, to the ruin of all. Yet hope remains while all the Company is true.')
(from FOTR, chapter Lóthlorien)

Yet in the next chapter, Farewell to Lórien, one can find something that seems to indicate that there was something unconventional, a sad element in their relationship:


Now Galadriel rose from the grass, and taking a cup from one of her maidens she filled it with white mead and gave it to Celeborn.
'Now it is time to drink the cup of farewell,' she said. [u]`Drink, Lord of the Galadhrim! And let not your heart be sad though night must follow noon, and already our evening draweth nigh.'[/u]

One might argue that here Galadriel is speaking generally about the fate of Elves in Middle-earth, yet a similar indication can be found in the chapter Many Partings in ROTK :


Then Aragorn took leave of Celeborn and Galadriel; and the Lady said to him: 'Elfstone, through darkness you have come to your hope, and have now all your desire. Use well the days!'
[u]But Celeborn said: 'Kinsman, farewell! May your doom be other than mine, and your treasure remain with you to the end!'[/u]

Thus, there is something about their relationship that has always puzzled me. Why is it that both Galadriel & Celeborn indicate that they might be separated in the future, and what are the reasons for this?

I am not much accustomed with Elven marriage, yet I take it that though Galadriel & Celeborn were married in Beleriand/Middle-earth, they were not yet "officially" married in the eyes of the Eldar - since Galadriel was born in Valinor under the Light of the Trees, it might be that their marriage would only become official with Eärwen's and Finarfin's consent (indeed, Finarfin did not join the Rebellion but stayed in Tirion).

One must not forget that Galadriel was the only one of the House of Finwë who married someone not of the Eldar (provided, of course, that one follows the story as narrated in the Silmarillion).

But at any rate, even if the above is true, then why would Celeborn speak about a 'doom'? After all, him having married Galadriel without her parents' permissions seems hardly important - in fact, if the parents are absent, their consent is given by others (Melian & Elu Thingol, for instance), so this should hardly pose a problem.

Clearly, the reason for why Galadriel & Celeborn parted at the end of the Third Age -Galadriel left with Elrond, Gandalf and the other Ringbearers, whilst Celeborn still lingered in Middle-earth, first in his newly founded Woodland Realm, and later in Rivendell), should be something entirely different... something on which Tolkien unfortunately didn't expand in any of his writings for I think it is a particulary puzzling concept.

Due to lack of further information, one might indeed conclude that Celeborn could not yet part together with is beloved spouse before Galadriel had obtained her consent from her parents - which seems quite an insipid reason at best.
Give up the Halfring, she-elf...

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cloveress
Posts: 2289

Of Celeborn & Galadriel

Post#2 » Mon Dec 25, 2006 7:58 pm

One must not forget that Galadriel was the only one of the House of Finwë who married someone not of the Eldar (provided, of course, that one follows the story as narrated in the Silmarillion).


What do you mean by that? I thought all Elves except for the Avari were Eldar...

And I've never quite understood why Galadriel left first without Celeborn, but I supposed that Celeborn had to stay for Thranduil, so they could ally and cleanse Mirkwood and all that, whilst Galadriel had to go with the Ringbearers because Ringbearers had to go together.

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virumor
Posts: 3567

Of Celeborn & Galadriel

Post#3 » Tue Dec 26, 2006 6:14 am

What do you mean by that? I thought all Elves except for the Avari were Eldar...

Initially the term 'Eldar' was used for all Quendi who partook on the grand voyage into the West, but after some Teleri forsook the journey, twas only used for Quendi who reached Valinor or had seen the Light of the Two Trees.

Hence the Avari, together with the Nandor, Sindar, Laiquendi and Falmari were not counted amonst the Eldar anymore, but instead amongst the Umanyar together with the Avari, or amongst the Moriquendi together with the Avari.

You may want to review your Tolkien lore in the Silmarillion, my dear Cloveress.

And I've never quite understood why Galadriel left first without Celeborn, but I supposed that Celeborn had to stay for Thranduil, so they could ally and cleanse Mirkwood and all that, whilst Galadriel had to go with the Ringbearers because Ringbearers had to go together.

Nay, that happened already shortly after Sauron's downfall, when Celeborn sent his armies outside Lothlórien and conquered Dol Guldur, after which Galadriel destroyed the walls of the fortress. Not long after that, the Galadhrim's armies met with Thranduil's armies in the middle of Mirkwood.

I take it that Celeborn was just a little too uxorious. After all, see how he reacted (or rather, not reacted) to a Dwarf's audacity in wooing his spouse. If it were me, I'd cut off the impudent's head, if it stood a bit further from the ground that is.
Give up the Halfring, she-elf...

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cloveress
Posts: 2289

Of Celeborn & Galadriel

Post#4 » Tue Dec 26, 2006 6:22 am

You may want to review your Tolkien lore in the Silmarillion, my dear Cloveress.


My Tolkien lore told me that all who embarked on the journey West were Eldar. And I do not recall reading of the "later" definition of Eldar, so my ignorance is forgiven in my eyes.

So about when did Celeborn leave for the West? We know it's after Galadriel and before Arwen's death...

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virumor
Posts: 3567

Of Celeborn & Galadriel

Post#5 » Tue Dec 26, 2006 6:36 am

So about when did Celeborn leave for the West? We know it's after Galadriel and before Arwen's death...

We do not know. Tis only mentioned he went to live in Rivendell after a few years in his new Woodland Realm.

Maybe he did not even leave for the West, fearing the wrath of the House of Finwë that one of the jewels of the Noldor had been stolen by some garden lord.

Really, what is the house of Elmo but a thatched barn where brigands drink in the reek, and their brats roll on the floor among their dogs?
Give up the Halfring, she-elf...

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cloveress
Posts: 2289

Of Celeborn & Galadriel

Post#6 » Tue Dec 26, 2006 6:37 am

Maybe he did not even leave for the West, fearing the wrath of the House of Finwë that one of the jewels of the Noldor had been stolen by some garden lord.


Forest lord, I don't think he had the gardening spirit until Galadriel came...

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Thorin Oakenshield
Posts: 4593

Of Celeborn & Galadriel

Post#7 » Tue Dec 26, 2006 1:11 pm

cloveress is right he was cave dweller before....
The Old that is Strong does not Wither.

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virumor
Posts: 3567

Of Celeborn & Galadriel

Post#8 » Tue Dec 26, 2006 4:04 pm

Indeed he had been an inhabitant of Menegroth, at least according to the Silmarillion.

But who knows what he spoke to the darkness, alone, in the bitter watches of the night, when all his life seemed shrinking, and the walls of his grotto closing in about him, a hutch to trammel some wild thing in?
Give up the Halfring, she-elf...

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grondmaster
Posts: 25451

Of Celeborn & Galadriel

Post#9 » Tue Dec 26, 2006 6:29 pm

Mayhaps Celeborn stayed behind because someone had to mind his grandchildren now that both their parents had gone back to the olde country. His grandaughter was someone else's problem, but the twins were still young enough to require an authority figure lurking in the background. :elfroleeyes:
'Share and enjoy'

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galin
Posts: 1369

Of Celeborn & Galadriel

Post#10 » Thu Feb 01, 2007 4:55 am

One must not forget that Galadriel was the only one of the House of Finwë who married someone not of the Eldar (provided, of course, that one follows the story as narrated in the Silmarillion).


The Sindar are Eldar however (and the language Eldarin).

As for Celeborn staying in Middle-earth when Galadriel departed, Tolkien had desired an Epilogue for The Lord of the Rings, a version of which includes...

'Before he went Mr. Frodo said that my time maybe would come. I can wait. I think maybe we haven't said farewell for good. But I can wait. I have learned that much from the Elves at any rate. They are not so troubled about time. And so I think Celeborn is still happy among his trees, in an Elvish way. His time hasn't come, and he isn't tired of his land yet. When he is tired he can go.' JRRT The Epilogue

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