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Thread: Celeborn Appreciation Society

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Good heavens, I see no threads on poor Celeborn at all. Just because he gave Gimli a hard time after finding out there was a Balrog on his back doorstep while he was dealing with Dol Guldur on the front? I think Celeborn's brief moment of tetchiness was warranted, and certainly more mild than the cranky side of Gimli or even Legolas when roused.

Here is the Celeborn of the films: Exhibit A.

PJ kept only one line of his in the theatrical version, and it made him sound like he was heavily medicated. The quick conversation Celeborn had with Aragorn in the EE was a little more Celeborn the Wise. Practical and to the point: Forget tricks with mirrors and telepathy. Here. Public transportation and something sharp and pointy in case you break your sword. These things happen, ya know.

The following is a really spiffy essay by M. Martinez, who makes you see every character he writes about in a new light:
Celeborn Unplugged

(Except that, even as I write this, the link suddenly died. But I think it's a temporary glitch. It had better be; there's too much good Tolkien stuff on Martinez' site!)

Here's to Celeborn the Wise, a little anchor of stability and sanity to keep his ever-so-fabulous but a bit power-hungry lady from going off the deep end. Don't underestimate him. He's gotta be something special to be worthy of Galadriel.

:Kinsman, farewell! May your doom be other than mine, and may your treasure remain with you until the end.

Celeborn knows he's losing Galadriel to that blasted Ring she wears, and there's nothing much he can do to help her, except to let her go. Which means he either has to give up Lórien and Middle-Earth, or give up Galadriel. Of course, there's no question in the end, but it was a rough choice.

And in the meantime he made sure he left Greenwood/Greenleaves and Lórien in a stable position, and Thranduil able to look after things, before abandoning his ancient home.

Phew, what a relief!

[url=http://www.suite101.com/article.cfm/tolkien/96308]Celeborn Unplugged is back up. I heartily recommend it. Martinez's writings on Tolkien almost always open your eyes to things you never noticed before, always let you see a little more of the richness of the vast world of Middle-Earth.

And Eru knows poor Celeborn tends to get overlooked.

I'm just reading the notes after having read the text of 'History of Galadriel and Celeborn' in UT for the first time. Seems we were left with an conundrum by the Professor regarding Celeborn's movements during the Second Age. When was he in Lindon and when in Lorien? I guess it all depends on which scraps of paper were the later ones.

I hope that J.R.R.Tolkien found in his final destination 'That Great Library in the Sky', the completed Tome by Tolkien and that it was the magnificent work that he had always imagined it to be, with all the contradictions and loose ends leading to logical and meaningful conclusions. Thus a real after-life comparison to his Leaf by Niggle.
May I join your society, sepdet?

Let's not forget that Celeborn (at least from his own perspective) has good reason to mistrust dwarves. Nasty incident that one!

We don't get to see enough of Celeborn in the movie or the book to really make judgements. He is speaking strangely (carefully) in the movie because Westron/English is not a language that he knows very well - yet like a true elf, he makes no gramatical errors or mispronunciations. Galadriel is given considerably more time to formulate her replies, so hers come out better.

If Celeborn's skills lie more with helping individuals, then it would also make sense that he was able to help Elladan and Elrohir to make the inexorable decision to go oversea. I suppose that makes him the elvish equivalent of a psychologist/psychiatrist. Big Laugh Smilie

I am a fan of Martinez too! I especially liked 'Who is like the Wise elf'. Very insightful! Maybe we should start a Martinez fan club?
I read the essay on Celeborn by Mr. Martinez last night, good stuff! I do have to say that there are some particular elements of his writing style that I personally don’t care for, but he’s obviously extremely knowledgeable when it comes to Tolkien. I don’t know, maybe it was just that particular essay, that’s the first time I’ve read any of his work, so maybe I need to read more of his offerings. I really enjoyed the latter half of his essay though.

Personally I have never had a problem with Celeborn. The way I’ve always looked at it is, heh, if he’s Galadriel’s husband, and he’s the one she choose, then there has to be a reason, and that’s always been good enough for me. I really enjoyed all of the extra scenes we got with him in the extended edition of FOTR, because I’ve always felt like he got the short end of the stick, and I was glad we got to see more of his character. I think Mr. Martinez states the real problem with his character maybe not getting enough respect exactly how it is, he’s “a glittering jewel lying half-buried amid other jewels, some brighter or less covered up.” I think that really sums it up.

I do have to take exception with a comment he made at the beginning of his essay, “Like Galadriel gets off her royal duff and does something. Sorry. That Warg won’t howl.” Please, you have got be kidding me! I’ll give Mr. Martinez the benefit of the doubt here, and assume that this was just another place he thought he was being funny because, anyone who doesn’t understand that Galadriel is one of the single most important characters regarding Tolkien’s Middle Earth is missing the swan ship. In fact one could make a serious case that in LOTR she (her contributions) is the single most important person responsible for the ultimate success of the Ring-bearer’s quest. I could go off, and write a ten-page essay on this subject, but I don’t need ten pages to get to the point. Hello Elven rope, hello Elven cloaks, hello Lembas, and most importantly, hello the Phail of Galadriel (which she herself prepared specifically for Frodo)! Without her contributions to Frodo and Sam, the quest would have never succeeded. I’m not in anyway whatsoever trying to diminish the vastly important roles that the other characters played in aiding the quest, but without Galadriel getting involved, the party’s over! Also, correct me if I’m wrong, but I’ve always thought that in TTT (Shelob’s lair) that it was her voice speaking when Frodo says “Aiya Earendil Elenion Ancalima!” She is watching over him from afar, and protecting him with her power. Further on page 373 of TTT its “Galadriel” that Frodo cries to muster his courage, not anybody else’s name. Let us not forget that in the time of the third age, Galadriel is the single most powerful Elf left in Middle Earth! To imply that she did nothing is absurd.

Another thing that bothers me is this idea that Galadriel was some power hungry monster. It wasn’t so much as she was power hungry, rather than she was born, and destined to be powerful (although I will admit that she had always desired to have her own kingdom). It constantly amazes me that for all these so called Tolkien experts (who are far more well read, and far more intelligent than I am) that bash on Galadriel, and say that she was power hungry, not one of them ever mentions that she was from the blood line of Indis the Fair. If you know your Silmarillon history, than you know that (from page 66, the Silmarillion), “the children of Indis were great and glorious, and their children also; and if they had not lived the history of the Eldar would have been diminished.” So you see again, what we are really getting here with Galadriel’s character is not so much her being power hungry, but her being destined to be powerful, and to do great deeds. This element of her character is really the direct result of her being from that bloodline, and the vast amount of time she spent with Melian in Doriath, and the enormous influence that Melian had on her. It is my own personal view (which I have previously stated over in the Silmarillion discussion group, assignment 7) that Galadriel acquired a great deal of her knowledge, and power from all her time spent with Melian, and in fact, I view Galadriel now as sort of a Third Age Melian, kind of fulfilling that role. For anyone who just refuses to give up the notion that Galadriel was a power monger know this, that whatever her faults may have been, they were pure, and she was pure. Aragorn states this to Boromir very eloquently on page 402 of FOTR, “Speak no evil of the Lady Galadriel! You know not what you say. There is no evil in her and in this land no evil, unless a man bring it hither himself.”

Alas I have rambled on here, my apologies, but I felt it my duty to defend the honor of the Lady of Light. After all this thread is about poor Celeborn, and here he is getting lost among brighter jewels again. Props to thee Celeborn, and as Mr. Martinez so accurately stated, anyone who can land a Galadriel is a winner in my book!
Elf Smilie
Well said on all counts Elfstone. You have succesfully defended both partners of that Elven marriage. I say we allow them to live on in our memories. Elf With a Big Grin Smilie

Let's hear it for Celeborn and Galadriel. Hip Hip Hooray! Orc With Thumbs Up Smilie
Like you say, Elfstone, Galadriel is very much the Third Age's answer to Melian with whom she spent so much time. The impression I have always had of Celeborn has always been similar to the one i have had for Thingol too. Both were great elven Lords, overshadowed by the brightness of their respective wives.

I agree with your comments about Mr. Martinez too. His style is a little different, but it was perhaps the best essay I have seen concerning Celeborn.
The impression I have always had of Celeborn has always been similar to the one i have had for Thingol too. Both were great elven Lords, overshadowed by the brightness of their respective wives.

I agree with your comments about Mr. Martinez too. His style is a little different, but it was perhaps the best essay I have seen concerning Celeborn.

I agree on all counts. Also, I guess I kinda blew my cover that I'm a Galadriel freak! Ah Celeborn it should have been me with that real fine chick! In Love Smilie
I've just been looking through UT and found a few details about Celeborn's lineage not mentioned in the above essay. I've known for a while that Celeborn was a kinsman of Thingol.... Celeborn's grandfather being Elmo, the younger brother of Thingol and Olwe.

What I had not noticed before, however, was that Celeborn had a brother, Galathil. Through Galathil, Celeborn's lineage can be seen to be far closer to that of Elrond and the Line of Numenor than how he is normally envisaged. Galathil was the father of Nimloth who married Dior. Celeborn is, therefore, great uncle to Dior's daughter Elwing, the mother of Elrond and Elros.

To me this answers two questions I have often wondered. Firstly, why was Celeborn held in such esteem, other than being the husband of Galadriel. I can now see he was not just some common or garden Lord, but much closer to the whole bloodline which permeates through the whole Middle Earth story.

It also answers very nicely for me who Nimloth was. Dior was famously the son of Beren and Luthien, but I knew very little about Nimloth. Up until now she has just been some Sindarin elf who Dior fell for, and who became famous in her own right for being Elrond's granny. Now I can see clearly the logic of that marriage, because she is part of Thingol's extended royal family.

I must begin re-reading UT again at some stage... There are so many hidden gems I missed the first time around.
It all depends what story you follow. In one of JRRT's final writings published in UT, Celeborn was a Teleri Elf of Olwë's line -hence Galadriel's close kinsman - who lived in Alqualondë, where he met Galadriel, which contradicts the one line with Celeborn in the Sil.

But anyway, i don't think Galadriel, the mightiest of the Eldar (eat your heart out, Fëanor) would choose to live with just a 'garden lord', regardless of his lineage, not to mention she calls him the 'wisest Elf of Middle-Earth' in LOTR.

Of course, in some UT versions Galadriel lives alone with only her daughter for a long time, whilst Celeborn resided in Rivendell, not to mention that Galadriel left ME without Celeborn, but these are only minor details... Elf Winking Smilie
I agree Miruvor. It all depends on which lineage you choose to follow. Has he been one of the elves that crossed the grinding ice with the Noldor (what would explain why he could not return until his ban was lifted, like with Galadriel). Or just a Sindar elf with a somewhat unclear lineage. Being related to Thingol doesn't rank you high in my esteme. I have been beta'ing an author who only preferred to write Celeborn stories so I know the facts of Celeborn quite well these days. I just sometimes wished Tolkien sticked to one theory, instead of changing that a lot.
Has he been one of the elves that crossed the grinding ice with the Noldor (what would explain why he could not return until his ban was lifted, like with Galadriel).

Actually, in the version where Celeborn and Galadriel meet in Alqualondë, they fight together against the attack of the Noldor on the city, and after saving Celeborn's ship from being hijacked, they leave together for Beleriand. Also, in this version Galadriel is refused to return to Valinor because she left Valinor without permission of the Valar, even though she was not involved in the Rebellion of the Noldor at all (which clearly contradicts with the content of the Sil).

In other versions of the story of Celeborn and Galadriel, there are other reasons why Galadriel doesn't return to Valinor :

a) she refuses the pardon of the Valar
b) she refuses to return because Celeborn wants to stay in ME
c) she is refused to return because she was one of the leaders of the Exiles

This and later posts have been moved to Messages from Celeborn in Aman  in the Writers' guild.

 (...) I just sometimes wished Tolkien sticked to one theory, instead of changing that a lot. 


Tolkien did change his mind often enough concerning Celeborn of course, as correctly noted, but something that might go unnoticed amid all the changes is that Tolkien really published a consistent enough Sindarin history for Celeborn.

While arguable remnants of the seeming 'Nandorin phase' might be found in The Lord of the Rings, the first edition (Appendix B) yet states clearly enough that Celeborn was Sindarin (so 1955).

For the second edition Tolkien revised the passage (I think because JRRT wanted Celeborn in Eregion before going to the south of Greenwood forest), which impacted this, but Celeborn was noted as a kinsman of Thingol in any case.

And in 1967 Tolkien again published that Celeborn was Sindarin (The Road Goes Ever On). So yes JRRT wrote rather confusing variations, but here we can see, in part anyway, why Christopher Tolkien chose the Sindarin tale for the 1977 Silmarillion.

Both of my lineages mentioned by Tolkien are correct, he just got confused. It is my father's lineage and my mother's lineage. Of course they're different, I should hope so!

I realize you're just joking, but here that might confuse the matter even more. Tolkien kept switching his mind concerning Celeborn's clan (again in unpublished or draft text anyway), but as far as specific lineage it's a little simpler: Celeborn was either a grandson of Elmo or Elwe...

... but as a grandson of Elwe (and as a supposed Telerin Elf from Aman) he was Galadriel's first-cousin, and this hails from a late text that Christopher Tolkien chose to paraphrase rather than print 'as is', apparently due to its state.

The same text also (in my opinion) seems to forget that Celeborn did not sail with Galadriel when she left Middle-earth, a notion already published in The Lord of the Rings of course (in the book Celeborn even notes this before it actually occurs). If Celeborn was from Aman, this really raises the question why he tarried.

Not that JRRT couldn't invent some reason there, but this late text also contained an idea about Galadriel's role in the Rebellion that conflicted with already published description -- with no indication that JRRT even realized he was stepping on already published text here -- unless the fact that the tale never got beyond an 'adumbrated' state is an indication.

When was he in Lindon and when in Lorien? I guess it all depends on which scraps of paper were the later ones.


This is another confusing area, and dating becomes significant. There's a note where Galadriel and Celeborn go to Lorien after the destruction of Eregion, but in a contemporary note, Celeborn goes to Lorien and later joins Galadriel in Lindon (without noting when exactly Galadriel left for Lindon, but possibly when the other two of the Three Rings were sent to Lindon).

It might be assumed that, within the context of the former note, upon ultimatey leaving Lorien (in this Age) they both go to Lindon, but it's not stated there specifically, if I remember correctly.

Which is later (externally)? The rest of Tolkien's later notes might be assembled into a chronology of sorts, but even Christopher Tolkien can't seem to date which of these notes came after the other. 

I have created a thread in the writers' guild for Celeborn's messages from Aman.

I would that the Professor would have gone deeper into Lord Celeborn's life, fleshed him out even more. But he did not and I therefore am left with certain impressions that linger. He was extremely noble and refined and of course he must have really been something intellectually and dream wise, for the most amazing Lady Galadriel to have given him the time of day, for it seemed every single creature from their clans was totally awe inspiring in some way or another, with intellect or cunning , with beauty, craftsmanship, with understanding of lore and all sorts of things. So Celeborn will always swish through my mind in his magnificent robes with kingly beauty and awe inspiring wisdom and thought.

I will definitely be joining this appreciation society. I like the guy. We don't know all that much about him but I like him and it's a pity that we don't know that much about him and his background. He is such an underrated character. I don't know maybe it's that silver hair that has me hooked lol i just love the idea of silver hair it is absolutely stunning to me though they didn't do his hair justice in the movies.