Elrond and Galadriel are two of the most prominent and influential characters in the world of Middle-earth, created by J.R.R. Tolkien. They are both powerful and wise Elves who have played important roles in the history and fate of the realm. But how are they related to each other, and what is the nature of their relationship? In this article, we will explore the family tree and friendship of Elrond and Galadriel, based on Tolkien’s writings and adaptations.
Elrond and Galadriel: Second Cousins Twice Removed
Elrond and Galadriel are related by blood, but their kinship is not very close. They are second cousins twice removed, meaning that they share a common ancestor four generations back. To understand their family tree, we need to go back to the First Age of Middle-earth, when the Elves first awoke in the Undying Lands.
Galadriel was born in Valinor, the home of the Valar (the godlike beings who shaped the world). She was the daughter of Finarfin, the youngest son of Finwë, the first High King of the Noldor (one of the three clans of Elves). Finwë had three sons: Fëanor, Fingolfin, and Finarfin. Fëanor was the eldest and the most brilliant, but also the most proud and rebellious. He created the Silmarils, three jewels that contained the light of the Two Trees of Valinor, the source of all beauty and life in the world.
Fëanor’s half-brother Fingolfin was more noble and loyal, but also more cautious and pragmatic. He was the father of Fingon, Turgon, Aredhel, and Argon. Fingon was a brave and heroic warrior who became the High King of the Noldor after his father’s death. Turgon was a wise and secretive ruler who founded the hidden city of Gondolin. Aredhel was a bold and adventurous princess who loved to explore the lands of Middle-earth.
Finarfin was the youngest and most gentle of Finwë’s sons. He married Eärwen, the daughter of Olwë, the king of the Teleri (another clan of Elves). They had four children: Finrod, Angrod, Aegnor, and Galadriel. Finrod was a generous and loyal friend who founded the kingdom of Nargothrond. Angrod and Aegnor were valiant warriors who fought alongside their brother. Galadriel was the only daughter and the youngest child. She was gifted with great beauty, wisdom, and power.
The relationship between Fëanor and his half-brothers was strained by jealousy and rivalry. When Melkor (the first Dark Lord) stole the Silmarils and destroyed the Two Trees, Fëanor led a rebellion against the Valar and persuaded many of his kin to follow him to Middle-earth to reclaim his jewels. He also swore a terrible oath to pursue anyone who would keep or take them from him. This oath would bring doom and sorrow to his house and all who were involved with him.
Fingolfin followed Fëanor reluctantly, out of loyalty to his people and his father’s memory. Finarfin also joined them at first, but soon regretted his decision and returned to Valinor with some of his followers. Galadriel went with Fingolfin’s host, against her father’s will. She was eager to see Middle-earth and to rule over a realm of her own.
On their way to Middle-earth, Fëanor committed a great betrayal against his kin. He persuaded some of his followers to attack and kill many of their Teleri cousins who refused to give them their ships. This act was known as the Kinslaying, and it caused a curse to fall upon Fëanor’s house and all who followed him. It also angered the Valar, who banned them from returning to Valinor.
Fëanor then sailed across the sea with his sons and left Fingolfin’s host behind on the shore. He burned the ships behind him, forcing Fingolfin to cross over on foot through a perilous icy region called Helcaraxë. Many Elves died or turned back on this journey.
In Middle-earth, Fëanor waged war against Melkor (who had renamed himself Morgoth) but was soon killed by Balrogs (fiery demons) in an ambush. His sons continued to fight for their father’s oath, but they also caused more strife among their kin by attacking other Elven kingdoms that possessed or claimed some of the Silmarils.
Fingolfin became the High King of the Noldor after Fëanor’s death, and tried to unite his people against Morgoth. He was a valiant and noble leader, but he also suffered many losses and tragedies. He was killed by Morgoth himself in single combat, after he challenged him to a duel in a fit of despair.
Fingon succeeded his father as the High King, and continued to resist Morgoth’s tyranny. He was a close friend of Finrod, Galadriel’s brother, and they often aided each other in their battles and quests. Fingon also rescued Maedhros, Fëanor’s eldest son, from captivity by Morgoth, and tried to heal the rift between their houses.
Turgon, Fingon’s brother, founded the hidden city of Gondolin, which was a refuge and a bastion of hope for the Elves. He was also the father of Idril, who married Tuor, a mortal man. They had a son named Eärendil, who would play a crucial role in the fate of Middle-earth.
Aredhel, Fingon’s sister, wandered into the dark forest of Nan Elmoth, where she met Eöl, a dark Elf who was an ally of Morgoth. He enchanted her and took her as his wife. They had a son named Maeglin, who grew up to be a traitor and a villain. He betrayed Gondolin to Morgoth, and caused its downfall.
Finrod was the most loyal and generous of Galadriel’s brothers. He founded the kingdom of Nargothrond, which was built under a river with the help of Dwarves. He was also a friend of Men, and helped them in their struggles against Morgoth. He gave one of his rings of power to Barahir, the father of Beren, as a token of gratitude for saving his life. He later sacrificed his life to save Beren’s, when they went on a quest to steal a Silmaril from Morgoth’s crown.
Angrod and Aegnor were also valiant warriors who fought against Morgoth. Angrod married Eldalótë, an Elf of Doriath (a kingdom ruled by Thingol, Galadriel’s great-uncle). They had a son named Orodreth, who succeeded Finrod as the king of Nargothrond. Aegnor fell in love with Andreth, a mortal woman, but he never married her because he foresaw that their love would end in sorrow. He died in battle before he could see her again.
Galadriel was the only one of Finarfin’s children who survived the First Age. She was also the only one who never set foot in Valinor again, because she refused to accept the pardon of the Valar. She wandered through Middle-earth for many years, seeking a realm of her own. She married Celeborn, an Elf of Doriath (and thus a distant cousin), and they had a daughter named Celebrían. They also became the rulers of Lothlórien, a forest realm that was protected by Galadriel’s power and wisdom.
Elrond was born near the end of the First Age, as the son of Eärendil and Elwing. Eärendil was the son of Tuor and Idril, and Elwing was the daughter of Dior and Nimloth. Dior was the son of Beren and Lúthien, and Nimloth was a descendant of Thingol and Melian. Beren was a mortal man who married Lúthien, an Elf-maiden who was also half-Maia (a lesser divine being). Thingol was the king of Doriath and the brother of Olwë (Galadriel’s grandfather). Melian was a Maia who fell in love with Thingol and became his queen.
Elrond’s parents had a very important mission: to sail across the sea to Valinor and ask for the help of the Valar against Morgoth. They succeeded in their quest, but they also faced a dilemma: they had to choose between being counted among Elves or Men (because they were both half-Elven). Eärendil chose to be an Elf, because he loved the sea and wanted to sail on it forever. Elwing chose to be an Elf as well, because she loved her husband and wanted to stay with him.
The Valar granted their wish, but they also gave them another gift: they allowed them to bear the Silmaril that Elwing had inherited from her ancestors (Beren and Lúthien had stolen it from Morgoth). The Silmaril became a star that shone in the sky as a sign of hope for Middle-earth. Eärendil became its mariner, sailing on his ship Vingilot across the heavens.
The Valar also gave Eärendil and Elwing another choice