If you are a fan of J.R.R. Tolkien’s legendarium, you may have wondered about the relationship between two prominent Elven characters: Celeborn and Celebrimbor. Both of them played important roles in the history of Middle-earth, especially in the Second Age, when they faced the threat of Sauron and his Rings of Power. But were they related by blood or by marriage? And how did they influence each other’s destinies? In this article, we will explore the possible answers to these questions, based on the available sources and interpretations.
Who was Celeborn?
Celeborn was an Elf of Sindarin origin, who lived in Doriath in the First Age. He was the grandson of Elmo, the brother of Thingol, the king of Doriath1 He married Galadriel, a Noldorin princess and one of the leaders of the rebellion against the Valar. Together, they had a daughter named Celebrían, who later married Elrond, the lord of Rivendell.
Celeborn and Galadriel survived the wars and destructions of the First Age, and remained in Middle-earth after most of their kin departed to Valinor. They founded several realms in different regions, such as Eregion, Lothlórien, and Lindon. They also became the keepers of one of the Three Rings of Power, Nenya, which Galadriel used to preserve and protect Lothlórien from evil.
Celeborn was a wise and noble Elf, who supported his wife in her struggles and ambitions. He was also a brave and skilled warrior, who fought against Sauron and his allies in many battles. He was especially renowned for his role in the War of the Ring, when he led the Galadhrim to aid Rohan and Gondor against Saruman and Mordor.
Who was Celebrimbor?
Celebrimbor was a Noldorin prince and the last in the line of the House of Fëanor, who lived in Middle-earth. He was the son of Curufin, who was the fifth son of Fëanor (son of Finwë and his first wife Míriel) and Nerdanel Fëanor was the most skilful craftsman of the First Age, forging the three Silmarils to capture some of the light of the Two Trees of Valinor.
Celebrimbor fought in many battles in the First Age, such as Dagor-nuin-Giliath, Dagor Aglareb, Dagor Bragollach, Nirnaeth Arnoediad, Sack of Nargothrond, Fall of Gondolin, and War of Wrath. Unlike some of his kin, he remained in Middle-earth afterwards.
Celebrimbor settled in Eregion in the Second Age and founded a brotherhood of jewel-smiths called Gwaith-i-Mírdain. He also fostered a friendship with the Dwarves of Khazad-dûm (Moria), and together with Narvi, a great Dwarf-craftsman, he made the West-gate of Khazad-dûm.
Celebrimbor became famous for his creation of the Three Rings of Power: Nenya, Vilya, and Narya. He forged them without assistance from Sauron, who had deceived him and his fellow smiths into making other Rings of Power under his guidance. Sauron then secretly made the One Ring to gain control over all the other Rings and dominate Middle-earth.
When Sauron revealed his true identity and attacked Eregion to claim all the Rings, Celebrimbor resisted him bravely. He managed to send away Nenya to Galadriel in Lothlórien, Vilya and Narya to Gil-galad in Lindon (who later gave them to Elrond and Gandalf), but he was captured by Sauron’s forces before he could destroy or hide the other Rings. Sauron tortured him mercilessly to learn their whereabouts, but Celebrimbor refused to reveal anything. He died of his wounds soon after.
There is no definitive answer to this question, as Tolkien never explicitly stated their relationship in his writings. However, there are some clues and possibilities that can be explored.
One possibility is that they were related by marriage through Galadriel. According to some versions of Tolkien’s legendarium, Galadriel was Celebrimbor’s aunt (his father’s cousin), as she was also a granddaughter of Finwë and Míriel. This would make Celeborn and Celebrimbor distant cousins by marriage.
Another possibility is that they were related by blood through Thingol. According to some versions of Tolkien’s legendarium, Thingol was Celebrimbor’s great-grandfather, as he was the father of Idril, who married Tuor, who was the father of Eärendil, who married Elwing, who was the mother of Elrond and Elros, who were the ancestors of the kings of Númenor and Arnor. This would make Celeborn and Celebrimbor distant cousins by blood.
However, these possibilities are not certain, as Tolkien changed his mind several times about the genealogies and histories of his characters. For example, in some versions, Galadriel was not related to Fëanor at all, but to his half-brother Finarfin. In other versions, Celebrimbor was not a descendant of Fëanor, but of his brother Fingolfin. In yet other versions, Celebrimbor was not even a Noldorin prince, but a Telerin exile who followed Celeborn to Middle-earth.
Therefore, it is up to the reader to decide which version they prefer or find more plausible. In any case, it is clear that Celeborn and Celebrimbor had some connection and interaction in the Second Age, as they both lived in Eregion and dealt with Sauron and his Rings of Power. They may have had some respect or admiration for each other’s skills and achievements, but they may have also had some rivalry or resentment for each other’s flaws and failures.
Celeborn and Celebrimbor were two prominent Elven princes who lived in Middle-earth in the Second Age. They both faced the threat of Sauron and his Rings of Power, and they both contributed to the resistance and preservation of their people. They may have been related by blood or by marriage, depending on which version of Tolkien’s legendarium one follows. However, their relationship was not clearly defined or explored by Tolkien himself, leaving room for speculation and interpretation.