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'Hand of Silver',|
Lord of Eregion
|Book(s)||The Silmarillion (1977)|
Celebrimbor (IPA: [ˌkeleˈbrimbor]) is a fictional character In J. R. R. Tolkien's Middle-earth. His name means "silver fist" or "Hand of silver" in Sindarin (Telperinquar in Quenya, Telperimpar in Telerin). In Tolkien's stories, Celebrimbor is a smith manipulated by Sauron into forging the Rings of Power, setting in motion the events of The Lord of the Rings.
Celebrimbor was the son of Curufin, fifth son of Fëanor (son of Finwë and his first wife Míriel) and Nerdanel, and the only known grandchild of Fëanor. It is not known where or when Celebrimbor was born. Since Celebrimbor was not mentioned as being present during the Oath of Fëanor, and is first mentioned as living in Nargothrond, it is likely that he was born after the exile of the Noldor, in Middle-earth.
Little is said of his deeds during the First Age. He probably fled to Nargothrond after the Dagor Bragollach. However, he took no part in the deeds of Curufin and Celegorm regarding Lúthien, Beren, and Finrod. He even repudiated his father and uncle's deeds and did not follow them when the two brothers were expelled from Nargothrond. Celebrimbor survived the First Age, but probably was forced due to the Doom of Mandos — or perhaps freely elected — to remain in Middle-earth rather than return to Valinor.
From the early days of Eregion (founded circa S.A. 750), Celebrimbor fostered the relationship with Khazad-dûm, the neighbouring Dwarf-kingdom. He became friends with Narvi, a great Dwarf-craftsman, and together made the Doors of Durin at the West-gate of Khazad-dûm. Celebrimbor's special contribution was the inscriptions on the gateway; these inscriptions were wrought of ithildin.
In S.A. 1200, a person naming himself Annatar ("Lord of Gifts") arrived in Eregion. He appeared to be one of the Vanyar, the fairest race of Elves, and claimed he had been sent by the Valar to share his wisdom and skills in ring-craft and jewelry for the benefit of all Middle-earth; but in fact he was the Dark Lord Sauron in disguise. Annatar provided valuable and seemingly benevolent guidance and instruction to Celebrimbor and the smiths of Eregion, and in about S.A. 1500 they began making Rings of Power for the rulers of Middle-earth — seven to the Dwarf-lords and nine to Men. But secretly, without Sauron's knowledge, Celebrimbor also forged three rings for the Elves, the greatest and fairest of the Rings of Power (completing them circa 1590). The Three Rings were thus free of Sauron's corrupting influence. Celebrimbor named the rings Vilya, Narya, and Nenya after the principal Middle-earth elements of air, fire, and water, respectively.
At the same time, Sauron was also secretly forging a ring: the One Ring which would enable him to rule Middle-earth. In S.A. 1600 Sauron reassumed his role as the Dark Lord and placed the One Ring on his finger, claiming dominance over all the Rings of Power and their bearers. Before this, Celebrimbor had believed Sauron to be what he had claimed to be, but realising the truth he and the Elves of Eregion defied Sauron by withholding the other rings from him. He had already sent the three rings away for safekeeping: Vilya and Narya to Gil-galad in Lindon, and Nenya to Galadriel in Lothlórien, but Sauron underestimated their spiritual strength and they became aware of his attempt to mentally enthrall them through their rings and ceased to wear them.
With his scheme exposed to at least the elves, Sauron retaliated by attacking Eregion in S.A. 1693, initiating the War of the Elves and Sauron and laying waste to the realm. Celebrimbor was captured in the sack of Eregion, and was forced under torture to disclose where the Nine and the Seven were held, but he would not reveal the whereabouts of the three Elvish rings. Sauron captured the lesser rings and used them as instruments of evil in later years, particularly against Men. Celebrimbor died from his torment in S.A. 1697, the last direct descendant of the line of Fëanor.
In an alternate version of the story, dating from 1968, Celebrimbor was not a Noldo but one of the Teleri of Aman, one of the three companions of Galadriel and Celeborn (here made into a Telerin prince Teleporno or Telporno, grandson of Olwë of Alqualondë). However, Christopher Tolkien noted that his father had mentioned Celebrimbor's descent from Fëanor in the appendices to The Lord of the Rings and in fact had underlined it in one of his personal copies and wrote in the margin a note stating that Celebrimbor was Curufin's son, and that if he had remembered this he would have felt bound to retain that version.
The explanation for these changes is that Celebrimbor as a character, like Galadriel and Gil-galad, first appeared in The Lord of the Rings and then had to be inserted into The Silmarillion, thus leading to multiple changes to their descent.
House of Fëanor
CelebrimborDied: 1697 Second Age
Celeborn & Galadriel
|Lord of Eregion||Succeeded by|
None; Realm Destroyed
Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor
Celebrimbor appears in the 2014 video game Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor and is voiced by Alastair Duncan. The game takes place sometime between The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings at which time Celebrimbor survives as an amnesiac wraith. After being bonded with Talion (a ranger of Gondor) the two become an immortal fighting team unable to leave Mordor. Over the game, Celebrimbor lends his abilities as a wraith to Talion and the two recover Celebrimbor's lost memories of Sauron and the forging of the Rings of Power, which are an abridged version of Tolkien's original lore (i.e., Sauron comes to Celebrimbor to give him a powerful hammer to forge the rings, is eventually betrayed by Sauron, is forced to inscribe the incantation in the One Ring but steals it, and is eventually tortured and beaten to death by Sauron after an attempted coup). After the defeat of Sauron's captains, Celebrimbor describes defeating Sauron himself as futile and wishes to finally depart for Valinor, but is convinced to stay by Talion, and then mentions his desire to forge a new Ring of Power immune to Sauron's influence.
This leads to the events of Middle-earth: Shadow of War, he and Talion successfully forge a new ring of power that appears to be free of Sauron's influence and is stated to be equal in power to the nine rings of the Nazgul without their corrupting influence. They use their new ring to take the fight to Sauron with an army of Uruks, with Talion noticing Celebrimbor becoming more aggressive and worn out. Eventually revealed to fully intent to overthrow Sauron rather than destroy him, Celebrimbor ends his bond with Talion and possesses Eltariel to use her to defeat Sauron. But as Talion survives by becoming a Nazgul, Celebrimbor is defeated when forced out of Eltariel and is quickly absorbed by Sauron trapping both of them in the form of a large flaming eye on top of Barad-dûr. Celebrimbor remained trapped as part of the Dark Lord until the One-Ring is destroyed, freeing the spirit as Sauron dies.