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First appears in annals in III 109;1 passed over the Sea III 2510
Raised in Lórien; after her marriage to Elrond, she dwelt mainly in Rivendell, while continuing to visit Lórien
Noldor (through her mother), Sindar (through her father)
Raised among the Galadhrim; later removed to dwell among the Elves of Rivendell
Related to Thingol of Doriath through her father, and descended from the House of Finarfin through her mother
Associated in later life with Rivendell
'Silver queen' or 'silver crown-gift'2


About this entry:

  • Updated 5 June 2022
  • This entry is complete


The daughter of Celeborn and Galadriel

Celebrían, who lived during the Second and Third Ages of Middle-earth, was the daughter of Galadriel and Celeborn. She wedded Elrond, and had three children: the twins Elladan and Elrohir, and a daughter, Arwen Evenstar. Because of Elrond's heritage, all three of Celebrían's children were Half-elven, with a choice to be counted among Elves or Men. Celebrían departed from the Grey Havens and sailed into the West some five centuries before the War of the Ring.

Of Celebrían's early life we can say very little,3 except that she seems to have been born during the early part of the Second Age, and to have travelled across Middle-earth with her parents, Galadriel and Celeborn. According to one account, the family spent some time in the southern lands that would one day become Gondor, dwelling on the coast at the place that would later be known as Dol Amroth, while other records place them far to the north, on the shores of Nenuial. Various accounts suggest that Celebrían also seems to have dwelt for a time in Eregion, and later to have accompanied her mother Galadriel to Lórien for a time (though this was in a period long before Galadriel took up the rule of that land, which at the time was known as Lórinand).

After Galadriel and Celebrían departed from Lórinand, they crossed the Misty Mountains and found their way to Imladris (where Celebrían's father Celeborn had remained during this period). All three remained there for some years, and it was at this time that Elrond first met Celebrían. The two wed in the year III 109, a date which represents our first definite reference to Celebrían in the annals of Middle-earth.

The first children of Celebrían and Elrond were born twenty-one years later: a pair of twin sons named Elladan and Elrohir, who would grow up to become great hunters and warriors. More than a century passed before the birth of Celebrían's third child, a daughter, in III 241. This was Arwen, who became known as the Evenstar of the Elves in Middle-earth. Arwen was born in a time when the North-kingdom of Arnor was still united under the rule of Isildur's son Valandil; nearly three thousand years in the future, she would wed Isildur's distant descendant Aragorn in faraway Gondor.

For more than two millennia, Celebrían dwelt in Rivendell with Elrond and their children. At this time Celebrían had in her keeping the Elessar, a potent green stone set in a brooch carved in the form of an Eagle, which she had received from her mother Galadriel,4 and in turn she passed it to her own daughter Arwen. (Arwen would eventually give it back to Galadriel, so that it could be granted to Aragorn during the Quest of Mount Doom.)

After the loss of Amroth in III 1981, Celeborn and Galadriel took up the rule of his former land to become the Lord and Lady of Lórien, and at times Celebrían would make the journey from Rivendell across the Misty Mountains to visit them. The centuries that followed saw Sauron return to Dol Guldur out of the East, and the Orcs began to multiply in Middle-earth. Secret Orc-holds were made in the Misty Mountains, and during one of her journeys to Lórien in III 2509, Celebrían and her escort found themselves ambushed as they travelled over the Redhorn Pass.

Celebrían's escort was driven off, but she herself was captured and carried away by the Orcs to their mountain holds. There she was tormented and received a poisoned wound, before her sons Elladan and Elrohir were able to find and rescue her.5 She was taken back to Rivendell, where her husband Elrond used his healing arts to cure her poisoned wound.

Though her body had been healed by Elrond, Celebrían's ordeal in the Orc-dens had left her filled with dread and fear, and she conceived a desire to depart from Middle-earth. In the following year, III 2510, Elrond agreed, and Celebrían travelled to the Grey Havens to board a ship bound into the West. More than five hundred years passed from that time until the War of the Ring, but after its end, Elrond and Galadriel also set out into the West aboard the White Ship. So, after five centuries, Celebrían was reunited with the husband and the mother she had left behind in Middle-earth.



III 109 is the date of Celebrían's wedding to Elrond, so she clearly must have been alive for some time before this. One source (Unfinished Tales III 4, The History of Galadriel and Celeborn) mentions her as early as II 1350, as shown in the timeline above. The text in question (Concerning Galadriel and Celeborn) is, however, a manuscript that was very considerably revised by Tolkien. We cannot therefore be sure that this very early date was intended to stand. In other notes reproduced in The Nature of Middle-earth we're given an even earlier date of birth, suggesting that Celebrían was born as early as II 300.


The natural interpretation of the name Celebrían as a Sindarin name would be 'silver queen'. The Etymologies (in volume V of The History of Middle-earth) gives a more detailed derivation of the name element -rían as deriving from ríg-anna, 'crown-gift'.


As suggested in note 1 above, all our sources for Celebrían's life during the Second Age come from an overlapping series of draft narratives, none of which can be taken as a definitive account.


The circumstances around Celebrían's receipt of the Elessar are unclear, not least because there are various traditions around its history. One of these traditions suggests that Galadriel had at one time used its power to nurture the land of Lórien, but after she received the Ring Nenya she no longer needed the green jewel, and gave it to her daughter. Galadriel had Nenya in her keeping for centuries, but needed to keep it hidden while Sauron was active in the world, so presumably she must have held the Elessar until Sauron was defeated at the end of the Second Age, at which time she could begin to use the power of Nenya.

We don't have a conclusive timeline for the jewel's ownership, but necessarily Celebrían must have passed it to Arwen before she left Middle-earth in III 2510 (and indeed the moment of her departure might have seemed the most opportune time to pass the Elessar on to her daughter).


We are given very little detail about Celebrían's rescue, except that she was saved by Elladan and Elrohir. The implication seems to be that they were part of her escort, and so were able to free their mother relatively soon after her capture. The alternative, that the escort made their way back to Rivendell with news, and then Elladan and Elrohir set out to find and rescue their mother - which would involve a round trip of some three hundred miles - hardly seems a realistically practical option.


About this entry:

  • Updated 5 June 2022
  • This entry is complete

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