Maybe Elves Should Just Stop Forging Things? The Celebrimbor Breakdown
His craftsmanship would forever change the fate of Middle Earth with just a few sparkly rings. Who was Celebrimbor?
Artificer, sage, and leader, Celebrimbor is a must-know name when it comes to the lore of the Elves of Middle Earth. Fooled by the Dark Lord Sauron, he fashioned three beautiful, powerful rings for the leaders of Elves. In doing so, he unknowingly put all of his people in danger – but he wasn’t going to take that lying down. Who is Celebrimbor? And what can we expect from him in Amazon Prime’s new Rings of Power series?
Celebrimbor in the First Age
Celebrimbor is the only (known) grandson of Fëanor, ancient King of the Noldor and one of the elves that originally left Valinor. Fëanor was a brilliant craftsman, gemsmith, and do-some-of-everything kinda guy. He created the Tengwar script, the lettering system that was used to write two major Elvish languages (and could write English, too). He was also the creator of the Silmarils, which were the hottest, shiniest commodity of the era.
Celebrimbor was born from Fëanor’s fifth son Curufin the Crafty. Celebrimbor ended up being the last of Fëanor’s line, but unlike his father and grandfather before him, Celebrimbor was not prideful or covetous of the treasures he created. As a young(ish) Elf, he fought in a couple of battles against Morgoth, the big bad of the First Age. After surviving the Fall of Gondolin, a hidden city of Elves, he decided to make his home Middle Earth.
The Second Age
Celebrimbor settled down in the land of Eregion, and began a mutually-beneficial friendship with the Dwarves of Khazad-dûm. He was actually described as having an almost Dwarf-like passion for making things, which could account for his great relationship with the line of Durin. Thanks to Celebrimbor’s relationship with the Dwarves, Eregion grew and prospered. Plus, the Elves discovered the fashionable and functional joys of mithril.
But nothing good can last forever, especially if you basically never age. The smiths of Eregion were approached by Annatar, claiming to be an emissary sent by the Valar, the beings who made the world. But surprise, he was actually Sauron. But with Annatar’s encouragement and guidance, the Elven smiths of Eregion began constructing a set of powerful rings, supposedly gifts to help the rulers of Middle Earth lead their kingdoms. And though he himself distrusted Annatar, Celebrimbor used his smithing methods to fashion the three Elven rings of power.
The One Ring
Of course, in trixy secrets, Sauron made the Ring. His ring was the boss of all the other rings that were made with his magic. Once Sauron put on his fancy new jewelry, the Elven leaders were able to ascertain his intentions, so they hid their rings to prevent him from enacting his influence over their lands.
Because Sauron had never technically touched the three Elvin rings made by Celebrimbor, those rings were never corrupted by his power. But he could still use their power to exert his will. To keep them safe, Celebrimbor gave them to the wisest and most powerful Elven leaders of the time. Nenya went to Galadriel in Lórian, while Gil-Galad took Vilya and Narya. In his wisdom, Celebrimbor also sent the most powerful of the Seven rings to Durin III in Khazad-dûm… for all the good it did them.
The Death of Celebrimbor
Of course, Sauron did not like this! He responded by utterly destroying Eregion, taking Celebrimbor prisoner, and torturing him for the location of the Rings. Even under torture, he refused to reveal where the three Elven rings were hidden. Maybe a little bit of Fëanor’s pride made it down the bloodline after all.
Sadly, Celebrimbor didn’t survive his torture. And his death was not pretty. After he died, his body was paraded as a banner when the armies of Mordor attacked the Grey Havens.
Will we be forced to see Celebrimbor’s body made into distasteful battle decor? Bezos, please don’t do this to me.