A new rumor for Prime Video’s upcoming The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power series claims that a significant character that is still alive even during the Fourth Age will be dead during the show, which claims to be set in the Second Age.
This rumor comes from YouTuber Gary Buechler at Nerdrotic, who states in a recent video, “We do have an update on our missing Elf Celeborn and this is quite a big change from the books. And this is going to be a spoiler for The Rings of Power Season 1.”
He then boldly declares “Celeborn, Galadriel’s husband, is dead.”
However, Buechler does speculate that given he’s still alive during the War of the Ring and lives into the Fourth Age that they will more than likely bring him back later on in the show.
He explains, “Considering Celeborn is Arwen’s grand pappy, they have to bring him back, don’t they? I may regret saying this, but I don’t even think these hack showrunners would go that far, but if and when they do bring him back it’ll be in the most predictable way possible.”
“And speaking of predictable, of course he couldn’t be in Season 1. They wouldn’t want Galadriel robbed of any of her agency and settled down by a heteronormative relationship. But don’t worry that gets balanced out by Warrior Galadriel going into battle with the Queen Regent of Numenor to go slay some Orcs and rack up a Conan body count,” he details.
If you are unfamiliar with Celeborn, he plays a supporting role during Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings series. He rules Lothlórien alongside Galadriel from the city of Caras Galadhon and offers aid to the Fellowship telling them, “I will do what I can to aid you, each according to his wish and need, but especially that one of the little folk who bears the burden.”
Celeborn even goes on to furnish the Fellowship with a number of boats to help them on their journey as they travel down the river Anduin or the Great River. He tells them, “Then I will furnish your Company with boats. They must be small and light, for if you go far by water, there are places where you will be forced to carry them.”
Not only did Celeborn aid the Fellowship, but he also repelled attacks against Lórien three times with the first happening on March 11th and the last taking place on March 22nd. He would eventually cross the Anduin with his forces and destroy not only the forces attacking them from Dol Guldur, but the fortress itself.
As the events of the War of the Ring began to end, Celeborn would attend the wedding of Elessar and Arwen alongside Galadriel at Minas Tirith.
Tolkien wrote, “Upon the very Eve of Midsummer, when the sky was blue as sapphire and white stars opened in the East, but the West was still golden and the air was cool and fragrant, the riders came down from the East, but the West was still golden and the air was cool and fragrant, the riders came down from the North-way to the gates of Minas Tirith. First rode Elrohir and Elladan with a banner of silver, and then came Glorfindel and Erestor and all the household of Rivendell, and after them came the Lady Galadriel and Celeborn, Lord of Lothlórien, riding upon white steeds and with many fair folk of their land, grey-cloaked with white gems in their hair.”
Following the events of the War of the Ring, Galadriel would depart from Celeborn and it is said he resided in Rivendell for some time before eventually departing for the Grey Havens.
Tolkien wrote, “It is said that Celeborn went to dwell there after the departure of Galadriel; but there is no record of the day when at last he sought the Grey Havens, and with him went the last living memory of the Elder Days in Middle-earth.”
As for the idea that Celeborn might have died sometime during the Second Age, this is not recorded in any of Tolkien’s writing. Instead, he led his military forces against Sauron a number of times. In one such case he was able to drive Sauron’s forces back and then join his forces with Elrond. Their combined might would eventually be defeated by Sauron’s army and the city of Eregion would fall and Celebrimbor would die in the battle.
The idea of resurrection is not new and there are a number of characters who do return from the dead with the most famous being Gandalf. He informs Aragorn, Gimli, and Legolas, “Indeed I am Saurman, one might almost say, Saruman as he should have been. But come now, tell me of yourselves! I have passed through fire and deep water, since we parted. I have forgotten much that I thought I knew, and learned again much that I had forgotten. I can see many things far off, but many things that are close at hand I cannot see. Tell me of yourselves!”
In Letter 156, Tolkien further explained the resurrection of Gandalf writing, “That I should say is what the Authority wished, as a set-off to Saurman. The ‘wizards’, as such, had failed; or if you like: the crisis had become too grave and needed an enhancement of power. So Gandalf sacrificed himself, was accepted, and enhanced, and returned. ‘Yes, that was the name. I was Gandalf.’ Of course he remains similar in personality and idiosyncrasy, but both his wisdom and power are much greater. When he speaks he commands attention; the old Gandalf could not have dealt with Théoden, nor with Saruman.”
He continued, “He is still under the obligation of concealing his power and teaching rather than forcing or dominating wills, but where the physical powers of the Enemy are too great for the good will or of the opposers to be effective he can act in emergency as an ‘angel’ – no more violently than the release of St Peter from prison. He seldom does so, operating rather through others, but in one or two cases in the War (in Vol. III) he does reveal a sudden power: he twice rescues Faramir. He alone is left to forbid the entrance of the Lord of Nazgûl to Minas Tirith, when the City has been overthrown and its Gates destroyed — and yet so powerful is the whole train of human resistance that he himself has kindled and organized, that in fact no battle between the two occurs: it passes to other mortal hands.”
Tolkien then declared, “In the end before he departs for ever he sums himself up: ‘I was the enemy of Sauron’. He might have added: ‘for that purpose I was sent to Middle-earth’. But by that he would at the end have meant more than at the beginning. He was sent by a mere prudent plan of the angelic Valar or governors; but Authority had taken up this plan and enlarged it, at the moment of its failure. ‘Naked I was sent back – for a brief time, until my task is done’. Sent back by whom and whence? Not by the ‘gods’ whose business is only with this embodied world and its time; for he passed ‘out of thought and time’. Naked is alas! unclear. It was meant just literally, ‘unclothed like a child’ (not discarnate), and so ready to receive the white robes of the highest. Galadriel’s power it not divine, and his healing in Lórien is meant to be more than physical healing and refreshment.”
Not only was Gandalf resurrected, but Tolkien also allowed for the reincarnation of Elves if their body was physically destroyed. They would be summoned to the Halls of Mandos in Aman where the Valar would create an identitical physical body for the spirit to inhabit.
Tolkien discussed this idea of reincarnation in Letter 153 to Peter Hastings saying, “‘Reincarnation’ may be bad theology (that surely, rather than metaphysics) as applied to Humanity; and my legendarium, especially the ‘Downfall of Númenor’ which lies immediately behind The Lord of the Rings, is based on my view: that Men are essentially mortal and must not try to become ‘immortal’ in the flesh. But I do not see how even in the Primary World any theologian or philosopher, unless very much better informed about the relation of spirit and body than I believe anyone to be, could deny the possibility of re-incarnation as a mode of existence, prescribed for certain kinds of rational incarnate creatures.”
So, it’s possible that Celeborn might have died and later been reincarnated, but it is not detailed in any of Tolkien’s writing. However, showrunner Patrick McKay did previously declare that Prime Video was not allowed to paint outside the lines when it came to Tolkien’s works.
He stated, “There’s a version of everything we need for the Second Age in the books we have the rights to. As long as we’re painting within those lines and not egregiously contradicting something we don’t have the rights to, there’s a lot of leeway and room to dramatize and tell some of the best stories that [Tolkien] ever came up with.”
What do you make of this new rumor that Celeborn is dead in The Rings of Power?