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Old 05-16-2008, 12:30 PM   #1
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What's up with Celeborn?

I was reading the LotR today and came up with the following passage where Celeborn says his farewell to Aragorn:
Quote:
But Celeborn said: "Kinsman, farewell! May your doom be other than mine, and your treasure remain with you to the end!"
What is he talking about? I am not so deeply learned in Celeborn's personal history, so it just made me wonder whether he is just talking about the fading of Lothlórien or something else. Since this kind of little things tend to bother me, any help would be very much appreciated.
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Old 05-16-2008, 12:39 PM   #2
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I'm not perfectly sure about this either, but I've always thought he was mainly talking about Galadriel, who left for Valinor before him.
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Old 05-16-2008, 01:00 PM   #3
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I'm not perfectly sure about this either, but I've always thought he was mainly talking about Galadriel, who left for Valinor before him.
Yes, this is how I always understood it as well. However the context is very dark, and the fact that Galadriel left as well. I always wondered - she probably left simply because the Ring lost its power, she was a Ringbearer, Lothlórien faded, and most important of all, she was granted the mercy to return to Valinor - at last. So I wonder, why didn't Celeborn go with her? Were non-Ringbearer passengers "not allowed" on the ship? If so, then it's a very tragic tale, however I would think that unnecessary cruel, so to say. Did Celeborn simply want to remain in Middle-Earth for some time still, maybe supported by the fact that the remaining Galadhrim begged him to stay as their king (or lord, to be "kosher"), so that at least he would be there when Galadriel left? Or, was Galadriel granted the pardon and mercy by the Valar, but Celeborn didn't? That's even harder to believe. This is a question I'd really like to explore more, but can anything be concluded besides mere guesses?
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Old 05-16-2008, 01:03 PM   #4
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Celeborn's history went through several versions so there may not be a definitve answer. Certainly I can't recall anything in any of them (though my readling of HoME has not been consistently thorough) that gives any reason that Celeborn should be forbidden to pass in to the West.

Hammond and Scull in the LOTR reader's companion refer to the abandoned Epilogue in which Sam tells his daughter that Celeborn still lives in Lorien and has not tired of his own land - when he does he can leave and points out that it is only a very short time in Elvish terms.

They say that this refers to an early version of Celeborn's history and refer back to abn extremely lengthy note on "The Mirror of Galadriel" which commences with a quote from Christopher Tolkien "There is no part of the history of Middle-earth more full of problems than the story of Galadriel and Celeborn" [and who are we to argue? !].

The comment on Greenie' quote then refers to Appendix B and the Prologue which state that Celeborn soon went to join his grandsons at Rivendell but there is no record of the date he sought the havens. It also refers to an unpublished letter to a reader which says that as Celeborn had never lived in Valinor and would remain until he saw the beginning of the dominion of men but the separation would be brief in Elvish terms.

I suspect that his remaining may be linked to the postponed choice of Elladan and Elrohir for whatever reason that was. It is a plausible that he might remain either for his grandsons to be ready to leave or if they chose not too, horrific though the experience no doubt would be) until their mortal lives ended. However since
I get the impression that Arwen died alone in Lorien, my guess would be that at some point in between the passing of the Ringbearers and the death or Arwen, Celeborn and the twins left.
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Old 05-16-2008, 04:20 PM   #5
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Is Celeborn perhaps referring to the loss of Celebrian, his daughter?
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Old 05-16-2008, 10:51 PM   #6
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However since I get the impression that Arwen died alone in Lorien, my guess would be that at some point in between the passing of the Ringbearers and the death or Arwen, Celeborn and the twins left.
Someone had to be there to bury her, though. It might have been Celeborn and friends, but I guess it seems unlikely that they would STILL be there at that late stage.
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Old 05-17-2008, 04:59 AM   #7
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Firstly, in case it perhaps helps here is the full quotation:



Then Aragorn took leave of Celeborn and Galadriel; and the Lady said to him: ‘Elfstone, through darkness you have come to your hope, and have now all your desire. Use well the days!’
But Celeborn said: ‘Kinsman, farewell! May your doom be other than mine, and your treasure remain with you to the end!’

I personally feel that Celeborn is refering not to something that had happened or was going to happen in M-e, but outside it.
Elves did not know what awaited Men after their deaths, but it is said in the Silmarillion that with the passing of time Elves and even Ainur would eventually come to envy Men for the gift they receive from Eru.

Is this not perhaps already a proof for this. Is Celeborn not perhaps actually saying "I hope that what awaits you beyond death will be better than all the time I still have to spend on Arda and that Arwen will be by your side until the world is remade." ?
Just a thought.
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Old 05-17-2008, 05:08 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by Rumil View Post
Is Celeborn perhaps referring to the loss of Celebrian, his daughter?
That would be another possibility, and not an unlikely one, I'd say - as much possible as the others.

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Originally Posted by The Might View Post
Is this not perhaps already a proof for this. Is Celeborn not perhaps actually saying "I hope that what awaits you beyond death will be better than all the time I still have to spend on Arda and that Arwen will be by your side until the world is remade." ?
But this is very interesting. Very inventive concept! So, you mean like, that the sentence in fact is composed of two different statements: May your doom be other than mine. And also, may your treasure remain with you till the end. Did I understand it correctly? So it's like, that the second part of the sentence wouldn't be unfolding more the first part, but something totally different. Oh, how I love this! All the possibilities are possible and make this more interesting.

Hmm, is there anything else that could help us specify more which alternative was the one Celeborn (or Tolkien) had in mind? (Maybe it was intentional to leave it open to more interpretations, but somehow I doubt it.) What about context? Is it possible that it may tell us more?
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Old 05-17-2008, 05:13 AM   #9
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I personally also saw Galadriel's "Use well the days!" advice right before Celeborn's statement as a foreshadowing of what was to come.
When she tells him that it is clear that he wants him to keep in mind that he is after all mortal and that there is a limit to the things he can achieve in the world. As such, Galadriel wants him to do his best in the time that remains.

Celeborn afterwards, also taking Galadriel's advice into consideration thinks about the question of mortality and wishes Aragorn to suffer a better fate, perhaps here also thinking about the gift of death.
And of course he also wishes him that his treasure, Arwen, will remain by his side until death and beyond. And this also truly happens when Arwen goes to Lórien to willingly give up her life.
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Old 05-17-2008, 05:38 AM   #10
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Eye Comedy Celeborn

Just to be silly for a moment.....

We all know that Celeborn was a bit of a stand-up comedian, after all his 'old wives' comment was the funniest in LoTR.

In the scene we are discussing, he's giving Aragorn a bit of grandfather-in-law-ly advice after his wedding.

Quote:
May your doom be other than mine, and your treasure remain with you to the end
What he's saying her is 'don't let Arwen wear the trousers in the relationship and don't let her spend all your cash'.

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Old 05-17-2008, 09:01 AM   #11
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I always thought that he was referring to the fading of Lothlórien, his kingdom that won't remain the same and that will diminish. As much as he loved Galadriel, I cannot see him referring to her as his treasure - it sounds way too possessive, and we all knew who was the boss in that family . And it's not only that, really, there's something else there also why it would feel inappropriate and besides, if Celeborn indeed went to West later (which I hope and believe he did), he would still have Galadriel for ever, so the Galadriel-explanation would not make sense.

The Celebrian-interpretation doesn't work either, if Celeborn indeed went to the West. For Celebrían went there also, and when Celeborn (and Galadriel and Elrond and his sons - wow, I never imagined the tale had such a happy ending! ) eventually went to Valinor, he would meet her too and there is a hope she would have found healing in the West. And besides, I can't see Tolkien making Celeborn refer to Celebrían in that moment - she's not truly part of the story of LotR and I can't see why she would made a part of one of Celeborn's most important lines.

Now, The Might's interpretation is very intriguing. However, I don't think we can prove it either wrong or right, but it surely gives something to think about...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Gwath
Someone had to be there to bury her, though. It might have been Celeborn and friends, but I guess it seems unlikely that they would STILL be there at that late stage.
That is such a powerful image, really. I can see it and it makes a chill run down my spine. In the graying and fading Lothlórien, its Lord stands on Cerin Amroth with a few of his closest subjects who have stayed with him. There is a great sorrow in his eyes and he looks older than ever, when he holds the dead body of his granddaughter in his arms and eventually lowers her to her grave and they bury her. Then he casts one last look at the grave and says "My work is done" and sails to the West.

But, unfortunately, I had the wits to check appendix A and it says:
Quote:
Then she [Arwen] said farewell to Eldarion, and to her daughters, and to all whom she had loved; and she went out from the city of Minas Tirith and passed away to the land of Lórien, and dwelt there alone under the fading trees until winter came. Galadriel had passed and Celeborn also was gone, and the land was silent.
There at last when the mallorn-leaves were falling, but spring had not yet come, she laid herself to rest upon Cerin Amroth; and there is her green grave, until the world is changed, and all the days of her life are utterly forgotten by men that come after, and elanor and niphredil bloom no more east of the sea.
So there were no Elves in Lórien anymore, and it looks like she merely went there and died and was not buried, but her corpse was left - to be blunt - to rot on Cerin Amroth and decomposed there. Or maybe it just vanished (yet remained in Certin Amroth) in some more poetic way, but nevertheless it looks like she was never buried.
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Old 05-17-2008, 09:52 AM   #12
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Just to be silly for a moment.....

We all know that Celeborn was a bit of a stand-up comedian, after all his 'old wives' comment was the funniest in LoTR.
A little off-topic question: Which comment? I probably did not find it the funniest in LotR, because I don't remember it at all...

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I always thought that he was referring to the fading of Lothlórien, his kingdom that won't remain the same and that will diminish. As much as he loved Galadriel, I cannot see him referring to her as his treasure - it sounds way too possessive, and we all knew who was the boss in that family.
I am not opposing the last part of the sentence , but I must oppose the first conclusion. He could have referred to Galadriel, and speaking of "treasure", I would say that you are unnecessarily interpretating it the worst possible way. Surely when someone calls another "treasure", the primary meaning is not that he would claim ownership over the other. And I doubt this was meant like this. I must say, what you said kind of shocked me, because I regarded this (thinking, as I posted above, that he is indeed referring to Arwen, resp. Galadriel here) as "oh look how much he values Galadriel, comparing her to a treasure" - and now you downplay it by interpretating it in this nasty way. Be ashamed of yourself! It was surely not "may the one you own remain with you till the end" but "may the one who is most important to you remain with you till the end"!
If it is referring to Arwen and Galadriel in the first place, of course. But I would say, what you said could not be definitely taken as a proof that this variant is impossible.

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And it's not only that, really, there's something else there also why it would feel inappropriate and besides, if Celeborn indeed went to West later (which I hope and believe he did), he would still have Galadriel for ever, so the Galadriel-explanation would not make sense.
Haha, and you know what? Here you say "He would still have Galadriel". Now who is using wrong semantics here
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Old 05-17-2008, 10:23 AM   #13
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Originally Posted by Legate
A little off-topic question: Which comment? I probably did not find it the funniest in LotR, because I don't remember it at all...
I think he means this:
Quote:
Originally Posted by Farewell to Lórien
"Then I need say no more," said Celeborn. "But do not despise the lore that has come down from distant years; for oft it may chance that old wives keep in memory word of things that once were needful for the wise to know."

Quote:
Originally Posted by Legate
I am not opposing the last part of the sentence, but I must oppose the first conclusion. He could have referred to Galadriel, and speaking of "treasure", I would say that you are unnecessarily interpretating it the worst possible way. Surely when someone calls another "treasure", the primary meaning is not that he would claim ownership over the other. And I doubt this was meant like this. I must say, what you said kind of shocked me, because I regarded this (thinking, as I posted above, that he is indeed referring to Arwen, resp. Galadriel here) as "oh look how much he values Galadriel, comparing her to a treasure" - and now you downplay it by interpretating it in this nasty way. Be ashamed of yourself! It was surely not "may the one you own remain with you till the end" but "may the one who is most important to you remain with you till the end"!
Well, well, well, you're certainly making me laugh. (Not because your point would be ridiculous or anything like that, more because of the tone of your argument.)
I do not mean that I would assume that anyone calling someone a treasure would claim ownership over her/him, but I think there is a certain possesive edge to the word and if you call someone a treasure, it looks like you're kind of taking a higher status compared to him/her, which I can't see Celeborn doing with Galadriel. I do not seek to "incriminate" the word or emphasise these subtle minor tones in it, I just don't think it would have occurred to Celeborn to use that word of Galadriel, or that if he meant to imply something like what you say he implied, some other word would have occured to him first, because of the quality* of his and Galadriel's relationship.

*quality meaning "sort" or "type" here, not in the sense as in "good quality product"

Quote:
Originally Posted by Legate
Haha, and you know what? Here you say "He would still have Galadriel". Now who is using wrong semantics here
But I didn't mean it that way and it really isn't in contradiction with what I talked about being possesive earlier - I think "have" is a far more equal term than "treasure", because you usually think people can "have" each other, while the one who possesses a treasure owns it, but the the treasure doesn't own the person. (Okay, in a way, it might - but that is philosophy and unrelated to the original topic! )
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Old 05-17-2008, 10:30 AM   #14
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OK, I think I'm beginning to get my head round this (famous last words!).

I like Lommy's interpretation that Celeborn is talking about his future (and eternal, up to Dagor Dagorath anyway) loss of Arwen. He knows that Arwen as chosen the fate of man and therefore his treasured grand-daughter will be lost to him. He hopes that Aragorn and Arwen will be together 'till the end' but cannot be sure as 'the Gift' is mysterious.

I also think that the heart-rending scene of Celeborn burying Arwen makes a lot of sense. Maybe its no surprise that he was not present in Lorien when Arwen arrived, this would have been an impossible thing for Celeborn to deal with. However, once she had died I'd like to think he came over (from Greenwood?) to bury her. This explains something I've always had difficulties with, ie. why did Celeborn stay and Galadriel go? I think this was the real reason that he had to stay, not the entreaties of the Galadrhim, for surely they wished Galadriel to stay just as fervently?

Meanwhile, on a lighter note-

The scene - On leaving Lothlorien, the Fellowship are discussing their route with Galdriel and Celeborn...

Quote:
"Indeed we have heard of Fangorn in Minas Tirith," said Boromir. "But what I have heard seems to me for the most part old wives' tales, such as we tell to children. etc"
Quote:
"Then I need say no more," said Celeborn. "But do not despise the lore that has come down from distant years; for oft it may chance that old wives keep in memory word of things that once were needful for the wise to know."
Though I guess he tactfully failed to mention that his wife was over 7000 years old!

(Ooops Cross-posted with Thinlomien there! [steadfastly ignoring PC debate ;-)
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Old 05-17-2008, 10:43 AM   #15
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I like Lommy's interpretation that Celeborn is talking about his future (and eternal, up to Dagor Dagorath anyway) loss of Arwen. He knows that Arwen as chosen the fate of man and therefore his treasured grand-daughter will be lost to him. He hopes that Aragorn and Arwen will be together 'till the end' but cannot be sure as 'the Gift' is mysterious.
I didn't actually say that but it makes sense, too...

Quote:
I also think that the heart-rending scene of Celeborn burying Arwen makes a lot of sense. Maybe its no surprise that he was not present in Lorien when Arwen arrived, this would have been an impossible thing for Celeborn to deal with. However, once she had died I'd like to think he came over (from Greenwood?) to bury her. This explains something I've always had difficulties with, ie. why did Celeborn stay and Galadriel go? I think this was the real reason that he had to stay, not the entreaties of the Galadrhim, for surely they wished Galadriel to stay just as fervently?
Actually, that's a good idea and it explains also why it says "Galadriel had passed and Celeborn also was gone", because it looks like it implies that they were away in different ways and if they had both gone to the West, it would be odd. But it still doesn't prove anything you say, because it could also imply that Celeborn was in Rivendell, or it could just be a very poetic formulation à la Tolkien.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rumil
Though I guess he tactfully failed to mention that his wife was over 7000 years old!
(Ooops Cross-posted with Thinlomien there! [steadfastly ignoring PC debate ;-)
to both...
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Old 05-17-2008, 11:00 AM   #16
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Originally Posted by Thinlómien View Post
I do not mean that I would assume that anyone calling someone a treasure would claim ownership over her/him, but I think there is a certain possesive edge to the word and if you call someone a treasure, it looks like you're kind of taking a higher status compared to him/her, which I can't see Celeborn doing with Galadriel. I do not seek to "incriminate" the word or emphasise these subtle minor tones in it, I just don't think it would have occurred to Celeborn to use that word of Galadriel, or that if he meant to imply something like what you say he implied, some other word would have occured to him first, because of the quality* of his and Galadriel's relationship.
Well, I can't say definitely, because personally I don't think that I have ever called anyone "treasure" and it is probably not a word that would occur to me to use, but simply evaluating it I don't see anything bad about it. Yes, it is about how both the one who uses it and also the recipient interpretate it (and had not C&G known each other for thousands of years, it may have been possible that if this were used about Galadriel, and she would interpretate it in the worse way, as soon as the Company left she could have turned to Celeborn: "How dare you-!"), but I think it is not necessary that Celeborn could not have used it. Maybe he would simply belong to the cathegory of people who don't see anything wrong on the word. If we were not to speak about Celeborn but about let's say Thranduil, then I daresay a metaphore of treasure would be indeed quite a compliment (Although now maybe I'd start to worry whether in his case it wouldn't be too simple, and maybe in referring to people specifically he would move into a higher cathegory from the "material" one.)

Quote:
But I didn't mean it that way and it really isn't in contradiction with what I talked about being possesive earlier - I think "have" is a far more equal term than "treasure", because you usually think people can "have" each other, while the one who possesses a treasure owns it, but the the treasure doesn't own the person. (Okay, in a way, it might - but that is philosophy and unrelated to the original topic! )
Hm, I would actually say "have" is worse than "treasure", but that's also a matter of opinion (I only had in mind the fact that in most cases, "have" is used in the meaning "own"). And not sure if it isn't a little cultural/language determined. But in any case, the main point was: if you thought the use of the term "treasure" in the sentence quoted, if it were to be about Galadriel, would be inappropriate, then I say: the usage of "have" you posed could be interpretated in a similar way.
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Old 05-17-2008, 11:42 AM   #17
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Or maybe it just vanished (yet remained in Certin Amroth) in some more poetic way, but nevertheless it looks like she was never buried.
Actually, there IS a reference somewhere to Arwen's "green grave" being in Cerin Amroth, so someone had to have been there to bury her. Of course, since we know it wasn't Celeborn, it's not really relevant to this thread.

Regarding The Might's theory that Celeborn is making a reference to the different fates of Elves and Men, I find this unlikely since Celeborn says "may your fate be different than mine" rather than "may your fate be different than ours." "Mine" makes it seem likely that he is referring to something that is personal and unique to him.
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Old 05-17-2008, 11:44 AM   #18
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Is it possible that the "treasure" to which Celeborn referred is his realm? It was known that if the quest to destroy the Ring succeeded, Lothlorien would fade, diminish, and, as we know, ultimately be no more. Celeborn's "doom" may have been to return to his realm to oversee it until finally, its population would dwindle and depart, leaving him to depart as well (which we know he did, even if we don't know for certain where he went). His "treasure," the realm he had worked long and hard to build and guard from the ravages of the world, would be lost. Aragorn, on the other hand, was fated to return to his realm, which was growing. Hopefully, it would continue to grow and flourish, so that by the time the Doom of Men came to him at the end of his days, he would leave not an empty realm, but one full of hope and promise for a greater future -- his "treasure" remaining with him to the end.

No canonical support for this, of course, but perhaps it is a suitable interpretation.
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Old 05-17-2008, 11:49 AM   #19
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The word "treasure"

The question is not "would it occur to Celeborn to use 'treasure' to refer to his wife?", but "would it occur to Tolkien to use the word in that way?" - to which I think the answer is probably 'yes'.

I also like Ibrin's idea that Celeborn may have alternatively been referring to his realm, because that contrasts well with Aragorn's situation.
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Old 05-17-2008, 02:58 PM   #20
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Yes, given the text and the time in which this was said, I tend to agree with Ibrin's assessment as well. It was sort of a closing observation, and a sincere wish for the restored kingdom and Aragorn's future, contrasted with his own.

Besides, I can't imagine Celeborn bringing up his own deeply personal life at such a parting, no matter how well the different interpretations refering to it might fit the situation. It would be a highly unsuitable way to part with Aragorn, and I just don't believe that Celeborn would be that self indulgent. What good would it do to depress the young pup, after all?
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Old 05-17-2008, 08:26 PM   #21
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As to Arwen's burial- it's always been my impression (w/o actual evidence) that very few of the Silvan natives of Lorien or Mirkwood were disposed to leave or seek the west- they just dwindled to a "little folk of dell and cave." Legolas was (a) a Sindarin prince and (b) one who had seen the Sea and heard the gulls (obviously a turning-point in his life)

I agree with Lommy that Celeborn's treasure is Arwen, his granddaughter who lived with him for ages.
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Old 05-17-2008, 09:44 PM   #22
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Hammond and Scull note regarding these words: 'He is expressing the hope that Arwen will never leave Aragorn, as he knows that Galadriel will soon be leaving him, to return to Valinor across the Sea.' (RC)

And I note from Sauron Defeated...

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'Elanor was silent for some time before she spoke again. 'I did not undestand at first what Celeborn meant when he said goodbye to the King,' she said. 'But I think I do now. He knew that Lady Arwen would stay, but that Galadriel would leave him. I think it was very sad for him. And for you, dear Sam-dad'. Her hand felt for his, and his brown hand clasped her slender fingers. 'For your treasure went too. I am glad Frodo of the Ring saw me, but I wish I could remember seeing him.'
JRRT, Epilogue second version
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Old 05-18-2008, 06:26 AM   #23
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Great, Galin, one more enigma solved then... that is, if we can trust on Tolkien making Elanor solve the riddle for us, which I think we can.

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Originally Posted by Legate
If we were not to speak about Celeborn but about let's say Thranduil, then I daresay a metaphore of treasure would be indeed quite a compliment
Even if we assume he valued material treasure greatly, it does not remove the possesive tone to the word.
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Hm, I would actually say "have" is worse than "treasure", but that's also a matter of opinion (I only had in mind the fact that in most cases, "have" is used in the meaning "own"). And not sure if it isn't a little cultural/language determined.
Yes, I agree that it probably is a matter of opinion. (Now I'm swaying off-topic, but we don't even have a verb like "have" in Finnish, we simply use our "be" verb and certain cases to imply possession... now shouldn't I then regard the verb "to have" as stronger than as would someone in whose native language it appears? Clearly interesting...)

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Originally Posted by Gwath
Actually, there IS a reference somewhere to Arwen's "green grave" being in Cerin Amroth, so someone had to have been there to bury her. Of course, since we know it wasn't Celeborn, it's not really relevant to this thread.
Yes, there is, it's in the passage I quoted and I'm well aware of it. However, I think the word "grave" could be interpreted less literally, that it could just mean the place where her remains were, I don't think it has to mean a literal grave.

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Originally Posted by Gwath
The question is not "would it occur to Celeborn to use 'treasure' to refer to his wife?", but "would it occur to Tolkien to use the word in that way?" - to which I think the answer is probably 'yes'.
Now that is a very good point, I think. Although, it might have been a little careless of Tolkien...

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Originally Posted by William Cloud Hicklin
I agree with Lommy that Celeborn's treasure is Arwen, his granddaughter who lived with him for ages.
Now why is everybody saying I said that? As far as I know, I didn't...
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Old 05-18-2008, 06:47 AM   #24
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Yes, I agree that it probably is a matter of opinion. (Now I'm swaying off-topic, but we don't even have a verb like "have" in Finnish, we simply use our "be" verb and certain cases to imply possession... now shouldn't I then regard the verb "to have" as stronger than as would someone in whose native language it appears? Clearly interesting...)
Maybe then it's because you are not used to it, so it has no special tone for you...

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Yes, there is, it's in the passage I quoted and I'm well aware of it. However, I think the word "grave" could be interpreted less literally, that it could just mean the place where her remains were, I don't think it has to mean a literal grave.
But then, if it were not literal grave, why to say that it was "green"... I mean, usually you don't give that concrete adjectives to unexistant things...
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Old 05-18-2008, 08:14 AM   #25
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Good job, Galin!
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Old 05-18-2008, 10:26 AM   #26
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But then, if it were not literal grave, why to say that it was "green"... I mean, usually you don't give that concrete adjectives to unexistant things...
But surely it would exist even if it was not grave in the literal sense? I mean, there would be still be a place where what was left of Arwen would exactly be, the bones etc wouldn't vanish anywhere. Maybe her remains were just covered by leaves and mould naturally when time passed and thus she was "buried" and she would have a "grave", that would probably be green when grass started to grow on it. That's how I see it, at least.
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Old 05-18-2008, 10:39 AM   #27
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A rather grim picture...
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Old 05-18-2008, 11:19 AM   #28
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A rather grim picture...
Why, I don't see it as that grim. Maybe a little sad, but very natural... and quite poetic if you assume there were no scavenger animals etc.
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Old 05-19-2008, 06:41 AM   #29
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Galin:

Quite so. Oops.

However, as with much of the Lorien chapters (written fifteen years before the final form of Appendix B), it's pretty clear that *at the time of writing* Tolkien regarded Celeborn as a native Avar, not even a Nando (who didn't exist), and I surmise one who therefore would or could never go West, so that his parting from Galadriel would be permanent within Time.
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Old 05-19-2008, 07:50 AM   #30
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However, as with much of the Lorien chapters (written fifteen years before the final form of Appendix B), it's pretty clear that *at the time of writing* Tolkien regarded Celeborn as a native Avar, not even a Nando (who didn't exist), and I surmise one who therefore would or could never go West, so that his parting from Galadriel would be permanent within Time.
Well... In Letter 347 -- written on 17 December 1972, less than a year before JRRT died -- Tolkien said, "Celeborn is a transl. of the orig. name Telporno; though said to be a kinsman of Elu Thingol he was so only afar off, for he too came from Valinor." This is in keeping with at least one version of his background story for Galadriel and Celeborn, and how they came to ME at the time of Feanor's revolt.

This is why I consider a lot of what's in the HoME books to be interesting, but not to be taken as the last word. They present variations of what he was in the process of writing or revising, but not necessarily his final thoughts on the matter, nor what he would have chosen to be published. Neither do the Letters, really; they are both insights to the mind of the man, and how he worked, and he appears to have been a writer whose creations were a constant work in progress. He was always thinking of how to improve them, how to edit them and tweak them to bring them closer to the vision he had -- at that time. I have to wonder from that letter if he forgot that he had already given Celeborn's Quenya name as Teleporno, or if he had reconsidered the form of it and decided to drop the second E. Was that what he was thinking at the time...? We don't really know.

Now, all that said, the notion of Arwen being a "treasure" shared by both Celeborn and Aragorn seems not implausible to me -- a rather grandfatherly bit of indulgence, as it were.
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Old 05-20-2008, 08:53 AM   #31
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This is why I consider a lot of what's in the HoME books to be interesting, but not to be taken as the last word.
I would submit that in cases like this there is no Last Word.

In other words, I would answer the quastion "Was Celeborn a native Silvan elf, or a Sindarin prince of Doriath, or a Teler of Aman?" with "All three-- at different times."
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Old 05-20-2008, 11:57 AM   #32
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I don't know about last word, but maybe 'official story' rather.

As Celeborn as one of the Sindar is what JRRT himself decided to publish, or 'tell his Readership' (twice), so to speak, then that is the official tale then, to my mind anyway. In the contest of textual parity, draft text (of any date) and letters cannot compete here in my opinion.

I find it interesting to note the variant ideas here, but generally with Tolkien's work we have been given a rather unique vantage point due to Christopher Tolkien, and I think this should be kept in mind at least when there is Tolkien-published text on the other side of the scale.

BTW Mr. Hicklin can you elaborate on your comment on Celeborn as an Avar -- at what point, or to what text do you refer to with 'at the time of writing' -- do you mean when writing the Epilogue, or when writing the early chapters for instance?

On that note I'll note (just for interest maybe) that when working on Many Partings, Celeborn's words were first: 'Kinsman, farewell, but your doom is like to mine; for our treasure shall outlast us both.'

This interested me in any case, from H&S's new book; especially the date.

Quote:
'(...) These comments imply that Celeborn could have left Middle-earth with Galadriel if he had wished, and Tolkien's replies to queries from readers seem to confirm this. In his unpublished letter to Eileen Elgar, begun 22 September 1963 he comments that Celeborn and Galadriel were of different kin: Celeborn was of that branch of the Elves that, in the First Age, was so in love with Middle-earth that they had refused the call of the Valar to go to Valinor; he had never seen the Blessed Realm. Now he remained until he had seen the coming of the Dominion of Men. But to an immortal Elf, for whom time was not as it is to mortals, the period in which he was parted from Galadriel would seem brief.' Hammond And Scull, Reader's Companion
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Old 05-21-2008, 12:08 PM   #33
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What I was referring to was the fact that, while writing the Lorien chapters, probably in 1941, Tolkien quickly elevated Galadriel to a Noldorin princess but Celeborn remained what they both first appeared as: a native Silvan ruler. Judging by the writings of the late 30's and the absence of any counterindication in the LR text up to that point, the creation of the 'Nandor' still lay ahead, prob. about 1951-52. In QS and the later Annals, the Danians or Pereldar (half-Eldar) appear, but it's clear that all of them entered Beleriand and became the Green-elves. Certainly the Wood-elves of The Hobbit were envisioned at the time as Avari, and all the evidence seems to point to the conclusion that, as of 1941, Tolkien didn't conceive of the Silvan natives of Lorien as being any different, or of any Eldar existing east of the Mountains besides G. herself.

It's interesting that even so late as 1963, by which time Celeborn was unquestinably a Sinda (it appears), T would use the phrase "that branch of the Elves that, in the First Age, was so in love with Middle-earth that they had refused the call of the Valar;" which, literally, defined the Avari (the Sindar of course didn't refuse; they missed the boat looking for Thingol).
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Old 05-22-2008, 07:46 AM   #34
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It's interesting that even so late as 1963, by which time Celeborn was unquestinably a Sinda (it appears), T would use the phrase "that branch of the Elves that, in the First Age, was so in love with Middle-earth that they had refused the call of the Valar;" which, literally, defined the Avari (the Sindar of course didn't refuse; they missed the boat looking for Thingol).
I agree. And Tolkien appears to have forgotten Appendix B (first edition): 'The exiled Noldor dwelt in Lindon, but many of the Sindar passed eastward and established realms in the forests far away. The chief of these were Thranduil in the north of Greenwood the Great, and Celeborn in the south of the forest. But the wife of Celeborn was Noldorin:' Subsequent revision to the Second Edition impacted this, but in any case Tolkien published again in The Road Goes Ever On that Celeborn was one of the Sindar.

I also agree that it's possible JRRT thought that Celeborn was an Avar at some early point, but I'm not sure about it being clearly so.

Quote:
What I was referring to was the fact that, while writing the Lorien chapters, probably in 1941, Tolkien quickly elevated Galadriel to a Noldorin princess but Celeborn remained what they both first appeared as: a native Silvan ruler.
Did they first appear as native Silvans? According to CJRT, early phrases 'strongly suggest' both Galadriel and Celeborn to be Noldorin Exiles (note 12 Galadriel The Treason Of Isengard. A subsequent addition to the manuscript has Galadriel passing Over Sea with Melian -- note 31 Galadriel).

Quote:
Judging by the writings of the late 30's and the absence of any counterindication in the LR text up to that point, the creation of the 'Nandor' still lay ahead, prob. about 1951-52. In QS and the later Annals, the Danians or Pereldar (half-Eldar) appear, but it's clear that all of them entered Beleriand and became the Green-elves.
The Quenta Silmarillion proper may be a bit vague on this, but both the Later Annals and especially the Lhammas describe the Danians as having eastern kin, for example: '... but none passed east over Eredlindon, save only the Green-elves, for they had kindred that were yet in the further lands.' (Later Annals of Beleriand). In the Lhammas (The Lost Road) the eastern Danians are called Leikvir. In Lammasethen: 'The Danians were of the Lindar [> Noldor] and began the march, but turned south and strayed, long ere Beleriand was reached. They did not come into Beleriand, and then but in part, for many ages. Some reckon them Eldarin, some Lembian. In truth they are neither and have a middle-place.'

The geography of The Lord of the Rings is not in place of course, but I think the general model (at least) of the Nandor is, before the early work on Galadriel and Celeborn. In Unfinished Tales Christopher Tolkien states (History of Galadriel And Celeborn): 'in all probability Celeborn was in this conception a Nandorin Elf' -- referring to what turns out to be revision to the early chapter, since the statement referred to above in note 31 (Galadriel) was revised ('... for ere the Fall of Nargothrond' and etc).

In later draft text to the Appendix on Languages and The Tale of Years of the Second Age, the Avari seem equated with the East-elves. However in text F4 (The Appendix on Languages) there were Eastern Elves that had hearkened to no summons to the Sea, while Celeborn is said to be a Grey-elf.

Quote:
'Certainly the Wood-elves of The Hobbit were envisioned at the time as Avari, and all the evidence seems to point to the conclusion that, as of 1941, Tolkien didn't conceive of the Silvan natives of Lorien as being any different, or of any Eldar existing east of the Mountains besides G. herself.'
In chapter Medwed John Rateliff provides an outline which includes 'capture by the Sea-elves' and later argues that this refers to the Wood-elves of Mirkwood (in commentary on chapter In The Halls of the Elven-king).
'For example, the third group Tolkien mentions in The Hobbit, the Sea-elves, became divided between those who actually crossed the sea and reached Elvenhome (the Teleri) and those who remained behind in Beleriand with Thingol (the Sindar or Grey-elves); the latter group became the wood-elves of our story-- cf. the reference in the first sketchy outline to the Dwarves' 'capture by the Sea elves' (p. 229), meaning the wood-elves of Mirkwood.'
He further notes (note 40 Mirkwood): 'The Wood-elves, according to this schema, are Ilkorindi or Dark-elves, those who never came to Valinor or saw the Two Trees.' Not that I agree with everything in Rateliff's look at The Hobbit, but I think that given the details so far it is hard to be certain.

I think Tolkien's seeming later decision to exclude 'Avari' from The Lord of the Rings at least leaves things open for a similar model to that of the Danians. The Nandor of later conceptions could be Eldar according to one definition, but 'not-Eldar' according to another -- and as narrowed in The Lord of the Rings, only the Elves who sailed Over Sea and the Sindar are West-elves or Eldar.

That said, the Tolkien-published tale arguably contains odd statements that do seem to imply Celeborn was not Sindarin -- but again (and not that you disagreed necessarily) since Tolkien had published quite straightforwardly that he was, it is my view that Sindarin is thus his official clan (agrees nicely with the 1977 Silmarillion in any case). And other Tolkien-published statements should, in my opinion, be 'made' to work around this -- or at least accepted as possibly confusing but subordinate to clearer description.
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Old 05-22-2008, 12:44 PM   #35
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Morthoron is lost in the dark paths of Moria.Morthoron is lost in the dark paths of Moria.Morthoron is lost in the dark paths of Moria.Morthoron is lost in the dark paths of Moria.
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Originally Posted by Galin View Post
In chapter Medwed John Rateliff provides an outline which includes 'capture by the Sea-elves' and later argues that this refers to the Wood-elves of Mirkwood (in commentary on chapter In The Halls of the Elven-king).
Nice post, first of all. Rateliff's assertion that the Wood-elves are Sindarin is a direct contradiction of Tolkien, who states that Oropher and his son, Thranduil, founded a Sindarin kingdom among the Silvan Elves (just as Celeborn and Galadriel founded a similar society based on Eldar leadership over a Silvan community). I'm at work, so once again I am basing my statement on recollections that I believe to be...ummm...at least partially correct.
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Old 05-22-2008, 01:54 PM   #36
Galin
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Keep in mind though that Mr. Rateliff is referring there to the time of writing this chapter of The Hobbit, noting he uses an older term Ilkorindi in this context.

In another note Rateliff mentions ideas with respect to the published Silmarillion (thus those ideas taken up by CJRT for the edited version), and there states that the Wood-elves seem to be 'a mix of Umanyar and Avari' -- and is here not asserting that the ultimate scenario concerning these Wood-elves paints them as specifically Sindarin.
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Old 05-22-2008, 02:53 PM   #37
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Morth, at the time Tolkien wote The Hobbit the term Sindar had not been invented- and indeed, while it's clear from the Turin-poem that Doriath had evolved a much higher culture than Tinwelint's primitive Artanor in the Lost Tales, it would be a long time befoe T tried to differentiate the vague catchall Ilkorindi 'not of Kor', i.e. all Elves who never went to Valinor.
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Old 05-22-2008, 03:10 PM   #38
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Morthoron is lost in the dark paths of Moria.Morthoron is lost in the dark paths of Moria.Morthoron is lost in the dark paths of Moria.Morthoron is lost in the dark paths of Moria.
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Originally Posted by William Cloud Hicklin View Post
Morth, at the time Tolkien wote The Hobbit the term Sindar had not been invented- and indeed, while it's clear from the Turin-poem that Doriath had evolved a much higher culture than Tinwelint's primitive Artanor in the Lost Tales, it would be a long time befoe T tried to differentiate the vague catchall Ilkorindi 'not of Kor', i.e. all Elves who never went to Valinor.

Galin and WCH:

You know what's absolutely hilarious, I totally gapped regarding the chronology of the various books' publications, and was entirely caught up in the actual history of Middle-earth as it has evolved over time. I believe this is due in part from having imbibed far too much in the 1970's.

Ummm...were you going to eat that donut? Do you mind if I have it? You wouldn't happen to have any corn chips and bean dip, would you?

*The Dark Elf stares blankly*

Okay, what were we talking about again?
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