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Charles Edwards on Celebrimbor's characterization

Grey Havens

Jun 28, 4:00pm

Views: 969
Charles Edwards on Celebrimbor's characterization

From this article on

“He’s the Lord of Eregion — and being a lord is something akin to royalty — which is very close to Khazad-dûm,” says Charles Edwards as he begins to explain Celebrimbor’s place in the story. Khazad-dûm is otherwise known as Moria and is the ancient underground kingdom of the Dwarves of Durin’s Folk that existed beneath the Misty Mountains. “He’s actively trying to turn Eregion into a place of excellence. And he is working with the Dwarves towards that end to try and capitalize on their talents and their creativity.”

Tolkien has said that in the Second Age, there had never been a time when the Dwarves and Elves worked so closely together and got on so well.

“In our story, Celebrimbor encourages and assists Elrond to visit Khazad-dûm and to court the Dwarves,” adds Edwards. “He may have an ulterior motive for that, but Celebrimbor is very much in support of working together … neither race would have produced the wonders that they had, that they created, without the aid of the other. So clearly, we’re in a time of peace, certainly in terms of working relationship, and [Celebrimbor] has a great respect for them. And Dwarves have a reputation as being fanatical workers, and jewellers and crafters, and Celebrimbor very much respects that.”

“He’s cautious, he can be quite gullible,” says Edwards. “He’s vain. He’s a brilliant craftsman. And he’s very meticulous. He can be a bit of a user. But he can also be used. He’s proud. He prefers seclusion; he’s not a people person. He is not terribly socially interested. He can be quite blunt. He’s very ambitious. Colossally ambitious.”


“He’s reached a point, in our story, in his existence where he is starting to doubt himself,” explains Edwards. “And I think what drives him is a manic obsessive desire to create. Above and beyond what he has already created, he wants to surpass all that has gone before. And because he’s reached this juncture, he starts to doubt himself and his validity. He lives in a very long shadow of an ancestor, shall we say, whose achievements were considerable. And he has always wanted to try and eclipse [that]. Some would say he’s already done that, but he doesn’t believe that he has.”


“He’s searching; he wants something which is as yet unknowable,” Edwards continues. “We find him in quite a confused place. But this rocks his belief in himself and makes him vulnerable, and vulnerable to predators. He’s become very single-minded about wanting to conquer, creatively, and to come up with something that’s going to be the be-all and end-all.”

“He’s in pursuit of something bigger that no one else understands. And therefore he can be single-minded. He can use people, but just to get somewhere he thinks is going to be for the betterment of everybody and bring him great glory. He’s very vain.”


“[He invented the name ‘mithril’ for the precious metal that the Dwarves mine and] that’s very cool, isn’t it? There’s no doubt about it. He’s a very cool guy. He invents a lot of stuff. And when you see inside his workshop, you will marvel just as much as I did when I saw it for the first time.”

Also: two new pictures.


Jun 28, 5:22pm

Views: 925
Sounds awesome

I'm excited for this!

"So which story do you prefer?"
"The one with the tiger. That's the better story."
"Thank you. And so it goes with God."

Grey Havens

Jun 28, 8:17pm

Views: 888

I'm not a huge fan of the idea of Celebrimbor as vain, asocial, and gullible, but that's a valid enough interpretation of how he ended up being the only major Eldarin leader to be taken in by Sauron. So I remain open to the possibility of the show's version being good even if doesn't mesh with my preexisting interpretation of a very sparsely-written character. I'm glad to hear Edwards talk about Celebrimbor living in his grandfather's shadow; that's always struck me as essential to his character.

I'm curious to see what they do with Celebrimbor and Elrond's relationship—possibly with Celebrimbor as a mentor?

I can't recall any reference in the books to Celebrimbor coining the term mithril. Am I forgetting something, or this is a ROP invention?

(This post was edited by Eldy on Jun 28, 8:19pm)

Grey Havens

Jun 28, 11:32pm

Views: 858

In Reply To
I can't recall any reference in the books to Celebrimbor coining the term mithril. Am I forgetting something, or this is a ROP invention?

Hat tip to our own Voronwë_the_Faithful, who brought to my attention that this is indeed a concept from the books. Specifically, note 7 to the essay Of Dwarves and Men:

The famous Celebrimbor, heroic defender of Eregion in the Second Age war against Sauron, was a Teler, one of the three Teleri who accompanied Celeborn into exile. He was a great silver-smith and went to Eregion attracted by the rumours of the marvellous metal found in Moria, Moria-silver, to which he gave the name mithril. In the working of this he became a rival of the Dwarves, or rather an equal, for there was great friendship between the Dwarves of Moria and Celebrimbor, and they shared their skills and craft-secrets. (HoMe XII, p. 318 n7)

Christopher Tolkien notes in the subsequent commentary that his father likely forgot that Celebrimbor's status as a descendant of Fëanor had already appeared in print, or else he would not have deviated from that. Even so, this is an impressively deep cut, so props to the showrunners or whoever it was on the crew who brought it up. Consider me more receptive to the reports that McPayne are Lore buffs.

Grey Havens

Jun 30, 3:12pm

Views: 727
And now: Gil-galad

Nerdist has a similar exclusive interview/images, this time about Gil-galad.

There's more editorializing in this one, and I'm not sure how much stock to put in it. The mentions of Elrond being thousands of years old and Sauron calling himself Annatar are both concepts from the book, but are highly questionable to be included in ROP based on other things we've heard.


Jul 5, 4:51am

Views: 428
Love this!

Based on his comments, I think the details and assumptions they're using to flesh out Celebrimbor's character are, for the most part, spot on. Even though much of what he quotes isn't technically contained in the Appendices to LOTR (we see this a lot, so there must be *some* behind-the-scenes agreements), they seem to be staying true to the character, as much as we know of him except, perhaps, for his elvish 'age.' There will always be some creative embellishments which is totally to be expected from a production with such limited legal access to background sources.

As an aside, I love Charles Edwards as an actor. I figure if I can come to terms with, and actually come to love, very young versions of Frodo, Merry, & Pippin, I'm very open to an older version of Celebrimbor, especially in the hands of a talented actor.


Jul 5, 2:48pm

Views: 393
I mostly agree with you

My concern about Celebrimbor's apparent age isn't so much with regard to him himself but rather how that will impact how other characters come across, primarily Galadriel and Elrond.

'But very bright were the stars upon the margin of the world, when at times the clouds about the West were drawn aside.'

The Hall of Fire


Jul 8, 5:19pm

Views: 252
"very young versions of Frodo, Merry, & Pippin"?

Especially Pippin was actually rather too old than too young in the movies.


Jul 8, 7:39pm

Views: 232
Silly, Silly Time Compression!

Yeah, Merry's age was just about bang on for the War of the Ring (approximately 36 years old, 3 years past his coming of age). He would have been a young lad of 19 at the time of Bilbo's party. Pippin was the youngest member of the company at about 28 (in T.A. 3018; only around 11 in 3001). That demonstrates really well the differences between book and films.


(This post was edited by Otaku-sempai on Jul 8, 7:42pm)