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The One Ring Forums: Tolkien Topics: Reading Room:
Celebrian

Cirashala
Tol Eressea


Dec 3, 9:04pm

Post #1 of 15 (866 views)
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Celebrian Can't Post

Does anyone know what happened to Elrond's wife Celebrian? I understand that she left ME far sooner than he did, but why?

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Thor 'n' Oakenshield
Lorien

Dec 3, 10:53pm

Post #2 of 15 (836 views)
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She was wounded by orcs, I believe [In reply to] Can't Post

While crossing the Misty Mountains on a journey to Lorien, she and her entourage were waylaid by orcs, and she was taken captive. Her sons Elladan and Elrohir eventually rescued her from torment, but her wounds were too great for even Elrond to heal. She left Middle-earth in grief and pain, unable to bear what seems to be a form of emotional trauma. Her story is incredibly touching, in my opinion, and I've always been interested in how difficult it must have been for her to make that decision, to leave her family behind.

"Torment in the dark was the danger that I feared, and it did not hold me back. But I would not have come, had I known the danger of light and joy. Now I have taken my worst wound in this parting, even if I were to go this night straight to the Dark Lord."


Cirashala
Tol Eressea


Dec 3, 11:06pm

Post #3 of 15 (833 views)
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PTSD would be expected in that situation [In reply to] Can't Post

But I do find it interesting that Elrond was, more or less, able to heal Frodo from the effects of a Morgul Blade wielded by the Witch-king (a Ringwraith), and yet he could not heal his wife from orc-wounds?

I am wondering if they did more than just beat her up Unsure But then you have references by Tolkien that says that an elf cannot be forced or they will die, and yet Celebrian was still alive and able to be rescued, which seemingly contradicts that possibility.

I can imagine being an orc captive would be very traumatizing, to say the least. I have no doubt that she was tortured for mere "sport" by them. But it seems strange to me that Elrond could not heal wounds that were no doubt less severe than a Morgul-wound.

My writing and novels:

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Happy reading everyone!


Ataahua
Superuser / Moderator


Dec 4, 12:18am

Post #4 of 15 (828 views)
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Not even Frodo was entirely healed. [In reply to] Can't Post

He had black moments on certain days, including the day he was stabbed by the Morgul blade, while he remained in Middle-earth. Imagine how much worse the lingering effects must have been for Celebrian, given that she had been held by the Orcs for a while.

Celebrimbor: "Pretty rings..."
Dwarves: "Pretty rings..."
Men: "Pretty rings..."
Sauron: "Mine's better."

"Ah, how ironic, the addictive qualities of Sauron’s master weapon led to its own destruction. Which just goes to show, kids - if you want two small and noble souls to succeed on a mission of dire importance... send an evil-minded beggar with them too." - Gandalf's Diaries, final par, by Ufthak.


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Thor 'n' Oakenshield
Lorien

Dec 4, 12:48am

Post #5 of 15 (825 views)
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I don't even want to imagine what the orcs did to her [In reply to] Can't Post

But I feel that it was probably emotional wounds, rather than physical, that drove her to leave Middle-earth.

"Torment in the dark was the danger that I feared, and it did not hold me back. But I would not have come, had I known the danger of light and joy. Now I have taken my worst wound in this parting, even if I were to go this night straight to the Dark Lord."


Cirashala
Tol Eressea


Dec 4, 12:57am

Post #6 of 15 (824 views)
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That very well could be [In reply to] Can't Post

and is quite likely.

I do wonder if her being unable to leave her physical body during her captivity as a result of what the orcs did to her is at odds with what Tolkien writes about elves or not. ie- if she was so tormented that she had severe PTSD, I thought that elves could, in those cases, forsake their bodies (hroa) so that their fea (souls) were released to go to the Halls of Mandos and thus provide an escape out of a perilous or psychologically-damaging scenario.

Is there any basis in Tolkien's writings to confirm this idea? Please keep in mind that I don't have access to a lot of the books many on here do simply because we're on a single income and I can't afford them Unsure I have LOTR, TH, The Sil, Letters (though admittedly I use it more as reference I don't think I've actually read all of them as one would read a book), The Atlas of ME and a few movie guides/go alongs (Weapons and Warfare, etc).

I don't have HOME, etc. I am wondering if someone who does have access to these volumes or other tertiary work by Tolkien (ie not what I have) about this idea that elves will abandon their hroa in times of severe psychological distress (such as during a rape, I believe, is the section Tolkien wrote that my exhausted brain seems to be recalling), and if so could they quote it?

And if she wasn't assaulted that way (which, honestly, I think unlikely. Female prisoners don't tend to fare well in captivity by truly evil persons/beings unless there's some sort of superstition held), then is that why her fea didn't depart from her hroa and she was thus still subject to the torment, and the resultant psychological distress that it caused?

In that case, if her fea did NOT, in fact, depart her hroa due to psychological or even physical torment, then her leaving ME via a ship is MORE than justified, I think, so that she could obtain mental healing as well as physical.

(A note to the mods- if you feel that my verbiage on the subject needs to lean more g-rated due to sensitivity, I completely understand. It's just that I feel using actual concise words when it comes to assault is imperative because I'm a victim of childhood abuse and one of my high school friends was full on trafficked into the "lady" side of the trade and I do not want to do real victims injustice by calling it something other than what it is. However, I ALSO understand the PTSD and triggers that result from such experiences (my friend doesn't have any contact with anyone in her family or friends anymore at ALL after it) so if you feel the need to change my word to something less triggering, feel free to do so).

My writing and novels:

My Hobbit Fanfiction

My historical novel print and kindle version

My historical novels ebook version compatible with all ereaders

You can also find my novel at most major book retailers online (and for those outside the US who prefer a print book, you can find the print version at Book Depository). Search "Amazing Grace Amanda Longpre'" to find it.

Happy reading everyone!


(This post was edited by Cirashala on Dec 4, 1:00am)


uncle Iorlas
Rivendell


Dec 8, 3:48am

Post #7 of 15 (667 views)
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An enormous story of which we have only a couple footnotes. [In reply to] Can't Post

I've thought about this a lot and written about it elsewhere on here. I agree that in the professor's chaste and circumspect way, he seems likely to have been implying a violation--what would be orkier?--although I was also thinking a disfigurement would be a reasonable, and comparable, interpretation (not mutually exclusive anyhow). Certainly it seemed that a melancholy, such as we might call ptsd, was more the final issue than physical injury. A deep weariness of the world or despair.

And that Elrond couldn't heal her seems so momentous to every member of the family. He, who ages before had already chosen to remain in this world at the cost of dividing his family, chooses the same again even as she makes the voyage. When Arwen chooses her mortal man, she is forsaking a reunion long expected. When Elrond finally takes ship, he ends a long separation they must both have felt all that time. I rather imagine that all this is why Elrond, though leader of a merry, playful people, smiles rarely and laughs never, in the third age. Was he just as jovial as any other elf, back in the second?


Thor 'n' Oakenshield
Lorien

Dec 8, 3:57pm

Post #8 of 15 (595 views)
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I've thought a lot about Celebrian too! [In reply to] Can't Post

And I agree with what you say about her. I seem to recall that, in the storyline you pitched to Amazon, you gave Celebrian a significant role - or am I mistaken? I feel like she's critical to the story of Elrond; if she had appeared in a flashback in the LotR films, it would have made Elrond much more sympathetic to me, and would have served to illustrate the passing into the West. My 6-film screenplay includes her in this fashion.

"Torment in the dark was the danger that I feared, and it did not hold me back. But I would not have come, had I known the danger of light and joy. Now I have taken my worst wound in this parting, even if I were to go this night straight to the Dark Lord."


Chen G.
Rivendell

Dec 9, 11:02am

Post #9 of 15 (509 views)
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Is he? [In reply to] Can't Post


In Reply To
I agree that in the professor's chaste and circumspect way, he seems likely to have been implying a violation,


Is he?

I never read too much into Celebrian's capture. I think that, when Tolkien wanted to hint at more mature content, he knew how to do it much less cryptically.

Think about Morgoth's lust for Luthien, or the emasculation of Gwindor. In those examples, Tolkien is circumspecting the subject, but his intention isn't so hard to grasp.


(This post was edited by Chen G. on Dec 9, 11:02am)


squire
Half-elven


Dec 9, 1:58pm

Post #10 of 15 (507 views)
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"their mother's torment in the dens of the orcs" [In reply to] Can't Post

That is the defining phrase for what happened to Celebrian, I think, because it appears in the primary narrative of Lord of the Rings (II.1), not in the appendices or other ephemera.

I can't think of a single cultural convention from Tolkien's era (not to even speak of our own) that doesn't support the axiom that when an upper class woman is held captive and tortured by low-life criminals, she is violated sexually. One doesn't have to say anything more than Tolkien does. The context tells it all.

Class, of course, is just the icing on the cake when it comes to how men have 'tormented' imprisoned women throughout history, but it's certainly present here. The passage explicitly links Elladan's and Elrohir's life-long mission of revenge with "errantry", the chivalric ideal that defined the old world aristocracy that Tolkien embraces in his romance.



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Thor 'n' Oakenshield
Lorien

Dec 9, 4:52pm

Post #11 of 15 (489 views)
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As a random thought of the day… [In reply to] Can't Post

Today in the car, I was listening to "I Don't Wanna Live Forever" by Zayn, featuring Taylor Swift, and thought to myself how perfectly it would work as an Elrond & Celebrian song.

"Torment in the dark was the danger that I feared, and it did not hold me back. But I would not have come, had I known the danger of light and joy. Now I have taken my worst wound in this parting, even if I were to go this night straight to the Dark Lord."


Cirashala
Tol Eressea


Dec 10, 12:47am

Post #12 of 15 (447 views)
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Lyrics do very well [In reply to] Can't Post

but the style seems hardly Middle-earthen to me lol Wink

Check out Celtic Woman's "My Lagan Love". When I hear that, I envision an elf maid dancing under the light of the moon and stars- makes me think of Luthien and those first moments when Beren saw her Smile Sounds INCREDIBLY elvish too- I think such a sound and song would fit in very, very well with Tolkien's elves in ME.

(And oh my goodness the girl's pipes! Celtic Woman ladies are incredibly talented! Many of their other songs also sound very Middle-earth like, IMHO). I can easily see Nil Sen La for dwarves, and Green the Whole Year Round as being quite elvish too, same with The Moon's a Harsh Mistress.

My writing and novels:

My Hobbit Fanfiction

My historical novel print and kindle version

My historical novels ebook version compatible with all ereaders

You can also find my novel at most major book retailers online (and for those outside the US who prefer a print book, you can find the print version at Book Depository). Search "Amazing Grace Amanda Longpre'" to find it.

Happy reading everyone!


(This post was edited by Cirashala on Dec 10, 12:48am)


Thor 'n' Oakenshield
Lorien

Dec 10, 1:40am

Post #13 of 15 (440 views)
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lol, I know! :D [In reply to] Can't Post

Celtic and new age music is just beautiful! I listened to even just a little bit and I fell in love with that incredible sound - I'll listen to it in full later. I've always loved music like this; Enya is one of my favorites of course, but I listen to a new age channel that plays newer, less well-known artists who are very talented, with lots of Elvish soundscapes. And Celtic music is the best; so beautiful and haunting, with the pipes and incredible vocals!

"Torment in the dark was the danger that I feared, and it did not hold me back. But I would not have come, had I known the danger of light and joy. Now I have taken my worst wound in this parting, even if I were to go this night straight to the Dark Lord."


uncle Iorlas
Rivendell


Dec 10, 5:19am

Post #14 of 15 (421 views)
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I was thinking about soundtrack a while back. [In reply to] Can't Post

Wrapping elves in Celtic music seemed like an easy and natural choice, somehow, and by the same token kind of threatening to become cliche. I went looking for other models and spent a lot of time imagining elvish styles--that is to say, for some use in backing music in scenes about elves, but also an approach to representing their own musical traditions--drawing on Scandinavian folk. Tricky, because so much of that is either dowdy country dances or explicitly churchy, but there's some moving material in there if you go drilling. I was never a hundred percent convinced but I do think it would be a little more true to the author's conception of them than borrowing Irish mystique.


Thor 'n' Oakenshield
Lorien

Mon, 2:37pm

Post #15 of 15 (385 views)
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There's a Swedish or Norwegian singer I like [In reply to] Can't Post

I think her name is Aurora Aknes, (I might be mangling that last name, but I know she goes by Aurora). She's got a New Age style, and her music is really quite good.

"Torment in the dark was the danger that I feared, and it did not hold me back. But I would not have come, had I known the danger of light and joy. Now I have taken my worst wound in this parting, even if I were to go this night straight to the Dark Lord."

 
 

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