Movie Reviews

The Rings Of Power Ignores A Tolkien Love Story (Thankfully)

The Prime Video series, The Rings of Power, has left out many details from J.R.R. Tolkien’s written works, and some of them, such as individual love stories, were excluded for the better. Many Lord of the Rings fans noticed the absence of Galadriel’s husband, Celeborn. She mentions in episode 7 that he had gone off to war against Morgoth, and she believed him to be dead. Of course, this is not true, indicating that there is likely to be a heartfelt reunion in future Rings of Power seasons. However, Galadriel was also at the center of another canon romance, and it appears that the series has chosen to steer clear.

Tolkien’s Legendarium outlines two different versions of the story describing how Galadriel came to have the Elessar that was eventually given to Aragorn in The Lord of the Rings. In one version, it was given to her by Gandalf, but in another, it was made for her by the expert craftsman of the namesake for The Rings of Power, Celebrimbor. This stone allowed Galadriel to turn her Middle-earth home into a paradise like Valinor, and she used it for many years until Sauron’s power grew too great to maintain it. Still, it had been a monumental gift and was given with love.

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In J.R.R. Tolkien’s essay, he described how Galadriel had begun to lament the death of all that grew in Middle-earth, and, like in Rings of Power, she longed for her homeland. In Valinor, everything grew beautiful and eternal. Still, she refused to return since (in this version) Galadriel had great power in Middle-earth. She said all this to Celebrimbor, who decided to make her the Elessar so she could have everything she had wished. When he gave it to her, he told her it was because of his love for her, even though she had chosen Celeborn to marry.

Of course, The Rings of Power has in no way referenced this unrequited love, and there is no chemistry between Celebrimbor and Galadriel. Instead, it seems that Sauron will be the one to have fallen in love with the fairest of the Elves. Galadriel has entirely different motivations for refusing to return to Valinor, so the story as it stood in Tolkien’s works just wouldn’t fit. While future seasons may introduce the Elessar, it had no connection to Galadriel in the Lord of the Rings movie trilogy, so there may be no need for it.

Several individuals fell in love with Galadriel throughout Tolkien’s works, and it would not be surprising if more than just Sauron were revealed in Rings of Power to have done the same. However, it can be counted upon that Celebrimbor will not be one of them. The character was made to be slightly more pompous in the series, which fit with his role of having been hoodwinked by Sauron. Additionally, the age difference between Charles Edwards and Morfydd Clark, who play Celebrimbor and Galadriel, would make an unrequited romance between the two seem a lot creepier to audiences than Tolkien had likely intended.

In the end, the love story between Celebrimbor and Galadriel had no importance on the overall outcome of the Second Age and was never mentioned in The Lord of the Rings, so it’s no big deal to throw it out altogether. Also, Tolkien gave an equal canon alternative if The Rings of Power decides to include the Elessar in future seasons. If The Stranger is Gandalf, he might have the Elessar on him, and passing it on to Galadriel as he did in Tolkien’s essay could be a neat way to create a bond between the characters— but only time will tell.

MORE: Sauron Wasn’t Lying In Rings Of Power’s Finale

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