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|“||Finally...all will fear me and rejoice!||„|
|~ Celebrimbor moments before merging into Talion.|
|“||This isn't about your petty vengeance or mine...this is about restoring order to Mordor. To all of Middle-earth. "The end you fought for"? You are but a vessel...and there are others.||„|
|~ Celebrimbor to Talion, betraying him.|
Celebrimbor the Bright Lord, otherwise simply known as Celebrimbor, is one of the two main player controlled characters of the video games Middle-Earth: Shadow of Mordor and Middle-Earth: Shadow of War.
Despite this, Celebrimbor is in fact the secret antagonist to Middle-Earth: Shadow of War thereby making him a villain protagonist.
Having been corrupted by the One Ring long ago and Celebrimbor now exists as an undead wraith, determined to not only get his revenge on Sauron, but also to replace Sauron as a would-be ruler of Middle-Earth. This is reflected in how he is the "Bright Lord" to Sauron's "Dark Lord".
One day, he was approached by Sauron in his fair form who introduced himself as 'Annatar the lord of gifts'. In this form, Sauron claimed he was sent as an emissary of the Valar and gifted Celebrimbor a mithril smithing hammer, much to Celebrimbor's amazement and gratitude, commenting that "it is so fine a gift." Eventually over time 'Annatar' earned Celebrimbor trust by sharing his incredible knowledge of ringcraft ultimately deceiving Celebrimbor into forging the 16 rings of power. In secret however Celebrimbor used everything he learned to forge the 3 greatest rings Vilya, Narya and Nenya.
When Sauron created the One Ring, Celebrimbor along with the other elves immediately felt the ring's presence and became aware of 'Annatar's' true identity and intentions. The elves then immediately removed their rings of power thus thwarting Sauron's plan for domination. In fury Sauron invaded Eregion and, despite his best efforts the city fell and Celebrimbor was captured by Sauron along with his family, taking them all to Mordor in chains. Celebrimbor was brought before Sauron to the heart of Mount Doom where he caught sight of the One Ring for the first time and was instantly captivated by the ring's incredible power and consequently pledged his allegiance to the Dark Lord, handing over his knowledge on the location of the other rings.
The two smiths would work on perfecting and refining the One Ring further in order to mask its incredible power. It is very possible that it was during this period of time that the duo visited Helm Hammerhand on his deathbed and gifted him with a ring of power subsequently saving his life but also dooming him to an eternity of servitude as one of Sauron's Nazgûl. In time Celebrimbor not only successfully masked the ring's power but in addition gave the One Ring "a will of its own".
When Sauron picked up the finished ring with thongs to examine their great masterpiece however Celebrimbor chose that moment to show his true intentions by slipped his finger through the now complete ring in Sauron's hands and using its powers made a quick escape from a shocked and furious Sauron resolving to use the power of the One Ring against the deceiver in order to avenge his family, whom he believed slain.
For a time, his efforts appeared to be successful as one by one Sauron's warchiefs fell under the control of the newly proclaimed Bright Lord. At first Sauron threatened Celebrimbor for his treachery and attempted to intimidate him into returning what he stole however as time went on and Dark Lord lost more and more ground the he became fearful and eventually desperate even attempting to bargain with the fallen elf lord by offering both his family's safety and a position of power by his side should he return the ring however, Celebrimbor now drunk with the power of the One refused both believing them to be little more than the deceiver's lies.
Eventually the final warchief fell and Sauron was left with no choice but to take to the field himself. In an attempt at gaining a psychological advantage Sauron unveiling Celebrimbor's family alive but in chains. However this plan backfired as the elf lord instead flew into a rage and using the One Ring's power, easily cut his way through Sauron's orc army to reach the Dark Lord. There the Bright and Dark Lords of Mordor fought as their armies clashed in a devastating battle. Celebrimbor with the One Ring in hand ultimately held an enormous advantage over the weakened Sauron and consequently toppled him in single combat.
When Celebrimbor raised his blade prepared to finish off his helpless opponent the tide suddenly turned, the One Ring, sensing its master's defeat, chose this critical moment to fall off the finger of Celebrimbor and onto that of Sauron. Now reunited with his ring the Dark Lord rose again restored to his full might and easily struck down the powerless Celebrimbor, taking him back to his fortress of Barad-dûr in chains. Enraged by his near defeat Sauron struck down Celebrimbor's wife and daughter as he was forced to watch helplessly before returning to his fair form and approaching the defeated elf lord.
The Bright Lord shared one final look of mutual hatred with his adversary before being brutally beaten with the very hammer gifted to him upon their first meeting, forever scarring his face. Finally Sauron finished him off with the hammer' s claw. For his role in the creation of the rings of power and his treachery in working with the deceiver coupled with his own personal desire for vengeance Celebrimbor was both denied and unable to find peace and instead wondered the lands of Mordor waiting for the opportunity to strike back against the Dark Lord once more.
As A Wraith
Years later, Celebrimbor's wraith would become bound to the recently killed Gondorian Ranger Talion. Joining forces with him, Celebrimbor convinced Talion they were on the same side, and they began waging war with Sauron's Uruks in the lands of Mordor. Eventually though, Talion learned that Celebrimbor was actively preventing him from passing on to be with his slain family, but even after this deception was exposed, Celebrimbor convinced Talion to maintain their bond so they could keep up the fight against Sauron (a fight in which Celebrimbor cared more for revenge than protecting Middle-Earth's people).
After defeating Sauron, Celebrimbor and Talion maintained their bond for the purposes of forging a new ring of power to counter Sauron's own. With this, Celebrimbor secretly plotted to not only take his revenge on Sauron, but also amass more power for himself and take the lands of Mordor for his own as the Bright Lord. This stood in contrast to Talion's goals, as Talion wished to actually keep Middle-Earth safe. One of the many bones of contention between them was the fate of the Gondorian fortress Minas Ithil: Celebrimbor cared not for what happened to it, arguing that it would "go the way of all flesh", whereas Talion was set on keeping it safe. This along with his growing obsession with the New Ring, showed his turn into villainy.
- As an Elf turned to Darkness by the One Ring and planning to overthrow Sauron as a supposed "Bright" Lord to his Dark Lord, Celebrimbor is in essence the embodiment of everything Galadriel feared turning into, and indeed what she nearly became when offered the One Ring by Frodo Baggins.
- His being an excellent Elven blacksmith who forged items of great power coveted by a Dark Lord and then went mad in his attempts to reclaim those same artifacts, is all quite similar to the story of his grandfather, Feanor, who like Celebrimbor is one of the few Elves in the mythos to qualify as a villain.
- In Shadow of War, one of the ways for Talion to finish off an Uruk has Celebrimbor's form materializing and killing the Uruk with a ghostly apparition of his smithing hammer in a manner identical to how Sauron killed him.
- His voice actor also voiced Alfred Pennyworth in The Batman. This is an interesting coincidence, as Talion (who Celebrimbor aids and works with), voiced Batman in Batman: The Telltale Series.
- The only reason Celebrimbor's rebellion ended in failure was due to the One Ring forsaking him at a critical point and returning to its true master. In the biggest twist of irony, this feat was only possible due to Celebrimbor's earlier modifications on the ring in order to give it "a will of its own". If the elf lord had not modified the One Ring to include this ability then it could well be possible that he would have succeeded in his rebellion.
- It is possible that Talion and Celebrimbor truly considered each other friends and brothers in arms given their connection and similar pasts. This can be evidenced in Shadow of War where if the player decides to pursue the lost Gondorian artifacts the two would at times banter and joke with each other.
- Alastair Duncan and Troy Baker would work together again in 2018's God of War.