Amazon’s Lord of the Rings series will bring to life characters and events that J.R.R. Tolkien fans have waited decades to see on screen. The highly-anticipated live-action series is set sometime in the Second Age of Middle-earth, and as a result, gets to showcase important figures from Middle-earth lore that may have only been alluded to or passingly referenced in the previous Lord of the Rings and Hobbit film adaptations.
In fact, the odds are that one of the series’ most important characters could be someone who played a pivotal role in Sauron’s rise and fall, but who has yet to be brought to life in live-action form — and someone who, if adapted for television, may experience the most gruesome death this side of Game of Thrones’ Red Wedding.
The Theory — Based on the official synopsis that Amazon released for its Lord of the Rings series, most Tolkien fans have come to believe the TV show will focus heavily on the original forging of the Rings of Power. That means the series will likely feature Sauron when he was masquerading as Annatar, the Lord of Gifts, and will also include appearances from familiar Lord of the Rings characters like Galadriel and Elrond.
But there’s another character that has to be in the series if it truly does depict the initial creation of the Rings. That character is Celebrimbor, an Elven prince who was instrumental in both the forging of the Rings of Power and in preventing Sauron from using them to conquer the Elves and all of Middle-earth.
A Master of His Craft — Celebrimbor was a master smith who ruled over the Elven kingdom of Eregion for part of the Second Age. He helped create the Doors of Durin, an entrance to the Dwarf kingdom of Moria that was seen briefly in Lord of the Rings: Fellowship of the Ring. But Celebrimbor is most well-known in Middle-earth itself and amongst Tolkien fans for his contributions in the forging of the Rings of Power.
Celebrimbor was one of the Elven smiths approached and tricked by Annatar/Sauron. He, along with his fellow smiths, was manipulated by Sauron into forging 16 of the 19 Rings of Power (9 for the Men and 7 for the Dwarves), unaware that the Rings would be magically bound to The One Ring. The 3 Elven Rings of Power, however, Celebrimbor forged on his own without Sauron’s knowledge, and were, therefore, free of Sauron’s corruption.
Celebrimbor sent the rings to 3 Elves in Middle-earth — one of which was Galadriel — who became aware of Sauron’s plan to conquer Middle-earth when he first put on The One Ring. They hid their Rings of Power, which led Sauron to declare open war on the Elves and begin seeking out all 19 Rings of Power created by Celebrimbor and the Elven Smiths.
As part of his mission, Sauron attacked Eregion and captured Celebrimbor. He tortured Celebrimbor relentlessly to reveal where the Rings of Power were, and while Celebrimbor did reveal the locations of the rings made for the Dwarves and Men, he did not divulge where the three he made for the Elves were. He held onto the secret all the way until the moment he died — a result of the torture inflicted upon him.
And, in what might be one of the most brutal things that Tolkien ever imagined for Middle-earth, Sauron responded to Celebrimbor’s death by having his body shot full of arrows. He then hung Celebrimbor’s body on a pole and used it to parade the body as a banner when he faced off with the remaining Elves. It’s a move that feels eerily reminiscent of what was done to Robb Stark during the Red Wedding of Game of Thrones, and it has all the makings to be a truly chilling moment in the Amazon TV series.
The Inverse Analysis — Celebrimbor is a name that will, no doubt, sound very familiar to anyone who played the Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor and Shadow of War video games. The character was a central figure in both games, which played around with the established Middle-earth canon in ways that the Amazon series, presumably, will not. As a result, viewers can likely expect to see Celebrimbor’s story be told in a pretty different way from what was shown in the games.
It is, of course, still unknown whether or not Celebrimbor will actually be in Amazon’s Lord of the Rings series. But if the current fan theories about the series are accurate, and there’s no reason to believe they aren’t at this point, it’s hard to imagine the series will be able to tell its story without Celebrimbor.
And that’s a good thing because Celebrimbor is a character very deserving of receiving the live-action treatment — just don’t get too attached.
Amazon’s Lord of the Rings is expected to stream on Amazon in late 2021.