At the start of the game, after the slaughter at the Black Gate, Celebrimbor is joined with Talion as a vessel to take revenge. He does not tell Talion this, instead saying that they are bound together by a curse and that the Black Hand must be killed for it to be broken. Throughout the game, he and Talion seek to find out his identity, attempting to track down Gollum in order to do so.
Celebrimbor was a Ñoldorin prince, last of the House of Fëanor left in Middle-earth, ruler of the Second Age realm of Eregion, and the forger of the Rings of Power. He was the son of Curufin, fifth son of Fëanor and Nerdanel.
Celebrimbor settled into Eregion during the Second Age, and in SA 1500, Sauron befriended him, claiming to be sent down by the Valar as an emissary, presenting Celebrimbor with Turánn, an exquisitely crafted mithril hammer, much to Celebrimbor's amazement and gratitude, saying to Sauron that "it is so fine a gift." Sauron then took control of the Eregion smiths and, side by side with Celebrimbor, instructed them to craft a set of rings, which would eventually become the Rings of Power. They were all deceived however, as in secret Sauron created the most powerful of them all, the One Ring, which was designed to subordinate the will of the free people's to Sauron's own, thus delivering him sole dominion of Middle Earth.
Celebrimbor was the one to forge some of the most powerful of the 20 Rings, only weaker to Sauron's very own. These were the rings of the Elves: Vilya, Narya and Nenya. Unable to lay his hands on them, Sauron attacked Eregion, destroying the land and capturing Celebrimbor, putting him under extreme torment until he disclosed the whereabouts of the lesser rings and, in the game's canon, perfecting the One by masking its power and giving it a will of its own. But Celebrimbor refused to disclose the locations of the Elvish rings, and deceived Sauron, taking the One as his own and using it to raise an army of Uruks, with the ultimate goal of destroying Sauron and avenging his family, whom he thought slain.
Celebrimbor was successful in this, and eventually came to battle with Sauron himself, who revealed that Celebrimbor's family were still very much alive. Enraged, Celebrimbor used the power of the Ring to teleport through the battlefield and confront Sauron directly, where he was able to knock the Dark Lord down. As he raised his sword to deliver the killing blow however, the Ring, recognizing that its true master was in peril, slipped from Celebrimbor's finger and returned to Sauron. With this, Celebrimbor fell to his knees and dropped his sword, accepting defeat. He was then chained and forced to watch Sauron slay his family, before brutally beating him to death with his own mithril hammer.
This caused Celebrimbor to become a Wraith, a spirit of vengeance, forsaking the Halls of Mandos and dooming himself to an eternity in Mordor until the One Ring was destroyed. Hundreds of years later, during the Third Age, he witnessed the ritual murder of Talion, and seized the opportunity by possessing the Ranger's body, putting his long awaited revenge into motion.
Shadow of Mordor
It is revealed later that Celebrimbor was not, in truth, immediately killed at the hands of Sauron, after the Dark Lord's assault on Eregion, but instead brought to Mordor to perfect the One Ring. It is here that Celebrimbor imbues the ring with a "mind of its own". However, Celebrimbor, tempted by the power of the Ring, at the last moment, steals it from Sauron, slipping into the Wraith world to escape.
Celebrimbor, corrupted by the power of the Ring and determined to now conquer Mordor, builds an army of Uruks within Sauron's own to match him. The war between the two progresses, until finally, the two meet, Sauron actually taking physical form to do so. Celebrimbor uses the ring to best Sauron in single combat, having nearly mastered its powers. However, at the last moment, before the killing blow, the Ring being a part of Sauron slips off of Celebrimbor's finger and onto Sauron's; The Ring is itself a part of the Dark Lord's own power, therefore it answers only to him. With the power of the One Ring his once again, Sauron takes Celebrimbor and his surviving family captive.
Following this, Sauron proceeds to slaughter Celebrimbor's wife and daughter as vengeance, while the tortured Elf is forced to watch. Once both lay dead, Sauron takes his fair form, then uses Celebrimbor's own smithing hammer, the one Sauron gave to him as a gift, to viciously bludgeon him, finally using the pick side to finish him off. It is at this point Celebrimbor becomes a Wraith, destined to be so until such a time when he can once again battle Sauron. Like Sauron himself, Celebrimbor has his fate bound to that of the Ring. Thus, until such time that the One Ring is unmade, Celebrimbor's spirit is unable to depart for the Halls of Waiting in Valinor, as the souls of all deceased Elves should.
During his initial times sharing Talion's body, Celebrimbor feigns apparent amnesia of his life before becoming a Wraith, only regaining memories with Talion's acquisition of several artifacts of Celebrimbor's past: his pendant, crown, and the hammer and chisel he used to forge the Rings, but in reality its all a ploy to gain more power. During this, he seemingly gains a follower in the creature Gollum, him becoming a fanatic upon learning that his 'Bright Master' forged the 'Precious'.
After Talion's confrontation, and assassination of the Hammer of Sauron, Celebrimbor chides him for acting hastily, citing the Hammer's likely knowledge of his fellow Black Captains. Talion countered by asking the Wraith what he would have done if confronted by the one who killed his own family. After the pair's first meeting with Lithariel, Celebrimbor assures Talion that they will find peace when the battle is over.
Later, during their confrontation with the Tower of Sauron in Ered Glamhoth, he reveals to Talion that he was not in fact cursed alongside Celebrimbor, but in fact was partially possessed by the Wraith, allowing him to live where death should have taken him. After the Tower's fall, Talion confronts Celebrimbor, who states his belief that Talion would have wanted revenge on his family's killers, and so gave him the means to do so by possessing him. He confirms that he can leave Talion to die, but can only depart permanently with the death of the Black Hand.
After the Black Hand is slain at the peak of the Black Gate, Talion and Celebrimbor are finally allowed to rest in peace. However, they both choose instead not to depart the living world, instead deciding to continue growing their power, and oppose Sauron's efforts of conquest in Mordor.
Shadow of War
In an unknown amount of time, Talion and Celebrimbor forged a new ring to challenge Sauron's power and upon completion the two were separated. Celebrimbor was held against his will by Shelob, who took the form of a human woman, and Talion managed to negotiate his freedom at the cost of the New Ring - leaving the two in a difficult position. Shelob however showed them distant events and a new path. Heading to help a struggling Gondorian troop at Minas Ithil, who were protecting the Palantir, the two continued to go back and forth to and from Shelob for her vision. They commonly argued over the best course of action, Celebrimbor desiring to only reclaim his ring, whilst Talion wanted to defend Minas Ithil from the Orc hordes. Eventually, despite their efforts, the Witch King and his fellow Nazgûl managed to seize Minas Ithil and the Palantir for Sauron, even nearly claiming and corrupting Talion before an Elven assassin named Eltariel, who claimed to be the Blade of Galadriel, intervened, using Galadriel's Light to protect Talion before killing him to stop the Ringwraiths' claiming him.
Shortly after being saved by Eltariel, Celebrimbor and Talion rushed to Shelob's cave, arriving just as the Nazgûl were launching an attack to secure Celebrimbor's New Ring on orders from Sauron. With Eltariel's assistance they forced the Nazgûl from Shelob's cave, before she granted them one final vision - the two leading their army against the Dark Lord - before she returned the New Ring to them and disappeared. With the Ring returned and their path made clear, Talion and Celebrimbor headed for new lands to begin building their army as they prepared to take on Sauron and save Middle-Earth.
Along the way, they face off several times against a number of different Nazgûl, including Helm Hammerhead when he attempts to reclaim a fortress in the icy region of Seregost that Talion and Celebrimbor had seized earlier. Using a variety of beasts that dwell within Mordor including Drakes and Gruags, the once great general Suladân also attempts to reclaim Talion and Celebrimbor's newly-claimed fortress. When they banish Hammerhead, they see a vision of the haunting actions the power of the Rings made them take. Talion's anger at Celebrimbor is replaced by fear, when, instead of Celebrimbor accepting blame for forging the New Ring, Celebrimbor points out that they both of them forged the Ring. After the fall of Suladân, they return to Minas Ithil, now renamed Minas Morgul, and Isildur during an investigation of some haunted ruins in the fiery region of Gorgoroth.
Eventually after securing the four fortresses of Mordor and conquering the surrounding regions of Seregost, Nurnen, and Gorgoroth, Talion and Celebrimbor, alongside Eltariel decide to lay seige to Barad-Dur and completely claim Mordor for themselves. During their attack, they face off one last time against the necromancer, Isildur who tries to hold them back. After besting Isildur a second time, Talion and Celebrimbor are granted vision and saw Isildur's path up until he was revived and enslaved by Sauron.
Celebrimbor manages to briefly dominate the ringwraith, breaking Sauron's hold and causing the ring of power he wore to slip from his finger, unbeknown-est to the wraith and Eltariel. Talion's however disagrees with Celebrimbor's plan to dominate the Ringwraith and prolong his suffering, and against Celebrimbor's wishes, free's Isildur by killing him with his sword, ending his life and allowing him to die once and for all.
Celebrimbor, outraged at Talion's decision to kill the Nazgûl, berates him for killing Isildur, telling him that the Ringwraith was not his to release, causing Talion to rebuke him, telling him that the Nazgûl are not Celebrimbor's to enslave, argue before Eltariel points out how Celebrimbor managed to dominate the Nazgûl, at which point Celebrimbor reveals his plan - to dominate Sauron and claim all his armies for himself, and conquer Middle-Earth.
Talion furiously objects to this idea, refusing to trade one Dark Lord for another, angrily yelling about how this was not what he had been fighting for, before Eltariel reminds him that he was not the only one fighting. Celebrimbor tells him that this is not about either of the two's vengeance, but about restoring order to Mordor, and all Middle-Earth, before he reveals that he doesn't even need the ranger and turns around, offering the ring he and Talion had forged to Eltariel, convincing her that together they can finish what their people started many years ago.
Eltariel takes the ring places it on her finger, reopening Talion's old wounds that he gained after first being spiritually sacrificed by the Black Captains when they first tried to bring back Celebrimbor, causing the ranger to collapse whilst Celebrimbor and Eltariel depart for Barad-dûr, leaving the ranger for dead.
The new pairing climb to Sauron's tower and engage him in combat - with the Dark Lord appearing in both fair and true form. Celebrimbor manages to briefly gain the upper hand in their dual, forcing Sauron to his knees as Celebrimbor and Eltarial try to dominate him.
However, in a moment reminiscent of Isildur's own last stand against Sauron, the Dark Lord surprises Celebrimbor by resisting the effects of domination as Celebrimbor releases him from his grip, quickly severing two of Eltarial's finger including the one on which she wore The New Ring, with a dagger. This subsequently separated both the Ring from Eltariel, and Celebrimbor from his host, leaving him vulnerable before Sauron proceeded to merge with the Wraith and the two become one, creating the Flaming Eye and trapping the two "Lords" in a "prison of perpetual war" where their spirits continued to battle for dominance.
It would not be until the end of The War of the Ring that Celebrimbor would become free from Sauron. As the One Ring was destroyed and Sauron's spirit with it, Celebrimbor broke free and flew from Barad Dur in an orb of blue light. Immediately after becoming free of Sauron, Celebrimbor began searching for the New Ring, that was still in Eltariel's keeping. Having witnessed Celebrimbor's escape and felt him calling out to the ring, Eltariel vowed to follow the call to it's source and find the ringmaker.
Skills and Abilities
Due to Celebrimbor's Elvish heritage, he is very skilled with his bow Azkâr, which he used while he was alive and continues to do so after his death, as a Wraith.
As a Wraith, Celebrimbor does not use arrows of conventional physical materials, but instead conjures insubstantial glowing blue arrows of Wraith-magic. These arrows can be magically set aflame by Celebrimbor, or used to pin his enemies' legs to the ground.
As well as being skilled with a bow, Celebrimbor is seen to be skillful with a sword, being able to cut through swarms of Uruks with little effort.
Celebrimbor, like Talion, is also capable of performing a number of acrobatic feats. He can climb large structures in a relatively short amount of time, and with little effort. He grants some of his athleticism to Talion, allowing him to run faster for a short amount of time. This speed is aided by his Wraith abilities to allow him to move quicker.
Due to his status of being a Wraith, Celebrimbor has gained a multitude of abilities. Some such abilities include the ability to move fast as shadow and to control the minds of others. The Wraith himself being bound to Mordor until the One Ring or Sauron is unmade, Celebrimbor can also use these abilities to reform Talion's body when he is killed.
Not only is Celebrimbor efficient in the art of combat and in the use of Wraith abilities but he is also a highly skilled smith, possibly the greatest smith in all of Arda's history with at least three of the Rings of Power (the Elven rings) being crafted by him.
- The name Celebrimbor means "silver-fist" or "Hand of silver" in Sindarin, translated from Quenyan father-name; Telperinquar.
- Despite Talion and Celebrimbor sharing the same body the majority of the game, during moments of revelation, planning or conflict Celebrimbor takes his own separate, spectral form. This happens more often in the second game, and the first dialog with Eltariel suggest that Celebrimbor is supposed to be invisible while doing it.
- Celebrimbor is the main character in The Bright Lord downloadable content, which features his initial war against Sauron before his ultimate demise.
Talion • Celebrimbor