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Galadriel's Family On The Rings Of Power Explained

"The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power" has spent a lot of time focusing on Galadriel's (Morfydd Clark) earlier Second Age history. Most fans of the books and especially the films are familiar with a Lady of Lorien who is regal, self-possessed, and able to keep her cool in most situations. Does she have a potent inner power brewing under her composed surface? Sure. In fact, we see it multiple times, like when Frodo offers her the One Ring or when she fights Sauron as the Necromancer in "The Hobbit" trilogy of films. But by and large, by the end of the Third Age, Galadriel comes across as a strong yet restrained individual.

In "The Rings of Power," we see a much younger version of the hero. While still thousands of years old, the show's narrative has presented an Elf maiden that is less experienced and still trying to figure things out. Second Age Galadriel in the show is immature, headstrong, stubborn, and at times even petulant. She's also a warrior rather than a politician, and she doesn't seem to have much of a family yet. We know she lost her brother, Finrod, and by the end of the 1st season, we also hear that she had a husband, Celeborn — even though he was lost in a war a long time ago.

The case of Galadriel's practically non-existent family is an important one, because by the time of "The Lord of the Rings," her familial connections are both copious and critical. And the truth is, while the show doesn't talk about it, even at this point in her history, Galadriel already has some pretty important folk in her family tree. With that said, here's a breakdown of the Elf's family, both from a book and show perspective.

Spoilers ahead!

Galadriel is born into royalty

Galadriel has a reputation for being the woman in charge in every situation, and with good reason, too — like, really good reason. The woman is surrounded by royalty at every turn, starting with the family that she's born into. Galadriel's pops is Finarfin, one of the first Kings of the Noldor and a guy who stays behind to rule the remnant of his people when the rest leave Valinor to head back to Middle-earth (the sequence we see at the beginning of "The Rings of Power's" prologue). He also helps lead the Hosts of the West in the critical engagement called the War of Wrath when Morgoth is defeated at the end of the First Age.

Galadriel's mom is the Eärwen. While she has a less impressive resume, she's still an Elven princess of another important group of Elves called the Teleri — so, we're talking about royal connections to multiple monarchs. Galadriel has three brothers. Angrod and Aegnor are important lords of the Noldor while Finrod becomes a king and the most famous of the brethren. All three of these siblings are killed by Morgoth's servants before "The Rings of Power" story starts.

Galadriel is also the half-sister of a grumpy, overpowered Elven leader named Fëanor, who makes the Silmarils, crafts the palantíri, and is a key cog (and not for good reasons) in the wars against Morgoth. As a final note on Galadriel's royal connections, she's also distantly related to both Celebrimbor and Gil-galad (at least in some of J.R.R. Tolkien's versions of their family trees).

So, yeah, Galadriel is surrounded by important people. No wonder "The Silmarillion" says that she left Valinor because "she yearned to see the wide unguarded lands and to rule there a realm at her own will."

Galadriel's nuclear family in the books

Once Galadriel gets out into the real world of Middle-earth, she quickly discovers that ambition can come with some pretty tragic side effects. Her brothers are killed along with many of her other family members as they strive to defeat — and are often defeated by — Morgoth. Galadriel stays relatively quiet throughout the destructive events of the First Age, but she does manage to at least make some positive headway with her quickly shrinking family numbers. How? Why, by meeting a hunky Elven lord named Celeborn, of course.

Celeborn is one of the Elves called the Sindar. They never lived in the Blessed Realm but are led by a king named Thingol (whom Galadriel is also related to) who visited it in the past and is literally married to an angelic being. "The Silmarillion" says that Celeborn isn't just one of the Sindar, either. He's related to Thingol and is a Prince of Doriath (Thingol's kingdom). In fact, the index to that book summarizes the Elf by explaining, "Elf of Doriath, kinsman of Thingol; wedded Galadriel and with her remained in Middle-earth after the end of the First Age." Earlier in the text it briefly describes their meeting, pointing out that "Galadriel his sister went not with [Finrod] to Nargothrond for in Doriath dwelt Celeborn, kinsman of Thingol, and there was great love between them."

At an unspecific point, after they hook up, Celeborn and Galadriel have a daughter named Celebrían. This is also where the story gets really hazy since even Tolkien's writings vary quite a bit. For instance, in some versions, the Elvish power couple is also given a son, Amroth, the last king of Lothlorien. But that eventually changes, and they're left with one daughter.

Galadriel's family grows

Galadriel, Celeborn, and Celebrían spend a long time moving around during the Second Age as they help resist Sauron. At one point, this brings them to the relatively new fortress of Rivendell, where Elrond Half-elven is ruling. The book "Unfinished Tales" describes this visit, noting that "it was then that Elrond first saw Celebrían, and loved her, though he said nothing of it." Eventually, that initial reticence is overcome, and Elrond and Celebrían get hitched, making the Half-elven hero Galadriel's son-in-law.

But wait, there's more. Elrond and Celebrían enjoy a happy marriage for a long time, and eventually, it produces not one, not two, but three kiddos. First, we have the twin boys, Elladan and Elrohir, who are followed by their little sis Arwen. All three of Galadriel's grandkids are born early in the Third Age. They grow up during that 3,000-year-long era, and at the end of it, Arwen marries Aragorn, bringing the Ranger into the family fold. Finally, Arwen and Aragorn have kids, including the future king (and Galadriel's great-grandbaby) Eldarion. So, yeah, Galadriel's nuclear family history might get off to a slow start, but she ends up with quite a large family tree — a natural consequence of the whole immortal lifespan schtick.

Adapting Galadriel's family in The Rings of Power

Okay, so how does all of this translate into "The Rings of Power" story? It was hard enough to get it to make sense in a discussion of Galadriel's family history. How much of her complicated past and present family will the show try to weave into the narrative?

For starters, there's a good chance that we won't see much with her grandkids or their descendants since, according to the source material, they're all born after the show's story ends. When it comes to Galadriel's siblings, parents, and ancestors, all we've seen so far is Finrod. And, to be fair, he's specifically tethered to Galadriel at multiple points in the text. That said, it doesn't look like we'll see much more beyond that one connection.

As far as her nuclear family goes, we've already seen some major changes. Tolkien specifically states that Celeborn stays with Galadriel after the First Age. Are they always attached at the hip? Not at all. But he's certainly not a "lost and left for dead" character who disappeared in a war long ago. He's present in the story, and it will be interesting to see how "The Rings of Power" manages to reintroduce him to their narrative in a way that syncs things up with Tolkien's own writing. And, of course, chances are we won't see much about Celebrían until her dad's back in the picture, too, which means no Elrond son-in-law storyline for a while, either.

Galadriel may have some important family developments that take place in the Second Age in the source material. But until the writers resolve the absence of her mysteriously missing husband, it appears that her nuclear family will have to be put on the back burner.