Galadriel and Celeborn in the film

The Lord and Lady of Lothlórien, surrounded by an Elven Glow. Galadriel seen as the “powerhouse” of the partnership, with Celeborn staying quiet in the background.

Galadriel and Celeborn in the book

The wisest of elves. Galadriel, the Bearer of Nenya, is the last of the high Lords of the Noldor in Middle-earth, while Celeborn, her husband, is seen as the Wisest of all the Elves.

Tim Kirk – Lord Celeborn and Lady Galadriel (detail)


Galadriel is one of the those rare characters who has her role increased, rather than cut down, in the film. Celeborn, on the other hand, is definitely given the back-seat role in the film, unlike his seniority in the marriage, and more generally among Elven-kind, in the books.


In the film, Galadriel narrates the first scene of the Prologue, starting:

“I amar prestar aen… (The world is changed).
han mathon ne nen… (I feel it in the water).
han mathon ne chae… (I feel it in the Earth.)
a han noston ned gwilith (I smell it in the air.)
Much that once was is lost. For none now live who remember it.”
(Prologue, The Forging of the Rings)

and including some of the most Tolkienesque lines of the film:

“History became legend, legend became myth, and for two-and-a-half thousand years, the Ring passed out of all knowledge.” (Prologue, The Fall of Sauron)

Arrival at Caras Galadhon

The Lord and Lady of the Golden Wood lived in the mightiest of the mallorn trees, a tree with bark shining like grey silk and huge limbs with shadowy clouds of leaves. Their house, described in the book, is placed on a wide talan, and it was so large that it would have almost served for a Hall of Men. The main chamber was of oval shape, and the main trunk of the mallorn grew through the centre of it. The chamber was filled with a soft light, and its walls were green and silver, and its roof was of gold. Two chairs were placed side-by-side next to the tree, sheltered by a living mallorn branch.

In the book, Celeborn and Galadriel were described as of the same height, and clad in white. Her hair was deep gold, while his was silver, long and shining. There was no sign of age upon them, except maybe in the depth of their eyes, “for these were keen as lances in the starlight, and yet profound, the wells of deep memory.” (FotR, The Mirror of Galadriel)

In the film, Galadriel was clad in a long, flowing white gown. Her hair was light gold, wavy, and very long. It was held back from her face by a silver and pale gold coronet. She seemed slightly taller than Celeborn, who did seem much more different from his description in the book. He was dressed in silvery-grey, with non-descript, kind of silvery hair.

It is Celeborn who greets the Fellowship in both book and film, while Galadriel just watches them intently. The welcoming words of the Lord and Lady are very similar in both versions, though many words said by Celeborn in the book are transferred to Galadriel in the film. They ask about Gandalf, which gives the first intimation of Galadriel’s mind-reading powers:

“Now tell us where he is; for I much desired to speak with him again. But I cannot see him from afar, unless he comes within the fences of Lothlórien: a grey mist is about him, and the ways of his feet and of his mind are hidden from me.” (FotR, The Mirror of Galadriel)

Then with a quite dramatic departure from the book, Galadriel in the film looks at Frodo, and speaks into his mind:

“Welcome, Frodo of the Shire,
One who has seen THE EYE!!”
(Lothlórien, Meeting Celeborn and Galadriel)


This section does not occur in the film.

The Lord and Lady had feared for the Fellowship on their journey through Moria.

“We long have feared that under Caradhras a terror slept. But had I known that the Dwarves had stirred up this evil in Moria again, I would have forbidden you to pass the northern borders, you and all that went with you.” (FotR, The Mirror of Galadriel)

Galadriel, however, rather than blaming herself, instead saw the necessity of the path through Moria, indeed she went further:

“If our folk had been exiled long and far from Lothlórien, who of the Galadhrim, even Celeborn the Wise, would pass nigh and would not wish to look upon their ancient home, though it had become an abode of dragons?
Dark is the water of Kheled-zâram, and cold are the springs of Kibil-nâla, and fair were the many-pillared halls of Khazad-dûm in Elder Days before the fall of mighty kings beneath the stone.”

And then did Gimli see love and understanding in the heart of she whom he had thought an enemy.

“He rose clumsily and bowed in dwarf-fashion, saying: “Yet more fair is the living land of Lórien, and the Lady Galadriel is above all the jewels that lie beneath the earth!””

The power of the Lord and Lady

The power, age and wisdom of the Lord and Lady is so clearly demonstrated in the book. However, that most of this is missing in the film is perhaps not surprising, as it assumes a level of knowledge about the history of the Elves, and particularly the Noldor, that was not needed in the films.

“For the Lord of the Galadhrim is accounted the wisest of the Elves in Middle-earth, and a giver of gifts beyond the power of kings. He has dwelt in the West since the days of dawn, and I have dwelt with him years uncounted; for ere the fall of Nargothrond or Gondolin I passed over the mountains, and together through ages of the world we have fought the long defeat.
I it was who first summoned the White Council. And if my designs had not gone amiss, it would have gone otherwise.”
(Galadriel, FotR, The Mirror of Galadriel)

Galadriel seems personally closer to the Fellowship. Celeborn appears remote, aloof – but then I think that he would be. To the wisest and oldest of elf-kind in Middle-earth – in a time when the Elves were diminishing in the world of man – even the momentous events of the Ring must seem almost insignificant.

It was Galadriel who tested the hearts and minds of the Fellowship – an event that did happen in both book and film. “she held them with her eyes, and she smiled. “Do not let your hearts be troubled,” she said. “Tonight you shall sleep in peace.” Then they sighed and felt suddenly weary, as those who have been questioned long and deeply, though no words had been spoken openly.” (Galadriel, FotR, The Mirror of Galadriel)

The Mirror of Galadriel

In the book, Galadriel beckoned Frodo and Sam from their camp, while in the film, they crept after her when they saw her gliding past their beds. They followed her to a garden on the southern slopes of the hill of Caras Galadhon, where she led them to a basin that she filled up with stream water. She breathed on the water, and when it was still again, she invited the hobbits to look in the water, if they would.

“Many things I can command the Mirror to reveal,” she answered, “and to some I can show what they desire to see. But the Mirror will also show things unbidden, and those are often stranger and more profitable than things which we wish to behold. What you will see, if you leave the Mirror free to work, I cannot tell. For it shows things that were, and things that are, and things that yet may be. But which it is that he sees, even the wisest cannot always tell.

this, if you will, is the magic of Galadriel. Did you not say that you wished to see Elf-magic?”
(Galadriel, FotR, The Mirror of Galadriel)

However, the film only shows the “magic” of the Mirror, without mentioning Galadriel’s part in the seeing.

“Even the wisest cannot tell, for the mirror shows many things. Things that were, things that are and some things that have not yet come to pass.” (The Mirror of Galadriel, Galadriel’s Glade)

Both Sam, then Frodo, chose to look in the book, while in the film, only Frodo looked into the Mirror.

After Frodo had looked in the mirror, Galadriel said that she knew what he had seen – for the same was in her mind. From the book: “I perceive the Dark Lord and know his mind, or all of his mind that concerns the Elves. And he gropes ever to see me and my thought. But still the door is closed!” (Galadriel, FotR, The Mirror of Galadriel) In the film, the same thing happens, except Galadriel also starts to warn Frodo about Boromir’s lust for the Ring:

“I know what it is you saw, for it is also in my mind. It is what will come to pass, if you should fail. The fellowship is breaking. It has already begun. He will try to take the ring. You know of whom I speak. One by one, it will destroy them all.” (The Mirror of Galadriel, Galadriel’s Glade)

Nenya, the Ring of Adamant

In the book, Galadriel then showed Nenya, the Ring of Adamant, to the hobbits – though it was only Frodo, the Ring-Bearer that truly saw the jewel:

“She lifted up her white arms, and spread out her hands towards the East in a gesture of rejection and denial. Eärendil, the Evening Star, most beloved of the Elves, shone clear above. So bright was it that the figure of the Elven-lady cast a dim shadow on the ground. Its rays glanced upon a ring about her finger; it glittered like polished gold overlaid with silver light, and a white stone in it twinkled as if the Even-star had come down to rest upon her hand. … “Verily it is the land of Lórien upon the finger of Galadriel that one of the Three remains. This is Nenya, the Ring of Adamant, and I am its keeper.”” (Galadriel, FotR, The Mirror of Galadriel)

In one of the most poignant moments of the whole book, Galadriel then makes it clear to Frodo what his task means to her, and her people.

“Do you not see now wherefore your coming is to us as the footstep of Doom? For if you fail, then we are laid bare to the Enemy. Yet if you succeed, then our power is diminished, and Lothlórien will fade, and the tides of Time will sweep it away. We must depart into the West, or dwindle to a rustic folk of dell and cave, slowly to forget and be forgotten. … I could wish, were it of any avail, that the One Ring had never been wrought, or had remained for ever lost.” (Galadriel, FotR, The Mirror of Galadriel)

Frodo, as Ring Bearer, will be the cause of the Elves’ departure from Middle-earth, whatever the outcome of his own battles with the Ring and the evil forces. It is his destiny to be the catalyst that ends of the Age of the Elves and starts the Age of Men. This is left out of the film, as is pretty much the whole theme of the elves diminishing and going into the West – leaving Men to carry on the stewardship of Middle-earth.

Galadriel’s Test

Frodo offered Galadriel the One Ring in both the film and the book. The Lady readily admitted that she had longed for the Ring, and thought Frodo of keen eye for devising such a test for her, as if in revenge for her testing of his heart at their first meeting. The depiction of Galadriel as she is fighting her inner battle is similar in film and book.

Book: “from the ring she wore there issued a great light that illuminated her alone and left all else dark. She stood before Frodo seeming now tall beyond measurement, and beautiful beyond enduring, terrible and worshipful. Then she let her hand fall, and the light faded, and suddenly she laughed again, and lo! She was shrunken: a slender elf-woman, clad in simple white, whose gentle voice was soft and sad.” (Galadriel, FotR, The Mirror of Galadriel)

In the film, we are treated to a transformation of Galadriel from a white-clad, blonde haired elf to almost a negative version of the above – dark hair flying, black soulless eyes, and dark clothes. It looks like she is struggling to stay light and not become dark and corrupted.

“I pass the test,” she said. “I will diminish, and go into the West, and remain Galadriel.” (Galadriel, FotR, The Mirror of Galadriel and The Mirror of Galadriel, Galadriel’s Glade)

She then teaches Frodo some Ring lore, explaining in the book that his sight has grown keener from simply being the Ring Bearer, but that he would not be able to use the power of the Ring as he was not strong enough. In the film she instead says that to be a Ring Bearer is to be alone – and that even the smallest person can change the course of the future.

Leaving Lórien

In the book, it was Celeborn who bade farewell to the Company – giving them advice about their onward journey, and furnishing them with boats to traverse the Anduin. The Lord and Lady then came to say their last goodbye to the Company on the Silverlode. Celeborn sat in the midst of their swan ship, with Galadriel standing behind him, tall and white, a circlet of golden flowers in her hair. In her hands she held a harp, and she sang to the Fellowship. Then Celeborn invited the Fellowship to a parting feast, and gave them more travelling advice.

In the film, only Galadriel was in the swan ship in the theatrical version, but in the EE, Celeborn was also there, as was the feast and the gift-giving.

Galadriel’s Gifts

After the feast, Galadriel offered the Fellowship gifts in memory of Lothlórien, from its Lord and Lady.

The gifts in the book were:
– Aragorn – a sheath for Anduril and the Elfstone
– Boromir – a belt of gold
– Merry – a belt of silver
– Pippin – a belt of silver
– Legolas – Galadhrim bow, strung with elf hair, and a quiver
– Sam – Small box with some earth of Lórien
– Gimli – three of her hairs
– Frodo – Phial, containing the light of Eärendil’s star

The gifts in the film were:
– Aragorn – he doesn’t get a gift for Galadriel says that she has nothing greater than the Evenstar from Arwen – but he gets a dagger from Celeborn
– Boromir – unknown
– Merry – dagger
– Pippin – dagger
– Legolas – Galadhrim bow, 2 sets of the white arrows of Lórien
– Sam – elven rope
– Gimli – three of her hairs
– Frodo – Phial, containing the light of Eärendil’s star

Furthermore, in the film, all the Fellowship were given a brooch in the shape of a mallorn leaf, lembas and elven cloaks.

The Final Farewell

After the giving of gifts, the Fellowship departed, watching Galadriel standing alone and silent, slipping far into the distance.

“She shone like a window of glass upon a far hill in the westering sun, or as a remote lake seen from a mountain: a crystal fallen in the lap of the land.” (Galadriel, FotR, Farewell to Lórien)

Galadriel, in the book, ended her appearance in FotR singing her Namárië in the Elven tongue.

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Related Information
Interesting Links:
Our Gallery has a separate section devoted to Galadriel. It also has the screencaps of both the theatrical and the extended version of Fellowship Of the Ring.

A transcript of Lord Of the Rings: Fellowship Of the Ring can be found in our Film Fun & Facts section.

A summary of Lord Of the Rings: Fellowship of the Ring can be found in Elrond's Library.

You can also check out some pictures of Cate Blanchett in our Gallery, or read a short biography of Cate Blanchett and Marton Csokas in our Film, Fun & Facts section.

Some articles about Galadriel and Celeborn
- The Middle-earth Section of Elrond's Library has Galadriel's song, as well as articles on the Vala Lórien by Hathaldir, A History Of Galadriel: Lady of the Light by Mirlomien and Celeborn. There's also a family tree of the House of Finwë.

Some forums that deal with Galadriel and Celeborn:
Galadriel in the Book Forum deals with the character of Galadriel. The Celeborn Fan Club is located in the Casting Forum.

Take a look at how some artists interpreted these characters:
- Galadriel by Maura Boldi
- The Mirror of Galadriel by Claes
- The Phial of Galadriel by Eissman
- Portrait of Celeborn by Firith456
- Galadriel by Gestin
- Galadriel by Michael Green
- Celeborn by Gwyllion
- Galadriel by Gwyllion
- Galadriel by Hildebrandt
- Galadriel by Hope Hoover
- Galadriel by John Howe
- The Mirror of Galadriel by John Howe
- Celeborn and Galadriel by Tim Kirk
- Galadriel's Glade by Kortich
- Galadriel by Lady_Telperion
- Lord Celeborn by Lady_Telperion
- The Mirror of Galadriel by Lee
- Celeborn by MacBride
- Galadriel by Angus MacBride
- Galadriel's Ring by Miss Daisy
- The Swan Boat by Rowena Morill
- Galadriel's Mirror by Nasmith
- Galadriel Reveals the Ring by Nasmith
- The Mirror of Galadriel by Nasmith
- Young Galadriel by oni-chan
- Galadriel by Maija Pietikäinen
- Galadriel's Mirror by Price
- Galadriel by Per Sjögren
- Galadriel by Soraco
- Galadriel by Steorra

Looking for something more creative? You might find it here:
- The Last Homely House has articles on creating Rivendell Rooms by Celebriloth and Scothia, The Galadriel Look by Altariel and recepies for lembas by elvenwitch, Zoe, SilverDeath and Gwathhenator.
You can have a Galadriel's Glade Theme on CoE!