What Does Celebrimbor Mean?

Whether you’re a long-time Tolkien fan or you just heard the name from all the hype around Shadow of Mordor, there’s no denying that “Celebrimbor” is a doozy of a name. What does that even mean?

According to The Silmarillion, “Celebrimbor” means “hand of silver.” Is that just a generic name or does it have meaning beyond the translation?

Keep in mind that Celebrimbor was the one who forged the Rings of Power. There’s no arguing that his hands were skilled. But silver?

Elves have an affinity for starlight–silvery starlight. The Elves of Valinor were most fond of Telperion, the silver tree that gave light to the Blessed Realm. Elves clearly have a strong preference for silver. Even mithril, one of the most prized metals is a silvery color. (Of course, mithril is also prized by Dwarves for its strength and lightness, but that’s beside the point.)

Comparing Celebrimbor’s hands with silver is a great honor. As one of the Fëanorians, Curufin surely had a great deal of pride in his son’s craftsmanship. He wanted to make it clear to everyone who heard his sons name that Celebrimbor was a worthy successor to Fëanor, the greatest craftsman of the Elves.

(I’d like to apologize for going dark for the last few weeks. Life has been absolutely crazy–at work and at home–and I haven’t been able to dedicate as much time as I would like to TolkienBlog.com. I’m back on the horse and hopefully I won’t fall off again!)

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