View Full Version : What exactly happens to Celebrian in Tolkien's universe?

12-17-2003, 02:02 PM
Celebrian, daughter of Celeborn and Galdriel, wife of Elrond, and mother of Arwen, Elladan, and Elrohir, is captured by orcs in the Misty Mountains and tormented. This experience is so unpleasant that, even though rescued by her sons, she soon sails into the West--and the two sons become hell-bent on kicking the crap out of orcs ever after.

The reason I ask the question is that some web links suggest that it's implied in the text that she was raped ... something I hadn't considered before. Is there, in fact, textual support for this, or was she more likely just slapped around, burned with cigarettes, etc.?

12-17-2003, 03:46 PM
It hadn't occurred to me before, but rape sounds very plausible. Tolkien mentioned, in one of the appendices, that he cleaned up the Orcs' language considerably: Whenever an orc talks, one is justified in mentally inserting a double handful of profanities which Tolkien didn't have the stomach to relate. Similarly, I can see him referring to a rape by the euphemism of "torment". And remember, when orcs use torture, it's not as a part of a systematic program to beat down a person's resistances. Orcs torture because they like it. And I can't see torture from that mindset not including rape.

Rube E. Tewesday
12-17-2003, 04:13 PM
I'm with Chronos -- I'd never thought of it before, but it sounds right. Imagine a beautiful woman falling into the hands of a motorcycle gang, only more evil. And Tolkien was of a generation that was used to picking up euphemisms of this type --you know, the old police reports along the lines of "The autopsy indicated that the woman had been beaten to death with a two- by-four, but had not been assaulted."

12-17-2003, 04:13 PM
Hmmm, it's not clear to me that orcs even had genitals. But if they did, rape would probably be the only method of conception with each other. Dunno how they'd feel about Elf poontang.

12-17-2003, 06:44 PM
Not a bad point, squeegee, since we never heard of any female orcs in any of the four books. Do they reproduce sexually? Are they equipped to rape an elf?

And could they impregnate an elf?

12-17-2003, 07:36 PM
Originally posted by Fiver
Not a bad point, squeegee, since we never heard of any female orcs in any of the four books. Do they reproduce sexually? Are they equipped to rape an elf?

And could they impregnate an elf? I vaguely remember reading that orcs were elfs that Sauron had twisted, just like trolls were Ents that had been twisted. However, it has been many many years since I have read the trilogy, so I could be full of it too.

12-17-2003, 07:52 PM
Khadji, I think that what Treebeard says is that trolls are in some way modeled after Ents, not that they actually once were Ents. Probably the relationship between orcs and elves is similar, though the books are very vague on the subject.

Orc ... reproduction ... is never discussed in the books, aside from a few hints that the bad guys have attempted crossing orcs with Men. There's no evidence that orcs reproduce in anything but the ususal way. The mud pits are a pure movieverse invention.

12-17-2003, 07:54 PM
Oh, if you haven't found The Encyclopedia of Arda (http://glyphweb.com/arda/c/celebrian.html) yet, I strongly suggest going there. Beware though, you can spend a lot of time there...

12-17-2003, 09:21 PM
What makes you think you haven't seen any female orcs?

Remember, Uruk-hai are the product of orcs and men. Not orcs and humans: orcs and men.

12-18-2003, 02:16 AM
Ooh! Good one, robertliguori! All those orcs were the females! The guy-orcs are apparently at home on the barcalounger while the she-orcs bring home the hickory-smoked sentient. :)

There's no evidence that orcs reproduce in anything but the ususal way.Nonsense. From the lips of Gandalf hisself, just before the Balrog attack:"I am weary. I must rest here a moment, even if all the orcs ever spawned are after us. "

"Spawned" does not sound like normal nookie. No?

To be fair, JRRT was less than explicit about orc- (or any- ) reproduction.

Qadgop the Mercotan
12-18-2003, 09:47 AM
Originally posted by robertliguori
Remember, Uruk-hai are the product of orcs and men. Not orcs and humans: orcs and men.
Actually that is not certain. The "great orcs" appeared first over 500 years before the War of the Ring, and appeared out of Mordor. Saruman indeed appeared to have bred orcs and humans, but it was never asserted that the resultant half-breeds were Uruks. Not by JRRT anyway.

Qadgop the Mercotan
12-18-2003, 09:50 AM
link: http://glyphweb.com/arda/u/uruks.html

12-18-2003, 09:15 PM
It is unlikely that Tolkien intended Celebrian to have been raped. The following is the only direct reference to rape among the elves.

"But among all these evils there is no record of any among the Elves that took another's spouse by force; for this was wholly against their nature, and one so forced would have rejected bodily life and passed to Mandos." - Morgoth's Ring

Apparently any female elf that had been raped would die, either during the act or shortly thereafter. We know that Celebrian did not die but instead traveled to Valinor by boat some time later. So it seems likely that the "poisoned wound" she recieved was nothing more than a posoned wound. There is still plenty of reason to leave ME after having been "tormented" by orcs, even if the torment did not include rape.

Speaker for the Dead
12-18-2003, 09:43 PM
On the reproduction of Orcs, The Silmarillion says:

Originally posted by J.R.R. Tolkien
Melkor [bred] the [...] Orcs in [...] mockery of the Elves [...] [T]he Orcs had life and multiplied after the manner of the Children of Illuvatar.

Seems to me that the Orcs do the old in-out-in-out just the same as Men and Elves.

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