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Galadriel and Celeborn are a strange couple, that's sure. But is there some reference to the reasons why Celeborn doesn't leave for the Grey Havens (which he will do, sooner or later even if we don't know when) together with his Queen?

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On the scale of an elven life, he was just visiting family and wrapping up his affairs for a short while. –  Gilles Sep 5 '12 at 21:48

4 Answers 4

up vote 18 down vote accepted

You're right that we don't know exactly when he did leave:

It is said that Celeborn went to dwell [in Rivendell] after the departure of Galadriel; but there is no record of the day when at last he sought the Grey Havens, and with him went the last living memory of the Elder Days in Middle-earth.

However Celeborn probably stayed to ensure the success of his new Elven realm, East Lorien. Elves also only left when they were tired of Middle Earth. In Celeborn and Galadriel's case, it appears that the wife tired before the husband, though it was not unusual for Elven partners to spend years apart (see Elrond and Celebrían).

Celeborn and Thranduil met in the midst of the forest; and they renamed Mirkwood Eryn Lasgalen, The Wood of Greenleaves. Thranduil took all the northern region as far as the mountains that rise in the forest for his realm; and Celeborn took the southern wood below the Narrows, and named it East Lórien; all the wide forest between was given to the Beornings and the Woodmen. But after the passing of Galadriel in a few years Celeborn grew weary of his realm and went to Imladris to dwell with the sons of Elrond. In the Greenwood the Silvan Elves remained untroubled, but in Lórien there lingered sadly only a few of its former people, and there was no longer light or song in Caras Galadhon.

All quotes from the Appendices.

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Are there any supporting references for the East Lorien speculation? I hadn't heard of East Lorien until just now. –  TGnat Sep 5 '12 at 21:49
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@TGnat The appendices would be a primary source no? –  NominSim Sep 5 '12 at 21:57
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@TGnat Both quotes are straight out of the book. –  dlanod Sep 6 '12 at 3:21
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@dlanod I'll have to read before I start to type from now on. –  TGnat Sep 6 '12 at 13:09

To complement dlanod's (accepted!) answer I have found the following passage in the Appendix A (HERE FOLLOWS A PART OF THE TALE OF ARAGORN AND ARWEN):

When the Great Ring was unmade and the Three were shorn of their power, then Elrond grew weary at last and forsook Middle-Earth, never to return.

From this it could be inferred that the Ring bearers were specially wearied by the destruction of the Ring and the loss of their ring powers. So it could well be that Celeborn, not having bore a Ring, was relatively less wearied and could endure remaining the Middle Earth for a bit longer.

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It could also be that since he never saw the light of the two trees he didn't have the longing that Galadriel had to return to Valinor. He had been in Middle Earth for a very long time.

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On the Elven scale of life, it wasn't that long a time apart. He was a Sinda, so he loved Middle Earth, and didn't really have the longing to go to the Blessed Realm that Galadriel and the other High Elves did. He probably went maybe fifty or a hundred years after Galadriel, which, considering she is well over 7,000 years old, is like nothing.

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