In the Lord of the Rings, it is stated that

"In 2509, Celebrían, wife of Elrond, was journeying to Lórien when she was waylaid in the Redhorn Pass, and her escort being scattered by the sudden assault of the Orcs, she was seized and carried off. She was pursued and rescued by Elladan and Elrohir, but not before she had suffered torment and had received a poisoned wound. She was brought back to Imladris and though healed in body by Elrond, lost all delight in Middle-earth, and the next year went to the Havens and passed over Sea." LotR, Appendix A (III) - Eriador, Arnor and the Heirs of Isildur

Do we know any more what what this "torment" entailed and why it was so distressing?

  • 3
    I've flagged this as 'too localized' as I think the answer is both obvious, not worth asking, and not of use to future visitors.
    – user11295
    Commented Feb 12, 2013 at 8:57
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    I think it's a perfectly valid question. Not necessarily completely obvious
    – The Fallen
    Commented Feb 12, 2013 at 19:20

1 Answer 1


Tolkien didn't try his hand at writing torture porn, and I for one am thankful.

However, if you must make assumptions as to her fate, you can see the other instances where orcs took captives, starting with Frodo's time in Cirith Ungol before Sam came to rescue him. I couldn't find any references to iron maidens or the rack, but it seems the orcs went for simpler methods of torment. Here's a snippet from Return of the King, Book VI, Ch. 1 - The Tower of Cirith Ungol:

[Frodo] was naked, lying as if in a swoon on a heap of filthy rags: his arm was flung up, shielding his head, and across his side there ran an ugly whip-weal. [...] I can hardly believe it,’ said Frodo, clutching him. `There was an orc with a whip, and then it turns into Sam!

So basically it's the classic tactic of being stripped naked, thrown in a filthy cell, and occasionally whipped.

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    "Hammers, axes, swords, daggers, pickaxes, tongs, and also instruments of torture, they make very well, or get other people to make to their design, prisoners and slaves that have to work till they die for want of air and light."
    – WOPR
    Commented Feb 12, 2013 at 6:42
  • That's a good quote. Where exactly is it from? Commented Feb 12, 2013 at 7:43
  • @AvnerShahar-Kashtan The Hobbit, chapter 4. Hint: you can find machine-searchable versions of the books.
    – Mr Lister
    Commented Feb 12, 2013 at 9:30
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    As far as the first sentence, I'm invoking RULE 34! Commented Feb 12, 2013 at 16:35
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    Also Turin Turambar: "...they found Turin fettered hand and foot and tied to a withered tree; and all about him knives that had been cast at him were embedded in the trunk, and he was senseless in a sleep of great weariness" (similar torment could also explain a poisoned wound).
    – user8719
    Commented May 10, 2014 at 12:30

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