The Rings Of Power Finally Acknowledges Galadriel's Romantic History (And Possibly Sets The Stage For More Drama)

Warning! Spoilers for "The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power" to follow.

Galadriel (Morfydd Clark) has been a compelling force in a sea of equally-compelling forces that make "The Rings of Power" such a wild ride. From the very beginning, she's been almost defined by her loss, which has accrued over centuries of war and death — a far cry from the detached, heavenly being that even casual fans recognize from Peter Jackson's "Lord of the Rings" film series. As she tells her unlikely new ward, Theo (Tyroe Muhafidin) in this week's episode of "The Rings of Power," she's indeed lost many kin: "My brother, Finrod," she says, while twirling the dagger that once belonged to him. "...And my husband."

And her husband?! Yeah, Galadriel didn't stutter: she's got a man. Or at least, she had one. It's complicated. Either way, "The Rings of Power" is finally addressing the elven lord in the room: Celeborn, who — according to Galadriel — went off to fight in the war against Morgoth and was never seen again. It's interesting that the series chooses this time to bring him into the fold, given his importance in the bigger picture. So why mention him now? Oh, we'll get to that — but first: who exactly is Celeborn, and what's his significance to "The Rings of Power"?

(Re)introducing Celeborn

While Galadriel's backstory is one of the most inconsistent areas of Tolkien lore, her relationship with Celeborn was one of the constants. In the works of J.R.R. Tolkien, Galadriel and Celeborn wed at the beginning of the First Age, so his absence in "The Rings of Power" has been puzzling for Middle-earth aficionados everywhere. A lot of fans feared that "The Rings of Power" would tweak the canon so that Galadriel and Celeborn meet and marry later, since the series takes place in the Second Age and there's been no mention of him at all. Perhaps he was a casualty of the rights issues between Amazon Studios and Tolkien's estate. But tweaking the character too much would inevitably alter pivotal events in the future, and showrunners Patrick McKay and J.D. Payne seem to understand that pretty well.

While the series has been diverging from "the canon" more and more as time goes on, its penultimate episode confirms that Galadriel and Celeborn married when Tolkien said they did, right on the cusp of war with Morgoth. Like Finrod, Celeborn eventually went off to fight in Middle-earth — and the way Galadriel tells it, he wasn't exactly fit for battle.

"I called him a silver clam," Galadriel recalls, referring to Celeborn's ill-fitting armor. Sadly, that was the last exchange they ever shared. Celeborn has been missing in action ever since.

But what about Halbrand?

Okay, so obviously Celeborn isn't dead. He has to reunite with his wife some time before the events of "The Fellowship of the Ring," as he appears in the film alongside Cate Blanchett's older, wiser Galadriel. Plus, he's important to the future of Middle-earth; without him, pivotal events and characters wouldn't exist as we know them. He's present at the forging of the rings of power, he co-founds Rivendell with his pal Elrond, and he and Galadriel eventually have a daughter, Celebrían. Of course, all of this is still a few centuries away, but none of it can actually happen if Celeborn is completely out of the picture.

Again, the timing of his introduction is interesting. It comes hot on the heels of Galadriel's steamy scene with Halbrand (Charlie Vickers) in episode 6, "Udûn." They didn't exactly consummate their episode-spanning sexual tension with a kiss — or even an outright declaration of love — but their mutual admission is the closest two grief-stricken warriors really come to either. Whether it be romantic or sexual, it's clear Halbrand has some sort of feeling for Galadriel, and that feeling is mutual in her too. But we all knew their relationship was likely doomed in some capacity, and this sudden mention of a missing husband is exactly the kind of dramatic twist we were holding out for.

When the other shoe drops

No one knows when "The Rings of Power" plans to introduce Celeborn in earnest, but if he doesn't make an appearance this season, I'm willing to bet on one in season 2. With Galadriel taking a mortally-wounded Halbrand to heal in an undetermined Elvish city — Eregion, maybe? — there will be even more time for their interesting "will they, won't they" to take hold. In Halbrand, Galadriel has found an ally just as dogged as she is, and (barring his injury) just as competent in battle. It's not exactly wise for elves to start up relationships with men, but with that chemistry? Something's bound to happen.

Still, if Galadriel and Halbrand do become even more ship-worthy than they already are, will Celeborn's introduction be quite enough to tear them apart? We could be witnessing the beginnings of a truly-compelling love triangle. And I'm sorry, but if Halbrand fails to beat the Sauron allegations, this could be the most heartwrenching star-crossed romance to grace our screens in quite some time.

"The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power" streams Fridays on Amazon Prime Video.