“Could you really rest for all of eternity, knowing that you had the chance to stop him but did nothing?”— Talion to Celebrimbor
A descendant of the Northmen in Rhovanion, and raised in Minas Tirith, he is a loyal Ranger of Gondor, where he then rose the rank of Captain of the Black Gate. After the tragic demise of his family and himself, Talion was revived by Celebrimbor, an immensely powerful Wraith; where the two joined forces and began a quest for vengeance on those responsible for the death of his loved ones, the Black Hand of Sauron.
Later, after he defeated the Nazgûl Isildur and after Celebrimbor abandoned him, Talion wore Isildur's Ring to survive. Resisting the corrupting effects of the Ring during decades to hold back Sauron's forces in Mordor and to give Gondor time to prepare for the War, Talion eventually became one of the nine Nazgûl. After the destruction of the One Ring by Frodo Baggins and the destruction of Sauron, Talion finally died a true death, through which his spirit was freed and he moved on into the afterlife.
Talion is a rather humble individual and as the captain of the Black Gate was respected by the men under his command. As a knight, he has a sense of honor upon the battlefield. After the death of his family and subsequently revived by Celebrimbor, Talion became stricken with grief, and set out to kill those responsible for his wife and son's deaths.
Before Shadow of Mordor
Despite being lowborn, Talion gained the love of a noble lady named Ioreth , much to her father's ire. When he accidentally killed a noble of Gondor trying to assault his wife, he was branded a criminal, and his life belonged to Gondor. Ioreth pleaded with her father to prevent him from turning Talion in, but he refused. Only when Ioreth revealed she was pregnant with Talion's child and threatened to claim she had killed her attacker in self defence did her father relent. In order to save Talion, though Hallas claimed to have done it for his daughter's sake, Ioreth's father explained he was offered a position guarding The Black Gate, and he decided to send Talion and Loreth there.
Thanks to his father-in law, Talion would assume a vacant post among the Rangers of Gondor stationed at the Black Gate, the gateway into the lands of Mordor. There, Talion lived at the outpost with his wide Ioreth, and his son, Dirhael. Talion and Ioreth raised their son at The Black Gate, and there Talion taught his son skills to let him become a soldier, though Ioreth disapproved of this, saying there were other things he could become like a flute player, suggestions which Talion laughed off. Talion had also celebrated events such as anniversaries of his marriage with his wife at the Black Gate as well, during one of which they discussed the possibility of leaving the gate, and Ioreth asked Talion if he had spoken with her father about this. Talion said that Ioreth's father refused, and he was still stubborn, causing Loreth to suggest they leave anyways as she was tired of hiding at the Gate.
Events of Shadow of Mordor
Defending the Black Gate
At some point a viscous attack was launched by Uruk's from Mordor, which were later revealed to have been led by servants of the Dark Lord, Sauron. Outside in the middle of a storm Talion and his son Dirhael fought to hold back the Uruk forces, and during a break in the battle, Talion had Dirhael go find Loreth to protect her.
Later on during the fight Talion actually found Loreth in the Great Hall. Surprising his wife he quietly hushed her before she alerted their enemies to their presence. Slipping on ahead Talion intended to clear the path of Orcs so Loreth could follow safely behind. However as he was disposing of the last enemy in the hall, he hears Loreth cry out from behind him, and upon turning around sees his wife being held by a tall and imposing foe, later revealed to be The Tower of Sauron, holding his wife at sword point.
The Tower orders the ranger to drop his sword, and he complies, before being ambushed by another enemy in heavy armour, The Hammer of Sauron, who proceeds beat him with the great mace he carries, almost to death before The Tower intervenes, reminding him that the Black Hand wants Talion alive. Talion tries reaching out to his wife's hand to comfort her but the Tower orders her to be carried of, whilst The Hammer resumes attacking Talion, crushing his left hand with his great mace before telling the Tower he would live before he strikes him in the head, knocking the ranger unconscious.
Sacrificed by Sauron's Servants
When Talion came too he was outside at the top of the Black Gate, unarmed, being held by the Hammer who proceeded to beat him to keep him subdued, before The Black Hand arrives. The Hand draws his sword and proceeds to cut the throats of both Dirhael and Loreth whilst repeating an incantation of sorts (likely in Black Speech,) for his two victims, before he turns the sword on Talion himself, and repeating the process on the ranger. As Talion dies, the Hand looks up at the dark and stormy sky, ordering The Elf Lord to come back to him.
Return from the grave
Awakening in the Wraith World, Talion looks around and saw the bodies of his now dead son, and after picking his son's shattered sword and reliving some memories of both him and son sparring as well as the initial attack on The Black Gate, asks if he is dead, to which a mysterious wraith moving around in the shadows informs him that he was banished from death.
Talion then looks to the body of his wife, reliving another set of memories of the two, both their last anniversary, as well as later in the attack where Talion found her to be hiding in the now wrecked Great Hall, and later he and his family's sacrifice at the hands of Sauron's Servants. Acquiring his wife's scarf, which he is later shown to have tied around the sheath of his sword on his back, Talion asks about the nature of the place he was in. The Spectre simply tells him to see for himself, and Talion looked out on the landscape of Mordor. The wraith explained that a curse had bound them together, trapping them between life and death; when Talion asked if the curse could be broken, the wraith told them that they would have to find and kill the Black Hand of Sauron, the one who'd cast it upon them.
Battling the forces of Sauron
Leaving the Black Gate behind, Talion was ambushed by a warband of Orcs who'd been part of the assault on the fortress. Cutting down all but one, who he was briefly able to stun when he grabbed it with his scarred hand, he seized the miserable creature, allowing the wraith to interrogate it. From the captive Orc, they learned that a former slave the Orc had owned claimed to have fought the Black Hand and survived. Tracking the slave to a work camp at the foot of the Black Gate and killing his new owner, Talion was surprised to learn the slave in question was Hirgon of Tarnost, a former comrade of his who had deserted the Black Gate some years earlier. Hirgon admitted his so-called 'duel' with the Black Hand had been more a case of him running for his life, but he agreed to share what information he had on Sauron's lieutenants in exchange for Talion's help in freeing his men from Orc captivity.
It was at this point Talion noticed a strange creature tracking him. Noting that it was clearly no Orc, and that he could feel it had been touched by something of great power, the wraith urged Talion to find the creature and get some answers from it. Tracking the being to a nearby caragor cave, housing an artefact that gave some clues to the elven wraith as to his past, Talion caught the skulking creature near the cave, where both he and the wraith were surprised to learn the creature, calling itself Gollum, could see the wraith, who it referred to as the "Bright Master". Gollum offered his services to the Bright Master, promising to help him fend more treasures that might bring further clues as to his past. Gollum's find allowed them to discover the wraith's true identity; Celebrimbor, the greatest elven smith of the Second Age, who had been deceived by Sauron into forging the Rings of Power.
Confronting the Hammer
Eventually after removing 4 of the 5 Warchiefs in Gorgoroth from play, and assisting Ratbag the Coward's rise to the rank of Warchief to replace the fifth, Talion partnered with Hirgon and his Outcasts to destroy the monument the Orcs were constructing to honour Sauron with a huge stock of blasting powder.
Stealing a grog cart from the Orcs to act as a trigger for the blasting powder, the Outcasts reached the monument and as they and Hirgon battled with its Orc defenders, Talion pushed the cart, set ablaze by Orc archers, into the monument's foundations, the ensuing explosion leveling the structure. In the aftermath, Talion warned Hirgon that this attack would only draw the ire of Sauron's minions, but Hirgon insisted it had been necessary to give his people some hope the Dark Lord could be resisted.
When Talion next came to the Outcasts' camp, he found Hirgon and Eryn tending to a mortally injured slave who lived long enough to pass on a message that his attacker had wanted the Gravewalker. Talion asked if the one responsible was the Black Hand, but Hirgon answered it had been one of his lieutenants. Hirgon wished to gather his men and retaliate, but Talion convinced him to evacuate his people from Mordor, insisting that the servants of Sauron were beyond him and out for blood. Accepting that his people were in mortal danger, Hirgon bade Talion farewell before leaving to escape via a hidden tunnel that would take them past the Black Gate.
Talion then went to the ruins of the Gorthaur, where he watched the Hammer of Sauron assess the damage, before demanding of the Orcs assembled why the local Warchiefs had done nothing to prevent the destruction of the monument. The Orcs then threw Ratbag, the last surviving Warchief in Gorgoroth, forward to explain himself, who told that his fellow Warchiefs had been killed in battle. Dissatisfied with the explanation, the Hammer mockingly congratulated Ratbag on his survival, before dealing the miserable Orc a seemingly fatal blow and demanding the other Orcs present bring him the head of the Gravewalker. At this, Talion made his presence known with a bold challenge... "Claim the head yourself!"
Whirling round at this challenge, the Hammer was amazed and delighted to discover the so-called Gravewalker was the Ranger he'd helped murder at the Black Gate, and taunted Talion, asking him where his courage had been when they'd killed his wife and son, before demanding the Orcs present kill Talion. However, the Orcs proved no match for Talion, forcing the Hammer to enter the fray, but although he put up more of a fight than his underlings, he was still defeated by Talion. Beaten, the Hammer taunted Talion, implying that the darkness he was fighting against had already begun to claim him, before Talion disarmed the Hammer, opened his throat with his sword and then killed him by driving Dirhael's blade through the Black Numenorean's heart.
In the aftermath of the battle, Celebrimbor chided Talion, remarking that they could have gotten useful information out of the Hammer, to which Talion angrily retorted that their dead enemy had helped murder his entire family, and asked what Celebrimbor would have done in similar circumstances.
Moving onto Nurnen
At this, a woman's voice interrupted them, asking if Talion spoke with the living as well as the dead. Talion turned to the speaker, who introduced herself as Lithariel, daughter of Queen Marwen, and invited them to accompany her to Nurnen, insisting that her mother wished to make an offering to Celebrimbor. Talion reluctantly agreed to accompany Lithariel home, where he was presented to Queen Marwen, who urged him to use his powers to dominate the Orcs of Mordor into an army that could be used to challenge Sauron's growing power. Eventually, Talion discovered that Marwen was under the thrall of Saruman, who was seeking to supplant Sauron and wanted Celbrimbor's aid in doing so; Talion and Lithariel were able to break the White Wizard's hold over Marwen, but Talion and Celebrimbor decided to adopt Saruman's plan for themselves.
After assisting Lithariel in helping her recover an elixir that would help her mother recover from Saruman's possession, she provided him with information about a gathering of Orc leaders at a nearby encampment she and her men intended to ambush. At this, Celebrimbor chided Talion for his growing attraction to the young warrior woman, reminding him of Ioreth and Dirhael's murders and the fact Talion was no longer part of the world of the living.
Unfortunately, the information Lithariel had obtained turned out to be false; in the ambush that followed, her men were slaughtered and she was taken prisoner by Orcs serving the Tower of Sauron himself. After she refused to surrender information about Talion, the Tower ordered his Orc servants to torture it out of her, then kill her and leave her corpse somewhere the Gravewalker was sure to find it. Talion was able to rescue her in time and carry her to safety, but chose to push away Lithariel's affection for him and offer that Marwen could help cure him, choosing to focus on his pursuit of Sauron's minions.
Toppling the Tower
After forging an army of Uruks by dominating the 5 warchiefs of Nurnen, Talion and Celebrimbor opted to sail out across the sea of Nurnen in order to confront the two remaining Black Captains, The Black Hand and Tower of Sauron. With the assistance of Queen Marwen, Talion and Celebrimbor, Orcs in tow, set out across the sea on a smuggler's ship and arrived at Ered Glamroth, the domain of the Tower. After fighting their way through the fortress's Orc garrison, Talion and Celebrimbor made their way to the heart of the citadel, all the while mocked by the Tower. Upon reaching the citadel, they were confronted by the Tower, who demanded they bow to him, in exchange for which he would bring them to Sauron alive and unharmed. Celebrimbor threw the offer back in his face, but the Tower merely laughed at the elf's threats, telling Celebrimbor Sauron had forgiven his past sins, urging the elf to cast Talion aside and take the place being offered at the Dark Lord's side. When Talion demanded the Tower fight him, the Tower cruelly revealed that Celebrimbor had chosen Talion, rather than being forced upon him, and that his continuing existence was only to serve as the elf lord's host. However, although shocked by this revelation, Talion's desire for revenge surpassed his anger at this new knowledge, and he attacked the Tower.
In the duel that followed, the Tower used his sorcery to both conjure illusions of himself to confuse Talion, and torment him with the voices of Ioreth and Dirhael, blaming him for failing to save them and asking why he hadn't died with them. After Talion managed to injure the Tower several times, the Black Numenorean retreated back into the citadel, conjuring an illusion of Ioreth to lure the Ranger into a final confrontation. When Talion reached out to the apparition of his wife, the Tower emerged, attacking him with black sorcery and swearing Talion would never see his family again. However, goaded on by this and his rage, pain and hate, Talion overcame the Tower's magic and attacked him, bearing him to the ground and stabbing him multiple times in the chest with Dirhael's broken blade, before driving his sword through the Tower's throat to kill him.
With the Tower dead, Talion turned to confront Celebrimbor, outraged that the elf had lied to him about their predicament. Celebrimbor tried to place blame on Sauron but Talion would not hear it, angrily blaming Celebrimbor for denying the chance to be reunited with his family in death, to which Celebrimbor angrily responded that he thought Talion wantd to avenge them. After an awkward pause, Celebrimbor admitted he was willing to release Talion to join his family in death if he wished, but that it could only be done once the Black Hand was dead.
Showdown against the Black Hand
Sailing back to Nurn, Talion and Celebrimbor found the Black Hand had ransacked the region in their absence. Returning to Marwen's palace, only to find it looted and long-abandoned, they were greeted by Gollum, who provided another artefact of Celebrimbor's past, revealing he had assisted Sauron in perfecting the One Ring, only to then steal it from under the Dark Lord's very nose. Gollum then angrily attacked them, demanding to know where his "Precious" was, but Celebrimbor dismissed him.
At the same time, Mount Doom burst back into fiery life for the first time in generations, blanketing Mordor in ash and smoke. Making haste back to Gorgoroth, Talion, Celebrimbor and their army fought their way back to the Black Gate, guarded by the Talons of the Black Hand. After slaying the Talons, Talion and Celebrimbor climbed to the summit of the Black Gate, both confident that with the Black Hand dead, Sauron would be trapped in Mordor without the power of the Ringmaker or the One Ring to strengthen him, allowing both of them to die in peace.
At the top of the Black Gate, in the same spot where Talion had once sparred with his son, the Black Hand attacked them with sorcery, revealing to them Celebrimbor's doomed attempt to conquer Mordor for himself using the power of the One Ring; how the Ring had ultimately betrayed him and returned to its true master, and how Sauron had punished Celebrimbor for his audacity by making the elf lord watch the murders of his wife and daughter, before beating him to death with his own smithing hammer. Once the vision passed, the Black Hand snarled that Sauron had been willing to offer Celebrimbor a second chance to stand at his side, but if the elf would throw that offer back in the Dark Lord's face, then he would die. At this, the Black Hand opened his throat on the edge of his own sword, allowing Sauron to possess his corpse and take physical form. Sauron tore Celebrimbor from Talion's body, the Ranger desperately trying to avoid the Dark Lord's attacks as the fatal wound to the throat he had suffered in the sacrificial ritual weeks before began to bleed anew. As Sauron made to deal a killing blow, Celebrimbor was able to paralyse him, allowing Talion to strike fatal blows to Sauron's heart and skull, killing his host body and banishing the Dark Lord's spirit back to Barad-dûr.
With the Black Hand dead and Sauron beaten, Celebrimbor expressed his wish to pass on to Valinor, but Talion demurred. Sensing the Ranger's wish to continue fighting, Celebrimbor argued against it, pointing out that his own efforts to fight Sauron had cost him everything, but Talion asked if he truly could rest for all eternity, knowing he could have done more to fight Sauron, and yet refused to do so. Turning away from Celebrimbor and staring at the smouldering peak of Mount Doom, Talion declared his intention to create a new Ring of Power.
Shadow of War
Forging The New Ring
For an unspecified time, Talion worked with Celebrimbor at Mount Doom, using the same forge where Sauron had created the One Ring. When it was completed, however, Celebrimbor was snatched away by an unknown entity; with the elf wraith gone and the ring having fallen out of his reach, Talion began to succumb to his old injuries. As he lay on the ground beside the forge, he saw a vision in his mind of a happier memory between himself and Ioreth, but the pleasant reminiscence turned to horror when Ioreth's ghost reminded him that the past couldn't be changed and she was still dead. Reminded of what he had lost and the reason why he had chosen to continue opposing Sauron, Talion summoned the new ring to his hand by sheer strength of will; revitalised by it, Talion got back to his feet and declared that he would find Celebrimbor.
Losing The New Ring
Following the elf's voice in the back of his mind, Talion tracked Celebrimbor into the pass of Cirith Ungol, where he discovered the elf had been taken prisoner by Shelob. She demanded the new Ring in exchange for Celebrimbor's freedom, which Talion reluctantly handed over, Shelob freeing her prisoner to save Talion before his injuries killed him. Celebrimbor reprimanded Talion for his decision, warning that Shelob had been powerful and dangerous enough and the new Ring would only increase her power, but when Talion attacked her in a bid to reclaim the Ring, Shelob stopped him and urged him not to pick a fight with her, instead directing him to travel to Minas Ithil, currently under siege by Sauron's armies and reclaim the Palantir kept there before it fell into the Dark Lord's hands.
Defending Minas Ithil
Talion and Celebrimbor descended from Cirith Ungol to find the armies of Sauron attacking Minas Ithil; although the defenders were putting up a valiant effort, the sheer weight of numbers the Dark Lord's forces possessed would ultimately prove too much. While Celebrimbor advocated making haste and claiming the Palantir before it fell into the hands of Sauron's minions, Talion refused to abandon his fellow Gondorians to be slaughtered. Learning from an Orc worm the identity of an Orc captain commanding the search for the Palantir, Talion tracked and then killed the creature, while a new ally, a warrior woman, aided him against the Orc captain's entourage. In the aftermath of the battle, the woman introduced herself as Idril and urged Talion to join her in retreating back to the upper city, as the defenders were falling back, conceding the lower parts of Minas Ithil to the Orcs; joining Idril and helping to clear a path for Gondorian soldiers fighting their way back to the upper city, Talion delayed the Orcs for long enough to get as many men as possible to safety. In the aftermath of the battle, Talion was introduced to Castamir, Idril's father and commander of Minas Ithil's defenders. Surprised that one of the Black Gate's garrison had survived, Castamir refused to hand the Palantir over when Talion requested it be turned over to his safe keeping, but advised Talion that ensuring the defence of the city would keep the artefact protected. To that end, he sanctioned Talion to strike back at Orc forces rampant in the city, destroying siege engines and assassinating Orc captains to slow down the attackers.
Alliance with Eltariel
Talion regained consciousness in the barrows beneath Cirith Ungol; the elf maiden who'd cut him down was watching over him, sharpening his sword as she watched him come back to life. She questioned him as to how he was capable of doing so, while behind her back, Celebrimbor urged Talion to take the artefact she wore at her wrist, which he referred to as the Light of Galadriel, but the elf woman urged him to stand down, surprising both Talion and Celebrimbor that she could see him. Talion asked who the elf was, to which she identified herself as Eltariel, the Blade of Galadriel. Celebrimbor expressed incredulity that Galadriel would stoop to using assassins, to which Eltariel retorted that the nature of the times made for desperate measures.
Talion then asked after the fate of Minas Ithil and the Palantir; Eltariel bluntly replied both were now possessions of Sauron, before turning the conversation onto the matter of the New Ring. Talion told her of its creation, the fact it was now in Shelob's possession and that the Witch King and likely now Sauron knew of that fact. Celebrimbor demanded that Eltariel give them the Light of Galadriel to reclaim the Ring, but she refused, bluntly replying that while she would help them recover it, the Light would not leave her side.
Racing through Cirith Ungol, past all manner of creatures running in terror from the presence of the Nazgûl, the trio reached Shelob's cavern to find the Spider Queen under attack from eight of the Ringwraiths (having been ordered by Sauron to claim the new Ring and kill Shelob if she tried to stop them); Eltariel used the Light to drive the Ringwraiths back, while Talion attended to the injured Shelob. To his surprise, she returned the New Ring to him, insisting that sacrifices had to be made. She urged Talion to build a new army against Sauron, remarking his path would be made clear. In the aftermath of the battle, Eltariel urged both of them to destroy the new Ring, but Talion and Celebrimbor refused, stating it was their best chance of defeating Sauron and insisting it was free of the corrupting influence that had afflicted wearers of the other Rings of Power. Deeply unconvinced, Eltariel took her leave, urging Talion to do likewise before the Ringwraiths returned, but insisting they would meet again.
Rise to Power
Talion was drawn back to Nurnen by the voice of Carnán, an ancient forest spirit, where he would begin rebuilding his army with the aid of a Olog-Hai named Brûz. After building a sufficient fighting force Talion and Bruz confronted the Overlord of the Nearby fortress, a two headed Olog who was in reality Ratbag and his Olog associate 'Ranger'.
The two agreed to step down as overlord only if Bruz did not replace them as they didn't want to work for him, having a fair amount of unpleasant history with the troll. The decision not to promote Bruz would ultimately backfire where in after the fortress was siege by Sauron's fortress Bruz betrayed Talion and back stabbed him, literally, taking control over the fortress in the process.
Bruz quickly launched a aggressive recruitment drive as the first to ever break free of Talion's control and towards this end captured Talion's former Overlord and two of his war chiefs and tied them up to posts to die. Ratbag sneaked Talion back into the fortress through a emergency escape tunnel he had installed during his reign and forced Bruz out of the fortress.
But Bruz didn't waste any time, when Next Talion and Ratbag met Ranger had been taken prisoner by Bruz who dangled the Olog as bait leading Talion on a merry chase across all of Mordor laying numerous traps for the Bright Lord feeding him to Caragors, trying to blow him up, kidnapping his followers ultimately taking him Gorgoroth where Talion gained the upper hand by sneaking into Bruz's camp.
There, Talion and Celebrimbor irreparably broke the Olog's mind with a new ability 'Worst than Death' and made a example out of him as to what fate awaits those who betray them.
Talion tracked Carnan to the forest that bears her name where he briefly did battle with the ancient forest spirit before she explained herself. When Talion forged the new ring he stirred Tar Goroth, an ancient Balrog, from it's slumber in the deeps of Gorgoroth. Arriving in Gorgoroth Talion soon learned that a group of Necromancer's led by Zog were attempting to bring the demon under their control.
After chasing away Zog and his followers Talion teams with Carnan to fight against Tar Goroth but they only manage to succeed in chasing it away for now.
Eventually after building up enough power and ensuring the Nazgul could not track them using the Haedir, Talion in conjunction with Eltariel and Celebrimbor gathered their army on the bridge to Barad-Dur, in preparation of launching their final assault to eliminate Sauron for good.
Standing on one of the bridge arches, they observed Sauron's own army march on the bridge to defend the Dark Tower as Sauron called out to the ranger, telling him this was his fate. Talion and Celebrimbor then proceeded to give a great speech to their Orc army about claiming Mordor for their own before they leapt into the fight against Sauron's army.
Eventually, Isildur descended into the fray, informing Talion his time had come, and all that he had wrought had led them here, and they were bound together in their brotherhood, with his fate being what awaited kings and men. Talion rebuffed this, telling him he would not fall as Isildur had, and after duelling with the fallen king, Celebrimbor dominated him and bore witness to Isildur's life from the moment he cut the ring from Sauron's hand, up to the point where he died and was then revived by The Dark Lord using a ring of power.
Celebrimbor dominated the Nazgul and declared Isildur to be his slave, but Talion refused to allow this, and so proceeded to free Isildur by stabbing him through the neck with his sword, ending his life for good and letting him find some peace in death. Celebrimbor angrily berated the ranger for this, declaring that Isildur was not his to release, whilst Talion said he was not Celebrimbor's to enslave. Eltariel pointed out how Celebrimbor had broken the hold of Sauron and dominated him, before Celebrimbor declared his plan to dominate Sauron and take his armies for himself.
Talion disagreed with this, believing they were meant to destroy Sauron, causing Celebrimbor to angrily yell about the impossibility of such a task, which Eltariel agreed with. Talion refused to trade "one dark lord for another" and yelled that this was not what he had spent his time fighting for, before Eltariel reminded him that he wasn't alone in his fight. Celebrimbor informed him that none of this was about the two's separate "petty" vengeance campaigns against Sauron, but about bringing order to Mordor, and all Middle Earth.
Celebrimbor turned on Talion, reminding him he was merely a vessel and turned to face Eltariel and stating there were others. He remarked upon Eltariel's presence being in Mordor for a reason and offered her his Ring of Power, convincing the elven assassin that together they could bring Sauron to his knee's and finish what their people started centuries ago. After a moment of hesitation, Eltariel accepted Celebrimbor's ring, causing the wraith to be bound to her instead of Talion, causing the ranger's old wounds from his sacrifice at the hands of Sauron's Black Captains to re-open and him to fall to the floor.
Eltariel briefly attempted to offer the ranger some comfort, informing him that their sacrifices were not in vain before stating this to be the only way, before she continued on the bridge to Barad-dûr. Celebrimbor merely looked down on the dying ranger, before moving on without a word, leaving the ranger to die on the bridge.
Descent Into Darkness
Having been abandoned by Celebrimbor and Eltariel and left to die, Talion lay bleeding out on the bridge before being swarmed by Shelob's brood and visited by the aforementioned spider in a vision. He mockingly told her to look around and see the future she had wrought, causing her to remark at how pitiful he was and point out how despite the sight she gave him, he still did not see.
Talion pointed out that she had showed him an unchangeable fate, which she told the fallen ranger was wrong. She stated that upon the forging of The New Ring, she saw their path and where it ended. She said she saw Talion and Celebrimbor as the Bright Lord, locked against Sauron in battle at the top of his Dark Tower, where they came out victorious, enslaving the Dark Lord and ordering their combined forces to march out beneath the Bright Lord's banner and causing Middle Earth to fall under their heel.
Shelob continued on, explaining that this is the future she fought against, and was now averted due to Talion realising Celebrimbor was no better than Sauron. Talion, shocked at this revelation, initially didn't accept it, before Shelob proceeded to inform him that his war was not over, telling him that regardless of who ruled Barad-dûr, the power balance of Middle Earth needed to be maintained or all would fall as a result.
Realising what needed to be done, Talion simply stated "Minas Morgul" and Shelob informed that from there, Mordor could be held back. Talion asked how this would be possible without The New Ring, to which the spider responded by reminding him of when she asked him how much he was willing to sacrifice, before instructing him to open his eyes. Doing so, Talion realised that Isildur's Ring lay on the bridge, glowing at him. Seizing it, Talion declared that as long as he had breath in his body, his fate was his own, before donning the ring.
Holding back Mordor
Sustained by Isildur's Ring, Talion walked alone to Minas Morgul. Crossing the bridge and approaching the entrance to the city, Talion was called out at by some Orcs guarding the bridge, who mocked what they perceived as Talion's stupidity for approaching a city full of orcs alone, declaring him one man.
Talion remarked that he may be one, but with others became many, as he summoned an army of ghostly Gondorian's to assist him in laying siege to the city. Battling through the city with his small army of Wight's and Revenant's, Talion bested the four Nazgûl who were assisting in keeping hold on the city with the defending Orcs who helped hold the city for the Witch-King. Making his way to the upper city, Talion passed safely through the veil the Witch-King had set up to prevent mortal men from reaching the Great Hall, and ventured inside.
Approaching the Palantir, Talion heard the shrieks of the Nazgûl as they descended, before the Witch-King himself stepped forth. Approaching the Lord of the Nazgûl who was flanked by his fellow Ringwraiths, the Witch-King called the dark ranger their brother and told him to join them. Talion refused, stating he was not of darkness yet, and not their brother, causing the Witch-King to dismiss his fellow Ringwraiths before entering into a duel with Talion.
Eventually, Talion bested the Witch-King, and made attempts to see inside him as he had done with the other Nazgûl he had beaten before him. The Witch-King mocked him for this, stating that he would never be able to see inside him as his soul was completely diminished, with nothing of it remaining. Talion coldly told him that he would then instead banish him, and declared Minas Morgul his as the Witch-King and his fellow Ringwraiths fled.
Alone in the hall, Talion approached the now unguarded Palantir and used it to bear witness to the events going on at Barad-dûr. He witnessed Celebrimbor and Eltariel's battle against Sauron and their subsequent events to dominate him, before seeing the Dark Lord cut of two of Eltariel's fingers, including the one on which she wore the Ring. Separated from his host, Celebrimbor merged with Sauron, ultimately costing the Dark Lord his physical form and leading to the creation of the flaming eye above Barad-dûr.
Talion, using his army, proceeded to spend the next several decades holding back Mordor, keeping the region of Middle Earth locked in a constant state of war, preventing the Orcs from spreading beyond its borders and giving the free people's of Middle Earth time to prepare for the War of the Ring, all the while trying to also keep the darkness of Isildur's Ring from corrupting him as well.
Eventually, holding back the forces of darkness for decade's took its toll of Talion. Whilst overlooking Middle Earth alone from Minas Morgul, Talion was visited by the Witch-King, who informed him his quest was over, as was his life, and that together they could turn their vision towards Middle Earth.
Surrendering to the ring, Talion finally gave in, and joined the Nazgûl as the newest member of the nine, taking the place of Isildur amongst their ranks, and returning control of Minas Morgul to the Witch-King. For the next few years, Talion would go with his brothers to the shire in pursuit Bilbo Baggins and The Fellowship of the Ring in attempts (that would ultimately fail) to reclaim The One Ring for his Dark Lord Sauron.
Final Death and release
After the One Ring was cast into the fires of Mt. Doom unwittingly by the creature Gollum, Talion whilst riding a fell beast attempted to steer clear of the fires and molten rock erupting from Mt. Doom, before being struck down alongside his mount.
Walking out of the darkness, and with his appearance returned to how he looked in life as a ranger of Gondor, Talion walked towards the sunrise whilst casting of his armour and cloak, and discarding his weapons, as he finally found freedom and peace in death.
Skills and Abilities
As a Ranger, Talion exhibits great strength, speed and resilience. His past experience has provided him with a reasonable degree of stealth capability. This allows him to utilize small walls, corners, and the foliage of thick bushes to silently and swiftly eliminate his enemies without being detected.
He is a skilled swordsman after many years of training, and he has honed his skill in the use of swords and daggers. He is able to wield his weapons with great dexterity, and is capable of performing various finishers, including stealth and aerial take-downs. He possesses great skill in open combat and can easily engage multiple opponents in battle with incredible force and brutality.He has proven to be a skilled freerunner, able to sprint and vault across the remnants of Mordor with great agility and maneuverability. This ability allow him to quickly scale large buildings and cross beams.
After being revived by the legendary Celebrimbor, Talion is granted supernatural powers which augment his abilities, greatly increasing his strength, speed, stealth, and freerunning abilities.
Aside from his physical armaments, Celebrimbor grants Talion a host of additional powers which he can use to his advantage. While in the wraith world, Talion is capable of using shadow strike, an attack which allows him to teleport to his enemies' location, opening opportunities for a surprise attack or to navigate over difficult terrain. Talion is also capable of binding his enemies' feet to the earth with arrows and slowing down time in combat with focus. The most important of Talion's abilities is his power to dominate Uruks, allowing him to make them his minions. These enemies will then perform tasks such as gathering intel, spreading dissent, or attempting to assassinate their peers, underlings, or commanders.
- Talion's name has its roots in the Latin language, from the term lex talionis or the law of talion, also known as "an eye for an eye".
- Acharn (Talion's dagger) is actually his son's shattered sword, which he carries with him on his journey.
- During the Banished From Death trailer, Acharn can be seen as being broken about a foot along the blade, in a jagged fashion. This is very similar to Narsil, the blade that belonged to Elendil, and the one used by his son Isildur to defeat Sauron.
- Talion has been called many different colourful names by the Uruks. Among others, he has been called "Gravewalker", "Man Swine", "Man Filth", "Pink Skin", "Meat", "Blood", and "Tark."
- Talion seemed to have an infatuation of sorts with Idril in Shadow of War, enough so that even Celebrimbor picked up on and urged him to ignore, as he believed it clouded Talion's judgement.
Talion • Celebrimbor