Could you really rest for all of eternity, knowing that you had the chance to stop him but did nothing?

— Talion to Celebrimbor

Talion is one of the two player-controlled protagonists in both Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor and Middle-earth: Shadow of War, alongside Celebrimbor. However, they share the same body.

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.


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. Only the sudden discovery of Ioreth's pregnancy causes his father-in-law to intervene and send Talion off into exile rather then be tried and executed.

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. Talion lived at the outpost with his wife and son.

At the start of the game, the outpost is attacked by servants of Sauron. Talion's family is slain by one such servant, known as the Black Hand. Talion expects to soon meet his family in the afterlife. However, Talion is resurrected and joined with a Wraith known as Celebrimbor (however he is unaware of his identity), presenting him with a unique opportunity for revenge on those who have wronged him. Celebrimbor is an individual with personal motives, but Talion chooses still to cooperate with him on his journey.[1] It was only after Celebrimbor began showing his true colors after forging a new Ring of Power that Talion began to turn against the Elven Wraith. Realizing that Celebrimbor desired nothing but revenge at any cost and was no better than Sauron in his desire to dominate those who stood in his way, Talion refused to follow Celebrimbor any longer, causing the Wraith to abandon him. Had he not turned against him, Talion and Celebrimbor would have caused Sauron's utter defeat through his domination and would have conquered Middle-Earth in his place; a future prevented through Shelob's manipulation of Talion and getting the ranger to see Celebrimbor's true and nefarious nature.

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.
The lord of the rings war in the north conceptart xFk0k

Deleted design of Talion espectral form.

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.[2]

After being tutored by Torvin, Talion has also become a skilled hunter, able to fend off against the many dangerous and deadly beasts of Mordor, including Ghûls, Caragors and Graugs.


  • 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.



  1. Wraith and Ranger: Shadow of Mordor's Talion
  2. Wraith and Ranger: Shadow of Mordor's Talion
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