The Encyclopedia of Arda - an interactive guide to the world of J.R.R. Tolkien
Dates
I 402 - I 460 (lived 58 years)1
Race
Division
Culture
Family
Pronunciation
ba'raheer
Meaning
'Fiery lord'2

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About this entry:

  • Updated 6 July 2008
  • This entry is complete

Barahir

The rescuer of Finrod Felagund

Encyclopedia of Arda Timeline
Years of the Trees First Age Second Age Third Age Fourth Age and Beyond
Bregor
Bregil3
Hirwen
Bregolas4
Gilwen
Barahir
Emeldir
Beren
Erchamion

The outlaws of Ladros

An heir of Bëor the Old through many generations, Barahir's grandfather Boromir had been made lord of Ladros by Fingolfin, and Barahir inherited this title through his father Bregor. He wedded Emeldir, called the Man-hearted, and they had one son, Beren, who was to find his own place among the histories of Men.

When the fires of the Dagor Bragollach rushed out from Angband, Barahir and his people fought bravely in the Pass of Sirion. There, they found Finrod Felagund of Nargothrond surrounded by foes, and broke through to rescue the King. In gratitude, Finrod swore an oath of friendship to Barahir and his family, and gave him his ring as a token of allegiance.

The Dagor Bragollach was disastrous for the Eldar and Edain alike, and Morgoth made gains across the northern lands. Barahir travelled back eastwards to his native Ladros, but all of Dorthonion had fallen under the power of Morgoth at that time. Barahir's wife Emeldir took charge of the women and children of Ladros, and led them away over the mountains to find safety in Brethil or Dor-lómin.

Barahir himself remained, with a small but courageous band of outlaws including his son Beren. Morgoth pursued the heir of Bëor into the highlands, were he was left at last with a band of just twelve outlaws.

One of these, Gorlim, fell into the clutches of Sauron, and was forced to betray his lord and companions. Sauron sent a force of Orcs to descend on Barahir and his Men at Tarn Aeluin, slaying all they could find and taking the hand of Barahir with its ring as a token for their master.

So ended Barahir, but his son Beren was away from the camp at the time, and escaped the slaughter. Burying his father beneath a cairn, he set out to track his slayers. He found them at Rivil's Well, where he killed their captain and took his father's hand with its ring. From that time, the Ring of Barahir became an heirloom of his heirs over the millennia, to be worn by all his descendants even down to the time of Aragorn and beyond.


Notes

1

These dates are taken from The Grey Annals, reproduced in volume 11 of The History of Middle-earth. Some aspects of this text are clearly outdated (for example, they give Bëor as Barahir's father, rather than his remote ancestor), and the dates must be treated with due caution. Nonethless, they fit well with the later chronology of events in the First Age.

2

An Old English translation is given in volume 4 of The History of Middle-earth. This is Beadohun (incorporating beadu, 'battle'), so the 'fiery' in Barahir's name apparently refers to the urge for battle.

3

Barahir's three sisters Bregil, Hirwen and Gilwen don't appear in the published Silmarillion, but are shown in the genealogy in volume 11 of The History of Middle-earth. Bregil the elder sister would become the grandmother of Brandir of Brethil.

4

Christopher Tolkien's genealogical chart in The Silmarillion seems to show Barahir as the elder brother, and Bregolas as the younger. All other sources are unanimous in making Barahir the younger brother (and indeed the youngest child of Bregor) so it is assumed here that the layout of the Silmarillion chart is merely a matter of convenience.

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