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Dates
Location
Raised in Angband; later rampaged through northern Beleriand and into the Forest of Neldoreth
Origins
Selected and reared by Morgoth to be the greatest wolf ever to exist
Species
Division
Said to derive from the 'race' of Draugluin1
Pronunciation
ca'rcharoth ('ch' is pronounced as in German 'Bach')
Meaning
Translated as 'Red Maw'2
Other names
Anfauglir, The Jaws of Thirst, The Red Maw

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About this entry:

  • Updated 15 November 2005
  • Updates planned: 2

Carcharoth

The Red Maw

Encyclopedia of Arda Timeline
Years of the Trees First Age Second Age Third Age Fourth Age and Beyond

The mighty wolf that bit Beren's hand from his arm, and with it a Silmaril from Morgorth's crown. The burning of the jewel drove him to madness, and he ravaged the lands until slain by Huan in the famed Hunting of the Wolf.


Notes

1

Draugluin was a mighty beast, identified in the Silmarillion as 'lord and sire of the werewolves of Angband' (Quenta Silmarillion 19). Since we're told that Carcharoth came from Draugluin's race, it's clear that he was more than merely a large wolf, but came from altogether more powerful and sinister stock.

2

'Red Maw' is the 'official' translation given in the Silmarillion, but it does not seem to be a direct or literal interpretation. Carch is Sindarin for 'fang', and the roth element, though less certain, appears to derive from a root meaning 'hollow' or 'cavernous' - presumably meaning 'maw' in this context. So, Carcharoth literally seems to mean 'fang-maw'. The association with 'red' apparently comes through an association with the root caran-, which has this meaning.

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