Fíriel was a High-elven name used by the Dúnedain, most famously as the name of Gondorian princess who wedded Arvedui of Arthedain, and apparently ultimately a reference to Lúthien (the name means 'mortal maid'). At some point, the name was woven into a popular rhyme, The Last Ship1 which became known in the Shire. From that source, it was chosen by Sam Gamgee's daughter Elanor and her husband Fastred for one of their daughters.
Fíriel's surname is uncertain. Following Hobbit tradition, she would have taken the name of her father, so she would probably have been known as 'Fíriel of Greenholm' (or just 'Fíriel Greenholm'). However, her brother Elfstan founded the Fairbairn clan, so it's conceivable that, as a member of the same family, Fíriel acquired the name 'Fíriel Fairbairn'.
Included in the collection The Adventures of Tom Bombadil. There are hints in the poem that the Fíriel it describes was none other than Lúthien herself (for instance, it describes Fíriel dwelling by the Seven Rivers, just as Lúthien did). While its words are resonant with Lúthien's situation (she is tempted to sail into the West by the Elves, and refuses) it doesn't seem to match established versions of her story in any detail. If this Fíriel originated as Lúthien, then we must imagine that her tale shifted and changed as it was passed down through the generations.
For acknowledgements and references, see the Disclaimer & Bibliography page.
Website services kindly sponsored by Axiom Software Ltd.
Original content © copyright Mark Fisher 2009, 2012. All rights reserved. For conditions of reuse, see the Site FAQ.