A term for the first three houses of Men to cross the Blue Mountains into Beleriand; they became known to history as the Houses of Bëor, Haleth and Hador. The Men of these houses joined the Elves of Beleriand in their long Wars against Morgoth in the North. Because of their heroism, the Elves used the word Edain to refer uniquely to the Men of these three houses (a word that derives simply from the Sindarin adan, 'Man').
The Men of the Three Houses fought beside the Elf-lords for nearly three hundred years, and from their lines came great heroes such as Hador Lórindol and Túrin Turambar, slayer of Glaurung. From these houses, too, came Tuor and Beren Erchamion, two Men who joined themselves to the Elves giving rise, in Beren's case, to the line of the Half-elven.
After Morgoth broke the Siege of Angband in the Dagor Bragollach, the Wars of Beleriand turned against the Elves and their allies. By the closing years of the First Age, all three houses were close to destruction, but they were saved by the coming of the armies of the Valar and the defeat of Morgoth in the War of Wrath. That War laid waste to Beleriand, leaving most of the land drowned beneath the sea, but the survivors of the Three Houses of the Elf-friends were given a new land, an island that came to be called Númenor, and they themselves became the first of the Dúnedain.
For a detailed list of the Three Houses, see the entry for Three Houses of the Edain.
For acknowledgements and references, see the Disclaimer & Bibliography page.
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