The Encyclopedia of Arda - an interactive guide to the world of J.R.R. Tolkien
Dates
Late First Age (known to have been extant during the late Fifth Century)
Location
Forweg's (later Túrin's) band hunted the lands west of Doriath, and eventually settled on Amon Rûdh
Origins
Men driven into the wild by war or as punishment
Race
Divisions
Various, including at least some Edain
Settlements
Túrin settled his band at Bar-en-Danwedh on Amon Rûdh
Meaning
Men reputed to be as fearsome as wolves1
Other names

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About this entry:

  • Updated 21 October 2014
  • This entry is complete

Wolf-men

The outlaws of Beleriand

In the later First Age, Beleriand was a land blighted by warfare and disaster, and many Men had lost their homes, or been driven into the wild as punishment for crimes. These outlaws gathered together in bands to hunt for what they needed, not fearing to attack and plunder their fellow Men if they fell on desperate times. Those whose settlements they attacked called them Gaurwaith, an Elvish name that translates as 'Wolf-men'.

One band of these Wolf-men became important in the histories of the First Age. This group of about fifty outlaws and outcasts led by a Man named Forweg, captured Túrin on the western fringes of Doriath. Eventually Túrin would rise to lead the band, and from it build Dor-Cúarthol, the Land of Bow and Helm that opposed the forces of Morgoth for a time. These Men would eventually be betrayed and slain, but for a time they put aside their outlaw ways and fought the invading Orcs.


Notes

1

The association of outlaws with wolves is an ancient one. Indeed the old word warg could mean either 'wolf' or 'outlaw', while 'wolf's-head' was a common medieval epithet for an outlaw. In these cases the allusion was to the fact that the criminal was to be hunted like a wolf, though in Beleriand the derivation is marginally different, meaning rather that the Wolf-men were feared like wild wolves.

See also...

Gaurwaith, Orleg

Indexes:

About this entry:

  • Updated 21 October 2014
  • This entry is complete

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