The Encyclopedia of Arda - an interactive guide to the world of J.R.R. Tolkien
Dates
Born 6 April III 2980; passed over the Sea late September IV 61 (1380 - 1482 by the Shire-reckoning, lived 102 years)
Race
Culture
Family
Settlements
Raised at Number 3 Bagshot Row, Hobbiton; later removed to Bag End
Pronunciation
be'rhail (the element hael is pronounced like the English word 'hail')
Meaning
'Half-wise' (a rendering into Elvish of the Old English name Samwise)
Other names
Titles

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About this entry:

  • Updated 28 June 2024
  • This entry is complete

Berhael

The Elvish translation of the name ‘Samwise

"Daur a Berhael, Conin en Annûn! Eglerio!
('Frodo and Samwise, princes of the west! Glorify them!')"
From the praise of Frodo and Samwise at Cormallen
The Return of the King VI 4
The Field of Cormallen

A version of the name Samwise translated into the Sindarin tongue, used as part of praises sung to Frodo Baggins and Samwise Gamgee at the Field of Cormallen after the War of the Ring. The name Samwise derives from Old English samwís, meaning 'half-wise', and the Elvish name has the same derivation. In Sindarin, ber- (or per-) means 'half', as in Periannath 'Halflings' or Peredhil 'Half-elven', and hael means 'wise'.

The name is spelt with an initial B rather than a P due to the rules of 'mutation' in Sindarin, whereby consonants are changed according to preceding vowel sounds. Strictly, Sam's name in Elvish would therefore be Perhael, but Berhael is the only spelling seen in the canonical texts. The form Perhael does, however, appear in the Epilogue written for The Lord of the Rings (which was ultimately omitted from the book itself, though versions of the text appear in volume IX of The History of Middle-earth). This contains a copy of a letter written to Samwise by Aragorn Elessar, in which the King refers to Sam as 'Master Perhael'. (Aragorn observes in his letter that the name 'half-wise' does not truly fit Samwise, and that he should instead be called - in different versions of the text - either Lanhail 'plain-wise' or Panthael 'full-wise'.)


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About this entry:

  • Updated 28 June 2024
  • This entry is complete

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