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Probably slain I 5381
Dwelt at the Havens of Sirion
Other names
Also spelt Dírhaval3


About this entry:

  • Updated 26 April 2022
  • This entry is complete


A poet of the Havens of Sirion

A Man who lived among the exiles and refugees at the Havens of Sirion during the closing century of the First Age, at the time of Eärendil. He was a poet, though he only produced a single poem, the longest of all the lays to come out of Beleriand. It was written in Sindarin, and drew on the knowledge and memories of the people of Doriath, Dor-lómin and many other lands that were gathered at the Mouths of Sirion. Its name was Narn i Chîn Húrin, the Tale of the Children of Húrin, and it told the story of Morgoth's curse on Húrin's children Túrin and Niënor, and the heroic tragedy that emerged from that curse.

Dírhavel would perhaps have written other poems or lays, but he was to suffer a tragedy of his own. The Silmaril captured by Beren and Lúthien was also at the Havens at that time, in the keeping of Eärendil's wife Elwing, and the Sons of Fëanor launched an attack on the exiles to claim the Jewel. Elwing was able to escape with the Silmaril, but Dírhavel was less fortunate: he was said to be one of those who fell in the attack.



Dírhavel was said to have lived at the Havens of Sirion at the time when Eärendil was lord there, which would place him the early part of the last century of the First Age. He was reported to have been slain in the raid on the Havens by the Sons of Fëanor, which would date his death as I 538 (though this is reported as hearsay, and so is perhaps not absolutely reliable).


Dírhavel's name is not explained, though the initial Dír- is almost certainly 'Man'. The -havel (or -haval) element is more difficult to disentangle, and any intended meaning is far from clear. The only remotely plausible Elvish root in this context is khaw-, 'rest', 'lie down', but it is not immediately apparent why a concept like this would relate to Dírhavel.


This character's name is spelt in different ways in different manuscripts. In Unfinished Tales it appears as Dírhavel, but Christopher Tolkien notes in volume XI of The History of Middle-earth (Part Three II, Ælfwine and Dírhaval) that in fact the spelling Dírhaval was more recent, and in principle it should therefore have appeared as the spelling used in Unfinished Tales.


About this entry:

  • Updated 26 April 2022
  • This entry is complete

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