The Encyclopedia of Arda - an interactive guide to the world of J.R.R. Tolkien

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  • Updated 11 April 2021
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When the Noldor returned to Middle-earth, one of their number, Celegorm son of Fëanor, brought with him a war-hound of the Valar named Huan. Morgoth knew of a prophecy that the hound Huan could only be slain by the greatest of wolves, and so the Dark Lord planned for the doom of the Hound of Valinor. He chose a whelp and raised it himself in the depths of his stronghold of Angband. That wolf grew to immense proportions, and its spirit was infused with the darkness of Morgoth's deep Hells of Iron. This beast was named Carcharoth, the Red Maw, but was also known simply as the Wolf of Angband.

When Beren and Lúthien came to the Gate of Angband in their Quest to recover a Silmaril, they found the way guarded by the Wolf of Angband. By Lúthien's magical art, Carcharoth fell into a deep slumber, and they made their way inside. When they emerged again, they had with them a Silmaril from Morgoth's Iron Crown, but Carcharoth had recovered and awaited them. Beren raised the gleaming Silmaril before the Wolf's eyes but, undaunted, Carcharoth bit off Beren's upraised hand and consumed the shining Jewel that it held.

The Silmarils had been hallowed by the Vala Varda so that they would burn any unclean or evil flesh, and so the holy Jewel filled the Wolf with agony from within. It fled across the desert of Anfauglith and into Beleriand, trailing terror and destruction. At last it passed the Girdle of Melian and entered the forests of Doriath, and King Thingol led out a great Hunting of the Wolf. In that hunt, the Wolf of Angband was slain, and the Silmaril recovered, but before his death Carcharoth inflicted a mortal wound on Beren, and also on Huan, so bringing about the purpose for which Morgoth had raised the Wolf of Angband.


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About this entry:

  • Updated 11 April 2021
  • Updates planned: 1

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