House of Bëor

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In Tolkien's legendarium, the House of Bëor (pronounced [ˈbɛɔr]) were the family of Men who ruled over the eldest of the Three Houses of the Edain that had allied with the Elves in the First Age.

The Folk of Bëor[edit]

The First House of Men, called the House or Folk of Bëor, was the smallest of the Three, having at the time of their coming to Beleriand "no more than two thousand full-grown men; and they were poor and ill-equipped, but they were inured to hardship and toilsome journeys carrying great loads, for they had no beasts of burden."[1] Most of the Folk of Bëor had brown hair with grey eyes, and some of them were swarthy in skin. They were taller than the Folk of Haleth, but still less in height than the House of Hador. The Bëorians were "steadfast in endurance of hardship and sorrow, slow to tears and to laughter; their fortitude needed no hope to sustain it."[1] They were akin to the Folk of Hador and spoke a closely related language, though its knowledge was mostly lost later.

The future Folk of Bëor were originally a single people with the future House of Hador, and they journeyed together from the East of Middle-earth after rejecting servitude to the Dark Lord (Morgoth). They became separated on the way and for a time dwelt on opposite shores of the Sea of Rhûn, the Lesser Folk (Bëorians) in the hills to the south-west and the Greater Folk (Marachians) in the woods to the north-east. Afterwards both people went on westward, crossing the Misty Mountains and Eriador, where many of the both people remained throughout later ages; and of them the Breelanders were descended.[1]

The Lesser Folk, now led by Bëor the Old, were the first to cross the Blue Mountains and descend into the woods of Ossiriand in the Eastern Beleriand in the Year of the Sun 310.[2] There they were found and befriended by the Elf-lord Finrod Felagund. But the local Green Elves were troubled by the intrusion, so Finrod led the Folk of Bëor to the wide and empty plains ruled aforetime by Amras, and these were now called Estolad, the Encampment. Soon they were accompanied there by the newcome Folk of Marach.

Soon the Edain began to remove from Estolad again, for the Kings of the Noldor sent word that any who wished could come to dwell among their people. The majority of the People of Bëor, being allies of the House of Finrod and Finarfin, journeyed northwards to Dorthonion, entering the service of Angrod and Aegnor. But some repented of their coming to Beleriand, having founded themselves entangled in the wars with Morgoth from whom they had fled. So after a council and assembly in Y.S. 369 Bereg, a great-grandson of Bëor, led a thousand of his people southwards, "and they passed out of songs of those days."[2] And many men still remained in Estolad until the Ruin of Beleriand; but most of the House of Bëor forsook that land by Y.S. 380, and in Y.S. 410 the province of Ladros in Dorthonion was officially granted to their lord Boromir.

But the Edain lived there in peace only less than half a century, for in the Battle of Sudden Flame Morgoth broke the Siege of Angband, and many of the Folk of Bëor, including their lord Bregolas, were slain. Most of their people fled from Dorthonion, mingling with the House of Hador in Dor-lómin or the Folk of Haleth in Brethil. Barahir brother of Bregolas still contested his land for five years, until he with his remaining companions were betrayed and slain, except the renowned Beren Camlost.

Thereafter the House of Bëor ceased to exist as an independent people, and in following years most fled to the Mouths of Sirion and the Isle of Balar or forsook Beleriand and wandered in the wild lands. Those who remained moved after the War of Wrath to Númenor, surviving there as independent communities for a long time. They had already ceased to speak and forgotten their own tongue, and now used Sindarin rather than Adûnaic. It is also noted that the descendants of the Bëorians had a relatively lesser lifespan compared with other Númenóreans.

Line of Bëor[edit]

Lords of the House[edit]

  1. Bëor the Old (Y.S. 262-355),[3] originally named Balan. Led his folk to Beleriand, but soon afterwards departed to Nargothrond and committed the rule to his son.
  2. Baran (289-380), elder son of Bëor. He had dwelt in Estolad, but apparently moved to Dorthonion after some time. (According to some traditions, he was also known as Bëor the Young.)[3]
  3. Boron (315-408), elder son of Baran.
  4. Boromir (338-432), elder son of Boron. He was granted the land of Ladros in Dorthonion as a fief, and his house removed there. The later Boromir(s) of Gondor were named after him.
  5. Bregor (359-448), son of Boromir.
  6. Bregolas (393-455), elder son of Bregor. Slain in the Dagor Bragollach by the side of Angrod and Aegnor.
  7. Barahir (400-460), younger son of Bregor. Contested with the forces of Morgoth for some time after the Dagor Bragollach, before he and his companions were slain.

Other members of the House[edit]

  • Younger son of Bëor was Belen (born 292). Belen's son was Beldir (born 316) and his grandson was Belemir (born 339). Belemir married Adanel, the Wise-woman of the House of Hador, and their fifth child was Beren (born 374). Emeldir the Manhearted (born 406), Beren's third child, was wedded to Barahir and was mother to Beren Erchamion. When her House was destroyed, Emeldir led the remnants of women and children by perilous paths through Ered Gorgoroth to Brethil, though "her mind was rather to fight beside her son and her husband than to flee",[4] and thus she earned her title.
  • Baranor (born 317) was the second son of Baran, and his son was Bereg (born 340). Bereg was dissatisfied with Beleriand, and led a great part of the people away southwards, disappearing from the histories. It is possible that some of his host were the ancestors of the later Men of Eriador.
  • Boron's younger son was Belegor (born 340).
  • The daughters of Boron were Beril (born 365) and Andreth (born 361), the Wise-woman.
  • Bregor had three daughters, Bregil (born 386), Hirwen (born 389) and Gilwen (born 397). Bregil's husband was Arachon; on their proposed descendants, including son Brandir (born 409) and daughter Beldis (born 411), see Brandir.
  • Bregolas's daughter was Beleth (born 417), and from her the descent was claimed by Erendis of Númenor. (In Unfinished Tales, the name of Erendis's ancestress is given as Bereth, but this is an error.)[5] Bregolas had also two sons, Baragund (420-460) and Belegund (422-460). They were among the companions of Barahir their uncle and were betrayed and slain.[6] The daughter of Baragund was Morwen Eledhwen (443-501), mother of Túrin Turambar; and the daughter of Belegund was Rían (450-472), mother of Tuor and grandmother of Eärendil.
  • Beren Erchamion (432-466, 467-503) was the son of Barahir and Emeldir, and became the greatest hero of the First Age. He married Lúthien daughter of Thingol, and together they stole a Silmaril from Morgoth's Crown and returned from the Dead. Their son was Dior Eluchíl, father of Elwing. (Tolkien also proposed once that Beren had a sister, Hiril,[3] but she was not introduced into any narrative and her fate after the Dagor Bragollach is unknown.)

Family tree[edit]

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Bëor1
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Baran2
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Belen
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Boron3
 
 
 
 
 
Baranor
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Beldir
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Boromir4
 
Belegor
 
Bereg
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Belemir
 
Adanel
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Bregor5
 
Andreth
 
Beril
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Beren
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Bregil
 
Hirwen
 
Bregolas6
 
Gilwen
 
Barahir7
 
Emeldir
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Bereth
 
Baragund
 
Belegund
 
 
 
Beren
Erchamion
 
Lúthien
Tinúviel
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Húrin
 
Morwen
 
Rían
 
Huor
 
Dior
 
Nimloth
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Brandir
 
Túrin Lalaith Nienor
 
Tuor
 
Idril
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Eärendil
 
 
 
Elwing
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Elros
 
Elrond

Other Men of Dorthonion[edit]

Of other Edain of the First House are known only the companions of Barahir: Arthad, Dairuin, Dagnir, Gildor, Gorlim the unhappy, Hathaldir the young, Radhruin, Ragnor, and Urthel. They made their lair by the Tarn Aeluin and fought with the forces of Morgoth, but were betrayed by Gorlim and slain; see Barahir. Also are recorded the names of Gorlim's father, Angrim, and of his wife Eilinel. She was slain by Orcs during the Battle of Sudden Flame, and a phantom of her likeness was used by Sauron to capture Gorlim.

Etymology of names[edit]

In early versions of the histories Tolkien stated that the names of the descendants of Bëor were given in Sindarin, and proposed the following meanings (for the members present at that stage): Bëor 'follower, vassal', Bregolas 'fierceness', Barahir 'fiery lord', Baragund 'fiery prince', Belegund 'great prince', Beren 'bold', and also Boromir 'steadfast jewel',[7] though the last was rather the name of Bór's son. Later, however, Tolkien would write that these names were given in their own language with unknown significance.[8] Only the meaning of Bëor was preserved, but now it came from the tongue of the Folk.

Some of the women from the House of Bëor have Sindarin names even in later sources: Morwen 'black maiden', Rían 'crown-gifted', Emeldir 'man-hearted', Hirwen 'lordly maiden', Gilwen 'star maiden', and possibly also Andreth.[9]

Other versions of the legendarium[edit]

In early writings of J. R. R. Tolkien the Edain first appeared in Beleriand not long before the Dagor Bragollach, and their leader Bëor was the father of Bregolas and Barahir, not their great-great-great-grandfather.[10] The Folk of Bëor was also stated to be related to and share the common language with the Men of Brethil rather than with the House of Hador.[2]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c Tolkien, J. R. R. (1996), Christopher Tolkien, ed., The Peoples of Middle-earth, Boston: Houghton Mifflin, Of Dwarves and Men, pp. 306-316 and note 13 on p. 373, ISBN 0-395-82760-4 
  2. ^ a b c Tolkien, J. R. R. (1994), Christopher Tolkien, ed., The War of the Jewels, Boston: Houghton Mifflin, The Later Quenta Silmarillion, p. 215-229, ISBN 0-395-71041-3 
  3. ^ a b c All dates of birth and death, as well as the names of minor characters, are taken from The War of the Jewels: New genealogies of the Edain, pp. 236-238.
  4. ^ Tolkien, J. R. R. (1977), Christopher Tolkien, ed., The Silmarillion, Boston: Houghton Mifflin, Ch. 18 "Of the Ruin of Beleriand", p. 155, ISBN 0-395-25730-1 
  5. ^ See The War of the Jewels, p. 232 and Tolkien, J. R. R. (1980), Christopher Tolkien, ed., Unfinished Tales, Boston: Houghton Mifflin, pp. 276-7, ISBN 0-395-29917-9 
  6. ^ See Barahir for more information. In The Lay of Leithian it is told that they were slain by "the black shaft with venomed wound", Tolkien, J. R. R. (1985), Christopher Tolkien, ed., The Lays of Beleriand, Boston: Houghton Mifflin, p. 335, ISBN 0-395-39429-5 
  7. ^ Tolkien, J. R. R. (1987), Christopher Tolkien, ed., The Lost Road and Other Writings, Boston: Houghton Mifflin, The Etymologies, pp. 341-400, stems BEW-, BEREK-, BARAS-, KHER-, KUNDU-, BEL-, BER-, BORON- and MIR-, ISBN 0-395-45519-7 
  8. ^ The Peoples of Middle-earth, p. 326 note 44, and cf. p. 364 note 49.
  9. ^ The Etymologies, roots MOR-, WEN-, RIG-, ANA1-, MEL-, DER-, KHER-, GIL-.
  10. ^ The War of the Jewels: The Grey Annals, pp. 48-51.

External links[edit]