Queen Berúthiel

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Queen Berúthiel
Tolkien's legendarium character
Race Black Númenórean
Book(s) The Fellowship of the Ring (1954)
Unfinished Tales (1980)

Queen Berúthiel is a minor fictional character in J. R. R. Tolkien's legendarium.

Berúthiel was first described in Unfinished Tales. She was of Black Númenórean origin, from "the inland city", somewhere south of Umbar. Her marriage to Tarannon Falastur is believed to have been arranged for political reasons. She is described by Tolkien as "nefarious, solitary and loveless", and she and Falastur never had any children. Eventually, Falastur separated from her and sent her into exile, at which point she returned to her original home.

Berúthiel was most notorious for her cats—in particular, her use of them as spies. This is described in the Unfinished Tales:[1]

It may well have been her continual intrigues that led Falastur to expel her. Her name was removed from the Books of the Kings (but not from the memory of Men), and Falastur had her sent out to sea in a ship with her cats:[1]

In an interview[2] Tolkien had in 1966 he added the following information on her:

Later references[edit]

In The Lord of the Rings, Aragorn uses Berúthiel's cats as a byword for navigation in the dark:[3]

This suggests that Berúthiel and her cats have passed into popular legend by the time of the War of the Ring.


  1. ^ a b Tolkien, J. R. R. (1980), Christopher Tolkien, ed., Unfinished Tales, Boston: Houghton Mifflin, note 7 to The Istari, ISBN 0-395-29917-9 
  2. ^ "The Realms of Tolkien". originally published in New Worlds in November 1966, reprinted in Carandaith in 1969 and again in Fantastic Metropolis in 2001. 
  3. ^ Tolkien, J. R. R. (1954), The Fellowship of the Ring, The Lord of the Rings, Boston: Houghton Mifflin (published 1987), chapter "A Journey in the Dark", ISBN 0-395-08254-4 

External links[edit]