In his youth Sador was a woodman, but when in Y.S. 455 the Battle of Sudden Flame suddenly broke out, he was summoned by Fingolfin the High King of the Noldor. He arrived too late to participate in the battle, but bore back the bier of Hador his lord and later went for a soldier. Sador defended Barad Eithel in the assault of Y.S. 462, but afterwards his "love of battle was sated," and he returned to his work in the forest as a woodwright but accidentally cut off his right foot with an axe.
Sador remained in the service of Húrin as a woodcrafter, making or mending things of little worth that were needed in the house. Túrin called him Labadal which translates into hopafoot from Sindarin, one of the languages Tolkien created. Túrin did not call him Labadal in scorn, but in pity, and Sador was not displeased. He would tell Túrin tales of his youth, carve figures of men and beasts and teach such morals as "Give with a free hand, but give only your own."
He was of small account, as he was slow with his tasks and spent much time "on trifles unbidden". Yet the pity that Túrin gave him made Húrin esteem Sador, and he was set to carve a chair for Húrin's hall with the elven knife that Túrin gave him. Sador revered the Elves, but regretted their meeting with Men: "In their light we are dimmed, or we burn with too quick a flame, and the weight of our doom lies the heavier on us."
Sador remained in the house of Morwen after the Nírnaeth Arnoediad, and though the Easterlings had not enslaved him, he regretted that he was unable to join the battle and die a valiant death. After the departure of Túrin and later Morwen he went begging and was often sheltered in the house of Aerin. There he met Túrin returning from Nargothrond, and participated in the rebellion against the Easterlings he had raised. Sador was then mortally wounded and died.
Other versions of the legendarium
Originally Tolkien conceived Sador as a common man of Dor-lómin, presumably of the Folk of Hador, and this is presented in the narrative of the Narn i Chîn Húrin. But in a late work a new idea entered, that Sador must be one of the Drúedain and thus serve as an additional "backward link between The Lord of the Rings and The Silmarillion." Tolkien also proposed that the Drúedain of the household of Húrin followed him from Brethil after his sojourn there, but this would conflict with the story of Sador's late coming to Dagor Bragollach: the battle occurred in Y.S. 455, but Húrin left Brethil in 459. Tolkien also spelt the name as Sadog, but supposedly this was a slip of memory.
- Tolkien, J. R. R. (1980), Christopher Tolkien, ed., Unfinished Tales, Boston: Houghton Mifflin, Narn i Hîn Húrin: The Childhood of Túrin and The Return of Túrin to Dor-lómin, ISBN 0-395-29917-9
- Tolkien, J. R. R. (1996), Christopher Tolkien, ed., The Peoples of Middle-earth, Boston: Houghton Mifflin, Of Dwarves and Men, written after 1969, ISBN 0-395-82760-4
- In a note to Of Dwarves and Men, given in Unfinished Tales p. 385.
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