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Brandir

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The name Brandir refers to more than one character, item or concept. For a list of other meanings, see Brandir (disambiguation).
Brandir
Adan
Biographical Information
Other namesThe Lame, Club-foot
TitlesSixth Chieftain of the Haladin
BirthF.A. 465
RuleF.A. 495-499
DeathF.A. 499 (aged 34)
Nen Girith
Family
HouseHouse of Haleth
ParentageHandir and Beldis
SpouseNone
ChildrenNone
Physical Description
GenderMale
WeaponryA short sword

Brandir the Lame (F.A. 465499, aged 34 years) was a Man of the House of Haleth. He was the son of Handir and Beldis and was named after his mother’s brother.[1] Brandir became a leader of his people despite his deformity, yet he became ensnared by the doom of Túrin and died by his sword unjustly.

Contents

History

Brandir suffered some accident in his childhood that resulted in a broken leg and left him lame thereafter. Due to his mishap and because of his gentle mood he was never a man of war, taking delight instead in all things that grew in the earth.[2] Yet after his father died Brandir inherited the chieftainship of the Men of Brethil and thus was their lord when Túrin arrived in F.A. 496.[3]

Túrin was brought into Ephel Brandir upon a bier carried by the woodmen that he had saved from an Orc attack. He had swooned upon seeing the mound where the woodmen had buried the dead Finduilas and when Brandir looked upon Túrin a shadow darkened his heart. However Brandir tended to Túrin in his house until he cast off his darkness. Although Túrin determined to renounce his past and took on the new name of Turambar, he still hunted Orcs with other woodmen, which displeased Brandir as he believed the best policy to preserve his people was through silence and secrecy. [2]

Brandir's healing skills were needed again when Túrin brought in a feverish young woman that he and a party of woodmen had found while out seeking Orcs. Since she had been unable to speak and had been weeping they called her Níniel. Although Brandir healed her and fell in love with her, her heart was given to Turambar. In 497 Túrin asked Níniel to marry him but Brandir counseled her to wait because of the fear in his heart regarding Túrin. Seeking to dissuade her, Brandir revealed Túrin's lineage to her. Níniel did put off the marriage due to the words of Brandir (which did not please Túrin), but did marry Túrin at mid-summer of the following year.[4]

By the third year of Túrin's abiding at Ephel Brandir he had become the de facto leader of the Men of Brethil and Brandir went unheeded. Gone was the policy of hiding; instead Túrin led the woodmen in many battles against the Orcs. Yet these deeds drew the dread dragon Glaurung from ruined Nargothrond, who crawled in a straight path towards Brethil. When Túrin asked for volunteers to go with him to meet the dragon Dorlas came forth. Seeing the others hold back, Dorlas chided them and asked if none would take the place of Brandir so that the House of Haleth would not be put to shame. Thus Brandir, long unheeded, was subjected to scorn and became bitter at heart.

After Túrin, Dorlas, and Hunthor had gone, Níniel decided that she had to follow her husband. Ignoring Brandir's plea that she wait, Níniel led a great company of the woodmen to Nen Girith to seek tidings of the three hunters' fate. Unable to endure the scorn and disdain that had been heaped upon him, Brandir renounced his lordship and people. Yet still he loved Níniel and so, taking up his crutch and a short sword, he hobbled after the throng.[5]

Brandir caught up with Níniel at Nen Girith where she had been stricken upon hearing the far-off voice of Glaurung. Brandir attempted to lead her away to safety but she sped away to seek Túrin. Again Brandir was forced to limp after her as best he could. Again he caught up with her but too late, for by then Glaurung had revealed to Níniel that she was in truth Niënor, sister of Túrin, and that she carried her brother's child in her belly. Brandir heard Glaurung's words and was so stricken that he leaned against a tree. For a third time Níniel ran with Brandir calling after her but this time he could not catch up, for Niënor cast herself into the waters of Cabed-en-Aras. Brandir was the last man to peer into its darkness and he turned away in horror.

Limping back to Nen Girith, Brandir encountered Dorlas, who had quailed at crossing the Teiglin. Realizing that Dorlas' cowardice had contributed to Níniel's death, Brandir proclaimed his hatred for Dorlas. Dorlas tried to strike Brandir but died when Brandir hewed him with his sword. Brandir then hobbled on to bring the tidings to the people of Brethil still gathered at Nen Girith.[6]

Brandir had thought Túrin dead, and thus was amazed when he appeared before the gathering. Brandir then told Túrin that his wife was dead and revealed that she had been his sister. In wrath Túrin called Brandir "Club-foot" and slandered him, and then drew the black sword Gurthang and slew him. Soon though Túrin met Mablung the Hunter who confirmed Brandir's words. Túrin ran and asked his sword if it would slay him swiftly. Gurthang replied that it would, to forget the blood of Beleg, killed by accident, and Brandir, killed unjustly.[7]

Genealogy

Haldan
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Halmir
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Haldir
 
Glóredhel
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Handir
 
Beldis
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
BRANDIR
THE LAME
 
 

Etymology

In the Etymologies, the name Brandir is said to be a compound of brand + dîr.[8]

References

  1. J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The War of the Jewels, "Part Two. The Later Quenta Silmarillion: Of the Coming of Men into the West (Chapter 14)", Commentary, (iii) The Haladin, p. 237
  2. 2.0 2.1 J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The Children of Húrin, "The Coming of Túrin into Brethil"
  3. J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The War of the Jewels, "The Grey Annals": §291
  4. J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The Children of Húrin, "Niënor in Brethil"
  5. J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The Children of Húrin, "The Coming of Glaurung"
  6. J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The Children of Húrin, "The Death of Glaurung"
  7. J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The Children of Húrin, "The Death of Túrin"
  8. J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The Lost Road and Other Writings, "Part Three: The Etymologies", pp. 351, 354 (entries for BARÁD and DER)