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Manthor

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"a complete consistency [...] is not to be looked for, and could only be achieved, if at all, at heavy and needless cost." — Christopher Tolkien
This article's canonicity is disputed.
Manthor
Adan
Biographical Information
TitlesA lord of the Haladin
PositionMaster of the North-march
BirthF.A. 469
Brethil
DeathF.A. 501 (aged 32)
On the road from Nen Girith
Family
HouseHouse of Haleth
ParentageAgathor and Meleth
SiblingsHunthor
Physical Description
GenderMale

Manthor was the younger son of Agathor and Meleth and Master of the North-march of Brethil. When Húrin came to Brethil, Manthor became caught up in the Curse of Morgoth upon Húrin and his descendants, dying in the troubles that Húrin stirred up.

Contents

History

Manthor held land in eastern Brethil, near the Brithiach and along Sirion for some way.[1] Even before Húrin arrived in Brethil there was some ill-feeling between the branches of the House of Haleth and Hardang had little love for Manthor.[2]

In F.A. 501[3] Húrin came to the Stone of the Hapless and found his wife Morwen, haggard and starving, sitting in its shadow. After she died he stumbled on to the Haudh-en-Elleth and lay down in a dark sleep. In the morning he was found by Sargoth. Another man of Brethil, Forhend, thought it would be best to expel Húrin from the forest. A third man, Avranc, said that expulsion would not keep Húrin away; he recommended killing the sleeping old man before he could wake.

At this point Manthor, the captain of the guard, came up and berated the men for their immoral suggestions. He woke Húrin and calmed the old man who thought that he was under attack, offering him food and rest. Húrin could not eat their food and spat it out, then demanded to go to the house of Hardang, the Warden or Halad of Brethil. Manthor led Húrin to Obel Halad but Avranc ran ahead and reported to Hardang what had happened.

In the hall Hardang received Húrin with little courtesy, only giving him a stool after the old man had sat upon the floor. Manthor was grieved at the dishonor show to Húrin and rebuked Avranc for leaving his post, but Hardang reproved Manthor for raising the matter before a stranger. Then, in anger at his treatment, Húrin threw his stool at Hardang and cut him on the head. Avranc arrested Húrin and he was imprisoned. Manthor assisted Húrin in walking, then returned to the hall where Avranc had urged that Húrin be put to death. Manthor stated that the deed of Húrin needed to be judged by all the folk and not just the Halad. When Hardang tried to send Manthor back to the marches he resigned his service and went to summon the folk.

Manthor went to the prison to see Húrin but found that this was forbidden by Avranc and Hardang. Citing the laws of the Folk, that a friend of a person accused was allowed to see the prisoner, he was let in. Manthor offered to be Húrin's counsel in the trial; at first the old man refused but gradually accented to the offer. Manthor warned Húrin that before his coming no sign of evil had shown in him until Húrin came and thus he perceived a shadow about the man that made lesser shadows grow darker.

The next morning guards from Hardang's household refused admittance to the prison to Manthor. Manthor went away and returned in the afternoon, and was then allowed to see Húrin. Húrin seemed overly drowsy and Manthor grew suspicious. He took some of Húrin's uneaten food for testing and told the guards that he would eat with Húrin the next morning, thus forestalling any suspected tampering with his meal.

At the Folkmoot Manthor served as Húrin's defense counsel. When Hardang began reciting the charges against Húrin, Manthor pointed out that a man offended could not by the law make the formal accusation nor sit in judgement. In black anger Hardang chose Avranc as his replacement, a move that offended the elders since Avranc was but a youth. When the full charges were spoken it seemed at first that Húrin would be condemned, especially since Húrin refused to speak. Manthor though pointed out that Húrin refused to speak due to his fetters. After wrangling between Manthor and Avranc, Hardang allowed the fetters to be unfastened, hoping to calm the crowd. Húrin then spoke and scorned the chieftain. Then Manthor again calmed Húrin and spoke on his behalf. He explained that Húrin's behavior upon waking was reasonable since he had believed he was under attack. The food he rejected not out of scorn but because a half-starved man often cannot eat. Manthor then revealed that Húrin's food had been drugged and that malice was abroad in Brethil. He stated that Húrin, kinsman to the House of Haleth, had found nothing but dishonor in their land. Manthor then said that Húrin had been provoked into tossing the stool. By the end of Manthor's speech the gathering of the Moot was calling for Húrin's freedom and his pardon.

Húrin then spoke of his errand to Brethil, which was to accuse Hardang of having deliberately refused aid to his wife Morwen, which led to her death. When he strode toward Hardang the chieftain retreated in fear, which seemed to confirm his guilt. The result was a riot that Manthor could not contain; Hardang and his followers ran to the Obel Halad and were surrounded by the mob. When Manthor attempted to parley, Avranc shot an arrow at him that missed. This roused the mob to set Hardang's hall on fire. When Hardang and Avranc tried to escape only the young man succeeded while the Warden was killed.

Manthor then denied Húrin's charge that Hardang had mistreated his wife. He agreed to go with Húrin to Morwen with others to give her a proper burial. The next day they did so but as they were returning Avranc shot Manthor with an arrow, this time mortally wounding him. Húrin called Manthor a valiant friend, but wondered if he was so ardent in Húrin's cause in part for himself, since he would have been a more worthy chieftain. Manthor agreed that part of Húrin's darkness had touched him, bringing out his ambitions. But as Manthor died he noted that Húrin and Túrin had brought ruin upon the House of Haleth, for the coming of these two men had led to the deaths of Brandir, Hunthor, Hardang, and himself.[4]

Genealogy

In the family tree below the relationships between the third generation after Halmir are of importance to the story. The position of Halad or Warden of Brethil had passed (by election and custom) from father to son to Brandir the Lame. When he died childless there were factions for either Hardang (as the next senior branch of the family) or Manthor (as the better leader) to be the next Halad. Hardang was chosen but Manthor's faction remained dissatisfied. Women in the family tree are indicated by italic text. The dagger symbol (†) shows those who died early (and childless) deaths - which shows the ending of the House of Haleth.

 
 
 
 
 
 
Halmir
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Haldir
 
Hundar
 
Hareth
 
Hiril
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Handir
 
Hundad
 
Húrin
 
Meleth
 
Agathor
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Brandir
the Lame †
 
Hardang
 
Túrin
 
Hunthor
 
MANTHOR

Other Versions of the Legendarium

In early versions of The Wanderings of Húrin the family tree of the House of Haleth underwent several changes. In the third version a fourth child of Halmir, his daughter Hiril, appeared with Hunthor (originally the brother of Harathor who became Hardang) and Manthor as her grandsons.[5]

References

  1. J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The War of the Jewels, "Part Three. The Wanderings of Húrin and Other Writings not forming part of the Quenta Silmarillion: I. The Wanderings of Húrin", note 33, p. 303
  2. J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The War of the Jewels, "Part Three. The Wanderings of Húrin and Other Writings not forming part of the Quenta Silmarillion: I. The Wanderings of Húrin", note 55, p. 309
  3. J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The War of the Jewels, "Part Three. The Wanderings of Húrin and Other Writings not forming part of the Quenta Silmarillion: I. The Wanderings of Húrin", p. 258
  4. J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The War of the Jewels, "Part Three. The Wanderings of Húrin and Other Writings not forming part of the Quenta Silmarillion: I. The Wanderings of Húrin", pp. 275-297
  5. J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The War of the Jewels, "Part Three. The Wanderings of Húrin and Other Writings not forming part of the Quenta Silmarillion: I. The Wanderings of Húrin", p. 270