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Barahir's Outlaw Band

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"Tell me, who are you, alone, yourself and nameless?" - Tom Bombadil
This article describes a concept which is mentioned in J.R.R. Tolkien's works, but was never given a definite name.
"But still there lived in hiding cold
undaunted, Barahir the bold
of land bereaved, of lordship shorn
who once a prince of Men was born
and now an outlaw lurked and lay
in the hard heath and woodland gray
and with him clung his faithful men
but Beren his son and other ten.
Lay of Leithian, Canto II, lines 127-140

Barahir's Outlaw Band was a group of survivors of the sack of Dorthonion who remained loyal to the exiled Barahir, Lord of Ladros. They numbered ten, plus Barahir and his son Beren. They were betrayed by one of their number in the year 460 of the First Age.


During the Dagor Bragollach, in the year 455, Bregolas, the Lord of Ladros, was killed and Dorthonion overrun. His son Barahir "the Bold" escaped the destruction of their lands with his son Beren and a number of companions. He refused to desert the land owned by his fathers, and lived as an outlaw, during which time the servants of Morgoth whittled his band down to only thirteen counting himself.[1]

The surviving companions are named in the Lay of Leithian thus:

"Twelve men beside him still there went,
still faithful when all hope was spent.
Their names are yet in elven-son
remembered, though the years are long
since doughty Dagnir and Ragnor,
Radhruin, Dairuin, and Gildor,
Gorlim Unhappy, and Urthel,
and Arthad and Hathaldir fell;
since the black shaft with enomed wound
took Belegund and Baragund,
the mighty sons of Bregolas;
since he whose doom and deeds surpass
all tales of Men was laid on bier,
fair Beren son of Barahir.
The Lay of Leithian (recommenced) lines 145-152

They made camp in the hidden lake, Tarn Aeluin, and lived in hiding until 460, when Gorlim "the Unhappy" was tricked by Sauron into thinking that his wife Eilinel was still alive. In a vain attempt to save her life he went to the dark servant of Morgoth and betrayed the location of Barahir's camp in return for a promise that he and she would be united and set free. Sauron accepted this information gratefully, and then slew Gorlim, revealing that he had tricked him and Eilinel was dead in truth.[2]

Sauron's orcs entered into Tarn Aeluin and slew all they found, including Barahir. Only Beren escaped the slaughter, for he was out hunting at the time, and, warned by the ghost of Gorlim, returned to find his father and companions all dead. Soon after he fled Dorthonion forever, and it came utterly into darkness.[3]


The account found in The Silmarillion closely parallels that told in full by the Lay of Leithian.

  1. The Silmarillion, "Of Beren and Lúthien, "Ballantine Second Edition p. 190
  2. ibid., p. 191
  3. ibid., p. 192-193
Barahir's Outlaw Band
Barahir · Beren · Gildor · Belegund · Baragund · Gorlim · Urthel · Dagnir · Ragnor · Radhruin · Dairuin · Arthad · Hathaldir