From Tolkien Gateway
The name Brandir refers to more than one character, item or concept. For a list of other meanings, see Brandir (disambiguation).
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; murdered by Túrin
HouseHouse of Haleth
ParentageHandir and Beldis
Physical Description
WeaponryA short sword
GalleryImages of Brandir

Brandir the Lame 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.


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] In order to protect his people, Brandir sought silence and secrecy, far from the other fights of Beleriand.[2]

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, against Brandir's policy to protect his people.[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 counselled her to wait because of the fear in his heart regarding Túrin. Seeking to dissuade her, Brandir revealed Túrin's lineage to her, being the son of Húrin. 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; Brandir went unheeded. 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. However, Túrin soon 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]


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



Other versions of the legendarium

In The Book of Lost Tales Part Two, "Turambar and the Foalókë", the lame woodman who would come to love Níniel was called Tamar Lamefoot. He was the eldest son of the leader of the woodmen, Bethos, and an Elf-maiden of the Noldoli, making him Half-elven. Tamar, who was paid little attention to, grew to love Níniel, but in vain.[9] It was Tamar who followed Níniel after the defeat of Glorund, and who watched as Glorund revealed her identity to her. He continued after her when she fled, and saw her cast herself into the stream. Grieved, he returned to the people, and declared that Turambar was dead, and Níniel, who was in truth Nienóri the sister of Turambar, had cast herself into the stream and perished. But Turambar, who was not dead as had been thought, came back among the people. Upon hearing Tamar's proclamation that Níniel was Nienóri, Turambar thought him a liar, and slew him.[10]


House of Haleth
Born: F.A. 465 Died: F.A. 499
Preceded by:
Chieftain of the Haladin
F.A. 495 - 499
Followed by: