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"...It is a long tale..." — Aragorn
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Christopher Tolkien - Map of Brethil.jpg
General Information
Other namesSarch nia Chîn Húrin
LocationBetween Taeglin and Sirion, West Beleriand
DescriptionForest of silver birches, with Amon Obel at the centre
Major townsEphel Brandir
InhabitantsHaladin, Sindar, Drúedain
GalleryImages of Brethil

Brethil, later called Sarch nia Chîn Húrin, was a forest between the Taeglin and the Sirion, originally part of Doriath but outside the Girdle of Melian. The main feature of the forest was the hill of Amon Obel.


After dwelling east of the river Gelion, the Men of the House of Haleth were granted Brethil by King Thingol, on the condition that they guard the Crossings of the Taeglin.[1] Some Drúedain also dwelt there.[2] The main settlement of the Haladin was Ephel Brandir on Amon Obel.

The Orc-Host is Ambushed in Brethil by Ted Nasmith

The Men of Brethil for a century protected Nargothrond and also took part in the Nirnaeth Arnoediad, where they were all slain. Their Chieftain Handir was slain by Orcs north of Brethil on F.A. 495.[3]

Túrin came here after the destruction of Nargothrond and the journey to Dor-Lómin, and rested here for a while, until rumours came again about Glaurung, the father of all dragons. At the borders of this forest Glaurung was slain by Túrin.[3]

After the death of the dragon Glaurung his slayer Túrin wrenched his sword Gurthang from the belly of the beast. This action caused a spurt of black venomous blood to drench Túrin's hand. The pain of his burned hand and a baleful glare by the dragon caused Túrin to swoon and appear as if dead. Soon after Nienor, still under the dragon's curse and unaware of her true name, came to the scene and bound her husband Túrin's hand. She cried for him to awake but this only aroused Glaurung one last time. He hailed her by her true name and as he died she recalled all of her past. Niënor was horrified when she learned that the child whom she carried within her womb was her brother's child. Brandir witnessed the scene and cried out to Niënor, but she fled and jumped to her death at the Cabed-en-Aras. When Brandir walked back to Nen Girith where the people of Brethil cowered he spoke of the deaths of the children of Húrin and renamed the land, stating that it would never be free of grief.[4]


brethil is Sindarin for "silver birch".[5]

Sarch nia Chîn Húrin was the name that Brandir gave to Brethil, meaning "Grave of the Children of Húrin".


  1. J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The Silmarillion, "Quenta Silmarillion: Of the Coming of Men into the West"
  2. J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), Unfinished Tales, "The Drúedain"
  3. 3.0 3.1 J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The Silmarillion, "Quenta Silmarillion: Of Túrin Turambar"
  4. J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The Children of Húrin, "The Death of Glaurung"
  5. J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The Silmarillion, "Appendix: Elements in Quenya and Sindarin Names"