From Tolkien Gateway
Bëor the Old
"Beor" by Turner Mohan
Biographical Information
Other namesBalan
PositionHead of the House of Bëor
Vassal of Finrod Felagund
LocationOssiriand; Estolad; Nargothrond
BirthF.A. 262
East of the Blue Mountains (possibly Eriador)
RuleUnknown - F.A. 311
DeathF.A. 355[1]:231 (aged 93)
HouseFounded the House of Bëor
ChildrenBaran and Belen
Physical Description
GalleryImages of Bëor the Old

Westwards our hearts have been turned, and we believe that there we shall find Light.

Bëor the Old, originally named Balan,[2] was the leader of the first Men to cross the Blue Mountains into Beleriand in the early First Age.


The man once born as Balan (perhaps in Eriador) was one of the people who sought to reach the Gods in the West. With his sons Belen and Baran and his people, they met Dwarves and Avari before eventually crossing the Blue Mountains in F.A. 310.

One night as they slept in Ossiriand, the Noldorin King Finrod Felagund, eldest son of Finarfin, came upon Balan and his people and enchanted them with his music as they woke up. Finrod quickly befriended the Men and advised them to settle in Estolad in the realm of the Noldorin Elf-lords Amrod and Amras, the sons of Fëanor.[2]

In F.A. 311, Balan left with Finrod for his kingdom of Nargothrond, where he served as his vassal until his death.[1]:218, 227 Bëor's eldest son, Baran, ruled the people of Bëor in his stead. The friendship of Bëor and Baran with the Eldar led to the creation of the First House of the Edain, which produced some of the greatest heroes of the First Age.

Balan was called Bëor by the Elves of Nargothrond, which meant "vassal" in Taliska, the language of the people of Bëor. When Bëor finally died at the age of 93 willingly, a very old age for men at that time, he was given the epithet the Old.[2]


262 - 355
289 - 380
b. 292
315 - 408
b. 317
b. 316
432 - 503

Other versions of the legendarium

Bëor's heraldic device by J.R.R. Tolkien

In the introduction to The Grey Annals, Christopher Tolkien stated that they were written in the 1930s.[3] This work was laid aside while J.R.R. Tolkien wrote The Lord of the Rings, after which he returned to his work on the elder days. In Tolkien's later writings the coming of the Edain over the Blue Mountains was relocated nearly a century earlier, which occasioned a large-scale overhaul of the chronology and genealogies.[1]:229

In the older Grey Annals, Bëor was born in F.A. 370,[4] met Felagund in 400,[5] and died in 450.[6] In the new version Bëor was born in F.A. 262, encountered Felagund in 310, and died at age 93 in 355.[1]:229


House of Bëor
Born: F.A. 262 Died: F.A. 355
New position
1st Head of the House of Bëor
Unknown - F.A. 311
Followed by: