Barahir's outlaws

From Tolkien Gateway
This article describes a concept which is mentioned in J.R.R. Tolkien's works, but was never given a definite name.
Barahir's outlaws
Ted Nasmith - At Tarn Aeluin.jpg
"At Tarn Aeluin" by Ted Nasmith
Date foundedc. F.A. 455
PurposeOpposing Morgoth in Dorthonion
Notable membersBarahir, Beren, eleven others
DisbandedF.A. 460
"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, vv. 127-140

Barahir's outlaws was a group of survivors of the sack of Dorthonion who remained loyal to the exiled Barahir, Lord of Ladros. Aside from Barahir himself and his son Beren, they numbered either ten (as stated in the initial version of the Lay of Leithian, quoted above) or eleven (as stated in the revised later version known as the Lay of Leithian Recommenced, quoted below, which gives the names of all eleven). They were betrayed by Gorlim, one of their number, in the year F.A. 460.

History[edit | edit source]

During the Dagor Bragollach, in the year F.A. 455, Bregolas, the Lord of Ladros, was killed and Dorthonion overrun. His brother 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 twelve or thirteen counting himself, as discussed above.[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-song
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 venomed 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, Canto I, vv. 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.[1]

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.[1]

Other versions of the legendarium[edit | edit source]

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

Barahir's Outlaw Band
Barahir · Beren · Gildor · Belegund · Baragund · Gorlim · Urthel · Dagnir · Ragnor · Radhruin · Dairuin · Arthad · Hathaldir