From Tolkien Gateway

Halad or "Warden" was an was an elected title given to the leader of the Folk of Haleth in the Forest of Brethil.[1]:263 The Halad's residence was called Obel Halad and their duties included the command of the armed men of the land and leadership of the Folkmoot, the gatherings of the people called to make important decisions.[1]:283

History[edit | edit source]

In F.A. 390,[2] Haleth, the founder of the Folk of Haleth led her people from Estolad to the relative safety of the Forest of Brethil in the lands of King Thingol.[3] In exchange for defending the Crossing of the Teiglin River, King Finrod made use of his friendship with Thingol to allow the Haladin to remain free men.[3] Years later, when Haleth died, the Haladin chose to establish a ruling line from the descendants of Haldad. Because Haleth did not marry and had no children, her brother's son Haldan became the next Halad Lord of Brethil.[3] The position of the Halad became elective, chosen by the Men of Brethil, but by custom all chieftains had come from the noble House of Haleth.[1]:263

After the Dagor Bragollach, and the capture of Minas Tirith, Orcs began to roam unhindered across the lands of West Beleriand. Halmir, son of Haldan, called on the aid of King Thingol, who sent many stout Sindarin warriors under the command of Beleg to his aid. Together, Halmir and Beleg destroyed a legion of invading Orcs, and gave the southern lands a respite from the defeats in the north.[4]

Haldir joined the Union of Maedhros and led a force of the Haladin in the disastrous Nirnaeth Arnoediad. Fingon attempted a retreat across Anfauglith covered by Haldir, but he was slain, with most of his Men.[5]

After this, the Haladin had relative peace in their woods for more than twenty years, until a sudden assault by Orcs. Handir set out to defeat them, but his men were defeated and he himself was slain.[6]

Soon after Brandir's succession, Túrin came to Brethil, and began before long to take control of the Haladin himself. After the death of Glaurung, Brandir was slain in anger by Túrin in F.A. 499[7].[8] Then there was some contention in Brethil concerning who should become the next Halad. Many had wished to elect Manthor but Hardang came from the senior branch of the family under Halmir and obtained the title.[1]:270

List of Chieftains[edit | edit source]

  1. Haleth, F.A. 375420
  2. Haldan, F.A. 420451
  3. Halmir, F.A. 451471
  4. Haldir, F.A. 471472
  5. Handir, F.A. 472495
  6. Brandir the Lame, F.A. 495499
  7. Hardang, F.A. 499501
  8. Avranc, F.A. 501F.A.???

Etymology[edit | edit source]

Since the chieftains of Brethil were elected from the family of Haldad it was natural to used the term "Halad" for the position. Haldad's name meant "watchdog" and was derived from hal(a), meaning "watch" or "guard".[1]:270

When spoken of in a general way this official was called "The Halad";[1]:275 when name and title were spoken the title came second, as in "Hardang Halad".[1]:276

Other versions of the legendarium[edit | edit source]

All of the information about the office of the Halad comes from The Wanderings of Húrin in The War of the Jewels. This was a late-written story that Christopher Tolkien regretfully chose not to use in The Silmarillion.

In a section not included in the story it was stated that Avranc, not of the House of Haleth, was chosen for the next Halad but that the authority and reverence of the office was gone.[1]:308

In an isolated note J.R.R. Tolkien had written possible name changes. One would have substituted Halbar for Halad.[1]:309