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Dates
Born I 4191
Race
Division
Culture
Originated among the Haladin; married into the Men of Dor-lómin
Family
Descended from the House of Haleth; married into the House of Hador
Pronunciation
ha'reth
Meaning
Perhaps 'lady'2

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About this entry:

  • Updated 23 March 2018
  • This entry is complete

Hareth

The mother of Húrin and Huor

Halmir
Haldir
Hundar3
Hareth
Galdor
Húrin
Huor

The daughter and youngest child of Halmir, and thus a direct descendent of Haldad of the family of the Lords of Brethil. Hareth was born while Haleth, who had led her People to Brethil, was still alive, but Haleth died when Hareth was just one year old. Thus Haleth's brother, Hareth's great-grandfather Haldar, became leader of the People of Haleth while Hareth was still a young child, and the lordship passed down his line.

There was friendship between the People of Haleth and the Men of the House of Hador who dwelt in Dor-lómin to the north. At a feast held between the two peoples, Hareth was given in marriage to Galdor, son of the hero Hador Lórindol, while her brother Haldir wedded Hador's daughter Glóredhel. Hareth and Galdor had two sons, Húrin the elder and Huor the younger, who were raised in their mother's homeland of Brethil as was customary among the Edain. Through these sons and their own descendants, Hareth would be an ancestor of some of the greatest heroes of the First Age. Of the two, Húrin was most like Hareth's short and sturdy people, while Huor - three years his junior - grew tall like the people of his father Galdor.

Hareth lived in peace for a time, probably with her husband Galdor in Dor-lómin,4 but in I 455 dire news came from the North. Morgoth had sent waves of flame and armies of his creatures against the defences of the Noldor, breaking the Siege of Angband that had kept him contained for centuries. Galdor's father Hador was slain in the assault, and Galdor took up the mantle of the Lordship of Dor-lómin and set out to war. The sons of Hareth and Galdor (who at the time were being fostered by Haldir in Brethil) could not be held back from that war, though they were still young: Huor the younger was just thirteen years old.

Hareth did not see her sons for a year, and messengers came to Dor-lómin from Brethil reporting that they had never returned, and were presumed lost in the war. One day, however, they appeared in the land of their father, finely dressed, but refusing to reveal where they had been for that year. (They had in fact been guests of Turgon in the Hidden City of Gondolin, but had sworn a vow not to reveal this even to their closest family.)

This is the last we hear of Hareth in the histories of the First Age, and indeed it is not absolutely certain that she was present in Dor-lómin to receive her returning sons, though it does seem to be implied. It was common for the people of her house to live to at least their eightieth year, so she may have survived until about the year I 500. In that time she would have seen her husband Galdor slain six years after the return of her sons, and the rise of her elder son Húrin to become Lord of Dor-lómin in Galdor's place. In principle, she might have lived long enough to see her grandsons Túrin and Tuor grow to manhood and live through their own heroic and tragic stories. The fact that Hareth makes no appearance in the detailed tales of her grandchildren's lives might be taken to suggest that she did not live to see old age, but perhaps was instead lost in the warfare that ravaged the northern lands in this period. Of Hareth's final fate no record exists.


Notes

1

Hareth's date of birth does not appear in the canonical texts, but it is given in a genealogy in volume 11 of The History of Middle-earth. The date of I 419 shown here is not therefore completely reliable, but it does fit with the few known details of Hareth's life.

2

Hareth's name comes from the tongue of the Men of Brethil, which is not well understood, though in the case of Hareth we do have a potential clue. The leader who established the Haladin in Brethil, Haleth, was buried in a mound named Tûr Haretha in her own language, a name translated as the 'Ladybarrow'. This is not entirely conclusive, but it suggests that Hareth meant 'lady' in that language.

3

Hareth's elder brother Hundar doesn't appear in the published Silmarillion. His name is taken from a chart in volume 11 of The History of Middle-earth, which also establishes that Hundar was the grandfather of Hunthor, who was lost while aiding Hareth's own grandson Túrin against Glaurung.

4

Húrin and Huor were raised by their uncle Haldir in the Forest of Brethil, as was customary among their people, but it's not entirely clear where their mother Hareth dwelt during this period. She was probably with her husband Galdor in Dor-lómin, rather than her brother Haldir in Brethil (indeed, Haldir could hardly be said to have 'fostered' the children if their mother was present). When Húrin and Huor later returned to Dor-lómin, we're told that they were greeted by their kinsfolk; this presumably included Hareth, though she is not mentioned by name.

Indexes:

About this entry:

  • Updated 23 March 2018
  • This entry is complete

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