The Encyclopedia of Arda - an interactive guide to the world of J.R.R. Tolkien
I 314 - I 4031 (lived 89 years)
Probably 'faithful vassal'3


About this entry:

  • Updated 15 June 2024
  • This entry is complete


The elder son of Baran



Neither Boron's brother Baranor, nor his younger son Belegor, are mentioned in the published Silmarillion, and they only appear in volume XI of The History of Middle-earth. As such, their canonicity is open to question, though Baranor's son Bereg does make a brief appearance in The Silmarillion as the leader of a discontented faction of Men.

Boron was the son of Baran and grandson of Bëor the Old, who had led the first Men across the Blue Mountains into Beleriand. As the eldest son of the eldest son, Boron was heir to the leadership of his house. We have little direct detail about Boron's life, but he seems to have taken up this leadership, as he would be succeeded in turn by his own elder son, Boromir.

According to our best available sources, Boron was born in the year I 314, shortly after his famous grandfather had led his people into Beleriand, and he was therefore probably born in the great Encampment of Men at Estolad. He had two sons, Boromir the elder (born in I 337 when Boron was twenty-three years old) and Belegor the younger, born three years later.

After the birth of his sons, Boron's history becomes a little difficult to disentangle. The greater part of the Men at Estolad only remained there for about fifty years in total (that is, about twenty years after Belegor's birth) before spreading to other lands across Beleriand. Boron's own people, the Men of the House of Bëor, went northward to settle in Ladros in Dorthonion, which they ruled as vassals of Angrod and Aegnor of the House of Finarfin.

This causes a complication of dating, because the migration could not have taken place long after I 360, when the House of Bëor was still led by Boron's father Baran (with Boron succeeding in I 380). We might therefore presume that either Baran or Boron led the Bëorians into Dorthonion, but we're told that the first of Men to be made lord of Ladros was Boron's son Boromir. This is curious, because Boron lived until I 403, so as the leader of his people, we might have expected him to become the first lord.

No explanation is given for this apparent discrepancy. We do know that some Men chose to stay at Estolad rather than travel away, so perhaps Boron was one of these, remaining behind and choosing to give up the leadership of his people to Boromir. Alternatively, perhaps Boron (or his father Baran) did indeed lead the People of Bëor into the northern lands, but they never become lords. On this interpretation, the title of 'lord of Ladros' would only be created several decades later, after Boron's death, which would explain why his son Boromir became the first of these lords.4



These dates for Boron come from a genealogical chart in volume XI of The History of Middle-earth. They are not therefore formally canonical, but they are included here as the only specific dates we have for Boron. There is a minor point of disagreement, however, with a comment in Athrabeth Finrod ah Andreth (in volume X of The History of Middle-earth), where Boron's granddaughter Andreth says that 'Bëor and Baran and Boron each lived beyond his ninetieth year.' Based on the dates given in the genealogical chart, however, Boron died at the age of 89, which would have in his ninetieth year, but not beyond it.


Boron would have been born shortly after the Bëorians entered Beleriand and he would therefore have been raised at Estolad, before this people became removed into the North to become the Men of Dorthonion. We do not have an exact date for this migration, but it probably took place in about I 360, so Boron would have been approaching middle age at this point. Indeed, it is conceivable that Boron himself led these Men to settle in Dorthonion after he succeeded his father Baran as leader of his people in I 380.


Boron's name contains a common Elvish element bor- (or vor-) relating to steadfastness, faithfulness or trustworthiness. Following comments in The Etymologies (in volume V of The History of Middle-earth) Boron's name seems to derive from a more specific meaning 'faithful vassal' (a vassal, that is, of the Kings of the Noldor).


There is circumstantial evidence to suggest that this latter suggestion is the correct one (that is, that Boron journeyed with his people to Ladros, but was not formally its lord). In Athrabeth Finrod ah Andreth quoted in note 1 above, Finrod visits Dorthonion just after Boron's death. It is said there that Boron died just after Yule, and that Finrod was grieved for his passing, and Finrod's presence in Ladros at this point makes it all but certain that Boron had dwelt there. In the same passage Boron is named as 'Lord of the folk of Bëor', but not 'lord of Ladros', so the title does not appear to have been conferred until after Boron's death.

See also...



About this entry:

  • Updated 15 June 2024
  • This entry is complete

For acknowledgements and references, see the Disclaimer & Bibliography page.

Original content © copyright Mark Fisher 2005, 2008, 2020, 2024. All rights reserved. For conditions of reuse, see the Site FAQ.

Website services kindly sponsored by Your Free Personality Test, the free personality test online
Get real insights into who you are. Try a free personality test from Your Free Personality Test today.
The Encyclopedia of Arda
The Encyclopedia of Arda
Homepage Search Latest Entries and Updates Random Entry