The Houses of the Edain in the First Age


This page is about the posthumously published work of the British fantasy author John Ronald Reuel Tolkien, whose most famous work is The Lord of the Rings. If you haven’t read this, or if you have no idea what an adan could be, then you won’t learn that here (try the Tolkien Meta-FAQ instead).

If you know Tolkien, but haven’t read the posthumously published work The Silmarillion, then you are probably also wrong here. This page concentrates on the genealogy of some lesser-known characters of the First Age, many of which only appear in material published in the History of Middle-earth, and it claims to be useful only for those interested in the details of the Elder Days and in the precise genealogies of the Three Noble Houses of Men. Altogether, about 80 different persons are named here.

This page is also available in German.


Family Tree of Elves and Men (Tolkien)
The Silmarillion by J.R.R. Tolkien is often considered difficult reading. This is due to a number of reasons; an important aspect is the large number of persons appearing in the tales of the Elder Days. The following quote from chapter 17 is quite illustrative:
The sons of Hador were Galdor and Gundor; and the sons of Galdor were Húrin and Huor; and the son of Húrin was Túrin the Bane of Glaurung; and the son of Huor was Tuor, father of Earendil the Blessed. The son of Boromir was Bregor, whose sons were Bregolas and Barahir; and the sons of Bregolas were Baragund and Belegund. The daughter of Baragund was Morwen, the mother of Túrin, and the daughter of Belegund was Rían, the mother of Tuor. But the son of Barahir was Beren One-Hand, who won the love of Lúthien Thingol’s daughter, and returned from the Dead; from them came Elwing the wife of Earendil, and all the Kings of Númenor after.

All these were caught in the net of the Doom of the Noldor; and they did great deeds which the Eldar remember still among the histories of the Kings of old.

On first reading the book, such a passage must appear formidable and confusing; even on a second or third reading, the reader will hardly remember all the persons mentioned, as some of them appear only in very few places in the book and easily escape from memory even after repeated reading.

In this document, I set forth to give a systematic account on all the Edain of the First Age. Those who play an important part in the history of the Elder Days are treated in some more detail, and often dates of birth and death will be given which usually derive from the Grey Annals or the Later Quenta Silmarillion published in The War of the Jewels. Several of the persons mentioned here do not appear in The Silmarillion, although much could be said about some of them, like Andreth or Manthor.

To facilitate reading of this document, I also offer a Graphical Family Tree in PDF Format. The family tree not only represents genealogy among the Edain, but also lists the Royal Houses of the Eldar (Vanyar, Noldor and Teleri). Note that there are two version of this family tree, one in black and white, and one in colours coding for different family lines. Print whichever looks better on your printing hardware. If parts of the graphic are missing in the printout, try Fit to Page in the print dialog box of Adobe Acrobat Reader.

The House of Beor (aka The First House)

Beor the Old (262–355) was the first Man to enter Beleriand and to win the friendship of the Noldor. He met Finrod in the year 310 and one year later entered his service as a vassal. Of his sons, Baran became his successor; another son of Beor was Belen father of Beldir father of Belemir, who espoused Adanel the granddaughter of Marach of the Third House. Belemir and Adanel had a son called Beren, who was the father of Emeldir the Man-hearted, wife of Barahir and mother of Beren Erchamion.

Baran, called Beor the Young, was father of Boron and Baranor; Baranor’s son Bereg rebelled and lead a large host of the First and Third House back to Eriador. Boron was father of Boromir and Belegor. Boromir (338–432), the first Lord of Ladros, fathered Beril, of whom Erendis of Númenor was a descendant, and Andreth the Wise, whom the Eldar called Saelind: She loved Aegnor of the kin of Finarfin, and she once had a long discussion (Athrabeth) with Finrod Felagund concerning life and death of Eldar and Men, and about the love between the Two Kindreds. Boromir’s son and successor was Bregor.

Bregor (359–448) had five children: His daughters were Gilwen, Hirwen and Bregil, and his sons were Bregolas and Barahir. Bregil married Arachon and became mother of Brandir and Beldis. Beldis left her kin’s lands and lived in Brethil as the wife of Handir of the House of the Haladin. Their son was Brandir the Lame, the second last Halad of Brethil.

Bregolas, elder son of Bregor (393–455), held the Lordship over Ladros from his father’s death until he perished in the Bragollach. He had a daughter, Beleth, and two sons, Baragund and Belegund; and these two remained in Dorthonion even after the Ruin of Beleriand, but at last Sauron found them by the treason of Gorlim, and both were slain (460). Baragund’s daughter was Morwen Eledhwen, who became wife of Húrin of the House of Hador. Bitter was her fate, and in the end the former Lady of Dor-Lómin died as a beggar-woman at the tomb-stone of her children in Brethil. Belegund’s daughter was Rían (451–473) wife of Huor of the Third House. Her life was short and ended in despair on the Haudh-en-Ndengin, but a great fate awaited her son Tuor.

Barahir (400–460) was Bregolas’ younger brother; he married Emeldir the Man-hearted, granddaughter of Adanel, and had a son Beren later called One-Hand, and a daughter Hiril. Barahir saved Finrod’s life in the Bragollach and received from him that ring which is still in the possession of his kin in Middle-earth, and it is the oldest heirloom of the Dúnedain. After his elder brother’s death, lordship passed to him, and he remained in Dorthonion till Sauron overcame him by treachery.

Beren (432–465–505), called Ermabwed, Camlost the Empty Hand and Erchamion the One-Hand, was the last to flee from Dorthonion. He entered Doriath, where love grew between him and Lúthien, daughter of King Elu Thingol and Melian the Maia. He named her Tinúviel, that is Nightingale, and together they accomplished deeds of great valour: They defeated Morgoth and gained a Silmaril. Poisoned by Carcharoth’s fangs, Beren died; but Lúthien’s song moved Mandos’ heart, and at the price of her own Elvish immortality, she brought Beren back to life. Only a short time the twain dwelled in Middle-earth ere the Destiny of Men touched them both, and they were removed from the Circles of the World. Therefore she as the first of all the Eldar died, and all which is left of her in Arda are the songs in which the Eldar mourn about the death of the fairest of all Children of Ilúvatar.

Beren’s and Lúthien’s son and only child was Dior the Fair, called Eluchíl or Thingol’s Heir (470–509), who espoused Nimloth daughter of Galathil son of Galadhon son of Elmo, the younger brother of Elwe Singollo, who also was Dior’s grandfather. He had only a short life-span in Middle-earth, for he was slain by the sons of Feanor in the Second Kinslaying. His sons were Eluréd and Elurín, who perished in the forests, and his daughter is Elwing the White.

Elwing is the last living descendant of Elwe and Melian. After the ruin of Doriath, she fled to the Mouths of Sirion where she became the wife of another fugitive, Earendil the Blessed, son of Tuor of the Third House and the Elven princess Idril of the House of Fingolfin. A great fate lied before her, her husband and her two sons Elrond and Elros, in whom the lines of all Elven kings and of all Three Houses had, at last, become united.

The House of the Haladin (aka The Second House)

Haldad was the name of the first leader (Halad) of this people in Beleriand, which they entered in the year 312; he fell, together with his son Haldar, in 375 in an ork-raid in Thargelion. Afterwards his daughter Haleth (341–420) took over leadership, and she brought her people through Nan Dungortheb into the Wood of Brethil, where they settled with consent of King Elu Thingol. Haleth died unwed, and thus her nephew followed as new Halad: Haldan, son of Haldar and father of Halmir.

Halmir (390–471) was the last Halad in the time of the Long Peace. Until his last day, he whetted the axe and waited for a great war to come, but he died of old age one year before the Nirnaeth brought wrack over the people of Brethil.

Halmir's elder son, Haldir (414–472), followed him in the line of the Haladin; he took Glóredhel of the House of Hador to wife. Like many of his people, he never returned from the Nirnaeth, and he thus lived but one year longer than his father. Haldirs son was Handir of Brethil (441–495). He wedded Beldis of the House of Beor, and his only son was given the name Brandir (465–499) in honour of Beldis’ brother. Brandir, known as Brandir the Lame, had no children, for he loved Níniel unreturned, and was slain by Túrin. With his death, the line of Haldir had ended, and the people chose Hardang descendant of Hundar as new Halad.

Hundar (418–472) was Halmir’s younger son, and he became father of Hundad and Hunleth. Hundad’s son was Hardang (470–502), who accused Húrin of Hithlum of attempted murder: He convocated a moot to judge on that matter; but in the end, he earned rebellion, and Hardang, the last Halad of Brethil, was slain by his own people. Then, the line of Hundar had also ended.

Halmir’s younger daughter, Hiril, wedded Enthor, and her daughter Meleth gave birth to two sons with Agathor: Hunthor (467–499), who faithfully followed Túrin in the dragon-hunt and was killed by a falling stone, and Manthor (469–502), who defended Húrin in the moot and was slain in the rebellion. Thus the House of Haleth in Brethil had come to naught, and lesser men ruled in the time that was left.

Hareth was Halmir’s eldest daughter. She was married to Galdor of Dor-Lómin, and her kin is reckoned to the House of Hador; it is alone in her offspring that the House of the Haladin lives forth.

The House of Hador (aka The Third House)

Marach was the chief of the largest people marching from Eriador into Beleriand (313). He had two sons, of which Malach became his successor. His second son was Imlach, whose son Amlach rebelled against the Eldar; yet when a spy of Morgoth held a speech in Imlach’s shape, he repented and offered his service to Maedhros. Malach, named Aradan in the Elven Tongue (307–398), wedded Zimrahin, named Meldis, and had two children: His daughter Adanel married Belemir from the First House and held close friendship with Andreth the Wise; she was the grandgrandmother of Beren the One-Handed. Malach’s son was Magor, called the Sword, who had a son Hathol, called the Axe. His son was Hador.

Hador, called Lórindol Goldenhead (390–456), received the lordship over Dor-Lómin from Fingolfin, then High King of the Noldor in Middle-earth. With his wife Gildis, Hador had three children: Glóredhel, who wedded Haldir of the Second House, Gundor, who perished together with his father defending Eithel Sirion in the year following the Bragollach, and Galdor, called Orchal the Tall (417–462). Galdor espoused Hareth of the Haladin and sired two sons: Húrin and Huor. His lordship lasted only for short, for he found an untimely death in a battle with Orks seven years after the Bragollach. Afterwards, his son Húrin became Lord of Dor-Lómin.

Húrin called Thalion and Erithamrod, the Steadfast (441–502) earned great renown by his heroic yet futile resistance against Morgoth. In short days of bliss he wedded Morwen Eledhwen from the First House, but his fate was not life on her side: In the Nirnaeth, he was taken captive by Morgoth, yet he remained true and revealed not the secrets of Turgon. Thus, he was tormented in the dungeons of Angband and on the high towers of the Thangorodrim, and Morgoth cursed him forever, his kin and his seed, with a doom of dread and death and horror. And even so it came to pass, but no tale tells that he ever asked of Morgoth either mercy or death, for himself or for any of his kin.

Yet at last, when Húrin’s house had been utterly destroyed, Morgoth released him, after twenty years and eight of baleful torment. Yet Húrin was proud and bitter, and unwillingly the aged Lord of Dor-Lómin did greater service to Morgoth than the Dark Lord ever had hoped for: Húrin’s bitterness brought Doom to Brethil, Gondolin and, at last, even Doriath. The three children of Húrin are Túrin (464–499), Urwen called Lalaith (466–469) and Nienor (473–499) conceived in the Year of Sorrow — names most mournful.

Many are the names of Túrin in the many tales and songs that tell of his fate, the greatest of which was made by Dirhaval from the Havens. Thaliodrin he was called in childhood, and to himself he gave the names Neithan and Agarwaen in days of bitterness. In more happy times, as were few in his life, he took the names Mormegil and Gorthol. In Nargothrond, which he in the end brought to naught, he was known as Adanedhel; but Finduilas, the fair daughter of Orodreth, named him Thurin, not knowing how close she came to truth. She loved him unreturned, but he forsook her, and so the last of Finarfin’s house in Middle-earth was to perish, save Galadriel only. Even with his last name, Turambar the Master of Doom, Túrin could not flee from his grim Fate wrought by the Dark Lord: He took his sister Nienor, whom he called Níniel, to wife, and although he defeated the dragon Glaurung, both he and Nienor fell from their own hands only short after, and their unborn child never received a name.

Húrin’s brother Huor (444–472) had Rían of the First House to wife, and despite their early death, a new hope for both Men and Elves sprang from that union: Tuor Eladar, the Father of the Star. Huor perished in the Nirnaeth, when he defended the escape of Turgon king of Gondolin.

When Tuor (472–530) was born, his father Huor had been dead for months, and his mother Rían left him shortly after birth. He was raised by Elves in Mithrim, and later enslaved by Lorgan the Easterling, but at last he found the aid of Ulmo and escaped to Gondolin. There he married Idril Celebrindal, daughter of Turgon of the House of Fingolfin; and their son is Earendil the Blessed, Ancalagon’s Bane, the greatest of all mariners. The fate of Tuor is not known to any of those dwelling in Middle-earth, as he sailed westwards and returned not. Yet a tale is told amon Elves and Men that he alone of the Second Kindred war numbered among the Firstborn, and that he still lives in Tirion, where his grandgranduncle Ingwe is High King.

By the strange ways of fate, Earendil (born 503) is akin to all Three Houses of the Edain by his father, and by his mother he can claim kinship with two families of Elven kings: Beor, Marach and Haldad were his forefathers, as was the first king of the Noldor, Finwe of Tirion; and Ingwe, the High King of all Elves, is the brother of Earendil’s grandgrandgrandmother Indis. Elwing the White became his wife, who is a descendant of Elwe Singollo (Elu Thingol) and thus akin to the royal line of the Teleri.

Maybe it was his ancestry that, besides the Silmaril, aided Earendil to find Valinor and to get the Valar’s acceptance as an emissionary of all Children of Ilúvatar; and this moved the Valar to end Morgoth’s rule over Middle-earth. But Earendil himself never returned from the Undying Lands, for the Valar put him and his ship Vingilot into the skies, and to this day his Silmaril shines brighter than the stars: A marvel to behold.

The sons of Earendil and Elwing are called Peredhil, the Half-Elves, and their names have great renown: Elrond, who in later ages dwelled in Imladris (Rivendell) and became both a Master of Lore and Gil-Galad’s herald in the battles against Sauron, and Elros, who later took the name Tar-Minyatur and founded the line of the Kings of Númenor.

Different fates were granted to the brethren, but much later, at the close of the Third Age, the long-sundered lines of the Half-Elves became united again: For Aragorn Telcontar, called Elessar the Elf-Stone and Envinyatar the Renewer, wielder of the Crown of Gondor and the Sceptre of Anor, was a descendant of Elros over many generations, and his queen Arwen Undómiel was the daughter of Elrond and Celebrían, the daughter of Celeborn and Galadriel. For her love to Aragorn, Arwen had taken the choice of Lúthien, and when Elrond left Middle-earth, she followed him not but stayed at her husband’s side, choosing the sweet and the bitter: So the Elves again lost the one whom they loved most dearly. But seers have spoken that Aragorn’s and Arwen’s kin lives forth in Middle-earth to this day, and will never perish.

To Gernot Katzer’s Tolkien page.