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Huan

A mighty dog from Valinor, one of the hunting hounds of OromŽ.

The name means great dog, hound

Later Huan was given to Celegorm and following his new master during the flight of the Noldoli, he became the only dog from Valinor to reach the lands of Middle-earth.

He became an invincible war-dog and the wolves and the other creatures of Morgoth feared him greatly.

He had a strange fate however - no spell, no wizardy and no living creature in Middle-earth could ever harm him.

He was doomed to kill the mightiest wolf that ever existed but be killed by him, too. Thus, Huan kills Carcharoth but was deadly wounded by the wolf of Morgoth and died.

Huan is a character, that plays an active and important role in the story of Beren and Luthien - he is their faithful friend and guardian.

He also had the gift of speaking in Elvish tongue. But only thrice had Huan the right to speak before Elves or/and Men.

Huan is a remarkable character that prof. Tolkien had created at the very early stage of his writings and that underwent almost no significant changes until it appeared in the Published Silmarillion.


Details

From the "Lay of Lethian"; HoMe:

Hounds there were in Valinor
with silver collars. Hart and boar,
the fox and hare and nimble roe
there in the forests green did go.
OromŽ was the lord divine
of all those woods.

Hounds untold
baying in woods beyond the West
of race immortal he possessed:
grey and limber, black and strong,
white with silken coats and long,
brown and brindled, swift and true
as arrow from a bow of yew
their voices like the deeptoned bells
that ring in Valmar's citadels,
their eyes like living jewels, their teeth
like ruel-bone.

In Tavros' (OromŽ) friths and pastures green
had Huan once a young whelp been.
He grew the swiftest of the swift,

and OromŽ gave him as a gift
to Celegorm, who loved to follow
the great God's horn o'er hill and hollow.
Alone of hounds of the Land of Light,
when sons of Feanor took to flight
and came into the North, he stayed
beside his master. Every raid
and every foray wild he shared,
and into mortal battle dared.
Often he saved his Gnomish lord
from Orc and wolf and leaping sword.

A wolf-hound, tireless, grey and fierce
he grew, his gleaming eyes would pierce
all shadows and all mist, the scent
moons old he found through fen and bent,
through rustling leaves and dusty sand
all paths of wide Beleriand he knew
But wolves, he loved them best
he loved to find their throats and wrest
their snarling lives and evil breath.


Christopher Tolkien – Comments; Lay of Lethian; HoMeIII:

Of Huan it is told in the Lay that he was the only hound of Valinor to come east over the sea (2270). His fate that he should meet death only when 'he encountered the mightiest wolf that would ever walk the world

No wizardry, nor spell, nor dart,
no fang, nor venom devil's art
could brew had harmed him; for his weird
was woven. Yet he little feared
that fate decreed and known to all:
before the mightiest he should fall,
before the mightiest wolf alone
that ever was whelped in cave of stone.

But in a mortal combat with the dreadful wolf-beast of Morgoth, Carhcaroth, Huan is killed.

Huan leaped from the thicket upon the back of the Wolf, and they fell together fighting bitterly; and no battle of wolf and hound has been like to it, for in the baying of Huan was heard the voice of the horns of OromŽ and the wrath of the Valar, but in the howls of Carcharoth was the hate of Morgoth and malice crueller than teeth of steel and the rocks were rent by their clamour and fell from on high and choked the falls of Esgalduin. There they fought to the death.

Huan in that hour slew Carcharoth; but there in the woven woods of Doriath his own doom long spoken was fulfilled, and he was wounded mortally, and the venom of Morgoth entered into him. Then he came, and falling beside Beren spoke for the third time with words; and he bade Beren farewell before he died. Beren spoke not, but laid his hand upon the head of the hound, and so they parted.


LhunRoss


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