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