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Carcharoth

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Ted Nasmith - Huan's Leap 2.jpg
Carcharoth
Biographical Information
Other namesRed Maw, Anfauglir, Borosaith
Created/bornMid-First Age
DestroyedF.A. 466, Neldoreth
RealmAngband
Physical Description
RaceWerewolves
GenderMale
AppearanceGreat, wolf-like
AccomplishmentsTook the Silmaril from Beren by biting off his hand

Carcharoth was bred from the foul breed of Draugluin, the first Werewolf, and fed with elvish and mannish flesh by Morgoth himself. Carcharoth was set as a guard on the Gates of Angband.[1]

Contents

[edit] History

Carcharoth became involved with the Quest for the Silmaril when Beren and Lúthien had to pass him on their way in. Lúthien enchanted him with her magic, but on their way out Carcharoth attacked before Lúthien could enthral him again. Beren held out the captured Silmaril in an attempt to stay the beast, but Carcharoth bit off Beren's hand at the wrist with Silmaril and all.

The Silmaril burnt away Carcharoth's insides, and he became crazed with pain. A terror to Eldar, Men and Orcs alike, he passed south through Beleriand, until he arrived in Doriath. There Beren, King Thingol, Beleg Cúthalion and Mablung joined with Huan the Hound in the Hunting of the Wolf.

At last, he was discovered within the borders of Doriath itself, where he fought his last fight with Huan: the wolf and the hound took one another's lives in that combat.

Both Beren and Huan were slain. When Mablung cut open the belly of the beast, he found there the Silmaril with Beren's hand still around it, but when he touched the flesh it was swept away by a wind.[1]

[edit] Etymology

The name is translated as Red Maw;[1] the recogniseable Sindarin elements are car(a)n "red" as well as carach "jaw"[2] or carch "fang"[3]. Based on the above, perhaps the name can be analyzed into the unattested words *carn (an alternate version of caran) and *caroth "maw", the latter ending with the augmentative suffix -oth also seen in Nogoth "(Big) Dwarf" = naug + oth[4] ("maw" = "big jaw").

Note that the final letter of car(a)n + the initial letter of carach/oth- produce the sound ch (IPA: x) with the phenomenon called nasal mutation.[5][6]

[edit] Other Versions of the Legendarium

Originally Carcharoth's name was Karkaras, the Knife-fang, who was the father of wolves. He was a great grey wolf.[7]

Borosaith meaning Everhungry is another name for Carcharoth, and it is said to be used in old songs.[8]

[edit] See Also

[edit] References

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The Silmarillion, "Quenta Silmarillion: Of Beren and Lúthien"
  2. J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The Silmarillion, "Appendix: Elements in Quenya and Sindarin Names", (entries for carak- and caran)
  3. J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The Lost Road and Other Writings, "Part Three: The Etymologies", KARAK
  4. J.R.R. Tolkien, "Words, Phrases and Passages in Various Tongues in The Lord of the Rings", in Parma Eldalamberon XVII (edited by Christopher Gilson), p. 45
  5. J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The Silmarillion, "Note on Pronunciation"
  6. J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, Appendix E, "Pronunciation of Words and Names", "Consonants"
  7. J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The Book of Lost Tales Part Two, "The Tale of Tinúviel" , p. 21
  8. J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The Shaping of Middle-earth, "III. The Quenta: [Section] 10" Note 9 p. 115


Wolves
Individuals: Anfauglir · Carcharoth · Draugluin · Wolf-Sauron
Races: Wargs · Werewolves · White Wolves