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Balan
Tolkien character
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First appearance The Silmarillion
Created by J. R. R. Tolkien
Information
Aliases Bëor the Old
Father of Men
Species Men

Bëor the Old is a fictional character in J.R.R. Tolkien's Middle-earth legendarium. He appears in The Silmarillion as the leader of the First House of the Edain in the First Age, which was called the Folk of Bëor after him. He was the father of Baran and Belen and ancestor of Beren Camlost.

Internal history

Bëor was the leader of the First House of Men during the final part of their westward march. Apparently under his guidance the majority of his people forsook Eriador and, crossing the Blue Mountains, came to the woods of Ossiriand in Y.S. 310. There they were found and befriended by the Elf-lord Finrod Felagund. He quickly mastered the speech of Men, and held a long converse with their lord. Bëor by his counsel then led his people to the plain of Estolad in Eastern Beleriand, but soon committed the rule to his elder son Baran, entering the service of Finrod and departing to Nargothrond. Bëor remained there until the end of his days, and participated in the warfare against the Orcs.

Bëor's 'true' name was Balan. He was called Bëor, which means 'Vassal' or 'Servant' in the tongue of his people, after he entered the service of Finrod Felagund; according to some traditions, this name was also born afterwards as a title by his descendants. He was called 'the Old' since he lived to the age of 93, when he willingly relinquished his life and died in peace. Bëor was also one of 'the Wise' among Edain; he had a great knowledge of their traditions and legends, though passed them only to a few of his descendants, unwilling to reveal their history even to Finrod. Much of this knowledge passed to Adanel and Andreth.

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