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Came into Beleriand shortly after the Dagor Bragollach of I 455; apparently died before the Nirnaeth Arnoediad in I 4721
Easterlings who followed the people of Maedhros and Maglor
boa'rr (oa as in 'boat'; the final r sound should be pronounced, as shown by 'rr' here)
Perhaps 'faithful vassal'2


About this entry:

  • Updated 10 July 2014
  • This entry is complete


The faithful Easterling

A chieftain of Men from the east of Middle-earth, who entered Beleriand late in the First Age. He secretly allied himself with Morgoth, and then entered the service of Maedhros and Maglor holding the northeastern passes. He renounced his alliance with the Dark Lord, though, and served the Sons of Fëanor faithfully.



We have an account of Bór's sons at the Nirnaeth, but no mention of Bór himself being there. No explanation is offered for his absence, but the implication seems to be that Bór was dead by this date.


In The Etymologies in volume V of The History of Middle-earth, the name Bór is interpreted as Elvish, meaning 'steadfast, trusty man, faithful vassal'. This fits well with the fact that Bór and his sons remained faithful to the Elf-lords they served, and the natural assumption would therefore be that Bór gained an Elvish name meaning 'faithful' due to this service.

This neat interpretation is complicated somewhat by comments elsewhere in the same volume (in The Lhammas) where we're told that the folk of '...Bor, and of Uldor ... were different in speech, but that speech is lost without record other than the names of these men.' According to this source, then, Bór was a name from a lost Mannish language, without a specified meaning.

These two perspectives are not easy to reconcile, and presumably simply reflect a change of mind by Tolkien, though it is difficult to be sure which explanation takes precedence. (At a stretch, we might imagine that this Easterling was named something like Bor in his original native language, and that this was adapted by the Elves to the conveniently close Bór, 'faithful', though it is nowhere implied that this was Tolkien's intention.)


About this entry:

  • Updated 10 July 2014
  • This entry is complete

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