(Gabilgathol = Khuzdul name of Belegost, Tumunzahar = Khuzdul name of Nogrod, Gaurwaith = Marauders)
The House of Hador was the name of the third House of the Edain to cross the Ered Luin into Beleriand during the First Age. They were originally known as the House of Marach but were renamed during the reign of their later ruler Hador in honour of him.
The Men of the House of Marach descended from the tribes of Men who abandoned Hildórien for the West. They were at war with the Men who fell under the Shadow, and were pursued by them. They followed a northern road around northern Rhûn where they met some Dwarves. At the shores of the Sea of Rhûn a small part was separated. The Greater Folk, the ancestors of Marach came later to the north-east woods near the shores. They crafted boats and could sail the inland Sea, and seemed to have been related to the ancestors of the Northmen.
In F.A. 313, the people of Marach crossed the Ered Luin and entered Beleriand. They were the largest of the Houses and also the most warlike and they frightened the native Green-elves who inhabited the forested slopes of the mountains and so were bidden to progress to Estolad as the House of Bëor had done. Of all the Houses of the Edain the Hadorians remained longest in Estolad (perhaps due to the immense size of the House) but became close allies with the Ñoldorin House of Fingolfin who reigned in Hithlum. Under the rule of Magor, grandson of Marach the House removed to the southern slopes of the Ered Wethrin.
It was during the reign of Hador in 416 though that the House of Marach was finally granted permanent lands in the form of the fief of Dor-lómin within Hithlum. In recognition of the first lord of their new realm the House became known as the House of Hador. As a gift from his new lords, Hador was given the Dragon Helm by Fingon, which became a great heirloom of the House, borne by all its lords save Húrin. They enjoyed much splendor under the House of Fingolfin, and their warriors held Eithel Sirion and fought beside the Noldor in the Wars of Beleriand.
Hador died during the Dagor Bragollach alongside his younger son Gundor. The Lordship of the House then passed to Hador's older son Galdor, who lead the House of Hador in the troubled times that followed the Dagor Bragollach. During those times the House united with some of the folk of the House of Beor who had fled from Dorthonion. Galdor's wife was of the Haladin and their sons, Húrin and Huor, were sent away to Brethil when they were lost and dwelt for a time with Turgon in Gondolin. Galdor himself was slain at Eithel Sirion in 462, thus Húrin became the third Lord of Dor-lómin.
During Húrin's tenure as lord, Hithlum was largely made safe, owing primarly to the great reclamation of lost lands by the Union of Maedhros of which the men and elves of Hithlum were participants. This gathered steam until the plans were made for another assault on Morgoth in Angband- the battle that would become known as Nirnaeth Arnoediad. Húrin mustered all the men that Dor-lómin could provide to supplement Fingon's host in the west. The result was devastating for the House of Hador and their remnant covered the retreat of Turgon. They refused to leave and heroically drew up their lines behind Rivil, killing hundreds of Orcs and Trolls before their entire host was slain to a man in a final last stand.
Hithlum, defenceless and beaten was thus taken by the treacherous Swarthy Men who had been so instrumental in Morgoth's victory without any notable resistance of what remained of the people of the House of Hador.
From this point the lives of the people of Hador became one of marginal slavery. The House of Hador fared badly under the Incomers; brutally suppressed, their lands were taken and their women forced into marriage with the new despot-lords of Hithlum. The nobility of the House went into hiding or were killed trying to flee. Húrin's son and heir (and officially now Lord of the House) Túrin was too young to lead and thus was sent away to Doriath for his safety by his mother and Huor's son Tuor was only born the year of the Nirnaeth Arnoediad and so was similarly guarded; fostered by the grey elves that still inhabited the mountains of Mithrim. Those that could escape in the years that followed did-so fleeing to those havens of the elves that still stood but the House of Hador ceased to be as a coherent entity in much the same manner as the House of Bëor had suffered in the aftermath of the Dagor Bragollach.
None the less, when the surviving Edain were granted the gift-land of Númenor the House of Hador was still the greatest in size of all the Houses and so made up the greater portion of those who removed there.
The people of the House of Hador tended to be blond with blue eyes and of great height. They were marked as being the tallest men inhabitants of Beleriand save the Elves, strong and quick in mind.
As Elf-friends they spoke Sindarin but also the main dialect of Taliska which became Adûnaic.
Dor-lómin was a part of Hithlum in the First Age, a country in the south-western part of Hithlum, bordered in the east by the Mountains of Mithrim, and in the north by the river which formed the Rainbow Cleft known as Annon-in-Gelydh, or "Gate of the Noldor". It was the birthplace of Túrin son of Húrin and Morwen. There is also a mountain pass in its south unknown to the Enemy.
Húrin's house was built in its south-western corner near the mountain known as Amon Darthir, where the river Nen Lalaith began.
Dor-lómin was first colonized by the Noldor on their return to Middle-earth, Dor-lomin became the lordship of Fingon, but in the fifth century FA Fingolfin gave it to Hador. Dor-lómin became a fief of the Third House of the Edain, which flourished there, strengthened by refugees of the First House from Dorthonion, until the Nirnaeth Arnoediad. Morgoth gave Dor-lómin, together with the rest of Hithlum, to his Easterlings, who absorbed or enslaved the surviving Edain. Tuor son of Huor was fostered by the Elves of Androth in the Mountains of Mithrim.
After Túrin fled south over the Ered Wethrin bands of outlaws came and attacked and enslaved the peoples of Dor-lómin, save Morwen, her daughter Nienor, and her servants, including Sador Labadal. The outlaws were led by Brodda, who wedded Aerin so that when he was dead, he would have an heir to keep the land under his family's rule. Over a year after Túrin came to Doriath, Morwen and Nienor went seeking Túrin in Menegroth. Later, Túrin came to seek Morwen in Dor-lómin, but they had already gone south over the mountains. Like the rest of Hithlum it was destroyed during the War of Wrath.
Not all the men of the people of Dor-lómin belonged to the House of Hador, most were living under the rule of lesser chieftains, vassals of the Golden House. But when time came for war or when they were called to duty by the Elf-King they sided with their Lord willingly, proud to defend their honour and the honour of their ancestors.
In battle they bore a wooden shield and an axe as most of them were not rich enough to purchase a sword, and the Men of the second House were not as good craftsmen as the Beorrim. Proud Men of Dor-lómin they were! Tall and golden-haired! However, they did not have access to elvish weapons and were not trained for battle, either. These men did not easily turn back from the enemy in the midst of battle, as they knew that the Dark Lord would show no mercy to their families if they failed.
Dor-lómin was a tough land. It was not easy to survive there as a farmer and, for that reason, many among the people lived as part-time hunters in an attempt to improve standards. The most talented decided sometimes to make it a living and became trappers, hunting for furs and antlers. When they were called to war, they served as scouts and archers in the armies of their Lord. The Men of Dor-lómin were not as gifted in archery as the bowmen of Brethil, yet they could easily deliver many arrows waves before the enemy reached their lines.
Their bows were no match against a Noldorin longbow in range, but almost as deadly at a short distance. However, they were not armed for hand-to-hand fighting, having only a short knife and their courage to defend themselves.
These men belonged to the house of the Lord of Dor-lómin and as such, went to war under his golden banner. Even if they were not professional warriors, they had a good training and were armed at the expense of the House of Hador. This allowed them to wear a heavy shirt of mail and a light helmet and to wear a solid sword at their belt. With this equipment, these men often did wonders facing Orcs, or any other enemy of the Edain. Their valor was matched by their recklessness and they were proud to belong to the most warlike and glorious houses of the Edain: the House of Hador Lórindol vassal of the High King Fingolfin.
In Dor-lómin, most of those who were neither hunters nor peasants were woodsmen, cutting trees for buildings as well as for firewood, which was of great use during the cold winter nights. When it was time to go to war, some of these men exchanged their hatchet for a great battleaxe. Their height and impressive strength granted them the ability to strike with great force.
During the battles, these men were placed on the flanks, where their lack of protection would not be too damaging and their strokes could carve bloody swathes in the enemy's ranks: if the wood of a freshly cut tree allows for a good fire, the death of an enemy under the blade warms their hearts as well.
(Unfinished Tales ; First Age ; Narn I Hîn Húrin)
When the future darkened and war threatened, the Lords of the Elves called the Men of the House of Hador to strengthen their great fortress of Eithel Sirion, Barad Eithel, on the slopes of the Ered Wethrin, watching the green plain of Ard-galen. For as strong as its walls were, Barad Eithel meant little without the swords of its defenders. Three times the fortress was besieged by the forces of the Enemy, but it was only in the third and final attack that followed the Nirnaeth Arnoediad and finnaly overtook Hithlum, that the fortress fell.
Even if the Guards of Eithel Sirion remained under the authority of their own captains, the Elven-Kings were well aware that it is at their demand that they were to be the first line of defense of Hithlum, so they offered each of them a sword from their own armories as a token of their status as Elf-friends. And so, the woodsmen, farmers, shepherds and herdsmen, fishermen and hunters who formed the Guard of Eithel Sirion were better armed than many lords of Men. Apart from their elvish sword though, they only wore a gambeson and a shield to protect them, as it was said that the white parapets of Barad Eithel were able to stop any dart or arrow from the enemy.
(Quenta Silmarillion ; Of the Coming of Men into the West)
The Knights of the House of Hador were the elite of his warriors: tall and beautiful they were, intrepid men in battle and almost impossible to stop with a sword in their hands. Since they did not belong to the family of their lord or to his guard, they did not have the honor to reside at his side, they were instead often entrusted with the protection of a hamlet or a watchtower in peacetime : it was then their duty to protect the place against marauders and wolves. Many of them did not hesitate to get their hands dirty: whether by hunting or participating in field work; the people of Dor-lómin despite the protection and education of the Noldor, could not afford to feed useless mouths.
But it is only in battle that a knight could show his real value: a sword in his hand, an helmet on his head and a coat and shield for good measure. Few were the servants of the Enemy who dared measuring up to them and even fewer who could boast of having defeated one of them in a single combat. During greater engagements these proud warriors strengthened the defense line of less noble and less experienced soldiers, as their presence was almost as encouraging for the hearts of their fellow Edain as the presence of their princes or Elf-lords.
The members of the court of the Lord of Dor-lómin, whether they are sister-sons, brother-sons or more distant relatives of their liege, were the Thanes and Lords of Dor-lómin and formed the House of Hador, strictly speaking. The honor of the House they were ready to defend to the last man, even if they knew that their family had already paid an heavy price for their allegiance to the Elves lords and that there were many who never returned from the northern battlefields. Of all the deeds of these brave men, the most memorable of these was the heroic defense of Turgon in the Marsh of Serech: there perished the flower of men, brave warriors who fell to the last around their liege Húrin Thalion, not to save their lives, that they knew to be sacrificed, but to defend the last member of this Elven House which had granted them lands and honors unmatched in all Beleriand.At war, the lords of the House of Hador wear equipment worthy of their rank: the sword, dedicated weapon of this house, a shield with paintings of the great-worms of Angband, a brilliant coat of mail and an helmet with a red plume. All these pieces of equipment were made by the best craftsmen in the house of the Lord, with the techniques learned from the Elven blacksmiths. Some of them even wore real elven weapons given to their families as gifts or signal of gratitude.
It is not known if the Hadorians learned to use axes in battle from the Sindar of Mithrim, from their cousins, the folk of Haleth, or if they already learned it from the Dwarves before entering Beleriand. Whatever the answer is, they were great at it and a fierce man of the people of Hador armed with a tall battleaxe is something no Orc would like to face on the battlefield.
These men were among the best axemen of Dor-lómin, even though the best axemen to be known among the Edain were Húrin and his brother and nephew, Huor and Tuor, the tallest among his people. They have sworn to protect their Lord, but, ultimately, keeping his house and familly safe were their most important duty. However, during the great Battle of the Nirnaeth Arnoediad, all available men were needed, so they went with the rest of the guard of Húrin. That is how the House was left without defenders and easilly taken by the Easterlings.
(Unfinished Tales ; First Age ; Narn I Hîn Húrin)
The guards of the lords of Dor-lómin were among the best warriors of this land, probably even among the best warriors of the Edain, and formed their faithful household. They fought to the death without second thougts, since it was their oath to protect their Lord, gladily giving their life for it. As members of Hador's household, they ate and lived with their Lord and guarded his house when he was not at war together with the rest of the guard. They also had the privilege of riding with him when he was hunting and protecting from any harm. Proof of their loyalty, all the men of Hurin's and Huor's guard fought to the last one at Nirnaeth Arnoediad.
Protected by an excellent mail-coat and armed with the sharpest swords, only the princes and lords of the House Hador could match their bodyguards equipment-wise. In addition, they wore a round shield made in "elven fashion": wood reinforced with steel sheets, that offered nearly impenetrable protection.
First name the four, the free peoples:
Eldest of all, the elf-children;
Dwarf the delver, dark are his houses;
Ent the earthborn, old as mountains;
Man the mortal, master of horses:. »
(The Lord of the Rings ; Book III ; Treebeard)
It is not known when Men began to bred and ride horses. This art, at least, they did not learned from the Dwarves who do not raise beast of any kind. Maybe it was after their first encounters with Elves? Or perhaps they learned themselves during their long march westward to escape the Shadow: a strong horse is an invaluable ally to carry your goods over long distances or to go scouting further. Nevertheless, it is quite possible that among the countless houses of Men, the House of Hador Lórindol was the first to learn the art of riding, as the sons and daughters of Marach still carry on their mounts with a dexterity that no other mortal has ever shown before the great island of Númenor was drawn by the waves.
Among the vassals of the House of Hador some took advantage of this talent to move or hunt more effictiently and, as result, many farms and houses of Dor-lómin had their own stable. At wartime these men have almost nothing but their horses and were sent on scouting or harassment missions, tasks that they performed with talent.
The cavalry forces of the House of Hador were important enough to mobilize some of them on the borders of the Enemy's territory in order to patrol and prevent any attack from him. Many of these men perished by the fire when the siege of Angband was broken, but others survived and were able to join Hithlum, warning their people that the defenses of the country needed to be prepared for a sudden assault.
These men wear light equipment, just the need for their patrols tasks, an axe and a wooden shield. However, when wandering Orcs sees them charging on their tall horses, not even all the armours of Angband can protect them from their righteous fury.
(Unfinished Tales ; First Age ; Narn I Hîn Húrin)
Even though the Lord of Dor-lómin often fought dismounted, he went to war on horseback, surrounded by some of his best warriors, and therefore maintained a large number of horses in his stables. The Men of the Golden House treasured these animals and were never tired of riding them, so it is not surprising that many of them, like many of their Elven allies, used to fought on horseback.
Equipped by their lords, these men wore a solid shirt of mail and a shield bearing the colors of the House of Hador. In their hands is a sword and under them some of the best horses of the Land of Echoes, sometimes the foal of an elven-horse given to their master.
While many among their lords favoured fighting on foot rather than mounted, some of the nobility of the House of Hador fought on horseback, forming powerful cavalry units, the true spearhead of the armies of Dor-lómin. And while many of their Elf-lieges of Hithlum liked to shoot arrows from the back of their mounts, the knights of Dor-lómin favoured a more direct approach.
The richness of these knights allowed them to protect their beloved mounts with a leather trapping while they themselves wore a ringed coat and a steel helmet. In their hands, the long spears of the Edain of the North were able to pierce the armor of any enemy, while a fair sword was attached to their belt, in case the ash wood of which their spears were made were to break.
The Noldor of Beleriand were excellent builders, but those who know how to build also know how to destroy, and no one was more talented than them in the art of siege warfare. It was through this mastery of the art of the siege that they could maintain a constant pressure on Morgoth and his minions, locked behind the doors of Angband and under the Thangorodrim. Of course they shared that knowledge with their human allies, but if they proved to be gifted students, their talent did not match the prowesses of the Noldor yet, and they confined themselves to the construction of simple siegebows. These were often used to defend the surroundings of Barad Eithel and of the other forts of the Ered Wethrin.
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