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Ted Nasmith - Lúthien Tends Beren's Wound

One-handed was a title and surname given to Beren son of Barahir, an English translation of Sindarin Erchamion[note 1] and Quenya Erkambo. It derives from his encounter with the great wolf Carcharoth before the gates of Angband. Beren and Lúthien had recovered one of the Silmarils from Morgoth's Crown, and were escaping with the Jewel when Carcharoth barred their way. Beren held up the holy Jewel in the hope of cowing the wolf, but instead Carcharoth took his right hand, still clasping the Silmaril. Because it was blessed by Varda herself, the Silmaril seared the innards of the creature of Morgoth, and it fled in agony.

Meanwhile, Beren's wound brought him close to death, but Thorondor and his Eagles plucked Beren and Lúthien out of danger and away to safety. The lost Silmaril would eventually be recovered in the Hunting of the Wolf, but in tales Beren was known ever afterwards as Beren One-hand.[1]


  1. It appeared as such in the published Silmarillion, although forms Erchammon and Erchamon are also found.


  1. J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The Silmarillion, "Quenta Silmarillion: Of Beren and Lúthien"