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Dírhael

Other Names:
HoME only:
Dirhael
Dirhoel

Location(s):
Eriador, probably the Angle

Race/Species: Man

Type/Kind: Dunadan of the North

Dates:
late Third Age

Parents:
ancestor: Aranarth, 1st Chieftain of the Dúnedain
ancestor: Arathorn I, 12th Chieftain of the Dúnedain (HoME only)

Spouse:
Ivorwen

Children:
Gilraen

Description:

Dírhael of the Northern Dúnedain is the husband of Ivorwen and father of Gilraen, and thus the grandfather of Aragorn II, 1st King of the Reunited Kingdom:
In the latter days of the last age... before the War of the Ring, there was a man named [Dírhael 1], and his wife was [Ivorwen 1] daughter of Gilbarad, and they dwelt in a hidden fastness 2 in the wilds of Eriador; for they were of the ancient people of the Dúnedain, that of old were kings of men, but were now fallen on darkened days. [Dírhael] and his wife were of high lineage, being of the blood of Isildur though not of the right line of the Heirs. They were both foresighted in many things. Their daughter was [Gilraen 1], a fair maid, fearless and strong as were all the women of that kin.

The Peoples of Middle-Earth, HoME Vol 12, Part 1, Ch 9, The Making of Appendix A: The Tale of Aragorn and Arwen

[Arador's] son Arathorn sought in marriage Gilraen the Fair, daughter of Dírhael, who was himself a descendant of Aranarth. To this marriage Dírhael was opposed; for Gilraen was young and had not reached the age at which the women of the Dúnedain were accustomed to marry.

"Moreover," he said, "Arathorn is a stern man of full age, and will be chieftain sooner than men looked for; yet my heart forebodes that he will be shortlived."

But Ivorwen, his wife, who was also foresighted, answered: "The more need of haste! The days are darkening before the storm, and great things are to come. If these two wed now, hope may be born for our people; but if they delay, it will not come while this age lasts."

And it happened that when Arathorn and Gilraen had been married only one year, Arador... was slain; and Arathorn became Chieftain of the Dúnedain. The next year Gilraen bore him a son, and he was called Aragorn.

The Lord of the Rings, Appendix A, Annals of the Kings and Rulers: The Tale of Aragorn and Arwen

Arathorn II... wedded [Gilraen 1] daughter of [Dírhael 1], a descendant also, but by a younger branch, of Arathorn I 3.

The Peoples of Middle-Earth, HoME Vol 12, Part 1, Ch 7, The Heirs of Elendil: The Chieftains of the Dúnedain


Notes
1This text is from one of Tolkien's early drafts. For the sake of clarity, earlier versions of proper names used by Tolkien in this draft have been replaced with the versions in use in the canon sources. All substitutions are marked with brackets.
2Michael Martinez, a well-known Middle-earth scholar, has suggested that the "hidden fastnesses" occupied by the Dúnedain of the North were most likely situated in the Angle, the relatively isolated region bounded by the Mitheithel (Hoarwell) and Bruinen (Loudwater) rivers, with the Misty Mountains on the east.

"Ranger For Hire: Have Horse, Will Travel", by Michael Martinez, 17 Dec. 1999.
<www.suite101.com/article.cfm/tolkien/30354/2>.

3Arathorn I is the 9th great-grandson of Aranarth; although this quote from The History of Middle-earth is more precise than the one in Appendix A, it does not otherwise contradict it.

Contributors:
Elena Tiriel 21Jun06, 11Apr10

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