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Dírhavel was a minstrel of the Edain during the later First Age, and was only known for one composed lay in all his life, but it became the greatest and the most remembered of all the lays made by Men.
Dírhavel was of the House of Hador, and had probably fled from Dor-lómin when he came to the Havens of Sirion. Because of his ancestry, he was very interested in the deeds of his house and searched for information among all the refugees, thus he met Mablung of Doriath who told him many things about Túrin Turambar. By luck he also met an old man called Andvir whose father, Androg, had been a member of Turin's outlaw-band.
He used the information he had gathered and wrote in Sindarin a very long, in fact the longest of all from that time, lay in the verse-mode called Minlamad thent/estent. This mode was spoken verse, not unlike the Old English alliterative mode. The Narn i Chîn Húrin tells of the fates of Húrin's children Túrin and Nienor Níniel, with emphasis on Túrin. It is a very tragic story, but the lay was highly praised by the Elves and remembered by them. It is the only full account on Túrin's life, and all later writings on the subject fall back on this one.
The meaning of the name Dírhavel is unknown. It is difficult to decipher any possible origin of the name, but it may have come from the Sindarin words dîr, meaning "man" (although can be translated as "hard"), hav, meaning "sit", or possibly haust, meaning "rest", and el, which means "star". If this were to be the case, his name could mean "man of the resting star", though it is unlikely to be.
- ↑ The History of Middle-earth, Vol. XI: The War of the Jewels, Part Three: The Wanderings of Húrin and Other Writings not forming part of the Quenta Silmarillion
- ↑ Unfinished Tales, Part One: The First Age, Chapter II: "Narn i Chîn Húrin" (The Tale of the Children of Húrin), Notes
- ↑ The Silmarillion, Index of Names
- The Inklings blogspot