Huan was a great wolfhound of the First Age. He was given by the Vala Oromë the Hunter to his friend Celegorm, one of the Sons of Fëanor. Huan was as large as a small horse, and accompanied Celegorm on his huntings. When the Ñoldor under Fëanor rebelled, Huan went with his master to Middle-earth.
Huan had been granted special powers by the Valar, and was allowed to speak three times before he died. It was also prophesied that he could not be killed unless it was by the greatest wolf that ever lived.
Huan became involved with the Quest for the Silmaril. When Beren had left Lúthien and gone with Finrod Felagund to Angband but had been captured in Tol-in-Gaurhoth, Lúthien set out to rescue him. She was intercepted by Celegorm and Curufin, who were living in Nargothrond at the time and were hunting. Huan smelt Lúthien and captured her, and she was brought before Celegorm. Celegorm and Curufin did not reveal to her that they had sent Beren to his death by the hand of Sauron, and took her as a prisoner to Nargothrond, "for her own protection", secretly plotting to wed her to Celegorm and thereby force an alliance with Lúthien's father Thingol.
Huan felt pity for Lúthien, and sought her out. Speaking for the first time, he told her of a way to escape, and then accompanied her to Tol-in-Gaurhoth where, with the help of Lúthien's magic, he killed all of Sauron's werewolves until Sauron himself came out, knowing of the prophesy about Huan's death he took the shape of the greatest wolf that had ever lived up to that point. Huan nevertheless managed to defeat him, and Sauron was forced to flee. Huan went back to his master, while Lúthien and Beren went on their way back to Doriath, they came across Celegorm and Curufin, who had been exiled from Nargothrond by Orodreth when he learned of their deeds. Curufin tried to kill Lúthien, but Huan turned against his master, defending Beren and Lúthien.
Speaking for the second time, Huan told Beren and Lúthien of his plan to gain entrance to Angband, bringing them the skin of the werewolf Draugluin and the bat-skin of Sauron's messenger Thuringwethil. Using these skins as disguise Beren and Lúthien went to Angband, while Huan hunted in the wild.
After Beren and Lúthien had won the Silmaril but Beren had lost his hand to the werewolf Carcharoth, Huan joined Beren, Thingol, Beleg Cúthalion and Mablung in the Hunt for the Wolf. Huan and Beren managed to kill Carcharoth, but Huan was mortally wounded. Speaking for the third and last time, he wished Beren and Lúthien farewell, and died.
Huan is the Sindarin word which means "great dog, hound".
Although his appearance is never described, he may have been seen as one of the Wolfhounds of Irish tradition. I.e. an Irish Wolfhound. There is also a certain allegory in The Quest of the Silmaril to The Divine Comedy: The Inferno by Dante Alighieri, as Dante's path to Heaven is blocked by a wolf. This Wolf will only be challenged by a Grayhound, who will drag it back to Hell. However, in illustrations, he resembles an ordinary dog/wolf mix.
- Gorgumoth, another hound from Aman
- ↑ 1.0 1.1 The Silmarillion, Quenta Silmarillion, Chapter XI: "Of Beren and Lúthien"
- ↑ The Silmarillion, Index of Names