Huan, the Tale of a Hound

Author: Nerdanel

Nominator: Larner

2011 Award Category: Character Study: House of Finwë - Honorable Mention

Story Type: Story  ✧  Length: Short Story

Rating: General  ✧  Reason for Rating: N/A

Summary: The story of Beren and Lúthien is renowned among Elves and Men. But what of the third hero of that story? Here, at last, is Huan's tale, told from his own perspective.

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Reviewed by: Larner  ✧  Score: 10

Huan is one of my favorite characters/creatures from the Silmarillion. And I love his story as told from his own point of view as written here by Nerdanel. The idea that he was originally of the Maiar but that he chose to be born a hound and so bonded with the child Tyelkormo that he would travel ever with him until, through the growing marring of the Feanorion’s spirit begun when Feanor himself began to know suspicion of the Valar, at last the bright spirit of Tyelkormo was lost as the once bright Elf became in the end the Celegorm who plotted against Finrod and sought to take Lúthien by force. This story is sad, as all tales involving Fëanor’s sons within Middle Earth seem to become, and yet it is remarkably hopeful at the same time. Huan acknowledges his own failings, but accepts that this is due in large part to the role he chose to accept for himself when allowing himself to be born a hound. I love the recognition of the bright spirit he senses within Beren and the almost fatal naiveté of Lúthien, and his final recognition that he cannot remain true to himself if he does not aid Lúthien in her own quest. Beautifully written, this is a tale to savor fully, and I must recommend it to all. I love that it caused me to think more deeply about the nature of the spirits that agreed to be born into this marred world and the forms each has taken, and how accepted shape interacts with nature to more fully define the character of each one who wanders through Tolkien’s world of Arda.

Reviewed by: Adonnen Estenniel  ✧  Score: 5

The portrayal of Huan in this piece is both touching and enlightening. I have always enjoyed stories where the author stays true to the essence of things, yet does not fail to bring a new perspective. The author has done that here with this story. Told through the eyes of a dog, it speaks of inner feelings and the changes that come over friends as time progresses. I though the author did an excellent job showing the reader these things, and Huan seemed to be believable in his explanations and thought processes. I was impressed with the appropriate stylistic approach, and scope of imagery and wordchoice. This is a very nice piece from a minor character's point of view.

Reviewed by: Linaewen  ✧  Score: 5

The tale of Huan the Hound is beautifully told by Nerdanel! I love seeing the world of Arda through his eyes, and having this being who prefers taking the form of a dog fit properly into the grand scheme of things. It is a poignant tale, as most tales are that deal with that time in history, but I love Huan's loyalty and unhesitating devotion to the master of his choice. It is an honorable trait, and he does not forsake it until honor is no longer applicable where his master is concerned. A very fitting tribute to an important character in Tolkien's world; I feel I understand Huan much, much better for having read this tale! This is a story that I shall read over and over again.

Reviewed by: Linda Hoyland  ✧  Score: 4

Although I'm a cat person rather than a dog person, the tale of Huan has always appealed to me and he is one of my favourite characters in the Simarillion. I loved Nerdanel's story here and the idea that Huan is more than a dog. As dogs are loyal creatures it must have been hard for him to switch his-loyalty to Luthien, but this story conveys the conflict brilliantly. I liked the ending where Huan is in Mandos Hall's with those he loves, hoping one day that his original master will join then there.

Reviewed by: Ellynn  ✧  Score: 3

This is a beautiful, touching and poignant tale about Huan and his deeds. Perhaps the most wonderful thing in the story is Huan's hope that he'll be reunited with his master soon - a master he no longer recognizes and considers him marred - a detail that shows the depth of his great, unconditional love.

Reviewed by: Liadan  ✧  Score: 3

I love this story. It is an excellent first-hand account of the early history. It is also an excellent biography as well. Told in the first-person by Huan, who is probably the first and best friend that anyone could ever hope to have.

Reviewed by: Darkover  ✧  Score: 1

Story is a bit slow-paced, but the idea is intriguing. It is a tale worth reading.