Carcharoth was created as a defence against Huan, and was reared by Morgoth's own hands on living flesh and filled with great power. So Carcharoth, who was also named Anfauglir (IPA: /anˈfaʊglir/), the 'Jaws of Thirst', grew to great size and his strength seemed beyond compare. His eyes burned like red coals and his teeth were poisoned as the spears of the Orcish legions. Carcharoth was the guardian of the gate of Angband and none could pass him by strength of body alone.
He became involved with the Quest for the Silmaril when Beren and Lúthien had to pass him upon their entrance of Angband. He there espied them, and grew suspicious of Beren because he was disguised as Draugluin, who Carcharoth knew to be slain. Before he could take action against the pair, Lúthien enchanted him with her magic, sending him into a deep sleep. Unfortunately, on their way out Carcharoth awoke, and Lúthien was too weary to spell him again. Beren held out the captured Silmaril in an attempt to slay the beast, but Carcharoth was not daunted, and bit off Beren's hand at the wrist, Silmaril and all.
The Silmaril burnt away Carcharoth's insides, and he became crazed with pain, yet filled with great power. A terror to Elves, Men and Orcs alike, he burst from Angband, slaying anything and everything in his path. He continued south through Beleriand, and eventually he arrived in Doriath. With the power of the Silmaril inside him, the Girdle of Melian had no effect on him, and his presence placed the entire kingdom in grave danger. To protect Doriath, Beren Erchamion, Elu Thingol, Beleg Cúthalion, and Mablung joined with Huan the Hound to track down and slay the Wolf.
Carcharoth was killed in single combat by Huan in FA 466, but both Huan and Beren were mortally wounded by the poison in Carcharoth's teeth. When Mablung cut open the wolf's belly, he found there the Silmaril with Beren's hand still closed around it, but when he touched the flesh it was swept away by a wind leaving only the great Jewel.
Behind the scenes
Other versions of the legendarium
Originally Carcharoth's name was Karkaras, meaning the Knife-Fang. Karkaras was considered a father of wolves and initially bore a shape of a huge grey wolf.
Another name for Carcharoth was Borosaith meaning Everhungry which was applied mostly in old songs.
|Foreign Language||Translated name|
|Chinese (Hong Kong)||卡黑洛斯|
|Kazakh||Карцһаротһ (Cyrillic) Karcharth (Latin)|
|Kyrgyz Cyrillic||Карцhаротh ?|
|Serbian||Карцхарот (Cyrillic) Karcharot (Latin)|
|Uzbek||Карчаротҳ (Cyrillic) Karcharoth (Latin)|
- Tolkien, J.R.R.. Beren and Lúthien (Kindle Location 763). Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. Kindle Edition.
- The Silmarillion, Quenta Silmarillion, Chapter XIX: "Of Beren and Lúthien"
- The History of Middle-earth, Vol. 2: The Book of Lost Tales Part Two, I: "The Tale of Tinúviel"
- The History of Middle-earth, Vol. IV: The Shaping of Middle-earth, III: "The Quenta"