§ Branduin >> Baranduin >> Malevarn (TI:66)
§ Branduinen (TI:124)
The first two forms are listed under BARÁN-; #bran- *’brown, swart, dark-brown’ obviously being a different contraction of the stem quite similar to #cran- from KARÁN- (see 1.10). The second element is clearly duin ’river’ (DUI-,VT45:11).
More interesting is the third form. It probably contains lenited #varn < #barn ’brown’ with yet another different syncopation, also in analogy to #carn < KARÁN- (see above). The first element #male- must be related to SMAL- ’yellow’, whence N. malt ’gold (as metal)’, malthen ’of gold’, malen ’yellow’. In the Nomeclature of the Lord of the Rings Tolkien translates Baranduin as ’the long gold-brown river’ (RC:765) with S. baran ’brown, yellow-brown’. So it appears that with Malevarn he tried to form an actual compound *’gold-brown’, but then decided that baran can already mean ’gold-brown’, not just ’brown’.
The alternative form Branduinen should be probably analyzed as *b’ran-dui-nen ’brown-flow-water’ with dui- ’flow (in volume)’ (RC:766) and nen ’water’ (NEN-).