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Of the Ruin of Doriath

Morgoth released Húrin from captivity so that he may further Morgoth’s hatred of Elves and Men. He’d been in Angband for twenty-eight years and was grim to look upon, and while his people shunned him, they let him wander at will, unbothered. The attitudes of his people embittered him, and he thought to seek the way back to the hidden city of Gondolin, but the way was blocked.

The area around Gondolin was watched by the servants of Morgoth—seeking to find the entrance—and the Great Eagles. Thorondor, King of the Eagles, carried word to Turgon that Húrin was attempting to re-enter Gondolin, and after long thought on Húrin’s brave deeds, Turgon was moved to pity and asked Thorondor to bring him to Gondolin. But Húrin could no longer be found.

Húrin’s freedom had already led to one evil, though. In his frustration, he'd cried aloud to Turgon, and the servants of Morgoth heard and knew then in what region Gondolin could be found. In despair, Húrin fell into a deep sleep, and he dreamed of his wife Morwen and, upon awakening, sought her in Brethil, at the grave of Túrin. There she was—an old woman now—knelt before the stone marking the deaths of Túrin and Nienor. She died that night, and Húrin buried her there also, and he was filled with anger for vengeance against Morgoth.

Húrin went south then to Nargothrond, where no one dared venture for memory of Glaurung alone, only Mîm the Petty Dwarf, who coveted the dragon’s treasure found there. Húrin knew that Mîm had betrayed Túrin, and though the Dwarf offered Húrin any of the treasure in exchange for Mîm’s life, Húrin killed him and stayed a while in Nargothrond, and when he left, he took only Nauglamír, the Necklace of the Dwarves, that Finrod Felagund had once prized above all other treasure. Húrin went to Doriath, and he was welcomed there, but he cast Nauglamír at Thingol’s feet as a fee for keeping his wife and children, believing that Thingol had played a role in the downfall of his family. But Melian betrayed Morgoth’s lies to Húrin, and Húrin picked up Nauglamír to present it again, as a gift from a friend, and departed from Doriath and cast himself into the western sea.

Thingol, gazing upon Nauglamír, thought to have it remade to hold the Silmaril of Fëanor, with which he had become obsessed, as had its previous keepers. Dwarves from Nogrod still stayed on occasion in Doriath to assist with metal- and stonework, and Thingol revealed his desire to them, and looking upon the Silmaril, they coveted it also, but consented to the task. When it was finished, Thingol sought to take it back from them, but they withheld it from him on the pretext that Nauglamír had been made by their fathers and given as a gift to Finrod Felagund, who was dead, but Thingol saw through their claims to their lust for the Silmaril and ordered them to leave his halls. The Dwarves rose up against him and killed him, taking Nauglamír and the Silmaril, but they were pursued by Elves from Doriath and most were killed. Nauglamír was returned to a grief-stricken Melian, and only two of the Dwarves returned to Nogrod, bearing word that the Elven-king of Doriath had ordered the slaying of their kin. Despite warnings from their kinsmen in Belegost, the Dwarves of Nogrod swore to pursue vengeance and marched forth to Doriath.

Melian sat long in grief beside Thingol, and she knew that the parting brought by his death portended a greater parting, for she was of the Ainur and he was of the Eldar. Slowly, her powers that had protected Doriath were withdrawn, leaving it open to attack. Speaking to none save Mablung and bidding him to take heed of the Silmaril and send word to Beren and Lúthien, she departed for Valinor and the Gardens of Lórien. When the Dwarves came, the captains of Doriath were disorganized in their defense, and Mablung was slain before the doors of the treasury and Nauglamír—with the Silmaril—was taken. The halls of Menegroth were destroyed, and many Elves and Dwarves were killed.

Word came to Beren and Lúthien of what had happened. They had a son Dior who was wed to the kinswoman of Celeborn, Nimloth, and they had three children: two sons Eluréd and Elurîn and a daughter Elwing. With Dior and many of the Green Elves of Ossiriand, Beren assailed the Dwarves and himself killed the Lord of Nogrod and returned Nauglamír to Lúthien, though it did little to ease her grief. As Thingol’s heir, Dior went forth with his family to raise Doriath to its former splendor.

On a night in autumn, a messenger from the Green Elves arrived in Doriath, bearing only a coffer that contained Nauglamír, and Dior knew that Beren and Lúthien were dead and lost to the fate of Men.

Word of the Silmaril in Doriath reached the ears of the sons of Fëanor, and Dior would not answer their correspondence, asking that it be returned to them. Thus, their oath re-awakened, and they attacked Doriath in what was the second kinslaying. Dior and Nimloth both were slain, as were the Fëanorian brothers Celegorm, Caranthir, and Curufin, but the Silmaril escaped with Dior’s daughter Elwing to Sirion.



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