Of Túrin Turambar

Rían was the wife of Huor, and she was aided by the Grey-elves of Mithrim, who fostered her son Tuor when he was born. Rían departed to the Hill of the Slain built by the servants of Morgoth, and lying upon it, she died. Morwen was the wife of Húrin, and she had a son Túrin. She was also with child when her husband was taken captive in the Battle of Unnumbered Tears, living in Dor-lómin when the Easterlings came and her people were enslaved. In secret, she sent Túrin to be fostered in Doriath, for Beren was a kinsman of her father.

Morwen gave birth to a daughter called Nienor, and despite the fact that Thingol sent messengers begging her to come to Doriath, she would not leave the home in which she’d dwelt with Húrin her husband. She did, however, send with them the great heirloom of her house: the Dragon-helm of Dor-lómin.

Frequent messengers came from Dor-lómin to Túrin, but after nine years, they stopped, and he went to battle on the marches of Doriath as a companion to Beleg Strongbow. When Túrin next returned, he was unkempt from his life in the wild, and an Elf in the council of Thingol made mockery of his people, saying that the women ran naked and clad only in their hair like wild animals, and Túrin injured him with a drinking mug. The next day, they pair fought further, and Saeros was made to run naked through the forest by Túrin. In his terror, Saeros ran off of a cliff and was killed upon the rocks below. Túrin was asked to return to the judgment of the King, but he thought himself an outlaw by then, and he left Doriath and joined a band of desperate and ruthless men.

When Thingol heard of what had happened, he pardoned Túrin, whom he had loved as his own son, and Beleg—who also loved him—vowed to search for him and bring him back to Doriath. Beleg was captured by the men of Túrin’s band and treated cruelly, as a spy, but Túrin had him released and left the cruel group of men, swearing to never again harm any but the servants of Morgoth. Beleg told him of the King’s pardon, but Túrin would not humble himself to accept it, and Beleg returned to Doriath.

Thingol was grateful for his efforts and gave him leave to guard and guide Túrin in the wild, giving him the sword Anglachel as a gift, despite Melian’s foreboding that the sword was evil and would not serve Beleg for long.

In the meantime, Túrin and his band of outlaws grew weary of their life, ever in motion, and sought a safer refuge. They encountered three Dwarves one day and managed to capture one, Mîm, who offered to lead them to his hidden halls upon the great hill Amon Rûdh in exchange for his life. They followed Mîm to his halls, where he discovered that one of his two sons had died of an arrow loosed by a man of Túrin’s company. Túrin offered him a recompense of gold, and Mîm gave him leave to dwell there.

Mîm was of the Petty-Dwarves, who had long ago been banished from the eastern Dwarf cities and were diminished in stature and skill from their relatives in the Blue Mountains. They had once been hunted by the Elves and so hated them; the Petty-Dwarves were responsible for beginning to delve the caves of Nargothrond. They’d since mostly died out, save Mîm and his two sons.

When winter fell, Beleg came to Túrin’s new home, and although Túrin would not return to Doriath, Beleg stayed with him and helped the men of his company. Mîm, though, hated Beleg, but Túrin paid the Dwarves no mind any longer.

When the servants of Morgoth invaded the area, Beleg and Túrin strove against them and gave hope to the people. But Morgoth became aware of Túrin—son of his captive Húrin—and sent spies to Amon Rûdh. While foraging in the wild, Mîm was again captured—this time by the servants of Morgoth—and again led them to the doors of his home. Many of Túrin’s men were slain, and Túrin was taken captive. Beleg was badly wounded but not killed, and when he didn’t find Túrin among the dead, knew that he’d been captured, and he set forth in pursuit of his captors. On his way, he found an Elf—aged and bent—sleeping beneath the tree. The Elf named himself Gwindor, who had been captured by Morgoth during the Battle of Unnumbered Tears, after he witnessed the slaying of his captured brother Gelmir.

Gwindor had seen a company of Orcs moving with a captured man in chains, and Beleg persuaded Gwindor to join him, and they crept upon the Orc encampment, slaying the sentinels and carrying away an unconscious Túrin as the Orcs slept. Once they were free of the encampment, Beleg put him down to cut his bonds, but Túrin awakened then, and thinking Beleg a foe, grappled and killed him with his own sword Anglachel.

The Orcs did not search long for Túrin and returned empty-handed, and Gwindor and Túrin buried Beleg. Túrin took Anglachel, so that it might continue to serve the cause against Morgoth. Túrin was silent and purposeless in his grief, but Gwindor stayed at his side and guided him to the springs of Eithel Ivrin, and drinking of the water, Túrin recovered from his grief-induced madness. Journeying southward along the banks of the Narog, Túrin and Gwindor were taken by the guards of Nargothrond to that realm.

The people of Nargothrond did not recognize Gwindor, as his torments in Angband had aged and diminished him, but he had once been in love with Finduilas, daughter of Orodreth, who was the king of Nargothrond and the brother of Finrod Felagund. Finduilas recognized him, and Túrin was permitted to stay with him. Túrin quickly grew to be favored in Nargothrond, though he would not speak his true name—hoping that his family’s curse would evade him—and he was feared in battle.

Finduilas grew to love Túrin, though he did not love her, and her heart turned from Gwindor, who loved her still and gave her leave but warned her against loving a mortal—and one whose family had been cursed by Morgoth. He revealed to her Túrin’s true name, and Túrin was angry for this, but when Orodreth learned of it, Túrin grew even more in his favor. It was Túrin’s counsel that Nargothrond should go openly into battle rather than relying on secrecy and stealth, as they had done. He also counseled that a bridge be built across the Narog, to the long-secret entrance, to aid in moving their armies. Though Gwindor spoke against this, he was no longer strong or favored, and Nargothrond marched into open warfare, and the servants of Morgoth were cleared from their land.

This withheld the power of Morgoth to where Túrin’s mother Morwen and sister Nienor could escape to Doriath, where they were welcomed, but she was saddened to learn that Túrin was there no longer.

Two Elves came also to Nargothrond—called Gelmir and Arminas—and they lived with Círdan’s people. Ulmo had warned Círdan of great peril coming to Nargothrond, and they begged Orodreth to cast down the bridge and return to secrecy. But Túrin—in his pride—would not heed their warning, and Morgoth unleashed an attack as predicted, unleashing the dragon Glaurung upon the realm. Only Túrin could withstand the attack, and Orodreth was slain and Gwindor mortally wounded. Before he died, Gwindor warned Túrin that he must return to Nargothrond and save Finduilas, or he too would be doomed.

But he was too late, for the bridge had made it easy for the Orc-host and Glaurung to reach and invade the caves of Nargothrond. The women had already been either killed or herded aside to serve as slaves in Angband, but Túrin hewed his way toward them but was stopped by Glaurung and frozen with a spell. Then, he was told of the evil that he had become, and he saw himself as such and loathed it. While he was under spell, the captives were driven past him, and though Finduilas cried for him, he did not hear her. When she was gone, Túrin was released from the spell, and Glaurung told him a lie of his mother and sister also being put to torment and killed in Dor-lómin—for Túrin did not know that they had fled to Angband—and he abandoned his pursuit of Finduilas to go instead for his mother and sister, believing the dragon’s lies.

Túrin went to Dor-lómin and discovered his mother and sister gone. He went to his mother’s kinswoman Aerin and was told that they had gone to Doriath to seek her son, and Glaurung’s spell came off of him, and he saw that he’d been deceived. He killed the Easterlings who had taken Aerin into slavery and left Dor-lómin a hunted man, searching for Finduilas. A group of men whom he saved from Orcs knew of her fate, that all of the captives of Nargothrond had been slain; Finduilas was pinned by a spear to a tree, and her last words were to tell Túrin of her location. She had been buried beneath a mound called Haudh-en-Elleth, the Mound of the Elf-maid.

Túrin’s identity was revealed as he mourned beside her grave, and he was taken to the settlement of the People of Haleth, now ruled by a man named Brandir. Brandir consented to take Túrin in and healed him; Túrin adopted the new name Turambar in hopes that he could remain hidden where the shadow of his curse would not find him.

Meanwhile, the few survivors of Nargothrond came to Thingol in Doriath and brought tidings of Glaurung remaining in the Halls of Nargothrond; Túrin, it was believed, was either dead or still under the dragon’s spell. Morwen was distraught at this and set out for Doriath, refusing the counsel of Melian. Knowing that she would not be dissuaded, Thingol sent Mablung after her; Nienor her daughter followed also in secret. Upon reaching Amon Ethir (the Hill of Spies) in Nargothrond, they could see no sign of enemy, but Glaurung saw them and flew forward, sending forth vapors that blinded them and maddened their horses. Nienor fell unhurt from her horse and climbed Amon Ethir to await Mablung’s return, but it was Glaurung at the hilltop—not Mablung—and when she looked into his eyes, a spell of forgetfulness came upon her, and she knew nothing of herself and stood motionless for many days. There, Mablung found her and discovered that—though she could not speak or hear—she would walk blindly if led. Resting just outside of Doriath, they were surprised by an Orc-band, and Nienor recovered her senses then and fled in terror. The Elves pursued her, but she escaped them, and Mablung searched long afterward for tidings of Morwen and Nienor.

Nienor fled to Brethil, and when a storm came upon the land, lay upon the Haudh-en-Elleth, where she was found by Túrin. Afterward, she would not be parted from him, and—unable to remember her name—he renamed her Níenel and took her back to Brandir’s people. There, she was healed, and Brandir loved her, though her heart was given to Túrin. Remembering nothing of her prior life, she did not know that he was her brother.

With a feeling of foreboding, Brandir gave Túrin’s rightful name to her, and though she remembered nothing, a blackness settled upon her thought. Still, Túrin insisted that they should be married else he would return to war, and she consented. Túrin returned to war to fight for his people, and rumor of him reached Glaurung in Nargothrond, and he came forth from Nargothrond in the same spring that Nienor conceived a child.

When it became clear that Glaurung did not intend to pass Brethil on his return to Angband but would remain and destroy their homes, Túrin set out with a small company. In secret, Nienor followed, and Brandir—who loved her still—followed also. Túrin and Hunthor sought to sneak up on Glaurung while he rested alongside the Teiglin, but he rose up, and they were driven back, and Hunthor was killed by a falling stone, leaving Túrin alone. But Túrin pursued and threw his sword into the belly of the dragon, slaying him. When Túrin wrenched the sword from the dragon’s belly, Glaurung’s blood burned him, and Glaurung opened his eyes and the malice in his eyes struck Túrin into unconsciousness.

As Glaurung screamed, the people of Brethil thought that he had triumphed, including Nienor. Believing Túrin dead, Brandir led her into the forest, thinking that she would now be his. But she refused his summons and sought her husband, finding him alongside the dragon. She bandaged his wound and bade him to awake, but he did not. It was Glaurung who spoke instead, and with his last words, congratulated Nienor on finding her brother at last, and the spell of forgetfulness was removed from her, and she remembered all of her past. Distraught, she cast herself off of a cliff and into the river, to her death.

Brandir returned to his people with the tidings of Nienor’s death and the truth of her relationship with Túrin, thinking him dead, and called his death good tidings. But Túrin had awakened and returned and was told of Nienor’s death and his relationship to her by Brandir; by another, he was also told that Brandir had called his death “good tidings. Believing that Brandir had orchestrated deception, jealous of their love, he killed him and fled to Haudh-en-Elleth, to call upon Finduilas for help. Mablung came upon him then and Túrin asked for tidings of his family in Doriath. Being told that his mother was lost and his sister cast into a spell of forgetfulness and also lost, he realized that he had slain Brandir unjustly and that Nienor was in fact his sister.

Fleeing from them, he asked his sword if it would take his life, and it answered that to forget the blood of Beleg and Brandir, it would. He set the hilt upon the ground and fell upon it, killing himself. Mablung found him there and knew that—by the tidings he’d brought—he’d caused the death of a friend. The body of Glaurung was burned and a mound built over Túrin, with a stone inscribed with his name and Nienor’s, though they knew not where the river had taken her.

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