Legendarium’ First Age Part 3: Túrin Turambar

In the land of Dor-lómin, the two brothers of the House of Hador, Húrin and Huor, sons of Galdor, are sent to Brethil along with a party to gain experience and fight against orcs under the command of Fingon. However, things do not go as planned, and the two brothers are forced to separate from the party and head towards the river Sirion. Their escape is owed to Ulmo and the mist he sent, and they are subsequently taken by eagles to Gondolin. There, they are warmly received by Turgon, and after staying for a while, they return to Dor-lómin on the condition of not revealing the city’s location.

Húrin marries Morwen, and they have a son named Túrin and a daughter named Urwen, who will later die of illness. Huor, on the other hand, has a son named Tuor. During this time, Morgoth’s power in the north was growing, so Maedhros decided to unite all Middle-earth and direct them to fight. Thus, the Nirnaeth Arnoediad begins. Those who attack Morgoth divide into two groups. The first group consists of Maedhros, the sons of Fëanor, the dwarves of Nogrod and Belegost, as well as the tribes of Bor and Ulfang. The second group includes Fingon, the Noldor Elves, the Sindar Elves, the Haladin who live in Brethil, and the House of Hador, who live in Dor-lómin. Orodreth, who takes charge of Nargothrond after Finrod’s tragic death, does not participate in the battle due to his hatred for the sons of Fëanor. However, Beleg and Mablung, the wardens of Doriath, participate in the war, even though Thingol and Doriath, who possess a Silmaril, refuse to join.

After Nirnaeth Arnoediad, Haudh-en-Ndengin (art by Ted Nasmith)

The Elves’ plan to attack and trap the enemy from the West and East in Anfauglith does not go as intended. Morgoth, upon seeing Fingon relentlessly advancing, releases Gwindor’s brother, whom he had kept captive in his dungeons, causing Gwindor to go mad and attack without order. Seeing the disorder, Fingon launches a full-scale assault and reaches the gates of Angband. However, this is what Morgoth desired. Morgoth releases his main orc forces and successfully repels Fingon and the army coming from the West. During the battle, Fingon is killed in a one-on-one fight with Gothmog, the lord of the Balrogs. Witnessing this, the humans sacrifice themselves and rush forward to save the Elves. Huor dies due to this act of heroism, while Húrin is captured by Gothmog.

At that time, the sons of Fëanor from the East also fall victim to betrayal by the Easterlings, who had made a secret pact with Morgoth. As a result, the forces of the West, along with the forces from the East, are repelled by Morgoth’s armies. Many Elves manage to escape thanks to the heroism of humans and dwarves who throw themselves into the jaws of death. One of these heroes is Azaghâl, whose bravery will be passed down from tongue to tongue. Clad in dragon-resistant armor, Azaghâl confronts Glaurung, the father of dragons. Despite being crushed under the dragon’s foot, Azaghâl does not give up and manages to stab his dagger into the dragon’s belly, enabling his escape. Though Azaghâl perishes on the battlefield, his bravery becomes one of the stories that circulate throughout Middle-earth.

After his tactical success, Morgoth emerges victorious in the battle and takes complete control of the north. Morgoth denies the Easterlings, who had stabbed the Elves in the back, what they desired. Instead, he gives them Hithlum and completely encloses it, not allowing them to leave. The humans, aware of the betrayal, are forced to accept what is given to them out of fear. With the north under his control, Morgoth’s forces move downward, capturing everything except for Doriath, protected by Melian’s enchantments, the hidden Gondolin, and Nargothrond. Círdan, located in Falas, is unable to resist the onslaught of evil forces coming from the north and evacuates everyone to the Isle of Balar.

The Easterlings systematically kill everyone in Hithlum from the House of Hador, except for the women and children. Morwen, believing her husband to be dead in the Nirnaeth Arnoediad, sends her son Túrin to Doriath for his safety. Although Túrin does not want to go, fate leads him to Doriath. While growing up under the rule of Thingol in Doriath, Túrin’s mother, Morwen, gives birth to their third child, Nienor. Túrin enjoys a peaceful life in Doriath, befriending Mablung and Beleg, but also acquiring enemies like Saeros. One day, Saeros, who dislikes Túrin because he is a stranger, tries to corner him in the forest but accidentally causes his own death. Believing he will be blamed for Saeros’ death, Túrin chooses to flee instead of returning to Doriath.

young Túrin Turambar in Doriath (created by Midjourney)

Turin, who establishes a new life for himself in the forest, forms a team consisting of criminals. Together with this team, he gets involved in various troubles. Turin’s departure causes turmoil in Doriath. Witnesses testify that Turin had no involvement in Saeros’ death, leading King Thingol to send Beleg to find Turin. After a while, Beleg succeeds in finding Turin. Beleg gives Turin the black sword Anglachel, sent by King Thingol as a gesture of peace. When Beleg finds Turin, he and his group are staying in the cave dwelling of the dwarf Mim. However, Mim later betrays their location to the dark forces. The attacking orcs kill Turin’s men one by one. Turin, who is captured alive, is eventually rescued after Beleg’s relentless pursuit. However, in a panic and fear, Turin mistakenly takes Beleg for an orc and fatally stabs him with his sword, causing his death.

Filled with great sorrow, Turin sets out on the road again. Along the way, he encounters Gwindor. Together with Gwindor, Turin travels to Nargothrond, where Orodreth is the king, and there he establishes an entirely new life for himself. Over time, Turin rises to become an advisor to King Orodreth. He also begins a new relationship with an elf maiden named Finduilas. However, Turin cannot escape from the consequences of his past wrong decisions caused by Morgoth’s curse on his father, no matter how much time passes.

Despite all the warnings from the Valar, Turin tells King Orodreth to build a bridge and face the approaching Glaurung and the enemy in the valley in a direct battle. Despite Valar’s and many counselors’ advice, Orodreth chooses to listen to Turin. Unfortunately, this choice leads to the downfall of Nargothrond. Ignoring Valar’s warning, Turin fights the approaching enemy outside, but his ill-fated decision results in everyone perishing in Glaurung’s fire. King Orodreth also joins the fallen in the Battle of Tumhalad.

Battle of Tumhalad (art by embiggen)

By chance, Turin survives the battle. Knowing that Glaurung has gone to Nargothrond, Turin tries to return to the city as quickly as possible. However, the orcs and Glaurung had already arrived at the city before Turin, and the city had already fallen. Turin returns to a plundered city and faces Glaurung, who awaits him. With the power of his gaze, Glaurung freezes Turin in place. As he watches the city being plundered before his eyes, Turin can only stand frozen. Glaurung tells him that he must either rescue his captive wife or save his mother, Morwen, and sister Nienor, who are in dire straits in Dor-lómin. Although Glaurung claims that his family is in Dor-lómin, Morwen and his sister had actually settled in Doriath years ago and were living in peace. Turin, choosing his family over his wife Finduilas, embarks on a journey to find the non-existent individuals. Arriving in Dor-lómin after a long journey, Turin learns that they are not there. In a fit of rage, Turin kills the Easterlings’ king as an outlet for his anger. He then sets out once again, this time in search of his beloved girl Finduilas. However, upon reaching Nargothrond, he realizes that she, too, had died long ago.

Alone and unsure of what to do, Turin sets out on the road once more. Along the way, he encounters a naked woman without any memory in the depths of the forest. Turin falls in love with her and names her Niniel. Niniel is actually her sister Nienor, whom she has never met before. Morwen and Nienor had left their comfortable life in Doriath to search for Turin and, unfortunately, encountered Glaurung on their journey. Glaurung cast a spell on Nienor, erasing her memories. With her memories lost, Nienor flees into the forest and eventually encounters Turin.

The peaceful life that Turin and Niniel had established in the depths of the forest changes when they hear that Glaurung, the father of dragons, is approaching their area. Turin leaves his pregnant wife, Niniel, behind and sets out to settle his unfinished business with Glaurung. After a relentless pursuit, Turin manages to find Glaurung asleep and successfully stabs him in the belly with his sword, Anglachel, killing him. However, Turin faints in the process. Concerned about the passing time and worried for Turin, Niniel sets out after him. When she arrives, she finds Turin lying unconscious and Glaurung dying. Before his death, Glaurung does his last wickedness and lifts the spell he had cast on Niniel, allowing her to remember that she is actually Turin’s sister. Upon learning this, Niniel, unable to bear the pain, throws herself off a cliff. When Turin wakes up shortly after, he sees his pregnant dead wife and, unable to bear the weight of his wrong decisions and endless pain, he impales himself on his sword, Anglachel, putting an end to his life.

art by Eric Velhagen

After the deaths of Turin and Nienor, Morgoth releases Hurin from captivity and sets him free. Wandering alone in the forests, Hurin first comes to Hithlum and sees that it has been taken over by the Easterlings. He then heads towards Gondolin, but when he receives no response from King Turgon, he believes he has been betrayed. Hurin then goes to Brethil, where he finds his wife Morwen at their children’s graves.

Morwen, who has the strength to utter one last sentence, bids farewell to life after speaking it. Consumed by anger at the loss of his family, Hurin finds and kills the dwarf Mim. He then goes to Thingol and Melian. When Melian removes the curse that Morgoth had placed upon him, Hurin realizes the mistakes he has made and throws himself off a cliff into the sea.

Before his death, Hurin gives the Nauglamír, which he found, to Thingol. This action will also lead to the downfall of Doriath.

Sources and Further Information

  • Tolkien, J.R.R & Tolkien, Christopher. “The Silmarillion,” Houghton Mifflin Company (2004)
  • Tolkien, J.R.R & İpek, Çiğdem Erkal “Translator”. “Yüzüklerin Efendisi,” Metis Yayınları (2007)
  • Tolkien, J.R.R & Tolkien, Christopher. “The Children of Húrin,” HarperCollins (2007)
  • Tolkien, J.R.R & Tolkien, Christopher. “Beren and Lúthien,” Houghton Mifflin Harcourt (2017)
  • Tolkien, J.R.R & Tolkien, Christopher. “The Fall of Gondolin,” Houghton Mifflin Harcourt (2018)
  • Orta Dünya – Legendarium Türkiye, YouTube
  • Yüzüklerin Efendisi – Orta Dünya, YouTube
  • Nerd of the Rings, YouTube


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