1. Turin Turambar
I 464 – Túrin born to Húrin Thalion and Morwen Eledhwen in Dor-lómin.
472 – The Year of Lamentation: Nirnaeth Arnoediad, Battle of Unnumbered Tears. Húrin is captured by Morgoth, who curses him and his family with ‘sorrow and darkness’. In the autumn of this year Morwen sends Túrin with two servants to find the hidden kingdom of Doriath.
473 – At the beginning of the year, Morwen gives birth to Nienor. Túrin arrives in Doriath and is fostered by Thingol.
484 – Túrin slays Saeros (Orgof in some versions) in error and flees Doriath.
489 – Beleg rescues Túrin from a band of Orcs, but is mistakenly slain by Túrin, who then takes Beleg’s sword, Anglachel (later renamed Gurthang).
490-495 – Túrin lives in Nargothrond. In 494 Morwen and Nienor leave Dor-lómin for Doriath. In 495 Glaurung crosses the Narog and despoils Nargothrond. Túrin escapes and comes to Dor-lómin, where he slays Brodda in the hall.
496 – Túrin comes to Brethil and renames himself Turambar, taking the leadership of the community from Brandir. Morwen and Nienor go in search of him; Nienor meets Glaurung and loses her memory. Túrin finds his sister at the crossings of Teiglin and names her Níniel.
498 – Turambar and Níniel marry.
499 – Níniel conceives. Glaurung comes to Brethil, and Túrin sets out to kill him. He finds Glaurung and fatally wounds the dragon. Níniel follows Túrin. Glaurung reveals to her her parentage; she casts herself in the falls of Cabed-en-Aras and dies. She is watched by Brandir who now knows the truth.
Awakening, Túrin comes to his people. Brandir reveals Níniel’s identity, and Túrin slays him. Mablung arrives from Doriath and tells Túrin that Nienor was missing, and Túrin commits suicide by falling upon the point of Gurthang.
(Dates from ‘The Grey Annals’, The War of the Jewels)
Father – Húrin, named Thalion the Steadfast.
Mother – Morwen, named Eledhwen Elfsheen for her beauty and her keen glance. Her father’s cousin was Beren.
Siblings – Urwen, named Lalaith (‘Laughter’), who died from the pestilience; and Nienor (‘Mourning’).
First cousin – Tuor, the son of Húrin’s brother Huor.
“For he was young, and only now reached his full manhood; and he was in truth the son of Morwen Eledhwen to look upon: dark-haired and pale-skinned, with grey eyes, and face more beautiful than any other among Mortal Men, in the Elder Days. His speech and bearing were that of the ancient kingdom of Doriath, and even among the Elves he might be taken for one from the great houses of the Noldor; therefore many called him Adanedhel, the Elf-Man.”
(The Silmarillion, Chapter 21, ‘Of Túrin Turambar’.)
“He was lithe and lean, and his locks were wild,
and woodland weeds he wore of brown
and grey and green, and gay jewel
or golden trinket his garb knew not.”
(‘The Lay of the Children of Húrin’, ll. 444-447)
“Wild and black was his hair yet streaked with grey, and his face was pale and marked as with deep sorrows of the past, and in his hand he bare a great sword whereof all but the very edge was black.”
(The Book of Lost Tales 2, ‘Turambar and the Foalókë’)
[Note: Túrin’s sister Lalaith was golden-haired, taking after her father’s line. I
think Nienor may have been golden-haired also, but can’t find a citation.]
“[…] he was not merry, and spoke little, though he learned to speak early and ever seemed older than his years. Túrin was slow to forget injustice or mockery; but the fire of his father was also in him, and he could be sudden and fierce. Yet he was quick to pity, and the hurts or sadness of living things might move him to tears […]”
“[…] it seemed that fortune was unfriendly to him, so that often what he designed went awry, and what he desired he did not gain; neither did he win friendship easily, for he was not merry, and laughed seldom, and a shadow lay on his youth.”
(Unfinished Tales, II., ‘Narn i Hîn Húrin’)
Principal friends and enemies of Túrin
Thingol of Doriath – Túrin’s foster-father.
Beleg Cúthalion – the Elf who finds Túrin in the forest and first brings him to Thingol. He later joins Túrin in exile and is slain by his friend in an attempt to rescue Túrin from Orcs.
Saeros – Elf of Thingol’s court; he taunts Túrin and is chased by the Man to an accidental death.
Mablung – march-warden of Thingol, witness to the death of Saeros and in charge of Morwen and Nienor as they seek for Túrin.
Mîm – a Petty-dwarf who shelters Túrin and his outlaws in return for his freedom and his life; later betrays Túrin to a band of Orcs.
Gwindor – Elf of Nargothrond, veteran of the Nirnaeth Arnoediad. Helped by Beleg and guides Túrin to Nargothrond following Beleg’s death.
Finduilas – daughter of Orodreth, king of Nargothrond, in love with Túrin and loved by Gwindor.
Glaurung – a dragon, destroyer of Nargothrond, slain by Túrin.
Brandir – chieftain of the Men of Brethil, lame, and a healer.
“Then Morgoth stretching out his long arm towards Dor-lómin cursed Húrin and Morwen and their offspring, saying: ‘Behold! The shadow of my thought shall lie upon them wherever they go, and my hate shall pursue them to the ends of the world. […] upon all whom you love my thought shall weigh as a cloud of Doom, and it shall bring them down into darkness and despair. Wherever they go, evil shall arise. Whenever they speak, their words shall bring ill counsel. Whatsoever they do shall turn against them. They shall die without hope, cursing both life and death.’
[…] And taking Húrin back to Angband he set him in a chair of stone upon a high place of Thangorodrim, from which he could see afar the land of Hithlum in the west and the lands of Beleriand in the south. There he was bound by the power of Morgoth; and Morgoth standing beside him cursed him again and set his power upon him, so that he could not move from that place, nor die, until Morgoth should release him.”
(Unfinished Tales, II., ‘Narn i Hîn Húrin’)
Main sources for the story of Túrin
The Silmarillion, ‘Of Túrin Turambar’ – the standard version.
Unfinished Tales, II., ‘Narn i Hîn Húrin’ (The Tale of the Children of Húrin) – more lengthy and detailed than the Silmarillion story, but lacking the Nargothrond section.
The War of the Jewels, (History of Middle-earth Volume 11), ‘The Grey Annals’ – chronological account by year, interesting to see how Túrin’s tale fits into the history of the First Age.
The Book of Lost Tales 2, (History of Middle-earth Volume 2), ‘Turambar and the Foalókë’ – this is the earliest prose version of the tale. There are many differences in names between this version and the Silmarillion version; however the plot is essentially in place.
The Lays of Beleriand, (History of Middle-earth Volume 3), ‘The Lay of the Children of Húrin’ – possibly the earliest extant piece of what became the Silmarillion. Written between 1918 and 1925 in alliterative verse and unfinished; the poem ends in Nargothrond.
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