(Tolkien's Middle-earth)

Sindarin, 'Tears Unnumbered' (also simply the "Nirnaeth" ['tears']).

This is the name given to the ruinous fifth and last of the great battles in the Wars of Beleriand, or more properly the fourth day of that conflict on the desert of Anfauglith. In this battle the Noldor and their allies the Edain--having renewed their determination and having had a string of military successes--purposed the final overthrow of Morgoth, but were themselves defeated utterly.

Their previous victories had, in fact, been their downfall, as Morgoth--both by stealth observation and treachery--was alerted to their strength, number and tactics. At the Nirnaeth, Huor (father of Tuor), captaining the self-sacrificing Men of Dor-lómin, the Men of Brethil, Azaghâl of the Dwarves, the Elves of Nargothrond led by Gwindor son of Guilin, and Fingon High King of the Noldor, were all slain. The realms of the sons of Fëanor were spet away for ever, Mithrim and Dor-lómin overrun, and the Havens of Eglarest and Brithombar sacked. The Havens of Sirion became a refuge for those that survived for but a short while, before the World was Changed, Morgoth thrown out, and Beleriand lost beneath the seas.

It was in this battle that Húrin was captured to further the designs of Morgoth, who wanted to get Húrin alive because there were rumors that he had once visited the secret hidden citadel of Gondolin. Indeed Húrin had once visited that place, but but he swore not to tell anyone where it lies. Morgoth tortured and cursed him and his kind and sat him on a hill from which Húrin was forced to see all that happened to his son Túrin(*) and his wife Morwen without being able to move or to close his eyes. After Túrin and Nienor's deaths Morgoth released Húrin.

(*) - N.B. You will remember that Túrin Turambar and Nienor Níniel were both placed under the spell/curse of Glaurung, and afterwards fell incestuously in love. Imagine a father's grief at having to see that. Tears Unnumbered, indeed.

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