J.R.R. Tolkien> The Silmarillion

Túrin Turambar

Adanedhel, Agarwaen, the Bane of Glaurung, Gorthol, Neithan, the Black Sword, Mormegil, Wildman of the Woods

Farewell, O twice beloved! A Túrin Turambar turun ambartanen: master of doom by doom mastered! O happy to be dead!

The Silmarillion

Túrin was the most enigmatic, tragic, and tormented character ever to pass under the pen of J.R.R. Tolkien. He was one of the cursed children of Húrin Thalion and the lay Narn i Hîn Húrin (Tale of the Children of Húrin) deals with him and his sister Nienor Níniel. He was born in the year 465 of the First Age to Húrin and Morwen of the House of Hador. After the Nirnaeth Arnoediad (Battle of the Unnumbered Tears), Morwen sent Túrin away to Doriath for safety. There he was fostered by Thingol and fought beside his friend Beleg. Túrin fled from Doriath when he accidently killed Saeros, which is the first affect of Morgoth's curse on the children of Húrin.

Then Beleg told Túrin of King Thingol's pardon; and he sought to persuade him by all means that he might to return with him to Doriath, saying that there was great need of his strength and valour on the north marches of the realm.

-J.R.R. Tolkien
The Silmarillion

Beleg then went out to search for his friend. He found him and told him of the pardon of Thingol and his safety in Doriath, but Túrin refused to return. After this, Túrin came upon the Petty-Dwarf Mîm, who led him to his home upon (or rather, in) Amon Rûdh. There he was found again by Beleg, who brought the Dragonhelm of Dor-lómin for him. Because of this Túrin renamed himself Gorthol, which is the Dread Helm. The land that they both now cleared of evil soon came to be known as Dor-Cúarthol (Land of the Bow-Helm) because of the Helm of Túrin and the Bow of Beleg.

Sometime in the year 487 Túrin was capturered by a band of Orcs. Beleg soon chased after them and caught up with them during a stormy night. Túrin unwittingly slew his friend in a fit of madness when he thought the Orcs had returned to torture him. When the lightning flashed, the face of his great friend Beleg was shown to him and he collapsed, stunned with grief. The great sword Anglachel, which Beleg had taken from Thingol, broke at the slaying of its master. Gwindor, who had accompanied Beleg, tended to Túrin and brought him to Eithel Ivrin.

...But when Gwindor would tell his name, Túrin checked him, saying: 'I am Agarwaen the son of Úmarth (which is the Bloodstained, son of Ill-fate), a hunter in the woods'; and the Elves of Nargothrond questioned him no more...

-J.R.R. Tolkien
The Silmarillion

With Gwindor as his guide, Túrin entered Nargothrond. During these years he became great among the people of Nargothrond, who named him Adanedhel (Elf-man) because of his noble face. They also named him the Mormegil (Black Sword), for the sword which he bore. Here it was that Anglachel was reforged and named Gurthang (Death Iron). In his stay at Nargothrond, he fought in many of their battles, including in Tumhalad. Returning from Tumhalad, he was caught under the dragonspell of Glaurung, who released him to return to Dor-lómin to find his mother and sister. He returned to Nargothrond instead and named himself Turambar (Master of Fate). He drifted out of the eyes of his friends and enemies for a while and kept the surrounding area clear of Orcs, not using theDragonhelm or Gurthang. In the year 500 he married Níniel (Tear-maiden).

Hail, Nienor, daughter of Húrin. We meet again ere the end. I give thee joy that thou hast found thy brother at last. And now thou shalt know him: a stabber in the dark, trecherous to foes, faithless to friends, and a curse unto his kin, Túrin son of Húrin! But the worst of all his deeds thou shalt fell in thyself.

The Silmarillion

In the year 501, the dragon Glaurung started to menace the area of Brethil. Túrin took it upon himself to slay the dragon, a deed which he accomplished. With his last breath, Glaurung revealed to him the identity of his beloved Níniel, who turned out to be his sister Nienor. Because of the loss of his sister, wife, and mother, he threw himself upon his sword and took his own life. He was buried under the Stone of the Hapless, which was inscribed with the words:


Túrin had black hair and grey eyes and was almost melodramatic in his emotions. He was the first of Tolkien's characters the take their own life and is fated to fight alone with Melkor in the Last Battle. He died at the age of 35, alone, forsaken, and forever cursed.

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