II: The Book of Lost Tales part 2, II: TURAMBAR AND THE FOALÓKË (1/2)

This post concerns the tale of Túrin Turambar and Glorund the Dragon. This early version is the foundation for the text in Silmarillion, Narn i Chîn Húrin, The Lays of Beleriand and ultimately the book Children of Húrin published in 2007. The story is mainly about Túrin, son of Úrin who is cursed by Melko and suffers a life where tragedy and grief hits him over and over again. In this post I will feature the first half of the plot and a list of characters and features to note (as always). I will save my comments for the second post. 

At Tol Eressëa the holiday of Turuhalmë is taking place, in which the telling of tales is important. Ailos (Gilfanon) spoke on the first night and on the second night Eltas told the tale about Turambar and the Foalókë, “a favourite tale among men”.

Eltas told that in Hisilóme, or Aryador as men called the region, dwellt a lord of men called Úrin. He marched with Ilkorindi elves against Melko in the Battle of Unnumbered Tears leaving his wife, Mavwin, and young son, Túrin, at home. Úrin was captured alive and Melko tried to make Úrin consent to do his bidding against the elves. Úrin refused and had to witness of his family from a place of captivity. His family had been cursed by Melko.

Mavwin and Túrin had to move to and dwell in Dor Lómin and there Mavwin birthed Nienóri. Túrin was sent to be fostered in Tinwelints halls in Artanor, because there had been friendship between between Úrin and Beren’s father. On their way there, Túrin and his guardians, one among them called Gumlin, were lost. They were found and led to Tinwelints hall by a huntsman gnome called Beleg. Túrin lived there for several years and grew to adulthood. Tidings from his mother stopped and Túrin grew unhappy and bitter. A vain and jealus elf called Orgof teased Túrin about his mother and this made Túrin assault him, which led to Orgof’s death. Altough Tinwelint forgave Túrin for this deed Túrin went into a self-chosen exile where he lived in the woods and went on numerous adventures with Beleg who became a steady friend.

During one fight with orcs, Túrin was captured and Beleg hurt. When Beleg had healed he sat after the band of orcs in order to rescue his friend. While following the orcs Beleg came upon a fugitive gnome called Flinding. Flinding had been enthralled by Melko and was very hesitant to join Beleg until he heard that Túrin was the son of Úrin (who was well known). They found the orcs and stealthyily they carried a sleeping Túrin from the site. Upon waking up Túrin slayed Beleg out of fright, he thought that he was attacked by an orc. Together, Túrin and Flinding escaped the region and wandered together for a long time. Flinding eventually led them to a secret dwelling of fugitive gnomes. Rodothlim. There they lived in caves in fashioned weapons, jewellery and other crafts. The chief of the elves here was Orodreth and when he heard the tales of Flinding and Túrin he allowed for them to live there. There was an elf maiden named Failivrin, daugther of one Galweg, who took a liking to Túrin.

The leaders of Rodothlim had foreboding dreams and started a preparation for a battle with the creatures of Melko. Túrin recieved a newly made sword which he namned Gurtholfin, which was a black sword. His ownership of this blade gave him the nickname Mormakil which refers to the sword. Melko put forward armies of orcs and wolves that where led by the beast Glorund, a Foalókë, or dragon. All of Rodothlim fell or was taken for thralls. Except for Túrin who was put under a spell by the eye of Glorund. It hold him to be motionless. Failivin’s voice (she was one of the captured) cast of the spell because of the emotional attachment between her and Túrin. Túrin grasped his sword in an attempt to strike the dragon, but by the breath of the dragon he was rendered unconscious. Once awake Glorund tells Túrin of the dark fate of his family from the curse of Melko, by which Glorund has not yet already killed Túrin. Túrin decides on taking on a new name: Turambar (Conqueror of Fate). Glorund laughs and think Túrin a fool and sends Túrin away.

Túrin sets off to find his mother and sister in Dor Lómin, but learns that they have moved to live with a folk under the rule of one Brodda. He goes there but finds their house abandoned. He learns that all their goods are cared for by Brodda. He goes to Brodda’s halls and kills Brodda, who has taken all the things owned by Mavwin and Nienóri, and he reveals his identity. Airin, wife of Brodda, sends him away and promise to return the things to Mavwin or Nienóri if they return. Túrin leaves, filled with sorrow, because none knew where his family went. He joins a company of huntsmen in the woods.

Characters to note

  • Men
    • Úrin – A Lord of Men, captured by Melko in battle. Husband of Mavwin, father of Túrin and Nienóri. In later versions “Húrin”.
    • Mavwin – Wife of Úrin, mother of Túrin and Nienóri. In later versions “Morwen”.
    • Túrin – Also called Turambar (Conqueror of Fate) and Mormakil (refering to his black sword, Gurtholfin). Son of Úrin and Mavwin, elder brother to Nienóri.
    • Nienóri – Also called Níniel. Daugther to Úrin and Mavwin, younger sister to Túrin. In later versions “Niënor”.
    • Gumlin – Guardian of Túrin when travelling to and during stay in Tinwelint’s abode.
    • Brodda – Lord of the regions where Mavwin and Nienóri lives for a while. Killed by Túrin.
    • Airin – Wife of Brodda.
    • Orlin – Man living in the region where Brodda rules. Kin of Mavwin. Killed by Túrin.
  • Elves
    • Ailios and Eltas – Ailios is the same as Gilfanon (see earlier posts). Eltas might be a man, not specified. Tellers of tales at the Cottage of Lost Play.
    • Tinwelint – Also Tinwë Linto. Former leader of those who would become the Solosimpi. Having remained in the Great Lands he is now King of some of the Ilkorini. Partner with Gwendeling. In Silmarillion = Thingol.
    • Beleg – A gnome elf. Huntsman in the woods around the dwellings of Tinwelint.
    • Orgof – Half gnome, half Ilkorindi elf. Part of the court of Tinwelint. Killed by Túrin.
    • Flinding – A fugitive gnome who has been enthralled by Melko, but escaped.
    • Orodreth – The Leader of the Rodothlim.
    • Failivin – A Rodothlim gnome maiden who likes Túrin. Daugther of Galweg.
    • Galweg – A Rodothlim gnome who befriends Túrin.
  • Others
    • Glorund – A lókë, dragon, of great power, servant of Melko. Slayed by Túrin.

Features to note

  • Turuhalmë – “The Logdrawing”. A holiday celebration among the elves. More on this in later posts.
  • Gurtholfin – “The wand of death”. A sword given by Orodreth to Túrin. It is black with bright edges.
  • Foalókë – Dragons. The most powerful of Melko’s creatures, save the Balrogs. However, the dragons are much more cunning. There are cold, flying serpent-like ones. There are also larger, warmer crawling dragons.
  • The Woodmen – A group of people living in the woods of Hithlum who Túrin joins. He later becomes the leader of this people.

Places to note.

  • Hithlum – Also Hisilómë .or Aryador. North of Artanor “The Lands Beyond”, where Tinwelint has his halls.
  • Dor Lómin – A region in Hithlum where men dwell.
  • Rodothlim – A secret realm of gnomes South of Hithlum. In Silmarillion = Nargothrond.

Have you read this chapter or do you want to know more? Please comment and tell me what you think of this part or if you have something to ask! 

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One thought on “II: The Book of Lost Tales part 2, II: TURAMBAR AND THE FOALÓKË (1/2)

  1. Pingback: II: The Book of Lost Tales part 2, IV: THE NAUGLAFRING | Tolkien Read Through

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