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Túrin Turambar
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Túrin Turambar

In The Silmarillion by J. R. R. Tolkien, Túrin Turambar was a Man of Middle-earth, who became a tragic hero (or anti-hero) of the First Age in the tale called Narn i Chîn Húrin ("The Tale of the Children of Húrin"). Unpublished drafts of the story, later edited by Christopher Tolkien and published in Unfinished Tales and The History of Middle-earth series, tell the tale in more detail.

Warning: Plot details follow.

Túrin was the only son of Húrin Thallion and Morwen Elfsheen. He had a younger sister Urwen whom everyone called Lalaith (laughter), but she died in childhood of a plague. After Húrin was captured in the Nirnaeth Arnoediad Túrin remained with his mother Morwen, who hid him from the Easterlings that Morgoth had sent to Hithlum, fearing they would kill Túrin or enslave him. Unknown to Túrin, Morgoth had placed a curse on him, as a child of Húrin who had defied him.

When Túrin was seven years old she sent him to Doriath, where he was adopted by Thingol as a son. After this Túrin's second sister, Nienor was born. Túrin was restless, and as soon as he was allowed to he joined Beleg Cúthalion on the marches of Doriath, fighting the Orcss of Morgoth. He wore the Dragon-helm of Dor-lómin, and the Orcs began to fear him more than any others.

Túrin accidentally caused the death of Saeros, one of Thingol's counsellors who had provoked and attacked him. After this he fled into exile, eventually meeting up with a band of outlaws that dwelt south of Brethil. Túrin killed their leader, and became their leader in his place. During his rule he stopped the outlaws from raiding houses of Men, and only hunted Orcs. After a long time living in the wild, his band captured Mîm the Petty-dwarf. Mîm was forced to share his halls on Amon Rûdh with them.

In the mean time Beleg Cúthalion had gotten leave by Thingol to seek out Túrin his friend, and he came upon Túrin's outlaws on Amon Rûdh. Beleg joined them, bringing with him the Dragon-helm, and the area around Amon Rûdh became known as the "Land of Bow and Helm". Many warriors joined them there, and much of West Beleriand was freed from evil for a while.

Eventually Túrin was betrayed by one of his outlaws, and he was captured, all his men slain. Beleg had survived, and rescued Túrin from the Orcs in Taur-nu-Fuin together with Gwindor, an escaped thrall of Morgoth. Túrin accidentally killed Beleg with Beleg's sword Anglachel. Gwindor led Túrin, dazed, to the Pools of Ivrin, where he came back to his senses.

Gwindor then led Túrin to Nargothrond, where once he had lived. In Nargothrond Túrin hid his name, calling himself Umarth, son of Agarwaen (the Bloodstained son of the Cursed). Finduilas daughter of Orodreth fell in love with him, but he avoided her because Finduilas had been the beloved of Túrin's friend Gwindor before. Túrin declined to tell her his name, so that she called him Thurin (the secret).

Túrin became a chief counsellor of the weak Orodreth, and in practice became ruler of Nargothrond. He caused the Nargothrondrim to abandon their practice of secrecy, and let built a great bridge before the gates. Because of his prowess with the Black Sword Anglachel, he himself became known as the Mormegil (Black Sword), or the Black Sword of Nargothrond.

Morgoth sent the Dragon Glaurung to Nargothrond. Túrin was dazed by Glaurung, and stood by idly as Finduilas was dragged away, a captive for Morgoth. Glaurung deceived him into believing Morwen and Nienor were suffering in Dor-lómin, and Túrin abandoned Finduilas to seek out his kin. In actuality Morwen and Nienor had left for Doriath during the time Túrin as the Mormegil had made the path safe.

Once in Dor-lómin, Túrin found his old house empty. He went to the halls of the Easterling lord Brodda, who had taken Húrin's kinswoman Aerin as a wife and had taken Húrin's lands and possessions. From Aerin Túrin learned that Morwen had left, and in his rage he killed Brodda, thereby also sealing Aerin's fate. As Túrin left again, Aerin burnt herself alife in her halls, and the remainder of the House of Hador now was persecuted even more cruelly.

Túrin next tried to find Finduilas, but by the time he picked up the Orc's trail he came too late: the woodsmen of Brethil informed him she had been killed as they had tried to rescue the prisoners of Nargothrond. Túrin collapsed on the mound she was buried in, and was brought to Brethil.

In Brethil Túrin again took up his life, now calling himself Turambar (conqueror of fate), since he deemed his curse was now finally over. One day he found a naked young woman on Finduilas's grave, and calling her Níniel he later took her as his wife.

Túrin's happiness ended when Glaurung went to Brethil. Túrin with two others set out to kill the dragon, but he was the only one to reach the drake. With his black sword he killed Glaurung, but was hurt and fell in a swoon. As Níniel came to search for him, Glaurung with his last words revealed to her she was Túrin's sister. Horrified, Nienor Níniel killed herself.

When Túrin awoke he was told by Brandir, lord of the Haladin of Brethil what had happened, and he killed Brandir, then when he learned of Mablung of Doriath who had come to seek him that Brandir had told the truth, he killed himself.

Túrin was buried near Finduilas' grave, and on his tombstone the Haladin wrote in the Cirth of Doriath:

TÚRIN TURAMBAR DAGNIR GLAURUNGA
(Túrin, Conqueror of Fate, Slayer of Glaurung).

Beneath that they also wrote:

NIENOR NÍNIEL
but her body was never found.

Morwen and Húrin later met at this site for the last time, and Morwen was also buried there. The mound they were buried in survived the War of Wrath and as Tol Morwen was the westernmost isle off the coast of Lindon in the Second and Third Age.

It was phrophesied by Mandos that at the End of Time Morgoth will wage a final battle against the Valar, the Final Battle, and that Túrin Turambar will deliver the death blow to Morgoth, exterminating evil forever. This prophecy however, disappeared in the evolutionary process of the Middle-earth myth, later to be replaced by Andreth's prophecy which proclaims the slaying of Ancalagon the Black, another fire drake by the hands of Túrin.

The supposed resemblance of Túrin with figures from medieval tales can be confirmed by part of letter Tolkien wrote to Milton Waldman, a published concerning the publication of his works.

There is the Children of Húrin, the tragic tale of Túrin Turambar and his sister Níniel – of which Turin is the hero: a figure that might be said (by people who like that son of thing, though it is not very useful) to be derived from elements in Sigurd the Volsung, Oedipus, and the Finnish Kullervo.

The Line of Túrin and Nienor Níniel

                             Marach
                               |
     Haldad               Malach Aradan
       :                       |
       :           --------------------------
       :           |                        |
       :        Hador = Gildis            Adanel = Belemir
       :              |                          |
     Halmir       ----------------               |
       |          |              |               |
     Hareth  =  Galdor      Glóredhel = Haldir Beren      Thingol = Melian
             |                        |          |                |
          ----------------          Handir       |                |
          |              |            |          |                |
Morwen = Húrin         Huor = Rían Brandir    Emeldir = Barahir   |
       |                    |                         |           |
 ----------------           |                Beren Erchamion = Lúthien
 |     |        |           |                                |
 |   Lalaith    |          Tuor = Idril           Nimloth = Dior
 |              |               |                         |
Turin   =    Nienor             |                         |      
                                |               -----------
                                |               |        
                             Eärendil    =   Elwing   
                                         |
                   ------------------------------
                   |                            |
                 Elros                        Elrond = Celebrian
                   |                                 |
     ------------------------                        |
     |                      |                        |      
 Kings of Númenor Lords of Andúnië                   |     
                            :                        |      
                         Elendil                     |      
                            |                        |     
                  -------------------                |      
                  :                 |                |      
            Kings of Gondor      Isildur             |      
                                    :                |      
                                    :                |      
                                    :                |    
              Gilraen    =     Arathorn II           |      
                         |                           |      
                      Aragorn          =           Arwen


Two Stewards of Gondor were also named Túrin: Túrin I and Túrin II.