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Húrin Thalion

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(For other characters see Húrin (disambiguation))

Húrin (First Age 439 – c. 500, aged c. 61 years), known as Thalion ("Steadfast"), was the eldest son of Galdor and Hareth, older brother of Huor, father of Túrin Turambar and Nienor, and Lord of Dor-lómin. Húrin was captured by Morgoth at the Nirnaeth Arnoediad ("Battle of Unnumbered Tears") and he and his kin were cursed by the Dark Lord. The curse led to some of the greatest succeses and tragedies of the First Age. Tolkien called him the greatest warrior of men in the First Age.


Early Years

The grandson of Hador, founder of the House of Hador, was raised with his younger brother Huor in the forest of Brethil. In 458, the brothers joined a war party but were seperated and trapped in the Vale of Sirion. The Vala Ulmo caused a mist to rise and the two escaped into Dimbar. From there, Eagles flew them to the gates of the hidden city Gondolin. King Turgon welcomed the brothers, remembering a prophecy that the children of Hador would aid Gondolin during its darkest hour. They remained with Turgon for a time and, after swearing an oath of secrecy, were returned to Dor-lómin sometime before 462.

Lord of Dor-lómin

Morgoth Punishes Húrin by Ted Nasmith

In 462 orcs invaded Hithlim and Galdor was slain defending the wells of Eithel Sirion. Húrin drove off the Orcs and returned to rule Dor-lómin. Two years later he married Morwen of the House of Bëor. Their son Túrin was born shortly thereafter, followed by a daughter, Urwen. Urwen, better known as Lalaith ("Laughter"), died of the plague when she was three.

In 472, the alliance known as Union of Maedhros led Elves, Dwarves, and Men to assault Morgoth in the Nirnaeth Arnoediad ("The Battle of Unnumbered Tears"). A debacle, High King Fingon and his host were seperated from the other half of the army and Fingon himself was slain by a Balrog. With their liege lord slain and facing a rout, Húrin and Huor convinced King Turgon to withdraw and keep the secret of Gondolin. To defend his escape, the soldiers of Dor-lómin formed a line across the Fen of Serech and were slaughtered by the forces of Morgoth. Huor was slain by an arrow through the eye, but Húrin fought on until he was buried under the weight of bodies of orcs and trolls.

Captured, Húrin was brought before Morgoth and tortured for the secret of Gondolin's location. When he would not break, Morgoth cursed him and all his kin. The Dark Lord then chained Húrin to a chair high on the slopes of Thangorodrim where, through Morgoth's sorcery, he could watch the tragedies that would befall his family.

The Curse of Morgoth

For 28 years, Húrin watched the curse destroy his children. His daughter, Nienor Níniel, was born shortly after his capture and was trapped in the doom of Túrin. Their actions also led to the destruction of Nargothrond, one of the last kingdoms of the Noldor. Now only Gondolin remained.

In 499, after the death of his children, Morgoth freed Húrin. The broken man first returned to Dor-lómin, which was now ruled by Easterlings loyal to Morgoth. Finding none of his kin, he traveled with outlaws to the mountains of Echoriath, searching for the entrance to Gondolin. At first Turgon refused him, but later recanted and sent Eagles to bring him to Gondolin. Húrin had already left for the Forest of Brethil, but Morgoth's curse had already ensnared Gondolin, for the Dark Lord's spies now knew the location of the Hidden Kingdom.

Húrin Finds Morwen by Ted Nasmith

In the Forest of Brethil he found the graves of his children. His wife, Morwen, arrived shortly thereafter, but died at the mound. After burying his wife, Húrin went to the settlement of Ephel Brandir, the home of the People of Haleth, with whom Túrin lived the last years of his life. Angry and grieving, he turned the People of Haleth against one another and ruined Ephel Brandir.

Taking the outlaws with him, Húrin continued on to the ruins of Nargothrond, where he found the Petty-dwarf Mîm. The petty-dwarf had betrayed Túrin years ago and in revenge Húrin slaughtered him. Mîm had claimed the treasure of Nargothrond, and Húrin gathered it to take to Doriath, the last great elvish kingdom.

Húrin was allowed to enter Menegroth, the capital of Doriath, where in anger he threw the treasure before King Thingol and 'thanked' him for aiding his son. This infuriated the outlaws, who tried to take the gold back and were killed by Thingol's guards. Thingol's wife, Melian, finally pierced through Húrin's madness and grief, and shamed by his actions, he left Menegroth a broken man. Húrin left the treasure, however, and the curse of Morgoth would later consume Doriath as well.

Death and Legacy

Around First Age 500, Húrin reached the Great Sea and in dispair drowned himself. His life, and the lives of his children would become the Narn i Chîn Húrin ("Lay of the Children of Húrin"), one of the stories in the Unfinished Tales. An abbreviated version is also included in The Silmarillion, entitled "Of Túrin Turambar". Yet another version, the "Wanderings of Húrin", detail the end of Húrin's life. The style, though, is radically different than the other two versions, and so was published separately in The War of the Jewels, volume 11 of The History of Middle-earth series.


 Baragund     Galdor = Hareth
     |               |                          
     |         ______|______
     |        |             |
     |        |             |
  Morwen = HÚRIN          Huor = Rían
         |                     |
   ______|_______              |
  |      |       |             | 
  |   Lalaith    |             | 
  |              |             |
 Túrin   =    Nienor         Tuor = Idril  

Preceded by:
3rd Lord of Dor-lómin
I 462 – 472
Followed by:
none (abandoned)

See Also