Túrin in Nargothrond
Túrin in Nargothrond is the tenth chapter of The Children of Húrin.
Túrin was admitted to the halls of Nargothrond for he came with Gwindor, who was once betrothed to Finduilas, daughter of Orodreth, King of Nargothrond. But none greatly recognised Gwindor, so much had his torment changed him, for he was bent with age and maimed. When Túrin was asked his name, Agarwaen, son of Úmarth (that is Blood-stained son of Ill-fate) he called himself, for he wished to leave his darkness behind.
The sword Anglachel was forged anew so that its black edges burned with pale fire; and Túrin’s prowess with the blade gained him the respect of the Elves, and after a time he became a counsel of Orodreth; and his advice was to fight Morgoth openly. This Gwindor ever gainsaid, marking that he knew the array of Morgoth - for he had seen that the power of Angband was greater than all the gatherings of Elves and Men. Secrecy and stealth should be their manner.
But Túrin advanced in influence and was soon chief counsellor to the King; and Orodreth then took Túrin’s guidance and the Elves no longer took secret ways in their skirmishes, but marched openly from Nargothrond; and a bridge was built at the Doors of Felagund so that they might make swift passage over Narog and hasten to war. For his valour, the elves girt Túrin in dwarf-mail and dwarf-mask so that his enemies flew from him – and they called him Mormegil, the Black Sword.
All the while, Gwindor’s honour fell, for he was weakened from Angband; and Finduilas looked now upon Túrin with admiration, and she found her heart moved when he was near. Seeing this, Gwindor’s friendship with Túrin was cooled and the elf cursed Morgoth, for the Great Enemy it seemed would follow his foes until the very bitter end; and he saw the ruin that came in Túrin’s train. And Gwindor went to Finduilas and said she must beware, for Agarwaen was in truth Túrin; truly was he the son of Húrin, whose kin Morgoth cursed even now.
Finduilas came straight away to Túrin and asked him why he would hide his real name. In this, Túrin was angered, for he felt his fate was now betrayed; but Gwindor said, “The doom lies in yourself, not your name.”
This chapter illustrates two elements of Túrin's character:
1. His charisma
2. The Doom that enrobes him
Túrin's innate charisma
Túrin is a lord among men; he is the son of Húrin Thalion and the true ruler of Dor-lómin and the House of Hador. He is often compared to the Elves he has grown up with; called Adanedhel ("Man-Elf") in Nargothrond; and is said to be tall and strong in stature. This innate power and strength combined with a potent lineage produced a naturally intense charisma that encircled Túrin and affected others in his company. It was this authority (combined with his prowess in battle) that supported his rise to chief counsellor of Orodreth.
The Doom laid upon him
During his time in Nargothrond, as it might be said in many periods of Túrin’s life, he seems beyond the grasp of Morgoth’s powers; and for a while might escape the shadowy fate laid upon him. Yet even in these periods of retreat and renaming, we find that aspects of Túrin’s character negatively affect his decisions:
- In particular his pride bordering on arrogance;
- His innocence of others and lack of empathy (he has a raw difficulty in seeing how others feel – he cannot see the origin of Gwindor’s coolness nor the attentions of Finduilas).
Both Gwindor and Finduilas might see these traits as a further concentrated outcome of Túrin’s feelings of superiority.
Both of these elements of Túrin’s character combine in Nargothrond. As a result he has authority and respect; but this is soon to be the key of doom to the Elven-kingdom.