The Journey of Morwen and Niënor to Nargothrond
The Journey of Morwen and Niënor to Nargothrond is the fourteenth chapter of The Children of Húrin.
After the Fell Winter, news came to Menegroth about the Fall of Nargothrond, and all survivors confirmed that the Mormegil was indeed Túrin, son of Húrin, but nobody knew what happened with him. Thus Morwen demanded to find her son, and asked King Thingol for his support. Thingol, not willing to risk her life, refused and Morwen left alone while ordering her daughter Niënor to stay in Doriath. However, the King sent a party of ten men, lead by Mablung, to secretly follow her and help her should the need arise. When they met her north of the Aelin-uial, she accepted their help, but the next day she noticed there was an eleventh member in the escort: it was Niënor, who had joined them unnoticed. Against her will, Morwen reluctantly accepted Niënor joining them on the journey.
The party travelled west for four days until they reached Amon Ethir where Mablung's men started exploring the area. They saw the fallen Doors of Felagund, but not the dragon. Glaurung has spotted them from afar, and the group atop of Amon Ethir, so he threw himself into the Narog, raising great clouds of steam. The poisoned air drove the horses mad, and Morwen's ran away with her disappearing into the mists, with Morwen crying her daughter's name "Niënor".
After falling from her horse, Niënor walked alone among the mist, and decided to go back to the top of the hill and wait for Mablung and his men. But when she reached there, the clouds dissipated and Glaurung appeared right in front of her. With his hypnotic eyes, the dragon fought against Niënor's will, but he was more strong and his enchantment fell upon her. Glaurung left the hill while mocking Mablung.
Night had fallen when Mablung returned to Amon Ethir, and there he found Niënor still: she had no memories or speech. Lamenting his failure, the captain headed back to Doriath with his three remaining men. They took the old north road, as there was no road to the south, so they could reach the woods of Doriath as swiftly as possible. They walked slowly, as Niënor only moved when someone guided her. After many days of travel, near the Crossings of the Taeglin, a band of Orcs attacked them; Niënor woke up, and with a incredible speed, she outran both Elves and Orcs and disappeared into the woods.
Mablung and his men killed all the Orcs, and searched for Niënor for many days. Full of pain and shame, he eventually came back to Menegroth and said to Thingol: "Choose you a new master of your hunters, lord, for I am dishonoured." Thingol and Melian explained that what happened was beyond his power and was not his fault. However, Mablung left Doriath with a few men, and for the next three years searched all the lands between the Ered Wethrin and the Mouths of Sirion for news of Morwen and Niënor.