Sack of Bar-en-Danwedh

From Tolkien Gateway
Sack of Bar-en-Danwedh
Conflict: Battles of Beleriand
Date: F.A. 489
Place: Amon Rûdh
Outcome: Victory for Morgoth

The Gaurwaith

Forces of Morgoth


Túrin Turambar

Unnamed Orc captain


Dozens of Túrin's outlaws



All but Túrin, Beleg, and Andvír


The Sack of Bar-en-Danwedh was a battle that occurred in Amon Rûdh between the forces of Morgoth and the Gaurwaith led by Túrin and Beleg.

Background[edit | edit source]

Bar-en-Nibin-noeg, the House of the Petty-dwarves, was the home of Mîm and his sons Ibun and Khîm. When they were foraging they were attacked by Túrin's band of outlaws and Mîm was captured but he bargained for his life and ransomed his home on Amon Rûdh, thereby becoming Bar-en-Danwedh, the House of Ransom.

Túrin and the outlaws were soon joined by the elf Beleg, and they named the land "Dor-Cúarthol" after Beleg’s bow Belthronding and the Dragon-helm of Dor-lómin worn by Túrin. Under their leadership, the Outlaws harassed the forces of Morgoth that entered their land. However by donning the Dragon-helm Túrin revealed himself to Morgoth, and he began to fear the growing power of Túrin "that the curse that he laid upon him would become void, and he would escape the doom that had been designed for him".[1]

History[edit | edit source]

Prelude[edit | edit source]

Mîm was growing discontent with the presence of the outlaws and Beleg at his home and in time his hatred for the Elf led him to evil resolve. He sought out the Orcs around the area with his son and gave them the location of the outlaws' hideout with conditions that his home be left for himself and Beleg to remain alive to deal with himself.[note 1]

Battle[edit | edit source]

With Mîm's guidance the Orcs attacked the hill. The watchmen stationed on the summit gave warning of the approach,[note 2] but Mîm guided the Orcs to the entrance of Bar-en-Danwedh. Túrin and Beleg were being driven back inside the halls, and men were shot by arrows fleeing up the stairs. Túrin and Beleg rolled a great stone across the passage and at this moment Andróg revealed to them the hidden stair inside the halls that leads to the flat summit of Amon Rûdh.

Túrin and the remaining men, including Andróg and Beleg, climbed up the hidden stair and surprised the few Orcs that were already there. For a while they managed to hold off the attack from the Orcs who were climbed up the rock. But the summit offered no protection from the arrows of the Orcs from below, so many were shot down including Andróg, pierced by an arrow at the head.

Eventually only Túrin, Beleg and ten men remained and they withdrew to the centre around a standing stone. They made a last stand until all that were left were Túrin and Beleg: Túrin was captured and to be taken alive to Angband and Beleg was wounded and left bound on the ground. The Orcs proceeded to sack the halls.

Aftermath[edit | edit source]

After the Orcs left for Angband with Túrin Beleg was left alone to the mercy of Mîm, and as he was preparing to torment the Elf a mortally wounded Andróg thrusted his sword at the Dwarf and he shrieked and fled.[note 3] Andróg cut Beleg free and died and shortly after Beleg set out to find and follow the trail of the Orcs to rescue Túrin. The only other survivor was Andvír, son of Andróg.[2]


  1. In the Silmarillion it is told that Mîm did not deliberately seek the Orcs for malice, but was captured by the Orcs when he and his son went foraging. It was their threat of torture to his son that led Mîm to betray the outlaws.
  2. In the Simarillion it describes the attack happening at night unawares with many men slain as they slept
  3. Andróg is not mentioned in the Silmarillion thus it was Beleg that manages to get the better of Mîm.


  1. J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The Children of Húrin, "The Land of Bow and Helm", pp. 147
  2. J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The War of the Jewels, "Part Three. The Wanderings of Húrin and Other Writings not forming part of the Quenta Silmarillion: II. Ælfwine and Dírhaval", p. 311