From Tolkien Gateway
This article is about Túrin's outlaw-band. For the the Outlaws of Dorthonion, see Barahir's Outlaw Band.
"Túrin Among the Outlaws" by Alan Lee
Other namesthe Outlaws
Notable membersForweg, Túrin, Beleg Cúthalion, Ulrad, Algund, Andróg, and Andvír
LocationForest of Brethil, Amon Rûdh, Dor-Cúarthol
DisbandedF.A. 489
Amon Rûdh
GalleryImages of Gaurwaith

The Gaurwaith (S. Wolf-Men) was the name given to the outlaw-band that Túrin joined in the woodlands beyond the western borders of Doriath during the First Age, and of which he became the captain.[1] The Gaurwaith were destroyed during the battle on Amon Rûdh.[2]


It is not known when the group of outlaws was formed but it was possibly some time after the Nirnaeth Arnoediad. The fellowship was comprised of outcasts, some being houseless and desperate Men that have fled from battle or their ruined homes, while others were Men who have committed evil deed. They numbered about sixty men, but had dwindled to around fifty men, and the woodmen of Brethil feared these outlaws just as much as Wolves and Orcs. The captain of the fellowship was Forweg, a man from Dor-lómin, before he was killed and replaced by Túrin.[1]

The group found Túrin entering their haunts south of the Taeglin and soon encircled and questioned him. One of the outlaws fired his bow at Túrin, but Túrin quickly dodged the incoming arrow and threw a stone back killing him. Túrin offered his service to the band and Forweg accepted. The outlaws asked for his name and Túrin answered Neithan, the wronged and he was thenceforth called by that.[1]

In the spring of the following year the Gaurwaith were camped in the woods around the Taeglin near the homesteads of the woodmen that still lived there. Túrin spotted a woman fleeing through the woods and slew her pursuer realising it was too late that it was Forweg. Andróg soon followed afterwards and was shocked to see Forweg dead and challenged Túrin but he was enraged with the actions of the outlaws amongst their own people. Túrin returned to the camp announcing that Forweg is dead by his hands and that they should choose a new captain. Andróg returned to the camp with Forweg’s weapons and told the others what had happened to Forweg and the woman. Túrin declared himself the captain of the fellowship and with the insistence of Andróg the others accepted noting that Túrin’s skill is highest among all of them. Túrin led the Gaurwaith west away from Doriath and the woodmen.[1]

The Gaurwaith were aware of an Orc-host near them as they were resting in a cave and had noticed that the Orcs had captives and plunder from the homesteads of the woodmen. Túrin and Orleg went to spy on them but were discovered and pursued. Orleg was shot down by many arrows while Túrin led the orcs away from the outlaw’s cavern. Three days passed and the outlaws wished to depart from the cavern but Andróg who was left in charge by Túrin advised against it. Beleg, who had been tracking the outlaws, stood before the outlaws and they left in fear. Andróg came behind him and cast a noose about him. The outlaws tied him onto a tree beside the cave and questioned him but Beleg only answered that he wished to speak to his friend Neithan. Andróg believed him to be a spy of the King of Doriath and wished to slay him there but Algund spoke against him and counseled him that the captain may return. They left Beleg tied to the tree without food and water for two days until Túrin returned and Beleg was cut loose. Túrin was glad to see his old friend again and Beleg gave news of the king’s pardon over the death of Saeros and begged him to return with him to Doriath. But Túrin refused as he was proud and the next day Beleg departed for Menegroth.[1]

Mîm the dwarf by Anke Eißmann

The Orcs were in greater number than before and there was little safety for the Gaurwaith who were often hunted by them. Túrin decided to find a secure stronghold in which the group could take shelter and store provisions against winter and hunger and he led his men south away from the Teiglin. Then the group captured Mîm one of the last Petty-dwarves and he begged for mercy at the captain Túrin. Túrin released Mîm for a ransom and so Mîm offered to share his dwelling to the outlaws and Mîm brought them to Amon Rûdh, the Bald Hill. Once entering the home of Mîm they found his son Khîm lay dead from an arrow let loose by Andróg the night before. He was made to break his bow and swore never to use it by Mîm though Andróg was displeased to do so.

The Gaurwaith dwelt for some time peacefully in Mîm’s house which was named Bar-en-Danwedh, the House of Ransom and learned of its many halls and passageways. Andróg discovered the hidden stair that led to the summit of the hill but he told no one. Beleg returned to Túrin and the Gaurwaith bearing a great pack to help them, among them the Helm of Hador and Lembas bread.

The following year more Orcs came down out of the North passing through the Crossings of the Taeglin and into the land that was watched by the red hill. Túrin now put on again the Helm of Hador and with Beleg in their company they harassed the Orcs, the Gaurwaith now only had less than fifty men but the valour of Túrin made it seem like they were a host to their enemies. The Gaurwaith were joined by many men and their power grew and many forts and camps were established around Amon Rûdh. The land between the Taeglin and the west march of Doriath was named Dor-Cúarthol and Túrin now named himself Gorthol, the Dread Helm and took lordship of the land. Andróg wielded the bow again but he was poisoned by an orc arrow and thus fulfilled the curse of Mîm. However Beleg healed Andróg of his wound and the hatred of Mîm grew.

In the winter of the same year Mîm betrayed the Gaurwaith and led the Orcs to the secrect place. During the Sack of Bar-en-Danwedh, many of the Gaurwaith were slain by arrows and in this moment Andróg revealed to Túrin and Beleg the hidden stair that led to the summit. Andróg was mortally wounded by an arrow in the head. Túrin and Beleg reached the summit with only ten men left. They made a last stand against the Orcs until they were all slain save Túrin and Beleg.



Gaurwaith is a Sindarin name,[3] which means "Wolf-men".[4] Paul Strack suggests that it is a combination of gaur ("werewolf") and gwaith ("people").[3]