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This article is about the Elf of Doriath. For the Ranger of Ithilien, see Mablung (ranger of Ithilien).
Edward Johnson - Mablung.jpg
"Mablung" by Edward Johnson
Biographical Information
Other names"Mablung of the Heavy Hand"
PositionChief captain of Thingol
LanguageDoriathrin (Sindarin dialect)
DeathF.A. 503
Battle of the Thousand Caves
Notable forHunting of the Wolf
Physical Description
WeaponrySpear and knife[1]
GalleryImages of Mablung

Mablung was a captain and marchwarden to King Elu Thingol of Doriath.

Together with Beleg Cúthalion he was one of the great captains of the Sindar and was often seen with him when outside Doriath. Contrary to Beleg, who was on duty in the marches of Doriath, Mablung seems to have been in a position of command in Menegroth and present at important events.[2]

History[edit | edit source]

Mablung and Daeron were present at the Mereth Aderthad as Thingol's messengers.[3]

With Beleg, he also participated to the Hunting of the Wolf to reclaim the Silmaril from Carcharoth, who had swallowed Beren's hand holding it. Mablung "was chiefly remembered by in legend" for after removing Beren's hand (still unpolluted and holding the Silmaril) from the belly of the beast, his own hand fell violently to the ground and was "forced open", from what appeared to be the great weight of the Silmaril.[4][5]

Beleg and Mablung were the only two Elves of Doriath who took part in the Nirnaeth Arnoediad, and he fought with the host of Fingon.[6]

Mablung the Hunter became entwined in the Doom of Húrin's children when he interceded in a confrontation between Túrin and Saeros (a counselor to the King) in Thingol's hall. Mablung's wise warning to Saeros to stay clear of Túrin, after the prideful Eldar was injured and almost run through by Túrin for his taunting of the son of Húrin for a perceived slight, fell on deaf, and prideful, ears. The following day Saeros waylaid Túrin as he traveled through the woods back to the marches to continue his personal war against the Shadow. Mablung was not privy to the sneak attack Saeros executed, nor to his swift defeat at the hands of Túrin.

But Mablung was among a group that was alerted by Saeros' frantic calls as Túrin pursued the now disarmed and stripped elf through the woods (revenge for the taunting Saeros had delivered the night before). Such was Saeros' fear, as he meant to kill Túrin and was certain this was to be returned in kind, that he fled wildly through the woods with Túrin ever behind him.

Only the swiftest could keep up and Mablung was in the forefront of these. Mablung called at Túrin to stop the "Orc-work" but Túrin called back it was only "Orc-play" and was spurned on in his pursuit by Mablung's discourse. Soon after Saeros attempted to escape his relentless pursuer by leaping across a stream but, instead, lost his footing and fell to his death. Turin, who had meant to stop his pursuit at the river, turned and faced his pursuers and, in his pride, refused to defend his actions. Instead he rejected the King's justice and gave the witnesses the choice of letting him go or slaying him - as their number were too few to take Túrin alive. Mablung let the young man go with a warning that if he were to leave this way a shadow would be over him.

At Túrin's hearing before the King Mablung defended Túrin for the confrontation in the hall but could truthfully give no reason for his hounding of the King's councilor to his death. Beleg Strongbow, Túrin's greatest friend and brother-in-arms, brought forward a witness who saw Saeros' treacherous attack and thus saved him from the King's doom. Mablung, having heard the full story, expressed his sorrow at his parting words to Túrin.

Mablung was in charge to guard Morwen Eledhwen, who had dwelt in Doriath at the time, when she set out to Nargothrond in search of her son Túrin Turambar. Unknown to both Mablung and Morwen, Nienor daughter of Morwen, had joined them.

The women were left back upon Amon Ethir and Mablung set out with a small company to scout Nargothrond as were his orders by Thingol. Yet Glaurung left Nargothrond and Mablung was unable to prevent them both from getting ensnared in the traps of the Dragon. He hid from Glaurung and then searched the sacked Nargothrond, finding no sign of Túrin. Glaurung when returning mocked Mablung, sparing his life, and informing him that he had now lost also Morwen and Nienor.

Eventually Mablung did find Nienor, enchanted by Glaurung, only to lose her again during an Orc attack. Defeated, Mablung returned to Doriath and due to his failure at Nargothrond he asked Thingol to dismiss him. Thingol though judged that the failure hardly was Mablung's fault and Glaurung was too mighty an enemy for him and kept Mablung in his position. Nevertheless he spent years afterwards searching for Morwen and Nienor.[7]

Learning that Glaurung was in Brethil, Mablung went there, and met Túrin who had just slain the dragon. By admitting Nienor was lost he caused Túrin to realize that Níniel his wife had actually been his sister Nienor, and Túrin killed himself.[8]

Mablung was slain in the Battle of the Thousand Caves by the Dwarves of Nogrod in front of the treasure chamber in which the Nauglamír had been stored.[9]

Etymology[edit | edit source]

The Sindarin name Mablung is translated as "with weighted hand". The name might either have been prophetic or given as a title after the cutting of the Silmaril.[4][5] The name is analyzed as Doriathrin, with mab "hand" and lung "heavy".[10] He is also referred as "Mablung of the Heavy Hand", with his epithet being the translation of his name.[11]

The Quenya equivalent of Mablung appears to have been Lungumá or Lungumaqua ("Heavyhand"), containing the element ("hand").[4]


  1. J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The Silmarillion, "Quenta Silmarillion: Of Beren and Lúthien"
  2. J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The Children of Húrin, "Túrin in Doriath"
  3. J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The Silmarillion, "Quenta Silmarillion: Of the Return of the Noldor"
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 J.R.R. Tolkien, "Eldarin Hands, Fingers & Numerals and Related Writings — Part One" (edited by Patrick H. Wynne), in Vinyar Tengwar, Number 47, February 2005, pp. 8, 19 (note 11)
  5. 5.0 5.1 J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The Shaping of Middle-earth, "III. The Quenta: [Section] 13", p. 187
  6. J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The Silmarillion, "Quenta Silmarillion: Of the Fifth Battle: Nirnaeth Arnoediad"
  7. J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The Children of Húrin, "The Journey of Morwen and Niënor to Nargothrond"
  8. J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The Children of Húrin, "The Death of Túrin"
  9. J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The Silmarillion, "Quenta Silmarillion: Of the Ruin of Doriath"
  10. J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The Lost Road and Other Writings, Part Three: "The Etymologies"
  11. J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The Silmarillion, "Quenta Silmarillion: Of Beren and Lúthien"; J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The Silmarillion, "Quenta Silmarillion: Of the Ruin of Doriath"; J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The Silmarillion, "Index of Names"