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Nienor Níniel
Kimberly - Nienor Niniel.jpg
"Nienor Niniel" by Kimberly
Biographical Information
Other namesNíniel
TitlesPrincess of Dor-lómin
LocationDor-lómin, Brethil
LanguageMannish dialect
BirthF.A. 473
DeathF.A. 499 (aged 26)
Cabed-en-Aras (suicide)
Notable forMemory wiped by Glaurung;
HouseHouse of Hador
ParentageHúrin & Morwen
SiblingsTúrin & Urwen
Physical Description
Hair colorGolden
Eye colorBlue[2] or grey[1]
GalleryImages of Nienor Níniel
"In truth little fear was seen in her face or her bearing. Tall and strong she seemed; for great starure were those of Hador's House..."
The Children of Húrin, "The Journey of Morwen and Niënor to Nargothrond"

Nienor, also called Níniel, was Húrin and Morwen's third and last child and the sister of Túrin Turambar. Her father was a great foe of Morgoth and was cursed by the Dark Lord. That curse would also extend to his family, leading to some of the greatest tragedies of the First Age.


[edit] History

Nienor was born in Hithlum in the year of the Nirnaeth Arnoediad ("The Battle of Unnumbered Tears"), during which her father was captured by the servants of Morgoth. After the battle, the Easterlings settled in the land and oppressed the People of Hador. Fearing for her son's life, Morwen sent Túrin to the kingdom of Doriath for safety. As a result, Túrin never saw his sister.

Nienor remained in Hithlum with her mother for twenty years before they went to Doriath in hopes of finding Túrin. He had left the kingdom, but Nienor and her mother heard a rumor that the mysterious Mormegil, war chief of the Kingdom of Nargothrond, was actually Túrin. The two then journeyed out with a company of Elves. Unfortunately, the Dragon Glaurung had just sacked the Elven city, and, sensing their approach, caused a cloud of foul vapor to rise from the river Narog. The party's horses panicked and Nienor was separated, at which point the worm Glaurung used his enchantments to put her in a state of total amnesia.

Nienor and Glaurung by John Howe

Eventually, Nienor was found by Mablung, who intended to take her back to Doriath, but they were attacked by Orcs while attempting to cross the river Taeglin. In confusion and terror, Nienor tore off her clothes and ran naked through the forest until she fainted.

Here her brother Túrin found her, naked and terrified, at the grave of Finduilas, the elf-maid who had loved him. Because Nienor did not remember her identity, he named her Níniel ("Tear-Maiden") and brought her to safety in the Forest of Brethil.

The men of Brethil returned to the settlement of Ephel Brandir soon after. When "Níniel" fell sick, Brandir tended to her, secretly falling in love. However, "Níniel" loved Túrin more, and after three years, they were wed. By the next spring, she was halfway through her first pregnancy.

It was then that rumors of Glaurung's approach reached Túrin, who went out to slay him. The dragon cast a spell on Túrin even as he dealt the worm a mortal blow, and Túrin fell into a swoon. At this moment, "Níniel", who feared for her husband's life, arrived and found him apparently dead. The dying Glaurung then removed Nienor's amnesia with his last words. Realising she had married her own brother and was carrying his unborn child, she threw herself into the gorge of Cabed-en-Aras. When Túrin finally awoke, he was told of Nienor's fate by Brandir, but he refused to believe it, and slew him in anger. Then Mablung of Doriath arrived and corroborated Brandir's tale. In utter misery, Túrin killed himself on his sword Gurthang.

Her body was never found, but her name was written in the Stone of the Hapless beside her brother's. Years later, the poet Dírhaval composed the Narn i Chîn Húrin about the tragedy of the Children of Húrin.[3]

[edit] Etymology

Nienor is a Quenya name meaning "Mourning",[4] although the only clear element is nie ("tear"). In The Children of Húrin, Christopher Tolkien chose to spell her name Niënor.[5]

Níniel is Sindarin for "Tear-maiden",[6] from nin ("tear") + -iel (feminine suffix).

[edit] Genealogy

Hador Lórindol
Galdor of Dor-lómin
Morwen Eledhwen
Húrin Thalion
Túrin Turambar
Urwen Lalaith

[edit] Other versions of the legendarium

She was called Nienóri in the Tale of "Turambar and the Foalókë".[7]

[edit] See also


  1. 1.0 1.1 J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The Children of Húrin, "The Journey of Morwen and Niënor to Nargothrond"
  2. J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The Children of Húrin, "The Death of Túrin"
  3. J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), Unfinished Tales, "Narn i Hîn Húrin (The Tale of the Children of Húrin)", "Notes", p. 146
  4. J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The Children of Húrin, "The Departure of Túrin"
  5. J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The Children of Húrin, "List of Names", p. 308
  6. J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The Children of Húrin, "Niënor in Brethil"
  7. J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The Book of Lost Tales Part Two, "II. Turambar and the Foalókë", passim