Of the Ruin of Doriath

From Tolkien Gateway
The Silmarillion chapters
  1. Ainulindalë
  2. Valaquenta
  3. Quenta Silmarillion
    1. Of the Beginning of Days
    2. Of Aulë and Yavanna
    3. Of the Coming of the Elves
    4. Of Thingol and Melian
    5. Of Eldamar
    6. Of Fëanor
    7. Of the Silmarils
    8. Of the Darkening of Valinor
    9. Of the Flight of the Noldor
    10. Of the Sindar
    11. Of the Sun and Moon
    12. Of Men
    13. Of the Return of the Noldor
    14. Of Beleriand and its Realms
    15. Of the Noldor in Beleriand
    16. Of Maeglin
    17. Of the Coming of Men
    18. Of the Ruin of Beleriand
    19. Of Beren and Lúthien
    20. Of the Fifth Battle
    21. Of Túrin Turambar
    22. Of the Ruin of Doriath
    23. Of the Fall of Gondolin
    24. Of the Voyage of Eärendil
  4. Akallabêth
  5. Of the Rings of Power

Of the Ruin of Doriath is the twenty-second chapter of the Quenta Silmarillion section within The Silmarillion.


Following the death of his children, Húrin is at last freed by Morgoth from the chair where he had sat for so many years. Yet he was a broken man after witnessing his son's tragic life. Morgoth had set Húrin against both Thingol and Melian via his evil visions, and he had clouded Húrin's mind as well. Húrin came out of Angband and tried to return to his own people, but they had been informed of his coming from Angband, and thus they shunned him and feared that he was working with the enemy.

Húrin finds Morwen by Ted Nasmith

Disgusted by this, Húrin turned to the mountains. There he saw the Crissaegrim from a distance and hoped he could return to Gondolin. Indeed, he was spotted by Thorondor, who reported it to Turgon. Yet Turgon refused to aid Húrin, and bid Thorondor to ignore him. Húrin waited for a time, but eventually he gave up. Uttering one last futile plea to Turgon, he left the mountains. Yet he was not unmarked, for spies of Morgoth followed him in secret. Thus Morgoth learned of the general location of Gondolin, but he did not learn the specific region.

Húrin wandered for a time before eventually hearing his wife Morwen crying for him in a dream. He came to Cabed Naeramarth, where he did indeed find Morwen. Together they sat through the twilight and when the sun set, he knew that Morwen was dead. Húrin buried Morwen in a seperate grave before departing again. It is said that the graves there were never desecrated and survived the flood that came later, becoming Tol Morwen.

Húrin eventually came to the ruins of Nargothrond, where he found the Petty Dwarf Mîm, who had set himself up as master of the treasure hoard of Glaurung. Mîm demanded to know his identity, and learned that the vagabond was indeed Húrin, father of Túrin. Mîm pled for his life, but Húrin did not spare him and struck the Dwarf down. Taking the Nauglamír from the draconic hoard, he left the wreck of Nargothrond.

Húrin journeyed east next, and soon came to the borders of Doriath, where the guards took him to Thingol and Melian. Thingol treated him well, yet Húrin, maddened by grief, threw the Nauglamír at the feet of Thingol and Melian as a mocking payment. Yet Thingol was kind and did not get angry. Melian soon spoke to Húrin, gently reminding him of the service Thingol had performed him by raising Túrin. This at last broke the spell on Húrin, who picked up the Nauglamír and gave it to the couple properly. And after this, Húrin left the Thousand Caves of Menegroth. It is said he journeyed westward, before eventually throwing himself into the sea in his grief.

Thingol was now left with both the Nauglamír and a Silmaril. He grew to love the Silmaril like no other treasure of his, and he thought about combining the two together. During this time, Dwarves frequently came to and from Doriath, and it just so happened that some Dwarves of Nogrod were visiting. Thingol summoned them and asked them to combine both of his treasures. They soon got to work, and Thingol visited them alone in their forge.

However, the Dwarves became fascinated by the Silmaril, and they plotted to take it from Thingol. When they completed their task, Thingol took it and and try to wear it. But the Dwarves stopped him, saying that the necklake belonged to their people, as it was first made by Dwarves. Despite being alone and surrounded by danger, Thingol mocked them, refusing to even pay their work. Moved by greed, the Dwarves killed him, and thus died Elu Thingol, the only Elf of the Sindar who had seen the Light of Valinor.

The slayers took the Nauglamír with the Silmaril and left Doriath, but they did not get far, for the Elves struck back and killed them as they ran. The Nauglamír was taken from the Dwarves and returned to Melian. Yet two escaped and returned to Nogrod. They soon told a tale of refused payments and wrongfully broken bargains. The Dwarves of Nogrod were furious and began plotting revenge. An appeal to aid from Belegost was denied, but that did not deter Nogrod from sending out a force to attack Doriath.

Melian, however, did not stay to defend her city. She gave the Silmaril to Mablung, telling him to guard it and to send word to Beren and Lúthien. After this, she departed to Aman, and no more is recorded of her.

When the Dwarves reached Doriath, they found a city in disarray, as many of the captains of the Elves were disillusioned from the loss of both of their rulers. The Dwarves attacked and destroyed the Thousand Caves, and they even managed to take the Silmaril from Mablung. Neither Elf nor Dwarf would forget this, and it would be a bitter source of strife between them for years to come.

Word of the disaster soon reached Beren and Lúthien, who by this time had a son named Dior. Dior was married to one Nimloth, and their children were Elwing, Eluréd and Elurín. Beren took his son and went to attack the Dwarves, and they were joined by many Elves of Ossiriand.

They soon attacked the Dwarves in Sarn Athrad, and they were joined by Ents. The force of Dwarves was slain, and Beren himself killed the Lord of Nogrod and reclaimed the Silmaril he had once taken from Morgoth. Back in Tol Galen, he gave the Silmaril and the Nauglamír to Lúthien, and it is said that when she wore them she was like a vision of Valinor, blessing all the land where they lived.

Dior bade his mother and father farewell after this, and taking his family with him he went to Menegroth. He was received by the Elves that remained with joy, and he soon began to rebuild Doriath, becoming king of the remade realm. He ruled there for a time before he was visited by a Green Elf with a casket containing the Silmaril. Dior interpreted this as a final message from his parents: Beren and Lúthien had both died and left the world.

Dior took the Silmaril and wore it. Yet all was not well, for the Sons of Fëanor heard that one of their jewels was in Doriath, and the memory of their Oath awoke in them. They gathered together and sent an embassy to Dior, who refused to answer. Celegorm set his brothers in motion to attack Doriath.

The resulting slaughter was known as the Second Kinslaying, which brought the definitive ruin of Doriath. Dior slew Celegorm, and Caranthir and Curufin were also slain. However, Dior and his family were all killed except for Elwing, who took the Silmaril and fled from Doriath along with some survivors to the Mouths of Sirion.

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