Fall of Nargothrond

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This article is about the battle. For the chapter of the same name, see The Fall of Nargothrond.
Fall of Nargothrond
Conflict: War of the Jewels
Date: F.A. 495[1][2]
Place: Nargothrond
Outcome: Victory for Morgoth
  • Utter destruction of Nargothrond

Elves of Nargothrond

Forces of Morgoth








Majority of the inhabitants killed or enslaved, few survivors


The Fall of Nargothrond, also known as the Sack of Nargothrond, was the overthrow and destruction of the city by that name, wrought by Glaurung and his hordes, in F.A. 495.


When it was known in Nargothrond that Mormegil was actually Túrin, he was honored by Orodreth and became even more powerful within the realm. Wishing to make greater war against Morgoth, Túrin ordered the construction of a mighty bridge over Narog, so the host of Nargothrond could cross the river more easily.

In the spring of F.A. 495, the Elves Gelmir and Arminas came to Nargothrond in name of Círdan, bringing news from Ulmo: Eithel Sirion had been tainted by Morgoth, so his power was now withdrawn from the Sirion; therefore, Nargothrond had to close its Doors and its bridge destroyed, so the Enemy would not find the hidden realm.[3] Orodreth was troubled with this warning, but Túrin didn't hearken it, and kept the open war against the Orcs.



Main article: Battle of Tumhalad

After hearing reports of a great mustering of Orcs under the shadow of Ered Wethrin, Túrin counselled Orodreth, to meet them in open battle. The army of Nargothrond went forth to meet them but were driven back into the field of Tumhalad and were utterly defeated, and Orodreth was slain there. The Orc-host led by Glaurung then moved towards the hidden stronghold.


"Assault on Nargothrond" by Pete Amachree

The guards of Nargothrond were aware of what had happened in Tumhalad but were powerless to stop the assault of the enemies, as the bridge over Narog proved a ruin and could not be swiftly destroyed. Thus, Glaurung and his Orcs crossed the river, and the dragon unleashed his fire upon the Doors of Felagund and passed through. The great halls and chambers were plundered and destroyed, those with arms were driven off or killed and the women and maidens, including Orodreth's daughter Finduilas, were herded to be taken as slaves to Angband.

Coming late to the sack were Túrin and some few other survivors of Tumhalad. Túrin crossed the bridge full of woe, and nobody could stop him, so he reached the entry to the realm, where the captives were dragged out. Then Glaurung came out and lay between Túrin and the bridge, saluting him. Túrin was alone, as his followers had fled, but tried to attack the dragon. Glaurung casted a spell upon him, halting him completely moveless, and forced to watch as the captives were driven away. Then Glaurung released Túrin, knowing the evils this would cause.


The captives were taken away towards Angband but Glaurung stayed and destroyed the bridge over the Narog. He gathered all the treasures of the city and laid upon them and rested. The survivors of the sack eventually made their way to Doriath,[4] some possibly fled as far as the Mouths of Sirion.

Other versions of the legendarium

The battle appears in Tolkien's earliest writings of the Narn in Turambar and the Foalókë. There are a few differences between the early version of the tale and later writings, one of which is the absence of the great bridge that was built over the Narog.[5] Túrin is present during the sack defending the home of Galweg the father of Failivrin (Finduilas). Flinding (Gwindor) is also beside him and falls not soon after pierced by arrows. Glorund arrives much later during the sack and his confrontation with Túrin is remarkably different than in The Silmarillion.[6] The treasures of the Rodothlim were laid above the stream and Glorund slept before it in the open, which Christopher pointed out in his notes that this was odd and uncharacteristic.[6]