Taur-nu-Fuin (Dorthonion)

From Tolkien Gateway
Pine-forest,[1] Highlands[2]
Peter Xavier Price - Beleg discovers Gwindor.jpg
"Beleg discovers Gwindor" by Peter Xavier Price
General Information
LocationNorthern Dorthonion
TypePine-forest,[1] Highlands[2]
DescriptionEvil, darkened forest
People and History
EventsDagor Bragollach, Massacre at Tarn Aeluin
"To North there lay the Land of Dread
whence only evil pathways led
o’er hills of shadow bleak and cold
or Taur-na-Fuin’s haunted hold
where Deadly Nightshade lurked and lay
and never came or moon or day.
Lay of Leithian, Canto I

Taur-nu-Fuin was a name for the southern parts of Dorthonion, and sometimes for the forest as a whole after it was corrupted by Morgoth after the Dagor Bragollach. The kingdoms of Dorthonion were destroyed at that point, including Ladros and the realm of Angrod and Aegnor. Barahir remained as an outlaw in Taur-nu-Fuin, and after his death Beren his son dwelt in this forest for several years, before crossing the Ered Gorgoroth and forsaking Dorthonion to its captors. Then it was truly wholly "under nightshade".[3]

After Sauron was defeated by Huan in their battle upon Tol-in-Gaurhoth he took the form of a vampire and fled to Taur-nu-Fuin, filling the forest with horror.[4]

After Túrin was captured upon Amon Rûdh he was taken by the orcs through Taur-nu-Fuin northwards. In those woods the pursuing Beleg came upon Gwindor, who told him of seeing Túrin being whipped and driven towards Angband. Together the two Elves followed the orcs out onto the barren dunes of Anfauglith.[5]

Etymology[edit | edit source]

In early texts it was spelled Taur-na-Fuin, as seen in the excerpt from the Lay above.

Another Noldorin name is given as Deldú(w)ath translated as "Deadly Nightshade".[6] In Sindarin, it comes from taur "great forest", nu "under" and fuin "night, gloom" (translated "nightshade").[source?] More literally, it is translated as 'the Forest under Night'.[7]