The Death of Glaurung

From Tolkien Gateway
The Children of Húrin chapters
  1. The Childhood of Túrin
  2. The Battle of Unnumbered Tears
  3. The Words of Húrin and Morgoth
  4. The Departure of Túrin
  5. Túrin in Doriath
  6. Túrin among the Outlaws
  7. Of Mîm the Dwarf
  8. The Land of Bow and Helm
  9. The Death of Beleg
  10. Túrin in Nargothrond
  11. The Fall of Nargothrond
  12. The Return of Túrin to Dor-lómin
  13. The Coming of Túrin into Brethil
  14. The Journey of Morwen and Niënor
  15. Niënor in Brethil
  16. The Coming of Glaurung
  17. The Death of Glaurung
  18. The Death of Túrin

The Death of Glaurung is the seventeenth chapter of The Children of Húrin.


Glaurung approaches by Alan Lee

It was night when Turambar, Dorlas and Hunthor arrived to Cabed-en-Aras and began to go down the ravine. The Teiglin was noisy, stony and very dangerous, and Dorlas cowed and chose not to follow Turambar. While the two men climbed the narrow, they heard the coming of Glaurung: the dragon crossed the ravine directly from above. With the passing of the dragon, the whole ground shook and the air was hot and poisoned. In that moment a rock hit Hunthor's head and his body fell in to the river. Turambar lamented, but carried on and with all his will climbed up the narrow to the dragon's position. Then he took his sword Gurthang and stabbed Glaurung's belly to the hilt. Crying in pain, the dragon crossed to the other cliff with the sword still embedded. He twisted in agony, falling in the ground. Turambar almost fainted, but with great strength he left the ravine and approached the dragon. Mocking the dragon, Turambar took back his sword, but a blood stream sprayed his hand, and he fell unconscious.

Meanwhile, in Nen Girith the dragon's cry was heard by Níniel and those who followed her, and everybody panicked and refused to move, believing that the Black Sword had died. Then Brandir arrived and found Níniel shaking and petrified; he took her hand and tried to run away with her from Brethil. When Níniel realised what was happening, she walked away from him and ran in despair through the woods, with Bradir limping behind her.

The Death of Glaurung by Alan Lee

Suddenly, Níniel saw Glaurung's body under the moonlight, and near it was Turambar's. She ran to help him, and bandaged his injured hand, but he did not wake. The dragon, however, did wake up, and with his last words he greeted her as the daughter of Húrin and sister of Túrin. Then Glaurung died and his enchantment upon her faded away. Thus Niënor remembered all her past and cried: "Farewell, O twice beloved! A Túrin Turambar turún' ambartanen: Master of Doom by Doom mastered!"

Brandir heard everything, and tried to stop her from running away. But she didn't wait for him and jumped into the Teiglin. Thus Cabed-en-Aras was known since then as Cabed Naeramarth, "Leap of Dreadful Doom". Brandir left the place horrified, thinking that Túrin was indeed dead. On the way back he found Dorlas, and realised Dorlas had left Turambar and Hunthor in their quest, and blamed him for everything. Dorlas attacked Brandir, but Brandir drew his sword and killed Dorlas.

Brandir arrived at Nen Girith. He explained to the people what happened: the dragon was dead, and also Turambar, and both were indeed good news, because Turambar and Níniel were actually Túrin and Niënor, the children of Húrin, bringing their dark fate to Brethil. Thus Brandir called Brethil Sarch nia Hin Húrin, "Grave of the Children of Húrin". The people was startled by the news, but they decided to build a grave for their saviour and headed to Cabed-en-Aras.