The Simarillion Recap: Why You Might Not Want to Be “Friends” with Turin

Want to catch up on The Silmarillion so far? Check out the Silmarillion Recaps page here.

Last week, Beleg found Turin, who had run away after killing an Elf in Doriath. Though Turin wouldn’t return home, where he had been pardoned, Beleg did manage to convince King Thingol to let him rejoin Turin and protect him wherever he goes. Before Beleg returns, though, we have to find out what Turin’s been up to in the meantime.

Quenta Silmarillion: Chapter 21 part 2

For years, Turin and his company of outlaws have lived on the edge of danger, fighting Orcs (and, formerly, everyone else around). Now, they’re tired of always living in dangerous places, so they head off to find a new hideout. It comes unexpectedly (and by means that Beleg, King Thingol, and any reasonable person would find distasteful).

One day, Turin and his band come across three Dwarves. Apparently forgetting that they decided to only harass Morgoth and his allies, they chase these three Dwarves, capturing the slowest of them and loosing an arrow at the other two as they escape. The Dwarf in their custody identifies himself as Mîm, one of the last Petty Dwarves (known as Noegyth Nibin in Sindarin Elvish) and a very old one at that. In return for his life, he offers Turin and his company use of his home, the hidden tunnels under the hill Amon Rudh. Interested, Turin and company agree and follow Mîm to his home.

Amon Rudh is an impressive hill covered in red flowers called seregon. One of Turin’s company offhandedly mentions, “There is blood on the hill-top” (242), and they all continue onward, not thinking much of how foreboding those words sound.

S.B. Roberts 2014

S.B. Roberts 2014

Mîm welcomes them to their new “home,” which he calls Bar-en-Danwedh (House of Ransom). Before they step inside, though, Mîm is immediately met with terrible news. Those two Dwarves he had been traveling with when he was captured? They were his sons. The one, Ibun, scowls at them as they enter, and for good reason. The other son, Khîm, was struck by that arrow Turin’s company loosed and is now dead.

Turin immediately feels awful, wishing that he could take back that arrow. But, since he can’t, he makes a deal with Mîm. It will indeed be called the House of Ransom because Turin will repay Mîm with gold for murdering his son. After pondering a moment, Mîm agrees, partly because Turin’s promise is a very Dwarvish thing to say.

For a while, Turin and his company live with Mîm and Ibun in relative peace. Perhaps they even become something like friends. Then a very harsh winter settles over the land, leaving all of them mostly snowbound. However, this changes when someone unexpectedly arrives in spite of the snow. Beleg.

Obviously, Turin is thrilled to see his old friend again. After fighting together, Turin and Beleg have a special relationship. At first, Beleg tries to convince Turin to return to Doriath again. He’s not in trouble and King Thingol wants him home. But Turin refuses, leaving Beleg no choice but to stay with this ragtag band. Bearing healing powers and the lembas from Melian, Beleg helps the company and becomes a very welcome part of the Bar-en-Danwedh household. Well, he does with Turin and his company. Mîm and Ibun have reason to hate the Elves for things that happened to their Dwarven kin years ago, so they brood in the corner together, avoiding everyone else.

When spring comes again, Morgoth makes another push, invading new territories and causing the usual havoc. At first, things go his way, but he’s soon met with resistance led by Turin (who now likes to go by Gorthol, the Dread Helm) and Beleg. It takes a little time, but Morgoth eventually figures out that Turin is the son of his captive, Hurin, so he devises a plan.

As the next winter approaches, Mîm and Ibun head out to gather food. They are caught unawares by Orcs and Mîm is captured. After being threatened, he again is forced to take intruders to his home at Amon Rudh. They arrive in the middle of the night, and the Orcs attack, taking Turin and his men completely by surprise. Many of Turin’s men are slaughtered, and Turin is captured before the Orcs clear out once more. In a bitter irony, some of the company died on the top of Amon Rudh, their blood mixing with the red seregon flowers.

Once the massacre is over, Mîm surveys the aftermath. To his surprise, not everyone who looks dead on Amon Rudh actually is. And the one he hoped was dead but wasn’t? None other than Beleg. Mîm finds Anglachel (that evil sword made by Eol) laying under a body, and he picks it up to kill Beleg. However, Beleg isn’t as bad off as Mîm thought. Beleg hops up, wrenches Anglachel from Mîm’s hands, and threatens the terrifed Mîm, who then runs off.

Beleg then searches all over Amon Rudh for Turin. However, he soon discovers that Turin is nowhere to be found, which means that he has no choice but to find him and rescue him from the Orcs.

Next week, Gwindor (yes, the tragic Elf from the war known as Unnumbered Tears) makes another cameo, and Beleg finds out just how cursed his sword, Anglachel, is.

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