The Silmarillion Recap: Reasons to Never Take Malice-Filled Swords

On a personal note: It’s been a busy week of novel editing, reading students’ short stories, and playing with the kitten so he’ll sleep at night. I’m planning on catching up on checking in on everyone else’s blogs in the next few days. :)

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

Last week, Beleg set off to find Turin, who had been captured by the Orcs. While there isn’t much hope, Beleg refuses to give up on his charge so easily, but at what cost?

Quenta Silmarillion Chapter 21 part 3

After being attacked by Mim and realizing that Turin has not been killed, Beleg hurries off to find Turin.

Along the way, though, he encounters someone who he surely didn’t expect to meet. Remember Gwindor, who had been captured during Nirnaeth Arnoediad (the battle of Unnumbered Tears) after he tried to save his captured brother? It’s been many years, but now he sits along the road, hunched and tired.

When Morgoth took captives during wars, especially Elves, he didn’t kill them. Instead, he used them, forcing them to apply their forging and mining skills in prisons. For a long time, Gwindor has been one of these slaves, mining in the brutal North before escaping through secret passages. All of his former glory seems to have been stripped away, leaving a wraith of an Elf. (Not a literal wraith, mind you. Just a wraith in the figurative sense.)

Needless to say, Gwindor is glad to see Beleg, who also fought during that dreadful war. He tells Beleg that he’s seen a company of Orcs tromping through, and they had a tall, chained man in their midst. Beleg knows that it’s Turin. There might be hope after all, if he can just reach them before they arrive in Morgoth’s stronghold.

Gwindor doesn’t see any hope ahead, though. In fact, he tries to convince Beleg that he shouldn’t go. If he does, he’ll just be captured and tortured. But Beleg’s unwavering determination inspires Gwindor, so together they hurry off to save Turin.

They final catch up to the Orc company at night. Everyone is asleep, and in the center of the camp, Turin is bound and surrounded by knives that have been thrown at him in a sick game of darts. Beleg sneaks in to release Turin. However, as he cuts Turin free, Anglachel—that sword that was made by Eol and has been infused with his malice—slips and cuts Turin’s foot.

Turin, who has been asleep the whole time, jolts awake. All he sees is a figure in the darkness, holding a sword over him. Furious and terrified, Turin wrestles the sword off of Beleg and kills him with it. (Oh, Beleg, if only you had listened to Melian’s warning!)

Then lightning flashes, and Turin sees the face of his “attacker.” When he realizes it’s his dear friend, he loses it. Even though he’s in a sea of Orcs, he doesn’t move.

The lightning also wakes all of the Orcs, who decide they need to break camp and leave. Gwindor tries to warn Turin, but Turin is completely unresponsive. In a strange twist of fate, this actually saves Turin’s life. In the darkness of the approaching storm, the Orcs assume that he’s run away, so they flee without him.

Once they are alone and safe, Gwindor rouses Turin and they bury Beleg. While they leave Beleg’s bow with him in the grave, Gwindor takes Anglachel because it’s better to kill Morgoth’s minions with it than leave it to rust in the ground.

Now filled with new courage himself, Gwindor takes Turin away and they head off for a new set of adventures. But this moment defines Turin. From now on, he is always grave. He will never be the same again.

Next week, Turin finds himself in the middle of a love triangle.

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3 responses to “The Silmarillion Recap: Reasons to Never Take Malice-Filled Swords

  • Eric

    HA! I totally remember trying to play with Juniper during the day so I could wear her out and she’d sleep all night. It’s fun to try, and you’ll think that it works, but the cat will prove you wrong. :)

    As for Tolkien – I’m not always so big on the languages, but I find it endlessly fun that the Battle of Unnumbered Tears is called ‘Nirnaeth Arnoediad’ and not Dagor Nirnaeth Arnoediad. Since Dagor means Battle, calling it simply Nirnaeth Arnoediad is literally naming the battle “Unnumbered Tears” (as opposed to the Battle of Unnumbered Tears). Even Tolkien referred to it as the Battle of Unnumbered Tears, but I find it ridiculously sad that for the Elves, the tears outweighed the battle.

    Beleg Strongbow is an awesome name. I love it when he talks about himself in the third person: “And you will have the Strongbow by your side!” or some such wonderfulness.

    • S.B. Roberts

      Yeah, my attempts have proven futile as well so far. As long as he doesn’t attack us in the middle of the night, I’m happy. :)

      I found that interesting too. Guess it shows just how detrimental the battle and its aftermath were.

      I love the third person too! To bad he dies so early in Turin’s story.

  • The Silmarillion Recap: Turin’s Doom (or That Awkward Moment When You Marry Your Sister) | The Everyday Epic

    […] doesn’t want to lose the sword (which is the same one that killed Beleg), so he climbs down after it. Not Turin’s smartest move. Then he decides to taunt the dead […]

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