The Silmarillion Recap: Turin Goes to Nargothrond

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

Last week, Beleg met his fate, and Turin’s life changed forever. Now, Gwindor has taken Beleg’s place as Turin’s companion and they have a new set of adventures ahead of them.

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Quenta Silmarillion Chapter 21 part 4

After Beleg’s death, Turin completely changes. While he was never the happiest person (and who can blame him after his father was captured by Morgoth, he killed an Elf and fled from his foster family, and he thought his mother and sister were dead?), he now slips into a deep depression. Fortunately, Gwindor stays by his side and eventually leads him to a special stream, “guarded from defilement by Ulmo” (Tolkien 250). Fortunately, this enchanted water breaks Turin’s depression and allows him to at least begin dealing with his grief over Beleg’s death.

This is also the first time that Turin asks Gwindor who he is. After all, Gwindor didn’t join the adventure until he met Beleg along the road. Now that Beleg is gone, Gwindor has somewhat taken his place. When Turin discovers that Gwindor had been one of Morgoth’s captives, he asks about his father. After all, Hurin was captured during the last major battle, and no one has heard anything of him since. Gwindor only has this insight: “rumor of [Hurin] runs through Angband that he still defies Morgoth; and that Morgoth has laid a curse upon him and all his kin” (250). Comforting news for Turin, I’m sure.

Gwindor also gives Anglachel (that malice-filled sword) to Turin. If it didn’t seem like a normal sword before, it truly shows how mysterious it is now. It seems to “mourn” for Beleg, its former owner. Surely Melian wouldn’t be surprised.

Since Gwindor is now free from Morgoth’s clutches, he decides to take Turin back to his home of Nargothrond. When they arrive, though, no one seems to recognize Gwindor. He has been captured for quite a while, and his time in Morgoth’s labor camps has left him haggard. However, one person does recognize him: Finduilas. She’s the daughter of Orodreth — the current king of Nargothrond who took over when Finrod left with Beren — and she has always loved Gwindor. Needless to say, Gwindor is welcomed back home, and he couldn’t be happier to be there.

Of course, everyone wants to know who Gwindor’s companion is, but Turin wants his name kept secret. He insists on being called Agarwaen (which means Bloodstained). The Elves seem to think nothing of the peculiar name. Since he’s a great fighter, they give him dwarf armor and a mask that terrifies his enemies. And all of the Elves come to love him (probably because he knows the general Elvish ways from growing up in Doriath).

One Elf in particular loves him. Finduilas. She falls completely head over heels for him. Turin is absolutely oblivious, but Gwindor notices. He loves her enough to let her go — and tells her such — but he warns her that this Agarwaen has a serious doom over his life. After all, he is Turin, son of Hurin. After this conversation, Finduilas decides to back off, and understandably. Turin’s life is a messy one so far, and it’s only going to get messier.

Gwindor tells Turin, who was still oblivious to Finduilas’ interest in him, and Turin becomes quite upset. It’s not because he wishes that Finduilas is his girlfriend, though. It’s because Gwindor spilled the beans and now she knows that he’s actually Turin. He had hoped that hiding his name from everyone would keep him from the terrible fate that he must have felt haunting his steps, but Gwindor tells him that, “The doom lies in yourself, not in your name” (252).

Now that Finduilas knows who Turin really is, everyone else in Nargothrond knows too. And they love him even more because of it. In fact, King Orodreth is even more willing to listen to Turin’s council.

Turin takes advantage of his. For years, the Elves had used guerrilla warfare, hiding in the shadows and attacking unexpectedly. However, Turin prefers the larger, grander battles from before. Armies lined up, charging one another. None of this sneaking about. Because he is Turin, King Orodreth and his court listen to him. The only person who seems to disagree with this new tactic is Gwindor. He still sees value in the secrecy. It keeps the armies better protected and gives them an advantage. However, no one wants to listen to him. What Turin says goes… even though listening to him might not be the best idea.

Next week, Turin’s battle strategies are put to the test… against a dragon.

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