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Last week, Turin’s difficult life came to a tragic end. Remember, though, that all the while, his father Hurin has been watching everything happen. Now, for what happens to Hurin, one of the greatest warriors according to The Silmarillion.
Quenta Silmarillion Chapter 22 part 1
It’s been twenty-eight years. Twenty-eight long years since Hurin was captured by Morgoth. It had happened during Nirnaeth Arnoediad, the battle of “Unnumbered Tears.” Hurin and his brother, Huor, had fought valiantly beside Turgon, an Elvish king and old friend. And when the battle completely fell apart, Hurin and Huor held a bridge to ensure that the Elvish king and his people could escape. One by one, Hurin’s companions had been cut down until only Hurin stood there. But nothing could stop Hurin. As wave after wave of orcs crowded around, he shouted words of hope: “Day shall come again! Day shall come again!”
Now, those words must be little more than a distant memory. How could day ever come again after all he had witnessed? His wife is missing, wandering in the wild. His son and daughter are dead. Morgoth has made him watch every moment of their suffering. And of course the Dark Lord inserted plenty of his own lies into the mix. That’s what he does best. (Remember Feanor.)
Now, a year after Turin’s death, Morgoth decides it’s time to release Hurin. While he feigns pity for poor Hurin, he really wants to use him one last time. And Hurin knows it. Morgoth is incapable of pity.
When Hurin, now an old, haggard man, reaches his own people from so long ago, they want nothing to do with him. Understandably, they think that he’s finally caved and is serving Morgoth. So the embittered Hurin soon moves on, hoping that perhaps he’ll find help from Turgon. After all, it was Turgon who he had saved so long ago.
When Hurin reaches Turgon’s secret fortress of Gondolin, he stands outside a way he once knew and waits. The Eagles brought him and his brother, Huor, into Gondolin once, when they were young. Perhaps they will do it again. Though no one responds, he doesn’t go unnoticed. The Eagles do see him, and their king, Thorondor, goes to Turgon himself to discuss the situation. However, Turgon shares everyone else’s fear about Hurin: he probably is working for Morgoth now. So he tells Thorondor and the Eagles to leave him outside.
Desperate and lonely, Hurin shouts at the cliffs for Turgon. He doesn’t think that anyone (besides maybe Turgon) have heard him, but he is sorely mistaken. Spies from Morgoth have been following him, and when they hear this, they know that Gondolin is nearby. So much for its location being a complete secret.
Meanwhile, Turgon is still sitting inside of Gondolin, thinking about his decision. Hurin, after all, was very valiant over the years and is likely the only reason that Turgon is alive today. However, when he calls Thorondor back and asks him to bring Hurin up, it’s too late. Hurin is gone.
As tired Hurin continues his lonely travels, he stumbles on a rock and falls asleep. In a dream, he hears his wife’s voice, and he goes where she is. It’s the only place she would be. Sitting by the remains of Glaurung the dragon, where Turin and Nienor are commemorated. When Hurin finds her there, they both are filled with sorrow. They were much too late to save their children. And there’s one thing that Morwen wants to know. She had been with Nienor before they had been separated in the dragon-fog. How had she ever found Turin? But Hurin doesn’t tell her anything. He just sits quietly, holding her hand until she dies with the setting sun. Before moving on with even greater heartbreak, he adds her name to the stone commemorating their children.
Then he continues to find the place where the dragon first met Turin: Nargothrond.
Next week, Hurin visits Nargothrond and has a chat with Thingol, the one who was supposed to be watching his family while he was captured.