Tag Archives: Dwarves

Tolkien and Lewis’ Movie Date

When I think of JRR Tolkien’s contemporaries, I usually think of CS Lewis and the rest of the Inklings. I rarely think about what was happening on the other side of the pond — even though that’s where I live.

As anyone familiar with Tolkien knows, he had strong opinions, and that went for his contemporaries. One of those — one I never thought of — is Walt Disney.

Back in the 1937, The Hobbit and Disney’s Snow White and the Seven Dwarves made their debuts in their respective countries. Since both have always been a part of my life, I never realized that they came out within months of one another and share a protagonist surrounded by a band of dwarves. It’s just fascinating to think about.

While I don’t know what Walt Disney thought of Tolkien’s work, Tolkien certainly wasn’t a fan of him. Neither was Lewis.

Unlike the past several generations, they grew up only knowing the original (and usually darker) versions of fairy tales. To see dwarves — the creatures of Norse mythology — playing jazz and being downright goofy just felt wrong.

I can understand it. When Frozen first came out, I was appalled by just how different the story is from Hans Christian Andersen’s original fairy tale. There are a handful of similar elements, but besides those things, the stories couldn’t be more different. Since then, I’ve warmed up to it (pun only sort of intended) and have come to like it as its own thing, but certainly not as adaptation. “Inspired by,” sure. “Adaptation”? Definitely not.

Needless to say, it was a fascinating read. If you want to check out the full article, it’s available here.

What are your thoughts on different adaptations of films? Have you ever found yourself in Tolkien and Lewis’ shoes?


The Silmarillion Recap: You Get a Ring, and You Get a Ring, and You Get a Ring! (Or Sauron’s Big Ring Giveaway)

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

Last week, Sauron tried really hard to subjugate the Elves, but they ended up seeing through his plan at the last minute. This week, he decides to give his Rings to less perceptive folk…

“Of the Rings of Power and the Third Age” part 3

Rings are serious business, especially magical ones. After all the work that he’s done to oversee their creation, Sauron determines to gather up as many of the Magic Rings he can and hand them out to new people. People who might be easier to control than the Elves. Once he has as many as he can get, he hands them back out (probably not mentioning that he’s already given them as gifts once).

This is where the renowned poem mentioned in The Lord of the Rings comes into play.

Three Rings for the Elven-kings under the sky,
Seven for the Dwarf-lords in their halls of stone,
Nine for Mortal Men doomed to die,
One for the Dark Lord on his dark throne
In the Land of Mordor where the Shadows lie.
One Ring to rule them all, One Ring to find them,
One Ring to bring them all and in the darkness bind them
In the Land of Mordor where the Shadows lie.

The Elves already have the Three Rings and have kept them well-hidden.

Sauron proceeds to give seven to the Dwarves. Unfortunately for him, Dwarves are made of tougher stuff than they seem. Unlike the Elves, they don’t see through his tricks, but they are less malleable than he was expecting. Fortunately, though, the Rings make the Dwarven kings greedier, and it’s said that the Dwarves’ seven major treasure hoards all began with the Rings Sauron gave out. The one thing Sauron likely didn’t see coming was that dragons are terribly interested in treasure too, so years after giving the Rings out, all of them were lost either in the bellies of dragons or in fires. So much for dragons being his old allies.

Sauron also gives out nine Rings to the Kings of Men, and it turns out that they’re by far the easiest group to manipulate. Those who possess these Rings become the greatest kings, warriors, and sorcerers, and they also have unusually long lives. They also are given the ability to become invisible while wearing the Rings. While this does come in handy, they often see visions of Sauron, who can always watch them. Eventually, they not only become tired of life, but they also become permanently invisible. And now they are the infamous Nazgûl, who only cry out with “the voices of death” (Tolkien 346).

Next week, Sauron’s power spreads, but it won’t be that way forever…

The Silmarillion Recap: Revenge of Feanor’s Sons

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

Last week, Thingol and his realm were attacked by Dwarves bent on retaking the Nauglamir (a very old and precious necklace made by the Dwarves. This week, the repercussions of their decisions have a lasting affect, and Fëanor’s sons make another appearance.

Quenta Silmarillion Chapter 22 part 4

Thingol lays dead in his palace of Menegroth, and his beloved queen, Melian, mourns by his side. Since the beginning, the Silmarils have been little more than trouble. Now, for a third time, they have brought grief to Thingol’s family. The first time was when Thingol’s relatives across the sea were killed because they refused to help Fëanor, and the second when Beren and Luthien had to retrieve one to be together. Now, Thingol is dead thanks to the one he had.

Now, Melian knows that worse things are coming. After all, she is one of the Maiar, servants of the Valar, so she can both perceive things that others can’t and has more power than them. This means that she also is aware that her life in Middle-earth has essentially relied on Thingol, her husband. Now that he is gone, her power wanes and she knows that it’s time for her to leave Middle-earth and return to Valinor. Before she leaves, she leaves strict instructions for Mablug to take the Nauglamir with the Silmaril to Luthien and Beren, her daughter and son-in-law.

Before Mablung can do this, though, the Dwarves who have been plotting to retake the Nauglamir arrive. Without Melian’s protection over the realm, the Dwarves easily march straight to the palace and engage in a bloody battle inside the halls of Menegroth. The slaughter is so terrible that it’s called “a thing most grievous among the sorrowful deeds of the Elder Days” (281). When it’s all said and done, many Dwarves and Elves are killed. Among them is Mablung, who died seemingly protecting the Nauglamir. Then the victorious Dwarves plunder the place, take the Nauglamir, and leave.

Meanwhile, Luthien and Beren have been enjoying life together. They have a son, Dior, who’s married to Nimloth (a relative of Celeborn — the Celeborn that is married to the one and only Galadriel). They even have three grandchildren: Elured and Elurin (the grandsons) and Elwing (the granddaughter). Life is great.

However, they soon receive news of marauding Dwarves in the area as well as word of what has happened in Doriath. While Luthien mourns at home, Beren and their son Dior grab their weapons and aid in an ambush headed up by the Elves. Soon, the Dwarves are trapped and slain between the Elves and the “Shepherds of the Trees” (282). (Yes, it sounds like the Ents make an appearance!) Beren gives the last blow to the dwarves, killing their lord and retaking the Nauglamir. However, before the lord dies, he curses the Nauglamir.

Though all of the rest of the treasure from Doriath is at the bottom of a river now, Beren returns home with the Nauglamir with the Silmaril that he and Luthien fought so hard to win. Luthien is understandably heartbroken, but she does begin to wear the Nauglamir. During this time, their home of Tol Galen becomes the closest thing to Valinor on earth. It’s bright and beautiful and plentiful.

Soon, Dior and his wife Nimloth decide to go to Doriath to restore it to its former glory, so they leave Tol Galen for the ruined Menegroth. It’s some time after they leave that Dior receives an unexpected visitor with a coffer. When Dior opens it, he sees the Nauglamir with the Silmaril in it. Though there is no note, he knows what it means. His parents, Luthien and Beren, have finally died and this treasure is his to keep. And he does. He wears it like his mother did. Unlike his mother, though, he is special in that he is descended of Men (through his father), Elves (through his mother), and the Maiar (through his grandmother, Melian).

However, not everyone is glad that Dior has the Silmaril in his possession. Yet again, Fëanor’s sons decide that it’s time to take the Silmaril for themselves.

Interestingly, Fëanor’s sons didn’t ever threaten Luthien while she had the Silmaril. I suppose there’s something inherently daunting about a person who faced Morgoth and death and was returned to life again with the man she fought alongside and fought to save.

The seven sons of Fëanor send a message to Dior, but he doesn’t reply. Frustrated by Thingol’s family yet again, Celegorm brings up the idea of war, and his brothers jump on the bandwagon. Before long, they attack Doriath yet again. This is specifically noted as the second time that Elf slayed Elf. (The first, of course, being when Fëanor attacked the Teleri, also related to Thingol.)

In the aftermath, many are dead, including three of Fëanor’s sons (Celegorm, Curufin, and Caranthir). Dior and Nimloth have also been killed. Dior and Nimloth’s young sons, Elured and Elurin, are taken from their home by Celegorm’s servants, and the boys are left in the forest to die. Interestingly, Maedhros (one of Fëanor’s sons) feels awful about what he’s done and tries to find the boys, but nothing ever comes of it. They are gone for good, and there’s no record of what happened to them.

S.B. Roberts 2015

S.B. Roberts 2015

And the Silmaril? Fëanor’s sons can’t find it. And for good reason. Before they attacked, some of the Elves of Doriath were sent away, including Elwing (Dior and Nimloth’s daughter). They took with them the Silmaril so no one could steal it and escaped to the shore of the sea. Fëanor’s sons are foiled again.

Next week, it’s time to shift gears and focus on Tuor, son of Huor and nephew of Hurin. Like his cousin Turin, he has quite the story as well.

The Silmarillion Recap: Thingol’s Obsession (or The Silmarils Cause Another Downfall)

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

Last week, Hurin made his final visit to Thingol and gave Thingol the Nauglamir, the treasured necklace made by the Dwarves. However, it turns out that this might have been a very ill-fated idea.

Quenta Silmarillion Chapter 22 part 3

After Hurin left the throne room, Thingol sat quietly, staring at the beautiful Necklace of the Dwarves — the Nauglamir. The Dwarves had made it as a gift for Finrod. (Yes, the Elven King whose death could be blamed on Thingol. See more on that here and here.) And now it belonged to Thingol.

While this could be taken many different ways, this moment soon takes a darker tone. For some time, Thingol had been obsessed with the Silmaril that Beren and Luthien had stolen from Morgoth. (Want to read their whole story? Start here.) Think Bilbo and the Ring during The Fellowship of the Ring obsessed. And given the Silmarils’ rocky history, it shouldn’t come as a surprise.

Boo as Frodo

Speaking of Bilbo, I once dressed my previous dog as Frodo, Ring and all. It seems apropos.

Towards the beginning of the Quenta Silmarillion, Fëanor created the three Silmarils from the light of the Two Trees of Valinor. Fëanor had always had a greedy bent, but it didn’t become obvious until he created these gems and began to obsess over them himself. Add Morgoth’s (then known as Melkor) lies and desire to have the Silmarils for himself, and it just turned into an ugly situation. Soon, Morgoth stole the Silmarils, Fëanor chased him over into Middle-earth, and it’s all history from there.

So what does Thingol want to do with the Nauglamir (the treasure of a fallen Elven king) and the Silmaril (that his own daughter and now son-in-law sacrificed so much to recover)? He wants to combine them. This way, he always has the Silmaril with him, wherever he goes, and it’s in a necklace worthy of such a treasure.

As it would happen, Dwarves frequent Doriath, so Thingol asks a group of them to help in his plight to combine the Dwarves’ and Elves’ greatest treasures. Though the Dwarves have an inclination to keep both treasures for themselves, they agree to do the work. They probably didn’t expect Thingol to constantly hover over them, but it’s hard to expect much more from someone who is so completely consumed by the Silmaril.

Once the work is finally complete, Thingol is thrilled. He can barely stand it. Just as the Dwarves prepare to hand over their work, they decide that it really shouldn’t belong to Thingol. They intend on keeping it. Why? Their fathers had made the Nauglamir for Finrod, so why should he have the right to keep it? Hurin may have given it to Thingol, but he showed up and took it from the abandoned hoard like a thief. Thingol is absolutely insulted, and he lashes out in return, going as far as to call the Dwarves “stunted people” (279). At the end of his tirade, he orders the Dwarves to leave.

And the Dwarves do leave. But not before they kill Thingol, take the Nauglamir that’s now fitted with the Silmaril, and run for it. It’s not long before their deeds are discovered and a group of Elves slay the Dwarves and return the Nauglamir to the grief-stricken queen, Melian.

However, two of the Dwarves escape, and they quickly return home, where they tell their side of the story. In their region of the Blue Mountains, there are two major cities: Nogrod and Belegrost. Their people in Nogrod are completely outraged and bent on war, but the Dwarves of Belegrost couldn’t disagree more. Unfortunately, though, those of Belegrost are completely ignored as the Dwarves of Nogrod sharpen their axes and put on their armor.

The Silmarils are about to cause war yet again.

Next week, it’s time for war, and the Silmaril isn’t finished causing problems yet…

The Silmarillion Recap: The End of One of the Greatest Warriors, Hurin (Part 2)

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

Last week, Hurin was finally released from his long imprisonment under Morgoth and has, essentially, found himself friendless and alone. This week, he visits the place where Turin first met Glaurung the dragon: Nargothrond.

Quenta Silmarillion Chapter 22 part 2

It’s been a long and lonely road for Hurin so far. He was seemingly ignored by the Elvish king whose life he saved and he waited while his wife died on the same spot where his children met their demise (essentially). Now, he finds himself outside of Nargothrond, where his son Turin first met the dragon.

Though Nargothrond was once a prosperous Elvish realm, it certainly isn’t anymore. It’s been completely abandoned, even though the dragon who claimed it is now dead. Well, not completely abandoned. Hurin does find one person there. One that hasn’t been mentioned in quite a while. Mim the petty dwarf. (See his full story here.)

Long ago, Mim had offered his home to Turin in return for his life. Then, after being captured by Morgoth’s forces, Mim was forced to lead Orcs to his now very full house so that they can capture Turin. While Mim had his moments of being friendly with Turin and certainly has been through some terrible circumstances, their friendship wore thin when Beleg (Turin’s Elvish friend from Doriath) arrived.

Now, Mim lives in Nargothrond, thoroughly enjoying all of the gold and gems left behind by the Elves and then the dragon. When Hurin shows up, Mim’s attitude takes over and Hurin isn’t interested in hearing it. He’s seen everything that’s happened — though the events were certainly laced with Morgoth’s lies. He tells Mim who he is: Turin’s dad. Then he kills Mim.

Before leaving Nargothrond, Hurin grabs one important piece of the treasure. More on that in a moment.

Hurin then heads to Doriath, where Thingol and Melian live. Back when Turin was threatened with slavery, he was brought to the safety of Doriath, and Thingol and Melian essentially became his foster parents.

When Hurin arrives, everyone is in awe that he is still alive, and Thingol is terribly sad for him and all that has happened. But Hurin isn’t glad to see anyone, especially Thingol. Instead, he reveals the treasure that he took from Nargothrond and throws it at Thingol’s feet. He couldn’t have picked anything more fitting.

This treasure is the Nauglamir, the Necklace of the Dwarves made for Finrod.

Why does this matter? Remember the story of Luthien and Beren? If Beren succeeded in a nearly impossible quest, he would be allowed to marry Luthien. And when Finrod heard about it, he helped Beren but died in the process. Now, Hurin is holding Thingol accountable, not only for Finrod’s unnecessary death but also for that of his wife and children.

While Thingol once may have responded in anger, he has only pity for Hurin now. He and Melian are gentle with Hurin and try to talk some reason. They had raised Turin as their own child and cared for Morwen and Nienor, doing everything they could to protect them before they were lost thanks to the dragon. And, as they speak, Morgoth’s lies start to melt away and Hurin sees things as they truly are.

Hurin then takes the Nauglamir from the ground and hands it reverently to Thingol. “Receive now, lord, the Necklace of the Dwarves,” he says, “as a gift from one who has nothing, and as a memorial of Hurin from Dor-lomon. For now my fate is fulfilled, and the purpose of Morgoth achieved; but I am his thrall no longer.” (Tolkien 278)

With this, Hurin leaves a free man. While no one knows exactly how he dies, there are rumors that he throws himself into the western sea. And thus ends the tragic life of Hurin, one of the greatest warriors of Middle-earth.

Next week, maybe giving the Nauglamir to Thingol isn’t the best idea after all…

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.

The Silmarillion Recap: The War of Unnumbered Tears

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

Last week, Maedhros gathered Elves, Men, and Dwarves to confront Morgoth once more. Now, for the beginning of the battle known in English as “Unnumbered Tears.”

Quenta Silmarillion: Chapter 20 part 2

The time for plotting is over. The time for the newest assault on Morgoth has begun. Instead of detailing the battle blow by blow, as described in the chapter, this post will focus on the highlights. If you want to read the whole battle in detail, check out Chapter 20 in The Silmarillion. In either case, this war is so devastating that it is named Nirnaeth Arnoediad, “Unnumbered Tears.”

The first important event that happens is Turgon and his army from the secret land of Gondolin arrive. No one has known Gondolin’s location since its founding, so it’s a huge surprise to find Turgon roaming around after spending countless years cloistered away in his secret palace. (For all anyone knew, he had just fallen off the face of Middle-earth.) This certainly excites everyone, especially Fingon, Turgon’s brother who hasn’t seen him for years.

Speaking of Fingon, he has been with Gwindor, the Elf from Nargothrond whose brother had been captured during Dagor Bragollach (the last major war with Morgoth). In an attempt to lure Fingon into making a hasty move, the Orcs bring out Gwindor’s captured brother, Gelmir. Poor Gelmir has been blinded and tortured while in Morgoth’s prisons. And in this moment when it looks like they might bargain for his freedom, the Orcs instead execute him in front of everyone. Gwindor loses control of himself. Weapons blazing, he leads a charge straight to Angband’s gates. Fingon follows, hoping to help, but it’s too late. By the time he gets close, everyone but Gwindor is dead, Gwindor is captured, and Fingon is so overwhelmed that he has to withdraw.

After this, Fingon withdraws, where he meets with Turgon and his forces. This bolsters Fingon’s troops, which is good because they’ll need it. In the next breath, Morgoth fires everything he has, including Glaurung the dragon.

Unfortunately, Glaurung isn’t Morgoth’s only secret weapon. Throughout the years, Morgoth has used manipulation and lies to separate people. (After all, that’s why the Noldor became exiles in the first place.) In Middle-earth, he’s applied these tactics on Men, specifically the Easterlings (a familiar name from The Lord of the Rings) among other tribes. Now, in this moment when they need to stand together to face the dragon, a whole group of Men withdraws, abandoning Maedhros on the battlefield.

With a fraction of the army gone, there is no choice but to retreat. While it’s devastating, a few brave folk keep it from becoming a complete disaster.

The first: Azgahal, the Dwarven Lord of Belegost. When the dragon attacks, he and his armies fight back, and to the death. In fact, as Glaurung the dragon manages to kill Azgahal, Azgahal wounds the dragon so badly that it has no choice but to flee. This saves countless lives.

The second: Fingon himself. While he is with Turgon, they are faced with Gothmog, Lord of the Balrogs. Unfortunately for the Elvish brothers, they’re separated by enemy forces, leaving Fingon to fight Gothmog himself. And while Fingon is a formidable foe, he’s eventually slain. While this is a terrible blow, Turgon does survive.

The third: Hurin. He and his brother, Huor, have been among the forces of Turgon, their old friend. (Yes, Maeglin still hates Hurin and Huor as much as ever.) Now that the battle has gone south, the brothers give Turgon a chance to flee. They offer to hold a bridge, allowing Turgon and the folk from Gondolin to cross, and the brothers will basically fight Morgoth’s forces to the death. At first, Turgon isn’t fond of this idea. However, Hurin convinces him that it’s for the best. He and his brother have lost everything. Their people have been devastated, their land is gone, they have nothing to return to. They want to go down fighting.

So that’s what they do. After Turgon and his forces escape, Hurin, Huor, and their men hold the bridge. Unfortunately, Huor is badly wounded by a venomed arrow to the eye and all of the men are killed, leaving Hurin to fight alone. But even then, Hurin never stops. He picks up an axe and starts swinging it, shouting, “Day shall come again!” (233) (By the way, if someone ever makes movies/tv miniseries of The Silmarillion, I hope they make this moment as epic as I imagine it. Slow motion and everything.) Eventually, Hurin is overwhelmed and captured, but not before he keeps his promise to Turgon and protects Gondolin’s location from Morgoth.

Once the battle is over, Morogth is quite pleased with himself. Sure, he’s bummed that Gondolin is still hidden and Turgon escaped, but at least the Orcs and wolves have the run of the place and the Elves won’t be banding together to bother him again for a while. Also, fortunately for him, he has Hurin in his custody. But back to this in a moment.

You see, in the aftermath of the war, many of the Elves flee to the Havens, where Cirdan the Shipwright has been for the longest time. Among them is Gil-galad, Fingon’s son. (He will be very important later.) Turgon and the other Elves try to send ships West to ask for help from Valinor, but none of them return, save one that was saved by Ulmo.

This action does, however, catch Morgoth’s attention. After attacking the Havens, Morgoth turns to the captured Hurin for information about Gondolin. After all, he’s been there before. But Hurin refuses to help. As punishment, Morgoth takes Hurin to a “high seat” where he’s forced to watch the fate of his family. As the events that follow take place, he never asks for mercy or death. He just watches, probably stealing much of the twisted pleasure out of the experience for Morgoth.

Next week, the things Hurin had to watch, part 1.