Nirnaeth Arnoediad: The Battle of Un-numbered Tears. The first time I heard of this, I was attempting to read The Children of Húrin a decade ago when that was first released. Much of it really didn’t stick with me at the time, but I remembered that. When we got to that part of The Silmarillion, I sat up and took notice because it was something I recognized.
[EDIT: I tried and failed to read The Silmarillion 10 years before I got The Children of Húrin, so by the time I got to this the first time, I had no real idea what I was even looking at. That’s why I don’t count it as “the first time” I really saw it.]
I didn’t have much (or any) commentary on our last subsection. It was good to have the expansion over what we knew before, but aside from the gift of the Elven blade and its lessons, nothing really stood out beyond the quality of Tolkien’s prose.
This time around, it’s the exact opposite: lack of summary and more commentary. This is a really short and sweet subsection, and though it opens right where we left off, it does not cover the Nirnaeth Arnoediad. Rather, it covers the immediate aftermath wherein Húrin has been captured by Morgoth, who attempts to drip honeyed words into his ears and sway our hero’s resolve. Húrin and his people, however, have had more than enough experience with the prince of lies, and steadfastly rejects the Dark Lord out of hand. That’s truly the whole of the summary.
I never get tired of seeing heroes stand up to evil and oppression. Even though we know Húrin is in for a world of hurt as a direct result of his defiance, it’s just so much fun to see him do it. One wonders what kind of courage that requires simply to be in the presence of Morgoth and remain sane and coherent, let alone awesome beyond words.
Then again, Húrin did manage to make it through the battle, and I remember well what it took to finally bring him down. Clearly, this guy is made of sterner stuff.