Unfinished Tales – Part One: The First Age – II. Narn i Hîn Húrin – The Tale of the Children of Húrin – The Coming of Túrin into Brethil

“I do but follow my trade, which is Orc-slaying,” said Túrin.  “And I dwell where my trade is.  I am Wildman of the Woods.”

The pattern we’ve come to know so well from this tale in The Silmarillion continues, wherein Túrin changes his name at every turn, taking on a different mantle for every stranger he meets.  By avoiding his true name, he hopes to avoid the curse laid upon it, and at every turn he steps headlong into it.

Túrin searches for Finduilas, Princess of Nargathrond.  When he happens upon the Men of Brethil, it is Dorlas who tells of sad tidings.  Finduilas was one of many captives of a slow-moving Orc-host, and she identified herself to Dorlas before she died in hopes of getting word to Mormegil (Sindarin for “Black Sword,” one of Túrin’s many identities).

The Men take Túrin to a hillock by the Crossings of Teiglin where Finduilas is buried.  Túrin lays himself down, and the Men think him dead, but they uncover him and recognize him by his sword.  Brandir took him into his house and cared for him until Túrin shook the darkness with the turning of spring.  Renouncing name and kin, he takes for himself a new name: Turambar, “Master of Doom” in High-elven Quenya.  With his old name, he discarded his famed black sword, taking up the bow and spear.

The burial mound of Finduilas is named Haudh-en-Elleth, the Mound of the Elfmaid.  Túrin protected it as though a holy site from all Orcs, and soon they began to fear it and steered clear.  Dorlas tells him that though he renounced the name of Blacksword, he is still that and reveals that he knows him to be the son of Húrin.  Túrin begs him to secrecy in the name of friendship.

So much for renunciation of identity.  In any culture, names have power.

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