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Thread: Of Turin Turumbar: And his bloody complicated history

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Findekano began this thread with the following post

Here is my essay on whether or not Turin coming is plausible. Enjoy

Túrin participating in the Dagor Dagorath first originated from the Lost Tales legendarium, in which he was said to

: ‘stand beside Fionwe in the great wrack, and Melkor and his drakes shall curse the sword of Mormakil ”

BoLT 2; The History of Eriol Ælfwine

The ‘great wrack’ refers to the Dagorath, and in the Lost Tales legendarium it was Fionwe, not Túrin who slays Morgoth. This was because Fionwe’ ‘love’ Urwendi, carrier of the Sun (This is first claimed in BoLT 1), a pre-cursor of Arien, was killed when Morgoth came back from the void and casts the sun and moon down.

: Fionwe Urion, son of Manwe, of love for Urwendi shall be Melkor’s bane and shall destroy the world to destroy his foe, and so shall all things be rolled away

BoLT 2; The History of Eriol Ælfwine

I’ll take the chance here to clear up a few points that may cause confusion. Fionwe is a pre-cursor of Eonwe, the great warrior Maia. He is here said to be son of Manwe. Valerian pro-creation was evidently possible all the way until the post-LoTR Silmarillion work, though Tolkien latter rejected the idea of Valerian pro-creation, concluding that the Ainur could not procreate together. It is apparent that this took place in Tolkien’s re-writing of the Quenta Silmarillion

: He has great love for Fionwe [Eonwe herald of Manwe)

HoME 10; Latter Quenta Silmarillion

It is evident that in the revision of the Fionwe, son of Manwe to Eonwe herald of Manwe that Tolkien here for the first time changed the concept of Valerian pro-creation. Chris Tolkien later comments on this in his notes accompanying this

It is evident that in the revision of the Fionwe, son of Manwe to Eonwe herald of Manwe that Tolkien here for the first time changed the concept of Valerian pro-creation. Chris Tolkien later comments on this in his notes accompanying this;

: Fionwe and Ilmare were here removed from (4) as the children of Manwe and Varda and in (7) Fionwe becomes Eonwe, ‘herald’ of Manwe, here Ilmare becomes ‘handmaid of Varda’. This is an important aspect in the conception of the power of Arda, the abandonment of the long -rooted idea of the ‘Children of the Valar’ , and ‘Sons of the Valar’ were numbered with the Maia.

HoME 10; Latter Quenta Silmarillion ; Notes

Also, a note on mannish fates. Here, where we are dealing with the Lost Tales legendarium, the ‘fate’ of men is vastly different from the one that Tolkien presents in the Silmarillion. Some were said to be taken by Fui (pre-cursor of Nienna though here is a death goddess and vastly different from the caring Nienna of the Silmarillion) together with her husband, Mandos (They late become Brother and sister) deliver some of the evil one’s to Morgoth, and some are taken into Valinor whilst most leave Arda forever and go beyond the circles of the world.

Túrin, here, and his sister Niniel, were allowed into Valinor because Urin (Hurin) and Morwen begged the Valar to take them in.

: But the Elves of Kor have told, and they know, that at last Urin and Mavwin at last fared, to Mandos and Nienori was not there nor Turin their son. Turumbar had followed Nienori along the black pathways to the doors of Fui, but Fui would not open to them, neither would Vefantur. Yet now the prayers of Hurin and Mavwin came even to Manwe, and the gods had mercy on their unhappy fate, so that those twain Turin and Nienori entered into Fos Almir, the bath of flame…..and they dwelt as shining Valar among the blessed ones and now the love of that brother and sister is very fair;

BoLT 2; Turumbar and Foaloake

Also, here Turin’s sword, Anglachel did not have a history (I.E it was made by Eol, for a meteorite and given to Thingol) and so therefore it couldn’t not slay everything it stabbed, as we see in the Published Silmarillion and Unfinished Tales and it was smithied by the Elves of Nargothrond and so therefore it’s significance in the Dagorath in slaying Morgoth doesn’t exist.

His slaying was again documented in the Sketch of the Mythology (HoME 4):

: When the world is much older, and the Gods weary, Morgoth will come back through the Door, and the last battle of all will be fought. Fionwë will fight Morgoth on the plain of Valinor, and the spirit of Túrin shall be beside him; it shall be Túrin who with his black sword will slay Morgoth, and thus the children of Húrin shall be avenged

Sketch of the Mythology (HoME 4)

To continue, Turin’s slaying of Morgoth was first ‘documented’ (As in told by Namo, where the legend really begins to take shape) so to speak in the ‘Second Prophecy of Mandos’ , which appears in the Quenta Silmarillion; HoME 5.

: Thus spake Mandos in prophecy, when the Gods sat in judgement in Valinor, and the rumour of his words was whispered among all the Elves of the West. When the world is old and the Powers grow weary, then Morgoth, seeing that the guard sleepeth, shall come back through the Door of Night out of the Timeless Void; and he shall destroy the Sun and Moon. But Ëarendel shall descend upon him as a white and searing flame and drive him from the airs. Then shall the Last Battle be gathered on the fields of Valinor. In that day Tulkas shall strive with Morgoth, and on his right hand shall be Fionwe, and on his left Turin Turambar, son of Hurin, coming from the halls of Mandos; and the black sword of Turin shall deal unto Morgoth his death and final end; and so shall the children of Hurin and all Men be avenged.
But of Men in that day the prophecy of Mandos doth not speak, and no Man it names, save Turin only, and to him a place is given among the sons of the Valar.

Second Prophecy of Mandos; Quenta Silmarillion; HoME 5.

There is also a change here. By now Tolkien had conceived the history of men that latter stood, that all went to beyond the circles of the world-apart from Turin. Therefore Turin was kept in the Halls of Mandos by Namo and after the Dagorath became a son of the Valar, as opposed the version citied previously.

Yet even here we can question whether or not the Prophecy is ‘true’.It is claimed here that the second Prophecy was ‘whispered amongst the Elves’ therefore one can assume that it was a Ñoldorin text yes? Well, no. There is THIS contradictory statement in the Valaquenta:

: and if any change shall come and the Marring be amended, Manwë and Varda may know; but they have not revealed it, and it is not declared in the dooms of Mandos.

Valaquenta; Published Silmarillion

And also:

: It is noteworthy that the Elves had no myths or legends dealing with the end of the world. The myth that appears at the end of the Silmarillion is of Númenórean origin; it is clearly made by Men, though Men acquainted with Elvish tradition.

Athrabeth Finrod ah Andreth; HoME 10

So one can therefore assume that it was a Numenorean corruption of a Eldarin text, or idea, like the ideas of the Sun and Moon coming from the Two Trees, but it seems this has little basis. I believe Andreth comments on him coming back to slay Ancalagon, though this was later given to Earendil, and at one point Túrin came back in the Dagorath to slay Ancalagon. It's VERY confusing. Tolkien later states that the who of the Quenta Silmarillion was a Númenórean text, not Elvish. He says the three great tales especially were of Númenórean origin:

:The three Great Tales must be Númenórean, and derived from matter preserved in Gondor. They were part of the Atanatárion (or the Legendarium of the Fathers of Men). ?Sindarin Nern in Edenedair (or In Adanath).
They are
(1) Narn Beren ion Barahir also called Narn e·Dinúviel (Tale of the Nightingale)
(2) Narn e·mbar Hador containing (a) Narn i·Chîn Húrin (or Narn e·'Rach Morgoth Tale of the Curse of Morgoth); and (b) Narn en·Êl (or Narn e·Dant Gondolin ar Orthad en·Êl)

Myths Transformed; HoME 10

But Tolkien latter on in Myths Transformed (HoME 10) states that the legend about the Two Trees given in the Quenta Silmarillion was wrong and that It was a ridiculous mannish story (He may have repeated this in his letters) and we can see that Tolkien was radically altering the history of men, in which they awoke close after the Elves (This is evident in other of Tolkiens latter essay such as Of Dwarves and Men (HoME 12) ), not in the 1st Y.O.S and that the sun and moon hadn’t come from the Two Trees but had been in Ea since Arda’s creation. This is the very brief version of the revision of the legendarium and of course Chris Tolkien couldn’t have put all of this in when publishing the Quenta Silmarillion though he later made many other mistakes in the course of publishing. But then Tolkien claims that in Ælfwine and Dírhavel (HoME 11) that it was Dírhavel who composed the ‘Narn I Hin Hurin’ (Unfinished Tales) though his version was in Sindarin and was a poem, and it was Eriol/Ælfwine who translated it into common speech and into prose version.)

But latter on Tolkien seemingly dropped the idea of Turin coming back in the Dagorath and slaying Melkor nut instead he was now going to slay Ancalagon as I shown in Andreth’s prophecy in the Athrabeth Finrod ah Andreth and this is re-iterated in the Problem of Ros (HoME 12)

: The language of the Folk of Haleth was not used, for they had perished and would not rise again. Nor would their tongue be heard again, unless the prophecy of Andreth the Wise-woman should prove true, that Túrin in the Last Battle should return from the Dead, and before he left the Circles of the World for ever should challenge the Great Dragon of Morgoth, Ancalagon the Black, and deal him the death-stroke

Problem of Ros (HoME 12)

So we must take the point that Tolkien discarded Turin’s slaying of Morgoth to him slaying Ancalagon, but you must wonder whether or not the prophecy of Andreth would indeed ring true and whether or not it was false. Another thing that could discount Turin as being the slayer of Melkor is the removal of the star Menelvagor as a herald of Turin.

: That Menelmakar forebodes the Last Battle is said in both sources, but LQ does not name it as a sign of Túrin Turambar

( Menelvagor was encountered by Frodo, Pippin and Sam when they are staying with the Elves in Woody End in Three is Company, FOTR. It means ’swordsman of the sky, and it’s Quenya form is Menelmakar)

Yet I have failed to talk about one key point in this discussion, that it was impossible for Namo to jurisdiction the elongation of men’s stay in the Halls of Mandos and ALL men, with the exception of Tuor died and left the circles of the world. Therefore since, it is impossible for him to do so how can Túrin remain till the end of the world and slay Melkor or Ancalagon.?

In my humble opinion the story of Túrin’s coming back in the Dagorath is not true, since a) it is impossible b) Some of the passages I have citied in this essay disprove it and c) It was a Númenórean tale, Namo didn’t actually SAY it.

If you have stayed awake long enough on your keyboard to finish reading this then thanks. I am interest in feedback. What do you think about it? Are my theories flawed? Do you want to pick my post apart and debate about it?

p.s if you are confused and want me to go over anything then ask.

Grondmaster replied

Sorry Findekano, I'm not qualified to discuss your essay as I haven't read most of the references you have used. I'll leave it to others to agree or disagree with you. Happy Elf Smilie

That's a well researched and composed post, Findekano, but like Grondy, my own knowledge of the HOME series is insufficient to disagree with anything you have stated. I find it sad, however, that you have managed to disprove what seemed such a wonderful ending to the tragic life of Turin.

I am slowly pottering through the HOME books at the moment, and what I am finding are lots of interesting facts that a few pages later are contradicted by later writings. Unfortunately, at the moment I am having difficulty separating the earlier writings from those amended later, as they appear to be mixed among each other in these books. Is there a better order to read these books in than the order in which they were published? I must admit, I jumped from Lost Tales to Morgoth's Ring because the latter contained material I was interested in at the time.

The only part of your post that I will attempt to dispute is your reason why Turin could not possibly be at the Dagor Dagorath....
Yet I have failed to talk about one key point in this discussion, that it was impossible for Namo to jurisdiction the elongation of men’s stay in the Halls of Mandos and ALL men, with the exception of Tuor died and left the circles of the world. Therefore since, it is impossible for him to do so how can Túrin remain till the end of the world and slay Melkor or Ancalagon.?
Here you cite that Turin could not possibly be at the end of the world because this was something that Namo could not grant, and yet in the same sentence you state it was something that had been granted to Tuor who was his cousin.

I know this was something that had occurred to Tuor, because of a lifetime spent with the Noldor, but if it was possible for him to escape death, then why not Turin too?
you state it was something that had been granted to Tuor who was his cousin.

Tuor was a special case he was the only man ever to recieve the so called transcendency because of his marriage to Idril. Tolkien mentions this in one of his letters. As I said Tuor was a exception;

"Túor weds Idril the daughter of Turgon King of Gondolin; and 'it is supposed' (not stated) that he as an unique exception receives the Elvish limited 'immortality': an exception either way."

Immortality and Mortality being the special gifts of God to the Eruhini (in whose conception and creation the Valar had no part at all) it must be assumed that no alteration of their fundamental kind could be effected by the Valar even in one case: the cases of Lúthien (and Túor) and the position of their descendants was a direct act of God."

Letter #153

So Tuor was an exception in the rule.

[Edited on 24/5/2003 by Findekano]
the cases of Lúthien (and Túor) and the position of their descendants was a direct act of God."
That's the explaination I was looking for. I guessed Tuor's transcendency had to be down to Eru rather than the Valar, but could not recall ever reading such.

From what I have read, I'm of the firm opinion that Eru controlled the fate of certain individuals, having introduced them into the Third theme of the Great Music to counter the disharmony Melkor was creating. The likes of Tuor, Hurin, Turin and Beren I would put into this catagory, as their heroic status and strange lives seem to set them apart from other Men.

If this is the case, and Turin was being guided along a path preordained for him by Eru, is it not possible his fate was different from that of other Men? If he is a pawn of Eru, created within the Great Music, is he bound to the same fate as other Men, or could it be possible that Eru did conceive him as a Maiar in Human form?
I would think that if certain Men's lives ere controlled exactly by Eru, then they don't really qualify as Men, having lost the Gift of not being tied to fate, as are the Elves. That said, direct intervention may be necessary by Eru to realise his great plan of the perfection of the Second music. I am not sure.
Val. As Peredhil points out the very essence of mankind is their free will, therefore Turin and co. were men in the sense of making their own decisions. For example, Gwindor informs Turin that is he doesn’t save Finduilas he is doomed and he fails her (and himself, since he loved her) and goes in search for Morwen in Dor-lomin, due to the warped advice of Glaurung and in the end this was a decision of free will.

Also Ainuric spirits were too ‘powerful to enter the relatively weak hröa of men. Túrin was a MAN with a mannish sprit not a Ainuric one. Hurin and Morwen were man and woman they could not produce a Maia and Eru would not have ordained it.

Mae govannen!

I don't think Turin is a Maia in a Man's body. Some of the Elves and Men are simply extraordinary. Take Feanor, Turin, Tuor, Huor, Hurin and Earendil for example. I guess they all have a higher spirit in them than their condition would let us think: they're like candles consumed from inside! (see Feanor's case, who turns to ashes when he dies, as if his body is just a raiment!)

Well, that's just a guess …

Valedhelgwath raises an interesting proposal, and Findakano adds a wrinkle that need not necessarily contradict it. It seems there are some seminal events of the Elder Days that were known at least in part prior to their occurrence (e.g. Finrods statement to Galdariel that he could not wed due to preeminent commitments) and this is true to an even greater degree in LT (where Mandos makes some specific statements about the nature of his Doom.) Thus I offer a "Middle Path" to the point and counterpoint: Free will precludes destiny, but some things are fated.

In other words, Gwindor can say to Turin that his fate is bound with Finduilas' without knowing what Turin will do with that knowledge. On the one hand he saves her and perhaps lives to a ripe old age while on the other he forsakes her and both are lost. The choice remains his, but its ramifications are far larger than they would initially appear. Or another example: Bilbo was fated to find the Ring, but what the he, along with the movers and shakers of the Third Age, did with it was undetermined.

The idea of the "great themes" of the Silmarillion being part of Iluvatars third great theme is appealing, and we have seen (not just in the Music of the Ainur or even Middle-Earth) that the freedom of the players to alter their lines in no way changes the script.