Turin Turambar

8

He was dark-haired as his mother, and promised to be like her in mood also; for he was not merry, and spoke little, though he learned to speak early and ever seemed older than his years. Túrin was slow to forget injustice or mockery; but the fire of his father was also in him, and he could be sudden and fierce. Yet he was quick to pity, and the hurts or sadness of living things might move him to tears; and he was like his father in this also, for Morwen was stern with others as with herself.

Tolkien's Most Beautiful Relationships

Okay, I’ve limited this post to the First Age, because I really felt like digging in to that period’s particular brand of angst tonight. And I only managed to narrow it down to the five most beautiful relationships, so here they are (in no particular order.)

FEANOR AND FINGOLFIN

  • Why: This one’s probably going to surprise some of you, since (a) I don’t often have nice things to say about Feanor, and (b) these two have a pretty well-established animosity. But, though the “warring political brothers” trope is a very common one in fantasy, I think Tolkien gives us one of the most noble examples I’ve ever seen. Feanor and Fingolfin are on the opposite sides of family and political drama, and had we managed to get in the same room together one more time they probably would have killed each other, but they never once don’t seem like family, you know?
  • The Quote That Gets Me Every Time:For Fingolfin held forth his hand, saying: ‘As I promised, I do now. I release thee, and remember no grievance.’ Then Feanor took his hand in silence; but Fingolfin said: ‘Half- brother in blood, full brother in heart will I be. Thou shalt lead and I will follow. May no new grief divide as.’ ‘I hear thee,’ said Feanor. ‘So be it.’ But they did not know the meaning that their words would bear.” - The Silmarillion
  • If You Like Them, Check Out: Aldarion and Erendis (found in The Unfinished Tales)

FINGON AND MAEDHROS

  • Why: There’s a reason this is one of the most popular ships (whether platonic or romantic) in the Silmarillion fandom. The sons of the above entry, they find themselves on opposite sides of the Noldorin feud, and yet time and again put their friendship first (whether it’s sending gifts back and forth across Beleriand, or planning battles together.)
  • The Quote That Gets Me Every Time:But Fingon climbed to the foot of the precipice where his kinsman hung, and then could go no further; and he wept when he saw the cruel device of Morgoth. Maedhros therefore, being in anguish without hope, begged Fingon to shoot him with his bow; and Fingon strung an arrow, and bent his bow. And seeing no better hope he cried to Manwe, saying: ‘O King to whom all birds are dear, speed now this feathered shaft, and recall some pity for the Noldor in their need!’" - The Silmarillion
  • If You Like Them, Check Out: Cirion and Eorl (found in The Unfinished Tales)

TURIN AND BELEG

  • Why: Ugh, even thinking about these two makes me sad. Turin was just a child when he met Beleg, but the two became friends, and Beleg helped Turin grow into the great warrior he became. And then Beleg (a hero of his people) basically abandons everything to keep Turin company on his little walkabout, with miserably tragic results (I don’t know what it is with Tolkien, but he seems to really enjoy punishing his characters’ friends.)
  • The Quote That Gets Me Every Time: 'Give me leave, lord,' said Beleg, 'and I will guard him and guide him as I may; then no man shall say that elven-words are lightly spoken. Nor would I wish to see so great a good run to nothing in the wild.'" - The Silmarillion
  • If You Like Them, Check Out: Legolas and Gimli 

BEREN AND LUTHIEN

  • Why: Do we even need to talk about this one? No, I didn’t think so.
  • The Quote That Gets Me Every Time:You must choose, Beren, between these two: to relinquish the quest and your oath and seek a life of wandering upon the face of the earth; or to hold to your word and challenge the power of darkness upon its throne. But on either road I shall go with you, and our doom shall be alike." - The Silmarillion
  • If You Like Them, Check Out: Frodo and Sam

AEGNOR, ANDRETH, AND FINROD

  • Why: Aegnor and Andreth are one of my favorite (and most tragic) Middle Earth romances. But toss in Aegnor’s brother Finrod and you get a really beautiful friendship. After Aegnor leaves Andreth (trying to spare them the pain that their separate destinies would cause them), Finrod takes to visiting Andreth and having long discussions about history and philosophy, trying to cheer her up a bit.
  • The Quote That Gets Me Every Time:Darkness fell in the room. He took her hand in the light of the fire. ‘Whither go you?’ she said. ‘North away,’ he said: ‘to the swords, and the siege, and the walls of defence…’ ‘Will he be there, bright and tall, and the wind in his hair? Tell him. Tell him not to be reckless. Not to seek danger beyond need!’ ‘I will tell him,’ said Finrod. ‘But I might as well tell thee not to weep. He is a warrior, Andreth, and a spirit of wrath. In every stroke that he deals he sees the Enemy who long ago did thee this hurt. But you are not for Arda. Whither you go may you find light. Await us there, my brother - and me.’” - The Histories of Middle Earth vol. 10 (“Athrabeth Finrod ah Andreth”)
  • If You Like Them, Check Out: Elrond and the never-ending procession of his brother’s descendants (especially Aragorn)
Constellations of Middle Earth

This is not a weird question at all! The stars are so important in Middle Earth, and Tolkien put a good deal of effort into making Middle Earth’s astronomy as realistic as possible - by basically mirroring the same constellations we see in our night sky today. The constellations described in the stories are:

  • Anarrima: This constellation’s name means “sun border.” Though there’s no official explanation as to which modern constellation Anarrima is, it would be visible in the northern hemisphere. Some astronomers suggest that the name “sun border” indicates that Anarrima is really Gemini. Anarrima was one of the constellations that Varda created just before the wakening of the elves, using stars made from the dewdrops of Telperion, one of the Two Trees of Valinor.
  • Menelmacar:Menelvagor" in Sindarin, this constellation’s name means "Swordsman of the Sky”, and is today known as Orion. Menelmacar was said to represent Turin Turambar, and told of his eventual return in the Dagor Dagorath to kill Morgoth. Another of the early stars made by Varda.
  • Remmirath: The “Netted Stars”, this constellation is today known as the Pleiades. The Remmirath was also most likely one of the constellations that Varda created just before the wakening of the elves.
  • Soronume: This constellation’s name means “Eagle of the West." Tolkien never confirmed which of the modern constellations this is, but astronomers suggest that it’s likely either Aquila or Lyra. Another of the early stars made by Varda.
  • Telumendil: Meaning “Lover of the Stars”, this constellation is a bit of a mystery. Astronomers think that it might be modern-day’s Boötes, but they aren’t sure. Another of the early stars made by Varda.
  • Valacirca: This is the most important constellation of Middle Earth. “Valacirca" is it’s Quenya name, and means "Sickle of the Valar.” In Sindarin it’s translated to “Circh i-Mbelain”, and is sometimes called “Ostelen" or "Egedil" - both of which means "seven stars.” The hobbits called Valacirca “Burning Briar”, or sometimes “the Wain”, “the Sickle”, or “the Plough.” And, while it was never confirmed by Tolkien, many readers believe that the Valacirca is the same constellation as “Durin’s Crown”, the seven stars that Durin saw in the Mirromere. Today, this constellation is known as Ursa Major. This constellation was created through the joint efforts of Aule and Varda. Aule was working on making a silver sickle, and when he struck it with his hammer seven sparks flew up into the sky. Varda quickly caught them and set them in the northern sky as a challenge and a warning to Morgoth of his eventual downfall.
  • Wilwarin: This constellation’s name means “Butterfly." Christopher Tolkien believes that it is today known as Cassiopeia. Another of the early stars made by Varda.

Beyond these main constellations, Tolkien also identifies several important stars in Middle Earth’s sky, such as:

  • Alcarinque: It’s name means “the Glorious”, and was one of the brightest stars that Varda made before the elves awoke, using the dewdrops of Telperion (one of the Two Trees of Valinor.) Today, we know this “star” as the planet Jupiter.
  • Borgil: This red star is said to be found close to the constellation of Menelmacar. Astronomers believe that it’s either modern-day’s Aldebaran or Betelgeuse. It was one of the stars created by Varda before the elves awoke, using dewdrops from Telperion.
  • Carnil: Another red star, this is actually the planet Mars. It’s another of the early stars made by Varda.
  • Earendil: Earendil is not actually a star (see this post for a more detailed discussion), but is the silmaril that the elf Earendil carries through the sky each night on his flying ship Vingilot. Because of it’s extraordinary origins, the star of Earendil is probably the most-loved star among the elves. In today’s sky, Earendil is the planet Venus.
  • Elemmire: Meaning “star-jewel”, Tolkien’s notes suggest that this “star” is actually the planet Mercury. It’s another of the early stars made by Varda.
  • Helluin: It’s name means “blue”, and this star is part of the constellation Telumendil. Today it’s known as Sirius. It’s another of the early stars made by Varda.
  • Luinil: This star’s modern-day equivalent is a bit of a mystery. It’s name means “blue”, leading some Astronomers to suggest that it’s the planet Neptune. But it’s described as a bright light in the sky, and Neptune is so far away that it is barely even visible to the naked eye. Other alternatives are Rigel (which would make Luinil the blue “mate” of the red star Borgil, since both are part of the constellation Orion, or Telumendil), or Spica or Regulus - both blue stars. It’s another of the early stars made by Varda.
  • Lumbar: This star’s name is probably connected to the Quenya word for “shadow,” and is actually the planet Saturn. It’s another of the early stars made by Varda.
  • Morwinyon: This star’s name means “glint in the dusk”, and is confirmed by Christopher Tolkien to be the star Arcturus. When the elves awoke, Manwe asked Varda to create more stars to give them light and hope. After her great work, as Varda was returning to Valinor, and she accidentally dropped one last dewdrop from Telperion, which became the star Morwinyon. Though it was an “accident”, the elves loved this star a great deal.
  • Nenar: This star’s name has something to do with the Quenya word for “water.” It seems that Tolkien originally considered this to be the planet Neptune, but later reconsidered, as Neptune would be too far away to be considered a bright star, as Nenar was described. It’s ultimate identity is unknown.

As you can see, we actually have a good bit of information about stars and constellations. As for astrology, though, there isn’t much information that I know of. I wouldn’t be surprised if many of the cultures placed special meaning on certain stars or constellations (as astrology has been practiced by almost every culture in the “real world”), but Tolkien doesn’t seem to describe this at all. This might be because, as a devout Catholic, Tolkien would consider astrology to be a mildly sinful superstition…

SOURCES: The Silmarillion, LOTR, The Histories of Middle Earth vol. 1, vol. 2, vol. 5 (“The Etymologies”), vol. 10 (“Myths Transformed” and “Index: Star-names”), this article, “Stars of Middle Earth”, on The Council of Elrond, and Per Lindberg’s “Astronomical Objects Above Middle Earth

8

He was dark-haired as his mother, and promised to be like her in mood also; for he was not merry, and spoke little, though he learned to speak early and ever seemed older than his years. Túrin was slow to forget injustice or mockery; but the fire of his father was also in him, and he could be sudden and fierce. Yet he was quick to pity, and the hurts or sadness of living things might move him to tears.

2

{ túrin turambar and niënor níniel } → And when all was done, the Elves sang a lament for the Children of Húrin, and a great grey stone was set upon the mound, and thereon was carven in runes of Doriath: TÚRIN TURAMBAR DAGNIR GLAURUNGA, and beneath they wrote also: NIËNOR NÍNIEL. But she was not there, nor was it ever known whither the cold waters of Teiglin had taken her.

7

Turin Turambar is my baby and I want to crush all his enemies 

- Turin finding his sister Niënor at the grave of Finduilas. They do not know who the other is because Glaurung the dragon has casted a spell of amnesia on Niënor and Turin has not seen his sister since she was a babe and thinks her dead. He calls her Níniel: tear maiden and three years later are wedded and Niënor becomes pregnant. 

- Niënor finds unconscious Turin (who she believes is dead) after he has dealt the death blow on Glaurung and shortly before she commits suicide after discovering their true relations and believes that he is dead. 

- edited version to show Glaurung revealing the truth to Niënor before he dies. One of the illustrations I’m working on this semester.

- thumbnail showing the similar beginnings of the cousins Tuor and Turin who are both raised by elves at an early age (Turin as a child and Tuor from birth). Thingol, Morwen, Rían can be seen in it as well. 

- Finduilas who was the daughter of Orodreth of Nargothrond and loved Turin. She is later killed after the fall of Nargothrond after she is taken captive and Turin is tricked into going elsewhere to save his mother and sister and returns too late to save Finduilas. 

- Niënor

- Turin