The Encyclopedia of Arda - an interactive guide to the world of J.R.R. Tolkien
Dates
Written in the late First Age; describes events that occurred between I 464 and I 499
Origins
Created by the poet Dírhavel at the Havens of Sirion
Race
Division
Culture
Family
House of Hador, and specifically the family of Hador's grandson Húrin
Settlements
Locations directly relevant to the story include (in the sequence they appear) Menegroth, Bar-en-Danwedh, Nargothrond and Ephel Brandir; while the events of the narn unfold Húrin himself is imprisoned in Angband
Pronunciation
n'arn ee chee'n hoo'rin ('ch' as in Scots 'loch')
Meaning
Other names
The Tale of the Children of Húrin; often spelt Narn i Hîn Húrin (see the note on spelling in the main entry)

Indexes:

About this entry:

  • Updated 11 August 2018
  • This entry is complete

The 'Tale of the Children of Húrin'; the long legend of the grim and tragic lives of Túrin Turambar and his sister Niënor Níniel. Its name is occasionally transliterated as Narn i Hîn Húrin (see 'A Note on Spelling' below).

The tale starts at the time of the Battle of Unnumbered Tears, in which Húrin was captured by Morgoth and taken to Angband. Húrin defied the the Dark Lord, and so Morgoth cursed him and his family, and set him on a peak of Thangorodrim to watch the dreadful curse unfold.

At that time Húrin's wife Morwen still dwelt with his son Túrin in Dor-lómin, and still carried his unborn daughter, Niënor. For the safety of her son, Morwen sent him away to be fostered by King Thingol of Doriath, and so began a thread of tragic and historic events that would encompass nations and peoples across Beleriand.

The working of Morgoth's curse wrought havoc: exiling himself from Doriath, Túrin travelled the lands, leaving a trail of destruction in his wake. Through his actions, Nargothrond was destroyed and sacked, and Beleg Strongbow was slain. However, his story was also one of heroism, and Túrin is famed as a captain of Dor-Cúarthol and slayer of Glaurung the Dragon.

Finally, the narn ends in tragedy, as at last the children of Húrin each meet the inevitable dreadful fate that Morgoth's curse had set for them.


A Note on Spelling

The spelling of the word Chîn, 'children', in the title of this work is open to question. The form originally settled on by Christopher Tolkien while editing Unfinished Tales was Hîn, in order to clarify the name's pronunciation. In fact, though, the original form was Narn i Chîn Húrin, and this more technically correct version was reintroduced in The Children of Húrin. The pronunciation is not in question: both Hîn and Chîn would be pronounced to start with the sound of 'ch' in Scots 'loch' (and would be written in Elvish with the same character, harma).

See also:

Notes

1

All of the main characters of the narn were originally Men of Dor-lómin, and the tale begins in that land, but after the Nirnaeth Arnoediad the family of Húrin becomes scattered. Túrin, the most prominent character in the tale, wanders widely across Beleriand and spends time among the Elves of Doriath, the Gaurwaith, the Elves of Nargothrond and the Men of Brethil.

2

The Elvish word narn is typically translated 'tale', but in fact it was a tale of a very specific kind. Narns were composed in verse like a song or poem, but they were intended to be spoken as prose, rather than chanted or sung.

Indexes:

About this entry:

  • Updated 11 August 2018
  • This entry is complete

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