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Used in the year I 484
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From Old English wudu-wása, a name for a wild woodland being
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  • Updated 25 October 2008
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Woodwose

Saeros’ insulting name for Túrin

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Saeros was a councillor to King Thingol, who took a dislike to the King's foster-son Túrin. One fateful night, an unkempt Túrin returned from the marches of Doriath to feast in the King's hall, and Saeros took to mocking him. This story is told in a few words in The Silmarillion, but in much greater detail in Narn i Chîn Húrin, where we're told Saeros' insulting name for Túrin: 'Woodwose', 'Wild man of the woods'. In a furious temper, Túrin cast a drinking vessel at Saeros, injuring him badly.

The following day, Saeros came upon Túrin in the forest, and sought redress for his injury. Túrin was too strong for him, and instead of gaining revenge, Saeros found himself chased wildly through the forest. Running madly, he fell into a tributary of the Esgalduin, and his body was broken against a great rock. Though he had not meant to slay Saeros, Túrin felt sure that Thingol would not forgive him for the death of his councillor, and set out into exile from Doriath.

This was the beginning of the many tragic adventures that would befall Túrin. Curiously, there was an echo of this insult much later in his life, during his time in the Forest of Brethil. There, he took the alias 'Wildman of the Woods', and perhaps he meant this to recall the taunt that sent him into exile years before.

Saeros' name 'Woodwose' also appears in part in the stories of the Third Age as a name for the people of the Drúedain: for more on this, see the entry for Woses.


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