The Silmarillion » Humans » House of Bëor

Morwen and Turin by Marya Filatova
Morwen and Turin by Marya Filatova

Morwen “Dark Maiden”
also called Eledhwen (“Elfsheen”) because of her great beauty and the “Lady of Dor-lómin”. She was the daughter of Baragund and the wife of Húrin Thalion (of the Hador). Her children were Túrin and Nienor, who were cursed with a doomed fate. When Húrin was captured and brought to Morgoth during the Nirnaeth Arnoediad, Morgoth placed a curse on him, Morwen, and their children saying, “The shadow of my thought shall lie upon them wherever they go, and my hate shall pursue them to the ends of the world.” Húrin was forced to sit and watch all the evils that befell his family through Morgoth’s eyes.

Morwen was dark-haired and beautiful, and also very strong-willed and stern. She did not show her emotions and seemed cold. When Morwen was young, she and her cousin Rían fled to Dor-lómin to escape the disasterous Dagor Bragollach, which had destroyed her House and homeland. It was there, the home of the House of Hador, were she met Húrin. They were married and their son Túrin was born in 464 FA. Their daughter Urwen, called Lalaith, was born soon after but died from a pestilence when she was three. After the Nirnaeth Arnoediad broke out and Húrin was captured, Easterlings invaded Dor-lómin. Morwen was so great in beauty and majesty that the Easterlings were afraid and thought her a witch. She was left alone and poor, since Húrin was captured, but she was aided by Aerin. Afraid that her son Túrin (now nine years of age) would be captured and enslaved, she sent him away to Thingol in Doriath. After he left, Morwen gave birth to her daughter, Nienor. Soon news of Túrin’s arrival to Doriath reached Morwen and she was relieved. Melian, Thingol’s wife, sent a message bidding Morwen to come to Doriath as well, but Morwen decided to stay in Dor-lómin because Nienor was still just a baby. Túrin was raised by Thingol but still corresponded with his mother through messages, which is how he learned of his sister Nienor.

After time, Morwen and Nienor fled to Doriath but found that Túrin was gone, for he had traveled to Nargothrond. After the defeat of Nargothrond by Morgoth and the dragon Glaurung, Morwen became worried and fled into the wild to seek her son. Thingol sent Mablung to guard her and made Nienor stay behind. However, Nienor secretly disguised herself and went along. Morwen eventually found out about Nienor but could not persuade her to go back. During their journey, the dragon Glaurung flew over them and his mist and shadows separated Morwen and Nienor from the company. Word was brought back to Thingol that they were lost but Nienor had befallen a spell of ‘forgetfulness’ by the dragon.

No word was ever heard of Morwen again, but she lived many years in the wild as a homeless wanderer. In the year 500 FA, Húrin was released by Morgoth and he traveled to the spot where Túrin and Nienor had died, Cabed-en-Aras by the river Teiglin. He noticed that there was a women standing over their tombstone. She was old but her eyes still beheld the gleam that earned her the name Eledhwen, the proudest and most beautiful of mortal women. “You come at last,” said Morwen, “I have waited too long….but you are too late. They are lost.” Morwen then gave one last sigh and died upon the tombstone of her children. Húrin made a grave for his wife next to the stone and carved, Here lies also Morwen Eledhwen. After Beleriand sank below the sea at the end of the First Age, the land surrounding the Stone of the Hapless became an island known as Tol Morwen.

Hurin Finds Morwen by Ted Nasmith
Hurin Finds Morwen by Ted Nasmith

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