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The One Ring Forums: Tolkien Topics: Reading Room:
Turin Turambar: hero or villain

HeWhoArisesinMight
Rivendell

Mar 22, 11:27pm


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Turin Turambar: hero or villain Can't Post

Of all of Tolkien's tales, the most tragic, and IMO the most brilliant, is the Children of Hurin. I recently had the chance to read latest book Children of Hurin and it is much more detailed than the chapter in the Sil. Anyway, after reading the book, I started to view Turin (and in some ways Hurin) in a different light.... Was he a tragic hero or villain? To me, the evidence weighs every so slightly as a hero (he did kill Glaurung and many orcs and servants of the Enemy), however, everyone who came into his life was ensnared in his shadow. Consider:
  • Beleg, who greatly loved Turin, was slain at Turin's hands.
  • Finduilas was left to die by Turin as he went to find his mother and sister (ok this could be considered a Catch 22 given the deceits of Glaurung)
  • Gwindor and Brandir both fell into shame because of Turin and Turin unjustly killed Brandir
  • Gwindor is killed in a war that is directly caused by Turin
  • Turin's folly led to destuction of Naragothrond and death of Orodreth
  • Turin's return to Dor-Lomin led to the (implied) suicide of his kinswomen Aerin after his intrusion into Brodda's hall (was Brodda's death unjust, too?)
  • Turin's disrespect and haughty attitude to King Thingol and Melian, who through great pains fostered Turin
  • Turin's tie with the Outlaws and their evil deeds (which he did repent of)
  • His marriage and conceiving a child with his sister (which he cannot be blamed for, I guess, since he was ignorant to her identity)
  • On the positive side, he did kill the great dragon Glaurung.


When you add up the ledger, it seems Turin was a pretty bad guy. All of his counsels were ill and led to death and destruction (Naragothrond, Brethil, and Aerin's homestead). He mistreated those that loved him or tried to help him (Thingol and Melian, Nellas, Beleg, Mablung, Gwindor, Brandir even Androg the outlaw and Mim the petty dwarf), and all good that he did turned to naught.

Can we lay all of this on Morgoth's curse on Hurin and his offspring or did Turin play a role in his own doom? It is hard to judge him because incases where he did try to to good, it turned to ill... Dorlas urged him to defend Brethil but in doing so, he scorned Brandir. Gwindor urged him to find Finduilas and save her, but it would come at the cost of finding out about his mother and sister.

Sorry to be so long-winded, but the Children of Hurin is fascinating and his tragic tale to me is the greatest of the Eldar Days...

Subject User Time
Turin Turambar: hero or villain HeWhoArisesinMight Send a private message to HeWhoArisesinMight Mar 22, 11:27pm
    I think the term "antihero" would describe Turin well. // BlackFox Send a private message to BlackFox Mar 22, 11:46pm
    Welcome to the Reading Room! elaen32 Send a private message to elaen32 Mar 23, 12:25am
        COH discussion HeWhoArisesinMight Send a private message to HeWhoArisesinMight Mar 23, 3:07am
    Hero or Villain? Meneldor Send a private message to Meneldor Mar 23, 1:36am
    Neither DaughterofLaketown Send a private message to DaughterofLaketown Mar 23, 3:51am
        ive justcposted .'both', but i ALSO agree with 'neither' (and for the same reasons!) :) // noWizardme Send a private message to noWizardme Mar 23, 9:38am
    To me, he isn't a hero or a villian. Cillendor Send a private message to Cillendor Mar 23, 6:10am
        Nurture vs. Nature HeWhoArisesinMight Send a private message to HeWhoArisesinMight Mar 24, 12:34am
        Really interesting comparison to Tuor IdrilLalaith Send a private message to IdrilLalaith Mar 25, 4:51am
            Cousins, comparisons, curses, and c(k)illing....(It works!!) Rembrethil Send a private message to Rembrethil Mar 25, 1:54pm
    tragic hero of villian? - why, both! noWizardme Send a private message to noWizardme Mar 23, 9:29am
        Again, we agree NoWiz elaen32 Send a private message to elaen32 Mar 23, 7:34pm
    That is a very interesting and HUGE topic and I love dicussing it!! Rembrethil Send a private message to Rembrethil Mar 23, 7:21pm
        VERY glad those discussions brought you into the RR Rem! Brethil Send a private message to Brethil Mar 24, 12:42am
    The short answer is, yes.// Morthoron Send a private message to Morthoron Mar 30, 12:04am
    IMO: a hero with deep character flaws. dik-dik Send a private message to dik-dik Mar 31, 8:02am

 
 
 

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