Died First Age 496

Gwindor - by Daeron-(V)


by Daeron-(V)
Oct. 5, 2002

Gwindor was an elf lord of Nargothrond, the brother of Gelmir and the son of Guilin .

We first heard of him in the Nirnaeth Arnoediad.  He led a small company of elves, and this was against the counsel of Orodreth .  This was because Orodreth knew of how Gwindor grieved for the loss of his brother, Gelmir, in the Dagor Bragollach.  In a short sense, this was quite foresighted, but had Orodreth seen far beyond the Fifth Battle, he may not have given this warning.

Gwindor's company was the only group of elves from Nargothrond that went to the Nirnaeth Arnoediad, for Orodreth would not lead or send any troops with the Sons of Feanor, due to the deeds of Celegorm and Curufin.  Therefore this company did not march under the banners of Nargothrond, but the banners of Fingon.

As Gwindor's company reached the lines of battle, a company of Orcs marched up the outworks of the Barad Eithel.  With them they carried an elf.  This elf, by complete coincidence, was Gwindor's brother, Gelmir, who had been captured in the Dagor Bragollach.

There upon the Barad Eithel, Gelmir was mutilated as a taunt to the armies of the eldar and edain.  It was very unfortunate that Gwindor was in the mass of elves who witnessed the horrid event.

So Gwindor, in all his rage, jumped upon his horse and sped into the host of Angband, leading his company with him.  And Fingon, seeing this, led his army into the battle and this is how the Nirnaeth Arnoediad was started.

"Ever in the forefront of the battle went Gwindor and the Elves of Nargothrond, and even now they could not be restrained; and they burst through the Gate and slew the guards upon the very stairs of Angband, and Morgoth trembled upon his deep throne, hearing them beat upon his doors."

Unfortunately, Fingon's troops did not reach Gwindor's company in time and the company were all slain, save Gwindor who was taken captive into Angband.

And soon the Fifth Battle was over, the forces of Good being betrayed by Ulfang and his easterlings.

For fourteen long years, Gwindor slaved in Morgoth's mines. But one day he escaped.  Of his escape not much is known, but he was soon found by Beleg in the forest, Taur-nu-Fuin.

This was one part in the book that showed how terribly Morgoth treated his slaves:

"Grieving Beleg looked upon him; for Gwindor was now but a bent and fearful shadow of his former shape and mood, when in the Nirnaeth Arnoediad that lord of Nargothrond rode with rash courage to the very doors of Angband, and there was taken."

Gwindor then told Beleg that he had seen an orc band, the orc band that held Turin captive, and therefore the one Beleg was after.  Beleg then told Gwindor of his mission to find Turin and Gwindor counseled him to turn back, but Beleg wouldn't falter from his goal.

After Beleg had shot the wolf sentinels, and carried Turin away from the orc camp, he cut the shackles which bound Turambar.  There, on a day remembered with woe, Anglachel slipped and pricked Turin's foot, causing him to wake up and slay Beleg.  Turin stayed by his body through the storm that happened that night and into the morning.  The orcs that held him captive thought he'd have gone far by then, and therefore did not search the areas near the camp.

It was Gwindor who aroused Turin to burying Beleg, and it was also Gwindor who took Anglachel and the lembas; and both those items played a part in the future.
Gwindor's strength was returned as he guarded and guided Turin, who was in a walking sleep.  Gwindor took Turin to Ivrin's lake, where Turin's madness was cured, and Laer Cu Beleg was composed.

Soon after they were taken by Elven scouts of Nargothrond and brought before Orodreth.  It was for Gwindor's sake that Turin was allowed in Nargothrond.  But at first the people at Nargothrond did not recognize Gwindor, save Finduilas, daughter of Orodreth.  She had loved him before he left Nargothrond and Gwindor had named her Faelivrin (Gleam of the sun on the pools of Ivrin.)

Turin grew great in favor in Nargothrond and he was given much, including the title Mormegil.  And the love of the people of Nargothrond drifted from Gwindor to Turin, this including Finduilas.  This became apparent to Gwindor who counselled her:

"Daughter of the house of Finarfin, let no grief lie between us; for though Morgoth has laid my life in ruin, you I still love.  Go whither your love leads you; yet beware!  It is not fitting that the Elder Children of Iluvatar should wed with the Younger; nor is it wise, for they are brief, and soon pass, to leave us in widowhood while the world lasts.  Neither will fate suffer it, unless it be once or twice only, for some high cause of doom that we do not perceive.  But this Man is not Beren. A doom indeed lies on him, as seeing eyes may read in him, but a dark doom.  Enter not into it!  And if you will, your love shall betray you to bitterness and death.  For hearken to me! Though he be indeed Agarwaen (bloodstained) son of Umarth (illfate), his right name is Turin son of Hurin, whom Morgoth holds in Angband, and whose kin he has cursed. Doubt not the power of Morgoth Bauglir! Is it not written on me?
Then Finduilas sat long in thought; but at last she said: 'Turin son of Hurin loves me not; nor will.'"

When Turin became aware of this he became angry at Gwindor, and claimed he had done ill to him.

Much time passed, and after Orodreth found that "Agarwaen" (or Mormegil as he had been known) was indeed the son of Hurin, Turin's fame rose even higher in Nargothrond.  During this time Turin's counsel became more important than Orodreth's himself to the people of Nargothrond, and persuaded them to do things they probably wouldn't, and shouldn't have done.  Gwindor spoke with Turin and advised him not to abandon the ways of secrecy, but Turin did not listen to him, for Gwindor had lost all his former beauty and charisma.

Soon after, Nargothrond was attacked.  The people forsook the stealth that Orodreth had worked so hard to achieve, and Glaurung came down on them strongly.  And the Battle of Tumhalad happened.
It was an awful battle, as most battles were in that day, but especially awful was this one, for Orodreth was slain, and Gwindor too.
His last words were spoken to Turin were:

"Let bearing pay for bearing! But ill-fated was mine, and vain is thine; for my body is marred beyond healing, and I must leave Middle-earth.  And though I love thee, son of Hurin, yet I rue the day that I took thee from the Orcs.  But for thy prowess and thy pride, still I should have love and life, and Nargothrond should yet stand a while.  Now if thou love me, leave me! Haste thee to Nargothrond, and save Finduilas.  And this last I say to thee: she alone stands between thee and thy doom.  If thou fail her, it shall not fail to find thee.  Farewell!"

Unfortunately, Gwindor's final request was never granted.  Turin, under the spell of Glaurung, heard not the cries of Finduilas and Gwindor's words came true.

So ends the story of Gwindor, a rather sad one.  Just another tale of how Morgoth ruined a nation by use of the elves and men.  For had Turin listened to the advice that Gwindor had given him, Nargothrond wouldn't have fallen so easily.

Reference: The Silmarillion


Image : "Turin_GwindorDeath2" Death of Gwindor. Artist Peter Xavier Price. Rolozo's Tolkien page