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Naeramarth (Nienor)

Close-up of a pivotal moment in the story of the Children of Hurin...


She is caught!

Nienor’s heart beats like the wings of a frantic bird as she looks up at the dragon’s great eyes. But her legs will not move, no matter how hard she tries to run.

There are questions; and he makes her give answer. His baleful gaze holds hers. She cannot look away! Now he fouls her mind, seeking to snare her spirit. She resists, pits all her strength against his. But she is a tired mortal maiden and he is Glaurung, relentless father of dragons. He takes her to him, pulling her down into a strange and sunless place.

She sinks deeper, as if she were thrown into chill waters, there to die alone. The small part of her that is still Nienor flails against the dragon‘s will, to no avail. She is losing the world and losing herself. Her heavy eyelids close; her head drops. All is dark.

A desperate yearning flickers through her mind, a pale candle in the freezing darkness: her brother, Túrin, out there, unconquered. As Nienor falls at last into the icy depths of the dragon’s heart, she calls silently with the final thought of her own making: Find me, brother; find me!


Read the tale of Túrin in The Silmarillion, or the Narn i Hin Hurin in Unfinished Tales, for more on Túrin and Nienor. Suffice it to say that Naeramarth does not mean "dreadful doom" without good reason. Turin does eventually find Nienor, to their mutual ruin. Those who have read their story might know why Nienor thinks of dying in chill waters...It's not a happy story. But Nienor's lonely struggle against the dragon begged for elaboration.


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