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The Turning of Angwë
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The Fate of Húrin and Túrin

Angwë and Sauron looked at each other, trying to work out what would happen to Húrin when their master cursed the Man, then released him. Due to their efforts over but one year, his hair and beard had gone snowy white and sparse, and his oft-broken legs could barely support him. Morgoth looked at the man where he sat chained in his lonely cell and made a decision. “Angwë,” he said, “take this Man upstairs to the highest peak of Thangorodrim and there bind him to a stone seat with a spell. I will weave the spell of doom upon him. His fate will be so dreadful, the horror of it will stain his name like blood on a warrior's garments.”

Angwë nodded his compliance, carrying Húrin up the stairs, who shuddered visibly in the arms of the balrog, his deep-lined face contorted in horror at the touch of the evil creature.

Morgoth himself followed them with Sauron trailing behind. When all was ready, Morgoth wove a powerful spell of great evil. It was similar in part to the one he had sung in the turning of Angwë into a balrog, but the difference was this: Húrin would be bound to Morgoth for as long as he lived, seeing through his eyes yet having no power to affect things around him. The spell would cause his body to remain in a state of suspended animation, frozen to the chair but his mind would be alert with the awareness that Morgoth had. Grinning, Morgoth left him sitting there, looking lost and frightened, but still defiant. He had much to do.

In his private audience chamber, Morgoth discussed his war plans with his lieutenants Angwë and Sauron. “The Elves and their allies are rebuilding their shattered realms. We must be ready to meet them with greater strength than before,” he announced. “More Orcs must be bred to counter any host that comes against us, lest we find ourselves besieged again. To thou, Angwë, I give the task of increasing mine host and the arming thereof, for I will have dominion over Middle-earth. Build siege engines and devise new weapons for me, for I intend to make war upon Elves and Men before they can regain their strength.”

Angwë bowed respectfully as he took his leave.

Morgoth turned to Sauron. “Go thou and ensure that my borders are kept safe. Take a census of mine host and tell me the number thereof, and their kinds. See what can be done to make them greater and more terrible. It is my desire that the mere thought of them will terrify my foes, turning their bones to jelly and their blood to water. Send out spies and tell them to find out what strength our enemies have and where they are, so that, when we next make war on them, we will be prepared. Then go to the lands of the Southrons and Easterlings, and persuade them to join us if thou canst. And send for Artíre the Watcher. I wish to speak with him.”

Sauron bowed to his master and left the room.

A short while later, Artíre entered the room. A Maia who was usually invisible to all but his fellow Maiar and other spirit creatures since he never took a solid form, Artíre was adept at sowing discord, causing people to mistrust one another and creating panic. Morgoth found him very useful, and had long had him in his employ.

“Artíre,” Morgoth ordered, “go thou to Doriath and seek out Túrin son of Húrin, for his mother has sent him there to be fostered by Thingol king of the Elves. Set enmity between him and his Elven protectors, and do what thou canst to bring about his demise.”

Artíre bowed and left at once, leaving his master alone.

Morgoth sat at the table, brooding. Something about one of his servants had come to his attention: while he, Morgoth, had been depleting himself in his efforts to subvert all of Eä and to bring it under his sole control, Sauron had allowed himself to be pulled along in his wake but made no real sacrifice. Morgoth had been dimly aware of it, to be sure, but it was becoming an issue now because the time would soon arrive when he would be surpassed in strength and ability by Sauron, and this he would not tolerate. In fact, as Morgoth considered this, he became bitter. In the past, he had not felt threatened by Sauron because he had proved himself faithful in every way. However, the possibility that Sauron was simply biding his time until he could one day supplant his master could not be ignored. If Sauron could be induced to give of himself in some way, perhaps in the creation of new monsters, that would make him a little weaker, an no longer a threat to his master. Angwë was not a consideration. He and Sauron were rivals for Morgoth's favour as it was, and keeping them apart would prevent them from joining forces.

In his seat on the mountaintop, Húrin sat and saw through Morgoth's eyes the stirring of pride in his son Túrin, knowing what was likely to happen as a result. He saw his wife driven from her home by his enemies and his people destroyed.

Sometimes, there were unexpected victories, which gave him hope that he might yet see the destruction of Morgoth and the end of the doom laid upon him. Húrin laughed out loud when Beren and Lúthien came to Angband and stole a Silmaril from Morgoth's iron crown. The idea that Morgoth could be so humiliated made his suffering almost worthwhile, as he was able to feel the burning shame that filled the Dark Lord.

However, such victories were always short-lived. Nirnaeth Arnoediad, the Battle of Unnumbered Tears followed soon afterwards, and began the destruction of the realms of the Elves. Retaliating for Húrin's gloating, Morgoth showed him the loss of his friends and their agony as they lay dying from horrible wounds, surrounded by monsters who tormented them for as long as they could. Húrin grieved for this, and as he saw the rise of Haudh-en-Ndengin, the Hill of Slain, which was built of the dead Elves and Men that fell on the plain of Ard Galen. It stood right in front of the main gates at Angband. Húrin saw all this from his stone seat, and was so frozen by the spell that held him he could not even weep.


Drifting invisibly near the outer edge of the woods at Doriath, Artíre looked out for the young Man. He knew him when he saw him, for he looked like his father. Was Húrin proud of his son? More than likely, for he could see him, but through Morgoth's eyes. This view would be tainted, of course, but if Artíre knew anything at all about Men, it was this: they would cling to hope where they could find it, however marred it was. Fathers, he had learned long ago, loved their children even if they were vexed with them. Morgoth would never be able to destroy Húrin's love for his son, but Artíre knew he would try to do so, nonetheless.
Húrin saw through Morgoth's eyes how his son and heir went on to make an enemy of a counsellor of Thingol, Saeros, and slay him during an argument that got out of hand. Túrin then killed the two best friends he had among the Elves, mistaking them for Orcs come to torment him. Húrin sat mute in helpless grief as he watched the destruction of Nargothrond and its people. He saw Túrin fall in love with his own sister, marry her and make her pregnant, thinking they were unrelated. When Túrin slew Glaurung the Dragon, it was no comfort to his father at all. The victory was empty for him because Glaurung told Túrin of his error before he died, and Túrin's horror was so great he fell on his own sword. When his sister found out, she threw herself off a cliff. Anything Túrin achieved dissolved in bitterness and ashes, breaking his father's spirit as much as his body.


When the Elf-realm of Nargothrond fell and Túrin was dead, Artíre returned to Angband to report to his master Morgoth. He went at once to the throne room, where Morgoth was holding court surrounded by his lieutenants and servants, who waited silently to be called forward to speak to their lord.

“Twenty eight years have passed since I ordered Húrin bound to his seat,” said Morgoth, looking pleased with himself. “It is time to release him.”

“Will Men not feel some pity for him?” Artíre asked.

Morgoth grinned an evil grin, beaming his wickedness around the audience chamber. “I have yet some plans for him ere I release him from my grasp. Easterlings I have chosen as an honour guard. Rich clothes and a fine horse to ride upon will be provided for my guest, and all will know that he is held in high esteem in Angband.”

“Great is thy cunning, my lord,” said Artíre in awed tones.

Morgoth smiled and turned to his lieutenants. “Sauron, how do thine endeavours fare?”

Sauron moved forward with a swagger in his step. “My lord,” he announced, “I have worked long and hard in the improvement of thy Dragons, and I believe that, with thine aid, we may produce a Dragon that breathes fire and can fly. Trolls and Werewolves are increasing in number.”

Morgoth nodded his approval. He already knew the figures, which Sauron regularly reported, and was pleased with his progress. “Angwë,” he said, “what of thy labour on the weapons I instructed thee to make?”

“My lord,” Angwë told him, “the tests on the siege engines are going well. I have fashioned a battering ram and a device that can shoot many arrows at once. Moreover, the weapons and gear for Húrin and his honour guard are ready.”

“Good,” said Morgoth. “Thou and thy fellow servants have done well. Go now and fetch our guest, that we may send him away with gifts fit for a friend of Morgoth. I will not have it said among Elves and Men that my hospitality hath been found wanting.”

Smiling, Angwë bowed to his master and went to fetch Húrin, the Easterlings and all the gear he had made for them.

Morgoth looked around the room and gauged the mood of his followers. They were jubilant and full of pride in their own and their lord's achievements. If he sent them out to battle then and there, it was more likely than not they would win outright. There was more to be done, though, for Morgoth's plans for Middle-earth to be fulfilled.



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