Sunday, April 5, 2015

Glaurung fighting with dwarves by Justin Gerard

Glaurung by Markus Erdt

Glaurung was the first terrestrial, fire-breathing Dragon in Middle-earth. First of the Fire-drakes was Glaurung, the Father of Dragons. 

After only a century of brooding and growing in the dark pits of Angband, Glaurung first emerged in FA 260 in a fiery wrath, burst from the gates and startled the races of Middle-earth. Though Glaurung was not of the winged race that would later arise, he was the greatest terror of his time. He burned and ravaged Ard-galen, the land of the Elves in Hithlum and Dorthonion. However, he was not yet at his full strength, so was driven back by Fingon, the prince of Hithlum at that time, and his archers. Morgoth was displeased with Glaurung for revealing himself before he had grown to full strength, as Morgoth had planned to allow the Dragon to grow to full power before unleashing him.

To Glaurung, this attack was but an adolescent adventure, a youthful testing of strength. Terrible as he was to the Elves, his strength was barely developed, his scale armor still vulnerable to the attack of weapons; this was just a taste of his power. 

Glaurung was contained in Angband for another two centuries before he was again loosed. This was the beginning of the Fourth Battle of the Battles of Beleriand. It became known as the Dagor Bragollach when Glaurung in full power led Melkor's forces against the High Elves of Beleriand. His vast bulk and scorching fire cleared a path into the enemy armies, and with the Balrogs at his side, Glaurung led the Orcs to an astounding victory and broke the siege of Angband.

In the fifth battle, the Nirnaeth Arnoediad, Glaurung caused even more destruction, as he had fathered a brood of lesser Dragons to follow him into battle. So a great army of Elves and Men fell before the onslaught, for none could withstand the Dragonfire save the Dwarves of Belegost, who had come to battle a common foe.

Morgoth used Glaurung as well to hold the territories he gained; but force in battle was not the only power the monster knew. He brought many under his sway with the binding power of his serpent eye and hypnotic Dragon Spell. 

After Glaurung aided Morgoth during the Battle of Unnumbered Tears, he was given the assignment to complete the Sack of Nargothrond, one of the Elven fortresses in Beleriand. Glaurung came upon Nargothrond with great force, and sacked the kingdom easily. He faced Túrin, son of Húrin, at the gate and so he froze Túrin with his eyes. Túrin heard the screams of Finduilas, daughter of Orodreth, as he stood there. When the captives had been taken away, Glaurung unfroze Túrin and gave him two choices: the first to follow Finduilas, and the second to aid his mother and sister, who were suffering in Dor-lómin. Túrin chose the latter, and in this way he was deceived by the dragon, for his mother and sister were living well in Doriath. Glaurung then gathered up all the treasures of Felagund and hoarded them deep within Nargothrond's underground halls, he then sat atop his hoard, guarding it jealously, and so he rested.

Glaurung received knowledge of Morwen and Nienor's departure to seek their family members. In the forest where they were travelling, Glaurung found Nienor and caused her to lose her mind. This caused her to run through the forest "like a deer". Soon after this, Túrin found her crying on Finduilas's grave. Not knowing that she was his sister, Túrin named her Níniel (Tear maiden) and took her to his home with the folk of Brandir. There they lived for the next three years. 

After those years, Glaurung attacked the area around their home. Túrin resolved to kill the dragon. Two men went with him. One became afraid and fled, and the other was crushed by rocks. However, Túrin was able to kill Glaurung by thrusting his sword, Gurthang, into Glaurung's belly. Glaurung felt his death wound and screamed. When the dragon's blood touched Túrin, he fell into a swoon. Glaurung screamed until his strength was gone. Nienor found him there, with Túrin beside him. With his last breath, Glaurung gave Nienor her memory back, and died. Shortly thereafter, Nienor jumped into the river below, and Túrin awoke and threw himself on his sword.


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