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Niënor Níniel

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Nienor (or Niënor)
Tolkien character
Book(s)The Silmarillion,
Unfinished Tales,
The Children of Húrin

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Niënor, also known as Níniel (pronounced [ˈni.ɛnɔr ˈniːn.jɛl]), is a fictional character from J. R. R. Tolkien's Middle-earth legendarium, appearing in the Narn i Chîn Húrin told in full in The Children of Húrin[1][2] and briefly in The Silmarillion.[3] Early versions of the story are Turambar and the Foalókë[4] and The Lay of the Children of Húrin.[5]

Fictional role[edit]

Nienor was the third child of Húrin Thalion, Lord of the House of Hador, and Morwen Eledhwen of the House of Bëor. Her elder brother was Túrin.[2] Nienor means "Mourning" in Sindarin. Nienor spent her youth with Easterlings and as a guest in the court of King Thingol. Nienor’s mother was killed by the dragon Glaurung. The dragon then put Nienor into a state of torpor. She was later discovered, and upon being attacked by orcs she regained her consciousness but remained an amnesiac, and fled away in fear.

Her brother Túrin, who at that time hid his past under the pseudonym Turambar, found her lying on Haudh-en-Elleth, the grave of an Elf Woman from Nargothrond who had loved him. Because Nienor did not remember her identity and Turambar had never met his second sister, he named her Níniel which means "Tear-Maiden" and brought her to the dwellings of the woodfolk at Ephel Brandir. Brandir the Chieftain of the Men of Brethil tended her and taught her to speak, secretly falling in love with her; Níniel, however, loved Turambar. Brandir restrained her from marriage, foreboding evil doom, but after two years Turambar promised Níniel to go never again to war and at midsummer they were wedded.

By the next spring, when Níniel was two months pregnant, Glaurung left Nargothrond intending to devastate Brethil. He was slain by Turambar at the ravine of Cabed-en-Aras, but the venom from the Dragon's wound and his final malice made Turambar faint. Níniel feared for her husband, and waited for tidings by Nen Girith. When it became apparent to men that Turambar failed, Brandir purposed to lead her away from the forthcoming ruin of Brethil. Níniel, however, was unwilling to be parted from her beloved even after his death, and fled away, followed by Brandir.

Nienor eventually found her way to Cabed-en-Aras. There she found Turambar, thinking him dead. But she was answered by Glaurung, who was still alive. He revealed to her the truth of her kinship with Turambar and their cruel fate, and with the death of the dragon the spell of forgetfulness was lifted from Nienor. Distraught with woe and horror, Nienor fled from Brandir, who was urging her to wait and killed herself:

The curse of Morgoth came to its fulfilment when shortly after Túrin slew himself on his sword by the brink of Cabed-en-Aras.

Other versions of the legendarium[edit]

In the original story of Turambar and the Foalókë it was said that after their deaths "Túrin and Nienóri entered into Fôs'Almir, the bath of flame, ... and so were all their sorrows and stains washed away, and they dwelt as shining Valar among the blessed ones",[4] but this idea was later discarded.

Tolkien later intended to simplify the narrative of the last part of the Tale, sketching a plot according to which Nienor regained her memory at the moment of Glaurung's death when still waiting by Nen Girith. Túrin returned at that very moment, and before his and Brandir's eyes Nienor cast herself into the falls of Celebros. This story, however, never reached a finished form.[6]

Descent of Nienor Níniel[edit]

See also[edit]

Other articles of the topic Speculative fiction : Dorlas, Barahir, Middle-earth dwarf characters, First Age, Ghost Rider (TV series), Grimbold, Middle-earth plants
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  • Nienna


  1. Tolkien, J. R. R. (2007), Christopher Tolkien, ed., The Children of Húrin, London: HarperCollins, ISBN 0-007-24622-6
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 Tolkien, J. R. R. (1980), Christopher Tolkien, ed., Unfinished Tales, Boston: Houghton Mifflin, Narn i Hîn Húrin, ISBN 0-395-29917-9
  3. Tolkien, J. R. R. (1977), Christopher Tolkien, ed., The Silmarillion, Boston: Houghton Mifflin, Ch. 21 "Of Túrin Turambar", ISBN 0-395-25730-1
  4. 4.0 4.1 Tolkien, J. R. R. (1984), Christopher Tolkien, ed., The Book of Lost Tales, 2, Boston: Houghton Mifflin, Turambar and the Foalókë, ISBN 0-395-36614-3
  5. Tolkien, J. R. R. (1985), Christopher Tolkien, ed., The Lays of Beleriand, Boston: Houghton Mifflin, The Lay of the Children of Húrin, ISBN 0-395-39429-5
  6. The War of the Jewels, pp. 163-5.
  7. Tolkien, J. R. R. (1977), Christopher Tolkien, ed., The Silmarillion, Boston: Houghton Mifflin, ISBN 0-395-25730-1

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