Sunday, June 19, 2016

Turin and Tuor

A compare/contrast treatment of two of the most famous men of the House of Hador

  • Both of the house of Hador
  • They are cousins
  • Both have names that are similar to their fathers' (Huor - Tuor/ Hurin - Turin)
  • Great warriors
  • Spend time alone in the wild
  • Raised (at least in part) by Elves (Tuor with the Grey-Elves and Turin in Doriath)
  • Both of their stories involve love (whether reciprocated or not) from Elven princesses
  • Both stories involve the destruction of a kingdom
  • Both travel very far across Beleriand
  • Both witness the death of someone via falling of a tall place (Tuor saw Maeglin plummet to his death, Tuor chased Saeros off a cliff)
  • They both win the high favor of an Elven king as well as the people of the kingdom (Tuor and Turgon in Gondolin, Turin and Orodreth in Nargothrond)
  • Both are contacted by Ulmo (Tuor is spoken to directly in Nevrast, Turin receives Ulmo's messages indirectly from messengers)
  • They both anger someone who is envious of their position (Tuor angers Maeglin who wants the favor of Turgon and Idril's hand, Turin angers Saeros who is jealous that Turin is so close to Thingol)
  • Both of their fathers fight in the Nirnaeth Arnoediad
  • Both tall and swift runners

  • Tuor has blond hair after the manner of the house of Hador while Turin has dark hair from his mother's side
  • Tuor fights with an axe while Turin fights with a sword
  • Tuor ends up getting married and having a son while Turin is married only briefly before dying
  • Tuor is an orphan but Turin's parents both outlive him
  • Tuor is an only child but Turin had two sisters
  • Tuor brings a message intended to save a kingdom while Turin gives advice to the king which causes it's destruction (Tuor's warning from Ulmo, Turin's refusal to knock down the bridge over the Narog)
  • It is said that Tuor did not die but was counted among the Elves, Turin definitely died via suicide
  • Turin interacted with Dwarves while there is no mention that Tuor ever encountered one
  • Tuor is eight years younger than Turin

I like the two photos above.  The one of Tuor by Jenny Dolfen has bright colors.  Tuor is looking off into the distance, hopeful and curious about what might happen next; the wind is blowing dramatically around him demonstrating that there is something important going on and he is a significant player in the scheme of Beleriand.  

In contrast to that, the painting of Turin by Alan Lee is full of dark colors.  Turin is ready for war, almost paranoid; completely on edge.  If you look closely you can see that his eyes are very pale--he is almost robbed of all ambition, in almost complete despair.  

Both are surveying the land ahead, ready for the next adventure.  Their ventures ended very differently.  Tuor had a happy ending while Turin died in complete despair after an abrupt and tragic catharsis.  One wonders what the lives of Turin and Tuor would have been like if their positions were exchanged.  Would Tuor have been so wrathful when Saeros challenged him?  Would he have exiled himself as Turin did?  On the flip side, would Turin have spent so much time as a thrall of the Easterlings?  Would he have heeded Ulmo's call?  The two are so similar, and yet so different.  What differences and similarities can you pick out?

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