Turin is like a Macbeth wrapped in an Oedipus

So we’re almost at the end of the Silmarillion
and that’s a problem
because there’s still a lot of misery Tolkien wants to pack in
so what he does
and this is brilliant
is he takes all the misery he’s been saving up
plus all the GREAT NAMES
and uses them on ONE DUDE
this dude’s name is Turin
FOR NOW

So remember those dudes who were trying to hold the mountains against Morgoth?
Well they were led by a dude named Hurin
who Morgoth took prisoner
and then when Hurin repeatedly told Morgoth to go fuck himself
Morgoth was like FINE
YOUR WHOLE FAMILY IS CURSED FOREVER
and Hurin is like JOKE’S ON YOU
I BET MY FAMILY WILL ANNIHILATE ITSELF SUPER FAST
SO YOUR CURSE WON’T EVEN LAST VERY LONG
and Morgoth is like uhh
yeah, that’s the idea.

Hurin left behind a pregnant wife (Morwen)
and a son (Turin)
and pretty soon Morwen stops being pregnant and now there is a daughter
(Nienor)
But Morwen lives in a bad neighborhood
it’s run by the humans that betrayed the good guys
it’s a shitty place for a baby
so Morwen ships Turin off to live at Thingol and Melian’s place with the elves
but keeps Nienor at home for some reason
and that’s totally fine for like ten minutes

but then Turin grows up
and gets pissed at some elf for making fun of humans
and basically throws that dude off a cliff
and then he’s like oh shit I’m a criminal now
better go run off in the woods and lead a band of outlaws
also I should change my name to Neithan so no one knows who I am
that’ll trick ‘em.

But it really doesn’t
the elves decide not to press charges for the murder
because no one really likes the dude Turin killed
and they send one of their best elves to go bring him back
the elf’s name is Bereg
and Bereg shows up at the outlaw camp like hey dude
come back to elftowne
and Turin is like nope
and Bereg is like okay I guess I’m with you now

so they’re running around in the woods
and they find some dwarves
and proceed to rob the shit of them
they shoot one dwarf with an arrow
and then capture that dwarf’s dad
and Turin is like oh shit dude
sorry I killed your son
I don’t have any gold right now
but if I did, I’d totally give it to you for your son.
And the dwarf’s goldlust is SO POWERFUL
that even IMAGINARY GOLD gets his dick hard
so he’s like I like your style, dude
come live in my secret castle.

They live in the castle for a while
and kill a lot of orcs while living there
but there’s a problem:
when Bereg hooked up with Turin, he brought him a special hat
that I think Turin’s dad used to own or something
so Turin puts it on
and likes it so much that he gives himself ANOTHER NAME:
Gorthol, which means “Cool hat”
This would be totally fine
except some of Morgoth’s dudes recognize the hat and tell him about it
and Morgoth is like OH SHIT THAT’S TURIN
GONNA SEND ALL MY SPIES THERE
so the spies capture the dwarf whose house Turin’s living in
all like LET US INTO YOUR SECRET CASTLE TO KILL TURIN
and the dwarf is like yeah fuck those guys
so orcs kill everybody
except Bereg, who is just unconscious
and Turin, who they capture and drag away.
Then Bereg wakes up like AW HELLS NO
and he picks up his magic sword and his rad bow
and chases him some orcs.

Here’s what you should know about Bereg’s magic sword:
it’s called Anglachel
it’s made of black iron from a fallen star
forged by a dark elf who hates everybody
and only gave the sword away because he had to
and the sword is cursed to eventually kill whoever wields it.
Why anyone would choose to wield this sword is a TOTAL MYSTERY
but there you go.

So Bereg tracks down the orcs
and in the process he hooks up with an elf named Gwindor
who just escaped from Morgoth’s mines
and is honestly pretty useless.
Then Bereg sneaks into the orc camp in the middle of the night
gets Turin
brings him to the woods
and cuts his bonds off with that evil sword
which accidentally stabs Turin, waking him up
and Turin is like OH SHIT GOBLINS
and grabs the sword
and STABS BEREG’S FACE
then he finishes waking up and he’s like aww man
now I really can’t go back to Thingol’s place.

But Gwindor is like no worries buddy
you seem like an ok dude
come crash at the hidden city of Nargothrond, where I’m from
and Turin is like I THINK I WILL
BUT FIRST
GOTTA CHANGE MY NAME
Hmm, how about Agarwaen, son of Umarth
(it means bloodface, son of shitty-dad
watch his names get worse over time)

Nargothrond has survived centuries of war with morgoth at this point
for one simple reason:
nobody can fucking find it
but luckily Turin is here now, and that can all stop
Turin proposes a new strategy:
no stealth
stab everyone
and all the elves are like I DON’T KNOW ABOUT YOUR MILITARY CREDENTIALS
BUT YOU SURE ARE SEXY
LET’S DOOOO ITTTTT

While this is going on, Turin also manages to steal Gwindor’s girlfriend
and Gwindor retaliates by telling everyone his real name
so Turin is like Great job, asshole, now I need a NEW NAME
FROM NOW ON, CALL ME MORMEGIL, THE BLACK BLADE
(it’s actually the most sensible name he’s come up with
since he still has that sword he used to stab Bereg
and that sword is black
ALSO CURSED TO SLAY IT’S WIELDER BUT I’M SURE THAT WON’T MATTER)

So Turin kills a lot of dudes with his evil sword
but then some elves show up at Nargothrond like Hey guys
there’s a whole bunch of doom on the way here
you should probably hide in your invisible fortress so as not to get any on you
and Turin is like GUYS
WHOSE ADVICE ARE YOU GOING TO LISTEN TO?
SOME PANSY-ASS ELVES
OR MORMEGIL
THE BLACK BLADE
and everyone is like Black Blade obviously
so instead of doing the smart thing and hiding
they charge head first towards the incoming orcs and dragons

hold up, did I type “dragons”?
Yes I did.
Glaurung the magic dragon is leading the charge
he is fully grown and full of magic hate juice
he kills pretty much everyone
then runs past everyone else and into Nargothrond
which is conveniently accessible because of a bridge Turin made them build
and then when Turin finally shows up to stop them
Glaurung is like Hey bro
look at me
stop yelling for a second and just look at me
LOOK AT ME
Okay.
Now, you’ve been being kind of a huge dick for the past …
your entire life
You stabbed Bereg
You stole Gwindon’s girlfriend
(who I am now totally stealing btw)
also Nargothrond is dead and it’s your fault
but luckily your mom and your sister are still safe at home
OR ARE THEY??
BETTER GO CHECK
DON’T WORRY ABOUT THE ORCS WHO ARE KIDNAPPING ALL THE CIVILIANS HERE
GO GO GO
and Turin goes
due to a combination of dragon hypnosis
and the fact that Glaurung is pretty spot on with his argument.

So Turin goes all the way to the town where he was born
but Morwen and Nienor are gone
they went to Thingol’s place to find HIM
so he gets mad and stabs everybody in town
then he finds some random dudes and joins their town
and you know what else he does?
I’ll give you a hint:
HE CHANGES HIS FUCKING NAME
oh shit that wasn’t a hint that was just the answer.
His new name is Turambar
MASTER OF DOOM
(okay forget what I said about his names getting dumber
that one is sick
he should have stared with that one and just stuck with it)

Meanwhile Morwen and Nienor hear that Nargothrond got took by dragons
and that the dude everyone’s been calling Mormegil was actually Turin
and that he’s probably dead
so Morwen is like IMA GO FIND HIM
and Nienor is like NOT WITHOUT MY COMPLETELY USELESS ASS YOU AREN’T
so they go together
along with a bunch of elves who are constantly trying to stop them
but that doesn’t work
instead they all get lost in a fog
Morwen is killed when her horse runs into a tree
and Glaurung the dragon gives Nienor retrograde amnesia by staring at her.
Some of the elves take care of her for a while
but then she takes off all her clothes and runs away.

AND GUESS WHO FINDS HER?
Obviously Turambar, MASTER OF DOOM.
He teaches her how to talk
which leads to a My Fair Lady type scenario
and since nobody knows who anybody is, they get married
because I’m sure you were all wondering how Tolkien could write a myth without incest
and then Turin starts stabbing orcs with his black sword again
which is a great way to let Glaurung know where he is
so here comes Glaurung again

but it’s okay
Turin just finds Glaurung and stabs him in the gut
but then passes out because of too much evil
and then Nienor shows up like oh no my husband is dead
and Glaurung uses his dying breah to be like No he’s not dead
you know what he IS, though?
YOUR BROTHER!
BOOM!
Then Glaurung dies
and Nienor jumps off a cliff.

Then Turin wakes up
and one of his bros is like dude
I think you married your sister and got her pregnant
and she DEFINITELY just killed herself
and Turin is like BULLSHIT
but then some elves from Thingol’s place show up
and Turin’s like oh thank god you’re here
where’s my sister
and they’re like I dunno dude I thought you had her
and Turin is like FUCK.

So he runs off into the woods
and he pulls out his evil black sword
and he’s like hey sword, wanna stab me real quick?
and the sword is like yeah duh.

SO, FINAL SCORE:
TOTAL NUMBER OF NAMES: SIX
TOTAL NUMBER OF FRIENDS/FAMILY MEMBERS DEAD/IMPREGNATED: ALL
TOTAL NUMBER OF THINGS SUCCEEDED AT: ZERO
THE MORAL OF THE STORY IS ONLY USE GUNS
THEY ARE LESS OFTEN CURSED.

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9 thoughts on “Turin is like a Macbeth wrapped in an Oedipus

  1. Tolkien “borrowed” quite a lot of Turin’s story from the Kalevala, though I suspect you know that already. Turin’s basically Kullervo with more attitude. (EVEN MORE. Terrifying.)

  2. Love your stuff makes Tolkien hilarious and less of a torture device for your eyes. Btw you should do Struwwelpeter cuz its the epitome of creepy German shit for kids which is arguably the best kind of shit ever.

  3. Aw man I love your retellings of just about everything, but the Silm has to be my favourite series yet!! Just, y’know, as a helpful comment, I’m pretty sure it’s Beleg, not Bereg :)

  4. Ah, my two main comments have been given. While ‘Macbeth wrapped in Oedipus’ is a good description of Turin, he’s meant to be Kullervo, as the whole story just leads up to him sleeping with his sister and them killing themselves when they find out. But yeah, he’s the most tragic/tortured character in the Silmarillion, which is saying something.

    Also, the elf is Beleg, which means ‘great, mighty’ though I suppose Bereg could be the Japanese version or something. You also have a typo for ‘Gwindon’ instead of ‘Gwindor’ at one point (when the dragon first shows up).

  5. Pingback: Young Kullervo is an Asshole | Myths RETOLD

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  7. You forgot the bits which make this even more of an angst-fest; all this time Hurin is chained up in Thangorodrim, Morgoth’s fortress, and Morgoth has cursed him so he is fully aware of all the shitty decisions his family make, since he can somehow see them (did he have to watch his son and daughter bone? Ew). Also, Morwen doesn’t die.

    Eventually, Hurin escapes or is released, or something, and goes wandering, and he finds a haggard grey old woman in a clearing or something, and slowly recognises her as his once-beautiful wife Morwen, and they embrace and commiserate over their children and everyone’s shitty decisions, and cry, and die.

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