The Children of Húrin The Children of Húrin question


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A question in regards to the Dragon Helm of Hador for any Tolkien experts.
Sud666 Sud666 Feb 21, 2016 06:46PM
I am a little confused and was hoping someone who is very familiar with Tolkien's world to help me. It is in regards to the Dragon Helm of Hador. In Chapter IV, The Departure of Turin (pg. 78) it states :

"The Helm of Hador was given into Thingol's hands. That helm was made of grey steel adorned with gold, and on it were graven runes of victory. A power was in it that guarded any who wore it from wound or death, for the sword that hewed it was broken, and the dart that smote it sprang aside. I was wrought by Telchar, the smith of Nogrod, whose works were renowned."

Is this an exaggeration as to the power of Hador's Helm? Hyperbole, perhaps?
I ask since within a few pages, Chapter V "Turin in Doriath" (pg 85), we have this stated:

"Then Turin bowed before them, and took his leave. And soon after he put on the Dragon-helm, and took arms, and went away to the north-marches.......and was joined to the elven-warriors who there waged unceasing war upon the Orcs.........and remembering the wrongs of his kin he was ever forward in deeds of daring, and he received many wounds by spear or arrow or the crooked blades of the Orcs. But his doom delivered him from death; and word ran through the woods, and was heard far beyond Doriath, that the Dragon-helm of Dor-lomin was seen again."

See the issue? If the Dragon-helm protects it's wearer from wounds or death, breaking swords and turning away arrows...well then how did he receive many wounds by those same weapons? Also why is it Morgoth's curse (Turin's doom) that saves him from death and not the Dragon-Helm?
Could it be that Telchar the Smith was slightly overrated and while a master craftsman his helm did indeed NOT protect the wearer from swords and arrows, as was claimed? Just asking..I perhaps wouldn't have noticed had the supposed claim of invulnerability and the subsequent wounding of Turin not occurred within 7 pages of each other.
Also the Helm comes to the Elves via Turin's mother Morwen who wanted her son to have it when he came of age whilst living amongst the Elves..but it DOES beg the question as to why Hurin himself did not wear this Dragon-helm during the Battle of Unnumbered Tears? Wouldn't it have helped him, since well...it's allegedly prevents wounds and death?
I was just curious as this odd dichotomy, because it seems that the helm is really quite nice but perhaps the smith exaggerated it's abilities?



I'm far from an expert on this topic, but I did a quick check for your question in the Tolkien encyclopedia I happen to have stashed away.

It specifically mentions that Húrin didn't wear the helmet intentionally by times because "he wanted his enemies to gaze upon his true face". However, it goes on saying that he helped the helmet to new fame with the Orcs during his fights in the north-marches. So perhaps Húrin only used it when things seemed darkest?

Something else mentioned is that apparently the helmet was of great weight, too great for most to wear it for longer periods of time. This might have been part of the reason why Hurin didn't wear it constantly.

However, these are just speculations based on what I read in Handbuch der Weisen von Mittelerde. Die Tolkien-Enzyklopädie. So if anyone is in possession of further details, feel free to correct me.


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