Glaurung was the first of the Dragons, in J. R. R. Tolkien's fictional Middle-earth legendarium. He was known as the Deceiver, the Golden, and the Worm of Greed.

" 'Nay! At least you are valiant. Beyond all whom I have met. And they lie who say that we of our part do not honour the valour of foes. See now! I offer you freedom.' " - Glaurung" [Me-ref|TCoH|p. 180]

Glaurung was a very powerful dragon, [Me-ref|BoLT2|p. 85 In "Turambar and the Foalókë" a comparison of power is made between dragon and Balrog, "yet of all are they (dragons) the most powerful, save it be the Balrogs only..."] if not the most magical. The largest of dragons, discounting the later flying dragons--no comparison is given between Glaurung and Ancalagon the Black, he was wingless and fire-breathing. Most cunning and full of guile, at times he used these abilities to achieve his desired ends without resorting to direct physical violence, at which he was more than proficient. Like Sauron, another of his contemporaries, it was his nature to trick and deceive, and to spread lies and deceptions so cleverly that they could not be discovered until it was too late. In this manner, he accomplished damage that he could not have with brute force.

Glaurung was called Father of Dragons. It is told that he sired the rest of his race, or at least the brood of Úruloki, wingless fire-breathing drakes. [ME-ref|Silm|p. 193, "Glaurung and his brood..."] He was bred by Morgoth from some unknown stock and was the first dragon to appear outside of Angband. This first appearance occurred during the Siege of Angband in 260 First Age, when he came forth alone to attack, but because he was still young and his scales were not yet proof against arrows, he was driven back to Angband by Elven Horse-archers of Fingon. After this premature adventure, Morgoth kept Glaurung on a short leash until all the forces of Angband were ready.

In 455 First Age, all was prepared and Morgoth unleashed Glaurung, now grown to his full might. The Dragon spearheaded the attack of fire that defeated the Noldorin Elves and their allies and broke the Siege of Angband in the Battle of Sudden Flame, the Dagor Bragollach. In 472 during the Battle of Unnumbered Tears, Nírnaeth Arnoediad, Glaurung leads the final reserve and the beasts of Angband in an attack that prevents the joining of the two Elven-hosts and breaks and routs the Host of the sons of Fëanor causing the total defeat of the Union of Maedhros. During this battle Glaurung was stabbed in his vulnerable belly by the Dwarf-king Azaghâl and fled back to Angband.

In 495, having recovered from his wound and restored his fires Glaurung is given his first independent command and leads an Orc-host to victory in the Battle of Tumhalad against the Noldor of Nargothrond led by Túrin Turambar. He follows up his triumph by sacking Nargothrond, enslaving or slaying its people. He also fulfils Morgoth's special purpose to afflict the children of Húrin, deceiving by enchantment both Húrin's son, Túrin, and daughter, Nienor, causing their tragic ends. After the sack of Nargothrond, he made a bed of the treasure [It is possible that he is the dragon that appears in Tolkien's poem "The Hoard" in "The Adventures of Tom Bombadil", as it appears to be based on the events at Nargothrond.] of the city and ruled Nargothrond as a Dragon-king. [ME-ref|SoMe|p. 129, "...and ruled as a dragon-king...",] [Me-ref|BoLT2|p. 103, "...setting up kingdoms of terror of their own...".] In 498 Túrin led the Men of the forest of Brethil and defeated a force of Orcs sent against them by Glaurung. Glaurung then roused himself and next year came against Túrin and Brethil with fire. In the attempt to cross the ravine of Cabed-en-Aras of the river Taeglin, Glaurung was stabbed from beneath by Túrin wielding the black, magic, and sentient sword Gurthang. Glaurung died soon after, but not before he had managed to drive Nienor to suicide with his last words, lifting the spell of forgetfulness he had cast upon her about her kinship with Turambar.


ee also

*Battle of Tumhalad
*Middle-earth warfare
*Túrin Turambar

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