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Glaurung is a character in J. R. R. Tolkien's fictional Middle-earth legendarium. He is introduced in The Silmarillion as the first of the Dragons. He is also the main antagonist, along with Morgoth, in The Children of Húrin. He was known as The Deceiver, The Golden, The Great Worm and the Worm of Greed.

Tolkien character
AliasesThe Deceiver, The Golden,
Worm of Greed, Father of Dragons, The Great Worm
Book(s)The Silmarillion,
Unfinished Tales,
The Book of Lost Tales 2,
The Children of Húrin



Glaurung was a very powerful dragon,[1] if not the most magical. According to Tolkien, he sired the rest of his race, or at least the brood of Urulóki, wingless fire-breathing dragons.[2] He was bred by Morgoth from some unknown stock and was the first dragon to appear outside of Angband. He had four legs and no wings and could not fly.

In 455, First Age Glaurung led 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 led the final reserve and the beasts of Angband in an attack that prevented the joining of the two Elven-hosts, breaking and routing the Host of the sons of Fëanor, resulting in 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, Glaurung was given his first independent command and led an Orc-host to victory in the Battle of Tumhalad against the Noldor of Nargothrond led by Túrin Turambar. He followed up his triumph by sacking Nargothrond, enslaving or slaying its people, making a bed of the treasure[3] of the city, and ruling as a Dragon-king.[4][5] 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. In the attempt to cross the ravine of Cabed-en-Aras of the river Taeglin, Glaurung was stabbed from beneath by Túrin wielding 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 that he had cast upon her about her kinship with Turambar.

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  1. ^ Tolkien, J. R. R. (1984), Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The Book of Lost Tales, 2, Boston: Houghton Mifflin, p. 85, ISBN 0-395-36614-3 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..."
  2. ^ Tolkien, J. R. R. (1977), Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The Silmarillion, Boston: Houghton Mifflin, p. 193, "Glaurung and his brood...", ISBN 0-395-25730-1
  3. ^ 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.
  4. ^ Tolkien, J. R. R. (1986), Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The Shaping of Middle-earth, Boston: Houghton Mifflin, p. 129, "...and ruled as a dragon-king...", ISBN 0-395-42501-8,
  5. ^ Tolkien, J. R. R. (1984), Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The Book of Lost Tales, 2, Boston: Houghton Mifflin, p. 103, "...setting up kingdoms of terror of their own..."., ISBN 0-395-36614-3

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