Húrin and Huor were the sons of Galdor, Lord of Dor-lómin. In their youth they dwelt in the forest of Brethil as the foster-sons of Haldir, their uncle, as was the custom of Northern Men in those days. They went oft to battle with the Orcs upon the borders of that land, and though the boys were yet young by the reckoning of Men, Húrin was strong and fierce in battle, and Huor was already as tall as most full-grown Men.
On a time the brothers went with a company of scouts, but they were ambushed by the Orcs and scattered, and they were pursued even to the fords at Brithiach. There they would have been captured or slain but for the power of the lord Ulmo in the upper waters of Sirion. It is told that a mist arose from the river and concealed the brothers from the eyes of their enemies, and they escaped into Dimbar. There they wandered among the hills in hardship, lost, until Thorondor espied them from his high eyries, and he sent two eagles to them, who brought them to the Hidden City of Gondolin, which no Man had yet seen.
At Gondolin the brothers were received well, for they were Edain, and moreover Ulmo had counselled Turgon to treat kindly with the people of Hador. Húrin and Huor dwelt as guests in the King's house for well-nigh a year, and had honour in the realm, and they received there the wisdom of the Gnomes, and learned somewhat of the counsels of the Gnomes. Turgon indeed took great liking to the brothers, and desired to keep them in Gondolin out of love and not only for the sake of his law that none who came hither had leave to depart. But the brothers grew weary of the Hidden City and desired to return to their kin, to share in their griefs and in the defence of their homes against the Dark Lord. And so Turgon granted them leave to go, for said Húrin, they found not the way hither and they knew not surely where the City stood.
But Maeglin, the nephew of Turgon, was grieved not at all at their going; for he had no liking for any Man and moreover he begrudged them the clemency of the King. To Húrin he said: ''The King's grace is greater than you know, and some might wonder wherefore the strict law is abated for two knave-children of Men. It would be safer if they had no choice but to abide here as our servants to their life's end.'' But Húrin said: ''The King's grace is great indeed, but if our word is not enough, then we will swear oaths to you.'' And the brothers swore never to reveal the counsels of the King, and to keep secret all that they had seen and heard in his realm. And so Thorondor, coming by night, bore the twain away and set them down in Dor-lómin before the dawn. Their kinsfolk rejoiced to see them, although many (not least Galdor, the old lord) wondered at the strange fortune of the brothers, and the Eagles, and the oath of silence pointed to Gondolin, Men thought.
So the days passed, and the shadow of the fear of Morgoth lengthened, and the days drew on to the dread year 472. Húrin married Morwen of the House of Bëor. Morwen was dark-haired and tall, and men called her Eledhwen, the elven-fair, for she was beautiful, albeit stern of mood and proud. The sorrows of the House of Bëor saddened her, for she had come as an exile from Dorthonion after the Dagor Bragollach. Túrin was their firstborn child, and he was born in that year (464) in which Beren son of Barahir came into Doriath and first looked on Lúthien. A daughter was also born to Morwen, Urwen, but by all who knew her she was Lalaith, for the sound of her laughter brought the sound of Nen Lalaith, a stream that came singing out of the hills past Húrin's house, to the minds of Men, and they were glad when she was among them.
To be continued...
Art: Ted Nasmith. It is a sketch depicting Lalaith.