Glaurung the Evil, the Deceiver, or simply just Glaurung, was the first terrestrial, non-winged fire-breathing Dragon in Middle-earth.
First of the Fire-drakes (Uruloki) was Glaurung, the Father of Dragons. He functions as a major antagonist in The Silmarillion and is the secondary antagonist of The Children of Hurin, and the mortal enemy of Turin Turambar.
Creation and revealing himself
Glaurung was bred by Morgoth from the earth to use as a weapon against the Noldor, perhaps to act as a counter to their deadly swords and as a cover for his army. Morgoth intented not to reveal Glaurung until he was at his full strength so that the Noldor would not be able to find out a counter to him. Glaurung eventually charged out recklessly into Beleriand and managed to terrify the Noldor into retreat until Fingon managed to drive him back to Angband since he could not yet endure arrows. The Noldor were overjoyed, for they did not see how powerful Glaurung would be in his full might, and Morgoth was displeased that Glaurung had revealed himself, but Glaurung merely saw this as a youthful adventure.
Glaurung remerged two hundred years later, in his full power and managed to destroy the majority of the Noldorin fortresses, specifically defeating the sons of Finarfin, Angrod and Aegnor, and defeating the Noldor at Maglor's Gap. He slaughtered thousands of the Noldor and made several victories for Angband and his master. His actions out in the field succeded in tempraily throwing the Noldor into disarray and managed to end the Noldorian time of peace. Morgoth eventually recalled Glaurung to Angband and was no longer seen by the Elves for another 25 to 30 years. He was either patrolling the territories he had gained for his master or was recouperating in Angband.
Glaurung was a major character in the climactic battle for Beleriand at Unnumbered Tears. Depending on the version of the story his role differs. In the original he prevents the Elven hosts from linking up and manages to almost annihilate the eastern force before the dwarf king Azghail stabbed in his vulnerable underbelly causing him to flee to Angband. In the rewrite he destroys the eastern host right at the start of the battle and later retunrs with his army to finish off the western host. His contribuitions resulted in a firm end to the power of the Noldor main kingdoms.
The curse of Hurin
Morgoth eventually chose Glaurung to attack the city of Nargathrond, the city that was the current residence of Turin Turambar. It is unknown if Morgoth was aware Turin was in Nargathrond, and therefore it is debated whether or not Glaurung was chosen intently or if this was a mere coincidence. Regardless, Glaurung easily annihaleted the Elven city, and then when Turin confronted him, he spoke fairly, and then froze him with his magic dragon spell, and then spoke to him. Glaurung seemed to know everything about Turin's previous actions as he specifically referred to them in their conversation, greatly implying that Morgoth chose Glaurung to be the instrument for fulfilling his curse against the children of Hurin. Glaurung then stated that Turin must chose either saving Findiluas the princess of Nargothrond or save his family who were suffering in Dorlomin Turin's home. He urged Turin to rescue his family and Turin did as he suggested. Once out of earshot, Glaurung silently smiled as he had accomplished his master's command, whether or not it was destroying Nargothrond, preventing Turin from chasing Findilluas to ensure the curse succeded, or both, though it is greatly implied it was both, as Turin's family aside from his father were in Doriath, whether or not Glaurung knew that or if this was a mere coincidence is unknown.
Glaurung then horaded all the treasure of Valinor for his own use, making him a dragon- king. He denined the Orcs the plunder, though it is not made clear if he killed them or simply ordered them out. For 2 years he lay there, but upon hearing horses, went into the river, creating a fog dense enough that Morwen, Turin's mother was lost and the hidden Nienor, Turin's sister who had hidden herself to meet her brother, came up to the hill top where Glaurung's head was. After learning her identity, Glaurung managed to put her in a state of amnesia though unlike Turin who easily caved in when Glaurung borught up Turin's previous actions, Nienor gave him a hard mental fight before giving up leaving her dumb, before returning to Nargathrond.
Word soon reached Glaurung that Turin yet lived with Niniel who he had taken as wife in Brethil and correctly deduced that they were siblings. He sent orcs against them to fufill the curse, but when they were slaughtered, decided to finish the curse himself. Knowing that Findilaus had been Turin's only hope of escaping the curse Morgoth had put on him, Glaurung did not go near Findiluas's grave, either doing this delibraetly to give Turin false hope, or simply deeming he would have more fun destroying Brethil and killing Turin before departing to Angband by taking a longer route. While crossing Cabed en Aras, Turin stabbed him fatally with his sword Gurthang in his underbelly causing Glaurung to jump across and embedding the weapon in his flesh. When Turin retrieved the blade, Glaurung's venomous blood sent Turin into a swoon. When Nienor called for Turin, Glaurung, still alive, revealed that Turin was her brother and mocked her with the fact she was carrying their child. He then cruelly told her that the curse had fulfilled and then perished. With his death, his magical amnesia was lifted and Nienor in horror realized he had told the truth and commited suicide by jumping into the fast flowing river. Turin soon came to and upon fleeing after hearing it, learned from the Elves of Doriath that Glaurung had told the truth, ran back to the brink of the river and killed himself, resulting in Glaurung, killing his mortal enemy in death. His body was cremated in a massive fire, resulting in the end of the Father of Dragons.
Glaurung was very obitent and loyal to Morgoth, despite disobeying him when he ran out before Morgoth told him to. He was highly skillful in magic and easily managed to use his terror and power to his advantage. Glaurung also had no qualms about destroying whole regions and turning them into wastelands. He can be clarified as a psuchopath and a monster as he had no qualms about sending an entire kingdom into dust, and was also very greedy, even ordering his minons out, and possibly killing them. He also was extremely sadistic, gleefully telling Turin falsehoods about the state of his family, and driving Nienor to suicide, and also managed to drive a whole family into death with his mere voice, making him one of the most cruel servants of evil in the First Age.
Glaurung was the Father of Dragons as he was the first dragon to ever appear and later sired more. He was known as the Worm, the Long Worm, since he was frequently on all four legs and moved very slowly. He was called the Golden when he ruled over the treasure of Nargathrond, setting off his species love for gold, and foreshadowing the actions of his species in the Third Age, especially Smaug. His most well known title was the Deciever because to his lies and falsehoods managed to destroy the entire family of Hurin Thallion and ended several kingdoms of resistance against the power of Angband.
- Glaurung functioned as Morgoth's main field commander during war, coming out more often than any other of his lieutenants, making him one of the key antagonists.
- Glaurung is one of the few dragons in history, regardless of where its from, to not have wings, a rarity as the beasts usually possess wings.
- Glaurung overall managed to succed in his task, making him perhaps the only Tolkien villain in literature to actually succed in achieving his goal.