🧙 The Tolkien Forum 🧝

Welcome to our forum! Register a free account today to become a member! Once signed in, you'll be able to participate on this site by adding your own topics and posts, as well as connect with other members through your own private inbox! Plus you won't see ads ;)

Did Túrin really have a beard?

Peter86

New Member
Joined
Jul 3, 2019
Messages
3
Reaction score
3
Location
Sweden
I have seen a lot of artwork depict Túrin as a bearded man, but does that really make sense?
He is described as having been mistaken for an elf by the people in Nargothrond, and this most likely meant that he did not have a beard, since the elves typically don't have a beard (except extremely old elves, like Círdan).
He also appears to not have a beard in Alan Lee's illustrations from the book "The Children Of Húrin".

I actually kinda like him better without a beard to be honest, it makes him appear more boyish and vulnerable, which makes his whole story even more poignant;
although I do of course also realise that he probably didn't have much time to shave during his journeys, but he did seem to get mistaken for an eld in Nargothrond.
 

Elthir

Registered User
Joined
Nov 28, 2004
Messages
1,002
Reaction score
467
I don't picture Túrin with a beard.

Also, in COH, Alan Lee gave us (if I am interpreting the pencil rendering "correctly" that is) a light-haired Beleg, while Tolkien's illustration (an early picture, admittedly) of Beleg shows him as dark haired (and at least arguably bearded!) . . .

. . . before this Beleg "became" someone in Fangorn Forest that is 💫
 

Olorgando

not from 'Straya
Joined
Aug 19, 2019
Messages
1,292
Reaction score
662
Location
Franconia
Túrin was about 36 when he died, in 501 First Age, having been born in 465 FA (according to Robert Foster's "Guide").
That would be quite a delayed adolescence (though, then again, it might explain some of his rash impulses - except that there are people in the news these days, twice his age, that make him look sane and tranquil …)
It is true, the only peoples for whom beards are expressly mentioned are the Dwarves - possibly including the women (and PJ got that wrong, length-wise, too). Cirdan the only of the Elves. Hobbits without, except, IIRC, some of the Stoors (very sparse growth), who were also unusual among Hobbits in not being panicked by water, and occasionally wearing boots bought from the Dwarves.
May have to do with what was considered appropriate beard-wise in the UK (or perhaps only Oxford) during JRRT's time. It wouldn't be the first time that he, in his legendarium, ignored practical aspects, here having to shave every day while leading the life of a hunted outlaw … :rolleyes: (Beren?)
 

CirdanLinweilin

The Wandering Wastrel
Joined
May 13, 2016
Messages
958
Reaction score
510
Location
Mission Viejo, California
Túrin was about 36 when he died, in 501 First Age, having been born in 465 FA (according to Robert Foster's "Guide").
That would be quite a delayed adolescence (though, then again, it might explain some of his rash impulses - except that there are people in the news these days, twice his age, that make him look sane and tranquil …)
It is true, the only peoples for whom beards are expressly mentioned are the Dwarves - possibly including the women (and PJ got that wrong, length-wise, too). Cirdan the only of the Elves. Hobbits without, except, IIRC, some of the Stoors (very sparse growth), who were also unusual among Hobbits in not being panicked by water, and occasionally wearing boots bought from the Dwarves.
May have to do with what was considered appropriate beard-wise in the UK (or perhaps only Oxford) during JRRT's time. It wouldn't be the first time that he, in his legendarium, ignored practical aspects, here having to shave every day while leading the life of a hunted outlaw … :rolleyes: (Beren?)
Tolkien had a brief mustache during ww1.


For reference,

CL
 

Elthir

Registered User
Joined
Nov 28, 2004
Messages
1,002
Reaction score
467
I don't think possibly is needed in the case of Dwarven women. They are no doubt bearded in my book, and (at least to other races) are indistinguishable from Dwarf-men is all ways, except in the way noted in Appendix A.

Old Cirdan had a beard, yes, plus Nerdanel's father, a smith -- who had one before his Third Cycle of Life began.

Plus that guy called Gandalf 😇
 

Olorgando

not from 'Straya
Joined
Aug 19, 2019
Messages
1,292
Reaction score
662
Location
Franconia
...
Plus that guy called Gandalf 😇
Who was neither Elf nor Adan, rather a (heavily disguised) Maia, as were all the Istari.
Wearing "costumes", so to speak. Saruman at least must have opted for the beard variant, as apparently he and Gandalf were repeat confused for one another in Fangorn Forest.
Radagast is never described in any detail by JRRT, so his having a beard is an assumption (for once a reasonable one) by PJ in TH the film.
We know even less about the "blue wizards" Alatar and Pallando, who disappeared in the east.
Though, depending on how far east they traveled, and assuming the "Far Easterlings" resembled the current ones (debatable), they would have been rather conspicuous sporting Ian McKellen / Christopher Lee length film beards there …
 

Elthir

Registered User
Joined
Nov 28, 2004
Messages
1,002
Reaction score
467
Saruman's white hair and beard are attested in the books, with strands of black still showing about his lips and ears (In the Istari essay, UT, Saruman was noted as being raven-haired). At the moment anyway, I can't recall anything but "old sage figures" collectively referring to the Istari (from Tolkien in his letters and possibly elsewhere), but even if the other three aren't certainly/explicitly noted as bearded in some text I've forgotten . . .

. . . I picture the five wizards as bearded.
 

Thread suggestions

Top