HASA Resources

Character Bios

Mîm

Location(s): Amon Rûdh, Bar-en-Danwedh, Dor-Cúarthol, Nargothrond

Race/Species: Dwarf

Dates: died I 502

Children: Ibun, Khîm

Description:
Mîm came of Dwarves that were banished in ancient days from the great Dwarf-cities of the east, and long before the return of Morgoth they wandered westward into Beleriand; but they became diminished in stature and in smith-craft, and they took to lives of stealth, walking with bowed shoulders and furtive steps. Before the Dwarves of Nogrod and Belegost came west over the mountains the Elves of Beleriand knew not what these others were, and they hunted them, and slew them; but afterwards they let them alone, and they were called Noegyth Nibin, the Petty-dwarves, in the Sindarin tongue. They loved none but themselves, and if they feared and hated the Orcs, they hated the Eldar no less, and the Exiles most of all; for the Noldor, they said, had stolen their lands and their homes. Long ere King Finrod Felagund came over the Sea, the caves of Nargothrond were discovered by them, and by them its delving was begun; and beneath the crown of Amon Rûdh, the Bald Hill, the slow hands of the Petty-Dwarves had bored and deepened the caves through the long years that they dwelt there, untroubled by the Grey-elves of the woods. But now at last they had dwindled and died out of Middle-earth, all save Mîm and his two sons; and Mîm was old even in the reckoning of Dwarves, old and forgotten. And in his halls the smithies were idle, and the axes rusted, and their name was remembered only in ancient tales of Doriath and Nargothrond.

The Silmarillion, Quenta Silmarillion, Ch 21, Of Túrin Turambar

Mîm captured by Túrin

[It] chanced at a time of evening that [Túrin and the outlaws] came upon three Dwarves, who fled before them; but one that lagged behind was seized and thrown down, and a man of the company took his bow and let fly an arrow at the others as they vanished in the dusk. Now the dwarf that they had taken was named Mîm; and he pleaded for his life before Túrin, and offered as ransom to lead them to his hidden halls which none might find without his aid. Then Túrin pitied Mîm, and spared him; and he said: 'Where is your house?'

Then Mîm answered: 'High above the lands lies the house of Mîm, upon the great hill; Amon Rûdh is that hill called now, since the Elves changed all the names.'

Then Túrin was silent, and he looked long upon the dwarf; and at last he said: 'You shall bring us to that place.'

On the next day they set out thither, following Mîm to Amon Rûdh. […] Mîm led them by secret paths up the steep slopes of Amon Rûdh; and at the mouth of his cave he bowed to Túrin, saying: 'Enter into Bar-en-Danwedh, the House of Ransom; for so it shall be called.'

And now there came another dwarf bearing light to greet him, and they spoke together, and passed swiftly down into the darkness of the cave; but Túrin followed after, and came at length to a chamber far within, lit by dim lamps hanging upon chains. There he found Mîm kneeling at a stone couch beside the wall, and he tore his beard, and wailed, crying one name unceasingly; and on the couch there lay a third. But Túrin entering stood beside Mîm, and offered him aid. Then Mîm looked up at him, and said: 'You can give no aid. For this is Khîm, my son; and he is dead, pierced by an arrow. He died at sunset. Ibun my son has told me.'

Then pity rose in Túrin's heart, and he said to Mîm: 'Alas! I would recall that shaft, if I could. Now Bar-en-Danwedh this house shall be called in truth; and if ever I come to any wealth, I will pay you a ransom of gold for your son, in token of sorrow, though it gladden your heart no more.'

Then Mîm rose, and looked long at Túrin. 'I hear you,' he said. 'You speak like a dwarf-lord of old; and at that I marvel. Now my heart is cooled, though it is not glad; and hi this house you may dwell, if you will; for I will pay my ransom.'

So began the abiding of Túrin in the hidden house of Mîm upon Amon Rûdh.

The Silmarillion, Quenta Silmarillion, Ch 21, Of Túrin Turambar

Mîm betrays by Túrin

[But] the hatred of Mîm for the Elf [Beleg] that had come into Bar-en-Danwedh grew ever greater, and he sat with Ibun his son in the deepest shadows of his house, speaking to none.

The Silmarillion, Quenta Silmarillion, Ch 21, Of Túrin Turambar

In the waning of the year Mîm the Dwarf and Ibun his son went out from Bar-en-Danwedh to gather roots in the wild for their winter store; and they were taken captive by Orcs. Then for a second time Mîm promised to guide his enemies by the secret paths to his home on Amon Rûdh; but yet he sought to delay the fulfilment of his promise, and demanded that Gorthol should not be slain. Then the Orc-captain laughed, and he said to Mîm: 'Assuredly Túrin son of Húrin shall not be slain.'

Thus was Bar-en-Danwedh betrayed, for the Orcs came upon it by night at unawares, guided by Mîm. There many of Túrin's company were slain as they slept; but some fleeing by an inner stair came out upon the hill-top, and there they fought until they fell, and their blood flowed out upon the seregon that mantled the stone. But a net was cast over Túrin as he fought, and he was enmeshed in it, and overcome, and led away.
And at length when all was silent again Mîm crept out of the shadows of his house; and as the sun rose over the mists of Sirion he stood beside the dead men on the hill-top. But he perceived that not all those that lay there were dead; for by one his gaze was returned, and he looked in the eyes of Beleg the Elf. Then with hatred long-stored Mîm stepped up to Beleg, and drew forth the sword Anglachel that lay beneath the body of one that had fallen beside him; but Beleg stumbling up seized back the sword and thrust it at the Dwarf, and Mîm in terror fled wailing from the hill-top. And Beleg cried after him: 'The vengeance of the house of Hador will find you yet!'

The Silmarillion, Quenta Silmarillion, Ch 21, Of Túrin Turambar

Mîm slain by Húrin

Mîm the Petty-Dwarf had found his way to Nargothrond, and crept within the ruined halls; and he took possession of them, and sat there fingering the gold and the gems, letting them run ever through his hands, for none came nigh to despoil him, from dread of the spirit of Glaurung and his very memory. But now one had come, and stood upon the threshold; and Mîm came forth, and demanded to know his purpose. But Húrin said: 'Who are you, that would hinder me from entering the house of Finrod Felagund?'

Then the Dwarf answered: 'I am Mîm; and before the proud ones came from over the Sea, Dwarves delved the halls of Nulukkizdîn. I have but returned to take what is mine; for I am the last of my people.'

'Then you shall enjoy your inheritance no longer,' said Húrin; 'for I am Húrin son of Galdor, returned out of Angband, and my son was Túrin Turambar, whom you have not forgotten; and he it was that slew Glaurung the Dragon, who wasted these halls where now you sit; and not unknown is it to me by whom the Dragon-helm of Dor-lómin was betrayed.'

Then Mîm in great fear besought Húrin to take what he would, but to spare his life; but Húrin gave no heed to his prayer, and slew him there before the doors of Nargothrond.

The Silmarillion, Quenta Silmarillion, Ch 22, Of the Ruin of Doriath

The date of death is taken from that given in The War of the Jewels, HoME Vol 11, Part 1, The Grey Annals

Mîm’s appearance and character

[They] saw three hooded shapes, grey-clad, going stealthily among the stones. They were burdened each with a great sack, but they went swiftly for all that. […] One lagged behind, being slower or more heavily burdened; and he was soon seized and thrown down, and held by many hands, though he struggled and bit like a beast. But Túrin came up, and rebuked his men. "What have you there?" he said. "What need to be so fierce? It is old and small. What harm is in it? [… ] it is bearded. It is only a Dwarf, I guess.”

Unfinished Tales, Part 1, Ch 2, Narn I Hîn Húrin: Of Mîm the Dwarf

[He] muttered in a strange tongue that seemed harsh with ancient hatred; but when they put bonds on his legs he went suddenly quiet. And those who were on the watch saw him sitting on through the night silent and still as stone, save for his sleepless eyes that glinted as they roved in the dark. […] Mîm sat on without moving, and he seemed as if dead; for now the heavy lids of his eyes were closed, and the morning-light showed him withered and shrunken with age.

Unfinished Tales, Part 1, Ch 2, Narn I Hîn Húrin: Of Mîm the Dwarf

"I had spoken my word, and so must have returned, willing or not, with sack or without, let a lawless and faithless man think what he will! But I like not to be parted from my own by force of the wicked, be it no more than a shoe-thong.”

Unfinished Tales, Part 1, Ch 2, Narn I Hîn Húrin: Of Mîm the Dwarf

[Mîm to Túrin:] "You speak like a Dwarf-lord of old; and at that I marvel. Now my heart is cooled, though it is not glad. My own ransom I will pay, therefore: you may dwell here, if you will. But this I will add: he that loosed the shaft shall break his bow and his arrows and lay them at my son's feet; and he shall never take arrow nor bear bow again. If he does, he shall die by it. That curse I lay on him."

Unfinished Tales, Part 1, Ch 2, Narn I Hîn Húrin: Of Mîm the Dwarf
[Editorial note: it was Andróg who shot the arrow.]

Too often he would appear out of some shadowy corner or doorway when they thought him elsewhere; and when Mîm was near unease fell on their talk.

Unfinished Tales, Part 1, Ch 2, Narn I Hîn Húrin: Appendix

[Mîm:] “Mîm does not love Elves."

Unfinished Tales, Part 1, Ch 2, Narn I Hîn Húrin: Of Mîm the Dwarf

Túrin […] became ever more friendly with the old Dwarf, and listened more and more to his counsels. In the winter that followed he would sit for long hours with Mîm, listening to his lore and the tales of his life; nor did Túrin rebuke him if he spoke ill of the Eldar. Mîm seemed well pleased, and showed much favour to Túrin in return; him only would he admit to his smithy at times, and there they would talk softly together.

Unfinished Tales, Part 1, Ch 2, Narn I Hîn Húrin: Appendix

[When Beleg heals Andróg of a wound from an orc-arrow] Mîm's hatred of Beleg became all the fiercer, for he had thus "undone" his curse upon Andróg. "It will bite again," he said. It came into Mîm's mind that if he also ate the Lembas of Melian he would renew his youth and grow strong again; and since he could not come at it by stealth he feigned sickness and begged it of his enemy. When Beleg refused it to him the seal was set upon Mîm's hatred, and all the more because of Túrin's love for the Elf.

Unfinished Tales, Part 1, Ch 2, Narn I Hîn Húrin: Appendix

Contributors:
Tanaqui 11.16.04

Related Library Entries

Characters Search

      

View all Bios

Full Text Search


Search runs slowly