On the Spell of Bottomless Dread

Faelivrin

Well-Known Member
Haakon that's certainly one way to interpret the Spell, or one way it could affect victims, but I don't think it's the only way.

But then - how does she know exactly what to do? How did Morgoth instruct her to open the gates (or whatever it is she’ll do)? How many instructions has he given? Or does he give her instructions continuously, somehow?
No, something is missing from this line of reasoning. I think it’s the power of domination that you’ve been talking about. Edhellos has to feel that she’s owned by Morgoth, that she belongs to him. She’s broken.
For some victims the missing factor can be telepathy. I think that somebody who has been broken and terrified might be let out even if they have a little will left to resist. Morgoth telepathically sends orders, with a reminder of the terror of his eyes. They can refuse, they can even [try to make themselves] block him. But he will know if they block him. He will know, and he will find a way to capture them again, and there will be punishment of body and spirit. They aren't rational about the chances of capture, they're convinced he can get them no matter how they hide. Maybe they're convinced that Morgoth will win no matter how the Eldar resist, and it's only a matter of time before their stronghold falls... which is actually quite true.

Whether or not that's Edhellos' situation, how does she know to betray Dorthonion just before Dagor Bragollach? She'll only know the attack is about to start if Morgoth tells her via telepathy. (Which also means we should introduce the concept of telepathy early this season, such as with Finrod learning Sindarin too fast.)

I think a musical theme is a good way to represent this because it's noticeable to the audience, invisible to the charaters, and a representation of Morgoth's direct power as music. We could even show the victim reacting to the musical theme... they can hear Morgoth.
 

Haakon

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Yes well I’m not sure whether we have different opinions on this matter (I guess we actually agree) and I know I don’t always express myself clearly so there’s no way to know for sure. For example, when I wrote that something was missing from the line of reasoning, I meant my own line of reasoning, specifically, no one else’s.

Well, I’m glad we agree on the music Faelivrin. Don’t you think a sound effect would work as well? Some deep, growling sound, perhaps? And the victim would be the only one hearing it and reacts to it.
 

Faelivrin

Well-Known Member
I imagine that there's potentially a range of effects on different victims. Either I or amysrevenge mentioned earlier that it's not a single spell like in D&D. So some are utterly unable to resist (like Gollum can't resist the Ring), some believe they're owned by Morgoth, and some are so despairing and/or broken they believe resistance is futile even though they have some will left. Some can resist a little, but Morgoth calculates they're broken enough that at least they won't tell anyone what happened to them, so he'll let them out (hey, even if they do tell... the Elves would have noticed the treacherous former captives eventually anyway). And some have significant will left to resist, like early Frodo -- those Morgoth won't release at all.

Don’t you think a sound effect would work as well? Some deep, growling sound, perhaps? And the victim would be the only one hearing it and reacts to it.
Maybe? I dunno. I've watched less TV and movies than most of you all. (The nice thing about a sound is that potentially Phil Menzies can create it in real life.)

I was even thinking... if a victim is too broken to resist, could they still plead? When they hear the music or whatever, maybe they not only weep but say "No, please no" or something. Or maybe not; Morgoth isn't known for his mercy!

On the subject of weeping in front of other people... I don't know if it would be very suspicious. Severely traumatized people are likely to cry about their past, or during a flashback, at least some of the time.
 
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Haakon

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I think we can show a difference between Sauron, who tends to bend people’s will to his ends and bind them to him (but he’s not above torture of course), and Morgoth, who tends to break people and enslave them.
No I don’t think of the ‘spell’ as a d&d spell at all. I think of it as supernatural terror. So yes, I’m imagining different kinds of results. But I think that, from the beginning of Time, Morgoth is someone who does things all the way through, so he will tend to really break people.
 

Faelivrin

Well-Known Member
From the book I don't get the impression that Morgoth utterly breaks every captive who meets him, not necessarily even a majority. He puts the Spell on "some" Elves, but "few" of the Noldor. Sauron is unable to dominate any victim so thoroughly, but Morgoth doesn't always succeed. Maedhros, Rog, Gwindor... we'll have examples of Elves who aren't defeated at all.
 

Haakon

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From the book I don't get the impression that Morgoth utterly breaks every captive who meets him, not necessarily even a majority. He puts the Spell on "some" Elves, but "few" of the Noldor. Sauron is unable to dominate any victim so thoroughly, but Morgoth doesn't always succeed. Maedhros, Rog, Gwindor... we'll have examples of Elves who aren't defeated at all.
Ok fair enough. I went too far. But does he aim to break all of those? Rog is just a captive, as far as I understand. Gwindor as well. Or does Morgoth actively try to break them? (Sorry I don’t have my books at hand..) Maedhros is supposed to break while hanging on the cliff side, so yeah he’s meant to be broken and that fails, but that is because he’s eucatastrophically rescued, so perhaps that doesn’t count.
 

MithLuin

Well-Known Member
You can play the long game with elves, so it's quite likely that Morgoth would be in no hurry to break them, but when he does, he goes all the way, as you say.

Morgoth threatens to crush Luthien, to break her the way you would break a flower by stepping on it. He delays a moment to play with her, but the threat is of idle and casual (but brutal) violence. The implication is that she won't be Luthien any more when he's done with her. (This is from the Lay of Leithian).

I have to imagine that his intention with Maedhros was to break him completely, and then maybe send him back to his brothers as a ruined slave. Given who Maedhros is, that would have taken awhile (and/or a huge exertion of power), but I don't think anyone would claim that Morgoth can't do that. He can make Orcs, and he can make slaves, and while elves can resist, they can't really win.

So, in the end, it depends upon Morgoth's intent. He can break elves for the fun of it. He hates them, and enjoys watching them break. But, it costs him something to do that, so he is not going to instantly break every elf he sees. He'll be more judicious in his choices, and somewhat stingy with his power.



I have been thinking about other representations of similar things in film. Certainly, this is much easier in animation. In Avatar (The Last Airbender), the Earth Kingdom capital has people under hypnosis. They don't remember being captive, and responses can be triggered with a phrase. When that phrase is uttered, their pupils dilate and they do as they are told (even if it means betraying a friend). There is some fake smiling as well. But animation means that exaggerated eyes are easy to use without looking weird.

Avengers Civil War has Bucky as the Winter Soldier activated by a string of words. And so, you see him fighting his restraints when the words begin, but by the end, he is obediently kneeling. He can then be used to attack anyone.

Red Dragon has a scene where Francis Dolarhyde argues with the Dragon. I mean, there is no dragon; he's crazy. But what is shown is a one-sided conversation where he stands in front of a poster of the dragon and pleads with the Dragon not to have to kill the girl. What's interesting is that while they were filming that scene, they considered letting the audience hear the Dragon and recorded a voice of the Dragon with the lines from the other side of the conversation. In the final film, they cut that, so you can't hear what the Dragon says, but can guess based on what you hear of the rest of the conversation.

Whether or not we let the audience hear Morgoth's voice, we will likely have to imply that the victim is hearing Morgoth telepathically. So, that would involve some sort of pleading and begging, or angry denial, but eventually devolves into 'Yes, Master' territory.
 

Faelivrin

Well-Known Member
What I'm referring to, Marie, is the passage in the Silmarillion that says that Morgoth could not break most of the Noldor:

"For the Noldor were a mighty race yet, and few of them could he so daunt that they would do his will, but escaping they became oft his deadliest foes."

It's clear to me that Morgoth does not automatically win every time no matter what. His power is not infinite, and Tolkien didn't intend it to be infinite or for Morgoth to automatically erase everyone's will and just choose not to. In fact Tolkien explicitly wrote that Morgoth tortured people specifically because he couldn't usually break their spirits and wills without torture, and often couldn't break the Noldor or Edain even then. Maybe it isn't realistic for people to resist torture indefinitely, as Hurin does, but it explicitly happens in Middle-earth anyway. Even Orcs still have free will.

Recall that Maeglin is blamed for his treachery. If he was utterly helpless, and his will was automatically negated no matter what, then he wouldn't be blamed any more than Frodo was blamed for claiming the Ring. But Maeglin is held in contempt post-humously and blamed for giving in, even though nobody heard his side of the story. Clearly the Noldor (who have known captives who did resist) believed that resistance was possible.

Recall that when Morgoth tortures Hurin, he doesn't just automatically tell Morgoth where Gondolin is like a computer program. When Sauron with all the power of the One Ring tortures Celebrimbor, he never tells Sauron where the Three are. Sauron actually gives up on him. Gwindor is said to have been tortured many times, and he knows the precise location of Nargothrond. But he not only never tells Morgoth where Nargothrond is in 14 17 years, he escapes and keeps fighting to the death.


Breaking bodies is trivial and automatic, if they aren't being used for manual labor. Breaking wills is neither trivial nor automatic. The threat against Luthien is a threat of bodily (and probably sexual) violence, not of casually casting Charm Person and erasing her mind. (I don't want to know what kind of sexual violence was involved in torturing Morgoth's captives.)

I don't want to go down the route of depicting all of our characters as so automatically helpless that there's no point in anyone even trying to resist. Illuvatar made them stronger than that, because He knew they would need strength to resist. He made it absolutely impossible to use telepathy on a sapient mind that chooses to block, for example.
 
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MithLuin

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I am not disagreeing with that. I'm saying, rather,that given enough time and enough application of his own native strength, Morgoth will eventually win and the elf will break.

Morgoth isn't choosing not to do so because he's too nice to break elves or for no reason. He's choosing not to because it costs way too much. This isn't easy or free for him. We were explicitly told to depict the toll it takes on Morgoth to put an elf under the Spell of Bottomless Dread.

My contention isn't that there is no point in resisting, but rather that, given long enough and enough expenditure of Morgoth's power...the elf loses. In most cases, he isn't willing to expend enough power to make that outcome inevitable. ..but he could.
 

Faelivrin

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My contention isn't that there is no point in resisting, but rather that, given long enough and enough expenditure of Morgoth's power...the elf loses. In most cases, he isn't willing to expend enough power to make that outcome inevitable. ..but he could.
Then why doesn't he make it inevitable for Gwindor, and for Hurin? Then he'd know precisely where Nargothrond and Gondolin are. Their stories don't make sense if Morgoth chooses not to use enough power even when he stands to gain so much. If he won't even spend his power to find Gondolin, from whence he foresees his ruin will come, then he wouldn't bother putting the Spell on anyone just for smaller and more trivial betrayals.

Gwindor isn't even tortured nonstop; he's tortured many times but spends a lot of time working in the mines.

Gwindor resists Morgoth for 17 years and then escapes. Hurin resists Morgoth for 28 years and goes crazy, but still has free will. Morgoth either doesn't really care where Nargothrond and Gondolin are, or else he's already doing his best to break these captives and can't automatically succeed.


And we aren't showing Eldalote being tortured for more than 28 years. We're having her released, already 100% broken, one episode after her capture.
 
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Ange1e4e5

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What I'm referring to, Marie, is the passage in the Silmarillion that says that Morgoth could not break most of the Noldor:

"For the Noldor were a mighty race yet, and few of them could he so daunt that they would do his will, but escaping they became oft his deadliest foes."

It's clear to me that Morgoth does not automatically win every time no matter what. His power is not infinite, and Tolkien didn't intend it to be infinite or for Morgoth to automatically erase everyone's will and just choose not to. In fact Tolkien explicitly wrote that Morgoth tortured people specifically because he couldn't usually break their spirits and wills without torture, and often couldn't break the Noldor or Edain even then. Maybe it isn't realistic for people to resist torture indefinitely, as Hurin does, but it explicitly happens in Middle-earth anyway. Even Orcs still have free will.

Recall that Maeglin is blamed for his treachery. If he was utterly helpless, and his will was automatically negated no matter what, then he wouldn't be blamed any more than Frodo was blamed for claiming the Ring. But Maeglin is held in contempt post-humously and blamed for giving in, even though nobody heard his side of the story. Clearly the Noldor (who have known captives who did resist) believed that resistance was possible.

Recall that when Morgoth tortures Hurin, he doesn't just automatically tell Morgoth where Gondolin is like a computer program. When Sauron with all the power of the One Ring tortures Celebrimbor, he never tells Sauron where the Three are. Sauron actually gives up on him. Gwindor is said to have been tortured many times, and he knows the precise location of Nargothrond. But he not only never tells Morgoth where Nargothrond is in 14 17 years, he escapes and keeps fighting to the death.


Breaking bodies is trivial and automatic, if they aren't being used for manual labor. Breaking wills is neither trivial nor automatic. The threat against Luthien is a threat of bodily (and probably sexual) violence, not of casually casting Charm Person and erasing her mind. (I don't want to know what kind of sexual violence was involved in torturing Morgoth's captives.)

I don't want to go down the route of depicting all of our characters as so automatically helpless that there's no point in anyone even trying to resist. Illuvatar made them stronger than that, because He knew they would need strength to resist. He made it absolutely impossible to use telepathy on a sapient mind that chooses to block, for example.
Plus, Maeglin is apparently in good enough condition (physically and mentally) when Morgoth’s done with him that nobody suspects him (except Idril, and that could be dismissed in-universe as paranoia regarding his own feeling for her) until the Fall of Gondolin.
 

MithLuin

Well-Known Member
Yeah, there's the issue of timing in Years, and timing in Episodes. If Edhellos is captured on her way home from the Mereth Aderthad in FA 20, and then released 30 years later in FA 50, she's still have 10 years to wait around until the Dagor Aglareb. But if we show her captured in one episode and released in the next, and her session with Morgoth is shown on screen, it's going to appear to take 5 minutes. That is problematic. We might just have to show her screaming and imply strongly that this was the *first* time Morgoth did that to her, but not the only time, so that she's released after many years of being subjected to that treatment and that's why she's so broken.

If we show Morgoth's attack on Edhellos seriously drain him, then we will know why he doesn't do it all the time; that this takes something out of him that he can't afford to spend on elf torture.

Lots of things are ultimately futile. History is the Long Defeat, and there is really no chance that the Noldor can defeat Morgoth. The Siege will not last forever. That doesn't make it pointless to fight him. I hope you didn't take my statements that way - well, it's inevitable, he's going to win, might as well cave in right away and save yourself the torture. I just meant...that it *is* inevitable that an elf who was not rescued/escaped and spent an indefinite amount of time as Morgoth's prisoner subjected to his full strength...would eventually lose. I was speaking specifically of Elves, not Men, but the point is that he's a Vala. He is very strong and very terrifying and elves don't have what it takes to resist him forever. That doesn't mean it's easy or quick for him to win, though, and it certainly doesn't mean that there's no point in fighting back against him.
 

Haakon

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Staff member
Ok maybe we can show this as a continuing decline in power to break people down? He has no problem with Edhellos, but it costs, and after this he’s a bit more careful and also less powerful. Future power struggles can show various aspects of the progress downwards.
 

Faelivrin

Well-Known Member
The question remains, if Morgoth can automatically break Hurin and Gwindor, why he would deliberately choose not to break them. It no doubt takes a huge amount of power to bend Turin and Nienor and Morwen's fates, to the point that Turin's life cursed even while living within the Girdle of Melian, so that indirectly Turin will cause problems that might, if everything goes perfectly, eventually cause the downfall of Nargothrond. Why even bother with all of that, when Morgoth could directly break Hurin and Gwindor with eye contact or physical torture?

Why is finding and destroying Gondolin and Nargothrond so much less important to Morgoth than getting Edhellos to make Dorthonion slightly easier to attack? Why does he put the Spell of Bottomless dread on so many unimportant captives that the Elves stop trusting all of them, but when he gets his hands on Gwindor and Hurin suddenly he just doesn't want to break them?

Why is finding the Three Rings so unimportant to Sauron that he just doesn't even want to break Celebrimbor, despite having the One Ring on his hand?


Yes, given an infinite time of torture the victim's mind and sanity will shatter like glass. But explicitly, in Arda that does not automatically turn somebody into a traitor. There's a difference between breaking a victim's mind, and breaking their will. Sometimes both happen at once, sometimes only one happens. Some people like Hurin break, fall apart, and still don't tell what they know. It's explicit that Morgoth cannot break most Noldor. Tolkien doesn't say that Morgoth didn't take the effort to break Noldor often; the book states that it was not even possible to convert more than a "few" Noldor into traitors. That's clearly a statement that prisoners don't automatically turn traitor every time no matter what, 100% guaranteed. The Silmarillion contains a very similar statement about the Edain: "But few men of the Three Houses of the Edain would give ear to him, not even were they brought to the torment of Angband."
 

Haakon

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Agreed.

That’s why I suggest that we come up with a reason for Morgoth’s lack of success. Mainly, I guess one could say that it has something to do with the power of Iluvatar and the secret flame. But if he does succeed at times, why not show those examples happening in the beginning? Then, he gradually fails more often, and is more powerless when he finds more important victims.
 

Ange1e4e5

Well-Known Member
The question remains, if Morgoth can automatically break Hurin and Gwindor, why he would deliberately choose not to break them. It no doubt takes a huge amount of power to bend Turin and Nienor and Morwen's fates, to the point that Turin's life cursed even while living within the Girdle of Melian, so that indirectly Turin will cause problems that might, if everything goes perfectly, eventually cause the downfall of Nargothrond. Why even bother with all of that, when Morgoth could directly break Hurin and Gwindor with eye contact or physical torture?

Why is finding and destroying Gondolin and Nargothrond so much less important to Morgoth than getting Edhellos to make Dorthonion slightly easier to attack? Why does he put the Spell of Bottomless dread on so many unimportant captives that the Elves stop trusting all of them, but when he gets his hands on Gwindor and Hurin suddenly he just doesn't want to break them?

Why is finding the Three Rings so unimportant to Sauron that he just doesn't even want to break Celebrimbor, despite having the One Ring on his hand?


Yes, given an infinite time of torture the victim's mind and sanity will shatter like glass. But explicitly, in Arda that does not automatically turn somebody into a traitor. There's a difference between breaking a victim's mind, and breaking their will. Sometimes both happen at once, sometimes only one happens. Some people like Hurin break, fall apart, and still don't tell what they know. It's explicit that Morgoth cannot break most Noldor. Tolkien doesn't say that Morgoth didn't take the effort to break Noldor often; the book states that it was not even possible to convert more than a "few" Noldor into traitors. That's clearly a statement that prisoners don't automatically turn traitor every time no matter what, 100% guaranteed. The Silmarillion contains a very similar statement about the Edain: "But few men of the Three Houses of the Edain would give ear to him, not even were they brought to the torment of Angband."
Why he doesn't automatically break Hurin? Because he wanted to drag out Hurin's torment as long as he felt like it (as long as Turin and Nienor lived) and once Morgoth had broken Hurin down completely with the death of his children, he let him go, knowing that he would be shunned by the people he had known, and take his resentment out on all he could find, that would help him in the long run, like:
  • Hurin bringing the Nauglamir to Doriath, leading to Thingol's death when he asked the Dwarves for help;
  • Revealing the general location of Gondolin.
Morgoth was expressly looking for the location of Gondolin in his attempt to bring the will of Hurin to heel, because he knew of Hurin's visit to Gondolin. Hurin, in his pride, looked through the eyes of Morgoth believing he could withstand the torments that Morgoth inflicted upon his family.
 

Faelivrin

Well-Known Member
It's like the scene in Austin Powers when Dr. Evil captures Austin. His son Scott asks "Why don't we just shoot him? Look, I have a gun." but instead Dr. Evil says "I have a better idea. I'm going to put him in an overly-complicated, easily-escaped death-trap, walk out of the room, and trust that he'll die."

Sauron: Here are the prisoners who know where Gondolin and Nargothrond, my Master. They've been "prepared" for the Spell of Bottomless Dread.
Morgoth: Nope, not this time.
Sauron: Wait, why not?
Morgoth: I've got a better idea. I'm going to chain up Hurin and wait an unnecessarily long time for him to change his mind and then just let him go and trust he'll do what I ask. And I'll put Gwindor into an easily-escaped slave labor camp and then walk away and forget he's there.
Sauron: Do you want to find Gondolin and Nargothrond, or not?
Morgoth: I just ... don't really care, Sauron.


Of course Morgoth likes torturing people. Why can't he do that after putting the Spell of Bottomless Dread on Hurin? Instead he decides not to break Hurin's will, and then lets him go! It worked out, but it was a monumentally stupid risk if Morgoth could have automatically broken Hurin in the first place. Meanwhile, Gwindor escaped and never told anyone where Nargothrond was. His captivity was an utter failure.
 

Ange1e4e5

Well-Known Member
It's like the scene in Austin Powers when Dr. Evil captures Austin. His son Scott asks "Why don't we just shoot him? Look, I have a gun." but instead Dr. Evil says "I have a better idea. I'm going to put him in an overly-complicated, easily-escaped death-trap, walk out of the room, and trust that he'll die."

Sauron: Here are the prisoners who know where Gondolin and Nargothrond, my Master. They've been "prepared" for the Spell of Bottomless Dread.
Morgoth: Nope, not this time.
Sauron: Wait, why not?
Morgoth: I've got a better idea. I'm going to chain up Hurin and wait an unnecessarily long time for him to change his mind and then just let him go and trust he'll do what I ask. And I'll put Gwindor into an easily-escaped slave labor camp and then walk away and forget he's there.
Sauron: Do you want to find Gondolin and Nargothrond, or not?
Morgoth: You just ... don't understand, Sauron.
Well it worked out in the long run, didn't it? Because of Hurin's actions, Doriath was laid low by Dwarves and Feanoreans (on separate occasions) and Morgoth was able to find the general location of Gondolin.

As for that quote, I'd take out the Gondolin reference because until Hurin and Maeglin, they didn't find anyone who knew where Gondolin was.

Sometimes, I've wondered if Gwindor was let go on purpose, knowing of the curse on Turin and what would happen when Turin would try to change his fate the way he knew best, since Turin's emphasis on open warfare led to Nargothrond's location being revealed to Morgoth. Which would not have happened if Gwindor hadn't escaped, helped Beleg free Turin, then guided Turin to Nargothrond.
 
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MithLuin

Well-Known Member
We do not have any examples of Morgoth putting the Spell of Bottomless Dread on a human, so I'm not entirely sure why Húrin is part of this conversation. As you point out, it took effort on Morgoth's part to curse Túrin. That was not free for him. Why did he not 'just' break Húrin instead? Presumably, it would have been significantly more costly.

It costs nothing for a typical villain to opt for instant death, rather than tie up their victims and monologue long enough for them to get away. That's why the scenario seems so silly - why didn't you just shoot them?

There should be nothing 'just' or 'automatic' or 'simply' about the Spell of Bottomless Dread. This is by no means easy for Morgoth to achieve. He can do it, sure...but he certainly can't do it all the time without diminishing himself greatly. As for why didn't he try? We don't know that he didn't try. He certainly clouded Húrin's vision without Húrin's knowledge. If Morgoth finally let him go, it was because he thought Húrin was "ready". Gelmir was killed and Gwindor escaped...we don't know what would have happened if either of them had been imprisoned longer.

Morgoth certainly does want to know the locations of Nargothrond and Gondolin, and he does exert effort into finding them. But...he's maybe not...in any hurry. He knows that as time goes on, the elven armies are getting weaker and his are getting stronger. He has been worried about the Valar showing up, but the Noldor don't really scare him. Expending his own native strength (and once he spends it, it's gone) to obtain a short-term goal will seem shortsighted if he's too weak when the Valar do attack him.

Frodo was never going to have the strength of will to destroy the Ring in Mount Doom. He couldn't even throw it in his own fireplace at the very beginning of the Quest. But Frodo did have the strength of will to get himself to Mount Doom, and that was enough.
 

Ange1e4e5

Well-Known Member
We do not have any examples of Morgoth putting the Spell of Bottomless Dread on a human, so I'm not entirely sure why Húrin is part of this conversation. As you point out, it took effort on Morgoth's part to curse Túrin. That was not free for him. Why did he not 'just' break Húrin instead? Presumably, it would have been significantly more costly.

It costs nothing for a typical villain to opt for instant death, rather than tie up their victims and monologue long enough for them to get away. That's why the scenario seems so silly - why didn't you just shoot them?

There should be nothing 'just' or 'automatic' or 'simply' about the Spell of Bottomless Dread. This is by no means easy for Morgoth to achieve. He can do it, sure...but he certainly can't do it all the time without diminishing himself greatly. As for why didn't he try? We don't know that he didn't try. He certainly clouded Húrin's vision without Húrin's knowledge. If Morgoth finally let him go, it was because he thought Húrin was "ready". Gelmir was killed and Gwindor escaped...we don't know what would have happened if either of them had been imprisoned longer.

Morgoth certainly does want to know the locations of Nargothrond and Gondolin, and he does exert effort into finding them. But...he's maybe not...in any hurry. He knows that as time goes on, the elven armies are getting weaker and his are getting stronger. He has been worried about the Valar showing up, but the Noldor don't really scare him. Expending his own native strength (and once he spends it, it's gone) to obtain a short-term goal will seem shortsighted if he's too weak when the Valar do attack him.

Frodo was never going to have the strength of will to destroy the Ring in Mount Doom. He couldn't even throw it in his own fireplace at the very beginning of the Quest. But Frodo did have the strength of will to get himself to Mount Doom, and that was enough.
I think the reason why is that Hurin is the main human we see put under the direct torment of Morgoth and how his actions after being freed (or set loose) aid Morgoth in the long run without precise knowledge.

I might also add that while Morgoth's healing factor from wounds is starting to fade (the wounds from Fingolfin do not heal, such as a limp he gets from Fingolfin stabbing him in the foot), he might not age. He's content to waiting, to see how far something like a curse on Hurin's line goes. Direct torment to Hurin might not work (he is said to be put to slow torment), but the suffering of his loved ones might, as would turning Hurin's perceptions against Morgoth's enemies.
 
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