~Tolkien Tuesday~ The Silmarillion Chapter 19

“Among the tales of sorrow and of ruin that come down to us from the darkness of those days, there are some in which amid weeping joy and under the shadow of death that light endures.

The Silmarillion

The Quest. It is a common theme in English Literature. It is meant to be completed with honor and courage. Think of Beowulf and Sir Gawain and the Green Knight. Here is Tolkien’s version–well one version. One could argue that his works are like one giant collection of quests. From Bilbo becoming a thief and Frodo and the One Ring, then Beren and Luthien–one of the greatest quests.

Beren is the son of Barahir. When all his kin is slaughtered, he becomes of solitary outlaw and gets to know the forests of Doriath, and came upon Luthien. Luthien is the daughter of Melian and Thingol. There is no one who could meet Luthien’s beauty. However, she has great strength of heart and power. He would often hear her sing as well and called her Tinuviel, the Nightingale. She would often visit him. Things are going great. Right?

WRONG.

Daeron is in love with Luthien. (One of MANY.) Anyway, he turns her in to her father. Thingol says he could marry Luthien IF he brings him a Silmaril. Recap: Morgoth still has the Silmarils and the “Oath of Feanor” is at work.

“But Beren laughed. “For little price,’ he said, ‘do Elven kings sell their daughters: for gems, and things made by craft. But if this be your will, Thingol, I will perform it. And when we meet again my shall hold a Silmaril from the Iron Crown; for you have not looked the last upon Beren so of Barahir.”

The Silmarillion

Beren travels to Finrod Felegund and he gives his crown to Nargothrond and journeys with Beren. They are captured by Sauron and tortured. One by one, the men of their Fellowship die by a werewolf. Luthien can feel Beren in danger and tries to go to him but is once again betrayed by Daeron.—She really needs to stop trusting this guy. So Thingol locks her in a tower. How does she escape? Channel your fairytale knowledge. She grows her hair with an enchantment and also uses it to cloak her in a disguise. Can you say, “Rapunzel, Rapunzel let down your hair?”

She is able to escape but Celegorm and Curufin find her and hold her against her will. They try to blackmail her in order to marry Celegorm. But then enter one of my favorite characters: Huan. Huan is The Hound of Valinor. He is a giant, immortal dog whose loyalty lies with Celegorm. However, he listens to Luthien and decides to join her in her journey to help Beren. They go to the gates of Sauron. Normally this would not be an easy feat. But Luthien is able to break the gates and get them out to bury Finrod. This leads to a battle with Beren and Curufin. Beren wins and lets him live. But leave it up to Celegorm to mess it all up. He shoots arrows aimed at Luthien. Huan is able to block one, but Beren takes the second. Luthien is able to heal him and he thanks her by leaving her in the care of Huan.

“From the shadow of death you can no longer save Luthien, for by her love she is now subject to it.”

The Silmarillion

Luthien catches up with Beren and they enter Morgoth’s hall together, but with Beren under disguise. Luthien is able to distract and enchant Morgoth. Beren is able to get one Silmaril but wants to get more. That is the fatal mistake. Morgoth wakes up and sends his werewolf, Carcharoth after him. He bites off his hand but the Silmaril burns him.

And once again, who makes an appearance?? THORONDOR. If I said it once, I have said it a thousand times, the Eagles are the MVPs. Beren is then named Erchamion, the One-Handed.

Brace yourselves. I bawled my eyes out at this next part. The battle of Carcharoth and Huan. Huan is able to defeat the werewolf, but his bite is poisonous. Both Beren and Huan die from their wounds. Luthien then dies of a broken heart. In the halls of Mandos, who witnessed her unwavering grief. He then went to Manwe, who then went to Illuvatar to ask for advice. They gave Luthien a choice: to live in Valinor or give up her immortality and live with Beren. Her love never diminished and wanted to live with Beren as a mortal. If I were her, I would have also requested Huan. But that is just me.



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