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Of Beren and Lúthien

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The Silmarillion chapters
  1. Ainulindalë
  2. Valaquenta
  3. Quenta Silmarillion
    1. Of the Beginning of Days
    2. Of Aulë and Yavanna
    3. Of the Coming of the Elves
    4. Of Thingol and Melian
    5. Of Eldamar
    6. Of Fëanor
    7. Of the Silmarils
    8. Of the Darkening of Valinor
    9. Of the Flight of the Noldor
    10. Of the Sindar
    11. Of the Sun and Moon
    12. Of Men
    13. Of the Return of the Noldor
    14. Of Beleriand and its Realms
    15. Of the Noldor in Beleriand
    16. Of Maeglin
    17. Of the Coming of Men into the West
    18. Of the Ruin of Beleriand
    19. Of Beren and Lúthien
    20. Of the Fifth Battle
    21. Of Túrin Turambar
    22. Of the Ruin of Doriath
    23. Of Tuor and the Fall of Gondolin
    24. Of the Voyage of Eärendil
  4. Akallabêth
  5. Of the Rings of Power

Of Beren and Lúthien is the nineteenth chapter of the Quenta Silmarillion section within The Silmarillion.

[edit] Synopsis

This story was one of the fairer stories that passed from the Elves to the Men.

The chapter begins as Barahir and the outlaws were defending Dorthonion where Morgoth had pursued him during the Dagor Bragollach. The outlaws withdrew to Tarn Aeluin, where they were hidden from Morgoth's army. Among them was Gorlim son of Angrim who was the husband of Eilinel. During their time in exile, Gorlim journeyed often to their old house, where Orcs sought him out and captured him. Sauron promised him that he would see Eilinel again if he betrayed Barahir's hideout. Gorlim complied, but Sauron then revealed to him that Eilinel was dead, so that in order to keep the promise, Sauron would kill the unhappy outlaw.

Also among the outlaws was Beren, son of Barahir. Barahir sent Beren to spy out the Enemy's plans. Thus, Beren was far away when Sauron sent out an Orc-pack to kill his companions. In a dream, Beren saw crows with blood dripping from their beaks, flocked around his father's hideout. In that same dream, Gorlim came to him as a wraith and told him of his treachery, and of Barahir's danger. Beren sped off to the hideout only to find that his dream was in part true: Barahir was slain and crows were surrounding the area. Beren raised a mound above Barahir and swore upon it oath of vengeance. He then followed the Orc-pack. When he came upon it, he sprang from behind a rock and took Barahir's hand, which was still wearing the Ring of Barahir.

For four years, Beren journeyed in and near Dorthonion and earned renown with his desperate deeds. After a while he came to Doriath seeking refuge. He came to the Forest of Neldoreth and saw Lúthien, whom he named Tinúviel, "nightingale". They fell in love. Daeron, who also loved Lúthien, spied on them and reported their doings to Thingol. Thingol became angry and ordered them to be taken to him in Menegroth. When they came before him, he met Beren. He eventually agreed, by Melian's counsel, to sell Lúthien to him for the price of one Silmaril. Beren agreed and set out on the quest for a Silmaril.

First, Beren came to Nargothrond. He asked for the King's aid and succour, and Finrod agreed to go forth to aid him. When Finrod spoke before his people, asking for help, Celegorm and Curufin spoke out harshly against Beren. Ten elves came to Finrod, offering their help. They convinced Finrod to give the Crown of Nargothrond to Orodreth, his nephew, while they were gone.

Finrod, Beren, and the others came upon an Orc-pack on the road to Angband. They killed these Orcs swiftly. Finrod changed the companions' appearances into those of Orcs. The twelve went forth to Sauron's Isle. But Sauron, seeing that they did not stay to report their deeds as was commanded of all passing Orcs, went out and sang a song of revealing. In repsonse, Finrod sang a song of concealment, but in the end, Sauron won out. He bade them tell him their names and purposes, but they would not say a word. He sent them into his pits to be eaten by wolves, one by one.

At that time, Lúthien went to Melian for counsel and learned that Beren was in danger. She made ready to leave. Once again, Daeron betrayed her purposes to Thingol and she was imprisoned in Hírilorn's three trunks in the Forest of Neldoreth. In Hírilorn, she made her hair grow long, and wove a dark cloak of it. Using this cloak, she escaped Doriath and fled toward the Isle in search of Beren. As she left the forest, she met Huan the Hound, who was hunting with his masters, Celegorm and Curufin. He brought Lúthien before him and Curufin. Celegorm fell in love with her, but he told her that she would find help if she returned with him to Nargothrond. She agreed, but when they reached Nargothrond, Celegorm imprisoned her. During her imprisonment, Huan came to her with her cloak, and spoke for the first time, telling her of a way out. When they had escaped, Lúthien rode Huan to Sauron's Isle to save Beren.

Even as Lúthien rode there, Beren and Finrod were attacked by Sauron's wolves. The wolves had already eaten all of their companions, and one was coming at last for Beren. But Finrod burst his bonds and fell, defending Beren and killing the wolf. Beren mourned by his side as Lúthien and Huan arrived. Huan was attacked thrice by wolves, but he killed them swiftly. Sauron surrendered his land to Lúthien, and he took the form of a bat in order to fly away to Angband. Lúthien and Beren buried Finrod and went free together.

As they reached the borders of Doriath, Celegorm and Curufin rode upon them. Curufin picked up Lúthien as Celegorm made to trample Beren. But Beren leaped aside and into Curufin, throttling him off of his horse. Celegorm turned aside again to kill Beren, but Huan betrayed him and stood between them. Lúthien forbade Beren not to throttle Curufin, so he released him, taking his knife, horse, and other accessories. Curufin mounted Celegorm's horse and, as they rode away, Curufin took Celegorm's bow and shot twice at Lúthien. Huan caught one arrow in his jaw and Beren took one in the chest. Huan pursued the brothers, but later returned with an herb of the forest, which Lúthien used to staunch Beren's wound.

During the night, Beren departed secretly in the direction of Angband. He sang of Lúthien as he rode, and she heard him and took the guise of Thuringwethil, a messenger of Morgoth. Huan took the guise of Draugluin, a wolf he had slain in the Pits of Sauron. When they approached Beren they cast off their disguises, and Huan spoke for the second time counselling him of Lúthien's fate. Then Lúthien put on her disguise again, and Beren was granted the guise of Draugluin.

When they reached the Gates of Angband, the guard-wolf Carcharoth was doubtful, for he had heard that Draugluin was dead. But Lúthien made him fall into a deep sleep and they passed him by.

Then Beren and Lúthien came before Morgoth in his nethermost hall. By Morgoth's will Lúthien was stripped of her disguise. Being entranced by her he made her sing and dance for him. Once, she vanished from his sight and sang a lovely song that cast a sleeping charm on him. Then swooping before him she took his crown. Beren left behind his disguise and cut a Silmaril from Morgoth's crown. Purposing to take a second, he reached with his knife to take it, but it broke and he was unable.

Then the hosts of Morgoth stirred. Beren and Lúthien fled from the land, but they were stopped by Carcharoth. Lúthien was spent of her strength and could do nothing to stop him. But Beren thrust the Silmaril in Carcharoth's eyes and cursed him. Carcharoth swallowed the hand whole, with the Silmaril. As Beren fainted in front of him, Carcharoth was consumed in flames and ran away howling.

Lúthien sucked out the poison from Beren, hoping to save him, and Thorondor King of the Eagles swooped down and lifted the two high in the air. Passing over Tumladen Lúthien saw the Hidden City, but she grieved, for she thought Beren would die. Thorondor left them on the borders of Doriath. Lúthien and Beren returned to Thingol. He asked for the Silmaril, but Beren found that his hand had been bitten off and the Silmaril was in the belly of Carcharoth, who was attacking northern Doriath in his rage. Beren told Thingol his story, and they began the hunting of Carcharoth.

Thingol, Beren, and Huan went to Esgalduin on the hunt with Beleg and Mablung. Suddenly they were aware that Huan was no longer with them. He had gone ahead to search, but Carcharoth avoided him and leaped at Thingol. Beren stood in front of him, but Carcharoth felled him and bit his breast. Huan sprang out and killed Carcharoth, but he himself was mortally wounded. Speaking for the third and last time, Huan bade Beren farewell. Beleg took the Silmaril from Carcharoth's belly and gave it to Beren, rousing him. Beren achieved the quest for the Silmaril, handing it to Thingol and winning Lúthien. Beren strayed to the Halls of Mandos in that time, and Lúthien came to him. But Mandos was moved to pity, such as never happened since and had never happened before, and Lúthien and Beren were allowed to stay in Middle-earth for a time.

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