Middle Earth Challenge: Beren and Lúthien


Middle Earth Challenge

32708664._SY475_Restored from Tolkien’s manuscripts and presented for the first time as a fully continuous and standalone story, the epic tale of Beren and Lúthien will reunite fans of The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings with Elves and Humans, Dwarves and Orcs and the rich landscape and creatures unique to Tolkien’s Middle-earth. The tale of Beren and Lúthien was, or became, an essential element in the evolution of The Silmarillion, the myths and legends of the First Age of the World conceived by J.R.R. Tolkien. Returning from France and the battle of the Somme at the end of 1916, he wrote the tale in the following year. Essential to the story, and never changed, is the fate that shadowed the love of Beren and Lúthien: for Beren was a mortal man, but Lúthien was an immortal Elf. Her father, a great Elvish lord, in deep opposition to Beren, imposed on him an impossible task that he must perform before he might wed Lúthien. This is the kernel of the legend; and it leads to the supremely heroic attempt of Beren and Lúthien together to rob the greatest of all evil beings, Melkor, called Morgoth, the Black Enemy, of a Silmaril. In this book Christopher Tolkien has attempted to extract the story of Beren and Lúthien from the comprehensive work in which it was embedded; but that story was itself changing as it developed new associations within the larger history. To show something of the process whereby this legend of Middle-earth evolved over the years, he has told the story in his father’s own words by giving, first, its original form, and then passages in prose and verse from later texts that illustrate the narrative as it changed. Presented together for the first time, they reveal aspects of the story, both in event and in narrative immediacy, that were afterwards lost.

by

Alan Lee (Illustrator)
If you have read the The Silmarillion or the Book of Lost Tales Vol 1 & 2, you would know this tale. I know in the Lord of the Rings, Aragorn had mention. Do to the parallels in theme with him and Arwen.
Now this is a tricky one to write about… Where I do like the book and think it does have a home in the Tolkien line up. It really isn’t a stand alone story like the The Children of Húrin. Beren and Lúthien novel is not set up in a stand alone format, in fact it’s reads more like a history/poem/how Tolkien worked book. There is about 40 or so pages of just intro/preface by Christopher Tolkien. Then the story of the Tale of Tinuviel (Beren and Lúthien). . So basically the first one hundred pages are worth the read. The part I had trouble getting through was the long poems afterwards. Hundred plus pages of this.. With notes from Christopher in between explain how his father wrote these stories and what the meaning behind a lot of it was.
When the story of Beren and Lúthien came about in the The Silmarillion and it was vary straight and to the point. Much like the recalling from Aragorn in the Lord of the Rings. it is said that Tolkien wanted these stories that were brought up in the The Silmarillion to have their own long narratives. The stories are Beren and Lúthien, The Children of Húrin, and The Fall of Gondolin. It was within these stories that covered the events in the first age of Middle Earth.
While the novel of Beren and Lúthien is the beginning of the 3. It does not read like the other two. If you want more information about  Beren and Lúthien, I would recommend reading the The Silmarillion and Book of Lost Tales 1 & 2. I would also check out these website about  Beren and Lúthien:

 

Beren and Lúthien (LOTR Wiki)

Beren and Lúthien (Wiki)

It is here you can get a more full history and understanding of this love story and the rise of Morgoth. Now please keep in mind, I am not bashing this book. I just made the mistake of reading The Children of Húrin first. So I had a mind set of a stand alone story, only to find it was more of a history/poem novel. So that kinda lead to my… I don’t want to say my disappointment… But it left me with a “meh” feeling haha. I guess if you really want to look at it. It’s almost like The Fellowship of the Ring and how it reads. Except the Fellowship severed more as a stand alone novel kinda..

At any rate, I would say check it out if you have the time and are a big Tolkien fan.

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