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Thread: Beren and Luthien

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Here you are Yunti - a thread for discussion about the tale of Beren and Luthien. If you have any questions just ask - I'm sure someone will come up with answers.

Over to you, Yunti.
Ah yes.....a great tale that was....
My current character in D&D is called Beren. Elf With a Big Grin Smilie
Sorry, i dont have much time now.
I could have sworn we had a thread for this already in here somwhere, guess I’m going crazy or something?

Anyway, I’ll just say that The Silmarillion is my favorite of Tolkien’s works, and the chapter about Beren and Luthien is probably pound for pound my favorite single chapter of all Tolkien’s writings regarding ME.

Yunti, if you’re interested, you might also want to check out the Characters section of this website where there are several individual threads about Beren and Luthien.
Elf Smilie
Beren and Lúthien is JRRT's version of Orpheus and Euridyce. Bittersweet.

My favourite story of any of JRRT's writings, by far.
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Beren and Lúthien is JRRT's version of Orpheus and Euridyce. Bittersweet


Great connection Vir! I can't believe I have never noticed that ! I
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I could have sworn we had a thread for this already in here somwhere, guess I’m going crazy or something?
Well they each have their own threads under Characters, Beren and Luthien Tinuviel, but I couldn't find one for the couple.
basically i am comparing the main heroic characters to heroic traditions from two stories Tolkiens Beren and Luithien and David gemmels "white wolf" a skilgannon tale. Heroic traditions as in.... eg then noble night (Beren noble blood-heir to throne and skilgannon coming from a rich noble family-technically heir to throne-but his girl won't stop trying t kill him ever since he left her!!) Berens quest is a quest for love,Luithein and respect owed to him by Luithein's father. But i am not stuck on the quest as such, more of the description of character, things like language (almost impossible for Tolkien shows the story and doesnt really allow the characters to tell it in their own language). And other points like the significnace of the names of characters,( Tolkiens and browns Graves)
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Beren and Lúthien is JRRT's version of Orpheus and Euridyce.


And what was that tale? And what country does it come from? I've never heard of it before.
Orpheus and Eurydice is Greek mythology.
I see strands of Orpheus and Euridice in Beren and Luthien, but Tolkien's tale of love between those of different races goes far deeper and experiences a far greater range of emotions and human experience. There is also a bit of Romeo and Juliet in Beren and Luthien, if you wish to look for it. Tolkien was one of those writers with such a vast wealth of literary knowledge and the ability to combine it so seamlessly to make it his own, with only the hint of other writers' influence.
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I see strands of Orpheus and Euridice in Beren and Luthien, but Tolkien's tale of love between those of different races goes far deeper and experiences a far greater range of emotions and human experience.

Apparently JRRT switched the roles of Orpheus and Euridice to make it less obvious (not that it worked with me though, Ha Ha Ha) : Orpheus was the great singer, who sang so well that he could make stones weep (something that only Britney Spears is able to do as well, but for other reasons), and Euridice was the nymph (=some kinda Elfie) ===> JRRT though, made Lúthien the singing Elfie/Nymph/whatever and also made Lúthien go to the god of death (Mandos) to free Beren through her lament.
My favorite part of the "Beren and Luthien" section of the Lay of Leithian is when Carcaroth comes into the picture... When Morgoth feeds him his own hand (leaving him footless, handless and scarred 8 times after that Wink Smilie ) to become more powerfull. Then in turn, Carcaroth bites Beren's hand off containing a silmaril cut from morgoths iron crown, He has it in his throat and goes on a crazy rampage and manages to infiltrate into Doriath, past the girdle of Melian. Finaly Beren is regrouped with Luthien and others to Menegroth (thanx t Thorondor once again, hehe, gotta love the bird). He shows Thingol his other emply hand and They reconcile. Then a hunting party is organized to slay the wild beast Carcaroth dangerously close to Thingols haven. Huan manages to slay carcaroth and he dies too... then the open up his stomach and they find berens lots hand... anyways

I just think thats a heck of alot of hands... hehe

Just a piece of history. Smile Smilie
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When Morgoth feeds him his own hand (leaving him footless, handless and scarred 8 times after that )

Morgoth didn't feed his own hand to Carcharoth. He fed Carcharoth with his own hand, instead.

Here's the exact quote from the Sillymarillion :

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and he fed him with his own hand upon living flesh, and put his power upon him. Swiftly the wolf grew, until he could creep into no den, but lay huge and hungry before the feet of Morgoth.

You are right Virumor. Carcharoth was nothing like a hand-dog. He was more of a leg-dog and was used to keep the postmen away from Morgoth's door.
of all the stories tolkien ever wrote of love and loss the tale of beren and luthien is by far the most beautiful story ever to be put on paper. of all the literary themes he has weaved them into the most wonderful tale conceived. there is so much pain and love and sacrifice all mixed in with the greatest sacrifice that one of the eldar could make... to give up her immortality for an uncertain future was a true testement to thier love.
the story of aragorn and arwen, eowyn an faramir, tuor and idril, earendil and elwing... they just don't compare...
Yes, this is a story of true love whose match I cannot find in the literature I've read so far. The joy and sorrow mingle in such a natural way! I'm sorry to say it, and Shakespeare was a great author, yet Romeo and Juliet seems a teenagers' crush gone wrong compared to the deep love between Beren and Luthien.

Anyway... If there's any lesson one could learn from this tale it's that true love endures beyond death and the Circles of the World, no matter the obstacles it meets on its way. If one's in love, he/she should never lose hope.

Namarie!
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The joy and sorrow mingle in such a natural way! I'm sorry to say it, and Shakespeare was a great author, yet Romeo and Juliet seems a teenagers' crush gone wrong compared to the deep love between Beren and Luthien.

Very true. Romeo and Juliet was in the end just a ripoff of Ovid's Pyramus and Thisbe, which has pretty much the same theme and end-result. A lot of form and rhetoric, but not much content. Even Goethe's Die Leiden des Jungen Werthers is in the same mold.

Anyway, imo Virgil's romance between Dido and Aeneas in the Aeneïs comes quite close to the story of Beren and Lúthien, perhaps even more intense and dramatic.
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Very true. Romeo and Juliet was in the end just a ripoff of Ovid's Pyramus and Thisbe, which has pretty much the same theme and end-result. A lot of form and rhetoric, but not much content. Even Goethe's Die Leiden des Jungen Werthers is in the same mold.

Just an off-topic side-note to defend Shakespeare – Much of the literature written during Shakespeare’s time was a rip-off of classical literature, as well as off of one another. Literature wasn’t considered true high literature unless it had some classical analogies (or the entire story in Romeo and Juliet's case); it was a way of proving that the writer was educated. The concern about “owning” one’s thoughts and words didn’t become a huge issue until about the middle of the eighteenth century with the growing concern of one’s individuality.
I love the tale of Beren and Luthien, I will try not to think of it kind of relating to Romeo and Juliet since I hate Romeo and Juliet. But I do have a qusetion, Beren and Luthien had a child, Elwing wasn't the name, and he had 2 children Elros and Elrond, and from Elrond he had his children including Arwen, and from Elros line there was I think the numeors and in the line Aragorn. Would it make Arwen and Aragorn in the littlest way related. The question has always botherd me, so i started to look at the family lines. I don't think there realated even in the littlest bit but I want to know if I'm wrong.
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But I do have a qusetion, Beren and Luthien had a child, Elwing wasn't the name, and he had 2 children Elros and Elrond, and from Elrond he had his children including Arwen, and from Elros line there was I think the numeors and in the line Aragorn. Would it make Arwen and Aragorn in the littlest way related. The question has always botherd me, so i started to look at the family lines.

Beren and Lúthien had a son : Dior. Dior married Nimloth and they had a daughter Elwing (and 2 sons which were killed by those oh-so-cool Fëanorians), who married Eärendil, the son of Tuor and Idril.

Eärendil and Elwing's children are Elrond and Elros.

Elrond's daughter is Arwen; Aragorn is a descendant of Elros through many generations. Hence, Arwen and Aragorn are indeed related.

This is not unusual. Galadriel and Celeborn are related as well : they're either cousins in 1st or 2nd degree, depending what version of their story is followed.
Ok, thanks, i new I wasn't right with all the names, but I don't have my books near me to check. I didn't know Galadriel and Celeborn where related, i find out something new everyday.
Yeah, Arwen and Aragorn were cousins, twenty or thirty times (I'm not going to go count when Virumor's right here to give us the number off the top of his head) and five thousand plus years removed if that makes you feel any better. Far enough for us to speak of Arwen as renewing the Quendi (since all three kindreds were represented in Elrond and Elros, as all three kindreds of Men) blood in the royal line of Numenor.
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(since all three kindreds were represented in Elrond and Elros, as all three kindreds of Men)

Heh, talk about mongrels.

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Far enough for us to speak of Arwen as renewing the Quendi (since all three kindreds were represented in Elrond and Elros, as all three kindreds of Men) blood in the royal line of Numenor.

Actually, she became a mortal woman after daddy left, so i wonder if her pointy ears suddenly disappeared, not to mention her Elven genes... not to mention her abilities to cast watery spells (ha ha).
Missed that first time through. Arwens ability to cast watery spells vanished when I opened the Fellowship and offered dubious speculation about Peter Jacksons intellect and heritage.
The story of Beren and Lutien Tinuviel is one of my favorites.But i am missing something-did Tolkin ever write Leithian.O i like balads Wink Smilie
Yes, 'The Lay of Leithian' is presented as Part III of The Lays of Beleriand, which is Volume 3 of the H.O.M.E. series. That particular lay takes up over half the book, so if you like verse rather than prose, that book may be for you. Teacher Smilie
I'm really a very big fan of the story of Beren and Luthien.Though I don't have any book accept TLOTR. I have a question, what has happened to the forest of Neldoreth after Luthien was gone?
Not much, until it sank into the sea with the rest of Beleriand (minus Ossiriand) after the War of Wrath.
I think that the story of Beren and Luthien is the Best in the middle earth saga ideas of a silmarillion movie have been spreading this I think would be one of the longest and interesting parts of a movie along with the story of turin.
Surprised no one (including me) has mentioned this yet, but in addition to all the other parallels (and Rome and Juliet was a well known story of Verona in Shakespeares day; he wasn't even the first to dramatize it) the Lay of Leithian has a conscious model in the Professors own courtship of Edith.
I always found it extremely touching that he had Luthien written above her and his children had Beren written above him.
You're right Galenhir, it is probably the most touching thing I've heard of!

The Tale of Beren and Luthien is the most touching, sad and wonderful tale I think Tolkien ever wrote, and although it can be compare to many other tales, i prefer not to as I think Beren and Luthien is the best of any of those.
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the Lay of Leithian has a conscious model in the Professors own courtship of Edith.

Courtship? Let's see... JRRT met Edith when he was 16, but then Father Francis forbade him to see her until he was 21... and then when he finally had the right age, Edith was betrothed to someone else (absynthe makes the heart go yonder?) and JRRT had to embark on a whole lot of Spielerei to make Edith break off her relationship... your average "But what does he have that I don't?", balcony scenes and duels at dawn, I'll bet.

And of course, one must not underestimate the influence of the Count of Brunswick and the memoirs of Giacomo Casanova and Fabio Cannavaro. I really wonder though, what Father Francis thought about JRRT wooing a betrothed woman.
Vir, things were definitely more formal then as to dating, so we can call it a courtship. It was perfectly legitimate for Fr. Francis to have forbidden contact between JRRT and Edith when he did. And it tells us a lot about Tolkien that he obeyed. But an engagement/betrothal is not a marriage. It is not set in concrete, and John Ronald knew that Edith was for him. How could Fr. Francis have said anything when Tolkien reached majority? After all, Tolkien had obeyed him when he should have, so now it was his time to pursue his wife. The attitude of Catholics is that the engagement should be respected but not that it should stand in the way of finding one's chosen. If the other man had had something to offer Edith, our history of Tolkien might have turned out considerably different. I'm glad JRRT convinced her otherwise.
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It was perfectly legitimate for Fr. Francis to have forbidden contact between JRRT and Edith when he did.

I think this was largely because Edith was protestant at that time.

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And it tells us a lot about Tolkien that he obeyed.

Francis Morgan had taken JRRT under his care. I reckon it was either obey, or be thrown on the streets. I think I would've obeyed too in those circumstances... but then again, maybe not.