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Thread: Beren

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Eryan began this thread with the following post.

Quote:
In the thread on Elladan and Elrohir Allyssa said that we are rapidly running out
of major characters... So I think I'd like to introduce this one. Beren should
be particularly important for us because Tolkien identified himself with him
so strongly that the name of Beren is inscribed on his grave.
As I already remarked at the start of the thread on Faramir, these two characters
have much in common.
What I particularly like about Beren is his attitude to animals

Quote:
:he became the friend of birds and beasts, and they aided him, and did
not betray him, and from that time forth he ate no flesh nor slew any living thing
that was not in the service of Morgoth



Lready when reading LOTR for the first time, I was deeply moved by the fragment
of the Lay of Leithian which is being sung by Aragorn on a Weather Top

Quote:
:There Beren came from the mountains cold,
and long he wandered under leaves
and where the Elven-river rolled
he walked alone and sorrowing



He was the sole survivor of his people, utterly alone... We all feel like that many times
in our lives (well, at least I often felt like that.. ). And he is not a victorious
invincible "macho" but a brave man constantly getting hurt... and yet finally one of
the most lucky heroes of Tolkien.


Allyssa replied

Hmmm, yes there is definately something about Beren. So much so, that he even attracts elf-princesses. What is it about the edain that make the elf-maids hearts go pitter patter?

Beren is a tragic, yet noble figure. My favourite part is when he gallantly agrees to take on the quest laid on him by Thingol even though he knows the spiteful old king is trying to send him to his death. It is also sad that death will take him away from his greatest friend - Finrod Felagund.

I suppose there is an implication that Tolkien saw himself as an elf-friend. Surely the greatest of them all!!

Hello Allyssa!!!!
A comment, and such a quick one - it's great to be online at the same time!
I think that Eldar (not only Eldar maidens) were fascinated by Edains because they were
so very short lived and yet so willing to give their life in a fight for a good cause.
Imagine now that you meet a wonderful man... a Faramir and Beren and Imrahil in one
person... and you know that you can live with him only during a single summer. Two
months - and that's all!!!! If we are conscious that our time is brief, we live every moment
so much more intensely... and our hearts go pitter-patter...
Do you rememeber Ruttger Hauer as a short-lived warrior android in Ridley Scott
movie "Blade Runner"? I was deeply moved by the scene of his death... when all
his memories must "disappear like tears in the rain"...
That's a great analogy Eryan! And a great movie, and the best bit of a great movie as well. I love that bit.
"YOU TOO?!!!" (A yell of delight)
Yes I also think that this is one of the best movie bits I have seen in my whole life!
Some weeks ago I have seen quite an extraordinary TV program on "Planet"
channel in TV. It was on Tolkien and it contained, among others, a fragment of
a TV interview with him. And Tolkien made an astonishing remark. I cannot quote
it word by word (I can check though because I recorded that program on a video
tape...) but it was something like this: "All human stories are about Death and its
implacability. We my try to accept it but it is always an ultimate violence. You
may like it or not, but this is the main theme of the Lord lof the Rings".
At first I just gasped and then I thought, well, yes, he i's absolutely right. All the
best human stories are about Death. They are poignant... and we need them! (see
the huge commercial success of another Ridley Scott's film, "The Gladiiator").
If we are conscious that we are mortal... it makes us really appreciate every moment of
our brief brief time, and " use well the days" (a parting wish of Galadriel to Aragorn in
ROTK).
And... I'm "using my Saturday" to sit before a computer while the Sun is bright and the
sky soooo blue!!!
Sky blue here too (only just saw Gladiator last week and got blown away, I've said it before and I'll say it again, Ridley Scott is a f***ing genius) so I'm going to go out with Rambo, head to the offy for some beverages, then rent a couple of movies and spend the rest of the day more usefully.
I agree Ridley Scott decidedly IS what you have said!
And now I will disconnect as well!!!!
Have a nice wekend Smile Smilie
And the Toy Maker in 'Blade Runner' is another example of this: he is also prematurely aging, and he continues creating his friends, that they might live on after he passes.
Returning to Beren... Yes I also felt that way, Allyssa, that it is really a cruel thing that
Beren and Finrod had to be separated for eternity. I even feel that it could be easier to
accept the ultimate death of a friend (an irrevocable end of his existence) than the fact
that he lives somewhere - and yet we won't ever be able to "have his news"... I felt in
the same way also for Turin and Finduilas. I even started to write a short story about
Finduilas released from the Halls of Mandos and free to start a new happy life in Aman
with Gwindor (healed of his hurts and young again). But she could not forget Turin
and started to pine... And finally she was allowed to go just one time in Vingilot to the
world which is the "true home" of the Secondborn, and have just a brief converse
with him. Finrod also wished greatly to see Beren again, but he gave her his place in
Vingilot, because she was much more distressed about it...
I do not know why Tolkien thought it necessary to sunder in such a cruel way humans
and elves... Well being a Roman Catholic among people mostly of other faith (many of them
very dear to him!!!) must have been a heart-rendering experience!
Anyway, I read in some other thread that in the History of Middle Earth there is more
information about the ultimate fates of Men and Elves after the Battle of Battles (Dagor
Dagorach). In particular I rejoiced to learn that Turin will reappear again. Can anyone
tell here more about the ultimate fate of Tolkien's world?
you're living in it's ultimate fate now.
Big Smile Smilie
Big Smile Smilie Big Smile Smilie Big Smile Smilie
:o
Smile Smilie
Beren was one of the characters that I could never really get into. Thought he was somewhat of a wimp actually. I could never understand how Luthien could have fallen for him, although I'm glad she did.
yeah, but I'm not George Burns, so I'm going to point out that Tolkien was creating an alternative mythology, and always intended Middle Earth to be a primaeval version of our own World. So I mean the real world (which this Forum is just a part of) Smile Smilie
Quote:
you're living in it's ultimate fate now.


Just curious Plastic, did you mean the real world or this forum? Big Smile Smilie
True, true, and Tol Eressea is now Great Britain (I'm NOT joking! - it was told somewhere, I forgot where... )
So why I wondered about "the ultimate fate" of that world? I'd like to know what happened after Dagor Dagorach and before we switched to our own history...
What do you mean Ungoliant by Beren being a wimp?
I believe it's all in a little book called the Lord of the Rings.... this is the Fourth age, the Age of Man (as it was called).

An earlier theory had Middle Earth as the British Mainland, and Tol Erressea as Ireland (mostly cos of all it's folklore about elves and piskies and leprechauns and suchlike)
When asked a question like this, George Burns would ask, "How, did you take it?"

Upon receiving an answer, he would reply, "That's how I meant it." Big Smile Smilie
Quote:
What do you mean Ungoliant by Beren being a wimp?

Well he's always being rescued by Luthien...in the end she got the Simarils from Morgoth's crown didn't she? She did all the hard work, all he had to do was to cut it off. Next time he ought to recognise his own limitations before bragging to her dad. I never liked him until they got married & he killed the Lord of Norgrod, took the Nauglamir & gave it to Luthien. Didn't understand how Luthien could have fallen for him in the first place.

So the Dunedains were...French? Rohirrim = Anglo-Saxons? Dunno, just asking.
Nice thought, but I think the parallels got lost by the time of Lotr. And the Rohirrim came out of the North and were Blonde and well Nordic. And the Dunedain could be nothing other than pure brits, noble of bearing etc. etc.
Pure Brits meaning Saxons? Or earlier than that? I always get confused about the Celts, Gauls etc...the most that I remember are the bunch of people in Asterix. Smile Smilie

Here's a thought! Asterix was a descendent of the Dunedain! Big Smile Smilie Oh, btw I always thought of the hobbits as being British.
Yeah, alright, there's pretty much no such thing as a pure brit, except possibly the Celts, we've been invaded that many times and have altogether far too much french in us for my liking, I was just trying to make us look more noble, Hobbits is much closer to the truth I'm afraid, lazy b*ggers who sit about in pubs smoking all day! Smile Smilie
Asterix couldn't have been a dunedain, he was too short...
Anyway, about Beren being a wimp... It's true that during his quest he is not a very successful warrior, and I wonder why? Before coming to Doriath he was told to be such a perilous foe of Morgoth that Morgoth set a price on his head, the same as on the head of Fingon, the High King of Noldor.
The story of his quest may also raise some doubts: was it really necessary to boast before Thingol to do such a foolhardy thing?
But still I like him; we may remark that he received all his wounds by taking on himself the blow directed to someone else: Luthian (on two occasions) and then Thingol. [Edited on 27/2/2002 by Eryan]
For me, Rohirrim are Germans, such as in Wagner's world (Siegmund, Sieglind, Siegfried...). The only difference is that they are horsemen. And that is perhaps a trait borrowed from... Poles!
There was a family legend in Tolkien's family that the name "Tolkien" is derived from the German name "Tollkuehn", which means "foolhardy". That ancestor of Tolkien earned his nickname because he fought very valiantly during the battle of Vienna (at the end of XVII century). Vienna was then in exactly the same situation as Minas Tirith, besieged by hosts of Turcs ready to invade and subdue the whole Europe. And the City was saved because the siege was broken by riders from the North - Poles, faithful allies of Vienna, led by an old hero king Jan Sobieski, also known as the Lion of Lechistan (Lechistan = Poland in Turkish). However, in contrast to Theoden he was not slain. And did you know that... Bonnie Prince Charlie was his grandson - the son of his daughter?
Jan Sobieski was an incredible person. A hero, a warrior, and also a romantic lover. His queen was a French lady Marie d'Arquien (called by him "Marysienka"), and their letters are still a delight to read! He used to describe her in detail all events of his everyday life... when gone to a grim war!... They were absolutely mad about each other even when they were already quite old.
As for Dunedain, they are descendants of Numenoreans, and Numenor is Atlantis. Some weeks ago I have seen on Discovery channel a programme about Nazi mythology and I was rather shocked (in a sad way) to remark several similarities between the world of Tolkien and the Nazi idea about Aryas as descendants of the people of Atlantis. Attention, this does NOT mean that Tolkien was a Nazi!!! He was very indignant against Hitler. He wrote once that Hitler and the Nazis twisted the noble principles of the heroic code of the North.
Can anyone give me any reason why I imagine that Beren had freckles on his face?
Continuing my duty to resurrect dead threads:

The noblest words of the Silmarillion may be Berens to Thingol on his return.

And Thingol answered: 'What of your quest, and of your vow?'

But Beren said: 'It is fulfilled. Even now a Silmaril is in my hand.'

The Silmaril seemed to think Beren was alright.

Having just finished rereading LT2 (well, the Gondolin bits anyway; I have to admit to being slightly bored with B/L, but I'll get back to it, promise) it's fresh in my mind how Tolkien intended Eressea to become Britain AND Ireland (Osse resisted the transport of Tol Eressea to Middle-Earth and Ireland broke off) and even went so far as to suggest that the ENGLISH (or the Angles if one prefers, whom Tolkien well knew were late come to Britain long after the tales of HIS Elves were lore) preserved the stories of Middle-Earth and that the Celts had a distorted view of the Elves and their tales (though the Celts remain the best source for "Tolkien Elves" though those appearing in Norse sagas resemble them at times.)

All of that said, I thought we long ago agreed that the Shire was modeled on the late nineteenth century English countryside close to Tolkiens boyhood heart (to the extent that his personal dislike for the son of the "the old miller" was translated into Ted Sandyman.).
Quote:
Continuing my duty to resurrect dead threads:
Yes, but do you have to do them all on the same day, I've been here two hours already and have still must read the Books, Movies, and Taverns. Elf Sticking Tounge Out Smilie
Quote:
That ancestor of Tolkien earned his nickname because he fought very valiantly during the battle of Vienna (at the end of XVII century). Vienna was then in exactly the same situation as Minas Tirith, besieged by hosts of Turcs ready to invade and subdue the whole Europe. And the City was saved because the siege was broken by riders from the North - Poles, faithful allies of Vienna, led by an old hero king Jan Sobieski, also known as the Lion of Lechistan (Lechistan = Poland in Turkish). However, in contrast to Theoden he was not slain. And did you know that... Bonnie Prince Charlie was his grandson - the son of his daughter?
Jan Sobieski was an incredible person. A hero, a warrior, and also a romantic lover. His queen was a French lady Marie d'Arquien (called by him "Marysienka"), and their letters are still a delight to read! He used to describe her in detail all events of his everyday life... when gone to a grim war!... They were absolutely mad about each other even when they were already quite old.

That is tremendously interesting. JRRT has not written about it in his Letters, but this historical event might be his inspiration for the Éorlingas breaking the Siege of Minas Tirith.