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Thread: Luthien Tinuviel

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Eryan began this thread with the following post.

Another major character... and a delightful one. No wonder, she WAS real, she was young
Edith Bratt, Tolkien's youthful love and then wife.
She is delightful. She is beautiful and charming. Do you rememeber her dancing among
"hemlock umbels, tall and fair"? I was so much marked by that scene when reading
the FOTR (it is described the Lay of Leithian which was sung by Aragorn to hobbits...)
that then each time when I saw hemlock umbels in the real world s I felt a thrill and
an "uplifting of heart" - I felt that Elves are close at hand!
And this particular scene was NOT imagined by Tolkien - it was one of his most beautiful
real life memories! If I remember well, hiis wife Edith was dancing among the hemlocks
when staying with him while he was on his sick leave in England during the first world
war... They used to walk together in the woodlands in the evening... and she was dancing
for him on small starlight glades!
And Luthien is so adventurous! She and Beren are not only lovers, but also pefect companions.
They are true, real partners in everything, in a "unisex" fashion which we think so "modern".
And it's she who is the leader. In traditional fairy stories & romances it's the heroin who
is a "damsel in distress" and the hero rescues her. It's just the opposite in the case of Beren
and Luthien!
Edith Bratt was three years older than Tolkien and she had to become a Catholic in order
to marry him. She was thus sundered from her own kindred... like Luthien and then
Arwen. The motif of true love between a man and an Elf maiden - beautiful and yet much older
and wiser - and her necessity to choose between love and his own kindred) is very
frequent in Tolkien's books: he and Edith had that problem in their real life...
Yet this question is so moving for us because it also represents an eternal human problem
related to the necessity of exogamy (marrying someone from outside of the tribe).
The situation of a man who comes alone and has to be accepted by his new tribe
(like Beren coming to Doriath) - and the situation of a girl who must leave her family and
join her man's tribe (like Luthien & Aarwen)... this kept to happen all the time during
the long history of mankind...

Allyssa replied

I wish we had hemlock umbels here. Do they grow wild in other countries? (besides Middle Earth I mean) I would love to experience the thrill of elves close by!

Did you never feel that thrill on some starry night Allyssa? Smile Smilie
In my country wild hemlock is quite common. And its common name can be translated
as "madness- inducing". I just wonder whether that plant does not produce some
brain-affecting compounds which can act also when you just simply walk among them!.
Funny to think that Tolkien's incredible imagination might have been stimulated
by the fact that he inhaled hemlock compounds during his long walks with Edith! [Edited on 17/2/2002 by Eryan]
Starry nights.....hmmm...... now I think I understand. We have some of the most beautiful starry nights here especially at this time of year (summer). Perhaps a group of elves are still lingering somewhere nearby........
They are making fire on a beach and singing and great sea waves are murmuring...
Sounds like the Aussies, stoking up the barbie and catching some waves Wink Smilie
Big Smile Smilie
Aussie Elves? I like it!!

I can just imagine them stepping lightly over the sand in their bejeweled thongs (simple footwear) and playing beach cricket with a delicately carved and decorated bat and a magically enhanced ball..

Later they would consume copious amounts of elven wine and alcoholic murivor and sing loudly around a fire until they fell into deep contemplation of the stars at dusk.

Their language would naturally include expressions such as:

"Mae Govannen, mate!"


"El Sila our Barbeque" Wink Smilie Big Smile Smilie
A great scene Allyssa!
You must have seen them after all...
And during the day they are just lying on
small rocks and day-dreaming, relaxed and lazy like seals, with their long hair glistening in the sun...

I have to say she's by far my favorite character of tolkien... with the exception of yours truely.... Big Smile Smilie There's just something magical about her.... Its too bad we wont see her in a movie.... unless Sil makes it that is.. but that would be one odd movie.. not sure how they would make any money with it.... but thats for a different forum!

mine too! my fave character, that is
Welcome to the forum Luthien. Smile Smilie I guess then, that we won't have to ask the source or derivation of your nickname. Big Smile Smilie
Hello Luthien. Pleased to meet you.
Hi Luthian. How are things in Tol Galen?
Hello Luthien! Very cool choice of name!
Hi and welcome, Luthien! By the way, if anybody wants a much much more detailed description of the story of Beren and Luthien, buy Unfinished Tales, part II. I loved the part where Luthien stomped her foot! So cute!

[Edited on 25/8/2002 by Shieldmaiden]
Hey guys thanks!! I just liked the name so I choose it. Smile Smilie