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Hollyberye
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re: LMB Book Club: Tale of Beren and Lúthien

LMB Book Club: Tale of Beren and Lúthien

In our next revival of the Lonely Mountain Band Book Club, we will discuss the adventures and love story of Tolkien’s mortal man Beren and immortal Elf Lúthien. Although my original idea was to cover as much of the material penned by Tolkien as is readily available, I feel The Tale of Tinúviel was changed so much, I no longer care to begin with or include that. Here is a list of the material and order for discussion.

--The Silmarillion, Chapter XIX, Of Beren and Luthien
--The Fellowship of the Ring, Chapter 11, A Knife in the Dark, about three pages in which Strider recites the Tale of Tinúviel to the hobbits

Reference material but not assigned reading:

--The Tale of Tinúviel written in 1917 as a part of The Book of Lost Tales. Precedes the above material and very different.
--The Lay of Leithian
--various influential folk tales I will mention as we proceed

Please provide feedback on the following:
--does the discussion material make sense to you?
--is there other Beren and Lúthien material we should include?

The format would remain the same. I announce in advance the reading segment (e.g., part of the chapter), and we participate via /joinchannel lmbbookclub. I provide a short synopsis, then ask directed questions, and we continue on in that manner. I later edit the chat log and post it here for the benefit of any who could not attend and additional comments.

We would meet in the The Bird and Baby Inn, but folks can also participate remotely.

My suggestion for meeting time is following Andune Ensemble on Sundays if there is no scheduled band following Andune, so that would be approximately 4:15PM to 5PM or 5:15PM sever time. (Ending at 5 if it looks like SNS would start on time.) I reserve the right to skip some Sundays due to my own personal schedule and bands following Andune by pre-arrangement.

I suggest we could begin on February 21st at 4:15PM. We also enjoyed meeting on Saturdays at 3:30 or 4:00 in the past but we have another event now at that time. I am thinking we might divide the Beren and Lúthien discussion into three or four sessions, but we have to be flexible.

In addition, I would like the LMB book club to be open to any, so would consider advertising it in The Landy Lately. How do you feel about that? That is an audience that should not attract griefers, and should we get any in the chat channel, we can simply put them on ignore. Putting an ad in would perhaps draw in a few more avid readers from our community.

Additional thought (please comment):

Furthermore, I am thinking of an overall theme covering the influential women of Middle-earth, beginning here with Tinuviel, and carrying on with the following, perhaps, not in any order and many combined in a single session: Galadriel; Eowyn; Beladonna Took and Lobelia Bracegirdle; Dis and the Dwarven women; Arwen; Melian, Haleth, Idril, Aredhil, Ancalimë, Elwing; Ent Maidens and Wives; Nimrodel; Finduilas; Goldberry and River-women; and Ungoliant and Shelob.

Due to the paucity of material, several would be combined for discussion in one session. I also am open to having other session leaders to prepare the material, lead the discussion and edit and post the chat log, if we proceed with this theme of influential Middle-earth women.

Thanks for your feedback!

Holly
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re: LMB Book Club: Tale of Beren and Lúthien

*cheers* Holly for the thorough layout. You've made things really clear and I'm excited for the forthcoming session!

Beren and Luthien is not a topic I am familiar with, other than Chap 11 of FoTR, so unfortunately have no comments to contribute re: materials.

Opening bookclub to folks with similar interests through 'The Landy Lately' sounds like a superb idea.

Since you asked for feedback - proposed further discussion on influential women in LotR sounds good, and can cover many aspects of interest. It's not something I'm passionate about but a discussion I would attend.

Really glad you're taking the time to put all these together *salutes and hugs*
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re: LMB Book Club: Tale of Beren and Lúthien

Lauralda wrote:
*cheers* Holly for the thorough layout. You've made things really clear and I'm excited for the forthcoming session!

Beren and Luthien is not a topic I am familiar with, other than Chap 11 of FoTR, so unfortunately have no comments to contribute re: materials.

Opening bookclub to folks with similar interests through 'The Landy Lately' sounds like a superb idea.

Since you asked for feedback - proposed further discussion on influential women in LotR sounds good, and can cover many aspects of interest. It's not something I'm passionate about but a discussion I would attend.

Really glad you're taking the time to put all these together *salutes and hugs*


Thanks much, Lauralda! I was thinking after I posted the above that the Landy Lately ad need not include the chat channel--they can simply be advised to contact me in game for that. I know I have to get an ad to Wellie soon if it will appear in tomorrow's issue.

In terms of future discussion, I am not averse to slogging through The Silmarillion sequentially, trying to make it as interesting as possible and very drawn out, but the "influential women of Middle-earth" could be a lot of fun and makes breaks less of a problem, plus could bring in some section leaders. For instance, a Hobbit lass might like to lead the section on Belladonna, Lobelia and other key Hobbit lasses, and perhaps we have an aracnophillia in our midst who would enjoy leading the session on Shelob and her famous mother wink (actually I would love to lead that one).
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re: LMB Book Club: Tale of Beren and Lúthien

Yay, Book Club!

The format/scope sounds good, including the later focus on influential women characters.

I wonder though if meeting this Sunday is enough time for folks to gather materials and get up to speed (and for our advertising to reach folks) -- or is this first meeting just to introduce the topic (and then give folks time to get up to speed for the next session)?


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re: LMB Book Club: Tale of Beren and Lúthien

Byrcha wrote:
Yay, Book Club!

The format/scope sounds good, including the later focus on influential women characters.

I wonder though if meeting this Sunday is enough time for folks to gather materials and get up to speed (and for our advertising to reach folks) -- or is this first meeting just to introduce the topic (and then give folks time to get up to speed for the next session)?


Well, all they have to do is read the first few pages of that one chapter in The Silmarillion--and they don't even have to read it. (I haven't prepped it so can't say how many pages to read yet.) I can plan on summarizing the opening well, and introduce the over all topic of this couple and their importance to the entire body of work of Tolkien. I can focus more on background with some questions to engage everyone. I know when we started The Children of Hurin I led off with questions about folks' familiarity with the topic and their overall knowledge of Tolkien, which took some time. I vote we start Sunday, partly because I know I can be there and be ready.
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re: LMB Book Club: Tale of Beren and Lúthien

Yay for the return of the bookclub! The one most famous love story of Middle Earth will be great to read and discuss, I am sure.
Not so sure about the new time though, but lets see.


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re: LMB Book Club: Tale of Beren and Lúthien

I'm also happy with the topic and how you're thinking of covering it Holly! And I can make it this Sunday. Finishing at 5 is ok, it will be just about my bedtime Happy


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re: LMB Book Club: Tale of Beren and Lúthien

This sounds wonderful, thank you, Holly! I agree that it might be fun to try a topical approach to Tolkien's legendarium, rather than starting in on The Silmarillion. Actually, I don't have a preference, anything is fine. I love The Silmarillion and re-read it every year, but I know others find it dull.

I should be able to make the new time. See you then!


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Hollyberye
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re: LMB Book Club: Tale of Beren and Lúthien

I'm very excited to see some familiar voices returning to the Book Club, and also hope for new folks to join us. This will be open to all, and there was to be an ad about it in The Landy Lately, so if you know of someone not in LMB who would like to participate, by all means let them know. Let's just not broadcast the channel but share that aspect privately.

I have prepared a lot of material for our first session and (as of tonight) it only takes us to the moment Beren enters Doriath. I am finding the Lay of Leithian very compelling companion reading as a supplement, and have started interspersing quotes from it. So think about if that will be the best way to use it, or if we do, in fact, want to go back and discuss it after the text of Chapter 19. I'll ask about that on Sunday.

I never know how long it will take to cover the material I prepare, so I will have more than enough for Sunday. While this won't last as long as The Children of Hurin, I do think it could easily go beyond the three or four sessions I first anticipated. You'll have to tell me if I am getting too detailed. Tolkien really packs in a lot of details (written in more descriptive detail and of course much more poetically in the Lay of Leithian). I am so happy we are all getting together again to discuss Tolkien in-depth!

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re: The Tale of Beren and Lúthien: Session One

The Lonely Mountain Band Book Club:
The Tale of Beren and Lúthien
Session One, Sunday 21 February 2016

Attendees: Hollyberye, Malphos, Byrcha, Lhinnthel, Mellilot, Cynemna, Godwineson, Falleriel, Alligretta, Elimraen, Gennetta, Mornawen, Mithmenelien


Hollyberye: Welcome to the Lonely Mountain Band Book Club! We meet today to begin discussion of the Tale of Beren and Lúthien. The primary text we are using is from “The Silmarillion,” Chapter 19, Of Beren and Lúthien.

I will summarize some of the text before each discussion point, so although reading the material in advance is wonderful, if you were unable to, I feel you can still follow along well and participate in the discussion. You are also welcome to raise additional discussion points, of course!

The LMB Book Club spent many months in 2014-2015 discussing The Children of Hurin. Coincidentally, Tolkien begins this Chapter 19 by referencing “the tales of sorrow and of ruin that have come down to us from the darkness of those days.”

That most definitely describes “The Children of Hurin.” We dubbed our book club …“and Children of Hurin Support Group.”

But this tale is quite different. It is a history “most fair still in the history of the Elves.” Though it does have its share of very dark
moments, right from the start!'
'
Hollyberye: 'Discussion Point: Let’s begin by sharing with each other our familiarity with the Tale of Beren and Lúthien. The primary source we are using is the tale without song—the chapter in the Silmarillion. Later we will look at Aragorn’s song in “The Fellowship of the Ring.” There other sources, incomplete and later revised. What have you read already? How familiar are you already with this tale?'

Cynemna: 'I have only read the song Happy'

Byrcha: 'I've read it several times over the years, and just started re-reading it again for this (The Silmarilion part)'

Lhinnthel: 'I have read the chapter in the Silmarillion only.'

Elimraen: 'I only know bits and pieces, from the LoTR chapter, parts of the song, and the Children of Hurin discussion Happy I've misplaced my copy of the Silmarillion so couldn't read up anything for tonight!'

Malphos: 'I know it, have read it in the Silmarillion, and know naturally the short talks about it in the ring books. But have not yet read it again for our talks here'

Mellilot: 'it's a long time since I last read it ...'

Lhinnthel: 'I plan to read the Lay of Leithian as soon as it arrives in the post ;)'

Hollyberye: 'Lhinn I have recently fallen in love with the Lay of Leithian'

Mornawen: 'I can't find my copy of the Lay, but I've read them all.'

Alligretta: 'I have not read it but know it from a secondhand telling'

Hollyberye: 'Although I read all or much of The Silmarillion when I was a teen, it didn’t resonate with me at all like The Hobbit and the LOTR trilogy. That has all changed now. I am increasingly drawn to the stories of the First Age, in particular. And I attribute the spark of that interest to our book club’s intense delving into Turin’s tragic tale.'

Gennetta: 'indeed'

Mithmenelien: 'I am just vaguely familiar with the overall story, not all the fine details, I wasn't able to get to the library before this to stock up on the books, but I will as soon as I can Happy'

Hollyberye: 'Jumping right in now! But please always feel free to post in this channel any thoughts you have on points already covered'

Malphos: 'will we come to the different versions of it?'

Alligretta: 'I am starting (again) to read the Silmarillion'

Hollyberye: 'We can all read along as we go--not a huge chapter but dense in detail'

Hollyberye: 'Originally that was my plan Malphos, then I sort of narrowed it down, but I am open to revising that'

Malphos: 'Thank you! I am sure I dont know about all of them, so interested to hear.'

Malphos: 'For me it would be ok to get some overview at some point which different versions exist where, and to put them in some relationship'

Mithmenelien: 'that sounds like a good idea for me to'

Hollyberye: 'In the forum post I made (and I realize you cannot all see that) I listed the sources but I can do that here, today or next week'

Hollyberye: 'I do agree with you, I looked at all the sources'

Hollyberye: 'Tolkien begins by providing some background on Beren, the hero of our story. Some of the lands of Dorthonion were granted to the House of Beor. Morgoth overran the area, but Beren’s father Barahir refused to forsake the area until only he and 12 companions remained.'

Hollyberye: 'Discussion Point: Tolkien describes a lake, Tarn Aeluin, as the place where Beren and his small company sought refuge. Does the wild area and lake reflecting the stars remind you of any place? And it is said that Melian had hallowed the waters. Can you think of other Middle-earth places with hallowed waters? And what does that mean, if the waters are hallowed?'

Mithmenelien: 'it sounds like the waters are sacred, as in touched by the gods or in this case Melian the maia'

Hollyberye: 'does that mean they cannot be fouled? or they are hidden?'

Malphos: 'Something orcs and that kind might not want to camp'

Byrcha: 'sacred, but not hidden, was my take'

Mornawen: 'An aura of goodness and beauty that makes evil things nervous'

Elimraen: 'It sounds like the pool on the east side of Moria, and the waters of the Nimrodel maybe?'

Hollyberye: 'remember after Turin killed Beleg accidentally--didn't they go to another hallowed lake, and he kind of woke up?'

Mornawen: 'Ivrin'

Gennetta: 'or Lake Evendim'

Hollyberye: 'yes I thought of the Mirrormere too'

Byrcha: '*shakesfist at Turin*'

Malphos: 'Yes, thats what I think too, of the more subtle kind that makes others change their path around it'

Hollyberye: '**agrees with Byrcha**'

Hollyberye: 'I love the idea of all these sacred places in Middle-earth, which Tolkkien makes ample use of'

Lhinnthel: 'Agreed, a place where evil would not wish to dwell?'

Malphos: 'agree with Mornawen'

Mellilot: 'It's very Celtic - lakes and groves as special places'

Hollyberye: 'I agree Mellilot'

Malphos: 'good point'

Mornawen: 'Yes'

Hollyberye: 'I felt like the area was based on Scotland, perhaps

Alligretta: 'I hadn't thought of that Mellilot'

Hollyberye: 'but a Celtic basis is even more convincing to me'

Hollyberye: 'any other comments on that discussion point?'

Mellilot: 'think of the deposits found in peat bogs - including human sacrifices like Tollund man and Pete Marsh'

Hollyberye: 'that's a good pint--I understand what you mean'

Hollyberye: '*point'

Byrcha: 'it comes in pints?'

Mellilot: 'it seems that such places were seen as routes to the spiritual world'

Hollyberye: 'hehe I knew that would get a response from someone Happy'

Hollyberye: 'And it was protected from the sight of evil: Morgoth cannot “see” this place where they are hiding, the
remnants of the House of Beor, so he commands his deputy Sauron to find them.'

Hollyberye: 'Discussion Point: Knowledge of Sauron is far more common due to the popularity of the Lord of the Rings trilogy, yet he is only
Morgoth’s deputy or second. Doesn’t that give you a sense of the terrible might of Morgoth?'

Byrcha: 'aye. I also found it interesting that this is the only place where we see/hear from Sauron (well, and the Numenor-fall)'

Mithmenelien: 'yes, it does, it give another layer to sauron and evil'

Hollyberye: 'Oh, I did not know that, Byrcha (I am re-reading The

Silmarillion in sections, not sequentially)'

Gennetta: 'a being very high among the Valar'

Malphos: 'for me i can 'understand' that there is a hierarchy (and we know M is a 'god', a Valar). But i cannot feel that, it is too far, to
big to really get it'

Hollyberye: 'I suppose because it was hallowed that is why he cannot see it plainly'

Byrcha: 'there is much in this tale which isn't metioned elsewhere by Tolkien wink'

Hollyberye: 'excellent!!'

Gennetta: 'does his vision not become clouded to good things because of his evil?'

Mornawen: 'Like he can't see past Melian's ward on Doriath.'

Byrcha: 'this is a bit murky, since they are not actually inside Doriath yet. But Morgoth wasn't able to find Turin/etal either'

Hollyberye: '((again, if I move ahead and you have something to say on an earlier point, please do!))'

Hollyberye: 'Doriath was extremely well protected by Melian, much more so I think that this place (the lake, Tarn Aeluin)'

Malphos: 'how did it come that way? he was not made differently, so why or when came this not-seeing in place?'

Malphos: 'is it because Melian (here) used her might directly against him?'

Hollyberye: 'I don't know the answer to that'

Mornawen: 'It is hard for me to think whether it's an actual physical thing that can be sensed (the hallowed lake and Doriath), or metaphorical.'

Hollyberye: 'He had to have someone on the side of good (coincidentally) show him the way, like Hurin did at one point'

Gennetta: 'I belive it was physical because others not just Morgoth could not penetrate the Veil'

Mithmenelien: 'maybe it's both physical and metaphorical'

Byrcha: 'Hallowing seemed a bit more spiritual/metaphorical. Doriath's wards seemed more 'real, though I'm not sure I've found a good reference
yet'

Hollyberye: 'It took HUGE detrmination for a mortal to find'

Malphos: 'we get some description of Melians .. ward(is it that in English?) later, it seems to be more 'real''

Alligretta: 'was just determination or other character attributes?'

Mornawen: 'Gandalf once told someone, that good can see right into evil, but evil can't see/doesn't understand good.'

Alligretta: '*nods*'

Mithmenelien: 'that is a great quote!'

Hollyberye: 'Perhaps, Alligretta--these were very special people who made their way there (to hallowed areas)'

Lhinnthel: 'Oh, that is a wonderful quote! Thank you for sharing it!'

Hollyberye: 'yes excellent quote'

Hollyberye: 'One of Barahir’s companions is Gorlim, who is married to Eilinel. He loved her greatly, and felt enormous anguish when he
returned from war to find their home plundered, forsaken and his beloved gone. This no doubt contributed to Gorlim being the most fierce and desperate of Barahir’s companions.'

Hollyberye: 'Discussion Point: This portion of the tale is pretty in poetry so here I will copy of some of the first canto from the Lay of
Leithian, and you tell us if you prefer the narrative in the Silmarillion or the Lay of Leithian:'

Hollyberye: '--incoming text wall---'

"Twelve men beside him still there went,
still faithful when all hope was spent.
Their names are yet in elven-song
remembered, though the years are long
since doughty Dagnir and Ragnor,
Radhruin, Dairuin, and Gildor,
Gorlim Unhappy, and Urthel,
and Arthad and Hathaldir fell;
since the black shaft with enomed wound
took Belegund and Baragund,
the mighty sons of Bregolas;'
since he whose doom and deeds surpass
all tales of Men was laid on bier,
fair Beren son of Barahir."'

Hollyberye: '--I am wandering if you prefer to see some of the Lay interspersed? Maybe not that much at a time though. I feel it does
illuminate certian points in the text'

Lhinnthel: 'Oh! Now I really cannot wait for my book to arrive!'

Malphos: 'I like to see some (small) parts of it, I do not know it at all. I only know the narrative version in the Silmarillion'

Hollyberye: 'I find the Lay quite beautiful and a nice addition'

Lhinnthel: 'Agreed Happy'

Mornawen: 'It is lovely.'

Hollyberye: 'Originally I thought we could discuss it separately but--well, feel free to give me feedback on that point at any time'

Hollyberye: 'Gorlim the Unhappy is plagued by doubts about whether his wife has somehow survived, so continuously slips back to his abandoned
house.'

Mornawen: 'I noticed that Barahir is given 12 companions, one of whom betrays him.'

Hollyberye: 'yes, Gorlim'

Lhinnthel: 'Interesting!'

Alligretta: 'ooh'

Hollyberye: 'sounds a bit Biblical!'

Malphos: '12 companions sounds familiar'

Mornawen: 'Biblical echo?'

Byrcha: 'aye, I hadn't noticed that until now either'

Elimraen: 'Oh that is interesting!'

Hollyberye: 'The servants of the enemy thus become aware of him and Sauron devices a trick. He sees a light in the window and his wife’s
face, worn and hungry and he believes he hears her voice moaning that he has forsaken her. But suddenly that disappears and Sauron’s hunters have captured Gorlim!'

Mornawen: 'I don't think Tolkien meant this as allegory, of course. *waves*'

Hollyberye: 'Ensnared and tormented, Gorlim refuses to reveal where the secret hiding place is until they promise to release him and restore him to his wife.'

Byrcha: 'tricksy Sauron!'

Mellilot: 'Tolkien is on record of extreme dislike of allegory - he preferred applicability'

Godwineson: 'Eilinniel, Eilinniel!'

Hollyberye: 'On Mellilot, could you explain that please as soon as I get to the discussion point? I want to hear about that'

Hollyberye: 'He is taken to the “dreadful presence of Sauron, who asks the barter price. Gorlim demands he and his wife be set free and united. Sauron calls that “a small price for so great a treachery.”'

Hollyberye: 'Discussion Point: Eilinel is just a phantom devised by Sauron, an act of wizardry. Tolkien’s use of magic is subtle, but Sauron
was an accomplished wizard, right? I believe Gandalf was meant to be his equal, though stripped of some of his powers in his man form in Arda.
Thoughts on this?'

Byrcha: 'I enjoyed the contrasting use of sorcery in this story (much more evident than elsewhere even in the Silmarilion, let alone LOTR)'

Hollyberye: 'Yes I love it!'

Mornawen: '*agrees with Byrcha*'

Hollyberye: 'So Mellilot, what is meant by Tolkien preferring applicability?'

Malphos: 'But still it is only a phantom, an illusion. One would think this is entry level magic, or? Happy'

Lhinnthel: 'There was much more use of magic/scorcery in this chapter than I expected!'

Alligretta: 'Gandalf rarely uses real magic - he broke a bridge and he fought Saruman, but beyond that...'

Hollyberye: 'well Sauron was not yet in charge of all evil Happy'

Byrcha: 'it is an interesting contrast also to the 'good' magic of inspiration and heroic leadership -- Sauron and Morgoth have/use
sorcery'

Hollyberye: 'Discussion Point: The language Tolkien uses, “a small price for so great a treachery”—should that not have been a dead
giveaway to Gorlim that this was a trick of Sauron’s? I thought it curious Sauron himself called this ‘great treachery’ to reveal Barahir’s
hiding place.'

Mornawen: 'It did make Gorlim hesitate'

Hollyberye: 'Yes: ”Now Gorlim would have drawn back” but he is daunted by Sauron’s eyes.'

Byrcha: 'alas, yes, it should have been a dead giveaway'

Godwineson: 'Gorlim is beyond cool reason at this point. He is wracked with grief.'

Malphos: 'He mocks his victim - I tell you it is really bad/evil what you are going to do, but you still will do it'

Hollyberye: 'Yes he is convinced his wife is alive and suffering. I could REALLY picture the phantom of his wife in the window--very visual
description'

Gennetta: 'evil done willingly would feed Sauron's power'

Hollyberye: 'Oh Gennetta excellent point'

Malphos: 'What do you mean with that? Is that explained somewhere?'

Hollyberye: 'also Sauron's eyes holding him....so much later....the EYE'

Mellilot: 'Sorry I have been looking for Tolkien on allegory/applicability - it is in one of his 'lesser' works ... but he
says that allegory is forcing you to a particular point of view or conclusion, while applicability leaves your opinion up to you'

Hollyberye: 'Oh I really fancy that concept, Mellilot--thank you so much for sharing it--something new to think about'

Gennetta: 'hypnotism is an early learned skill in Magic'

Hollyberye: 'that's a great point Genetta'

Hollyberye: 'Discussion Point: Why is Morgoth and Sauron so keen to rout out the last of the House of Beor?'

Mellilot: 'incidentally there is quite a bit about Beren and Luthien in Tolkien's letters - worth reading'

Hollyberye: 'Oh thank you, Mellilot, I will look'

Alligretta: 'traditionally evil done willingly is easier to achieve - even stories of vampires draws on it'

Gennetta: 'because they stood with the Elves?'

Malphos: 'It is a linking point between his enemies'

Hollyberye: 'both of those points seem valid to me'

Malphos: 'and a line he did not manage to corrupt anywhere, i think'

Godwineson: 'All Men had fallen subject to Morgoth in the Fall, but some, the "Old Hope" rebelled and sought the West. Beor's men were among
them.'

Malphos: 'think of Turin in comparison - he finally was a good tool for evil, even if not intentionally'

Byrcha: 'so a bit of revenge motive'

Gennetta: 'Was Turin not under a curse?'

Hollyberye: 'Yes a fierce curse but also we debated how much of it was self-imposed'

Gennetta: 'agreed'

Malphos: 'inflicted by Morgoth (that was the topic of last years book club), but Beor's house he did not manage to corrupt'

Hollyberye: 'Gorlim reveals the hiding place of Barahir. Sauron mocks Gorlim and tells him Eilinel is dead, and puts him cruelly to death.'

Hollyberye: 'So the orcs are sent to surprise the men of Dorthonion, and they kill all but one. As chance would have it, Beren, son of
Barahir, was on a distant errand for his father and was far afield when the lair is taken.'

Hollyberye: 'Beren has a curious and morbid prophetic dream. Carrion-birds sit thickly on bare trees beside a lake with blood dripping from
their beaks. Then the ghost of Gorlim approaches him and confesses his treachery and death, and bids Beren make haste to his father.'

Hollyberye: 'From Canto III of The Lay of Leithian: he saw a shadow faint and grey, gliding across the dreary lake, Slowly it came, and
softly spake:'

Hollyberye: '"Gorlim I was, but now a wraith, of will defeated, broken faith, traitor betrayed. Go! Stay not here! Awaken, son of Barahir, and haste! For Morgoth's fingers close, upon thy father's throat; he knows, your trysts, your paths, your secret lair.'

Hollyberye: 'Discussion Point: As a literary device, have you seen this kind of prophetic dream used elsewhere in Tolkien or classic literature? Do the birds represent the attackers or the victims?'

Hollyberye: 'And any other points on this warning Beren receives and what happens as a result of Gorlim's betrayal.'

Gennetta: 'are they not omens of evil deeds?'

Malphos: 'In several places, and I think the birds are more a symbol of the attacker, or the deed itself.'

Gennetta: 'Stormcrows?'

Hollyberye: 'Gennetta after I wrote that I realized it maybe was a silly question because I am sure they represent the attackers--but I
left it in...'

Byrcha: 'it has been waay too long since I've read it, but didn't omens like this show up in Shakespeare?'

Hollyberye: 'Ohhhh and the Aleford Band -- you are renowned experts on evil birds!!'

Elimraen: 'Yes I thought Shakespeare too.'

Alligretta: '*giggles*'

Hollyberye: 'Interesting how Tolkien uses birds so often for ill (but also good--the Eagles, the raven at the Lonely Mountain))'

Gennetta: 'Hitchcock's "The Birds"'

Hollyberye: 'For those of you who don't know, The Aleford Band perform a wonderful song about birds Happy'

Malphos: 'They are kind of intelligent in his world, very near to it'

Alligretta: 'we do have a whole flock of bird songs, but you mean the craban song?'

Hollyberye: 'yes!!!'

Byrcha: 'birds were messsengers of the gods throughout mythology'

Hollyberye: 'but I forgot you had more'

Malphos: 'but as those I think more neutral, Byrcha?'

Falleriel: 'not too familiar with the lore but do you think Tolkien (and others) drew from the Tower of London ravens?'

Mornawen: 'Wasn't the owl sacred to Athena? And the raven to Odin?'

Byrcha: 'aye, observers like Odin's ravens'

Malphos: 'two ravens: Hunin and Munin'

Mithmenelien: 'yes, they were'

Malphos: 'or Thought and Memory'

Alligretta: 'I have a feeling that in Arthurian legend that Igraine sent a 'wraith' type of thing, assisted interestingly by the Merlin, to warn her lover'

Mornawen: 'Ah, nice, thank you Malphos.'

Byrcha: 'oh! another ghost-with-a-warning: Dickens' A Christmas Carol'

Hollyberye: 'When Beren arrives on the second morning, the carrion birds arise and mock him. Beren buries his father’s bones, raises a
cairn of boulders, and swears an oath of vengeance. In the Lay of Leithian, Beren thrice smote the stone to cry vengeance, even if his fate leads him to Angband’s gate.”'

Hollyberye: '“And then he turned, and did not weep: too dark his heart, the wound too deep. Out into night, as cold as stone, loveless
friendless, he strode alone.”'

Hollyberye: 'Discussion Point: So far as oaths of vengeance go, how does this rank in the realm of Tolkien?'

Malphos: 'full hit'

Byrcha: 'gates of Angband is pretty strong!'

Hollyberye: 'yes to me it seems among the most powerful and heartfelt, repeating it three times'

Malphos: 'we see a lot of effect on oaths throughout the stories'

Hollyberye: 'yes we surely do'

Mornawen: 'It's like Feanor's oath'

Alligretta: 'three times makes it true'

Falleriel: 'I'd rank Feanor's a little higher but few others'

Mornawen: 'But Beren is more targeted in his vengeance.'

Hollyberye: 'and imagine--he is the LAST of his House, what a position to be in'

Malphos: 'it has two sides: he has both nothing to loose, and everything'

Hollyberye: 'Yes, very true!'

Gennetta: 'is he seriously thinking that he would survive this oath?'

Malphos: 'nothing because everyone already is dead, but also if he perishes too, then the House of Beor really would be history'

Gennetta: 'I doubt it'

Hollyberye: 'well, the fact that he believes in himself will serve him well'

Malphos: 'not in this moment, or the time following'

Alligretta: 'I doubt if he cares much if he lives or dies as long as he has vengeance'

Gennetta: 'or shows that he does not fear death'

Byrcha: 'aye, he doesn't have much else left for motivation'

Hollyberye: 'yes, he has lost everything'

Lhinnthel: 'His grief is all encompassing , he doesn't seem to consider whether he will live or not if he fulfills his oath'

Hollyberye: 'Yes I agree with Lhinn'

Alligretta: 'the only thing he has left to him is his vow of vengenace'

Hollyberye: 'that is true Alligretta'

Hollyberye: 'Beren pursues the orcs, and is able to approach because of his woodcraft.'

Hollyberye: 'Discussion Point: What does Tolkien mean, ‘because of his woodcraft’?'

Byrcha: '*cough*Ranger*cough* :P'

Malphos: 'and he has no home, base, safe resting place anymore. They were already at their last refugium, now this is also known to the
enemy. He can only be on the run now (from his point of view/knowledge). Pure desparation, i'd say'

Lhinnthel: 'His skill at moving about the landscape and within the forest, is how I took it'

Malphos: 'agree'

Byrcha: 'aye'

Lhinnthel: 'He has lived on the land with his father and their men, so it would make sense'

Gennetta: 'the art of silent and secret movement'

Alligretta: 'and tracking'

Lhinnthel: 'aye!'

Hollyberye: 'And I will mention that the Lay of Lethian goes in greater detail on Beren's skill'

Hollyberye: 'yes as Byrcha said -- like the epitome of a Ranger'

Byrcha: 'Tolkien calls such skills 'outlaw' throughout the Silmarilion, though I don't think he means they've broken any laws, but rather live
off the land'

Mornawen: 'Beren was 23 when Dorthonion was laid waste, and 28 at this time... time to learn many survival skills.'

Hollyberye: 'Yes thank you so much for bringing that up! What a great word'

Lhinnthel: 'Ah, good point. I wondered at the term outlaw myself'

Malphos: 'living like people would imagine outlaws I think'

Hollyberye: 'In Turin it had negative connotations though, to me'

Lhinnthel: 'Yes'

Byrcha: 'otherwise it would be outside-the-law -- Morgoth is the law, now'

Malphos: 'he actually was living with real outlaws (Turin) for some while'

Hollyberye: 'exactly and at least some of them were "misbehaving"'

Hollyberye: 'Beren sees the Orc Captain hold up the hand of Barahir that had been severed as a token for Sauron, and on it is the ring of
Felagund. Beren springs forward, slays the captain, and flees with the hand and ring.'

Hollyberye: 'Discussion Point: We can discuss the significance of the hand now or later, when a similar event happens far into the tale. But
do you suppose that Tolkien included the hand severing in order to preserve the ring? Or went back and revised this to sort of match what
happens later? (My next point is about the ring.)'

Gennetta: 'ring that have been worn a long time do not come off easily'

Lhinnthel: 'hehehe'

Mornawen: '*laughs*'

Hollyberye: 'Now I had not thought of that as a practical point!!! But HOW TRUE as you age and gain weight Happy'

Mithmenelien: 'it reminds me of the one ring'

Hollyberye: 'Me too Mithmenelian!!!'

Malphos: 'I think it came in handy (scnr) to fit both purposes'

Malphos: 'and think of the adaption here in LotRO: Narchuil is also cut off including the hand'

Hollyberye: 'yes Malphos'

Hollyberye: 'I am going to put the next discussion point in on the same text:'

Hollyberye: 'Discussion Point: Let’s discuss the significance of that ring. It has the shape of two serpents with emerald eyes, one devouring
and the other supporting a crown of flowers, the emblem of the House of Finfarin. Does anyone know and care to relate the history of the ring? I feel this points to the significance of Barahir and the legacy he leaves Beren.'

Byrcha: '(aaii the crickets of Morgoth are upon us!)'

Hollyberye: 'well I did research it'

Malphos: 'I don't remember that story'

Hollyberye: 'Noldor fashioned it in Valinor, owned by Elven Lord Finrod—he took it to Middle-earth, and wore it. Barahir saves his life,
and Finrod gives it to him as a token of eternal friendship between their two houses. Eventually it finds its way to Aragorn, who gives it
to Arwen and thus they are betrothed.'

Hollyberye: 'so this is a VERY significant ring and had to be saved!'

Malphos: 'where did Barahir save Finrods life?'

Byrcha: 'OH!'

Lhinnthel: 'I like to look up the points and read along on http://tolkiengateway.net when Holly presents discussion points - it's
very informative!'

(Note: Holly agrees with Lhinn, very informative site!)

Byrcha: '('Arwen, here, have this creepy snake-ring ...') :P'

Hollyberye: 'in the Battle of Sudden Flame'

Malphos: 'If i remember correct, Elrond gives Barahir's ring to Aragorn at some point'

Hollyberye: 'Beren's father saved Finrod's life in that battle'

Malphos: 'ah thx'

Mornawen: 'I wonder about the symbolism. Snakes for wisdom?'

Byrcha: 'it reminded my of oroboros'

Hollyberye: 'yes I find it creepy too, but such an exalted ring!!!'

Alligretta: 'I thought owls were the symbol of wisdom'

Hollyberye: 'what is that Byrcha?'

Byrcha: 'snake devouring its own tail, if I recall correctly'

Hollyberye: 'Finrod would have been killed but for a sortie by Barahir, who descended from Dorthonion and rescued the Elven lord. It was this
deed which later earned Barahir the ring of Finrod which would become known as the Ring of Barahir.'

Hollyberye: 'oh thanks Byrcha'

Malphos: 'it reminds me of the snake circle in the Neverending Story (but that was years after Tolkien)'

Hollyberye: 'Morgoth's forces were ambushing Finrod'

Hollyberye: 'I have the text handy from the Lay on this very ring:'

"Proud are the words,
and all there turned
to see the jewels green that burned
in Beren's ring.
These Gnomes had set
as eyes of serpents twined that met
beneath a golden crown of flowers,
that one upholds and one devours:
the badge that Finrod made of yore
and Felagund his son now bore..."'

Hollyberye: 'I think by Gnomes he later meant Dwarves???'

Malphos: 'Think so'

Byrcha: 'and Felagund was not his son, in the later version'

Hollyberye: 'The Lay was written earlier and incomplete, I believe'

Hollyberye: 'okay right'

Gennetta: 'is the ring symbolic of cyclicality as in the Greek "Ouroboros"?'

Lhinnthel: 'wouldn't gnomes be more elvish?'

Mithmenelien: 'the ring reminds me of both the symbol for eternity of a snake eating it's own tail, and of Yggdrasil there a dragon is
eating/poisoning it's roots and as another rots, the tree is taken care of; life, give and take,.'

Gennetta: 'hence it makes sense going to Aragorn & Arwen done the line'

Falleriel: 'the other symbol I'd share belatedly is the staff of

Asclepius / cadaceus (which also has two serpents entwined)'

Hollyberye: 'Maybe Lhinn, I don't really know, was just guessing--I want to look into that'

Lhinnthel: 'I guess it just speaks more of fae to me and I relate that to elves..no idea though!'

Mornawen: 'Gnomes are the older term for Noldor'

Lhinnthel: 'I really like how you describe it Mithmenelien -'

Hollyberye: 'the battle where Barahir saved Finrod seems very epic--there is just soooo very much in Tolkien to discover and understand'

Hollyberye: 'well as the house of Beor will live on forever, the ring then does make sense as described by Mithmenelien'

Byrcha: 'aye'

Hollyberye: 'Okay well I actually prepared a lot more but I think we should continue next week as we have gone way over'

Malphos: 'oh a bit Happy'

Byrcha: 'a good stopping point in the text also'

Lhinnthel: 'Time does fly!'

Hollyberye: 'normally this would be ending at 5:15 server time'

Alligretta: 'just a tad'

Hollyberye: 'yes next we find Beren wandering and then his EPIC meeting and the start of the eternal love story'

Lhinnthel: 'Ah!'

Alligretta: 'but it has been fascinating and I would like to come again, better prepared next time'

Byrcha: 'Thank you Holly, thank you everyone!'

Hollyberye: 'so I will prep the chat log and post it and figure out how non LMBers can see it'

Malphos: 'Thank you!'

Cynemna: '*Thank you alot for inviting me to this, I have really enjoyed my time with all of you, I will make sure to join these discussions
often Happy*'

Elimraen: 'Thanks Holly, that was a great introduction Happy'

Mornawen: 'Thank you all!'

Malphos: 'what is the plan, will we meet every week?'

Alligretta: 'Thank you'

Hollyberye: 'Thank you everyone for such interesting and erudite points!!!'

Falleriel: 'Thank you *so* much for organising and preparing, Holly!'

Mithmenelien: 'this was fun, I am happy the bookclub is back, I missed it!'

Hollyberye: 'Yes we will'

Lhinnthel: 'Thank you so very much, Holly!'

Gennetta: 'indeed, thank you'

Hollyberye: 'Until we have an enforced break'

Alligretta: 'Yes. thank you'

Hollyberye: 'Day on the Greenfields we will not meet...I will post!'

Elimraen: 'Night night all! It was fun to see everyone Happy'

Lhinnthel: 'Good night all those leaving!'

Alligretta: 'night all, thanks for having us'

Hollyberye: 'Yes I am thrilled with our participants!!!'

Hollyberye: 'even though this is a chapter it is sooo rich in detail'

Gennetta: 'so this is weekly?'

Hollyberye: 'it will be more than the three or four sessions I first suggested /'

Lhinnthel: 'Oh good!'

Hollyberye: 'yes for now--there will be breaks though, and if you have to miss one, don't feel bad'

Lhinnthel: 'I'l update the kin events post to reflect it IS weekly!'

Gennetta: 'I will try to attend again, I think this a favourite tale of mine'

Hollyberye: 'We need to go weekly for now when we don't have other events interrupting'

Lhinnthel: 'Agreed!'

Byrcha: 'aye, this tale really stands out for me also'

Gennetta: 'grand'

Hollyberye: 'It is an incredible tale'

Hollyberye: 'Thank you everyone for your participation and wonderful comments'

Gennetta: 'good night all'

Mithmenelien: 'yes, this tale is like a red thread though out all the books in a way'

The LMB Book Club continues on next Sunday, 28 February 2016, at 4:15PM at the Bird and Baby Inn and in our chat channel. ALL are welcome to
continue our discussion of the Tale of Beren and Lúthien!
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re: LMB Book Club: Tale of Beren and Lúthien

Excellent - I'm sorry I was unable to make it.
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re: LMB Book Club: Tale of Beren and Lúthien

Such a great meeting! Thank you, Holly!

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re: LMB Book Club: Tale of Beren and Lúthien

Just a reminder that our second session of the new book club is this Sunday! It was quite wonderful to get back together again. Newcomers are welcome, and you are still able to participate if you are unfamiliar with the material, as I summarize.

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--Sunday at approximately 4:15PM server time (following Andune Ensemble at 3PM)
--Meet at the Bird and Baby Inn
--/joinchannel lmbbookclub

Our source material is Chapter 19 of The Silmarillion, though I am also interspersing excerpts from the Lay of Leithian. We will pick up at the beiginning of the third page of the chapter (what a lot to discuss just covering two pages!).

Please let me know if you have any questions.

Hollyberye
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re: LMB Book Club: Tale of Beren and Lúthien

I got a copy of The Lays of Beleriand from my library... the tale of Beren and Lúthien has very many differences, as you've brought out in our discussion, Holly.

Here's one we didn't cover:

The Silmarillion:
Quote:
First therefore he [Beren] pursued the Orcs that had slain his father and his kinsmen, and he found their camp by night at Rivil's Well above the Fen of Serech, and because of his woodcraft he came near to their fire unseen. There their captain made boast of his deeds, and he held up the hand of Barahir that he had cut off as a token for Sauron that their mission was fulfilled; and the ring of Felagund was on that hand. Then Beren sprang from behind a rock, and slew the captain, and taking the hand and the ring he escaped, being defended by fate; for the Orcs were dismayed, and their arrows wild.


The Lay of Leithian:
Quote:
Then over fen and field and mountain
he followed, till beside a fountain
upgushing hot from fires below
he found the slayers and his foe,
the murderous soldiers of the king [i.e., Morgoth].
And one there laughed, and showed a ring
he took from Barahir's dead hand.
'This ring in far Beleriand
now mark ye, mates,' he said, 'was wrought.
Its like with gold could not be bought,
for this same Barahir I slew,
this robber fool, they say, did do
a deed of service long ago
for Felagund. It may be so;
for Morgoth made me bring it back,
and yet, methinks, he has no lack
of weightier treasure in his hoard.
Such greed befits not such a lord,
and I am minded to declare
the hand of Barahir was bare!'
Yet as he spake an arrow sped;
with riven heart he crumpled dead.
Thus Morgoth loved that his own foe
should in his service deal the blow
that punished the breaking of his word.
But Morgoth laughed not when he heard
that Beren like a wolf alone
sprang madly from behind a stone
amid that camp beside the well,
and seized the ring, and ere the yell
of wrath and rage had left their throat
had fled his foes.


I think it's interesting how the Orc captain in the Lay has little respect for Morgoth, and even intends to trick him. It shows how the forces of evil are mainly just self-interest?


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re: LMB Book Club: Tale of Beren and Lúthien

Molly Bayberry wrote:
I got a copy of The Lays of Beleriand from my library... the tale of Beren and Lúthien has very many differences, as you've brought out in our discussion, Holly.

<snip>

I think it's interesting how the Orc captain in the Lay has little respect for Morgoth, and even intends to trick him. It shows how the forces of evil are mainly just self-interest?


I agree, Mornawen--another passage later on struck me, and I put in a discussion point along this line for today. Also, the Lay really illuminates some scenes, and sometimes gives a very different perspective. I'll continue to put some shorter excerpts in the Book Club chat, but you and anyone should feel free to add more or comment on more from the Lay as we proceed. The two texts together make it a much more robust and interesting discussion.

Hollyberye
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