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

I forgot last week that I won't be able to make it tomorrow sad

Last night on the Tolkien Professor's LotRO stream on Twitch I asked him about the references to Beren looking into Melian's eyes that we had been wondering about a few weeks ago. He takes lore questions during the stream and he is so brilliant and knowledgeable and enthusiastic, it's amazing to hear him once he gets going xD He had a really interesting answer to the question so when the video is put online I'll type it up and post it here.


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re: LMB Book Club: Tale of Beren and Lúthien

The Lonely Mountain Band Book Club
The Tale of Beren and Lúthien
Session Six, 10 April 2016


Attendees: Hollyberye, Zedrockk, Forolyeep, Bilwise, Firafon, Byrcha, Mithmenelien, Shakestoor, Falleriel, Malphos, Lilikate, Andeon, Godwineson, Antiquetaes, Ceradan, Galspi, Selendra, Cromin

Hollyberye: 'Welcome to the Lonely Mountain Band Book Club! We meet today to continue discussion of the Tale of Beren and Lúthien. The primary text we are using is from “The Silmarillion,” Chapter 19, Of Beren and Lúthien, but I am also interspersing that with excerpts from the “Lay of Leithian.”'

Bilwise: 'Woo! *hands out muffins and ales and burritos to those that want them*'

Hollyberye: 'Burrito please!'

Mithmenelien: ''*raises hands* I'm on my way now :D'

Hollyberye: '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!'

Bilwise: '*hands Holly a hummus burrito*'

Hollyberye: 'hehe thanks Bilwise'

Hollyberye: 'I will edit the chat log and post it in our forum thread. I am trying to spend less time editing this go-round, mainly just correcting obvious typos.'

Hollyberye: 'To begin: Last time our session ended, Huan the wolf-hound from the Blessed Realm, has made it possible for Lúthien to escape her imprisonment at Nargothrond. Huan even allows Lúthien to ride on him like a steed, which we discussed. Tolkien turns our attention back to Beren and Felagund, lying in the pits of Sauron, with all their companions dead. This is the dungeons of Thû on Wizard's Isle. It is also known as Tol-in-Gaurhoth or the Isle of Werewolves. It is a fortress held by Sauron. It was once called Tol Sirion. Here are a couple of early discussion points, starting with the first:'

Hollyberye: 'Discussion Point: I included all the names for a bit of fun, for part of delving deep into Tolkien is learning the multiple names of a person or place and learning to understand why each name is appropriate. Can any of you tell us more about this fortress, this Wizard’s Isle. Also, which name do you prefer?'

Forolyeep: 'isn't it the first minas tirith?'

Hollyberye: 'yes!'

Hollyberye: 'Tol-in-Gaurhoth began as the Minas Tirith of Finrod Felagund, and was held by Orodreth for his uncle to guard the vale of Sirion. However, Orodreth was powerless to stop Sauron from taking the isle, and fled south. Sauron began breeding large wolves in the isle, somehow adding in evil spirits, turning them into werewolves.'

Bilwise: 'Just an observation: one thing I love about Tolkien is how he gets that even history has history. Today it's Weathertop but before that it was something else and before that it was something else, etc. So the history of Wizard's Isle was known as something else before and something before that...'

Hollyberye: 'I agree completely Bilwise. Once you decide to patiently trace it back, it becomes so interesting, and what a very complex history''

Forolyeep: 'and also staking ownership by changing names -- Minas Ithil wouldn't be nearly as frightening if Sauron hadn't renamed it'

Bilwise: 'Aye'

Hollyberye: 'Great point, Forolyeep--Tolkien does this name changing with both places and people, as they change!'

Forolyeep: 'and Sauron in both cases is picking names designed to inspire dread / terror'

Shakestoor: 'the Weather matters. Whether you agree with that or not..'

Hollyberye: 'they take on new names as they alter'

Bilwise: '*nods nods*'

Hollyberye: 'Discussion Point: I dropped a name up there—Thû. Who is that?'

Mithmenelien: 'Sauron ;)'

Hollyberye: 'Yes :)'

Hollyberye: 'the Necromancer and Lord of Werewolves, was a character that is featured in The Book of Lost Tales, the early writings that would evolve into the Silmarillion. Thû would later evolve into the character of Sauron. He was the 'greatest' wizard/magician in the world, and taught lore and magic to the Dark Elves; those he ruled were the Hisildi. His dwelling was in deep caves near the waters that fed the Waters of Awakening. In subsequent stories, his name evolved to Gorthû, Sûr, and finally to Sauron.'

Forolyeep: 'what does Thu mean anyway? as a name?'

Hollyberye: 'I don't know!'

Forolyeep: 'I mean, Gorthu is then terrible ... whatever Thu is'

Hollyberye: 'I couldn't find out what that meant'

Bilwise: 'I wonder, given Tolkien's love of Anglo Saxon, if it isn't related somehow to Thor? Thor, Thur, Tur...'

Hollyberye: 'though Thu is very evil, an evil magician'

Hollyberye: 'any other comments on the evolution of Sauron and his names?'

Byrcha: 'Just looked in Encyclopedia of Arda: Gorthaur was another name of Sauron, meaning dread and detestable'

Hollyberye: 'oh so maybe Thu was a shortening of that'

Forolyeep: '*nod*'

Hollyberye: 'Byrcha do you have a hard bound copy of that Encylopedia?'

Byrcha: 'No, online'

Hollyberye: 'I was just thinking I might like to have that encyclopedia, thanks'

Byrcha: 'Easy to get lost in that encyclopedia'

Hollyberye: 'Yes I keep researching material as I prep'

Byrcha: '(lost in a good way)'

Hollyberye: 'back to the pits of Sauron: The Lay of Leithian especially describes this vividly—for Sauron is trying to get them to betray their names and purpose: “From time to time in the eyeless dark two eyes would grow, and they would hark to frightful cries, and then a sound of rending, a slavering on the ground, and blood flowing they would smell. But none would yield and no one would tell.”'

Hollyberye: 'Discussion Point: Is this place of horror and anguish perhaps the worst of its type in Middle-earth? Do you think Tolkien “toned it down” in his more commercial works of literature? What are the candidates for the worst places of dread, horror and anguish in Middle-earth through its ages?'

Bilwise: 'Mirkwood always freaked me out. Not for what he described but for what he didn't. Also darkness and the unknown where even the squirrels were corrupted and horrible things.'

Falleriel: 'Now I haven't read the text in a while but...Shelob's lair and Minas Morgul springs to mind. Dol Guldur too?'

Hollyberye: 'Yes, I think Shelob's Lair maybe'

Forolyeep: 'well it displays a nice mastery of psychological terror, watching your companions one by one be dragged away and killed ... much like thrain going crazy when imprisoned in dol guldur. so yay on finrod & co *not* going crazy...'

Hollyberye: 'yes this pit is hell personified, it just sounds so horrid to me, the question came to mind'

Hollyberye: 'I know Tolkien was influenced by the trenches in WWI and use that to inspire the Dead Marshes'

Bilwise: 'From the Somme in particular IIRC'

Hollyberye: 'any other candidates for most horrid settings in Middle Earth?'

Hollyberye: 'Mirkwood was quite awful'

Forolyeep: 'dead marshes for me'

Bilwise: 'Mordor itself.'

Bilwise: 'Aye and the Dead Marshes'

Hollyberye: 'yes Mordor itself'

Zedrockk: 'Ha! Angband

Hollyberye: 'ANY stronghold of Melkor/Morgoth/Sauron...ANGBAND! What a vivid imagination Tolkien had'

Bilwise: 'Isengard after Saruman's betrayal'

Byrcha: 'I always found it odd that Angband and Utumno didn't show up on the published maps -- like they were so evil, even the mapmakers didn't want to mention them'

Hollyberye: 'ohhh that is a very interesting point! This is a side comment but I wanted to mention that my copy of The Silmarillon is a 1977 edition and in the back it has a fold-out map!!!! I think I will get it framed, but it also doesn't show the bad places'

Bilwise: 'Nice!'

Hollyberye: 'Sauron decides to save Felagund for last for he perceives Finrod Felagund is a Noldor of great might and wisdom and the secret of the mysterious mission must lie in him. But when the wolf comes for Beren, Felagund uses all his power to burst free. He wrestles with the werewolf and slays him with his hands and teeth—yet is mortally wounded in the process.'

Hollyberye: 'Here is an excerpt from Canto X of the Lay of Leithian: “…the spells that Finrod spun once more were wakened…sudden there was rending sound of chains and anguish release he sought: now his enchantments were come full wrought…Forth there leapt, upon the wolvish thing that crept in shadow, faithful Felagund, careless of fang or venomed wound.” The Canto goes on to poetically recount that “in the dark they wrestled slow, remorseless, snarling, to and fro, teeth in flesh, gripe on throat, fingers locked in shaggy coat, spurning Beren…”'

Hollyberye: 'Finrod defeats the werewolf but is mortally poisoned.'

Hollyberye: 'Finrod Felagund says, “I go now to my long rest in the timeless halls beyond the seas and the Mountains of Aman; and it may be that we shall not meet a second time in death or life, for the fates of our kindred are apart. Farewell!”'

Hollyberye: 'Tolkien writes that King Finrod Felagund is fairest and most beloved of Finwe’s son and dies redeeming the oath. In the Lay of Leithian it says, “So died the king, as still the elven harpers sing.”'

Hollyberye: 'Discussion Point: Comment on this epic battle to the death. What power was it that he summoned? Do you feel that Finrod Felagund took solace in two things—the fulfillment of his oath and the fact he will be going to the timeless halls?'

Malphos: 'For me it seems like the friend in distress situation is that called his 'sleeping' energy,

Hollyberye: 'Oh, Malphos, I had not looked at it in that way'

Mithmenelien: 'yes I think he did, he did seem fine with dying and moving on'

Malphos: 'the thought of the timeless halls might bring him to accept, but would not bring power, I think'

Hollyberye: 'I just wondered about the source of his sudden power, they had to have been very weakened, though Elves don't eat as much :)'

Falleriel: '(adrenaline)'

Bilwise: 'If I recall, Tolkien liked the stoicism of the Norse - the idea that they would fight to the end and join those in Valhalla. Seems similar to me. The king would fight to the end and rejoin his fallen comrades.'

Hollyberye: 'It is easier for an Elf, because they have a known place they are going'

Byrcha: 'Tolkien revisits that theme of summoning strength/courage at the last (e.g. Frodo/Sam once they reach Mordor)'

Hollyberye: 'Oh, yes excellent points'

Falleriel: 'A theme perhaps that strength comes from defending something precious'

Hollyberye: 'Oh right--Byrcha--it is like that hopeless courage that flows throughout Tolkien!'

Malphos: 'Interesting parallel!'

Hollyberye: 'what a great point'

Hollyberye: 'The two hobbits typified the Hopeless Courage maybe more than any other, and Finrod sure displayed it'

Bilwise: 'Sounds similar to Elrond's "Fighting the long defeat" or Theoden's "we will die but we will fight anyway"'

Hollyberye: 'yes Bilwise, you are so right'

Byrcha: 'Irony: he built the dungeon he died in sad'

Shakestoor: 'I would risk death for dark hair and grey eyes.'

Hollyberye: 'Yes Byrcha, that really was his Isle'

Hollyberye: 'Discussion Point: What do you consider to be Felagund’s greatest legacy to the Tolkien Legendarium? (and I confess I made my own list!)'

Hollyberye: 'Finrod Felagund is a wholly admirable hero in Tolkien I feel (and I spent so much time on his backstory in earlier weeks for this reason). He plays a pivotal role here'

Hollyberye: 'some of my thoughts on his importance to the entire Tolkien story--the battle of singing with Sauron is quite incredible and inspiring to me and illustrates how important song was to Tolkien—the universe came into being from singing, singing created the Two Trees'

Hollyberye: 'loyalty to an oath of an ancestor was another powerful Tolkien theme that Finrod illustrates'

Hollyberye: 'another significant contribution is making it possible for Beren and Lúthien to be together'

Hollyberye: 'and also: Finrod's treatment of men in general is laudable, which we heard of early on, and again now'

Hollyberye: 'so any thoughts on the Finrod legacy?'

Falleriel: 'Indeed, one of his greatest contributions was teaching them Sindarin (and music)'

Hollyberye: 'Yes, I love that about him. I wish he could have lived much longer, in Arda I mean'

Byrcha: 'Aye, sums it up nicely -- the teachings of and sacrifices for man (which Tolkien implies inherit M.E.)'

Hollyberye: 'Yes, Byrcha, he does imply men will inherit it and this seems to be a stepping stone to that, in a very complex long-distance way'

Byrcha: 'Interesting that other song-battles do not occur throughout the stories'

Mithmenelien: 'I especially like his battle of Song with Sauron, I love the idea of battle being fought with songs, he should be an inspiration to all minstrels in Lotro!'

Hollyberye: 'yes this story is again unique with the overt magic and the song battles'

Falleriel: 'Bearing in mind that the various aspects of Tolkien lore were all written separately, and not as one manuscript - so there is much that is unpublished'

Forolyeep: 'cause music is power!'

Hollyberye: 'yes to both of you'

Hollyberye: 'Moving on (though you can always feel free to speak to an earlier point):'

Hollyberye: 'And as Byrcha mentioned last session, our protagonist is coming into her own: “In that hour Lúthien came, and standing upon the bridge that led to Sauron's isle she sang a song that no walls of stone could hinder.'

Byrcha: 'One of my favorite scenes in all of Tolkien's books: Luthien and Huan on the bridge'

Hollyberye: 'yes agreed--it is magnificent'

Andeon: 'is Huan the hound, right?'

Hollyberye: 'yes from the Blessed Realm'

Byrcha: 'Aye, the Hound of Valinor'

Andeon: 'yay dawgy!!'

Falleriel: 'Speaking of which, love the picture you posted on forums!'

Hollyberye: 'oh thanks, Falleriel :)'

Hollyberye: 'Beren heard, and he thought that he dreamed; for the stars shone above him, and in the trees nightingales were singing.” The Lay says he was in a silence more profound that the tomb when “the silences were sudden shivered to silver fragments” and the voice pierced darkness with light.” Beren felt about him “the soft night of many stars, and in the air were rustlings and a perfume rare.” We see other words in the Lay that we associate already with Luthien, such as nightingales, dancing, and so on.'

Hollyberye: 'Discussion Point: What is your opinion on this scene, presented in such a straightforward and brief manner in The Silmarillion, when it had been so poetically narrated in the Lay? Does anyone know if this was an editiorial choice of Christopher Tolkien’s doing the best he could or did his father decide to summarize the story. Note: many exquisite details in the Lay are glossed over in this chapter'

Bilwise: 'Interesting again: silence vs song.'

Byrcha: 'I've not read enough of the writing-histories to know if Christopher edited this heavily or not'

Andeon: 'I have a copy of the Lay of Lethien, and iirc, it's mostly...very...extensive...poetry'

Byrcha: 'It could be Tolkien's own (draft) summary of the Lay here. (Much like CHildren of Hurin -- it could have been fleshed out)'

Falleriel: 'Well, on the 'net it is quoted that "Tolkien’s Silmarillion filled probably two or three file cabinets. The publisher, after Tolkien’s death, he had eight feet of stacked boxes that included his manuscripts of what was The Silmarillion." So in effect, our Silmarillion is heavily condensed?'

Hollyberye: 'Yes'

Forolyeep: 'make whatever Silmarillion you wish'

Byrcha: 'Two or three files? Pfft. ... Oh, file CABINETS. :P'

Andeon: 'well, to be fair...let's consider the possibility that amongst that rather extensive amount of writing...there was some duplication, and probably quite a bit of directly conflicting material as well'

Hollyberye: 'I find it too straight forward/not enough details though I understand why. But this story merited the full treatment. Yes there is contradiction, for sure'

Mithmenelien: 'I like that there are such different versions of it, it helps give it a sense of real history and myth'

Byrcha: 'Tolkien did similarly in the appendix to RotK: 'Galadriel threw down the walls of Dol Guldur' -- wait, she did what??'

Hollyberye: 'Yes!! I couldn;t agree more'

Andeon: 'so, it's possible that Chris...did the best he could to filter most relevant material, least contradictory and least duplicative...'

Falleriel: 'Now, Galadriel is someone I'd have imagined doing a Song Battle'

Hollyberye: 'I realize he had a monumental task'

Forolyeep: 'I think he said as much in the prologue'

Malphos: 'The Silmarillion is already long as it is, especially in covered content. In my opinion it was a good decision to bring out this condendsed prose version.'

Byrcha: 'Isn't Galadriel related to Finrod?'

Hollyberye: 'But yes suddenly you read some short sentence and say wait! what? Give me some details???'

Falleriel: 'Aye, better to publish something :)'

Malphos: 'And then maybe delve into more detail where interest allows - and material enough is at hand :)'

Hollyberye: 'yes siblings'

Falleriel: 'Yes Byrcha, she's his sister'

Byrcha: 'Ah, yes! It runs in the family wink'

Hollyberye: 'really amazing Elves!'

Hollyberye: 'And in answer to Lúthien’s song, Beren is roused in a dream-like way to sing a rousing, fierce battle song of challenge in praise of the Seven Stars, and the Sickle of the Valar that Varda hung above the North as a sign for the fall of Morgoth. Then all strength left him and he fell down into darkness.'

Byrcha: 'Good thing the werewolf wasn't still hungry'

Hollyberye: 'Ohhh I had not thought of that :)'

Hollyberye: 'Discussion Point: This is a long one wink…Was the song to alert Beren of her presence, to hearten him and give him strength, or exactly why? No stealth here! Did Tolkien have Beren fall into darkness so that Lúthien would now stand completely on her own to save the day? So often this happens in myth-based stories, which to me means that Lúthien really is the number one protagonist of the tale, with Beren second. What do you think?'

Forolyeep: 'Luthien's the one making hard choices'

Hollyberye: 'yes'

Byrcha: 'I thought of her as the protagonist at this point. It is like setting him aside so that she can do her thing, writerly-wise'

Hollyberye: 'yes--like folks predicted Harry Potter would have to stand alone in the end--which so often happens'

Forolyeep: 'she's no damsel in distress certainly...they both get their moments to shine. But Beren's always seemed to me to be the more inexperienced one, gets in over his head and Luthien bails him out'

Hollyberye: 'Additionally, what do you think of Lúthien’s song of great beauty versus Beren’s of rousing battle? I could have seen Turin doing that. I don’t feel I know Beren quite as well.'

Mithmenelien: 'yes I agree Forolyeep!'

Byrcha: 'Yes, Tolkien's male-human heroes in the first age seem to need a bit of bailing out!'

Hollyberye: 'Yes---in the First Age especially, great point'

Forolyeep: 'well it's an elf story after all, kind of told from the perspective of elves. Maybe we have an unreliable narrator and Man bards would tell the story somewhat differently :)'

Hollyberye: 'Beleg for Turin'

Falleriel: 'I find it entrancing that for his time, Tolkien seemed to give fairly equal weight to both genders in The Silmarillion (though not so much in LotR)'

Hollyberye: 'its more in the second age when the Numenoreans start to gain strength and so on'

Byrcha: 'Yes, in this story in particular he gives equal roles to the genders. It is quite striking.'

Hollyberye: 'It is easy to gloss over the importance of Luthien because of the commercial success of LOTR, but when you examine it closely, she is really quite incredible as a Tolkien heroine'

Falleriel: 'Almost makes one wonders if in his portrayal of Elves as the enlightened species, and the relative Fall of Man (in modern times)'

Byrcha: 'Interesting! He does set Elves above (immortal), but gives Man other gifts.'

Hollyberye: 'he seems to be setting the stage, in my mind, for men to rise, despite their shortcomings, with the help of the Elves, until finally they inherit Arda by the Fourth Age'

Godwineson: 'I believe he wrote somewhere, probably in Letters, that Elves represent the artistic and creative side of Man. Imagine if artists has thousands of years of practice.''

Mithmenelien: 'The males needing bailing out reminds me of the myth of Jason and the golden fleece. He is the hero who goes on the quest to get the fleece, but in reality, it is Medea a very powerful and magical woman, who helps him and basicly does everything instead'

Byrcha: 'Heh, yes Jason and the Argonauts, exactly.'

Hollyberye: 'Lúthien heard his [Beren’s] answering voice. In the Lay we are told she exclaims, “Huan, Huan! I hear a song far under welling, far but strong; a song that Beren bore aloft—yet she is said to be whispering. Lúthien then sings a song of greater power. The wolves howled, and the isle trembled. Huan waits for battle amid this magnificent song. Sauron stood in the high tower, wrapped in his black thought; but he smiled hearing her voice, for he knew that it was the daughter of Melian.'

Godwineson: '"I ain't nothin but a Huan dog!"''

Byrcha: '*snicker*'

Hollyberye: 'hahahah'

Hollyberye: 'In the Lay Sauron says, “Ah, little Lúthien! What brought the foolish fly to web unsought? Morgoth! A great and rich reward to me thou wilt owe when to thy hoard the jewel is added.”'

Hollyberye: 'Discussion Point: Sauron decides to make Lúthien his captive, and hand her over to Morgoth for some unknown great reward. Comments on that please—and comments in general on “handing valuable things over to the boss.” Is that credible to you? Wouldn’t he want her for his own? Is this one of the creepiest things in Tolkien, the language from the Lay?'

Byrcha: 'Interesting to me that the evil-folks know who Luthien is'

Hollyberye: 'Ohhh we hand over the pies to Byrcha!!!! That is where we got the precedence!'

Malphos: 'You mean you hand over all the pie you could not hide fast enough, or?'

Hollyberye: 'Yes Malphos :) at least the hobbits do'

Ceradan: 'I thought by this point Morgoth had been...destroyed...ish'

Byrcha: 'No, Morgoth is still sitting around in his fortress, tellign minions to do work for him.'

Hollyberye: 'No Morgoth is still quite in charge of things'

Forolyeep: 'well but rule by fear, they're always afraid the boss will know they hid it -- there's that kind of debate in The Two Towers when the orcs capture frodo, IIRC'

Malphos: 'Well, as long as Morgoth is around, he is still towering in power above Sauron. I think even he would not dare to try anything funny here'

Byrcha: 'I think it is credible in the sense that Sauron does not yet fancy himself as THE Dark Lord'

Hollyberye: 'Right, Sauron is still very much his deputy'

Bilwise: 'The parallels to Brycha are striking ... I mean, not striking at all. *cough*'

Byrcha: 'Aye, Valar > Maiar'

Byrcha: 'Wait, what??'

Bilwise: '>.> <.<'

Godwineson: 'Nothing, nothing, your Piemistress'

Hollyberye: 'If we gather all the Pies of Arda and deliver them to Bycrha, we will be rewarded!'

Byrcha: '*adds Bilwise to The List*'

Falleriel: '(Still, the snack cart remains an independent entity)'

Godwineson: 'While the free folk yet defend it'

Bilwise: 'I'm probably on there several times already'

Byrcha: '*checks list* Yes. Yes you are.'

Hollyberye: 'I am still laughing over Godwineson's 'I aint' nothin but a Huan dog'

Godwineson: 'A mightier song, indeed.'

Hollyberye: 'anyhow to answer my own question, I DO think this is a very creepy segment of the Lay, his plans for Luthien'

Godwineson: 'Yes.'

Byrcha: 'Agreed'

Hollyberye: 'And of course he TOTALLY misrepresents her'

Godwineson: 'Evil tends not to 'get' Good.'

Hollyberye: 'I mean he totally underestimates Luthien'

Cromin: 'most of the theme for Morgoth, at least, and I think Sauron as well - is to despoil everything that *good* stands for...'

Byrcha: 'Also interesting that he thinks of her as a jewel (especially in context of the Silmarils)'

Hollyberye: 'ohh that is an excellent connection to make...the obsession with jewels as always perplexed me'

Godwineson: 'Just as Sauron could not even concieve that the Free Folk would destroy the Ring, rather than use it to increase their own power.'

Hollyberye: 'yes!'

Godwineson: 'In a day before electric lighting, tv and computer screens, jewels were the brightest and most colorful things you could hold in your hands.'

Byrcha: 'Aye, Sauron seems to have no idea why Luthien (or Beren) would bother to come there, other than to enhance Sauron's career'

Hollyberye: 'okay good point'

Falleriel: 'then there's also the concept of possession / materialism (a jewel being a physical object rather than say beauty or music)'

Godwineson: 'That too, much trouble comes in the Matter of MIddle-earth from coveting jewels and jewelry'

Byrcha: 'Jewels can be a physical manifestation of greed/etc'

Hollyberye: 'Sauron sends a wolf forth but Huan silently slays it, and others, one by one. While Huan does the slaying, Lúthien continues to bravely sing: “…but she sang with trembling limbs and wide eyes wan.” The creeping shapes come forth, are seized by Huan, and die. The Lay references “the shuddering waters loathing flow o’er the grey corpses Huan killed.” Enter Draugluin!'

Hollyberye: 'Draugluin is a “dread beast, old in evil, lord and sire of the werewolves of Angband. Thus ensues the battle of Huan and Draugluin.'

Forolyeep: 'werewolves and vampires makes Sauron look like a proto-dracula...'

Hollyberye: 'yes those are all good pints'

Hollyberye: 'points'

Bilwise: 'Good pints! Woo!'

Hollyberye: 'heheh'

Antiquetaes: 'I could go for a good pint'

Shakestoor: 'You aint' nothin but a Huan dog. lol'

Byrcha: 'Well, Sauron was a fool to send them all one-by-one'

Godwineson: 'I don't know about background, but note that even today in the Mountains of Ash, there are yet rumors of vampires and werewolves.'

Mithmenelien: 'That would be a good idea for a lotr themed song, using the music of Elvis song, but changing the lyrics to I ain't nothing but a Huan dog'

Godwineson: 'Yes, please, do filk it'

Hollyberye: 'Oh Mith I already was going to ask Geoffroi to make the song for me, And give due credit to Godwineson--hehehe'

Mithmenelien: 'Yay! :D'

Hollyberye: 'a fun song about the first age would be uniwoo (unique) for me wink'

Falleriel: 'that's our Holly - speedy fast and inspired :)'

Hollyberye: 'Huan is a very special hound'

Mithmenelien: 'indeed he is!'

Byrcha: 'uniwoo! :P'

Bilwise: '*hands Holly extra spicy hummus and pita breads for being inspiring*'

Godwineson: 'The very Hound of Heaven?'

Selendra: 'no he's not - he's every dog - just allowed to be as mighty as his heart deserves!!'

Byrcha: 'Huan is an amazing character, also unique in Tolkien's mythos'

Hollyberye: 'Yes last week we went over Huan in depth'

Shakestoor: 'You ain't nothin but a Huan dog, cryin all the time.'

Hollyberye: 'Very special and I think he was meant to help Luthien and Beren along'

Hollyberye: 'but about the evil one now'

Shakestoor: 'You ain't nuthin but a Huan dog, barkin all the time.'

Shakestoor: 'They all say that you're evil and you ain't no friend of mine.'

Hollyberye: 'but I have to stay true to Lore and Huan was silent but for three times'

Shakestoor: '* you ain't never caught a Hobbit and you ain't no friend of mine.'

Hollyberye: 'Discussion Point: Please share any knowledge you have about Draugluin’s background.'

Hollyberye: 'I did do some research on Drauglich. Draugluin was bred from wolves. He inhabited with an evil spirit sent by Morgoth; sire of all werewolves of Beleriand; dwelled with his master in this former watchtower of Finrod Felagund’s; sire of Carcharoth and many other werewolves. Wargs of the Third Age were probably descended from him, as they could speak—did you know that? Draugluin may have been a fallen Maia! Or: a Fear (souls) of Orcs. His name means blue wolf in Sindarin, as his pelt was blue.'

Selendra: 'I remember that from the hobbit...'

Mithmenelien: 'that's intresting!'

Malphos: 'In general, do you think? Or only some special ones?'

Byrcha: 'I had forgotten that Draugluin sired Carcharoth'

Godwineson: 'they, too were supernatural, remember they took their dead in the battle before the Misty Mountains?'

Byrcha: 'Aye, I can see Draugluin as something of a Maia, as I can Huan.'

Hollyberye: 'We are only told the battle between Huan and Draugluin is long and fierce.'

Falleriel: 'there has been discussion on Huan and Maiar status - most seem to think not though.'

Hollyberye: 'At length Draugluin escapes, only to die at Sauron’s feet but manages to tell him that Huan is there.

Sauron is fully aware of Huan’s fate, which we discussed last session:'

Hollyberye: 'to meet death but not until he encountered the mightiest wolf to walk the world.'

Hollyberye: 'Sauron decides to help that along and transforms into the mightiest werewolf that has walked the

world. He comes forth to win the passage of the bridge.'

Byrcha: 'classic!'

Hollyberye: 'yes!'

Malphos: 'and quite some hybris'

Godwineson: 'Sauron lost his ability to take on an appearance with the Drowning of Numenor. IIRC'

Mithmenelien: 'ah, good point!'

Malphos: 'yes, only a shadow of terror afterwards'

Hollyberye: 'Discussion Point: Is there any place in Tolkien’s body of work where he describes how this transformation happens? Do you think one reason he dropped this overt magic later is because it would make it too easy to (for instance) get rid of the one ring?'

Malphos: 'but I cannot recall any point where such transformations are described in detail'

Mithmenelien: 'it's intresting to see how he has changed'

Bilwise: 'Hrm ... I'm recalling Gandalf's transformation from the gray to the white. Curious if there are parallels.'

Malphos: 'simply like, if you go to the very beginning,'

Malphos: 'the valar cloth themselves in visible form, like we cloth ourselves with normal outfits'

Byrcha: 'Interesting in that it almost makes these First Age tales like myths, since similar things didn't occur in later ages'

Malphos: 'that is the most detailed description i can think of'

Byrcha: 'Oh! Beorn of course!'

Hollyberye: 'Oh I forgot him completely!'

Malphos: 'but the transformation was never described, or? only that he had two forms'

Hollyberye: 'yes, not really described, that I recall'

Byrcha: 'Aye, I don't recall the description of it either'

Hollyberye: 'The Silmarillion states that Sauron’s approach was so horrifying that Huan leaps aside and Lúthien swoons before his menace and foul breath…but has the foresight to cast a fold of her magic cloak before his eyes, and he becomes drowsy. Now Huan springs!'

Hollyberye: 'We have the battle of Huan and the Wolf-Sauron. But nothing can overtake Huan and when he pins Sauron as a wolf down by his throat, Sauron shape-shifts from wolf to serpent, then from monster to his own form. He will have to forsake his own body to elude Huan’s grip.'

Hollyberye: 'Byrcha just partially answered this:'

Hollyberye: 'Discussion Point: Do we have other examples of shifting shapes in Tolkien’s world?'

Hollyberye: '--I could not think of any'

Antiquetaes: 'Othern than Beor hehe'

Hollyberye: 'yes'

Malphos: 'Sauron in other points of the history,'

Byrcha: 'Heh, I thought that was what you asked earlier sorry :P'

Malphos: 'when he tries to appear as friendly and helpful. The bringer of gifts'

Bilwise: 'The breath thing is why the snack cart is equipped with breath mints and a slingshot. *nods nods*'

Hollyberye: 'He is described as the greatest magician ever and greatest can mean terrible/great'

Mithmenelien: 'well Luthien and Beren are going to change shapes in a little while I think'

Hollyberye: 'Ahh thanks Bilwise--the language on his foul breath stench really got to me'

Hollyberye: 'yes'

Antiquetaes: 'Huron often chases Bils cart, so has to beat himoff'

Bilwise: '*nods nods*'

Malphos: 'I think Ulmo tends to appear in different forms, if I recall that right. but still nothing in detail'
Godwineson: 'I forgot about that, right, the hame of the thuringwethil'

Byrcha: 'An amazing scene. One of only two times where Sauron is defeated in physical battle.'

Falleriel: 'the Valar are able to assume forms of their choosing iirc'

Mithmenelien: 'and earlier Finrod made himself and Beren and the elves with them look like orcs'

Hollyberye: 'well let's provide the battle summary:'

Hollyberye: 'Oh good point Mith'

Bilwise: 'Sauron: I will destroy *hrk* *cough* *cough* Bil: Taste my minty and refreshing wrath!!'

Hollyberye: 'ROFL'

Byrcha: 'eheheeh'

Hollyberye: 'I am laughing out loud'

Bilwise: ':)'

Mithmenelien: ':D'

Hollyberye: 'Lúthien announces that he will be stripped of his flesh and his ghost quaking back to Morgoth. “There everlastingly they naked self shall endure the torment of his [Morgoth’s] scorn; pierced by his eyes, unless thou yield to me the mastery of they tower.”'

Hollyberye: 'That quote is from the chapter.'

Mithmenelien: 'she is so very strong here!'

Hollyberye: 'Canto X of the Lay provides a bit more poetic detail and a bit different—Sauron’s fate will be to have his soul wail and gibber in a hole unless he renders the keys and the spell that binds stone to stone and speaks the words to open [the fortress].'

Byrcha: 'interesting!'

Hollyberye: 'Discussion Point: Is it surprising that this half-Maia would yield greater power than Sauron? Are there any other similar encounters you can mention in Tolkien where a single person overtook evil like this?'

Byrcha: 'It was Huan and Luthien together though'

Godwineson: 'Glorfindel and the balrogs'

Hollyberye: 'Oh very valid point'

Malphos: 'Yes! Sam when he finally went into Minas Morgul, and overcame the watcher!'

Hollyberye: 'Huan set the scene up for Luthien so to speak'

Godwineson: 'Ecthelion may have defeated one, too.'

Hollyberye: 'I was even thinking of Sam with Shelob'

Bilwise: 'Sounds a lot like the white lady. Or similar, anyway.'

Hollyberye: 'And Lady Galadriel helped set him up with vial'

Antiquetaes: 'Galadriel at Dol Guldur?'

Hollyberye: 'yes great examples'

Falleriel: 'well Dol Guldur was the combined powers of the White Council'

Hollyberye: 'Luthien is obviously more powerful than we were led to believe when we met her dancing in the woods of Doriath'

Mithmenelien: 'I can't help but think that Luthien could actually have defeated Sauron there and we might not have had all the trouble he caused later xD'

Hollyberye: 'But then no more stories! :D Yes I guess she struck the bargain to make sure she could get to Beren'

Mithmenelien: 'yes, that would be sad'

Hollyberye: 'As soon as Lúthien takes mastery of the Isle, Sauron takes the form of a vampire and flees with dripping blood from his throat falling on the trees (so he is flying) and he goes to Taur-nu-Fuin to dwell and fill that place with horror.'

Hollyberye: 'Discussion Point: What do you know about Taur-nu-Fuin? Does Sauron ever resume a normal shape again?'

Byrcha: 'It sounds like he doesn't re-form during the First Age, IIRC'

Hollyberye: 'this evil darkened forest is none other than Mirkwood…'

Byrcha: 'Taur-nu-Fuin means Dark Forest or somesuch, sounds like Mirkwood'

Byrcha: 'jinx'

Hollyberye: 'yes!!!!'

Hollyberye: 'I didn't know it -- when I came upon it I researched the name'

Bilwise: 'You owe Byrcha pies.'

Hollyberye: 'also this is where Turin was driven by Orcs and Beleg pursued him'

Byrcha: 'woot!'

Hollyberye: '!!!!'

Malphos: 'Oh .. that explains it. Bad unrestored grounds since ages.'

Hollyberye: 'This is the forest under nightshade (Mirkwood) and was darkened by Sauron, also known there as the Necromancer and he later built Dol Guldor there.'

Bilwise: 'Is this the same place that suffered from lack of the elf lady's song?'

Byrcha: 'Turin ... *shakesfist*'

Hollyberye: 'I can't answer that Bilwise'

Hollyberye: 'so Sauron whisks off to build an even more evil stronghold'

Bilwise: 'Luthien? I recall reading that she used to sing but when Beren wasn't allowed around she stopped and the forest darkened.'

Byrcha: 'wait, he built a first Dol Guldur in Taur-nu-Fuin?'

Hollyberye: 'well my research pointed to that [Note: please reply below with a correction if I have this wrong, I could have gotten muddled]

Byrcha: 'Okay, I thought he just haunted the place'

Hollyberye: 'Bilwise that doesn't ring a bell with me'

Bilwise: 'Okies, np'

Mithmenelien: 'How can taur nu fuin beceme Mirkwood, doesn't mirkwood lie to far to the east from there?'

Hollyberye: 'eventually he was supposed to have built it--or had it built by his minions'

Byrcha: 'Evocative, dripping blood as he flies around'

Hollyberye: 'yes!!!! That's why I assumed he was flying--as a vapor'

Byrcha: 'Speaking of ... no army of Orcs defending his Isle... only an army of werewolves, apparently'

Hollyberye: 'yes just the werewolves, now all dead from Huan I guess'

Byrcha: 'jinx!'

Hollyberye: 'again I know!'

Byrcha: 'woot! more pies!'

Bilwise: 'That's more pies.'

Hollyberye: 'I am sooo in debt for pies'

Bilwise: 'JINX!'

Byrcha: 'JINX'

Byrcha: 'doh'

Hollyberye: 'luckily I am a Shire cook'

Bilwise: 'And now Byrcha owes me pies.'

Hollyberye: 'Lúthien declares her power upon the bridge and loosens the spells of the stone. She “called aloud with voice as clear as still...mortal[s may] hear long elvish trumpets o’er the hill echo when all the worlds is still.” Many thralls and captives come forth—but not Beren.'

Hollyberye: 'At last Lúthien finds Beren mourning by Felagund. She thinks Beren is dead and puts her arms around him and falls into forgetfulness. But then Beren leaves his pit of despair and they look upon one another. Beren “felt his heart new-turned to flame for her that through peril to him came.”'

Hollyberye: 'The tenth Canto tells us: “Oh Lúthien! Oh Lúthien, more fair than any child of Men! Oh, loveliest maid of Elvenesse, what might of love did thee possess to bring thee here to terror’s lair? Oh, flower of Elfland ever fair!” She had found his arms and swooned away just at the rising of the day. [end of Canto X]'

Hollyberye: 'Discussion Point: Please share your thoughts on Lúthien’s release of the Isle from Sauron’s hold and her frantic search with Huan to find Beren, and their reunion by Finrod’s body. ((and although I have a little bit more prepared I think we should stop with this point--what say you?))'

Malphos: 'That is a really amazing display of power, of taken-over power. I declare me master and owner of this castle, now please open up, you pile of stones.'

Hollyberye: 'Yes it is INCREDIBLE!'

Byrcha: 'aye!'

Hollyberye: 'what imagery!'

Malphos: 'It rings a bell, things like this happen in other stories too. But not in Tolkien, there it is unique, or?'

Hollyberye: 'well Gandalf broke the bridge in Khazad-dum--but not the same'

Malphos: 'Well, the effect of the smelted ring may have been similar (the gates of Mordor falling down), but by a very different action'

Hollyberye: 'she shatters the stones sealing it'

Hollyberye: 'yes good point'

Mithmenelien: 'I like that the fortress opens with a word as a key, like the passage to Moria in LOTR does., words of power!'

Byrcha: 'ah yes, again the power of words'

Hollyberye: 'I find that hugely appealing. As a word lover'

Hollyberye: 'Any other comments on this last point or anything we covered today in the Tale of Beren and Luthien?'

Byrcha: 'And: Luthien rocks!'

Mithmenelien: 'yes she does! :D'

Hollyberye: 'Yes Luthien is quite special and incredible'

Malphos: 'I do like this exchange and display of magic here, even if I appreciate in general the more subtle way Tolkien handles this'

Hollyberye: 'Yes I agree with that Malphos.'

Malphos: 'But this is a very strong picture. It is like opening the gates of hell, and all the poor souls come out. Only not the one looked for'

Hollyberye: 'That's it for today! We meet again next Sunday at the same time and place--thank you so much for participating!'

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

Galspi: 'Thank you Holly!'

Hollyberye: 'Thanks everyone! Sorry we went a bit long!'

Byrcha: 'This was a pivotal scene'

Falleriel: 'thanks for the superb prep Holly, and discussion everyone!'

Mithmenelien: 'Thanks Holly and everyone! :D'

Hollyberye: 'Also I am almost running out of Lay of Leithian so the remainder may go a bit faster'

Bilwise: 'Thanks Holly! Very nice! *hands Holly extra hummus and pitas*'

Hollyberye: 'It was very pivotal!'

Firfaron: 'Yay for Holly! :D'

Shakestoor: 'maybe by next week I'll have read the book. Chapter XX next week?'

Hollyberye: 'My pleasure, I am enjoying the prep immensely. No we are still on Chapter 19--we have several

sessions left. We are doing this very in-depth. When we are near to finishing we will discuss Next Steps, which I

have chatted about with Bycrha :)'

Malphos: 'Thank you Holly!'

With that we gently woke the snoring Dwarf on the book shelf, and roused Zedrock in time for some post-book club ale.

*IIRC = If I recall correctly

Next Session: Sunday, 17 April, 2016, @4:15 following The Andune Ensemble; Bird & Baby Inn and /lmbbookclub

Dual of songs, not exactly as I envisioned it but the best I could find:
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lorladin
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re: Liked the discussion

I jumped in just to listen to book club, even without the benefit of reading the passages beforehand. Was very neat to sit and read the reactions to it.
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re: Re: Liked the discussion

lorladin wrote:
I jumped in just to listen to book club, even without the benefit of reading the passages beforehand. Was very neat to sit and read the reactions to it.


That's great, Lorladin. Anyone is welcome to just listen in (or read the log here), but comments are also welcome (after the fact, they can be posted here). The summary during the discussion and a general knowledge of Tolkien make it possible, I think, to participate without having read the section.
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re: LMB Book Club: Tale of Beren and Lúthien

Dear Hollyberye;

I so enjoyed my visit to the LMBbookclub. I am truly amazed wow! at the amount of work you must put into the preparation of the weekly event. Thank you! Well done!! I truly enjoyed it!

Hopefully adding a link to my LMB photo album. Also have album up on DancynBoots facebook page!

https://goo.gl/photos/dDr3krrsKSLWsyS59


I hope I added the link & could share.

Dancyn


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Life may not be the party that we hoped for; but while we're here we should Dance 

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Dancyn, Elf Minstrel on Landroval

Muinbes, High Elf Lore Master on Gladden
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re: LMB Book Club: Tale of Beren and Lúthien

Dancyn wrote:
Dear Hollyberye;

I so enjoyed my visit to the LMBbookclub. I am truly amazed wow! at the amount of work you must put into the preparation of the weekly event. Thank you! Well done!! I truly enjoyed it!

Hopefully adding a link to my LMB photo album. Also have album up on DancynBoots facebook page!

https://goo.gl/photos/dDr3krrsKSLWsyS59


I hope I added the link & could share.

Dancyn


Thank you so much Dancin. It was uphill work this week, as I am very under the weather, so you helped spur me on to finish tonight :). Thanks for the pictures!
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re: LMB Book Club: Tale of Beren and Lúthien

Reminder:

The Lonely Mountain Band Book Club next meets Sunday, 17 April 2016, about 4:15 /server time, following Andune Ensemble! We meet in the Bird and Baby Inn in Michel Delving and in /joinchannel lmbbookclub. All are welcome and you do not have to have read the material to understand what is going on and participate. We pick up with Lúthien and Beren on the Wizard's Isle after Lúthien has banished Sauron.

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Pictured here: the famous Leap of Beren!
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re: The Tale of Beren and Lúthien. Session 7 Chat Log

The Lonely Mountain Band Book Club
The Tale of Beren and Lúthien
Session 7 - Sunday, 17 April 2016


Attendees: Malphos, Bilwise, Hollyberye, Lhinnthel, Corulin, Dietes, Byrcha, Mithmenelien, Elimraen, and some listeners

Thanks to Elimraen for drinks!
Disclaimer from Bilwise: 'Those holes in your yard are from gophers, not from me digging for the pie vault, Ms Byrcha. *nods nods*'

Hollyberye: Welcome to the Lonely Mountain Band Book Club! We meet today to continue discussion of the Tale of Beren and Lúthien. The primary text we are using is from “The Silmarillion,” Chapter 19, Of Beren and Lúthien, but I am also interspersing that with excerpts from the “Lay of Leithian.” 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! I will edit the chat log and post it in our forum thread. I am trying to spend less time editing this go-round, mainly just correcting obvious typos.'

Hollyberye: To begin: Last time our session ended with Lúthien’s banishment of Sauron, regaining power over the Isle, and the desperate search with Huan for Beren, finally found. Their reunion is by Finrod’s body.'

Hollyberye: Lúthien and Beren bury Finrod upon the hill-top of his now cleansed own Isle. “Finrod walks beneath the trees of Eldamar and comes no more to the grey world of tears and war.” Eldamar is the land of the Elves in the Blessed Realm, a continent West of Middle-earth, and means Elvenhome.'

Hollyberye: Discussion Point: Can anyone provide more details about life after death for the Elves and Eldamar, plus Finrod especially/what happens to him?'

Bilwise: 'Don't elves basically sleep until the world is remade? Something along those lines?'

Malphos: 'They meet at the Halls of Mandos, but for what fate in the end?'

Byrcha: 'That's always been a bit murky to me. Elves go to Mandos.'

Malphos: 'Oh, I always thought they awake in those halls, re-spawn basically :)'

Hollyberye: I didn't think they slept--I thought they wandered around in bliss'

Elimraen: 'Is Eldamar the place Gandalf is talking about when he talks about the 'far green country'?'

Byrcha: 'Aye, murky -- how do they get there?'

Hollyberye: I believe so Elimraen'

Hollyberye: Yes, a bit murky...'

Hollyberye: It wasn't clear to me if in the process of forgetting all ill things they also forget those they leave behind'

Bilwise: 'Boats and boat imagery seems to play a role.'

Hollyberye: But I think Finrod is united with an Elf he loves'

Hollyberye: well if you think of any more to elucidate this point, chime in at any time'

Hollyberye: Lúthien and Beren enjoy a well-deserved respite in Sirion’s cleansed vale, filling the glades with joy and staving off winter from Lúthien’s presence alone. Word reaches Nargothrond that Finrod is gone, but Lúthien has freed the Isle and Huan himself returns to Celegorm, but with little thanks, simply because of his innate faithfulness.'

Hollyberye: Discussion Point: The cleansing of the Isle is glossed over, with a few lines in the Lay (Canto XI)…saying harpers in elven tongue sing about how they strayed in the vale, filling glades with joy. “Though winter hunted through the wood, still flowers lingered where they stood.” Please speculate or provide anything you know about their influence on Sirion’s Vale. Any details or thoughts are welcome.'

Hollyberye: I like the imagery of flowers blooming in the snow as Luthien wanders by'

Bilwise: 'Sounds and song seems to play a big part of Tolkien's stories. Songs of creation and destruction. Mirkwood happened in part due to a lack of song / cheer. Stands to reason that a concerted effort at a song of life / cleansing would last through a winter.'

Malphos: 'It seems that the cleansing is a removing of the ill influence - no real, lasting harm done to that island yet'

Malphos: 'Which is remarkable, as we often read of lands that are tainted until whatever'

Hollyberye: I can visualize all trace of Sauron and his minions lifted'

Hollyberye: Yes, Malphos--I think it also points to how powerful Luthien is'

Malphos: 'Do you think Luthien is the difference here?'

Hollyberye: I personally do, yes'

Bilwise: 'Interesting point though. LotR doesn't seem to deal much with the after-effects.'

Hollyberye: yes, agreed Bilwise'

Hollyberye: The imprisoned Elves that return to Nargothrond in particular, tell the story of what has happened. This results in a clamour arising against Celegorm and Curufin.'

Hollyberye: Discussion Point: What is especially rankling the Elves of Nargothrond?'

Malphos: 'They felt forgotten, theirs did not try to rescue them seemingly?'

Elimraen: 'That Luthien had come to Tol Sirion and rescued them where no other attempts had been made'

Malphos: 'Now only two people come, alone, and open the door. That simple. Why did they have to wait so long?'

Hollyberye: Yes--they miss their King Felegund, and it was a maiden that saved the situation when Feanor's sons dared not. Plus I think they see it was treachery that guided the brothers who urged them to not support Finrod. Not fear of Sauron but treachery. I mean Celegrom and Curufin advised everyone not to support Finrod in his venture with Beren'

Hollyberye: Now the hearts of the Elves are released from obeying the brothers and instead obey Orodreth, their King. The latter prohibits the slaying of the two brothers, for that would bind the curse of Mandos more closely. The Lay says Curufin had cowed them and helped them to deny their own king, and now they felt shamed and anger.'

Hollyberye: Discussion Point: Care to elucidate on this point? Any aspect of this uprising but especially the possible effect of slaying the faithless brothers.'

Malphos: 'It is good in one part, as they free themselves from the ensnarement, but has the seed of even more family bloodshed.'

Malphos: 'Seems that just in this case it does not escalate ;)'

Byrcha: 'Yes, having been led astray once, they don't want to pile more misery on top of it'

Hollyberye: yes the spilling of kindred blood by kin is to be avoided!!!'

Hollyberye: I admired Orodreth for that decision, as it would have been easy to slay them, they are treacherous'

Bilwise: 'Sounds like a common refrain in Tolkien: do not be too eager to deal out death in judgement: even the very wise cannot see all ends.'

Hollyberye: Oh yes Bilwise, remember that thought in a bit'

Byrcha: 'I found it curious over all that the populous would defacto depose their king, then go back on it'

Elimraen: 'Both brothers seem to be very gifted at manipulating people with words, almost like they cast spells with them, but now the spell is broken.'

Hollyberye: Yes, Elimraen!!'

Malphos: 'It sounds strange, yes. Like a king is a shirt you can take off and on again.'

Hollyberye: Yes Byrcha makes a strong point--last week or the week before I recall saying I almost found it hard to believe how they treated Orodreth and that he took it'

Malphos: 'What did he do in the mean time? Was he aware that he was on a forced vacation, no-one listening to him?'

Hollyberye: He obviously becomes a strong king, as he is king well into the second age'

Hollyberye: Yes--I wondered that. He wasn't tied up in a dungeon'

Byrcha: 'I can see it in politics, but disposing of royalty was different; seldom done. Especially curious since Finrod was a good king. I'd go with the words-are-poison argument re F's sons here'

Hollyberye: yes--and assuming a sort of unspoken control? Not proclaiming themselves in charge but doing that in deed, by influencing all'

Mithmenelien: 'About the last point; I think that Orodreth might have still been king in name but the power of Celegorm and Curufin words took away any actual power from him while the people of the city where under their spell'

Hollyberye: Yes, Mithmenelien, they had not stripped his title (I feel, like you)--but maybe that would have come later. I know they wanted to :rule the world: in their quest to recover the silmarils'

Hollyberye: Celegorm and Curufin ride away alone, for all perceive the curse lies on them and evil follows them.

Celebrimbor, Curufin's son, repudiates his father’s deeds and remains…but Huan goes with Celegrorm. They ride northward toward their brother Maedhros at Himring.'

Hollyberye: Discussion Point: Poor Huan, his faithfulness is quite a trial. Any comments on this outcome in the aftermath of Finrod’s death, with the brothers banished? Also, what about Curufin’s son repudiating his father—that takes guts! Plus, what do you know about Celebrimbor?'

Malphos: 'Was he the father of Celebrian?'

Elimraen: 'He was the forger of the rings!'

Elimraen: 'In Eregion!'

Hollyberye: yes the main thing I know about him is he was the master jewel-smith of Eregion who forged the three Elven Rings of Power'

Malphos: 'Yes, of the three elven rings'

Byrcha: 'Another curious fate in this family!'

Hollyberye: As Corulin is so nice, he must be a descendent too'

Hollyberye: BTW, Curufin was given his father-name — the traditional name given by an Elvish father to his offspring — was Curufinwë, which was also Fëanor's original name. This was because Curufin was most like his father both in appearance, temperament and skill. He was also Fëanor's favourite'

Malphos: 'Oh wrong connection on my side: Celebrian was actually the daugher of Galadriel & Celeborn, the wife of Elrond. Wrong path ^^'

Hollyberye: Oh right Malphos, when you said that name it registered but in a murky way (the names that are so similar are very confusing)'

Hollyberye: Beren and Lúthien venture to the borders of Doriath and Beren determines to set forth again in his quest for the Silmaril, as soon as Lúthien is safely within her borders. Beren says that he will not lead her most blissful light to that darkest mansion of all dread, in the Lay of Leithian Canto XI. But Lúthien objects to this parting.'

Hollyberye: She said on either road he chooses, she will go with him and their doom shall be alike. His choices: relinquish the quest and wander the face of the earth; or hold to his word, his vow to Thingol, and challenge the power of darkness on the throne. Either way, she stands with him.'

Hollyberye: Discussion Point: Any comments on the devotion and determination expressed by the lovers? Is this binding most influenced by classic mythology? Or is it simply a product of Tolkien’s fertile imagination? Is it more influenced by his love for his wife or by old myths and medieval literature? This is a purely speculative question, and all thoughts most welcome!'

Byrcha: 'Luthien's strength shining through again'

Hollyberye: yes!!!' I have no answer myself'

Malphos: 'I think this is a synthesis of many influences,'

Hollyberye: But it seems to be one of the most intense love stories ever formulated'

Mithmenelien: 'yes, I think all of the points are probably influencing him in some way'

Malphos: 'but the topic of love beyond all odds, love that is stronger than any adversaries is present in many stories and myths'

Hollyberye: I like to ponder on what influenced Tolkien, maybe because he in turn has influenced sooooo very many'

Dietes: 'World War I?'

Hollyberye: that certianly affected him'

Bilwise: 'It's interesting: there isn't as strong of a love story in Norse (that I'm aware of anyway). The closest I can think of is Lancelot and Gwenivere - but Tolkien wouldn't have liked that since it's Normand in origin. maybe he was trying to create his own?'

Hollyberye: He certainly spent huge time creating languages and history, redacting his own history, and so on'

Hollyberye: Now Beren and Lúthien are engrossed in one another and oblivious of the fact that Celegorm and Curfin have seen them. The Lay says they want to rend the lovers and their love to end. Celegrom determines to run Beren down with his horse, but Curufin grabs Lúthien at the last second as he rides by. The famous Leap of Beren occurs.'

Hollyberye: his Leap is described in the Lay of Leithian more descriptively: “a spring fiercer than tawny lion-king maddened with arrows barbed smart, greater than any horned hart that hounded to a gulf leaps o’er.” The Leap of Beren is renowned among Men and Elves.'

Hollyberye: Discussion Point: Although Tolkien states the Leap is renowned—are there any other references to it or songs about it? Is it copied elsewhere?'

Elimraen: 'This must be what inspired the Leap of Legolas in The Two Towers film :p'

Hollyberye: Yes I was hoping someone would mention that!!!'

Byrcha: 'Heh, yes, this would seem to be the first Leap, but it still is reknowned'

Hollyberye: True confessions: on the video, I replayed that leap over and over and over in slow motion'

Elimraen: 'Hehe, love it :D'

Hollyberye: I had never seen anything about the leap of Beren except in this tale

Byrcha: 'Well, he had done other daring deeds which we aren't told much about. Perhaps he leaped then.'

Malphos: 'It sounds like something Bilbo will have made some poems about in Imladris.'

Byrcha: 'Or, is it a storytellin technique, telling us how awesome it is and that it would be told epicly in the future?'

Hollyberye: I just wish it were to be found in another reference'

Mithmenelien: 'about Beren's leap. I like that it gives the feeling that it is some thing that the people in Tolkien's world would have talked about amongst themselves, like it's a hidden story with in the story'

Hollyberye: --ahh Mith, yes I like that take on it, a hidden story within a story'

Hollyberye: So Beren leaps for Curufin and throws him to the ground—Lúthien lies dazed in the grass. Celegorm plans to run Beren down with a spear but “in that hour Huan forsook the service of Celegrom” and sprang upon him to swerve the horse aside.'

Hollyberye: Discussion Point: Lúthien rising, forbades the slaying of Curufin. Why??? We’ve seen something similar later on in the history of Middle-earth. Does Courufin need to be spared for a reason?'

Hollyberye: **note Bilwise raised a valid point about this a while back'

Malphos: 'Again for the same reason as they are spared before - don't make anything worse by slaying more kin. That is at least one part imho'

Byrcha: 'Maybe it is that noble/moral thing, to not kill without need?'

Hollyberye: Yes, Malphos and Byrcha--we see that play out again and again'

Bilwise: 'refraining from cruelty / killing is a theme in Tolkien. The elves tried to treat Gollum nicely when they captured him even through they didn't need to'

Hollyberye: Bilbo does not slay Gollum; Frodo stops Gollum's slaying. Yes Faramir stops it'

Hollyberye: that seems to have been because he had a role to play; don’t do the works of Orcs abhorred, Lúthien says'

Malphos: 'And Frodo not letting Saruman being killed at the end (Sharkey)'

Hollyberye: Oh yes good point about Frodo at the end'

Mithmenelien: 'it seems like a very elvish thing to do, life is alway more important then most everything, it is to be treasured'

Elimraen: 'And maybe the hope that showing mercy will bring a change of heart'

Hollyberye: Okay those are great points--I was thinking more along the line of they had a role to play. But, yes, it is maybe more treasuring life, and they may change'

Dietes: 'Yes Gandalf says something about that at one point. Show mercy because you never know what role they will play, for good or ill, in the future'

Bilwise: 'Good point, Dietes.'

Malphos: 'well, there are enough sons of Feanor, their role could have been filled by others ;)'

Hollyberye: Yes Dietes! And I am quite positive JK Rowling was influenced by this with Harry sparing Peter Petegrew'

Elimraen: 'There is so much of that in Harry Potter!'

Hollyberye: yes and she was very influenced by prior myth, etc'

Elimraen: 'Kreacher, Draco, Dudley, he even gives Voldemort a second chance at the end'

Hollyberye: yes--Tolkien has had a profound influence on subsequent literature'

Elimraen: 'I love it :)'

Bilwise: 'I don't know if we can say that the elves thought they had a role to play. but it does seem in keeping with Tolkien's "good guys" not to kill if you don't have to'

Hollyberye: Yes, Bilwise, I do agree with you'

Byrcha: 'Must be a function of much older, more mature societies -- American myth makers would have done in all the evil doers straight away wink'

Hollyberye: Oh yes, excellent point, Byrcha! An eye for an eye straight away!'

Malphos: '*hehe Byrcha*'

Bilwise: 'Agreed'

Hollyberye: Beren respects Lúthien’s wishes, but despoils Curufin of his gear and weapons, and takes his knife, Angrist, sheathless by his side (iron it would cleave as if it were green wood). Then Beren lifting Curufin flung him from him, and bade him walk now back to his noble kinsfolk, who might teach him to turn his valour to worthier use.'

Hollyberye: 'Your horse,' he said, 'I keep for the service of Lúthien, and it may be accounted happy to be free of such a master.''

Hollyberye: Discussion Point: Can anyone relate the history of Angrist, Curufin’s knife? Tolkien weapons are significant! And always worth a bit of discussion, Angrist has its role in this history!'

Malphos: 'Was it mentioned before?'

Hollyberye: well I did do some research'

Hollyberye: I believe it is mentioned before somewhere. That knife was made by Telchar of Nogrod Angrist. I mean I know it was wink'

Hollyberye: The blade is first described in The Lays of Beleriand in several of the poems and stories, where it had been forged by the Wicked Dwarves of Nogrod. Tolkien called them wicked not me :)'

Byrcha: 'Wicked? I knew it! :P'

Hollyberye: heh... In later versions and the version published in The Silmarillion, this blade became Angrist, which was originally the blade of Curufin. It still maintained its Dwarven heritage, further being described as having been forged by Telchar of Nogrod (in earlier versions he was of Belegost). Although the evil connotations of it being an enchanted dark weapon or having 'betrayed' him were played down or removed in the published version.'

Hollyberye: In Sindarin, Angrist means "Iron-cutter", from ang ("iron") and ris ("to cut"). In the Lay it says that if the blade pierced anyone, no leeches could heal the cut—for it had been made by dwarves singing slow enchantments in Nogrod.'

Hollyberye: **I liked finding that history. Weapons are so important to Tolkien'

Byrcha: 'Makes sense to not make it a fated blade, or it would be too much like Turin's blade/story'

Hollyberye: yes that's a great point'

Elimraen: 'Ooh, I like that description of the singing'

Hollyberye: But it still has a key role. Me too, I liked that bit best, Elimraen'

Malphos: 'A question for later, regarding the role of this interlude with Curufin: Would Beren and Luthien have been able to fulfil their quest without?'

Hollyberye: I think not, personally'

Malphos: 'because of the role that knife plays later'

Hollyberye: exactly'

Byrcha: 'Aye'

Hollyberye: Then Curufin cursed Beren under cloud and sky. 'Go hence,' he said, 'unto a swift and bitter death.' Celegorm took him beside him on his horse, and the brothers made then as if to ride away; and Beren turned away and took no heed of their words.'

Hollyberye: But Curufin, being filled with shame and malice, took the bow of Celegorm and shot back as they went; and the arrow was aimed at Lúthien. Huan leaping caught it in his mouth; but Curufin shot again, and Beren sprang before Lúthien, and the dart smote him in the breast. The Lay says it was a yew bow with gold wire, and a Dwarvish dart cruelly hooked'

Hollyberye: Discussion Point: this would be a good place to recount what you know about Celegorm, as we have just covered Curufin'

Byrcha: 'Other than that he is evil? wink'

Hollyberye: haha yes!!!'

Hollyberye: Celegorm the Fair was the third son of Fëanor and Nerdanel, and a constant companion of his younger brother, Curufin.'

Byrcha: 'Rather, consumed by the Silmaril-madness'

Hollyberye: yes he sure was'

Hollyberye: Celegorm was a great huntsman, and was a friend of the Vala Oromë. From Oromë he learned great skill of birds and beasts, and could understand a number of their languages. A gift he brought, of course, was Huan the hound!!'

Hollyberye: any one have anything they want to say about Celegorm?'

Mithmenelien: 'Both brothers seem to have spiraled very far from the higher ideals of elves and are acting more like humans now and out of anger without thought.'

Hollyberye: Yes, their all-consuming focus on the Silmarils and the oath of their father has truly tainted them. Well-said, Mith'

Hollyberye: Huan pursued the sons of Feanor, and they fled in fear at his red anger. The Lay recounts that Luthien sought to stem the flow of blood, plucked the arrow clean and washed the wound clean with her tears. But Huan returned and he brought to Lúthien a herb out of the forest. With that leaf he staunched Beren's wound, and by her arts and by her love she healed him; and thus at last they returned to Doriath.'

Hollyberye: Discussion Point: Is this the first instance in Tolkien (from a timeline perspective) of using something like athelas to heal, from the healing hands of an Elf or mortal with those skills?'

Mithmenelien: 'that was very beautifully described!'

Hollyberye: Yes the Lay is a gem'

Malphos: 'Didn't we have healing herbs in the tale of Turin?'

Hollyberye: The Lay says of all the herbs of healing chief that evergreen in woodland glade there grew with broad and hoary blade. Huan knew the power of all grasses.' Well Turin comes later. Not much later'

Malphos: 'Ming the dwarf heald using herbs'

Malphos: '.. ok then :)'

Hollyberye: yes he did'

Byrcha: 'Can't recall if there was any talk of it re the Valar/Maiar in the west'

Hollyberye: Also in the Lay: Luthien murmured the staunching song, which Elvish wives had sung for long years over those sad lives of war and weapons.'

Hollyberye: That fascinated me. There is so much of this story that is "retold" later, esp in Aragorn and Arwent, I feel'

Hollyberye: Luthien watches over the drowsing Beren and slakes his thirst, soothes his brow and softly croons a song more potent than runes or leeches.'

Hollyberye: Beren wakes and says he wandered in the deep shadows where the dead swell, but ever he heard a voice like bells, viols, harps, birds, calling him, drawing him back to light, healing his wound.'

Hollyberye: There Beren, being torn between his oath and his love, and knowing Lúthien to be now safe, arose one morning before the sun, and committed her to the care of Huan; then in great anguish he departed while she yet slept upon the grass. In the Lay it says he cursed the fate that joined them both in his sad doom and snared her feet in his gloom shortly before this (Canto XI).'

Hollyberye: Discussion Point: Doesn’t your heart break for them? And what about Huan, whom he begs to guard her well?'

Byrcha: 'Boo! Bring Luthien and Huan along!'

Byrcha: '... they already saved his bacon once before!'

Hollyberye: **agree with Bycrha **why are men so obstinate???'

Malphos: 'He tries to save her by all means from what he sees as an impossible quest, still he has to do it'

Hollyberye: How awful to part again'

Hollyberye: Huan is definitely Top Dog in Tolkien...even beating out Veronica in the pig pen area of The Shire'

Elimraen: 'He is amazing'

Byrcha: ':)'

Malphos: 'but only barely, Holly ;)'

Hollyberye: okay I concede that Malphos wink'

Hollyberye: He rode northward again with all speed to the Pass of Sirion, and coming to the skirts of Taur-nu-Fuin he looked out across the waste of Anfauglith and saw afar the peaks of Thangorodrim.'

Hollyberye: The Lay refers to Dor-nu-Fauglith as Land of Thirst, waste accurst, raven-haunted roofless grave—how descriptive!'

Hollyberye: There he dismissed the horse of Curufin—good steed of Master Ill, Beren calls him, and bade it leave now dread and servitude and run free upon the green grass in the lands of Sirion.'

Hollyberye: Then being now alone and upon the threshold of the final peril he made the Song of Parting, in praise of Lúthien and the lights of heaven; for he believed that he must now say farewell to both love and light. Of that song these words were part:'

Beren’s Farewell Song (in part):

Farewell sweet earth and northern sky,
for ever blest, since here did lie'
and here with lissom limbs did run
beneath the Moon, beneath the Sun,
Lúthien Tinuviel'
more fair than mortal tongue can tell.'

Though all to ruin fell the world'
and were dissolved and backward hurled'
unmade into the old abyss,'
yet were its making good, for this-'
the dusk, the dawn, the earth, the sea-'
that Lúthien for a time should be.'

Hollyberye: And he sang aloud, caring not what ear should overhear him, for he was desperate and looked for no escape.'

Hollyberye: Discussion Point: Could some knowledgable person explain where we are geographically in Middle-earth? It starts to get confusing!'

Byrcha: 'Heh, the Place the Mapmakers Feared to Draw'

Malphos: 'Side note: Good at heart to the last - care for the horse, don't let it get harmed. Again, think of Sam and Bill the pony at the Moria door.'

Byrcha: 'I picture it north of the places that are on the map'

Hollyberye: Yes great point Malphos, and I agree with Bycrha'

Hollyberye: I thought it was north too but confused'

Bilwise: 'The place where the secret pie vault is now. *nods nods*'

Hollyberye: hehe'

Byrcha: 'It did say there were vaults there ... wink'

Hollyberye: hey yes!'

Hollyberye: But Lúthien heard his song, and she sang in answer, as she came through the woods unlooked for. For Huan, consenting once more to be her steed, had borne her swiftly hard upon Beren's trail after she begged him. They meet again beyond the ways of Men, upon the brink of terror between the desert and the woods. Luthien sings to him that not yet do they part, proud and fearless hand and heart, nor thus do those of elven race forsake the love that they embrace'

Hollyberye: Discussion Point: Let’s chat about the fidelity of Elves here.'

Elimraen: 'They are good at it :D'

Hollyberye: they sure are'

Byrcha: 'Well, not all Elves. See: Curufin and Celegorm, above.'

Hollyberye: But I mean in terms of betrothal and marriage'

Elimraen: 'Ah, I was thinking marriage. I only know of one Elf who married twice?'

Hollyberye: me too, Elimraen. They display incredible fidelity'

Malphos: 'Oh, I think they are very classical there. Did we hear once about separation, re-marriage?'

Hollyberye: Only one remarried'

Byrcha: 'Oh, I thought in general. Then again, Curufin and Celegorm apparently weren't married either?'

Malphos: 'but after her death'

Hollyberye: and the circumstances were extenuating'

Mithmenelien: 'The only elf that got a divorce was Feanors father I believe'

Byrcha: 'Oh, that's ominous'

Hollyberye: I have read in several places they would never dream of adultery'

Mithmenelien: 'or maybe it wasn't an actual divorce'

Dietes: 'Aren't elves immortal?'

Malphos: 'Oh oh .. the only one is then the source of much of this evil, it brought Feanor'

Elimraen: 'Yes - very, very long marriages, Dietes!'

Hollyberye: yes but I also read that they are so interested in other things, like crafts, that their relationship kind of alters over time'

Hollyberye: A spouse often Sails West before the other, but not out of anger. Just because one is ready to leave Middle-earth...also they only like to have children in times of peace. And mostly don't have many--Feanor had the most, with seven I think'

Dietes: 'That's very impressive. Literally: married for life. I mean eternity!'

Hollyberye: when they fall in love they REALLY mean it and they mean it FOREVER'

.....................

We decided to break at this point! Thank you so much everyone!

Next session: Sunday, 24 April 2016, @4:15 server time after Andune Ensemble
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re: The Tale of Beren and Lúthien, Session 8 Chat Log

The Lonely Mountain Band Book Club
The Tale of Beren and Lúthien
Session 8 - Sunday, 24 April 2016


Attendees: Malphos, Bilwise, Hollyberye, Corulin, Byrcha, Mithmenelien, Elimraen, Godwineson

Hollyberye: 'Welcome to the Lonely Mountain Band Book Club! We meet today to continue discussion of the Tale of Beren and Lúthien. The primary text we are using is from “The Silmarillion,” Chapter 19, Of Beren and Lúthien, but I am also interspersing that with excerpts from the “Lay of Leithian.” 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! In fact, please do!! I had a more trying time this week coming up with discussion points.'

Hollyberye: 'To begin: Last time our session ended with Beren singing the Song of Parting as he neared certain death on his venture to take a Silmaril from Morgoth’s crown, and Lúthien’s reappearance with Huan, as she is determined not to be parted from her beloved.'

Hollyberye: 'Tolkien tells us that long had Huan pondered in his heart what counsel he could devise for the easing of the peril of these two whom he loved. He turned aside therefore at Sauron's isle, as they ran northward again. The Lay explains in more detail that he brought trophies from the isle to create their disguises: Huan took the form of the ghastly wolf-hound of Draugluin, and Luthien the bat-fell of Thuringwethil. That was the messenger of Sauron, and was wont to fly in vampire's form to Angband; and her great fingered wings were barbed at each joint's end with and iron claw. Clad in these dreadful garments, Huan and Lúthien ran through Taur-nu-Fuin, and all things fled before them.'

Hollyberye: 'Discussion Point: If you know anything more about the bat Thuringwethil or the wolf-hound Draugluin, please feel free to share that with us.'

Byrcha: 'Interesting that evil-things fled from them too'

Hollyberye: 'Yes, they must be among the supreme evil?'

Byrcha: 'I was fascinated that the description is like they are wearing a disguise (hame), but she is actually able to fly like a bat!'

Hollyberye: 'Yes, pretty amazing!' Serious magical abilities/serious divine abilities. I know they didn't really use the word magic'

Malphos: 'I think that is important in the difference between good and evil in Tolkien's work. It is not just we and them, the other side is really different. They are also between them not a coherent, helpful bunch. Evil is evil in total.'

Hollyberye: 'That's a really interesting point, because some people have gradations in their views...so like gradations of evil--but not in Tolkien's world'

Byrcha: 'That's a good point overall for Tolkien -- evil-doers don't all get along, they need stronger-evil leaders to push them'

Hollyberye: 'at least in the creatures--and leaders of evil? and they can turn on each other in a split second'

Bilwise: 'Like at the tower when Frodo was captured. The orcs killed each other as the Ring overrode their fear of Sauron.'

Elimraen: 'Because they all know that none of them is trustworthy!'

Byrcha: 'Aye, I'm thinking of the Orc banter in Two Towers, and at the watch tower in RotK'

Mithmenelien says, 'Byrcha, it reminded me of a shapeshifting hame to :)''

Corulin: 'That's why evil never wins. They're not only against the good ones, they're against each other too :)'

Hollyberye: 'oh excellent points'

Mithmenelien: 'In many myths and lore around the world it is possible to take on the shape of an animal, by wearing it's skin or clothes made of it. for example the goddess Freya has a garment made of falcon feathers that if you wear it you are transformed into a falcon yourself and by taking it of you are yourself again, it is just like wearing ordinary clothes exempt you are more changed by it'

Mithmenelien: 'that is so true Corulin!'

Bilwise: 'Minus 50 drp (dragon reading points)!'

Hollyberye: 'heh...Mith I didn't know about Freya'

Byrcha: 'Is that what 'hame' means? *didn't look it up*'

Hollyberye: 'I did look it up and didn't get very satisfying answers, it sounded like hooks to attach something

Mithmenelien: 'it also made me think about the selkie and the stories about the swan prinsesess :)'

Byrcha: 'Good points Mith -- Tolkien certainly would have been well versed in those northern stories'

Hollyberye: 'Discussion Point: Our admiration of Huan knows no bounds—it was his idea to take on these wicked forms so they could travel unmolested to Beren. How do you think he conveyed that to Luthien? Any additional comments on his “magic”?'

Hollyberye: 'he wasn't speaking at that point...perhaps that divine communication of thoughts?'

Byrcha: 'I still think Huan must be like unto a Maiar'

Hollyberye: 'He is certianly very special, indeed'

Byrcha: 'Thuringwethil's hame was just lying around, but didn't Huan have to create the Dragluin one?'

Hollyberye: 'Yes, so many details left out, Byrcha'

Byrcha: 'and without talking to Luthien here'

Hollyberye: 'Beren, seeing their approach, was dismayed; and he wondered, for he had heard the voice of Tinuviel, and he thought it now a phantom for his ensnaring. But they halted and cast aside their disguise, and Lúthien ran towards him. Thus Beren and Lúthien met again between the desert and the wood.'

Hollyberye: 'For a while he was silent and was glad; but after a space he strove once more to dissuade Lúthien
from her journey. 'Thrice now I curse my oath to Thingol,' he said, 'and I would that he had slain me in Menegroth, rather than I should bring you under the shadow of Morgoth.''

Byrcha: '*Imagines Huan doing charades with his paws*'

Hollyberye: ':D yes'

Bilwise: 'Pictionary'

Hollyberye: 'haha'

Bilwise: 'First word, sounds like ...'

Mithmenelien: 'Huan might have taken the skins and with his mouth and and dragged them over untop Beren and Luthiens bodies to make them understand that they should put them on. Also both of them probably understood animal language very well, luthien from being an elf and Beren from his time in the wild then he learned the language of the animals'

Hollyberye: 'Oh, Mith! Yes of course, in his wanderings to get to Doriath, Beren was renowned as friend to good animals. And yes Luthien would have gifts'

Byrcha: 'oh, good! no pictionary!'

Hollyberye: 'I like that explanation

Mithmenelien: 'kinda like they can intuitively understand much from him'

Hollyberye: 'Like Radagast--and Gandalf, too. 'Oh and Luthien was always in the woods before meeting Beren'

Hollyberye: 'Then for the second time Huan spoke with words; and he counselled Beren, saying: 'From the shadow of death you can no longer save Lúthien, for by her love she is now subject to it. You can turn from your fate and lead her into exile, seeking peace in vain while your life lasts."'

Hollyberye: 'Huan continued, "But if you will not deny your doom, then either Lúthien, being forsaken, must assuredly die alone, or she must with you challenge the fate that lies before you--hopeless, yet not certain. Further counsel I cannot give, nor may I go further on your road. But my heart forebodes that what you find at the Gate I shall myself see. All else is dark to me; yet it may be that our three paths lead back to Doriath, and we may meet before the end.''

Hollyberye: 'Discussion Point: For me, this is conclusive evidence that Beren and Luthien were meant to be, that it was prophesied by the Valar or someone on high, for Huan was sent from the Blessed Realm, and I feel it had to be for this purpose, to enable Beren and Luthien. Any thought on that? You are welcome to disagree wink…Plus more thoughts on Huan are welcome.'

Byrcha: 'We guess he cannot go further because Beren wears the Dragluin-hame?'

Hollyberye: 'I think that sounds right, Byrcha'

Bilwise: 'Sounds a lot like Gandalf. There was only so much he could do. I recall vaguely something about Maia being restricted in how much they could help.'

Byrcha: 'Aye, I would think that this is Huan's fated mission (much like Gandalf's role later?)'

Hollyberye: 'Yes, Bilwise, Gandalf was like that too!'

Hollyberye: 'You know also, just now, when I re-read that--Huan says Luthien is guided by the shadow of death-almost like he is prophesying her future choice of mortality. Yes, I think it IS his fated mission, even though Tolkien doesn't specify that clearly. Although he was sent as the hound of one of the brothers we discussed last week, but had to make his way to Luthien so to speak'

Hollyberye: 'Oh, the Lay says Huan’s voice was like the deep-toned bells that ring in Valmar’s citadels. Lovely!'

Hollyberye: 'He also used the expression to Beren, “Of one fair gem thou must be thief, Morgoth’s or Thingol’s” -- I thought that was beautifully expressed.'

Malphos: 'More like a bark formed into words?'

Elimraen: 'Wow, yes :)'

Hollyberye: 'And remember how commanding Gandalf could be too, in the books?' 'YOU SHALL NOT PASS...gentle and sonorous both'

Hollyberye: 'Then Beren perceived that Lúthien could not be divided from the doom that lay upon them both, and he sought no longer to dissuade her. By the counsel of Huan and the arts of Lúthien he was arrayed now in the “hame” of Draugluin, and she in the winged “fell” of Thuringwethil. Beren became in all things like a werewolf to look upon, save that in his eyes there shone a spirit grim indeed but clean; and horror was in his glance as he saw upon his flank a bat-like creature clinging with creased wings.'

Hollyberye: 'Now in the Lay, Canto XII, it says that Luthien wrought an Elvish enchantment, lest the foul raiment drive dreadful madness into their hearts—so she used Elvish arts to build a strong defense, a binding power, "singing until the midnight hour.” (That sounds like a rock song!) Then howling under the moon Beren leaped down the hill, and the bat, Luthien, wheeled and flittered above him.'

Hollyberye: 'Discussion Point: what do you think about that, he looked just like a werewolf, but in his eyes shone a clean spirit?'

Elimraen: 'On one of the lotro twitch streams they said that the merrevail were probably designed with Thuringwethil in mind, so we can have some idea of what she would have looked like'

Elimraen: 'I like that idea - he couldn't completely disguise his goodness :)'

Malphos: 'And the eyes are often thought to be the direct portal to the soul'

Byrcha: 'Aye. It does sounds like more than just wearing a disguise though'

Malphos: 'dont forget the Evil Eye'

Mithmenelien: 'it reminded me of how in the Children of Hurin you could see the spirit of Morgoth in the eyes of the dragon. The eyes tell the truth!'

Elimraen: 'Definitely, Mith'

Hollyberye: 'Oh thanks for sharing that bit of information, Elimraen--that is very useful to know!'

Mithmenelien: 'I liked the description of that whole scene, it is very strong imagery'

Hollyberye: 'Yes, I love the importance of the eyes and what they reveal'

Hollyberye: 'I thought Tolkien did a really nice job with that description. And as an aside, I know some of you object to the filming of LOTR and The Hobbit, but wouldn’t this be a marvelous movie or series if faithfully rendered?'

Mithmenelien: 'oh yes it would be wonderful!'

Bilwise: 'As a mini-series it might be nice'

Elimraen: 'It would, I'd love to see it done well :)'

Hollyberye: 'yes!'

Hollyberye: 'I was thinking mini series to get as much detail in as possible'

Hollyberye: 'Disguised, the couple passed through perils, until they reach the dreary dale that lay before the Gate of Angband. Black chasms opened beside the road, whence forms as of writhing serpents issued. On either hand the cliffs stood as embattled walls, and upon them sat carrion fowl crying with fell voices. Before them was the impregnable Gate, an arch wide and dark at the foot of the mountain; above it reared a thousand feet of precipice.'

Byrcha: 'I would love to see this story in particular on film or miniseries, same for much of the Silmarilion'

Hollyberye: 'Discussion Point: In what Tolkien stories does Angband figure? When was it first built? Is THIS the most evil place ever in Middle-earth?'

Byrcha: 'Oh, no ... Angband was like unto a watchtower for Utumno earlier right?'

Hollyberye: 'I couldn't recall'

Hollyberye: 'It certianly figured in The Children of Hurin'

Hollyberye: 'the writhing serpents issuing from black chasms on the road sort of clenched it for me as worst place.../shudder'

Byrcha: 'I don't recall entirely, but Utumno was layed waste but Angband wasn't apparently'

Byrcha: 'Aye, a frightening image!'

Hollyberye: 'There dismay took them, for at the gate was a guard of whom no tidings had yet gone forth. Rumour of he knew not what designs abroad among the princes of the Elves had come to Morgoth, and ever down the aisles of the forest was heard the baying of Huan, the great hound of war, whom long ago the Valar unleashed.'

Hollyberye: 'Morgoth recalled the doom of Huan, and he chose one from among the whelps of the race of

Draugluin; 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. There the fire and anguish of hell entered into him, and he became filled with a devouring spirit, tormented, terrible, and strong.'

Hollyberye: 'Carcharoth, the Red Maw!!!!'

Hollyberye: 'he is named in the tales of those days, and Anfauglir, the Jaws of Thirst. And Morgoth set him to lie unsleeping before the doors of Angband, lest Huan come.'

Hollyberye: 'Discussion Point: More information on Carchoroth is welcome at this point and this fear of Huan'

Byrcha: 'heh, Morgoth knew more about Huan than the Elves did'

Hollyberye: 'Sounds that way doesn't it? Good point, Byrcha'

Hollyberye: 'that's a small but hideous summary in The Silmarillion'

Hollyberye: 'I wonder what Red Maw means?'

Byrcha: 'a very evocative description, it is part of what makes this chapter stand out from all the rest of The Silmarilion'

Hollyberye: 'Yes I now find it even harder to believe it is only a chapter'

Elimraen: 'It seems like he's entirely evil, except for the 'tormented' part, which makes it a bit sad to me.'

Hollyberye: 'Yes, what the evil leaders do to create evil minions is unbearable'

Byrcha: 'More like hunger-incarnate'

Elimraen: 'I thought that was Hobbits'

Hollyberye: 'hehe'

Byrcha: 'true, true'

Bilwise: ':)'

Mithmenelien: 'it sounds like there is more to Huan than we know, that there is hidden knowledge of him amongst both the wise and the evil.'

Hollyberye: 'Yes, Mith, the way the story unfolds, we get new pieces of information like that'

Hollyberye: 'Now Carcharoth espied them from afar, and he was filled with doubt; for news had long been brought to Angband that Draugluin was dead. Therefore when they approached he denied them entry, and bade them stand; and he drew near with menace, scenting something strange in the air about them. But suddenly some power, descended from of old from divine race, possessed Lúthien, and casting back her foul raiment she stood forth, small before the might of Carcharoth, but radiant and terrible.'

Hollyberye: 'Lifting up her hand she commanded him to sleep, saying: 'O woe-begotten spirit, fall now into dark oblivion, and forget for a while the dreadful doom of life.' And Carcharoth was felled, as though lightning had smitten him.' This is described at greater length and more vividly in Canto XIII.'

Hollyberye: 'Discussion Point: Please share your thoughts on this power that possesses Lúthien. Also, imagine yourself to be Beren shrouded in Draughin’s disguise and knowing that Carcharoth is suspicious. By the way, the enchantment was for one hour.'

Hollyberye: 'Elimraen's point earlier seems to be shared by Luthien:'

Byrcha: 'Sounds like Luthien calling upon her Maiar heritage to me'

Hollyberye: 'She recognizes Carcharoth lives in a dreadful doomed way'

Hollyberye: 'Yes and that ability to unleash their terrible power was mentioned by Galadriel, if she had the ring. At least I thought of that and hope I was not too overly influenced by the movie on that point'

Byrcha: 'The books mention Galadriel having powers, but not well defined/described'

Hollyberye: 'I am just in awe of how this dancing beauty we meet at the beginning is really this incredibly powerful Elf'

Hollyberye: 'Okay, thanks Byrcha'

Elimraen: 'Yes this is different from how we've seen her before. It does remind me of film Galadriel now you mention it'

Hollyberye: 'For some reason I was surprised to read the enchantment would only last an hour'

Hollyberye: 'I suspect some of the ideas they got for the film came from earlier events in the Silmarillon'

Bilwise: 'It wasn't a toggle skill, that's for sure. :p'

Malphos: 'As an enchantment, should it last forever? Any influence might wear off over time.'

Hollyberye: 'No :)'

Malphos: 'She is not around after that to renew it'

Hollyberye: 'well I was thinking at least over night!'

Hollyberye: 'right--until she leaves perhaps'

Malphos: 'Time chosen for dramaturgical purposes :D'

Hollyberye: 'I think Beren must be possessed of an incredibly stalwart heart, because really he was so defenseless, unlike Luthien'

Hollyberye: 'Tolkien tells us: Then Beren and Lúthien went through the Gate, and down the labyrinthine stairs; “and together wrought the greatest deed that has been dared by Elves or Men.”'

Malphos: 'or not capable of understanding the gulf of power between a mere human and the evil-god they are going to face'

Hollyberye: 'Oh good point, that could be. He did know earlier he was going to a hopeless task, of course, but what a fright at the gate to face'

Hollyberye: 'They came to the seat of Morgoth, a place of horror, lit by fire, and filled with weapons of death and torment. There Beren slunk in wolf's form beneath his throne; but Lúthien was stripped of her disguise by the will of Morgoth, and he bent his gaze upon her.'

Hollyberye: 'Discussion Point: Tolkien describes Morgoth’s Hall with just a few words. Do you feel more is needed to set the scene?'

Byrcha: 'I found it quite unsettling anyway wink'

Elimraen: ''Upheld by horror' is very evocative!'

Hollyberye: 'yes it is!'

Byrcha: 'And: Morgoth's ego is large enough that not much else would fit in his main hall :P'

Bilwise: 'I think in this case less is more. Weapons and instruments of torture makes it pretty terrifying without a lot of detail.'

Hollyberye: 'Well that is a good point. But, The Lay of Leithian is much more descriptive. Canto XIV describes this place as one where an everlasting death is hid, down in mountain roots profound, devoured, tormented, bored and ground by seething vermin spawned of stone. He says there is a thunderous forge and a burning wind with foul vapours. There were rock forms like hideous cavern trolls.'

Hollyberye: 'Discussion Point: Are you surprised to learn this is a noisy, active place? According to the Lay of
Leithian it sure is. The doomed and dying are gasping on the floor, and about him are Balrog-lords with fiery manes and fangs of steel, devouring wolves.'

Hollyberye: 'I was stunned, I imagined it deathly quiet **thunderous forges**'

Malphos: 'It is not cold and frozen, like the hell in Dante's inferno. Quite the opposite, like a thundering fire burning of hatred and lusting for destruction.'

Byrcha: 'Surprising. The Silmarilion description is eery in its understatement'

Hollyberye: 'Yes, fiery and noisy'

Malphos: 'At Dante it was the distance from God that made it frozen and still, here we have a very active, but completely evil god in the center'

Byrcha: 'I think it mentioned his courtiers though, so someone else was there'

Hollyberye: 'ohhh good way to express it'

Malphos: 'remember Melkor was the most powerful and gifted, before he became Morgoth'

Hollyberye: 'Yes I knew others were there. And he has Balrogs around him!!'

Bilwise: '*imagines balrog coutriers bowing and flouncing about* Good day to you sir! And to you madam!'

Malphos: 'rofl'

Hollyberye: 'HAHAH yes Bilwise, before I looked at this section of the Lay of Leithian, I assumed his minions slunk around quietly, just snarling when they ate someone else there'

Elimraen: 'One Balrog is bad enough, yikes.'

Hollyberye: 'From Canto XIV we are told “o’er the host of hell there shone with a cold radiance, clear and wan, the Silmarils, the gems of fate, imprisoned in the crown of hate.”'

Hollyberye: 'She was not daunted by his eyes; and she named her own name, and offered her service to sing before him, after the manner of a minstrel. Then Morgoth looking upon her beauty conceived in his thought an evil lust, and a design more dark than any that had yet come into his heart since he fled from Valinor. Thus he was beguiled by his own malice, for he watched her, leaving her free for a while, and taking secret pleasure in his thought.'

Byrcha: 'very naughty'

Hollyberye: 'yes, showing a weakness too'

Hollyberye: 'Then suddenly she eluded his sight, and out of the shadows began a song of such surpassing loveliness, and of such blinding power, that he listened; and a blindness came upon him, as his eyes roamed to and fro, seeking her.'

Byrcha: 'a weakness which Luthien must have sensed!'

Hollyberye: 'Excellent point, yes'

Hollyberye: 'Canto XIV tells us that she stood revealed in hell…about her slender shoulders hung her shadowy hair, and round her clung her garment dark, where glimmered pale the starlight caught in elvish veil. One could smell the elven flowers from elven-dells. The Canto tells us it is a theme of sleep and slumbering, woven with deeper spells that Melian had used.'

Hollyberye: 'Discussion Point: The Silmarillion prose and the Lay of Leithian poetry vary a bit in this scene. Which do you prefer and why? Any comments on Lúthien’s ability to shut down Angband for a time?'

Byrcha: 'very powerful magic, I had forgotten the connection to the sleepiness-cloak'

Hollyberye: 'Yes I kind of jumped ahead with part of that question. Let me put the next text in: All his court were cast down in slumber, and all the fires faded and were quenched; but the Silmarils in the crown on Morgoth's head blazed forth suddenly with a radiance of white flame; and the burden of that crown and of the jewels bowed down his head, as though the world were set upon it, laden with a weight of care, of fear, and of desire, that even the will of Morgoth could not support.'

Hollyberye: 'Then Lúthien catching up her winged robe sprang into the air, and her voice came dropping down like rain into pools, profound and dark. She cast her cloak before his eyes, and set upon him a dream, dark as the outer Void where once he walked alone.'

Hollyberye: 'Suddenly he fell, as a hill sliding in avalanche, and hurled like thunder from his throne lay prone upon the floors of hell. The iron crown rolled echoing from his head. All things were still.'

Hollyberye: 'Discussion Point: Comments, please, on this scene'

Bilwise: 'So the song triggered something in the Silmarils too?'

Hollyberye: 'Yes her voice must have resonated in them?'

Hollyberye: 'I loved how the Silmarils started to glow with a white radiance!!! That was just so apt!'

Bilwise: 'If so it seems that evil in Tolkien brings with it the seeds of its own destruction.'

Hollyberye: 'Well-said Bilwise'

Elimraen: 'I really like the kind of understated way she defeats him here - first she gets him to listen, then sleep, and then fall - it's not like a great battle or anything (or maybe it is in some ways), but it's such a big deal that she manages to do even those things, and the way he expresses it gets that across I think.'

Hollyberye: 'Elimraen, yes it is understated'

Bilwise: 'Morgoth takes the silmarils to put in his crown and ends up getting hurt by them. Sauron creates a ring to control others and ends up undone by it.'

Malphos: 'Then Bil and Byrcha grabbed, hidden under a feasting table, simultaneously that shiny jewels. Arguing who should have the honour they missed the moment, and the designated hero Beren could fulfill his fate!'

Byrcha: 'aye! and that the Silmarils were not corrupted while in Morgoth'

Hollyberye: 'And note that the Silmarils are responding to Luthien'

Bilwise: 'hehe'

Hollyberye: 'I mean it isn't like she is Curufin'

Bilwise: 'We'd bake him a pie so good and bacony the food coma would last an age.'

Byrcha: '*snort* mine!'

Hollyberye: 'Great segue:'

Hollyberye: 'Discussion Point: What did the inhabitants of Angband EAT? And why is there no food in the Tale? Perhaps it took food to make a best seller (Bilbo's Pantry; the Elves Lembas!)'

Bilwise: 'hehe'

Malphos: 'Did it not mention the balrogs devoured wolves?'

Hollyberye: 'Surely they should have stopped on their journeys to have a bite :)'

Byrcha: 'hehe. I do wonder such things. then again, do we REALLY want to know what Orcs (and worse) eat?'

Bilwise: 'It seems Tolkien pushes away a lot of normalcy in the Silmarillion stories. They're supposed to be epic and concerns of food and sleep, etc., are too pedestrian to consider'

Malphos: 'That is a real Samwise question'

Bilwise: 'But also, what Byrcha said. Ick.'

Byrcha: 'Yes, this is a mythic-level story, not there-and-back-again'

Bilwise: 'They probably have a Starbucks though. :p'

Malphos: 'How evil!'

Byrcha: '(First question from Hobbits in Nargothrond before agreeing to go forth with Beren and Finrod: So, there'll be pie, right?)'

Hollyberye: 'And Malphos, yes they do mention for instance, Morgoth feeding living flesh to Carcharoth'

Bilwise: '*nods nods*'

Mithmenelien: 'I imagine alot of them eat a lot of flesh from live bodies as well as rotten meat with insects an maggots to sesaon it'

Corulin: 'Yum!'

Hollyberye: 'Okay I realize it is more an epic mythic-level story without food, but later he lets us know about their food in LOTR'

Mithmenelien: 'they might even have a evil version of Bilwise's food cart, filled with nasty stuff. Some minion
dragging it around ;)'

Hollyberye: 'Morgoth gets first dibs, of course'

Bilwise: 'lol'

Byrcha: 'Eww, Morgoth's Foodcart! aaaaiiiii'

Bilwise: 'The blech cart'

Hollyberye: 'Maggots'

Bilwise: 'Maggot burritos and spoiled milk mamosas!'

Godwineson: 'Is this a new diet plan?'

Corulin: 'Hobbit pies!'

Hollyberye: 'I've noticed in this Tale, each progressive song of Luthien's becomes more powerful than the last. I suppose that is a sign of how she comes into her powers

Mithmenelien: 'yes, it's like she becomes more and more powerful, but I imagine she might always have had that power, she just had no reason to use it wandering in the forest dancing and singing as she did before, I really like how she is more than she first seems!'

Hollyberye: 'Yes, me as well, Mith'

Hollyberye: 'As a dead beast Beren lay upon the ground; but Lúthien touching him with her hand aroused him, and
he cast aside the wolf-hame. Canto XIV tells us that as he roused himself and became strong again, Luthien’s
strength and power dimmed and was spent.'

Hollyberye: 'To his amazement, Beren sees before him the gems of Fëanor. At first he did not have the strength,
then he remembered fighting and taking Curufin’s weapon.'

Hollyberye: 'Then he drew forth the knife Angrist; and from the iron claws that held it he cut a Silmaril. More detail is to be found in Cantor XIV: “its hard edge, bitter-cold, o’er which in Nogrod songs had rolled of dwarvish armourers singing slow to hammer-music long ago.'

Hollyberye: '“Behold, the hope of Elvenland!”'

Hollyberye: 'As he closed it in his hand, the radiance welled through his living flesh, and his hand became as a shining lamp; but the jewel suffered his touch and hurt him not. It came then into Beren's mind that he would go beyond his vow, and bear out of Angband all three of the Jewels of Feanor; but such was not the doom of the Silmarils. The knife Angrist snapped, and a shard of the blade flying smote the cheek of Morgoth. He groaned and stirred, and all the host of Angband moved in sleep.'

Hollyberye: 'Discussion Point: Please explain or speculate on why Beren was able to handle a Silmaril; and why he was unable to take all three. Also...the snapping of Angrist...is this a turn of events that Tolkien uses again (or even used before)?'

Elimraen: 'It makes me think of the Ring slipping from Isildur's hand.'

Byrcha: 'The snapping of the blade might have been a way to keep Beren from grabbing all of the jewels, and being
corrupted by them (i.e., a convenient/fated break)'

Bilwise: 'Aye, that some things have a will of their own.'

Elimraen: 'And that description of the host of Angband moving in sleep made me shiver when I read it!'

Mithmenelien: 'it's like a cautionary tale to not take more than you need'

Byrcha: 'aye!'

Hollyberye: 'I also thought of Isuldir--and I really like what Byrcha said about the convenient/fated break'

Hollyberye: 'Yes, all excellent points!'

Bilwise: 'Which is probably why there aren't hobbits in it. Byr: "We're taking silmarils!" Bil: "I'll get the wheelbarrow!"

Hollyberye: ':D'

Mithmenelien: 'it made me wonder what happen to the other silmarils after this, does anyone know?'

Hollyberye: 'That is one of my upcoming questions'

Mithmenelien: 'oh ok :)'

Hollyberye: 'round the Silmarils dark fate was woven; theye were meshed in hate and yet come was their doomed hour (from the Canto); plus the cunning dwarvish blade made by treacherous smiths of Nogrod played a role'

Byrcha: 'Silmarils, meh. Now, if Morgoth had had a pastry table ...'

Malphos: 'Hmm .. that is mentioned in a summary like version later'

Bilwise: 'hehe'

Hollyberye: 'Discussion Point: As a plot device, please comment on how this played out.'

Hollyberye: 'My own take is that Beren HAD to be the one to cut the Silmaril from the crown'

Bilwise: 'And Morgoth awoke so Byr clonked him with her frying pan and escaped with the buffet table...'

Hollyberye: 'hahah'

Hollyberye: 'Luthien is made to get weak as Beren awakes and does what he vowed to do'

Byrcha: 'exactly. that's what frying pans are for. well, that and bacon'

Hollyberye: 'this sounds like a great show :)'

Hollyberye: 'Then terror fell upon Beren and Lúthien, and they fled, heedless and without disguise, desiring only to see the light once more. They were neither hindered nor pursued, but the Gate was held against their going out; for Carcharoth had arisen from sleep, and stood now in wrath upon the threshold of Angband. Before they were aware of him, he saw them, and sprang upon them as they ran.'

Malphos: 'they are allowed exactly what they have been fated to, nothing more. You did your deed, now go on please ;)'

Hollyberye: 'Yes, Malphos, exactly'

Hollyberye: 'Lúthien was spent, and she had not time nor strength to quell the wolf. But Beren strode forth before her, and in his right hand he held aloft the Silmaril. Carcharoth halted, and for a moment was afraid.'

Byrcha: 'like how faithful Huan says, well this next part is up to you two'

Hollyberye: 'Yes, precisely--and they each had their distinct roles'

Hollyberye: ''Get you gone, and fly!' cried Beren; 'for here is a fire that shall consume you, and all evil things.' And he thrust the Silmaril before the eyes of the wolf.'

Hollyberye: 'Discussion Point: This is as good a place as any to discuss the use of light versus dark in this tale. To me it seems that Tolkien is often using that as a way to advance this romantic story. Any comments on this motif?'

Godwineson: 'John 1, 1 John 1. tongue out'

Hollyberye: 'Is that a Biblical reference? Tolkien's Catholicism was incredibly influential over him.'

Malphos: 'For me this exact point is interestingly not directly dark against light - Carcharoth is symbolized with fire, which is light by itself'

Malphos: 'they are fleeing from the dark caverns into the light, just to find it blocked by the fire-like burning hell wolf/dog'

Hollyberye: 'well, but the Silmaril, is a light of Good. And most of Angband is dark--but yes I do see your point'

Godwineson: 'Yes, those are cites, but also the motif or whatever has been around a really long time.'

Mithmenelien: 'yes Malphos, like Cerebus the hellhound who guards Hades (hell) in Greek mythology'

Hollyberye: 'Oh yes, forgot that'

Bilwise: 'John 1:5 "And the light shown in the darkness and the darkness comprehended it not."'

Hollyberye: 'Thanks Bilwise'

Bilwise: 'There's a book by Thomas Shippey: Tolkien Author of the Century. In it Shippey talks a lot about Tolkien's Catholicism and how it effected his world building.'

Hollyberye: 'Oh, thank you Bilwise, that would be useful to look into'

Godwineson: 'Joseph Pierce's biography Tolkien: Man and Myth is helpful, too.'

Hollyberye: 'Thanks very much'

Hollyberye: 'But Carcharoth looked upon that holy jewel and was not daunted, and the devouring spirit within him
awoke to sudden fire; and gaping he took suddenly the hand within his jaws, and he bit it off at the wrist. Then
swiftly all his inwards were filled with a flame of anguish, and the Silmaril seared his accursed flesh. Howling he led before them, and the walls of the valley of the Gate echoes with the clamour of his torment.'

Malphos: 'like Frodo's finger'

Hollyberye: 'So terrible did he become in his madness that all the creatures of Morgoth that abode in that valley, or were upon any of the roads that led thither, fled far away' for he slew all living things that stood in his path, and burst from the North with ruin upon the world.'

Hollyberye: 'Of all the terrors that came ever into Beleriand ere Angband's fall the madness of Carcharoth was the most dreadful; for the power of the Silmaril was hidden within him.'

Hollyberye: 'Discussion Point: Anyone care to summarize the outcome of the other two Silmarils that remained in
Morgoth’s crown?'

Malphos: 'They were recovered much later,'

Hollyberye: 'Yes the two remaining sons of Feanor'

Godwineson: 'And then thrown away until the Last Battle'

Hollyberye: 'In a War'

Malphos: 'and finally the remaining two sons of Feanor literally stole them, but could not handle them anymore'

Hollyberye: 'Bt they lost the right to bear them, yes'

Malphos: 'one drowned himself in the ocean, the other i don't remember'

Elimraen: 'Who were the last two sons?'

Hollyberye: 'I don't know why--I assume because of all that had been done by that family line'

Godwineson: 'Maglor and um?'

Hollyberye: 'Maglor and Maephos'

Hollyberye: 'not sure I have the spelling right'

Malphos: 'note the 'e'! Not me!'

Hollyberye: 'Maedhros'

Godwineson: 'They never had the right to them, but they were bound in an oath they didn't want to keep, only Eru could release them, and they didn't ask Him.'

Hollyberye: 'Yes we have two people in this room with eerily similar names!'

Elimraen: 'Ok thanks!'

Hollyberye: 'Oh, thanks Godwineson'

Hollyberye: 'The Silmarils were unbearable to them so one threw himself into a fiery fissure in the earth. The other threw himself into the sea. And as The Star Of Earendil is in the sky, they each went to the sky, earth and ocean'

Malphos: 'that is the one Beren got'

Hollyberye: 'yes'

Malphos: 'and Earendil the seafarer used it as his guiding light to the undying lands'

Hollyberye: 'It's destiny to be reached later on...'

Hollyberye: 'Discussion Point: Is their another instance in the Tolkien Legendarium where a creature swallows some key object? Did Tolkien get this idea from a fairy tale?'

Hollyberye: 'I'm just asking, I do not have the answer'

Malphos: 'not literally,'

Godwineson: 'Eala Earendel over middeneard monnum senden, or whoever that goes'

Malphos: 'but that spider-monster that sucked up the life out of the two trees maybe?'

Godwineson: 'It sure seems like it must be ancient, but I'm drawing a blank'

Hollyberye: 'The last remaining words in the Lay of Leithian say that “against the wall then Beren reeled but still with his left sought to shield fair Luthien, who cried aloud to see his pain, and down she bowed in anguish sinking to the ground. (end of Canto XV)'

Mithmenelien: 'it reminded me of the myth of how the Fenrir wolf bite of the hand of Tyr who was known for his bravery, (just like Beren). and was the only one who dared to approach the great wolf to feed him, but the wolf bit of the hand and the food with it and Tyr was known as the one handed god afterwards, similar to Beren there too.'

Malphos: 'it got that strong in the process, that even Morgoth got frightened and called his Balrog army to save him'

Hollyberye: 'Oh thanks Mith, I figured there was a presedence in Myth'

Godwineson: 'Mith, that could be it. Tolkien wanted to take the great northern themes and 'baptise' them'

Hollyberye: 'Malphos, what got that strong?'

Malphos: 'that spider that killed the two trees of light. Taiperion and ..'

Hollyberye: 'Oh Ungoliant?'

Elimraen: 'Laurelin :)'

Godwineson: 'nota bene the species name for the Great White shark Carcharodon carcharias'

Malphos: 'right, Ungolianth. had to look it up'

Malphos: 'oh Laurelin, thx ^^'

Hollyberye: 'Discussion Point: C.S. Lewis provided “diplomatic and ingenious criticism of the unfinished poem”…can anyone contribute C.S. Lewis’s role in Tolkien’s development of his Legendarium?'

Hollyberye: 'I asked that because the Lay of Leithian ends at this point'

Elimraen: 'Lots of talking over morning beers as I understand it ;)'

Godwineson: 'I haven't read Diana Paxton Glyer's book on that topic, yet. but I do know that he provided encouragement for Tolkien to keep at it'

Hollyberye: 'One thing I found was, C.S. Lewis spoke very highly of “The Lay of Leithian”. He said, “Though at times the verse is technically imperfect, it is full of passages of quite stunning beauty, and the overall conception must make it, though unfinished, of the most remarkable poems written in English in the twentieth century.”'

Godwineson: 'right behind my head, yes, Bandersnatch'

Bilwise: 'Wasn't he one of the group that got together to discuss and criticize each other's work. Not the T.C.B.S. but something afterward?'

Godwineson: 'INKlings'

Bilwise: 'Aye'

Hollyberye: 'It is nearly 6PM server time--want to break here?'

Bilwise: 'Sounds good.'

Hollyberye: 'Leaving poor Beren in a swoon'

Bilwise: 'hehe'

Byrcha: 'oh dear ... will he recover?? TUNE IN NEXT WEEK!'

Godwineson: 'Fimbulwinter, or just Fimbulfall? wink'

Hollyberye: 'Okay we will pick up next week with Beren and Luthien just outside the the Gate of Andbang'

Bilwise: 'Same Silmaril time! Same Silmaril channel! *whirling pie cutter* *snack cart theme*'

Malphos: 'with only limited amounts of commercials around the recap, promised ;)'

Byrcha: 'And now a word from our sponsor: PIE'

Bilwise: 'Mmm!'

Hollyberye: 'heheh'

Godwineson: 'Pie: irrational, but tasty'


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NEXT SESSION: Sunday, 1 May 2016, @4:15 PM server time at The Bird and Baby Inn in Michel Delving and /lmbbookclub...all are welcome!
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re: LMB Book Club: Tale of Beren and Lúthien

Sunday, May 1st, we will be holding our ninth and final session to discuss the incredible Tale of Beren and Lúthien. We will meet following The Andune Ensemble performance, around 4:15 PM server time. We gather at The Bird and Baby Inn in Michel Delving and chat in /lmbbookclub. You are all welcome, even if you have not read the material.



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...the eagles carrying Beren and Lúthien...that would be the radiance of fair Gondolin below
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re: LMB Book Club: Tale of Beren and Lúthien

The Lonely Mountain Band Book Club
The Tale of Beren and Lúthien
Session Nine, 1 May 2016


Attendees: Hollyberye, Bilwise, Byrcha, Mithmenelien, Malphos, Corulin, Godwineson

Byrcha: '*cries* What's this I hear about this being the last week for Pie Club??'

Hollyberye: 'hahaha--you can come up with new recipes for next Pie Club'

Hollyberye: 'Welcome to the Lonely Mountain Band Book Club! We meet today to conclude discussion of the Tale of Beren and Lúthien. The primary text we are using is from“The Silmarillion,” Chapter 19, Of Beren and Lúthien, but I am also interspersing that with excerpts from the “Lay of Leithian.”

Bilwise: 'Huzzah! *wheels snack cart into book club channel*'

Bilwise: 'Also, as I was made the king of the ball recently at Forte's dance thing, I will be referring to myself in the royal third person. We approve of this venue! *royal stiff armed waves to all*'

Hollyberye: 'Oh excellent SIR Bilwise'

Bilwise: ':)'

Hollyberye: '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! In fact, please do!! I had a more trying time this week coming up with discussion points. I will edit the chat log and post it in our forum thread.'

Hollyberye: 'But first a word from our sponsor, Bilwise's Beautific Booty of Bread, Bagels and Baked Goods'

Hollyberye: 'To begin: Last time our session ended with Carcharoth biting off Beren’s right hand with the Silmaril in it, and he fled suffering torments from the Silmaril, leaving Beren and Luthien both in dire straits at the Gate of Angband.'

Hollyberye: 'Beren lies dying in the Gate from wolf-fang venom. Lúthien with her lips drew out the venom, and she put forth her failing power to staunch the hideous wound. But behind her in the depths of Angband the rumour grew of great wrath aroused. The host of Morgoth were awakened.'

Hollyberye: 'Thus the quest of the Silmaril was like to have ended in ruin and despair; but in that hour above the wall of the valley three mighty birds appeared, flying northward with wings swifter than the wind. Among all birds and beasts the wandering and need of Beren had been noised, and Huan himself had bidden all things watch, that they might bring him aid. High above the realm of Morgoth Thorondor and his vassals soared, and seeing now the madness of the Wolf and Beren's fall they came swiftly down, even as the powers of Angband were released from the toils of sleep.'

Hollyberye: 'Discussion Point: What do you know about Thorondor and his vassals?'

Malphos: 'The eagles were the closest .. friends? allies? to Manwe'

Hollyberye: 'That I did not know--I knew they were sent by Manwe. Sent to watch over the Ñoldor after they arrived in Beleriand'

Bilwise: 'The eagles save Middle-earth's butt again.'

Hollyberye: 'Or for the first time here maybe??? Oh no, not the first time. The Eldar first encountered him when he helped Fingon rescue Maedhros from imprisonment from Thangorodrim, upon which he had apparently made his home for a short time. After that, Thorondor and the rest of the Eagles settled in the Crissaegrim. When Gondolin was built, Thorondor became the ever vigilant guardian of the city.'

Mithmenelien: 'yes, flying with them was the way into the city for those that were not really allowed to enter'

Hollyberye: 'He rescued Fingolfin's body from defilement after Morgoth killed him, giving the Dark Lord a scar on his face -- 'that was something I just learned recently'

Hollyberye: 'When Gondolin fell, Thorondor rescued the survivors. During the War of Wrath, Thorondor and Eärendil led the Eagles in battle with the Dragons, and may have fought with Ancalagon the Black.'

Hollyberye: 'In case you are curious, In Tolkien's writings, Thorondor is not mentioned after the War of Wrath. It is believed he returned to Valinor, although his descendants remained behind. Gwaihir became the Lord of Eagles in Middle-earth after Thorondor's departure.'

Mithmenelien: 'there must be so much power in them then to be able to scar Morgoth, it really shows how they are more then just eagles, just like Huan is more then just a hound'

Hollyberye: 'Yes we have encountered two incredible beings sent by the Valar to **help this story along?** I feel, at least in part'

Hollyberye: 'I never knew about the scar until I was researching this section of the tale--do you know where it was on Morgoth's face?'

Malphos: 'both are a bit deus ex machina, or?'

Hollyberye: 'yes!'

Hollyberye: 'The eagles lifted up Lúthien and Beren from the earth, and bore them aloft into the clouds. Below them suddenly thunder rolled, lightning leaped upward, and the mountains quaked. Fire and smoke belched forth from Thangorodrim, and flaming bolts were hurled far abroad, falling ruinous upon the lands; and the Noldor in Hithlum trembled.'

Hollyberye: 'But Thorondor took his way far above the earth, seeking the high roads of heaven. Though the site below grew beautiful, Luthien wept, for she thought that Beren would surely die, he spoke no word, nor opened his eyes, and knew thereafter nothing of his flight. At last the eagles set them down upon the borders of Doriath; and they were come to that same dell whence Beren had stolen in despair and left Lúthien asleep.'

Hollyberye: 'Discussion Point: Please share your sensations and thoughts about this passage of the eagles rescue. Does anyone know Tolkien’s inspiration for the eagles?'

Mithmenelien: 'I really like this way that Tolkien makes animals more than just animals, I think that's something that would be good for us in the real world to keep in mind a bit'

Hollyberye: 'what a great insight, Mithmenelien, and thought-provoking'

Byrcha: 'Like unto angels I would think'

Hollyberye: 'Oh, Byrcha I had not thought of them as like angels, but that is an excellent analogy'

Bilwise: 'Aye, if the eagles are akin to Maiar, they'd be comparable to angels, I think'

Hollyberye: 'I enjoyed looking at the fan art depicting the flight'

Byrcha: 'that role at least, or valkyries'

Hollyberye: 'And I suppose Tolkien simply selected them for their majesty and size and ability to fly, and so on'

Mithmenelien: 'it's a bit like shamanistic spirit animals that guide people in their life in some native American tribes'

Hollyberye: 'Oh, yes, another great analogy'

Hollyberye: 'There the eagles laid her at Beren's side and returned to the peaks of Crissaegrim and their high eyries; but Huan came to her, and together they tended Beren, even as before when she healed him of the wound that Curufin gave to him. But this wound was fell and poisonous.'

Hollyberye: 'Long Beren lay, and his spirit wandered upon the dark borders of death, with anguish that pursued him from dream to dream. Then suddenly, when her hope was almost spent, he woke again, and looked up, seeing leaves against the sky; and he heard beneath the leaves singing soft and slow beside him Lúthien Tinuviel. And it was spring again.'

Hollyberye: 'Discussion Point: Huan assists in the healing, presumably as he did before by finding the herbs in the forest. Are there any other creatures in Middle-earth, outside of the four main races, that can heal like this? Later on?'

Byrcha: ''And it was spring again' -- such a wonderful image'

Hollyberye: 'yes it is!'

Hollyberye: 'Those river women could heal I think. I just now thought of them. They are not well developed'

Byrcha: 'Yes, TomBom and Goldberry could heal, though it is only implied'

Bilwise: 'There were the houses of healing at Minas Tirith. Not sure about the healers there though.'

Mithmenelien: 'I love the River daughters!'

Hollyberye: 'me, as well'

Bilwise: 'Also pies, but that goes without saying. >.> <.<'

Hollyberye: 'So Hobbit Pie Healing, yes yes'

Mithmenelien: 'Yes, hobbits heal through pies!'

Byrcha: 'Aye, I loved the story they added for them in Gondor'

Hollyberye: 'Me, too Byrcha'

Byrcha: 'hehe, and I was somehow thinking of that Fox that glimpsed the hobbits in the woods leaving the Shire in FOTR :P'

Hollyberye: 'Oh yes I remember that fox! seemed very wise'

Hollyberye: 'Thereafter Beren was named Erchamion, which is the One-handed; and suffering was graven in his face. But at last he was drawn back to life by the love of Lúthien, and he arose, and together they walked in the woods once more. And they did not hasten from that place, for it seemed fair to them. Lúthien was willing to wander in the wild without returning, forgetting house and people and all the glory of the Elf-kingdoms, and for a time Beren was content. But he could not for long forget his oath to return to Menegroth, nor would he withhold Lúthien from Thingol forever.'

Hollyberye: 'For he held by the law of Men, deeming it perilous to set at naught the will of the father, save at the last need; and is seemed also to him unfit that one so royal and fair as Lúthien should live always in the woods. Therefore after a while Beren persuaded her, and they passed into Doriath, leading Lúthien home. So their doom willed it.'

Hollyberye: 'Discussion Point: Interesting that Beren is mindful of his vow to Thingol, but Lúthien is content to stay wandering in the woods with Beren. What do you make of that?'

Byrcha: 'She's an Elf, so, woods wink'

Malphos: 'She knows her father better maybe ;)'

Hollyberye: 'I was wondering if it was a case of, happiness at last, snatched at, and father might spoil it :)' But Beren is so conscientious!!'

Malphos: 'kind of - let this moment stay, don't change what became the one perfect time?'

Byrcha: 'Aye, implied on her part. Beren's honor is explicit (though he took his time to recover)'

Hollyberye: 'Yes, Byrcha'

Hollyberye: 'Yes--and wanting to recapture that first bloom of love when they first met? That innocence before all the terrible trials and tribulations'

Hollyberye: 'Meanwhile, upon Doriath evil days had fallen. Grief and silence had come upon all its people when Lúthien was lost. Long they had sought for her in vain.'

Byrcha: 'Funny that their seeking didn't lead them to actually follow them!'

Hollyberye: 'I feel Tolkien really glossed over their frantic search for her ^^'

Malphos: 'it indicates that they did not really know what happened, or?'

Hollyberye: 'yes I think so Malphos'

Byrcha: 'Must not have really considered that Beren would actually try for the Silmaril, since they all knew where those were at'

Hollyberye: 'yes it was a hopeless quest, Thingol *knew* he was sending Beren to his death'

Mithmenelien: 'To Luthien he was simply her father she is used to him, but to Beren he is a hight and mighty King and the father of the one he wishes to marry, in olden times to do that it was provably normal to keep well with the future in laws he would most likely need permission to officially be married to her to. From the previous point again;)'

Hollyberye: 'Yes, Mith that is an excellent point--thank you'

Hollyberye: 'And it is told that in that time Daeron the minstrel of Thingol strayed from the land. He it was that made music for the dance and song of Lúthien, before Beren came to Doriath; and he had loved her, and set all his thought of her in his music. Daeron became the greatest of all the minstrels of the Elves east of the Sea, named even before Maglor son of Feanor.'

Hollyberye: 'But seeking for Lúthien in despair he wandered upon strange paths, and passing over the mountains he came into the East of Middle-earth, where for many ages he made lament beside dark waters for Lúthien, daughter of Thingol, most beautiful of all living things.'

Hollyberye: 'Discussion Point: This is a very intriguing outcome for Daeron. Have you ever come across any other material that describes his wanderings in the East? Curious he chose to write laments by dark waters. What do you make of this passage? Does it change your view about Daeron, who “betrayed” Lúthien twice out of jealousy of Beren?'

Byrcha: 'boo, Daeron, boo!'

Hollyberye: 'double boo, yes, Byrcha'

Byrcha: 'Daeron should have been eaten by wolves along the way, karmic justice :P'

Hollyberye: 'Tolkien often does not tell us an outcome like this (for instance, he doesn't tell us about Turin's companion, Neilas)'

Hollyberye: 'Yes I was frankly surprised by what Tolkien says here. Greatest minstrel of all?????' This jealous elf?'

Byrcha: 'But it is nicer in an epic sense to have someone go off to make songs/stories (how else do others know it in the future)'

Hollyberye: 'I suppose he had the best material at hand, Luthien

Malphos: 'songs have to convey a feeling, and jealousy is a very strong one ;)'

Hollyberye: 'Yes I have long argued that jealousy is the greatest root cause of human ills'

Byrcha: 'indeed. laments'

Hollyberye: 'Also if he became the greatest of all Minstrels east of the sea, he had to have been in bigger settlements singing. Not just lingering by dark pools'

Hollyberye: 'have any of you come across his name in any other context?'

Byrcha: 'Not that I recall, but didn't look him up

Hollyberye: 'Oh! Byrcha--maybe HE wrote the Lay of Leithian'

Byrcha: 'oh! yes, *someone* wrote it'

Hollyberye: 'and even the song Aragorn sings in Fellowship of the Ring'

Mithmenelien: 'yes, that would make sense in a way'

Hollyberye: 'Okay, that would suit me wink'

Byrcha: 'Isn't it like some classic literary technique (I alone lived to tell the tale)?'

Hollyberye: 'yes, great point Byrcha. As his unrequited love was for Luthien, and someone had to make her tale live on, I guess it was Daeron'

Hollyberye: 'Discussion Point: We are told that Thingol turns to Melian for counsel but she withholds it…why do you think that is? this is before Luthien and Beren show up at his court'

Byrcha: 'Yeah, Melian finally has a cold shoulder ... about time!'

Byrcha: 'Still, would expect a bit more communication. She does foresee what is to come'

Hollyberye: 'And maybe, she knew Thingol hadn't listened before....'

Byrcha: 'Yes. Interesting to me that Melian does not seem to get caught in the Silmaril's lust'

Hollyberye: 'That's a really good point about Melian being resistant to the Silmarils'

Hollyberye: 'Carcharoth, driven mad by the Silmaril, is finally invading Doriath, not repelled by Melian’s enchantments.'

Hollyberye: 'Discussion Point: Fate drove Carcharoth through—just like Beren, it seems…isn’t that interesting, that those two an get through the impenetrable girdle?'

Malphos: 'because he is driven by something bigger'

Byrcha: 'Tolkien does seem to like these hand-of-fate type instances (e.g. Eowyn)'

Malphos: 'the Silmarils are woven into the fate of Middle Earth, and contain the light of the trees. So they are bigger than a petty enchantment of a local maiar ;)'

Hollyberye: 'Okay I understand what you are saying'

Mithmenelien: 'that's a great point Malphos!'

Byrcha: 'Aye, though Melian isn't petty (her daughter sings down Sauron and Melkor). but the Silmaril is even more powerful'

Hollyberye: 'Meanwhile, Beren and Lúthien hasten to the throne of her father!'

Hollyberye: 'Thingol looks in wonder upon Beren, who states he has returned according to his word, to claim his own, and that “Even now a Silmaril is in my hand.” As Beren holds up his handless right arm, he becomes known as Camlost, the Empty-handed.'

Byrcha: 'Another powerful image. I can see Beren kneeling and holding out his missing hand'

Hollyberye: 'yes /shudder but also awe'

Hollyberye: 'Discussion Point: Please comment on how Thingol’s mood toward Beren changes and what it means for Middle-earth.'

Byrcha: 'I so want someone to make a movie/series of this!'

Hollyberye: 'Me too Byrcha, I know cannot believe it has not been done'

Hollyberye: 'I would labor over a script if I thought someone would buy it'

Byrcha: '(Lawyers...)'

Hollyberye: '**christopher too'

Byrcha: 'I thought Thingol redeemed himself a bit here'

Hollyberye: 'And about time'

Hollyberye: 'This to me is a big turning point...he is so very different toward Turin later on and I think this is why--Beren's incredible effort. So this improves Thingol in my mind'

Byrcha: 'hmm, could be!'

Mithmenelien: 'it was a very powerful and gripping speech he made about how he has the silmarils in his hand, it is something that not even Thingol can help but admire, Beren a mere human did after all do what was considered impossible'

Hollyberye: 'Yes!'

Mithmenelien: 'yes, and Turin was related to Beren to!'

Hollyberye: 'yes!'

Hollyberye: 'The Hunting of the Wolf is prepared and includes the illustrious company of Huan, Mablung, Beleg, Beren and Thingol. What a cast of heroes!'

Hollyberye: 'Discussion Point: Please comment on the fact that Lúthien stays back, why, and what does this remind you of?'

Byrcha: 'Reminds me of sexism? Oh, and Eowyn'

Hollyberye: 'the dark shadow falling on her reminds me of Arwen’s reaction'

Hollyberye: 'Luthien fades a bit after all that use of massive and incredible power'

Mithmenelien: 'It does seem a bit odd and unlike her to stay behind'

Hollyberye: 'But yes also the more standard alignment of sexist roles'

Byrcha: 'agreed. she did put the very same wolf to sleep (oh, and: Melkor)'

Hollyberye: 'She was MOST useful in all this'

Byrcha: 'but if she is now depleted a bit it makes more sense'

Hollyberye: 'Yes, to me greatest power ever seen in Middle-earth'

Hollyberye: 'Well I thought it was worth mentioning here'

Mithmenelien: 'about Luthien, it's like she is overcome be this sense of dark foreboding that renders her helpless in this tangible doom that has been looming over her since she met Beren'

Hollyberye: 'I agree with you Mith'

Hollyberye: 'Tolkien tells us of the initial maneuvers to rout out Carcharoth, but Huan becomes impatient…Carcharoth evades him but springs toward Thingol, and is intercepted by Beren! But Huan springs out and “no battle of wolf and hound has been like to it.”'

Hollyberye: 'It is Huan who slays Carcharoth, but Huan’s own doom is spoken and he speaks for the third and last time…to bid Beren farewell.'

Hollyberye: 'Discussion Point: Are you surprised that Huan’s third opportunity to speak is this simple?'

Byrcha: 'A bit, yes. But he does speak, which is significant'

Byrcha: 'An interesting spin on the classic hunting story -- the dog gets impatient and decides to end it!'

Hollyberye: 'And Huan wanted that Silmaril recovered for his beloved Luthien and, clearly, beloved Beren'

Byrcha: 'Understated here, but Huan already knew it would bring his death'

Hollyberye: 'Mablung cuts open the dead evil wolf and hands the Silmaril to Beren, who, though dying, is roused to give it to Thingol… “Now is the Quest achieved and my doom full-wrought.”'

Hollyberye: 'Born back to the great beech Hirilorn, Lúthien meets them and as she holds and kisses him, bade Beren to await her beyond the Western Sea.'

Hollyberye: 'Discussion Point: As he dies, the starlight is quenched and Lúthien lays like a flower cut off. What does this say about this legendary love story?'

Mithmenelien: 'it's very poetic!'

Byrcha: 'Has maybe a Shakespearean or Classical Greek feeling to the descrption'

Malphos: 'at this time it 'ended' in the normal lands, both died for their love'

Malphos: 'but then .. like an encore, there is a second part'

Hollyberye: 'Yes it is the epitome of the greatest love story'

Byrcha: '*encore drums*'

Mithmenelien: 'it makes it feel like an eternal love story!'

Bilwise: 'hehe'

Hollyberye: 'As the feeling of winter falls on Thingol, Lúthien comes to the halls of Mandos. She knells before him and begins to sing. This song is most fair that ever in words was woven, and more sorrowful than the world shall hear.'

Hollyberye: 'Discussion Point: Please discuss the successively more powerful songs of Lúthien and the two themes woven in her words.'

Bilwise: 'And much like in a BBB show, there is a life post bail ... or something ... :p'

Hollyberye: 'hehe'

Malphos: 'the theme of Elves and Men, eternal and world-bound'

Hollyberye: 'Yes!'

Hollyberye: 'the themes are the sorrow of the Eldar and the grief of Men…two kindreds made by Iluvatar'

Hollyberye: 'Mandos is moved to pity for the first and last time. He summons Beren and Beren and Lúthien meet again beyond the Western Sea. Mandos confers with Manwe, Lord of the Valar.'

Hollyberye: 'Discussion Point: Please discuss the choices given Lúthien, the wording of Death as a “gift” of Iluvatar to Men, and the choice Lúthien makes.'

Malphos: 'a gift that by the passing of times even the powers will envy them'

Malphos: 'unbelievable for us, I think'

Byrcha: 'I find it curious because of the import and that it isn't covered in detail (that I recall) but death as a 'gift' is... curious, troublesome, etc'

Godwineson: 'It is something that Tolkien changed his mind about, as he worked to revise the Silmarillion in the 50s and 60s. See The Athrabeth Finrod ah Andreth in Morgoth's Ring.'

Byrcha: 'he changed his mind?'

Malphos: 'it is described the other way around - Men are bound to Ea only a short time. death had become dark and feared only by the dark lies of Morgoth and his minions'

Malphos: 'please tell, Godwineson?!'

Godwineson: 'Yes. To that Men were also intended to live forever, but fell and worshiped Morgoth back before Men ever encountered the Elves.'

Malphos: 'oh, never heard about that'

Hollyberye: 'She can dwell among the Valar, forgetting all grief, or return to Middle-earth with Beren but as a mortal

and subject to a second death.'

Mithmenelien: 'That way to see death as peaceful gift then you are ready to die after a long and rich life might be a way to handle the fear of death we humans have'

Hollyberye: 'I also found it very curious that death would be a gift'

Mithmenelien: 'oh I didn't know that Godwinson!'

Hollyberye: 'nor did I, thank you'

Godwineson: 'It is in Morgoth's Ring. Was supposed to be in the Silmarillion, but that is one place Christopher strayed from his father's intentions.'

Hollyberye: 'my goodness!'

Byrcha: 'Sometimes I want to read all of that backstory. Other times I want to just accept what was published'

Byrcha: 'Tricksy though, since Silmarilion was 'edited''

Godwineson: 'As published, death is a gift because Men get to go to be with Iluvatar rather than wait vast immensities of time while creation wore out like the Elves have to.'

Hollyberye: 'It takes an enormous amount of time to delve in deep to all this'

Hollyberye: 'interesting'

Godwineson: 'History of Middle Earth was published about one a year for 12 years or so. Made for wonderful Christmasses'

Byrcha: 'nice!'

Hollyberye: 'yes! I was settling for a Tolkien calendar each Christmas :)'

Hollyberye: 'The Tale of Beren and Lúthien concludes in The Silmarillion with the narrative that Lúthien chooses to forsake the Blessed Realm, but in her choice the Two Kindreds are joined, and that she is the forerunner of many to come.'

Hollyberye: 'Discussion Point: Please discuss Beren and Lúthien as they dwell together as mortals (information from other sources). Lúthien left her home and her parents and went to Ossiriand with Beren.'

Byrcha: 'Yes, a sad parting no? From her parents'

Hollyberye: 'Yes, Thingol loses her anyhow'

Godwineson: 'It's like they hid out and avoided the ongoing wars of the Jewels, but their son Dior Eluchil got involved again. IIRC'

Hollyberye: 'yes'

Byrcha: 'Also convenient that they aren't in-town for what befalls the Silmaril'

Malphos: 'and she wore the Silmaril, and it is said that her beauty shined too bright for mortal lands to last long'

Hollyberye: 'Yes! exactly Malphos'

Hollyberye: 'After the destruction of Doriath Beren participated in battle for the last time. He ambushed the routed dwarves, and in the process also acquired the Silmaril he once took from Morgoth's crown. 'He brought the Silmaril, which was inside the Nauglamir, to Lúthien, and she wore it until the day she and Beren died of old age. It is said that their deaths came quicker than expected because of the Silmaril. After their death, the Silmaril was passed to their son Dior, which led to the the Second Kinslaying.'

Godwineson: 'fighting alongside the Ents!'

Malphos: 'yes, but as long as Luthien lived the remaining sons of Feanor did not dare to interfere. Only when Dior inherited it, they came back into action'

Hollyberye: 'Among the Children of Ilúvatar the final death of Beren and Lúthien is accounted in F.A. 503 for in that year Dior received the Silmaril in Doriath, and it was taken as a sign of his parents' death. In truth the date of their death is unknown.'

Hollyberye: 'Discussion Point: In conclusion, let’s touch on some of the themes of this grand tale.

--Can anyone speak on the inspiration of Lúthien?'

Godwineson: 'well, once upon a time, a youth was forbidden to marry his beloved until he came of age'

Hollyberye: 'Yes, Edith Bratt. His parents had died when he was young and he had Father Francis (?) as a guide. Around 1917 they were walking in the woods and she suddenly began dancing in a clearing. "Her hair was raven, her skin clear, her eyes bright, and she could sing---and dance." Also they felt they were escaping the shadow of imminent death, with WWI in progress.'

Hollyberye: '--how did Tolkien’s conflicted view of women affect the direction of the quest?'

Godwineson: 'What conflict?'

Hollyberye: 'Sociologically women were second-class citizens, and he was mainly in an all male world--BUT, he also had an exalted view, with women on a pedestal. And Edith was very much his Luthien. Some scholars have said he had almost misogynist views of women but that seems too strong to me'

Godwineson: 'The reckoning of families as a single unit, rather than individuals separately before the State is something that moderns don't seem to understand. Both his mother dying young, and the exalted place of Mary in his Catholicism strongly influenced his view of women.'

Byrcha: 'Misogynist seems too strong especially for that time period'

Mithmenelien: 'he lived in his time and society but his mind and view of things are as those of old myths and medieval tales'

Godwineson: 'yes, Mith'

Byrcha: 'He was probably somewhat progressive for having women characters who accomplished heroic deeds (Luthien, Eowyn)... for that era'

Hollyberye: '--how does this Tale echo the “creation myth”'

Mithmenelien: 'I love how his world was created by songs! so beautiful!'

Hollyberye: 'Luthien’s last song, the one to Mandos, is part of the creation mythology of Tolkien’s Legendarium'

Godwineson: 'ooh, remind me, Holly?'

Mithmenelien: 'and it really shows how important songs were to him'

Hollyberye: 'the song was about the two Kindreds, eternal elves and mortal men'

Hollyberye: '-what is the legacy of Lúthien’s choice, particularly upon the victory over Sauron?'

Byrcha: 'Well, Beren & Luthien's decendents are Sauron's primary foes through the years'

Hollyberye: 'Yes, Byrcha, and their descendants are integral to stopping him'

Hollyberye: '--magic, while not explicit in Tolkien, is a good word to apply to the Elven minstrel skill we see in Finrod Felagund and Lúthien in this tale: the power of their songs. Any last thoughts on Elven magic and this mighty skill? Why do we not see it in Galadriel and Arwen, such singing?'

Byrcha: 'It was implied for Galadriel (she brought down the walls of Dol Guldur)'

Hollyberye: 'Oh, right, I forgot that again, sorry'

Godwineson: 'Very fuzzy recollection here, but there must be something in Letters and in discussions with CSL aout the role of words and music in creation. Perhaps Elves had a little bit delegated to them, as the Ainu had much?'

Malphos: 'Even elves are not that all-equal, some do sing, some work in other arts'

Hollyberye: 'Yes Finrod was far more gifted than many other elves, for instance'

Malphos: 'I cannot imagine Feanor singing while doing his smithy work'

Godwineson: 'And in the poem Mythopoeia, how we all have the right to subcreate, to 'aid in the enrichment and efoliation of creation''

Godwineson: 'so Elven singing could be an act of subcreation brought into primary creation'

Mithmenelien: 'Tolkien was religious and music echoing in the domes of old English churches must be quite impressive and inspiriting and I think but am not sure that music plays a larger part in the catholic church than many others'

Byrcha: 'interesting thought, makes sense given Tolkien's obvious respect for singing'

Godwineson: 'Much of the liturgy is sung in Catholic and Orthodoox churches (BTW happy Pascha to any Orthodox on, right now)'

Hollyberye: 'Oh that poem Godwineson mentions, was a poem about a conversation between a myth-lover and

myth-hater after a long discussion with C.S. Lewis'

Godwineson: 'In Orthodoxy, that sung liturgy is seen as part of God's revelation, and in both it is a participating in what is happening at the same time in Heaven, so it is transcendent. That bringing the transcendent into the imminent, or bringing the imminent up into the transcendent could definitely feed his understanding of subcreation and creation by music.'

Mithmenelien: 'about music, I know that the music in the church was meant to be able to tell the story of the bible to the ”common people” back in the days then the service would have been held in Latin that most did not understand. So the music had to be something very special'

Hollyberye: 'Yes, Mith, it had to resonate into one's soul, literally'

Hollyberye: 'Okay I am going to post more text but please feel free to post any thoughts at all as go along....'

Hollyberye: 'The influences on Tolkien and especially in the creation of Beren and Lúthien are always intriguing. In the course of our book club, we have touched on his own experiences as having an influence: WWI and his wife, Edith. Just briefly we have addressed his faith, and the big influence would probably be hope in resurrection and eternal life. The other large influence we have mentioned intermittently is classical mythology and medieval literature.'

Hollyberye: 'So in closing, I wanted to list some of the latter influences. Please feel free to chime in or comment on any of these especially in relation to this grand Tale.'

Hollyberye: '-- the Orpheus and Eurydice myth is a definite influence, and Tolkien said he sort of reversed it. Tolkien was well-schooled in this myth and in a Christianized version, restoration from death to a new life was key. Tolkien actually “translated” the Medieval version into Modern English.'

Byrcha: 'oh!'

Hollyberye: '-- many fairy tales seem influential but Tolkien always seemed to add his own imaginative twist. We already called out Rapunzel, though Lúthien let down her hair to escape and go to her loved one'

Hollyberye: '-- but also Sleeping Beauty, when Lúthien puts all of Angband asleep'

Hollyberye: '-- when Lúthien uses her invisibility cloak, it is reminiscent of Twelve Dancing Princesses, a German tale by the Brothers Grimm with a critical invisibility cloak'

Godwineson: 'He liked to imagine the 'real story' behind fairy tales and nursery rhymes, didn't he?'

Byrcha: 'aye. and later he brings in the swans (from Norse/Germanic myth)'

Hollyberye: 'yes! I loved how he made them his own :D'

Malphos: 'like key methods, but set in a completely new context.'

Hollyberye: 'Twelve Dancing Princesses is one of my favorites for being re-told in today's literature'

Godwineson: 'The cow jumped over the Moon, even'

Hollyberye: 'Godwineson can you explain the connection to the cow jumped over the moon, please?'

Godwineson: 'It is in the Tom Bombadil collection of poems, and Frodo sings part of it in the Prancing Pony'

Hollyberye: 'Ohhhh YES!!! 'excellent point'

Hollyberye: '-- The Welsh folk tales composing Mabingion is influential in terms of how Tolkien formulated Huan, and that tale also included an epic chase of a boar. I’m only cursorily familiar with Mabingion but it looks worth exploring.'

Malphos: 'hm .. i cannot recall that'

Byrcha: 'someday I'd like to read the Welsh and Finnish myths, I've only read summaries'

Hollyberye: 'Me too, Byrcha, I got real intrigued by researching all this'

Hollyberye: '--Huan is also familiar from other faithful hounds, such as Gelert who defended Llywelyn’s baby but is slain before they realize that'

Mithmenelien: 'Yes, myths are so much fun!'

Hollyberye: 'There are many faithful hounds in myth and folk tales'

Hollyberye: '--the Saga of the Volsungs, in which werewolves devour men bound in the dark—these tales seem very gruesome Icelandic epics

Godwineson: 'ahh, the one well-known survival of the English male pronoun (also in weregeld)'

Hollyberye: 'so were wolf means Male Wolf?'

Godwineson: 'yeah, originally annyway, of course, hussy once meant housewife. semantic domains shift over time'

Hollyberye: 'Ohhh thanks, very informative'

Hollyberye: '--The Kalevala, which influenced Turin’s tale, included singing contests/battles'

Godwineson: 'The Kalevala, which I don't have, but have only seen extracts of, sure shows how Finnish sounds influenced Quenya'

Hollyberye: '--Prose Edda, also Icelandic from Medieval times, included a hand in a wolf’s mouth ((and Professor Tolkien was extremely well-read in all this material))'

Hollyberye: '--myth of Pyramus and Thisbe, ill-fated lovers, forbidden by parents to wed'

Hollyberye: '--William of Palerne romance, a Medieval story with a werewolf who repeatedly saves a couple in love'

Hollyberye: 'that sure sounds like Huan!--in part, of course'

Hollyberye: '--Tristan and Isolde, and their wanderings in the woods'

Hollyberye: '--The Devil with the Three Golden Hairs, another German tale from the brothers Grimm, in which the suitor is set an impossible task to obtain three golden hair’s from the devil, as Thingol required Beren to obtain one of the three Silmarils from Morgoth’s crown in Angband'

Hollyberye: 'In America, I feel that is one of the lessor known Brothers Gimm tales. We were all raised on the Grimm Brothers, though often a Disneyfied sweet version'

Godwineson: 'I really thing that English lit could be taught with Tolkien as a backbone, diverging into the different styles and literature as Tolkien alludes to them or uses their styles. I don't think I'l ever get to do that at my age.'

Hollyberye: 'I agree with you Godwineson, very much'

Malphos: 'I know that better than the twelve dancing princesses at least ^^'

Hollyberye: 'I thought you might Malphos!'

Byrcha: 'Yes, but there were other similar myths of fathers sending suitors off on impossible quests (e.g. Jason)'

Hollyberye: 'Yes Byrcha and somewhere I did also see Jason as an influence'

Mithmenelien: 'yes, the original Grim Brother tales are very different and more terrible tales of warnings than today's versions of them are'

Godwineson: 'Our exposure to Grimm in America was first filtered through Mother Goose, then later Disney'

Hollyberye: '--Beren also has been linked to Hawkeye in James Fenimore Cooper and Robin Hood'

Godwineson: 'Tolkien loved Cooper's tales, and one of them influenced the journey down the Anduin'

Hollyberye: 'I loved James Fenimore Cooper for a brief period in my teens :)'

Byrcha: 'yes, Tolkien definitely used the Robin Hood noble-thieves-in-the-woods motif many times'

Godwineson: 'I find him hard to read, but did love the movie'

Hollyberye: 'All of this material, whether influencing Tolkien small or large, was recast by the brilliant author to make his own unique stories.'

Hollyberye: '--and additional thoughts on the themes of this Tale…any closing comments are welcome'

Mithmenelien: 'Just like to mention a funny thing I found when a read The Book of Lost Tales, in it, Sauron was named Trevillo and was a lord of cats, himself a very large cat, which makes the whole fight with Huan the hound more of a fight between cats and dogs, I gives it a feeling more of a children book , more like The Hobbit than the later version in the Silmarilion.'

Malphos: 'oh very nice picture ^^'

Godwineson: 'Yes, Tad William's Talechasers Song sems heavily influenced by Tevildo'

Hollyberye: 'Oh, Mithmenelien, that is a great image'

Mithmenelien: 'just thought it was cute and a little funny ;)'

Hollyberye: 'It is!'

Malphos: 'hmm .. I am more a cat person'

Hollyberye: 'Any last thoughts On Beren and Luthien?'

Malphos: 'for all they went through, they seemed not to have much time for themselves in the end'

Hollyberye: 'But I like to think they were blissfully happy, and a moment was like a year''

Malphos: 'at least it looks like. that is a bit sad'

Byrcha: 'they were together happily-ever-after in Ossiriand'

Mithmenelien: 'I like how Tolkiens with his love for myths created his own myths, I read somewhere that he didn't think England had enough of them and wanted to create his own for the English culture'

Malphos: 'probably'

Hollyberye: 'Mith, that is a really wonderful point to share--I can see that now that you say it'

Godwineson: 'That came from the TCBS days. In one of the letters he then adds "my crest has long since fallen"'

Mithmenelien: 'oh, yes I remember reading that sentence about "my crest has long since fallen"'

Hollyberye: 'Thank you so much! My reading of this section of The Silmarillion has been enhanced immeasurably by the insight you and others who could not attend today, have shared.'

Godwineson: 'Hollyberye, thank you so much for leading this study, and your insights'

Hollyberye: 'I am entertaining any and all suggestions for what we should discuss next. You can state your wishes here, post them on the forum, or send me a message in game or via guild launch or email. I will update the guild launch forum with ideas and maybe even a poll.'

Hollyberye: 'I do want to take a bit of a break while we figure out Next discussion'

Malphos: 'Thank you very much, Holly, for this great and wonderful series!'

Corulin: 'Yay! More Book Club! :D'

Byrcha: 'Yes, a break seems wise (Weatherstock approacheth)'

Corulin: 'Yes, thank you so much Holly! :D'

Hollyberye: 'Thank YOU, I would not have learned so much or thought so hard without everyone here and some of our regulars that could not be here'

Byrcha: 'Thank you for shepherding us, Holly!'

Malphos: 'You prepared it well, and led the discussions masterly. It really was entertaining and full of new things to learn'

Hollyberye: 'I have enjoyed it immensely'

Godwineson: 'should we do Father Christmas in December?'

Byrcha: 'And for putting up with all the pie references! wink'

Mithmenelien: 'Thank you so much Holly and everyone! this has been so much fun! :D'

Hollyberye: 'I love the pie references'

Bilwise: 'Thanks, Holly! Extra hummus and tea for you!'

Hollyberye: 'In theory we could start in again well before Weatherstock then take a break like we did with Turin'

Byrcha: 'And thank you to all of you for your comments, I too think it enhances my reading/understandings'

Hollyberye: 'But I honestly don't know what to do next'

Hollyberye: 'I thought of starting the Silmarillion from the beginning but not so sure...so PLEASE send me your wish lists/thoughts...I will ask in our forum too, after I post the chat log from today'

Malphos: 'we did some really key stories out of the complete Tolkien universe now. it is not easy to find something that works as good, i think'

Hollyberye: 'yes exactly'

Mithmenelien: 'I would be happy reading anything, it's all intresting!'

Hollyberye: 'My idea of doing a series on the women of Tolkien, is frankly, a huge undertaking of research on my part'

Godwineson: 'Mythcon is still calling for papers, Holly, but then there is next year as well'

Hollyberye: 'and what I would like to do is pick something, spend a big block of time prepping it in at least draft, then fine tune it as we go along--not start until I have that done'

Byrcha: 'Agreed, that would be a lot to pull together -- and not something easy to read like 'turn to chapter 19''

Hollyberye: 'yes even this got very complicated because I felt compelled to research so many of the characters, as this SHOULD have been a full book. Plus I was consulting the Lay of Leithian'

Godwineson: 'According to Tolkien, it probably is by now wink'

Godwineson: 'How about the Akkalabeth?'

Hollyberye: 'I don't know what that is'

Mithmenelien: 'what is the Akkalabeth?'

Godwineson: 'Too long? The Downfall of Numenor, Ata Lante in the elven tongue'

Byrcha: 'Fall of Numenor'

Hollyberye: 'what is the text'

Byrcha: 'It is in my copy of The Silmarillion'

Hollyberye: 'okay so part of The Silmarillion?'

Godwineson: 'Also in Unfinished Tales and earlier versions in I think the fifth of HoME'

Byrcha: 'technically no. Second Age story of Numenor, does follow Beren & Luthien's bloodline'

Godwineson: 'In earlier vsions, Ar Pharazon's fleet were modern (as of WWI)'

Hollyberye: 'oh I see it listed in the frontispiece'

Malphos: 'ending with ar pharazon the golden, yes'

Godwineson: '"Eagles of the Lords of the West!"'

Hollyberye: 'Bilwise thank you so much and for the food!'

Mithmenelien: 'It could also be nice to read about Beren and Luthien's son. To explore what happened to him.'

Byrcha: 'worth thinking about'

Hollyberye: 'okay well any ideas at all send them my way or post in the forum!'

Hollyberye: 'Thank you all so much!'

Godwineson: 'Thank -you- Holyberye!'

Mithmenelien: 'Thank you for all your hard work Holly! :D'

Hollyberye: 'My pleasure and thanks to Byrcha for suggesting Beren and Luthien WAAAY back when to me :D'

Byrcha: 'Yes, thank you again all!'

Mithmenelien: 'It was a good choice!'

Hollyberye: 'I like Earendil more than Dior'

Mithmenelien: 'yes, Earnendil would also tie the story together in a nice way!'

Hollyberye: 'Do you think it could be done using the Silmarillon only?'

Byrcha: 'I would think so? Some research is nice as a bonus, but other than the appendix to RotK I think it is in the Silmarillion'

Godwineson: 'Hmm. But it sure would help us see Bilbo's 'cheek' in his poem in Rivendel'

Mithmenelien: 'yes probably, but I don't know enough about the material to say for sure :)'

Hollyberye: 'Okay, I will look things over'

Godwineson: 'Mith, think of what you have to look forward to, then!'

Hollyberye: 'We could also consider other Tolkien materials'

Malphos: 'I think the Silmarillion is not very detailed, but depends on how deep or long we want to go. Might be an alternative to choose once a story that is not that long ^^'

Here is one fan's image of Beren and Lúthien's tale.

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

Phew! I finally sat down and read all of this! Some scattered thoughts:

Re: the Eagles, and Huan and other powerful animals like them (Shadowfax, for instance) - I love how Tolkien gives them a will of their own and agency and the choice over whether or not they will serve other beings. He gives animals a lot of dignity and honour, which I love him for :) To a lesser extent he did the same for plants, when he created the Ents.

The question I remembered I had when I was reading was what happened to Daeron. I know we were less than impressed with his actions but I still found the idea of him just vanishing intriguing and very sad. Love your ideas that he wrote the Lay of Leithian!

I was also a bit in awe of the line-up of hunters who went on the Hunting of the Wolf and I wish there were more fan art out there of this part of the story.

And I adore the simplicity and heavy sadness of this: '...the likeness of Luthien the beloved, whom they [the Eldar] have lost.' Tolkien was so good at expressing big ideas, or emotional events, in simple ways that were somehow much more effective in getting his message across than if he'd gone in for a lot of description.

Because of book club I've at last got around to reading The Silmarillion from start to finish. I'm loving it so much! And because of that it only struck me the other day just how amazing it is that Frodo went to Valinor. Valinor! Woah. That blew my mind a bit.

Holly, thanks for that huge list of possible/probable influences for Tolkien's stories. How in the world he found the time to read and become familiar with so much literature and write everything he did is beyond me. (And Mith I'm really impressed with your knowledge of so many stories and myths too!)

Yesterday on the Tolkien Professor's stream he was talking a bit about Cirith Ungol and the spiders, and called Beren a 'boss' because he took on several Shelobs at once, single-handed, which is just incredible.

No specific ideas from me for next time, though I'm really enjoying reading about the creation of the Silmarils and the sons of Feanor right now. Genuinely happy with anything though!


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re: LMB Book Club: Tale of Beren and Lúthien

Thanks so much for that post, Elimraen. I am very glad you are reading The Silmarillion cover to cover.

Due to the busy-ness of Weatherstock, plus my son going off to college, we probably won't start the LMB Book Club up again until early September. But that gives me time to mull over "what's next" and post some thoughts here to help decide our next venture.

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re: New Tolkien Release on Beren and Lúthien!

It is with great excitement I share with you that next May Beren and Lúthien edited by Christopher Tolkien will appear as a book release, similar to The Children of Húrin, published in 2007.

I don't know exactly what it will be like, though this https://johngarth.wordpress.com/2016/10/19/beren-and-luthien-a-centenary-publication/ review provides some facts and some speculation. I am delighted to have the whole story all together, as it is probably my very favorite part of Middle-earth. Maybe. I think. wink





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re: LMB Book Club: Tale of Beren and Lúthien

Huzzah! Looks like we may need to pencil this in for Book Club sometime late in 2017 for a session or two?

A most-curious cover illustration -- that steed looks rather like a very large canine. wink


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