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New Tolkien Book: ‘Beren and Lúthien’

Beren and Lúthien is the newest addition to the Lord of the Rings series. Set to be published on May 4 next year, JRR Tolkien’s son Christopher pieced together the book from his father’s original and highly detailed manuscripts.

The book tells the tale of star-crossed lovers Beren, a mortal man, and Lúthien an immortal elf. Lúthien’s father, who is a great Elvish Lord, opposes Beren. So, the Elvish Lord gives him an impossible task before Beren can marry his daughter. This impossible quest is to rob the first Dark Lord, Melkor, who is also called Morgoth, of his Silamril, one of three gems created by Fëanor out of some of the light from the Two Trees of Valinor.

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Origins of Beren and Lúthien

The Silmarillion is a collection of works by JRR Tolkien also put together by Christopher. Beren and Lúthien’s story was one of the essential parts of The Silmarillion, but now it is being published as a standalone novel. The book will be illustrated by Alan Lee, the lead artist for Peter Jackson’s Lord of the Rings trilogy. He also won an Academy Award for art direction for his work on The Return of the King.

According to the official online Tolkien bookshop, Beren and Lúthien will “show something of the process whereby this legend of Middle-Earth evolved over the years. [Christopher Tolkien] has told the story in his father’s own words by giving, first, its original form, and then passages in prose and verse from later texts that illustrate the narrative as it changed.”

Melkor Is Kinda Evil

Melkor was the first Dark Lord and a primordial source of evil. Melkor seduced and corrupted the Balrog, turning the creatures evil. Back in the old days of Middle Earth, Melkor had many Balrogs at his will.

Melkor’s legacy can later be felt in the Lord of the Rings. Durin’s Bane was a Balrog that escaped during Melkor’s downfall at the end of the First Age. It went to live and slumber in the underground Dwarven city Moria until it was awoken by Dwarves. The Balrog wreaked havoc on any who crossed his path and destroyed the once beautiful city. When the fellowship of the ring passed through Moria, they again encountered the beast, but Gandalf defeated it. Fans of the film may recall Gandalf’s iconic quote used against the Balrog: “You shall not pass!”

Another one of Melkor’s right-hand men was Sauron. Following Melkor’s death, Sauron then became the second Dark Lord and created the One Ring.

With such an evil foe, how will Beren’s quest turn out? Whether you’ve read The Silmarillion or are new to the books, Beren and Lúthien will definitely be an interesting read.


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