Author: J. R. R. Tolkien (edited by Christopher Tolkien)
Book: Beren and Lúthien
Published: June 2017
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
The story of Beren, son of Barahir (human) and the elf maid Lúthien takes place in the Eldar Days, the First Age of Middle Earth. Because Thingol, king of the elf kingdom of Doriath and father of Lúthien, disapproved of his daughter’s love for a mortal man, he sends Beren on an impossible quest, to retrieve one of the Silmarils from Morgoth, the Black Enemy. This sets into motion a story of love and loyalty, and the two lovers venture into dangerous lands to achieve the impossible. Their story becomes the stuff of legend in Tolkien’s universe.
The tale of Beren and Lúthien is not as well-known as Tolkien’s more famous works: The Hobbit and the Lord of the Rings. Tolkien references the story frequently in the Lord of the Rings. The relationship between Aragorn and Arwen is thought to mirror the story. The full story is first told in the Silmarillion. However, the story went through several revisions since Tolkien first conceived of it. According to his son Christopher, he revisited it several times. Beren and Lúthien takes the reader on a journey through the mind J. R. R. Tolkien as he crafted one of the most beloved stories in his legendarium, next to the Hobbit and Lord of the Rings.