Absolutely HUGE news yesterday: the story Beren and Lúthien is getting a standalone publication next year. What exact form this will take ain’t exactly clear, but any way you slice it this is very exciting, especially since it will be accompanied by the illustrations of Academy Award winner Alan Lee. Just so you know: I CAN’T WAIT.
However, it’s not coming out until May 4, 2017 (100 years after the event that inspired it). If you want to learn more about the story of Beren and Lúthien before then, you can pick up a copy of my book Tolkien’s Requiem – Concerning Beren and Lúthien, or listen to The Tolkien Road Podcast episodes on Beren and Lúthien (part 1 | part 2).
Of course, you can also just pick up a copy of The Silmarillion and read Chapter 19. Personally, I think D: All of the Above is the best answer. 🙂
From my book Tolkien’s Requiem…
“Of Beren and Lúthien” takes place in a fallen world, a world that has lost the great light of the Two Trees of Valinor, Telperion the Silver and Laurelin the Gold. The very title The Silmarillion comes from the story of the great elf-lord Fëanor, the “fiery spirit”, who crafts three unbreakable jewels and fills them with the glorious light of these Two Trees. His creations are the marvels of all, though they receive such attention that Fëanor quickly becomes suspicious of admirers and seeks to hide them away from all except his closest kin in an effort to protect them. When the dark lord Melkor (known in the story of Beren and Lúthien as Morgoth) and the hideous spider-demon Ungoliant poison Telperion and Laurelin, the Silmarils are all that remain of their light, and the only hope of restoring them. Nevertheless, Fëanor refuses to surrender the Silmarils to the great powers (the Valar, quasi-angelic beings) of Valinor, and when Melkor murders his father and steals the three Silmarils, Fëanor and his sons swear an unbreakable oath that none shall ever possess the Silmarils except for them. Fëanor and his kin (the Noldor) depart Valinor in anger and pride, murdering their weaker kinsmen and stealing their ships. In sum, centuries of war and sorrow are set off by these three great dyscatastrophes: the poisoning of the Two Trees, the theft of the Silmarils, and the Kinslaying. These are not the first falls in the long history of Middle-earth, though they are perhaps the most significant for the purposes of the tale of Beren and Lúthien.
One episode to RULE THEM ALL!!!
Having completed a chapter-by-chapter walkthrough of The Silmarillion (which spans over 30 hours of content), we decided to do an episode where we cover the whole of The Silmarillion in less than an hour. With this one episode, you get the whole enchilada, from “Ainulindalë” to “Eärendil” to the end of the Third Age. If you’ve always wanted to read The Silmarillion but have never succeeded, then this is the episode for you!
We’ve also provided a collection of Silmarillion resources for you here.
By the way, if you haven’t already, please leave The Tolkien Road a rating and feedback on iTunes. We’d love to know what you think of the podcast. Enjoy the show!