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Sunday, October 23, 2016

A New Middle-Earth Romance by J. R. R. Tolkien

Beren and Lúthien, a J. R. R. Tolkien story about a romance between a man and an elf, will be released next year.  It is edited by Christopher Tolkien and illustrated by Alan Lee.

The Middle-earth tale tells of the love between Beren, the mortal man, and Lúthien, the immortal elf.  Lúthien’s father, an Elvish lord, is against their relationship, and so gives Beren an impossible task to fulfil before the two can be married.  The two must rob "the greatest of all evil beings, Melkor, called Morgoth, the Black Enemy."

The couple's love story is referenced in The Silmarillion, a collection of short works by Tolkien that expands the mythology and history of Middle-earth. “Among the tales of sorrow and of ruin that came down to us from the darkness of those days there are yet some in which amid weeping there is joy and under the shadow of death light that endures. And of these histories most fair still in the ears of the Elves is the tale of Beren and Lúthien,” writes Tolkien in The Silmarillion.

The story obviously meant a great deal to the author of The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings.   The author’s wife, Edith, has the name Lúthien on her tombstone, while Tolkien has Beren engraved on his.