“Among the tales of sorrow and of ruin that come 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.” – J.R.R. Tolkien, The Silmarillion
The tale of Beren and Luthien, as laid out in The Silmarillion and throughout the History of Middle Earth, narrates the tale of mortal Beren and elven Luthien as they find each other and their love tested by the ever darkening forces Morgoth. The tale is often considered as Tolkien’s greatest romantic tragedy.
The tale is said to be inspired by Tolkien’s wife, Edith, who he met, much like Beren had, dancing in a glade seeming to him the paragon of perfection. The tale not only had a profound impact on the future of Middle Earth by setting precedent for the love between Arwen and Aragon at the end of Return of the King but also on the love of Tolkien and his wife as can be noted by the gravestone etching of Tolkien and Edith which read “Beren” and “Luthien” respectively.
Now, almost an entire century after the tale was first penned, the Tolkien estate will release the story in it’s own standalone novel with accompanying illustration by talented fantasy artist Alan Lee. The book is set for release in May of 2017.