J.R.R and his wife, Edith, have the names Beren and Lúthien inscribed on their headstone. I recounted the story of Beren and Lúthien, and the significance of the grave markings, in a previous post, but if you have the time you should read the story in The Silmarillion (and, for good measure, should read The Silmarillion in general because it’s really fantastic).
Also, something that I’ve always found really weird and interesting:
The Ring-lore talks about all of the rings that were forged -
Three rings for the Elven-kings;
Seven for the Dwarf-lords;
Nine for Men;
One for the Dark Lord.
Tolkien died in…what year now? 1973? YEP. THAT IS, INDEED, THE CASE.
That moment when there’s a post in your Lúthien Tinúviel tracked tag and you get all excited.
And then you click on it and it’s only things that you’ve posted, including the post that you just made 5 seconds ago.
My kids will all have names like Lúthien or Amrothos or Imrahil and everyone will be like, “How the fuq do you pronounce that?” and I’ll just be like LOL U MAD?
Maybe I should make that last post private.
At this point I’m pretty much arguing for the sake of arguing.
But, riddle me this: how is the story of Beren and Lúthien not 10x more romantic than the story of Aragorn and Arwen? (I know; the stories parallel and all of that jazz. Give me a minute to explain.) Tolkien based the story of Beren and Lúthien on himself and his wife. When Tolkien wrote that Lúthien was the fairest elf that ever existed, he was talking about his wife.
Short history lesson on the tale of Beren and Lúthien. Beren wanted to marry Lúthien, but her father didn’t approve, so he gave Beren a task: he needed to get a jewel from Morgoth’s Iron Crown. He set off, but was captured by Sauron and was kept in a dungeon. Lúthien felt that he was in trouble and went to defeat Sauron and rescue him. When they had done that, they went to Morgoth’s vale and completed the task. They were delayed by Morgoth’s great guard-wolf, who bit off his hand and took the jewel with it. Lúthien healed him and they went back to her father’s kingdom, where Beren went out again to kill the wolf and recover the jewel. He succeeded, but was mortally wounded. He died, and Lúthien passed away too. Remember how I said that Elves can die of grief? This is one of those instances. Their spirits went to the Halls of Mandos (the equivalent of Middle-Earth heaven) and Lúthien sang a song so beautiful that Mandos was moved to return them to Middle-earth, where they lived mortal lives.
That, my friends, is a love story.