- For other characters named Beren see also: Beren (disambiguation)
Early life in DorthonionEditBeren was an Edain, the son of Barahir and Emeldir. He was a man of the royal House of Bëor of Dorthonion, and the most accomplished hero and adventurer of the First Age. The battle of the Dagor Bragollach (Battle of Sudden Flame) befell during his youth, bringing about the ruin of his kingdom. The young Beren lived with his father and ten loyal followers in the highlands of Dorthonion, and the twelve of them performed many acts of bravery, to the great frustration of Morgoth, the Dark King of Angband. After the ruin of the Outlaws of Dorthonion and the death of his father, Beren lived alone in Dorthonion off the land and came to know the many birds and beasts that lived there, and they helped him when he needed it. During this time, he hunted nothing and ate no meat and only killed the creatures of Morgoth that roamed the country. He learned not to fear death only captivity and bondage; however, things began grow more difficult for him in Dorthonion for Morgoth put an even greater price on his head and he was forced from the land of his birth by Sauron and Draugluin. He crossed into Doriath, where he saw and fell in love with Lúthien, princess of the Sindar and daughter of Thingol and Melian.
The Quest for the SilmarilEditThingol haughtily refused to give Lúthien's hand in marriage. He said that he would allow the marriage to take place only if Beren brought back a Silmaril from the Iron Crown of Morgoth. The task was intended to be impossible, but Beren and Lúthien, with the aid of Finrod of Nargothrond and Huan the Great Hound (both of whom died protecting Beren), braved many perils (even besting Sauron, then Morgoth's most powerful lieutenant) and captured a Silmaril. However, as they escaped from Angband, the great wolf Carcharoth, whom Morgoth had personally bred, awoke. Beren held out the Silmaril, hoping that its radiance would avert the beast, but he was mistaken. Carcharoth bit off his hand swallowed it and the Silmaril (thus Beren was called Erchamion, One-hand), and proceeded to run rampant through Doriath. Lúthien and the unconscious Beren were rescued by the Eagles of Manwë. When he presented himself to Thingol, he demonstrated to him that he had had a procession of the Silmaril at the cost of one of his hands, and was called Camlost, Empty-handed. Beren participated in the hunting of Carcharoth, where the beast was slain and the Silmaril recovered; the quest was accomplished, but in the process Beren was mortally wounded.
Second lifeEditLúthien's love for Beren was so strong that, hearing of his death, she lay down and died. Her soul went to the Halls of Mandos, where she managed to charm Mandos into granting her a wish in a way much like that of Orpheus in Greek mythology. Both she and Beren were restored to life, but both of them would live as mortals and die the death of men, and go beyond the walls of Arda to a place unknown. Thus Beren and Lúthien lived again, and dwelt on Tol Galen in the middle of the river Adurant in the Ossiriand. There they stayed apart from other mortals; Beren was involved with the events of the First Age only one further time, when he waylaid a group of dwarves who had destroyed Doriath and stolen the Nauglamír (and the Silmaril with it).
Lúthien bore Beren a son, named Dior, Thingol's heir, considered to be one of the fairest beings to ever live, for in him flowed the blood of men, the blood of elves, and the blood of the Ainur. Through his descendants, the blood of Beren and of Lúthien was preserved among the Eldar and the Edain.
Beren's deeds inspired all the peoples opposing Morgoth to unite themselves into a greater force to vanquish his power. His romance and love for Lúthien Tinúviel and what he was willing to do to ensure it helped foster greater respect for men amongst the elves. He was also the first to mix the blood of elves and men with each other and this bloodline continued, siring the Númenórean nobility and the Dúnedain alike on up to Aragorn II Elessar of the Reunited Kingdom. Legend has it that his line shall never be broken as long as the world exists.
Inspiration and Evolution of characterEdit
The story of Beren and Lúthien, though mentioned only briefly in The Lord of the Rings, was a central part of the legendarium. Tolkien once referred to it as "the kernel of the mythology" (The Letters of J. R. R. Tolkien, 165). He went on to say that it "arose from a small woodland glade filled with 'hemlocks'", which he visited while serving in the Humber Garrison in 1918 (during World War I).
Tyr, literary inspiration for the sequence where Beren loses his hand to the Wolf.
Tolkien was buried in Wolvercote Cemetery (North Oxford) and this name appears on the stone:
- JOHN RONALD REUEL TOLKIEN Beren 1892 - 1973
The name of Lúthien also appears on the stone:
- EDITH MARY TOLKIEN Lúthien 1889 – 1971
The Line of BerenEdit
Bregor | -------------- | | Bregolas Barahir = Emeldir | | ---------------- | | | | Baragund Belegund Beren Erchamion = Lúthien | | | Morwen = Húrin Rían = Huor Dior = Nimloth | | | --------------- | -------------- | | | | | | | Túrin Lalaith Nienor Tuor = Idril | | | | | | | Eärendil = Elwing Eluréd Elurín | ------------------------------------- | | Elros Elrond = Celebrian | | ------------------------ ---------------- | | | | | Kings of Númenor Lords of Andúnië | | | | | | | Elendil | | | | | | | Isildur | | | | | | | ------------------- | | | | | | | | Kings of Gondor Kings of Arnor | | | | | | | Kings of Arthedain | | | | | | | Chieftains of the Dúnedain | | | | | | | Aragorn = Arwen Elladan Elrohir | ---------------------- | | Eldarion Numerous daughters | Kings of Gondor and Arnor