True fans of J.R.R. Tolkien seem to have a love for his work that surpasses even the most die-hard fandoms.
They absorb each and every bit of written word, adaptation, and feature-length film down to the molecular level and can be known to talk your immortal elven ears off about the finest of details. Those Tolkien bookworms now have the treat of a lifetime as a previously unpublished Tolkien book from 100 years ago is now available to the public. BBC reported that the Tolkien book, Beren and Lúthien–which appeared slightly changed in The Silmarillion–is a “very personal story” that was written after the author returned from the Battle of the Somme in 1916. Most are aware that a lot of Tolkien’s work was heavily influenced by what he saw in World War I, and his writing was a way of dealing with the horrors he witnessed. But this new book–edited by Tolkien’s son Christopher–has a particular personal detail that goes even deeper than other Tolkien stories. When Tolkien’s wife passed away in 1971, he had “Lúthien” carved under her name on the gravestone. A few years later when Tolkien himself passed, the name Beren was carved under his.
Image: Wikimedia/ Twooars
Being able to read the original text of Beren and Lúthien offers a new look into the mind of the author before any changes were made. The BBC article explains that the story involves the “fate of lovers Beren and Lúthien, a mortal man and an immortal elf” and it’s hard not to make some comparisons to their relationship, as well as the one between Aragorn and Arwen. It’s the raw and fresh ideas that were going through Tolkien’s head at a time when the world was up-ended and he was returning, wounded, from battle. In his injured state, he likely dealt with his mortality, focused on the love he shared with his wife, and may have looked at her as immortal having never known the horrors of war.
Are you excited to read Beren and Lúthien? Let’s discuss in the comments below!
Featured Image: New Line Cinema