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(Silmarillion) Beren and Luthien Destroy Everything For Love

JohnBiles

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What is the central message of their story?

Namely, that their epic quest for love basically destroys everything else!

Fingon dies, leading Nargothrond to fall into the hands of Orodreth, who basically will follow Turin's foolish advice, leading to its destruction.

Huan dies to enable them to get their nookie.

They give the Silmaril to Thingol. He has it set in the Nauglamir, so the Dwarves kill him and steal it. Beren kills the Dwarves, then gives it to his son Dior, who is also heir to Doriath.

Dior goes to Doriath and claims his throne but now the Sons of Feanor descend and try to steal it. Dior dies, Doriath is destroyed, Celegorm, Curufin, Caranthir all die and Elwing, daughter of Dior escapes.

Elwing goes to the Havens of Sirion with the Silmaril, so the Sons of Feanor attack it and destroy everyone but she escapes. More Sons of Feanor die.

It's frankly a miracle she and Earendil didn't somehow destroy Valinor, but hey... their trip leads to the War of Wrath which annhilates Beleriand.

And, of course, Ar-Pharazon, who gets Numenor destroyed... is descended of Luthien and Beren. Just keeping up that family tradition of destroying everything around them.
 

Uqbarian

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Fingon dies, leading Nargothrond to fall into the hands of Orodreth, who basically will follow Turin's foolish advice, leading to its destruction.
How is this Beren and Luthien's fault?

The rest seems a lot more like 'The Silmarils, and Fëanor's oath to reclaim them, bring doom to many.'
 

JoeNotCharles

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What is the central message of their story?

Namely, that their epic quest for love basically destroys everything else!
Yep. Pretty much. You should read Tolkien's source material.

(Seriously, get The Legend of Sigurd and Gudrun. It is awesome.)
 

Ithaeur

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It does beat Feanor & Sons' "Destroy everything for the Shinies!", Maeglin's "Destroy everything for spiteful incestuous lust!" and Morgoth's "Destroy everything just because!", though. :D
 

Jinx999

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The Silmarillion is basically a story of Doomy Dooms of Doom with a side helping of Disaster, Death and Despair. Until the Valinar arrive, nothing goes right.

The Story of Beren and Luthien is just about the only chapter in the entire book with something even approaching a happy ending. It also sets some things in motion for the final defeat of Morgoth.

Blaming the disasters of the first age on them (as opposed to Feanor, to pick a name at random) is unfair.
 

Sharrukin

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True, but the fault isn't that of Beren and Luthien.

The epic fail from which the whole epic . . . um, epic arises is Thingol's. When Beren turns up on his doorstep, ragged and dirty and human, and dares to ask for the hand of his daughter, Thingol decides to be an enormous douche and find a way to kill the bum without just doing the deed himself. And then he makes his terrible error:

He says out loud that he wants one of the Silmarils.

That's the foundation of the whole tragedy. The Silmarils were cursed - even to name one of them covetously would set a vast and terrible force in motion. Before that moment Thingol and Doriath had kept themselves separate from the Doom of the Noldor - but with that one statement he bound his fate with everyone else's. His wife even saw it coming, but didn't say anything in time, and ended up losing everything she loved as a result.

The tragedy is all about pride and greed, which is close to being Tolkien's dominant theme. The difference here is that the love of Beren and Luthien actually causes some beauty to arise from all that Gotterdammerung.
 
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