Fanfic / Beyond the Dawn

Cover art by Alexey Lipatov
Beyond the Dawn is one of five most prominent Russian Tolkien fanfics. (The four others are Ring of Darkness by Nick Perumov, Black Book of Arda by Nataliya Vasilieva, The Last Ringbearer by Kirill Eskov and The Great Game by Nataliya Nekrasova). Since copyright law is rather lax back in the Motherland, this book was formally published on paper rather than staying a Web Original like so many fanfics.

Beyond the Dawn is a fantasy novel written by the Ukrainian writer Olga Chigirinskaya (Brilyova) under the pen name of "Beren Belgarion". This fantasy adventure novel retells the story of Beren and Lúthien as told by J. R. R. Tolkien in The Silmarillion. The book was published in Russian by Exmo Publishing in 2003.

The plot basically follows the Lay of Leithian, but deviates substantially from Tolkien's original version in some points. BTD's Middle-Earth is portrayed as a grim and realistic medieval world, and the followers of Morgoth and Sauron as humans, just like their enemies.

The book uses the poetry of Russian and Western poets and rock bands that is dedicated to Tolkien's characters and plots, such as Blind Guardian (translated into Russian by Chigirinskaya herself).

Compare with A Boy, a Girl and a Dog: The Leithian Script, another long fanfic about the Lay of Leithian.

Beyond the Dawn provides examples of:

  • Adaptation Expansion: Two volumes total more than 1,000 pages. From the story that takes less than 30 in The Silmarillion. Whoa.
  • Ain't Too Proud to Beg, Type 1: Beren during his duel against Boldog.
  • Anti-Hero: Beren. His declination from imaginary Knight in Shining Armor was so great that it caused big disturbance in Russian Tolkien fandom.
  • Anti-Villain: Illyo the Half-Elf.
  • Artificial Limbs: Maedhros' mechanical hand. Also, the hook made for Beren by village blacksmith when he lost his right hand to Carcharoth.
    • And the other mechanical hand made for Beren by Celebrimbor.
  • Badass: Every leading haracter, good and bad in a row.
    • Actually, it was Tolkien who designed his characters as total Badasses, Olga only described their badassery vividly the way she saw it.
  • Badass in Distress: Beren, captured by Sauron. Twice.
    • Finrod's eleven.
  • Badass Princess: Lúthien. Galadriel too, although her badassery suffers from the lack of action.
  • Big Damn Heroes: happens several times. The first time, the Ents play Big Damn Heroes to rescue Beren from Sarnaduin. The second time, Húrin's army and Fingon's Noldor arrive at Tol-i-Ngaurhoth and help Lúthien take down the tower.
  • Bittersweet Ending:
    This doom she chose, forsaking the Blessed Realm, and putting aside all claim to kinship with those that dwell there; that thus whatever grief might lie in wait, the fates of Beren and Lúthien might be joined, and their paths lead together beyond the confines of the world. So it was that alone of the Eldalië she has died indeed, and left the world long ago. Yet in her choice the Two Kindreds have been joined; and she is the forerunner of many in whom the Eldar see yet, thought all the world is changed, the likeness of Lúthien the beloved, whom they have lost. The Silmarillion
    • The honour is all Tolkien's.
  • Breaking Speech: Sauron is fond of this trope.
  • The Brute: Boldog.
  • Chekhov's Gun: dwarven spring arbalest.
  • Co-Dragons: Illyo, Boldog and Thuringwethil for Sauron.
  • Colonel Badass: Illyo's rank (aikyet'taero) is stated to be roughly equivalent to colonel. And he is a badass.
  • Con Lang: uses both conlangs from Tolkien (Quenya and Sindarin) and Natalia Vasilyeva's conlang Ah'enn.
  • Darker and Edgier than Tolkien's works.
    • How one can write something darker than the story of 11 elves devoured alive?
      • Have them speak in meantime.
  • Dark Chick: Thuringwethil
  • De Terminator: Beren.
  • Doorstopper: two Doorstoppers.
  • The Dragon: Sauron.
  • Dressing as the Enemy: Finrod's Eleven and Beren disguised as orcs tried to go through the Pass of Sirion. They failed.
    • It was in original Tolkien's plot. In fic, Beren used this option more successfully when he escaped from Cargond Castle.
    • He also tried to cheat the Tol-i-Ngaurhot garrison this way. He failed.
  • Drinking Contest: Beren vs. Melchar, King of Nogrod
  • The Dung Ages: the author treats the First Age of Middle-Earth as this.
  • Dying Moment of Awesome: Finrod kills the monster and dies in Beren's arms.
  • Elite Mooks: Morgoth's Black Knights.
  • Our Elves Are Different: averted. They are sincerely Tolkien's.
  • Engagement Challenge: Thingol to Beren.
  • Enemy Mine: Beren&Illyo.
  • Evil Overlord: Morgoth.
  • Fighting for a Homeland: Highlanders and elves of Dorthonion, men and elves of Hithlum.
  • Fantastic Rank System: since Morgoth's army is explicitly stated in an early dialogue between Beren and Finrod to be built along modern-esque lines rather than a feudal mishmash of levies and militias, it has military ranks. Some are identified: rankhar (Sergeant Rock), antar (Ensign Newbie), corna'taero (1st lieutenant or something like that), dhol'taero (The Captain), aikyet'taero (Colonel Badass).
  • Fantasy Counterpart Culture: Highlanders of Dorthonion.
  • Friend or Foe: Beren and his men are mistaken for the enemy by a group of Noldor warriors - with tragic consequences.
  • Gave Up Too Soon: Aimenel, Finrod's lancer, in the dungeon of Tol-in-Gauroth.
  • Heel Realization: played with. Beren tries to explain Sauron's atrocities to Illyo, hoping for this trope, but the black knight dismisses Beren's words as lies. A straighter example happens to Daereth, who wasn't really villainous to begin with, more a propaganda victim.
  • Heroic Dog: Huan.
  • Heroic Sacrifice: Finrod for Beren.
    • Also, Beren for Thingol.
  • High Fantasy: Zig-Zagged. Open one page, and you see an honest retelling of The Silmarillion. Open another, and you'll see realistic descriptions of logistics, siege warfare and general medieval nastiness.
  • Humans Are Flawed
  • I Gave My Word: Finrod, sons of Fëanor.
  • It's Personal: Beren and Boldog.
  • Kid Sidekick: Beren's lancer Rusco.
  • Les Collaborateurs: Cairist Mar-Frecart and some other highlanders.
  • Let's Get Dangerous: Lúthien after her imprisonment on Hirilorn.
  • Mayfly-December Romance: Beren and Lúthien, subverted.
  • Memory Gambit: Finrod's spell gives Beren false memories.
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero: when Dorthonion first fell under the Shadow, it was merely occupied. After Beren's rebellion, Sauron seems really determined to commit an utter genocide of the Beoring people when he returns. From The Silmarillion we know that exactly this happened.
  • No Export for You: it violates Western copyright laws and was published in Russia only because local copyright enforcement is so lax.
  • No, Mr. Bond, I Expect You to Dine: Sauron gives Beren this treatment at first.
    • Actually, at second. At first it was the torture chamber.
  • Only the Pure of Heart: Beren doesn't get burned when he touches the Silmarill.
  • Orcus on His Throne: Morgoth.
  • Psychic Link: connects Morgoth and his Black Knights.
  • Parental Marriage Veto: Thingol to Beren and Lúthien.
  • Path of Inspiration: Black Knights of Ast Ahe (that's the human part of Angband). That was an intentional Take That to The Black Book Of Arda where the guys were actually introduced and described as completely heroic.
  • Punch Clock Villain: Beren briefly becomes one when Sauron blackmails him, threatening to kill Finrod.
  • Rapunzel Hair: Lúthien magically grows her hair to escape from the treehouse.
  • Royals Who Actually Do Something: Finrod and Beren.
    • Every Elven King, especially of Noldor.
    • Dwarven king Melchar.
    • Lúthien anyone?
  • Shout-Out: Remember that scene where Beren draws his spring arbalest and shoots Sauron, only to see him thwart the dart with a flick of the wrist? Seems familiar?
  • Together in Death: Beren and Lúthien.
  • Unusual Euphemism: "fishing duck". Actually an attempt of Woolseyism of the relatively mild Russian swearword "едрена вошь" (strong, healthy louse), which is itself an euphemism of "ебана мать" (fuckin' mother).
  • Our Vampires Are Different: Thuringwethil surprisingly seems not very different from the Hollywood standard.
  • Variant Chess: The Towers game.
  • Villainous Incest: Boldog and his mother.
  • Warrior Poet: Beren.
  • The Wise Prince: Finrod.

Alternative Title(s): Beyond The Dawn