A Boy, A Girl and A Dog: The Leithian Script — also known as The Leithian Script or simply The Script — is a The Silmarillion Fanfic by Philosopher-At-Large that retells the Lay of Leithian, one of the most important stories of the J. R. R. Tolkien Legendarium, as if it was a play. The author uses The Silmarillion for the main source, supplementing it with The History of Middle-earth, Unfinished Tales of Númenor and Middle-earth and others.
After the Battle of Sudden Flame, Morgoth is gradually trouncing Beleriands elven kingdoms and their allies. The Men of Dorthonion — a fiefdom of Kingdom of Nargothrond — fight for their lands but all except Beren, son of the lord of Dorthonion, are murdered. For several years Beren leads a life of outlaw and guerrilla fighter, harassing the armies of Sauron as much as possible. Eventually he is forced to flee from his homeland, and after a grueling, nightmarish journey, he reaches the Kingdom of Doriath. There he meets Luthien, Princess of Doriath, and they fall in love with each other.
Unfortunately King Elu Thingol thinks that nobody is good enough for his cherished girl, and has got prophetic dreams where humans brought disaster to his kingdom. So he is not delighted to hear that his daughter wants to get married to an outlaw mortal warrior, and he tasks Beren to perform an impossible and suicidal feat, expecting him to give up and go away or try and get killed.
Instead, he ends up setting in motion events that would change the history of Middle-Earth forever and would be recorded in legends and song.
The Leithian Script is noteworthy for the HUGE amount of investigation and thought put on it. Unfortunately, it was abandoned before completion in 2004.
The author also wrote several spin-offs, narrating in greater detail and in prose some parts of the Lay: Hunting (Beren and Shelobs meeting), Terrible Gifts, Betrayals, Renunciations (Finrod and his mens stay in the Wizards Isle), Shadow and Silver (Luthien and Huan defeat Sauron), Fell Knowledge (Beren and Luthien travel to Angband).
It has nothing to do with the A Boy and His Dog movie.
It can be compared to Beyond the Dawn, since both are a retelling of the story of Beren and Luthien, but Philosopher-At-Large puts more effort in portraying the story and the medieval setting accurately.
This fanfic provides examples of:
- Aborted Arc:
- The story abruptly stops shortly after Luthien makes her choice, and before she, Beren and Huan go to confront Carcharoth for last time.
- The author wrote several spin-offs narrating in greater detail and in prose some important bits. In her notes she says that her intention was writing more spin-offs and having all of them published at the same time that the corresponding parts of The Script.
- Action Girl: Luthien defeated and/or humiliated Morgoth, Sauron and even Carcharoth using her powers of dance and dreams; Aredhel went alone across a dangerous valley infested with giant spiders and worse things...
- A Boy and His X: A boy (Beren), a girl (Luthien) and a demigod incarnated in a wolfhound's body (Huan).
- Adaptation Expansion: The story in The Silmarillion was thirty-pages-long, and the Lay was around one-hundred-pages-long in The History of Middle-Earth. This fic is more than half-million words long.
- A God I Am Not: Finrod is forced to tell his Aman relatives the story of how he met the Men and they mistook him for one of the Valar, emphasising that he tried to disillusion them as quick as possible.
- Alien Geometries:
- Angband was erected and designed by Morgoth, and it is built in very weird shapes that make no sense to men or elves. People who has been inside barely can describe the place (beyond vague words such like ugly, burnt, angled deep, rough and paths and overpasses winding up and down and you never know what direction you are going towards) or they do NOT want to remember what it is like. The ex-thrall confirms that nothing of its design suggests that it was built by elves, and Luthien said that none of the architecture seemed designed with people in mind at all, but it was actually designed to NOT seem homely.
- The Halls of Mandos are a minor example. They are an underground network of halls, tunnels and corridors dug under the Western ranges of Aman. The stonework and architectural style is plainly different of anything built by men, walls and rooms can be rearranged with enough will force and distance and direction work in strange ways, but at last you can understand the designs.
- All There in the Manual: The author wrote extensive notes elaborating on her choices in character and world building, as well as a glossary and a family tree.
- Ancestral Weapon: Beren wields Dagmor, his fathers sword.
- ...And That Little Girl Was Me: Finarfin is trying to encourage his daughter-in-law Amarië to forgive his son saying that she reminds him of a certain prideful Elf. Amarië protests that she is not like Fëanor, and Finarfin clarifies that he was talking about himself, not about his brother.
- Archer Archetype: Beren practiced archery since he was a little boy.Beren: Yeah, but I started practicing when I was what, four? five? and I kept practicing, and I twanged myself good more'n a few times there — first time I tried fooling around with a full-size bow I gave myself a bloody nose, and my first recurved hunting job — ouch. —Of course I shouldn't have been too impatient to put on a vambrace before testing it. But yeah, anything that can punch through an elk, or a warg, or an armored Orc, before it can get close enough to damage you, is going to have a hell of a lot of power and need extreme control to make that power go where you need it to, and only there.
- Armor-Piercing Question: Several of them:
- To a Feanorian kinslayer after he hit her:Maiwe: Your answer is the same as ever was, to them that refuse your tyranny — hard word, and harder hand. Was that not how it befell your own King at high Formenos, my kinsman?
- Beren to Aegnor after the latter tried to give him a hard time:Beren: I'm sure it was more complicated than just family, but even with there not being all that many places to go, after the Sudden Flame, the thing I'm wondering is, if maybe you feel a bit guilty, since maybe you all being so tight with that crew had something to do with Finrod giving them such a warm welcome, if it was partly for your sake. —Just going on how things were in Dorthonion after it started getting bad, and the way people react, how it isn't all just what's the most reasonable thing to do.Steward: A most interesting question. —Is that the case, I wonder?Aegnor: [glowering] I do not choose to answer your unworthy speculations.Steward: I believe that you have quite well, your Highness.
- Elenwe to Amarië as they are listening to the bit about Finrods doom:Elenwe: [to Amarie, puzzled] Art thou not much wrung, for thought of thy consort's fate?Amarie: [coldly] His own fate, he did him choose.Elenwe: Thou answerest not. —Why?Amarie: [sharp] Wherefore I answer not unto thee, kinswoman.Elenwe: Again thou answerest not.
- To a Feanorian kinslayer after he hit her:
- Authority Equals Asskicking: Fëanor, Fingolfin, Fingon, Finrod, Aegnor Beren, Barahir, Emeldir the Manhearted, Haleth All Noldorin princes and Edain chieftains not only are Warrior Princes but also some of the most renowned warriors of its Age. Beleriand is a war-torn land, so a ruler MUST know fight to be able to keep his/her people alive. Finarfin might be seen like an exception since he was calm, humble, and preferred to avoid conflict except that he succeeded where his most prideful and most belligerent relatives failed.
- Badass Boast:Fingolfin (to Morgoth): "Come forth, you cowardly wretch and fight me if you dare, you king of slaves and shadows"
- Badass Cape: Luthien wears a jet-black cape. She wove it out of her own hair, interweaving the fabric with magic for enhancement of her spells and camouflage.
- Badass in Distress: Beren, Finrod and their ten companions are all great and experienced warriors, no doubt about it. But when they ran into an immortal, shape-shifting, powerful spirit that not only is older than the universe but also helped to create it, they were completely outmatched. They were captured, jailed and tortured, and Luthien had to rescue them. Unfortunately she's too late to save all but Beren.
- Batman Gambit: Fingolfin knew that Morgoth would rather send his troops after him instead of fighting him, but he would not want to look coward or weak in front of his captains. So Fingolfin loudly taunted Morgoth to fight him.
- Battle Aura: Ainur and Elves have auras, although they usually are invisible to human eyes.
- After meeting Melian Beren noticed that she glowed.
- One of the men of Finrod was frightened when he saw his kings battle aura in the dungeons of Tol-In-Gaurhoth, and he though Luthiens battle aura had to be even greater than Fingolfins.
- When Namo got angry, a dark thundercloud wrapped him.
- Be Careful What You Wish For:
- Lampshaded when Beren is telling his friends how he hid beneath the Morgoth's throne. He stated that, "when I made that vow that I'd avenge Da if it took me to the Gates of Angband to challenge the Dark Lord himself — that was not the scenario I had in mind".
- During an argument, Beren demands knowing the reason of the pain and suffering. Namo informs him that he CAN go to Manwë and Varda and ask them, but he warns him that such knowledge can be heavier a burden than a human mind can bear.
- Becoming the Mask: Discussed. Luthien explained how Beren and she disguised themselves with the pelts of the werewolf Draugluin and the vampire Thuringwethil and traveled northwards. Her father's ambassador was concerned with the effect it might have on their minds, and Luthien admitted that sometimes she had urges afterwards, some of them weird — such as clicking and hiding in corners — and some of them plainly disturbing — like drinking blood of babies — but they were easily controllable and had almost fully faded for now.
- Belligerent Sexual Tension: Subverted. In this story it's established couples who do the arguing.
- Big Bad: Morgoth Bauglir — the Black Enemy — is the God of Evil and the source of all evil in the universe. He is a figure of pure evil with a generous helping of It's All About Me and Never My Fault. Oh, and a wannabe-rapist, too. According Tolkien's writings, Morgoth could have settled with his followers on any other planet in the universe and the Valar would have left him alone... but he knew he could not deceive his Ainur followers in believing he was God, and he thought that the Children of Iluvatar would be more foolish and more gullible (he was supremely disappointed when he found out that was not the case). His big plan, if you could call it that, was conquering the whole Earth so he could pretend he was the owner and creator of the universe before destroying it... precisely because he knows he is neither!
- Body Horror: Beleg and Mablung wonder what those things with several legs and several heads AND those dead things with several legs and several heads that live in Nan Dungortheb are. They settle on call them "fell things".
- Bratty Half-Pint: A Beren's memory reveals that ironically his cousin Morwen was one when she was young. She insisted on climbing a birch despite of he warned her that she would fall and break her ankle. When it happened, she cried, banged her head against his the whole way home as he carried her on his back, and then she claimed to her parents he had put a "hex" on her.
- Broke Your Arm Punching Out Cthulhu:
- Averted when Beren shot an arrow at Sauron during his outlaw days in Dorthonion and he survived because the land protected him. Played straight when he used the Silmarils' light to try to scare Carcharoth away and the Wolf chew his hand off. Later he faced Carcharoth again, and he was mauled.
- Fingolfin fought his worlds God of Evil, and he was stomped. Literally.
- Broken Pedestal:
Finrod: [gently] —Nevertheless, it's a difficult thing, to discover that those you've trusted to be wiser than yourself for all your life — and more perfect in all abilities and virtue — have deceived you. It calls all into question, everything that they've said before, and then afterwards to justify it — not excluding whether or not it really was done for good intentions and for your own sake.[ ]Luthien: [reasonable] But that isn't what he's doing. He's pointing out the fact that after one has ruined one's credibility in a great matter, the trail's been beaten for any subsequent crises to follow, so that both future credibility and moral authority are now forever going to be deservedly taken with a grain of salt. That's why we don't really trust the Noldor any more. —Present company excepted with exceptions, of course.
- The Noldor put their trust on the Valar until they failed in protecting them from Morgoth, unable to prevent him from destroying the Trees and stealing the Silmarils.
- Similarly, the Valar loved the elves, regarded them as Iluvatars precious children and would do anything to help them and protect them. And then the Noldor accused them from luring them into a jail to turn them into their pets, slaves and tools, before committing genocide.
- And just like that, the Sindar stopping trusting on the Noldor after learning about the Kinslaying.
- Luthien loved and implicitly trusted her parents for her entire — very long — life. After they refused to approve of Beren, Luthien stopped trusting them.
- Huan was completely devoted to Celegorm. His devotion got shaken by the Kinslaying and Luthiens captivity, but it was not broken. But then Celegorm and Curufin attempted to murder Beren and Luthien, and Huan cut his ties with Celegorm.
- Subverted by Finrod. He feels that he has let his mortal subjects and his followers down, but they never turn away from him, not matter how badly and how many times he fails.
- But for Me, It Was Tuesday: As told in Betrayals, Renuntiations, in the dungeons of Tol-In-Gaurhoth, Sauron tries to tempt Beren:Yield to me, and serve me, and undo some small measure of the harm you have worked to my King, and in return I shall give you news of one you have long wondered for: Emeldir, who journeyed far, and never guesses the fate of her only childEven as you kept your promise to Gorlim, he thinks, and braces for the gloating and cruel mockery his slip must surely call forth, but the name is meaningless to his captor, and the answer but a dismissive Who?
- By "No", I Mean "Yes": When Finrod finds out his fiancée has been building flying ships during his stay abroad he is astounded. His brother Angrod asks him if he is jealous:Angrod: [curious] Are you jealous? —Ingold?
Finrod: N— Yes.
- Calling the Old Man Out:
- Celebrimbor continuously called his father out on everything that he did — genocide, kidnapping, conspiring against his own relatives, help his brother to force a woman into marriage (which according to elven laws is a form of rape) — but Curufin never listened. Finally Celebrimbor got fed up with it and disowned his own father.
- Subverted with Finrod and Finarfin. Before parting ways they had a very long, heated argument during which they got mad at each other and both started flinging insults and accusations. Later Finrod regretted it, because his father had done nothing to deserve this treatment (and Finarfin rued his own words, as well). Their relationship got uneasy for a while until they finally talked about it and apologized to each other.
- Cannot Tell a Lie: In the Halls of Mandos nobody — living or unliving — is able to lie. You can refuse answering, you can make claims that you believe are true — even if they are false — but nobody can knowingly lie. Finrod and his followers have several theories about it, for example that souls cannot hide their thoughts since that's all they are now.
- Cassandra Truth: Finrod suffered of this trope constantly. He feels pretty grouchy about people ignoring his predictions despite of his high rate of success.
- Through foresight, he saw his uncle lying dead under Morgoth's foot. He warned him, but Fingolfin brushed him off, stating that foresight is unreliable and future is ever-changing.
- He told his sister Galadriel that he had foreseen his own death ("nor shall anything of my realm endure that a son should inherit"). His siblings were alarmed, but they did not want to believe him.
- Catch-Phrase:Captain: War is not a game.
- The Chains of Commanding: For several centuries Finrod had to be calm, rational, responsible and level-headed to hold himself together, hold his kingdom together, hold the League against Morgoth together, mediate between his short-tempered relatives, compatriots and all free people in the sub-continent and take care of his subjects. And he often had to deal people like pawns to achieve some greater good. He was so sick and distressed that when he finally got killed he actually found the Afterlife relaxing.
- Combat Pragmatist: Finrod's captain is this trope incarnated. He repeats constantly that war is not a game and since the enemy does not abide by the rules all civilized sentient beings on the planet follow, he is perfectly willing to fight dirty, cheat and make surprise attacks.
- The Complainer Is Always Wrong: Subverted. Edrahil is very pessimistic, constantly worries about everything, and always hopes for the worst outcome. His friends find it tiresome, but a valuable skill all the same.Apprentice: [aside, bemused] Of all the things to specialize in — worrying as a sideline!Captain: [sharply] I don't see anyone else volunteering to take up the job, do you?
- Dark Is Not Evil: At the beginning, darkness was not evil. Both light and darkness were created by Eru for the enjoyment and pleasure of His Children, and they has a place in His Creation. Luthien declares that night is the elves' birthright. However
- Dark Is Evil: When Morgoth failed in stealing light and fire to further his goals, he resorted to perverting the darkness and cold.
- Dead Fic: The last chapter was published in 2004. Needless to say, in her last update the author assured she was working on it and the fic WOULD be completed.
- Deadpan Snarker: Several of them. Beren, Luthien, Edrahil, the Captain, Aulë, Orome... It IS hard telling who's the snarkiest of them all.
- Defiant Captive: During her captivity in Nargothrond, Luthien tried to warn people that her dad had NOT forgotten how going to war, and if she was not released there would be a bloodbath because he and the Sindar army would crack open Nargothrond like an anthill to retrieve her. Nobody listened to her. When they heard the story, Finrod and his followers thought that the Nargothrond population was Too Dumb to Live.
- Despair Event Horizon:
- After being released from Sauron's cells, many elves were so broken and weary that they found freedom sadly lacking, so they faded and traveled to the Halls of the Dead.
- Listening to the story of Aegnor and his grand-aunt Andreth Beren was the last straw for Beren, and he nearly faded. Edrahil summarized it most efficiently.Finrod: What's wrong? [Beren tries to answer, shakes his head] He said you were fading — Beren, can you tell me what's the matter?[Beren tries again to find words]Beren: [whispering] "Rukina."Finrod: [puzzled] —Wrecked?[Beren nods]Finrod: Why?[No answer — he looks to the Steward, who looks him in the eyes, challengingly]Edrahil: In general? Being dead; being driven half-mad by Oath, Silmaril, torture, poison, injury and guilt; being treated as an unwelcome trespasser with no right to exist here yet again. In specific — your brothers came by, and were less-than-civil.
- Finrod died and went to the Halls thinking that Beren would be tortured and killed as a result of his mistakes. He was so shattered that he was barely substantial and he would talk to nobody.
- After rescuing her lover from all dangers, going to literal Hell and coming back alive, gaining her father's approval and getting married, Beren gets killed by Carcharoth. All Luthien wanted after that was to die and follow him.
- It is also discussed by Fingolfin, his daughter, daughter-in-law and Maiwe.
- Determined Defeatist:
- Neither Beren nor Luthien believed that retrieving a Silmaril from Morgoth was possible. They were sure that they'd die trying it.No. We thought that was it, that we were never getting out alive. We had no illusions that what we were trying to do was rational or possible, whatever Huan said to cheer us up.
- Beren diisplayed this mindset when they met Carcharoth:And Beren says, "What the hell's that?! We're doomed—" And then he gives himself a little shake and says, in this weird almost-cheerful way, "But, hey, — we knew that already."
- Neither Beren nor Luthien believed that retrieving a Silmaril from Morgoth was possible. They were sure that they'd die trying it.
- Did You Just Punch Out Cthulhu?:
- Beren once shot an arrow at Sauron, Lord of Wolves and older-than-the-world fallen angel.
- Luthien managed to charm Morgoth, God of Evil. And Beren accidentally hurt his forehead.
- Finrod killed a werewolf with his bare hands.
- Fingolfin's duel again Morgoth is mentioned.
- Doing In the Wizard: Invoked. When Finrod met the Men for first time they got him confused with one of the Valar, and he disillusioned them as fast as he was able to. When he reluctantly told the tale to his relatives, Aredhel joked she would have pretended to be Varda for a while. Her aunt Nerdanel asked when she would have STOPPED.
- Don't You Dare Pity Me!:
- Eol is broken but he refuses to be helped.Luthien: [sad] I'm sorry. [tears are starting down her face again, but there is no uncertainty or weakness in her voice] You should have asked for help.
Eol: [clipped] I neither wanted nor needed your parents' pity.
Luthien: [matter-of-fact] I wish I could help you.
Eol: I won't take yours either, girl.
Luthien: [same tone] I know.
- Defied -as befitting a story based on Tolkien's works-. In the backstory, Edrahil didn't like being pitied by his colleague -after Edrahil let slip he considers himself a failure who ruined his relationship with his life's love-, but he accepted the Captain's mercy anyway, and that was the beginning of their friendship.Steward: I don't want your pity.
Captain: I know. I'm sorry.
Steward: Then since you will not rescind it, I must thank you for it.
- Eol is broken but he refuses to be helped.
- Doorstopper: It clocks at 560,494 words on Fanfiction.net. And that is only a small fraction of the story!
- The Dreaded:
- Back in Dorthonion, enemy patrols sent out to arrest Beren endeavoured to NOT find him.
- Nobody wants to fight Tulkas the Wrestler. Not even Morgoth. His brother-in-law Orome the Hunter is also one of the most powerful warriors on Earth, but he favors armed combat whereas Tulkas likes to fight bare-handed.
- Dramatic Irony:
- A wanderer, upon accidentally meeting a beautiful, strange woman in the woods who belongs to an older and more powerful race, falls in love with her. That sentence describes both Thingol and Beren.
- Finduilas thinks that is a bad idea for an elf falling in love with a mortal. Several years later she fell in love with mortal warrior Turin.
- Drop the Hammer: Morgoth's Weapon of Choice was a giant hammer, Grond. Beren and Luthien found the pits that Grond left on the ground when Morgoth fought Fingolfin.
- Dude, Where's My Respect?:
- Beren was one of the greatest heroes of an Age packed with them. He relentlessly fought Morgoth despite losing his tribe, his home and his father. He took a Silmaril from Morgoth and lived to tell the tale. Still he was treated by most like a trespasser with no right to exist. It was heart-warming when Finrod or High King Fingolfin praised him.
- Everyone Calls Him "Barkeep":
- Out of the ten companions that followed Finrod and Beren, Edrahil is the only named. The rest of them are called Captain, Warrior, Ranger
- Several other characters have no names: Formenos's Seneschal, Doriath Ambassador
- Gandalf and Saruman appear, but they are called Niennas Apprentice and Aules Assistant respectively.
- The Ex-Thrall is a tragic example. She is so broken and ashamed of her past that she does not dare reclaim her name.
- Evil Cannot Comprehend Good:
- Her bond with Beren helped Luthien during her duel with Morgoth. His love was a lifeline that grounded her and kept her from forgetting herself and getting entangled in her own charm. At the same time, it was something Morgoth could not pierce or understand, because he could not comprehend that someone challenged him not out of love and selflessness instead of pride, revenge or fury.
- Evil Is Cool: Averted. Luthien describes Angband as a horrible place and Morgoth and his minions as pitiful, sad beings who do not even enjoy what they are doing but hurt others because they cannot stand themselves.
- Exact Words:
- Beren swore that his hand would hold a Silmaril the next time Thingol saw him. When they met again, Beren's hand was inside of the stomach of the Wolf of Angband but it WAS holding a Silmaril, so that he fulfilled his vow.
- Before leaving, Beren ordered Huan to stay with Luthien. So that Huan carried Luthien on his back when they went after Beren.
- Finrod promised Vairë that he'd not move the walls again. When he threatens with doing it anyway
Vaire: Don't you dare, you miserable wretch!
Finrod: [polite] Don't compel me to the choice, then, Ma'am.
Vaire: What of your promise?!?
Finrod: You only told me not to amuse myself by rearranging your home. This isn't a jest, my Lady.
- Extended Disarming: Before entering Nargothrond the guards request Beren leaves his weapons to them. Hilarity Ensues when he starts to hand over weapon after weapon:[Outside the Gates of Nargothrond. Enter Beren, escorted by the Rangers, but unbound.]
Captain:"Forgive me, sir, but you must leave your weapons with us. It isn't permitted to go armed into the presence of the King."
Beren:"Of course. Hold on a minute —
[He hands over his bow, quiver, longsword, shortsword and dagger]
Captain: [relieved]"Thank you for being so understanding about this. Now if you'll just come this way —"
Beren:"Not done yet."
[taking assorted dirks from vambraces, leggings, belts and backpack.]
Captain: [staring at the mounting pile]"Oh...Is there more?"
Beren: [working poniards out of cloak hem and hand-guards]"Yup."
Captain:"Is — is that everything?"
Beren: [muffled, struggling out of his armor]"No, there are still the backups, but you'll have to wait a bit."
[takes another several pounds of metal from undertunic, sleeves, waistband]
Beren: "That should do it."
- Fantastic Racism: In the Tolkien's Legendarium racism is one of the tools Morgoth uses to sow hatred, suspicion and fear between the Children in order to destroy them. So there are plenty of cases:
- A Feanorian apologizes to Maiwe for getting her mixed with a Dark Elf but thinks nothing of killing her.
- Aredhels opinion about mortals: But, objectively —what's so special about them? From what everybody says, they're essentially talking kelvar translation that look a bit like us—
- In Nargothrond, a couple meets Beren, and they treat him like if he was a fascinating animal specimen. The woman even exclaims that He looks almost like a person.
- Noldor elves often think that Teleri are inferior because they only build ships. Evidently, Teleri are not happy about it. On the other hand, Teleri often are best singers and they rub it in. Evidently, Noldor are not happy about it.
- Sindar elves are also sick of being considered god-forsaking barbarians only because they turned from the March.
- A Feanor follower gloated that he was the second casualty in the war. Apparently all were supposed to accept his assumption that Grey and Green elves casualties did not count.
- Another Feanorian thought that Light elves were clearly different of Dark elves. Then he thought that The Captain was a Sinda. Hilarity ensued.
- Fatal Flaw: Pride: This is the main flaw of many characters, even when not the cause of their downfall. The Noldor are especially prone to it. Every time Finrod talked to Amarië, for instance,, he wanted to make up. However his pride always prevented him of apologizing and they ended up repeating the same fights.
- Fate Worse than Death: Subverted. Manwe and Varda show to Beren other possible ends to his story: being captured by Sauron and tortured before being fed to wolves or reaching Hitlum safely, living between humans and marrying a mortal woman. Much to their puzzlement, he finds the latter worse than the former.
- Fighting for a Homeland: The tribe of Beor lived in Dorthonion, the northern marches of Nargothrond, defending it from Morgoth. After the Battle of Sudden Flame, Saurons forces invaded and gradually conquered the land, and the power of Morgoth poisoned the whole region, rendering it inhabitable. For ten years the folk of Beor fought a losing battle to take their lands back. Eventually all of them were enslaved or fled the region, and only Barahir, Beren and ten companions kept defying Morgoths dominion (although Beren stated that there were other pockets of resistance). Finally only Beren was left alive, but he kept fighting until he had no choice but leaving Dorthonion.
- Fire-Forged Friends: Before leaving for Angband, Finrods men regarded Beren like an ex-lord of the realm that they were indebted to. After traveling, fighting and suffering together he became their comrade and friend.
- For Want of a Nail: Manwe and Varda showed Beren other possible lives that he could have led: in one of them Sauron caught him in Dorthonion and got him executed; in another of them Beren reached Hitlum safely, settled with his human relatives and got married.
- Freudian Slip: In one scene the Captain tried to dissuade Aredhel from picking a fight with Nienna's Apprentice (Gandalf), reminding her that she has no experience fighting armed opponents. She angrily replied that she is not a kinslayer. The Captain retorted he meant the giant spiders of Nan Dungortheb, but he found interesting that she assumed that he was talking about the Kinslaying.
- Fur Against Fang: Werewolves and wampires do NOT get along in this setting. Werewolves despised vampires like rats with wings and vampires regard wolves as big bullies.
- Giant Flyer:
- Two kinds of eagles exist in Middle-Earth: ordinary eagles and Manwë's eagles. They are Manwës Maiar servants in eagle shape, large enough to carry one or several people. Thorondor is the king of the eagles and biggest of them all — his wingspan being 180 feet! — and he and his children (Gwaihir and Landroval) rescued Beren and Luthien from Angband.
- Morgoth used to hunt eagles and hawks to examine their wings in order to figure out how they worked. The results of his research were mechanized aircrafts and winged dragons.
- Giant Spiders: Between Dorthonion and Doriath lays a mountain range called Ered Gorgorothtranslation , and to the south of that range an unpopulated valley called Nan Durgothebtranslation . The entire region was infested with giant spiders. Ungoliant — the giant spider that exuded no-light (a nearly physical darkness no light could pierce) and ate the worlds source of light — lived there temporarily, breeding with them. Later the powers of Morgoth and Melian clashed in that area, mutating those creatures into even more horrible beasts.
- God Is Good: Eru and the Ainur are genuinely good — even if sometimes the later are not nice — well-meaning and well-intentioned and genuinely want to help and protect the Children.
- God Is Flawed: All Valar are good and well-meaning, but they also have flaws and make mistakes. And no, they are not all-powerful or all-knowing. Eru is, and he tries to warn them, but hearing His voice inside the Circles of World is hard even for Manwe. Beren comes to understand this after long talks with Manwe, Varda and Yavanna.
- God's Hands Are Tied: Beren asks the Valar why they do not intervene and defeat Morgoth. They try to explain to him that, when they fight Morgoth directly, continents get wrecked.
- Gone Mad From The Revelation: Beren demands to know the reason of suffering and injustice. Namo warns him that knowledge and understanding of those things may be a greater burden than any mortal mind can bear.
- Good Cannot Comprehend Evil: Manwe is absolutely unable to understand his brothers actions and thoughts. Yavanna does not understand Morgoth, either.
- Tolkiens essays explicitly told that it was a flaw (although not a sin), since Manwes incapacity to understand his brother allowed Morgoth to deceive him by pretending to repent.
- Good Is Not Nice: This trope applies to several Valar. It always is justified.
- Orome was bad-tempered and snarky most of the time, and he was very harsh on Beren. His moodiness and frustration were due to several causes: the Eldars untrue and hurtful accusations (he offered to guide them to Aman because he genuinely cared for them. Many of them freely chose to follow him and the rest freely chose to remain in Middle-earth. Later the former group accused the Valar of leading them into a jail where they could be easily controlled, and the latter group accused them of abandoning them to Morgoths creatures); Morgoth winning the War; and Beren — the only person in several centuries who was being pro-active and actually doing SOMETHING against Morgoth — retrieving a Silmaril after overcoming incredible difficulties and then losing the jewel and getting himself killed. Orome had got his hopes raised... and then broken.
- Namo comes across like grim, cold and impatient. You would be, too, if your work was judging all crimes on the world and taking care of the dead (including men as they are leaving the Circles of the World). And he has been doing that for millennia! He is also very blunt, but he is not intentionally rude.
- Osse was a big, angry jerk before AND after his "repentance", but after reforming he was tolerable. And he sincerely loved the Elves.
- The Good King:
- Manwe and Varda are the God-appointed King and Queen of Arda. They do not care about their own glory, are aware of their place as servants of Ilúvatar (to the point of consulting Ilúvatar for guidance on particularly thorny problems), are not afraid of asking other Ainur and even Eruhini for advice and their only desire is creating a paradise where the Children of Ilúvatar can live freely and happily, doing their best to govern the world as they think Ilúvatar would.
- Slightly deconstructed, since Manwe had become so engrossed with repairing and healing Morgoths marring that when his brother feigned remorse and repentance, Manwe believed that maybe he was sincere.
- Finrod works hard to provide food and shelter for his people, cares sincerely for all of them and he would (and actually did) give his life for them.
- Finarfin became High King of the Noldor after the Rebellion. He never wanted or expected to be crowned king, but (unlike his brothers) he is good-natured, calm, prudent and willing to acknowledge his mistakes, and he and his wife try to rule the Noldor with fairness and wisdom. His brother Fingolfin admitted that his little brother was better king than him.
- Manwe and Varda are the God-appointed King and Queen of Arda. They do not care about their own glory, are aware of their place as servants of Ilúvatar (to the point of consulting Ilúvatar for guidance on particularly thorny problems), are not afraid of asking other Ainur and even Eruhini for advice and their only desire is creating a paradise where the Children of Ilúvatar can live freely and happily, doing their best to govern the world as they think Ilúvatar would.
- Grand Theft Me: Houseless Elves are elves that have faded or died and remain in Middle-Earth instead of answering the summons of Namo. The later ones are very dangerous because they are full of fury and bitterness and steal bodies, murdering the owner. Finarfin and other Amanyar elves think they are only old legends of the Old Country until Finrod tells them otherwise.
- Guilt Complex: Beren suffers from this. Luthien left her home and risked her life dozens of times? His fault because she chose following him. Carcharoth rampaged through Beleriand? His fault because Carcharoth bit his hand holding the Silmaril. Lampshade Hanging abounds, as well as True Companions with a sense of humor:"They're trying to cheer me up by proving that I'm responsible for everything that's ever gone wrong in the universe."
- Happily Married:
- Played straight:
- Manwë and Varda, Aulë and Yavanna, Orome and Vana... the Valar have been married since the beginning of time (and somehow they manage to not argue the whole time). Tulkas and Nessa are the patron deities of married couples.
- Thingol and Melian had been married for several millennia before the start of the story.
- Beren and Luthien in the future. They were already getting over their issues during the last chapters.
- Elenwe stressed that Turgon and she were happy together and dealt each other like equals.
- Averted or Subverted:
- Aredhel and Eol. Their relationship is completely dysfunctional and self-destructive, and is making both of them miserable. Luthien called them out on it several times.
- Feanor and Nerdanel. They had been happy for a while — and Feanor ACTUALLY listened to her! — but Feanor's bad temper, hubris and arrogance got worse, and his wifes friendship with Indis disgusted him. Their marriage got colder, and when Feanor left for Formenos, she did not go with him.
- Played straight:
- Hero Killer:
- Balrogs. Their name means "Demon of Might". They are essentially fallen angels/evil spirits of fire and shadow, armed with a blazing sword and a whip. The elite of the elite of Morgoth, they killed Feanor and are supremely feared by all free peoples of Middle-Earth. Like one of the men of Finrod put: "One Balrog is too much. At a distance."
- Glaurung, Father of the dragons. He is a massive, four-legged, fire-breathing serpent with an impervious scaly hide, and he is full of intelligence, malice and sorcery. Glaurung single-handedly broke the Angband siege, set Ard-Galen and vast armies afire, and his fire burnt Angrod and Aegnor to death. No Middle-Earth warrior would want to meet him, unless his bravery was larger than his common sense (coughTurincough).
- Carcharoth, the biggest wolf ever, rampaged through Beleriand decimating armies, killing thousands of people, nearly killed Thingol and killed Beren — one of the biggest heroes of the Age — and Huan — a dog-shaped Maia who was trained by Orome.
- Heroes Love Dogs: Beren and Luthien's most loyal companion and friend is Huan, a huge and noble wolfhound.
- Heroes Prefer Swords: Most heroes in this story use a sword like his primary weapon.
- Beren he is an excellent swordsman. He carries around a real arsenal with him (daggers, knives, dirks ), but his sword Dagmor is his most notable weapon. It is justified since, like he said himself, a sword and a bow are more practical to a wood-dweller outlaw than an axe (its weight would slow him down) or a spear (it is inconvenient to haul around in rough terrain).
- Fingolfin used a sword to fight Morgoth. He named it Ringiltranslation .
- Averted with the Sindarin Ranger. He is a great bowman, but he is not good with swords.
- Hidden Elf Village: Several. In Beleriand, hiding was one of the very few ways to NOT get killed or enslaved by Morgoth.
- Gondolin. Ruled by Turgon, it was a city hidden inside a valley circled by high mountains in the middle of a vast range. It was nearly inaccessible, and eagles took care that nobody would come near from it.
- Nargothrond. Finrods kingdom capital city was built in an extensive network of underground caves dug by river Narog. The only entrances were built on a rock-wall across a wide river with no bridge. Only Nargothrond elves knew their location and how to reach them, and they constantly kept watch.
- Doriath: A subversion, since most people knew where it was, but the Girdle of Melian — a not-physical maze of darkness and illusions — made it impossible for anyone to actually enter Doriath without leave (unless that person had a special destiny, like Beren). And Morgoth's gaze could not penetrate the barrier, so Doriath was 'hidden' from him.
- Hold Your Hippogriffs : Several. "Grinding Ice" gets used several times as an exclamation in place of 'to hell with it.' " starless Grinding Ice" if the Elf in question is really peeved. "Dear sweet Nienna, " eg "for Pity's Sake."
- Hypercompetent Sidekick: Finrod's followers earned notoriety in the Halls for being a crazy, unruly lot. However, they are all extremely competent and Finrod has absolute trust in them. He stated to his father that he bestowed his trust on those who proved themselves trustworthy, and authority on those who showed themselves fit to wield it. And he does not care if they are not the most easy-tempered of Elves.
- I Call It "Vera": Berens swords name is Dagmor (Dark Battle in Sindarin).
- I Gave My Word:
- Finrod swore that he would help the kin of Barahir if they asked help. When he had to choose between keeping the kingship of Nargothrond and helping the son of Barahir, he chose the latter, and he protected Beren with his life.
- Berens companions asked him why he and Luthien did not elope after their reunion. He stubbornly insisted on that he had given his word.
- Luthien let Sauron go because she promised releasing him if he gave her the keys of his stronghold. Her relatives questioned the wisdom of it, but she replied: I couldn't have broken my word — well, obviously I could, but — even my father kept his word to me, that he wouldn't kill or imprison Beren, after all. My family is the law in central Beleriand, from the beginning of Time. I have a duty to live up to.
- Inverted once (or is it reinforced?). Thingol asked Luthien promising him that she would not go after Beren, and Luthien refused to make that promise because she would be unable to not break it.
- Incredibly Lame Fun: The Captain prefers to watch water freezing than play chess. It isn't that he dislikes chess; it's he thinks the former activity is genuinely entertaining.Beren: I thought you liked kingstone, sir.
Captain: Oh, as a diversion it's all right. But it isn't my preferred diversion, if others are to be had. Like watching ice form, for one.
Beren: Oh. — That boring, huh?
Captain: Ice crystals are quite fascinating, the way they sheet over a pond.
Beren: Yeah, but you usually watch stuff like that when you're waiting for something to actually happen.
- I Need a Freaking Drink:
- Beren often expresses this need in the Halls of Mandos. The sheer weirdness and tragedy of his and his lover situation is too much to cope with sober.Beren: [shaking his head] If I was alive I would say this needs a drink to make any sense out of.
- Tulkas also needs a drink after an argument with Orome:Orome: [shaking his head] What my sister sees in you I will never know.Tulkas: That's pretty good, actually. —I need a drink to clear my mind.Orome: You always need a drink, if that's the case.
- Beren often expresses this need in the Halls of Mandos. The sheer weirdness and tragedy of his and his lover situation is too much to cope with sober.
- Ignored Epiphany: Melian tried to show Thingol that Beren and he are Not So Different, but her husband refused to listen.
- Ignored Expert: Angrod and Aegnor watched the Gates of Angband. They and their brothers repeatedly warned the other Noldorin princes that Morgoths strength was growing and he would wipe them all out unless they struck as soon as possible. Nobody listened. When Morgoth broke the Siege Angrod and Aegnor were among the first casualties.
- Interspecies Marriage: Thingol (Elf) and Melian (Ainu) is the first instance in the Middle-Earth history. Beren (Human) and Luthien (Elf) is another.
- Insane Troll Logic:
- As much as she loves Beren, Luthien thinks that some of their arguments were downright crazy, and she would not call someone who says "I have to go and get myself killed or your father will never approve of me" sane.
- The Feanor following also counts. The Captain hits them because he has not patience for showing them that they are being inconsistent.
- Morgoth is the worst offender. Luthien described at length how he thinks. Among other things he is resentful of everyone is plotting against him AND nobody pays attention to him and it never occurs to him that both rule each other out. He is the First Deceiver and still he has the gal of telling that the Children are liars.Luthien: His logic... is insane.
- Nerdanel felt that description fits her husband as well. Most people in Mandos has agreed that Feanor lives in a world of his own fabrication that has very little to do with the real one.
- Ironic Echo:Namo[curious]: Seriously, Barahirion — do you really think this plan of yours has a chance of succeeding?Beren: Dunno, Sir. But whatever happens — [with a jaunty grin] — they'll be makin' some grand songs about us, I'm thinking.
- Island Base: Finrod built a tower named Minas Tirithtranslation in Tol Sirion, an island on the upper reaches of the River Sirion. Later Sauron captured it, renaming it Tol-in-Gaurhothtranslation or Wizard's Isle. Sauron used it to watch the northeast Pass, and it was packed with wolves, werewolves and vampires.
- It's All My Fault: Several characters — Beren, Luthien, Finrod — have a habit of blaming themselves for absolutely everything. Their followers and friends find it groan-inducing and sometimes joke about it. Beren and Finrod indulge in annoyingly long "It is my fault that the operation failed! No, it is MY fault! No, it is MINE!" debates.Captain: What, they need a reason to claim responsibility for every earthly mishap? Remember who you're talking about: "I ought to have Seen and single-handedly prevented the Kinslaying," on the one hand, against, "If only I'd been killed at Aeluin everything in the world would be fine."
- Jerkass Has a Point: When Finrod said he was glad of that the Enemy has not managed to construct creatures that fly better than an eagle, Eol mocked him by being unreasonably optimistic. Unfortunately, the Fall of Gondolin proved that he was right.
- Kicked Upstairs: Orodreth accidentally promoted notoriously incompetent and arrogant Telumnar to captain. Finrod was disturbed when he heard, but he trusted that his brother had realized Telumnars foolishness for now and has found him an appointment with a grander-sounding title but no real power behind it.
- Kill the God: Luthien fought Dark lords, brought an enemy fortress down with The Power of Rock and bested the God of Evil in a duel.
- Knight In Sour Armor: Beren sometimes asks his friends and the gods why they keep fighting, since winning the war seems impossible and everything they manage is being stomped even harder by Morgoth. After talking to Manwe, Varda and Yavanna he realizes that the world is a cause worth to fighting for, even if they lose.
- Leeroy Jenkins:
- Fingolfin and Finrod accuse each other of being this. Fingolfin tells that his willingness to give up his immortality in exchange for Berens mortality is reckless and impulsive, and his nephew throws the Grinding Ice back at him:Fingolfin: [mildly] I seem to recall, Finrod, that you particularly admonished me against my rashness during our traverse of the Helcaraxe, and advised me to take better heed to my following, while you and your sister took charge of that passage. Have you given up caution, altogether, then?Finrod: [shortly] I told you lots of things, uncle — most of which you ignored — over the past four-and-a-half-centuries. There's a difference between rushing in heedlessly and without preparation in the certainty that willpower and innate superiority shall, together with the justness of one's cause, carry one through despite lack of provisions, equipment, or proper information — and taking a calculated risk, even when the odds are against one. But that's a somewhat-sophisticated distinction, I grant.
- A Finrod's follower's nephew took part in the Kingslaying. His uncle angrily told him that if he did not know what was happening, the obvious thing to NOT do was rushing into the fray and killing people.
- Fingolfin and Finrod accuse each other of being this. Fingolfin tells that his willingness to give up his immortality in exchange for Berens mortality is reckless and impulsive, and his nephew throws the Grinding Ice back at him:
- Maligned Mixed Marriage:
- Luthien heard many people in Nargothrond talking against her and Berens relationship. Finduilas argued about their age differences, different backgrounds, Berens mortality and questioned whether they ever would be able to beget children.
- Angrod and Aegnor were when they found out that Beren and Luthien finally got married. However it is due to they blamed Finrods death on Beren rather bigotry.
- Master of None: So is how Finrod sees himself. He had never time to deeply study any skill, so he indulged them all and never mastered one. His family and friends completely disagree, though.
- Meaningful Name: Plenty of characters have one:
- Luthiens name means Enchantress. Beren named her Tinuviel, Nightingale. In several scenes Luthien demanded being addressed by that name to show to her that acknowledge her bond to Beren, making it even more meaningful.
- Elves named the Ainur according his or her dominion. So, Manwe was Blessed One, Varda Sublime, Yavanna Giver of Fruits, Aule Invention
- Every elf has a second name called mother-name. It is given by his or her mother and is supposed to say something about the elf. Earwen named Finrod Ingold (Wise) and Galadriel Nerwen (Manly maiden).
- The Men of Beor named Finrod Nom. In his language it means Wisdom. Beren found very funny that his people named him basically the same thing his mother did.
- The Captain puns with the name of Maiwetranslation . Maiwe finds it exasperating ("I was going to rail against you, you know", "Rail? Isn't that a kind of bird?").
- Carcharoth's names full meaning was long and extremely pompous. Finrod quips about the humility of the chap and Luthien reminds him that his name means "Fair-haired hero". So Finrod had to explain to his relatives that people did not translate or pronounce his name like it was done in Aman.
- Beren asks Yavanna what the Valar's original names were after noticing the names they use were chosen by the elves.
- Meta Phorgotten: Gandalf is very interested in learning about language and customs overseas, but he has not a very good grasp of them, and it shows:Apprentice: [trying to cover, diplomatically] Besides, what's the rush? Not as though you had any irons on the fire to be watched under one roof, right?Aredhel: What?Apprentice: Did I muddle a metaphor again?Angrod: Several.
- Mind Screw:
- Beren needs a drink. Trying to be helpful, The Captain manifests a flask full of wine
And Beren completely freaks out. How can anyone give him an imaginary drink that is not real? And how can he drink it if it's someone elses imagination?:Beren: [agitated] But how can it be real? If it's your memory, not mine, then how come it didn't disappear when you handed it to me?
Captain: [frowning] Because I don't want it to?
Beren: How do we know it's the same for me as it is for you?
Captain: We don't — but... we don't know that when we're corporate either, do we? I could have experienced the taste of it differently then.
Beren: [increasingly manic]Is it an illusion? But what does illusion mean here? If we don't have any bodies, then isn't everything an illusion? Is that how it works?[...] Why can I even see you? Or anything? Or feel things?
Captain: [forcefully] Beren, it's all right. You needn't if it troubles you.
Beren: [louder] No. I shouldn't be able to. I'm not real, I don't have a body, so things shouldn't seem real to me either. [gripping his wrist with his remaining hand, pulling at his sleeve] —What am I? What is this? How can I sense myself when I don't exist?
Ranger : [reasonable] But your body isn't what senses things. Not without you at home to perceive them. So why shouldn't you be aware, regardless?
- Finrod explains to his relatives his theories about how the Powers are just as helpless as the Children in the Song that they helped to make, mortals are fated to unmake the Marring and how the world will be After the End. His family feels pretty confused and troubled by his ideas.
- Finrod also theorizes — although he does not find it likely — that the Halls are not real in the physical sense but they are an illusionary environment to house the discorporate folk until they are ready to leave. His relatives find that theory even more disturbing that the former one.
- Beren needs a drink. Trying to be helpful, The Captain manifests a flask full of wine And Beren completely freaks out. How can anyone give him an imaginary drink that is not real? And how can he drink it if it's someone elses imagination?:
- Nameless Narrative: Only canon characters have names. All original characters are known by either their occupation or their rank (the Captain, the Youngest Ranger, the Seneschal...)
- Never Be Hurt Again: Maiwe did not want to give another chance to her formerly verbally abusive boyfriend, refusing believing that Edrahil had changed during the war and was a different person now and having sworn that she wouldn't be hurt again. Beren warned her that attitude may end up hurting her anyway.
- No Man of Woman Born: It was prophesized that Huan would get killed by the greatest wolf that shall ever walk the world. Sauron tried to fulfil the prophecy turning into the greatest wolf that had ever lived. Huan gleefully points out the loophole:
- Huan: Fool, did you not heed the words? Not the greatest that walks the world, but shall ever walk the world.
- Not Hyperbole: Luthien tells that Morgoths vampires have iron claws. Aman elves think that she merely means that their claws are tough until Luthien explains that they are made of actual iron.
- Not So Different:
- Finrod mentions that elves cannot interact with the world without changing it and in that sense they are not unlike Morgoth Bauglir. No one liked that comparison.
- Beren is just a boy fell in love with a beautiful stranger he met in the woods, just like Thingol.
- Luthien explains how Morgoth rants about being a poor, abused victim, and Nerdanel states that it reminds her of Feanor.
- Later Beren compares himself with Carcharoth: "It's almost like we're the same, in a way — he's his King's hereditary champion, he's the one who guards the way to the realm, the one nobody else could come near to, doing what he was born to, and all because of the Silmarils — and getting killed for it, in the end." The difference, he says, it is that Carcharoth did not choose it.
- O.O.C. Is Serious Business:
- Vairë the Weaver had NEVER lost her temper
still Finrod managed to get her angry. When she stormed into the Halls screaming "FINROD INGOLD FINARFINION WHAT HAVE YOU DONE TO MY HOME?", most of all prudent souls chose that moment to fade out of sight.Captain: But you must understand, the Weaver has never, ever lost her temper in the entire course of earth's history. No one — including the demigods who work here — can remember her raising her voice. Or banging on things. It was very distressing.
- Beren also managed to make Lord Namo laugh out loud something that had never happened in all of Time since the Beginning. Everyone was astonished.
- When Finrod finally got fed up with Aegnor's behaviour and berated him angrily, all got shocked and appalled. Edrahil stated that was the fourth time that Finrod had lost his temper in several CENTURIES.
- Later Namo makes a bad joke. Everyone stares at him in silence. Vaire told that him making a joke was unpreceded.
- Vairë the Weaver had NEVER lost her temper still Finrod managed to get her angry. When she stormed into the Halls screaming "FINROD INGOLD FINARFINION WHAT HAVE YOU DONE TO MY HOME?", most of all prudent souls chose that moment to fade out of sight.
- Obfuscating Stupidity: Luthien tried to seem a helpless, defenceless, weak and silly maid before Morgoth so he'd underestimate her and get overconfident. It worked.
- Oh My Gods!: Men, Elves and Ainur usually don't mention The One when they swear. "By Nienna's — or Pity's — sake" is popular. Thingol once exclaimed "So Tulkas help me". Other curses are "Star and Water", Starless night, "Grinding Ice" or "By the Gloomweaver" (the latter one refers to Ungoliant and you better do not use it when Vairë is in the vicinity). Gandalf uses Threnody or Discord.
- Only Known By His Nickname: Finrod's followers (minus Edrahil) are only known by their rank: Captain, Warrior, Ranger
- Only Sane Man:
Celebrimbor: Can you begin to understand what it's like, being the only person in our family with even the barest capacity for empathy? It's hellish. Everyone assumes that I approve of Grandfather and the rest of the lunatics without even bothering to ask, and even my friends who know better are treating me as though first of all I must have known in advance, and secondly as though I must benefit from it. And you know what that means? Half of them won't speak to me, and the rest are too polite, and I can't figure out which of them want me to put in good words for them— [short laugh] —as if that would help them! — and which ones are afraid of me now. Oh, the honour of belonging to House Feanor — it's almost more than I can stand.
- That is how Luthien felt in Nargothrond. She could understand that people did not care about two strangers like Beren and herself. But their king had been imprisoned by the enemy, and instead of organizing a rescue expedition they partied, trying to pretend that nothing's wrong! And she had been kidnapped and jailed by a Stalker with a Crush that wanted to force her into marrying him and attempted to rape her, and nobody tried to defend her.
- Celebrimbor feels he is the only sane man of his family. As a scion of House Feanor, he is actually right:
- Our Elves Are Better: Tolkien subverted it and so does this fic. A good number of elves — mainly the Feanorian lot — think that they are obviously better than humans but elves are just as capable as men to commit acts of arrogance, pettiness, jealousy and iniquity.
- Our Vampires Are Different: Vampires in Middle-Earth are bats possessed by evil spirits. They look like giant bats or humanoid bats, and they have literally iron claws. Finrod has several Squick-worthy theories about it (such like they need to drink blood for the iron to form their claws).
- Overprotective Dad: Deconstructed. Thingol loved his daughter more than nothing in the entire world, and he would do anything to protect her. Unfortunately his extreme over-protectiveness caused the ruin of his kingdom, the death of many people, including his beloved grand-nephew, and his daughter nearly cut ties with him and her mother.
- Parental Marriage Veto:
- Thingol wishes that he could do that. Fervently.
- Argued by Fingolfin. He loathes Eol, but Luthien's story convinces him that disapproving of his daughters marriage is as meaningless as if he were disapproving of his death. So he decides to welcome Eol in the family, hoping that gesture may lessen the tensions in his daughters marriage.
- Averted with Finarfin. After finding out that his daughter Galadriel was married — much to his shock — he asked what his son-in-law Celeborn was like.
- Parental Sexuality Squick: Averted with Elves, played completely straight with Men.Soldier: [nodding] I don't see how she could have been right about it: he was able to touch the Silmaril, after all, and if mortal flesh were inherently corrupt that oughtn't have been possible. — How come Men are so peculiar about something as normal as the conception of their own offspring? I've never understood why you all make such an issue of it, especially since you need so many of them. Why would mortal parents want to pretend to their children that they just happen along out of thin air —
Ranger: — or under rocks, don't forget under rocks —
[Beren covers his face with his hand, laughing in spite of himself]
Soldier: — even when everyone knows it isn't true?
First Guard: [musingly] I think for the same reason that mortal children want to pretend the same thing. It's like the time we were visiting Eithel Sirion and there was a new human guardsman there who wanted to know what the celebration was for, and we told him, and after he finished coughing and someone fetched him a new drink, it turned out he thought we were joking.
Third Guard: You saying back, "You mean you don't remember it?" didn't help convince him otherwise. It was funny, but we never understood why the High King's Men would rather congratulate the Prince on his birth than his conception. It seemed like silly semantic games to me.
Second Guard: We could ask Beren instead of speculating.
First Guard: We could, but he'd just get even more embarrassed than he already is.
- Persona Non Grata: After Celegorm and Curufin's scheme to kill Finrod succeeds, Finrod's brother Orodreth banished his cousins from his kingdom, and he warned them that if they ever crossed the border again, they would be shot at sight.Your bags are being packed — and checked for valuables — as we speak. Whoever wishes to go with you may do so. I don't care where you go, so long as you're out of the realm by sunset. —Don't ever cross the border again, or you will be treated as enemies and shot on sight. At which point it will be on your own heads, being forewarned and far from helpless. There is neither shelter nor friendship for you or your brothers, anywhere in Narog, henceforth. Please try to remember that.
- The Peter Principle: After being ousted, Finrod appoints his youngest brother Orodreth as regent. Previously Orodreth had only governed little provinces and strongholds and all of sudden he had to rule a kingdom spanning two thirds of the subcontinent where the story happens. He was completely overwhelmed, trying to desperately keep everything together, while feeling inadequate and incompetent.
- The Power of Love: A couple struggling for their loves sake succeeded where vast armies fighting throughout centuries in the name of revenge and hubris failed. Also, Beren stayed in the Halls of Mandos after dying — instead of leaving the World — just because Luthien told him to. Namo notes that he is defying the Laws of the universe by doing that. The Power of Love IS powerful, indeed.
- Properly Paranoid:
- Beren believes that he's no longer fit for human society because after years of living like a hunted outlaw he's unable to relax and feel safe.
- Upon arriving Nargothrond he chides the sentinels for not being paranoid enough, saying that he MIGHT be a spy that murdered the true Beren and stole his ring.
- One of the nicknames of Morgoth is the Lord of Paranoids. He heard vague rumours about some Elf prince having who-knows-what-designs and Huan maybe being involved in some way, so he raised a giant wolf and put it on the Gates only in case of someone tried to go IN Angband which is a crazy and suicidal thing to do, therefore unlikely.
- Subverted. Thingol is pretty paranoid too since people keep ambushing and betraying and trying to destroy him, his family and his people and those are his relatives, not the Dark Lord's minions. So that when an intruder walk through the maze, camps into his woods and seduces his daughter, he feels he has reasons to be distrustful. He was wrong.
- Reformed, but Rejected: Played with. In the back-story provided in the fic, Edrahil used to be an arrogant, conceited, self-centred bard. During the Crossing and the wars in Beleriand he realized his flaws and became humbler and less prone to gloat. When he returned to Aman, though, Finrod's fiancée and relatives had a hard work believing that he had changed. Edrahil's ex-girlfriend particularly does not know if she can trust him again after several decades of emotional abuse.
- La Résistance: Beren said that there still were pockets of rebels after Sauron exterminated his fathers guard.
- Revenge Before Reason: Eol refuses to forget a — actual or imagined — grudge even after being dead.Eol: [confused and disgusted] Why wouldn't it? [Luthien stares at him in equal confusion] The wrong does not cease to have been done you, because you are dead and there's no way now for you to revenge yourself against the perpetrator.[Elenwe turns and slowly looks at him as though he were some repellent but fascinating beast]Elenwe: 'Twas yon will to vengeance that did animate thy foes, was't not? And burning vengeance that drove my lord his uncle, and's father, across the Sea unto their Dooms. [earnest] It must come, an end to vengeance — else ne'er end shall come in Arda, nor only Arda its ending.Eol: [controlled, mocking irony] Spare me your pious mysticism, Light-elf.Elenwe: [mild] Aye — yet shall any spare thee from thyself, kinsman?
- Royals Who Actually Do Something: Reinforced and discussed constantly. The characters often bring up, debate and examine the responsibilities and duties that kingship and lordship brings, and which is the right way to be a good ruler. The main message is: you must show your worth and trustworthiness as a leader so people trust you and can rely on you.
- Sarcastic Devotee: Beren, Edrahil and the rest are utterly loyal to Finrod. They also often joke with or about his king, and are very blunt and direct. Finrod half-heartedly complains about it:Finrod: [mild] Sharply put.Beren: [not giving ground] Yep.Finrod: [rueful] —"Sharp as salt," isn't that how the saying goes? Such a diet I get of it from my counselors — not even you will give me honeyed words. I am blessed far beyond my deserts to be so served!
- Savage Wolves: In this setting there are regular, rarely dangerous wolves
and wargs, packs of monstrous, blood-thirsty, man-eating, intelligent wolves at the service of Morgoth (and Sauron, the Lord of Wolves). Orcs use them by way of horses. It is implied that they are evil Maiar that possessed bodies of regular wolves and twisted them.
- Draugluin, the Father of Wevewolves, ate Finrods men. Finrod fought him and killed him with his bare hands.
- Carcharoth, Draugluins most dangerous offspring, is a ravenous, ferocious, black-furred wolf as big as an aurochs or a buffalo. Its name means Red Maw.
- Say My Name:Luthien: BEREN!Vairë: FINROD!Namo: NIA!
- Self-Fulfilling Prophecy:
Luthien: What would have been worse— [she closes her eyes for a moment] —is if Sauron had learned what it was you were there for, and who you all were. I don't know what would have happened then, only — I doubt very much that we'd be dead yet. If — if he had known that Beren and I — and he — and used him as a hostage against me — there, or before, in Doriath. I — it would have been everything Dad feared, only it would have been his fault— [with a fierce look at the Ambassador] —for sending Beren on such an errand, it would have made him the tool of the Enemy to get hold of me, to make me crazed enough to fall into their hands, if they had brought him out to bargain with — I—
- Prophetic dreams warned Thingol that mortals would bring ruin to Doriath. So that he tried to get rid of Beren. However, Doriath and his family suffered disgraces (Daeron vanishing, Luthien running away, Carcharoth rampaging, Luthien fading) BECAUSE he tried to get rid of Beren to avert the prophecy.
- Luthien lampshades it:
- Secret Secret-Keeper: Niennas Apprentice (Gandalf) walked among elves pretending to be one of them. Finrod and his followers suspected that he was a Maia disguised, but they said nothing (until they needed his help).
- Shapeshifting: Ainur are spirits who originally had no physical bodies. Physical shapes are like clothes to them, so they can transform into whatever they want: humanoids, trees (Yavanna often appears as a massive beech), animals
even gusts of wind, sea waves, blazes or billows of smoke. Curiously, many of them choose resembling people most of time because it is funny (or in the Melians case, because she has chosen to live among elves, so she must be like one). There is only one exception
- Shapeshifter Mode Lock: Due to having wasted his considerable power in petty acts of evil and destruction, Morgoth is forever locked in the shape or a dark lord, tall and terrible.
- Shell-Shocked Veteran: After ten years of fighting the Saurons armies, living in the woodlands like an outlaw with no contact with other human beings and devoted to hunting fell creatures, and traveling through steep mountains and monster-infested valleys, Beren had lost his humanity and his sanity almost completely. He was barely capable to talk when Luthien met him. She helped him to heal considerably, but Beren thought he stopped belonging to the world of Men after his fathers death.
- Slap-Slap-Kiss: Finrod and Amarie, quite literally. After his reconciliation, Finrod put his foot in his mouth and asked someone to slap him. She slapped him playfully before kissing him.
- Soap Box Sadie: Amarie loathes all kind of violence and bloodshed. Thus, when the Valar decided that they needed to train an army to guard Aman, and her Vanyarin kin joined the war efforts, she was NOT happy. She had been loudly preaching against it in everywhere, and she even berated the guards of the mountain pass. Finrod found it too funny for words.Amarie: I did utter but words the same even as thou did unto thine own, in despite of multitudes, my lord! [to Finrod] —Aye, and thee no less, as thou hast perchance forgot in thine exiled days of blood!Finrod: I just think it's funny that you're the one arguing against the Valar right now. I don't know enough about this situation to have any opinion on it one way or the other[ ]Amarie: [tossing her head] Lawful protest I but make, my lord, eke remonstration, [ ]Finrod: Making any headway?Amarie: [disgruntled] Nay. As well to reason with the flying-fish, as proclaim peace amidst the Eldar.Finrod: Lawful so you mean that nobody cares enough about your troublemaking to tell you to stop, I gather? [he is not very successfully biting back a grin]Amarie:Steward: [to Amarie, frowning] Indeed, such must be no less of upset to yourself, than all this to us — I think it must be as an earthquake, that your leaders and your people have all changed their way of thinking, and you that were secure once in their midst, though isolate among us Noldor, now are left apart, to stand alone upon the hard-beset ground of your strong-held principles.
- Beren asked his companions if he had been obnoxious about his vegetarianism. First they denied it, but when he insisted they replied: "All right, you were an annoying twerp. Glad now?"
- Star-Crossed Lovers:
- Aegnor and Andreth. Their relationship might have faced political complications (Aegnor was a prince of Nargothrond and she was a member of one of the ruling houses of the realm), but the biggest obstacle was that he was an immortal elf and she was a mortal doomed to get old, die and leave the world forever. Aegnor got scared of it and ran away before their relationship went very far. Now he is dead and refuses reincarnation because he will not find her outside of Mandos.
- Beren and Luthien could have been another example. But they stubbornly clung to each other and refused let go until the universe finally got tired of throwing obstacles at them.
- Stay in the Kitchen: Beren tried over and again to talk Luthien into returning to Doriath because he HAD to get a Silmaril and it was too dangerous for her you know, the enchantress, notoriously more powerful than him, who had single-handedly brought down the fortress where he had been imprisoned, beaten Sauron herself and healed Beren when he was deadly wounded. Berens friends noted how stupid it was.
- Stealth Hi/Bye: In the first chapter, Beren talks to Beleg and Mablung before leaving and in spite of they were watching him, neither of them saw Beren vanish in the woods.
- Teeth-Clenched Teamwork: Both werewolves and vampires work for Morgoth and Sauron, but they cannot stand each other. Wolves despise vampires and vampires fear and hate werewolves. This is very noticeable when Beren and Luthien ran into Carcharoth.
- Tempting Fate:
- Thingol should really have known better...Mablung: [diffidently] At least he's not a Kinslayer, Sir. You said so yourself, rememberThingol: [ice] He might as well be. Don't speak of him again in my hearing. We will never see her again. —Or at least, not as long as he lives. Perhaps she'll come back to us after. Until then — my daughter might as well be dead, thanks to him.Mablung: You don't think — he seemed a decent sort — that he'll bring her back home, after she's calmed down and gotten over her temper?Thingol: If he does, I'll kill him, and I'm sure he knows that perfectly well. [grimaces] —Unless you think he's actually going to hold up his end of the bargain and come back with a Silmaril in hand—
- Finrod says that It's a good thing the Enemy hasn't managed to construct any creatures capable of matching an Eagle for flying capability since it means Gondolin is safe. Years later Morgoth invaded Gondolin using flying war machines. And one century later he had upgraded his dragons to flying beasts.
- Before leaving for Nargothrond Beren asks Luthien if she will be all right. Luthien replies What are they going to do? Lock me up in my room? I'm not a child of ninety.
- After scare a group of Feanorians away, Finrod guarantees that they will not return to harass them. Needless to say, they did just that.
- Thingol should really have known better...
- Those Magnificent Flying Machines: As Finrod was away, Amarie was trying to build a flying ship.
- Too Dumb to Live: After Beren and Luthien escape from Angband, two orcs talk about the entire ordeal and laugh about Morgoth's idiocy. For some reason they never figured Morgoth COULD hear them.
- Touché: When Finrod tells his father he shouldn't start out something he isn't willing to finish, Finarfin reminds him he walked out of his own wedding ceremony.Finrod: [coolly] A rescue seemed in order. Again.
Finarfin: And of whom, pray?
Finrod: Whichever most needed it. — One ought not begin an endeavor which one has not the will to finish.
Finarfin: Aye... As, for example, — to wed.
- True Companions: Beren, Finrod and his ten companions are loyals unto death... literally. Even after dead they still look after each other. They would — and did — give up their lives to save each other and they would never think of betraying or abandoning one of them.
- Underestimating Badassery:
- Since no one in Nargothrond would help her, Luthien demanded to be released to go to the Isle of Werewolves. Several characters tried to dissuade her, assuring that she could do nothing alone against Sauron. Then she fled and brought the fortress down.
- Morgoth thought that the daughter of Thingol and Melian could not possibly be a threat. Five minutes later he had been humiliated in a way nobody has ever done, and he was missing one Silmaril.
- Celegorm and Curufin thought that Beren was a weak, insignificant mortal and they could beat him easily. Then Beren brought Curufin AND HIS HORSE down and almost killed him with his bare hands. Curufin only survived because Luthien spared his life.
- The Unfavorite: Subverted. Finarfin did not want to make the same mistakes that his father did, so he tried to love all of his children equally. Still, for all his efforts, his younger sons think that Finrod is his favorite and most loved. Finarfin got quite angry when one of them claimed that he would sacrifice himself for Finrod but not for them.
- Luthien guessed that Morgoth had slipped that idea into their minds without them realizing.
- Unkempt Beauty: Luthien IS the most beautiful woman in the world. Even if her hair is unruly and badly cut, her dress tattered and dirty, she is wearing no jewelry and she has been wandering in the woodland for days with little rest... she will still look strikingly gorgeous.
- Unobtainium: Galvorn, a metal forged from a meteorite. Right like so many substances of the unobtainium variety (Adamantium, Japanium, Gumdanium...) it is nearly indestructible, and it can bite through god-forged iron.
- Violently Protective Girlfriend:
- Do NOT strike, threaten or even badmouth Beren when Luthien is in the vicinity. You have been warned.
- Inverted with Beren. As Morgoth talked about Luthien "serving his necessities", Beren was itching to hit him. But he was aware of how well it would work, so he restrained himself and trusted that Luthien knew what she was doing.
- After their reconciliation, Maiwe warns that she will not tolerate Edrahil being taken by granted again.
- Vitriolic Best Buds: Edrahil and the Captain. You would not guess it given how much they bicker, but they are good friends.
- Warrior Poet: Finrod and Edrahil. Edrahil was, in fact, a minstrel before becoming Finrod's right hand.
- "Well Done, Dad!" Guy: The House of Finwe is such a screwed-up mess that Finarfin and Fingolfin looked for affirmation from their children since they couldn't get approval from their father. It didn't work well at all.
- What Kind of Lame Power Is Heart, Anyway?: Orome -the God of Hunt- considers the Art of her sister Nessa -the Goddess of Dance- "is a frivolous waste of time". Then Luthien dances Morgoth into unconsciousness, and Nessa proceeds to gloat a lot.
- White Magician Girl: Luthien is a classic example. She has mastery over darkness, dreams and healing.
- Will Not Tell a Lie: Finrod tells Beren that he cannot lie to him; only deceiving him with his silence.
- Woman in White: Aredhel only wears white.
- Worf Had the Flu: Finrod defies this trope. When Sauron finally commanded one of his wolves eating Beren, Finrod was disarmed, starving and weakened after spending weeks locked and chained in a cell. Still he broke his chains, wrestled with the werewolf and throttled it to death.
- World's Strongest Man: High King Fingolfin is the greatest elven warrior. When Fingolfin broke the siege, he rode through plains overridden with enemies and everyone was so frightened of him they stood out of his way. He hammered the Gates of Angband and challenged Morgoth, and Morgoth — the most powerful being that had walked Middle-earth — was afraid of him. They fought, and Fingolfin hurt him several times. Even the Valar were awed.
- You Are Worth Hell: Luthien made very clear many times that any Paradise with no Beren was Hell as far as she was concerned.
and some are strong and some are soft,
and each would bear his song aloft,
and each a little while be heard,
though rude the note, and light the word."