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/Beren And Luthien. The book was published in Russian by Exmo Publishing in 2003 (since copyright law was rather lax in the former soviet republics, this book was commercially published on paper rather than staying an online fanfic).
The plot basically follows the Lay of Leithian, but deviates substantially from Tolkien's original version in some points, what with the world being grimmer, and the followers of Morgoth being 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.
- 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 in Distress: Beren, captured by Sauron. Twice.
- 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.
- Co-Dragons: Illyo, Boldog and Thuringwethil for Sauron.
- Les Collaborateurs: Cairist Mar-Frecart and some other highlanders.
- Colonel Badass: Illyo's rank (aikyet'taero) is stated to be roughly equivalent to colonel. And he is a badass.
- Conlang: The story 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 eleven elves devoured alive? Have them speak in meantime.
- Dressing as the Enemy: Finrod's Eleven and Beren disguise themselves as orcs to go through the Pass of Sirion. They fail. Beren later uses this more successfully when he escapes from Cargond Castle, and also tries to cheat the Tol-i-Ngaurhot garrison this way. He fails.
- 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.
- 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).
- Faux Affably Evil: Morgoth and Sauron.
- 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.
- 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.
- Let's Get Dangerous!: Lúthien after her imprisonment on Hirilorn.
- MayflyDecember 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, after a stay in the torture chamber.
- Only the Pure of Heart: Beren doesn't get burned when he touches the Silmaril.
- Psychic Link: One connects Morgoth with his Black Knights.
- Path of Inspiration: Black Knights of Ast Ahe (the human part of Angband). This is an intentional Take That! to the Black Book of Arda, where these guys are actually introduced and described as completely heroic.
- Punch-Clock Villain: Beren briefly becomes one when Sauron blackmails him, threatening to kill Finrod.
- Rapid Hair Growth: Lúthien magically grows her hair to escape from the treehouse.
- 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.