J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien: The Lays of Beleriand


The third volume that contains the early myths and legends which led to the writing of Tolkien’s epic tale of war, The Silmarillion.

This, the third volume of The History of Middle-earth, gives us a priviledged insight into the creation of the mythology of Middle-earth, through the alliterative verse tales of two of the most crucial stories in Tolkien’s world – those of Túrin and Luthien. The first of the poems is the unpublished Lay of The Children of Húrin, narrating on a grand scale the tragedy of Túrin Turambar. The second is the moving Lay of Leithian, the chief source of the tale of Beren and Lúthien in The Silmarillion, telling of the Quest of the Silmaril and the encounter with Morgoth in his subterranean fortress.

Accompanying the poems are commentaries on the evolution of the history of the Elder Days. Also included is the notable criticism of The Lay of The Leithian by CS Lewis, who read the poem in 1929.


Ted Nasmith: Morgoth and Húrin — Eric Verhagen: Glaurung and Nienor — John Howe: Túrin kills Glaurung — Elena Kukanova: Nienor and Túrin — Alan Lee: Túrin wearing his dragon helm — Gurthang (image source)


Donato Giancola: Beren and Luthien in the Court of Thingol — Lúthien enchants Morgoth (source) —  Justin Gerard: Beren and Carcharoth — Randy Vargas: Húan — Ted Nasmith: Huan’s Leap —Ted Nasmith: the Nauglamír


Source: https://lotr.fandom.com/wiki/Edain

The Realms of the Ñoldor and the Sindar and their rulers (map by Sirielle)

Right: Karen Wynn Fonstad: Nargothrond / left: the locations of Nargothrond and Tumhalad (source)

Karen Wynn Fonstad: Menegroth, seat of the rulers of Doriath


An exchange elsewhere on the two leys recounted this book, in lieu of a full-text review:

(Note: “It” in the initial question refers to Beren and Lúthien.)


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