II: The Book of Lost Tales part 2, I: THE TALE OF TINÚVIEL (2/2)

This is the second post on the Tale of Tinúviel from the Book of Lost Tales part 2. This post contains the rest of the plot, more characters and features to note, and my comments on the chapter. This chapter contains the love story of Beren and Tinúviel that would develop into the tale about Beren and Luthien, which is one of the core tales of Tolkien’s Middle-Earth. To read post one, click here

Huan joins Tinúviel but then make way to the place where he is to be found. Tinúviel meets the doorcat of Tevildo’s castle, Umuiyan, and is brought to Tevildo. She says she has an important secret to tell and that it is best told indoors. They get to his halls and Beren is made aware of her presence. Tinúviel, Tevildo and two other cats leave to find Huan. Huan Fights the cats and Tevildo and one other flees up a tree. Huan threatens/ treats with Tevildo who lends them his golden collar and reveals the secret of cats, the words of magic given by Melko. Tinúviel used these to gain access to Tevildo’s abode and the cats who lived there cowered before her. She ordered the freedom of the elves and men present, but aside from Beren there was only one other there, an old aged Gnome called Gimli. Beren was amazed by his rescue. Huan then let Tevildo return but Huan kept the collar. Melko banished all the cats later on.

Tinúviel and Beren went with Huan and they did not meet elf nor man for a long time where they lived in the forest. Tinúviel wants to return home, but to do so with Beren, they needed a Silmaril. By using the fell of the dead cat Oikeroi they disguised Beren and decided to leaave Huan and make for Angamandi. At the gates they came upon Karakras and by wearing the Robe of Sable Mist, Tinúviel made him sleep. In the halls of Melko Tinúviel reveals her identity and offers her dance to Melko. Intrigued Melko allows her to dance and one after one, the whole hall falls asleep (including Beren). Finally also Melko sleeps. Beren is woken up and they steal one of the Silmarils from the Iron Crown that dropped from Melko’s head. When leaving the halls, they face the now woken Karkaras who bites off one of Beren’s hands, the hand that is grasping the Silmaril. It starts to burn and hurt the wolf from the inside, but the elves flees without the Silmaril. They join up with Huan and his pack who helps them to get back to Tinúviels home in Artanor.

When they arrive they learnt that there have been ill-fortune upon Artanor since Tinúviel left. Orc-raids, Gwendelings magic lessened and Dairon lost (from searching for Tinúviel). Also, a great wolf is on the loose, wild and with a great desire to drink water. When Tinúviel and Beren tell Tinwelint what have happened to them when gone he is glad of their return and he wholly accepts Beren to stay with them. But Beren still wants to hand over the Silmaril. The Silmaril is still in the belly of the wolf, which now roams near the halls of Tinwelint, so a hunt is issued. Though, Beren was badly hurt, and after giving Tinwelint the Silmaril his spirit is flet to the halls of Mandos.

Here Vëanne ends her tale. Some voices are raised and tells of different versions on how Beren was giving life again at Mandos mercy. Tinúviel who had died of grief also came to Mandos halls, and because of her they both were given new life, as their own persons but without immortality. Ausir points out that Vëannë did not tell them about what happened with Huan.

Character to note

  • Karkaras Knife-Fang – Father of wolves, guardian of the gates of Angamandi.
  • Umuiyan – The doorcat of Tevildo’s castle.
  • Oikeroi – A cat-servant of Tevildo. When dead, his fell is used to disguise Beren.

Features to note

  • Dogs, Wolfs and Cats – The wolfs are creatures bred from dogs by Melko, and are this his servants. The dogs are free creatures and aids those who they like. The cats are led by Tevildo, a fay in beastly form. Thus, the cats are all servants under Melko and in conflict with dogs. After Melko banished the cats, they have been masterless.
  • Angamandi – The abode of Melko, north in relation to Artanor.
  • Robe of Sable Mist – The garment that Tinúviel weaves from her own dark hair. It magically puts other to sleep.
  • Iron Crown of Melko – The crown Melko always wears. It has the three Silmarils fastened to it.


Personally I found this an enjoyable read. Although, I do not remember that much of the story as it is featured in Silmarillion there are some things that I reacted on quite strongly. First is the overall lighter mood and straightforward events. One other thing is the whole cats versus dogs setting, it is like taken from a children’s book rather than a part of a great mythological epos! The main thing is of course the race of Beren! Famously in the current Middle-Earth universe he is a man and one of the whole core ideas from the story of Beren of Luthien is that it is an interracial love story that ultimately ends with their offspring having to choose between mortality and immortality.

I think that this chapter is one that if you would only pick a few chapters, from both volumes of the Book of Lost Tales, to read more carefully and back to back with the Silmarillion version. I know from the commentary part of the chapter that there is there whole Nargothrond period and a few characters that are completely lacking from this older narrative. I can’t remember that in detail from only having read the Silmarillion twice, so I’ll have to re-read it soon. However, the commentary part of the chapter was very interesting annd clears up a few questionmarks that I got along reading, so I recommend you to read it carefully! 🙂

Have you read this chapter or do you want to know more? Please comment and tell me what you think of this part or if you have something to ask!

Next up is the Tale of Turambar!

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