Smeagol is Free!
A hermitudinal view of...stuff...


He Laughed!

When I spent that first night reading The Hobbit, it wasn't at all like a new world was unfolding before me. No, it was as if an old world, an old but favorite friend, one I knew but, quite foolishly, had forgotten all about, was suddenly found once more.

When Mon gave me The Fellowship of the Ring for my birthday, I was in love. I clearly remember asking her, "Is Gandalf really dead?" and hoping she would tell me he was still alive, but dreading to hear her say otherwise.

When Merry and Pippin met up with Strider, Legolas, and Gimli in The Two Towers, I nearly clapped in delight; indeed, I still do, at every reading.

When I first read in The Return of the King about the horns of Rohan blowing wildly, I think I felt a tear slide down my cheek. That part, more than any other, is the one I cherish most in all the many chapters of The Lord of the Rings.

Yet, much though I enjoy those books, I must confess, not one of them is my favorite Tolkien work. Indeed, this little excerpt, which comes from The Silmarillion, is very largely responsible for my continued reading of that magnificent -- and favorite -- piece of Tolkien literature:

But Thingol looked in silence upon Lúthien; and he thought in his heart: "Unhappy Men, children of little lords and brief kings, shall such as these lay hands on you, and yet live?" Then breaking the silence he said: "I see the ring, son of Barahir, and I perceive that you are proud, and deem yourself mighty. But a father's deeds, even had his service been rendered to me, avail not to win the daughter of Thingol and Melian. See now! I too desire a treasure that is withheld. For rock and steel and the fires of Morgoth keep the jewel that I would possess against all the powers of the Elf-kingdoms. Yet I hear you say that bonds such as these do not daunt you. Go your way therefore! Bring to me in your hand a Silmaril from Morgoth's crown; and then, if she will, Lúthien may set her hand in yours. Then you shall my jewel; and though the fate of Arda lie within the Silmarils, yet you shall hold me generous."

Thus he wrought the doom of Doriath, and was ensnared within the curse of Mandos. And those that heard these words perceived that Thingol would save his oath, and yet send Beren to his death; for they knew that not all the power of the Noldor, before the Siege was broken, had availed even to see from afar the shining Silmarils of Fëanor. For they were set in the Iron Crown, and treasured in Angband above all wealth; and Balrogs were about them, and countless swords, and strong bars, and unassailable walls, and the dark majesty of Morgoth.

But Beren laughed. "For little price," he said, "do Elven-kings sell their daughters: for gems, and things made by craft. But if this be your will, Thingol, I will perform it. And when we meet again my hand shall hold a Silmaril from the Iron Crown; for you have not looked last upon Beren son of Barahir."

posted by Bolo | 11:56 PM
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