Friday, September 11, 2015

Love and Fate

Throughout our discussion thus far the topic of "fate" and "doom" has surfaced multiple times. While reading The Silmarillion I found the idea of fate cropped up many times. One striking instance of fate in the book was the tale of Beren and Luthien. I found their love and Luthien's ultimate doom being intimately tied to Beren's to be very thought provoking. Upon further reading, the contrast between the fate of Elwing and Eärendil and that of Beren and Luthien stood out to me. Each couple represents a fantastic love story but each ends in a different way. Elwing and Eärendil choose a life in Valinor whereas Beren and Luthien choose to die like mortal men. Was this contrast striking to you? What does the choice of each couple say about their love? How does Tolkien's use of fate add to the dramatic effect of these love stories?  


Oromë said...

While fate is clearly an important theme in Tolkien's works, it is also worth noting that in both cases (Beren and Luthien, and Elwing and Earendil) fate is subject to choice, not the other way around. Neither couple is controlled by their fate, but rather they make choices out of their own free will that leads to the realization of their fate. Luthien could have chosen not to become mortal. Elwing and Earendil could have chosen not to remain in Valinor. Their choices may be different, but they both made a choice, and both made that choice based on love. In this way, they perhaps do not contrast so much after all.

Arien said...

I forget which one of our classmates said it, but I found some credence in their description of "fate/doom" as not controlling the choices of characters but instead it being that if one's "fate/doom" is to occur it will if and only if it is in accordance with said "fate/doom". When it comes to a difference between choosing to stay in Middle-earth or Valinor I think it reveals a difference in each respective couple's hope for the future of Middle-earth. Beren and Luthien seemed to have more of an attachment to the future of Middle-earth than Elwing and Earendil.