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Lúthien, also known as Tinúviel, was an Elf-maiden of Doriath, the wife of Beren Erchamion, and the most beautiful of all the Children of Ilúvatar to ever live. Her love of the mortal Adan Beren, for whom she was prepared to risk everything, including her life, was legendary and lamented forever in song and story. She and Beren braved Morgoth's horrors, eventually winning the Silmaril from his crown and the approval of their marriage by King Thingol. Though their actions later resulted in both their deaths, their deeds won them the pity of Vala Mandos and a second life in Middle-earth.[2] Her romance with Beren was one of the great stories of the Elder Days that were told for many ages after she lived, and it was said her bloodline will never perish.


Early years

And thus in anguish Beren paid
for that great doom upon him laid,
the deathless love of Lúthien,
too fair for love of mortal Men;
and in his doom was Lúthien snared,
the deathless in his dying shared;
and Fate them forged a binding chain
of living love and mortal pain.
— The Lays of Beleriand, "The Doom of Lúthien"

Lúthien was the daughter of Elu Thingol, King of Doriath, and his Queen, Melian the Maia.[note 1] Throughout the years before she met Beren, she lived as all the Elves of Doriath did: in a state of perfect blissful peace. She was a woman of incomparable beauty and grace, with night-dark hair, sparkling grey eyes, luminous skin, and a clear heartbreakingly lovely voice that was said to cause winter to melt into spring - "the song of Lúthien released the bonds of winter, and the frozen waters spoke, and flowers sprang from the cold earth where her feet had passed". She also often enjoyed dancing in the woods of the realm to the music of her good friend Daeron's flute. He himself soon came to love her jealously, but she did not return it.

The Quest for the Silmaril

Beren fell in love when he saw Lúthien dance

Lúthien was remembered in the Lay of Leithian as the first Elven woman to have fallen in love and married a mortal man, Beren, a Man of the House of Bëor whom she met in the woods of Doriath. Their relationship was unlikely from the beginning: Lúthien was not only the cherished single daughter of the most powerful Elven King in Beleriand, but also the daughter of a Maia, a powerful angelic being of the race of the Ainur. Beren was a mortal man on the run from the first Dark Lord Morgoth.

Beren lies dying in Lúthien's arms, by Gustavo Malek

Thingol was desperate not to let Beren marry his daughter, and set an impossible task as the bride price: Beren had to bring to Thingol one of the Silmarils from Morgoth's Iron Crown. Against monstrous odds, including being kidnapped by the Sons of Fëanor and the death of Finrod Felagund, as well as a confrontation with Sauron, the couple achieved the task with help from Huan, the Hound of Valinor, but Beren died as soon as it was completed. In grief, Lúthien lay down and died, passing to the Halls of Mandos. There, in her grief, she sang to Mandos. Her song was of such beauty that Mandos, for the first and only time in his existence, was moved to pity. But Mandos had no authority to allow Beren to live again, so he went before Manwë for advice, who in turn sought out the counsel of Eru Ilúvatar himself. Two choices were then placed before Lúthien; she could either dwell in Valmar with the Valar in bliss forever as reward for all that she had accomplished, or she could be restored to life again with Beren, on the condition that they would both be mortal and die the death of Men. For her love of Beren, Lúthien chose the latter.[2]

Later years

Lúthien sings before Mandos

After this, she became a mortal and returned to with Beren, and lived briefly in Tol Galen. They had a son, Dior, who was called Elúchil, the Heir of Thingol.[3]

After the sack of Menegroth, Beren ambushed the Dwarves responsible and took the Nauglamír back to Lúthien. Her beauty combined with the splendor of the gem and necklace to make her home of Tol Galen the fairest land ever to have existed east of Valinor. On her death, the Nauglamír was delivered to her son Dior, which led to the ruin of Doriath.[4]


The union of Beren and Lúthien was the first between a mortal Man and an Elven maid. Her granddaughter Elwing married Earendil, son of Tuor and Idril, thus becoming the great-grandmother of Elrond and Elros, the first being one of the most influential figures of the Second and Third Age and the second the first King of Númenor. Her lineage passed down to the royal House of Elros of Númenor, and then through Silmariën to the Lords of Andúnië and the House of Elendil. When Aragorn II Elessar and Arwen married, the two lines of Lúthien's descendants were reunited, continuing her bloodline on to the Kings of the Reunited Kingdom and beyond. Lúthien's romance with Beren is one of the great stories of the Elder Days, and is mirrored by the later romance between Aragorn and Arwen Evenstar. According to legend, her line would never be broken as long as the world lasted.[2]

Due to everything she experienced from her decision to become mortal, Elwing decided upon the fate of the Elves for her and her husband, as she did not want to experience the same fate as her grandmother.


The name Lúthien means "Daughter of Flowers", from the Sindarin luth ("flower").[5] In Doriathrin, Luthien and Noldorin Lhūthien means "enchantress", which is derived from luktiēnē ("enchantress").[6] Lúthien may have been derived from the Old English word Lufien, which means "love".

Tinúviel means "Nightingale", from the Quendian tindōmiselde [note 2]. In Sindarin, it means "Daughter of Twilight", from tinnu ("dusk, twilight") and the feminine suffix -ien ("daughter").[6]


Lúthien is supposed to have been based on Edith Tolkien, J.R.R. Tolkien's wife. The first tale she appeared in, The Tale of Tinúviel, was in part inspired by Edith and John Ronald's forest walks, in 1917, in Roos, England - as Beren first saw and fell in love with Lúthien in the woods.[7]

Edith Tolkien was buried in Wolvercote Cemetery (North Oxford), and this writing in on her plaque:


The name of Beren appears on J.R.R. Tolkien's plaque:


Earlier versions

In various versions of The Tale of Tinúviel, Tolkien's earliest form of Lúthien's tale later published in The Book of Lost Tales Part One, Lúthien's name is Tinúviel, Beren is an Elf, and the character Sauron has not yet emerged. In his place, they face Tevildo, the Prince of Cats, a monstrous giant cat.

Line of the Half-elven

Eluréd and Elurín
Kings of Númenor
Lords of Andúnië
Kings of Arnor
Kings of Gondor
Chieftains of
the Dúnedain
Aragorn II Elessar

The marriages between Elves and Men are in bold.
The Half-elven or the Peredhil are in italic.



Foreign Language Translated name
Amharic ሉጢአን
Arabic لوثيين
Armenian Լուտհիեն
Belarusian Cyrillic Лутhіен
Bengali লুথিয়েন
Bulgarian Лутиен / Лутиен Тинувиел (Cyrillic) Lúthien / Lúthien Tinuviel (Latin)
Burmese ဠုထိဧန္
Chinese (Hong Kong) 露西安 (Lúthien)/露西安·緹努維兒 (Lúthien Tinuviel)
Danish Lúthien ("Blomsternes datter")
Georgian ლუთიენი
Greek Λούθιεν
Hebrew לותיין טינוביאל (Lúthien Tinúviel) לותיין (Lúthien)
Hindi ळुथिएन
Japanese ルーシエン (Lúthien) ルーシエン・ティヌーヴィエル (Lúthien Tinúviel)
Kannada ಲೂಥಿಯನ್
Kazakh Лұтһіен (Cyrillic) Luthien (Latin)
Korean 루시엔 (Lúthien) 루시엔 티누비엘 (Lúthien Tinúviel)
Kyrgyz Cyrillic Лутhиэн
Lithuanian Lūtijen
Macedonian Cyrillic Лутиен
Marathi लुथेन
Mongolian Cyrillic Лутhиэн
Pashto لُثِېن ?
Persian لوثین تینوویل (Lúthien Tinúviel) لوثین (Lúthien)
Punjabi ਲੁਥੀਅਨ
Russian Лутиэн (Lúthien) Лутиэн Тинувиэль (Lúthien Tinúviel)
Serbian Лутиен (Cyrillic) Lúthien (Latin)
Sinhalese ළුථිඑන්
Tajik Cyrillic Лутҳиен
Tamil லுத்ஹிஎந்
Telugu లుథియన్
Thai ลูธิเอน (Lúthien) ลูธิเอน ทินูเวียล (Lúthien Tinúviel)
Ukrainian Cyrillic Лутгіен
Urdu لوتهیےن ?
Uzbek Лутҳиен (Cyrillic) Lúthien (Latin)
Yiddish לוטהיען ?


  1. 1.0 1.1 The History of Middle-earth, Vol. X: Morgoth's Ring, The Annals of Aman
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 The Silmarillion, Quenta Silmarillion, Chapter XIX: "Of Beren and Lúthien"
  3. The Silmarillion, Quenta Silmarillion, Chapter XX: "Of the Fifth Battle: Nirnaeth Arnoediad"
  4. The Silmarillion, Quenta Silmarillion, Chapter XXII: "Of the Ruin of Doriath"
  5. Parma Eldalamberon, Words, Phrases and Passages in Various Tongues in The Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien
  6. 6.0 6.1 The History of Middle-earth, Vol. V: The Lost Road and Other Writings, Part Three: "The Etymologies"
  7. John Garth, Tolkien and the Great War, Part Three, ch. 12, pg. 240


  1. Technically, this makes Lúthien Half-elven, but she is counted among the Elves; the term "Half-elven" was reserved for those with human ancestry.
  2. Tin means "daughter", and eventually "child".