LĂșthien Meets Beren

Author: Oshun

Nominator: Robinka

2011 Award Category: Romance: General - Third Place

Story Type: Story  ✧  Length: Ficlet

Rating: Mature  ✧  Reason for Rating: Mature Language/Themes,Sexual Content

Summary: An attempt to give a personality and appeal to Beren. (I was never completely convinced of what Lúthien actually saw in the grubby Man which made her willing to sacrifice so much and reject all those dishy Elves vying for her attention.) It is a ficlet, very short, which introduces the beginning of the love story of Tolkien's most important couple.

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Reviewed by: Lilith Lessfair  ✧  Score: 10

This is an entertaining and poignant look at the first encounter between Beren and Luthien. Oshun does a wonderful job explaining how the fairest of the Eldar might have fallen for and ultimately shared the fate of one of the Secondborn. I've always been of the belief that there must have been a very powerful (and very strong sexual) attraction between the two. After all, if one is mad enough to risk Morgoth, Angband, Sauron, orcs, Balrogs and werewolves (not to mention the rather unappealing prospect of Thingol as an in-law if one is Beren), one really must want to be with the other person in every conceivable way. Oshun certainly illuminates the undeniable sexual chemistry between the two and plays upon a notion of Luthien as a more earthy heroine, which works well for me, given Luthien's ability to wake the land from winter. But she takes this even further and makes the tale a poignant one by indicating that much of Luthien's fascination with Beren and her appreciation of his beauty was rooted in its transience. As a mortal, Beren's beauty would fade and he would perish whereas she need not fade nor pass from the world. This and Luthien's awareness of it are the heart of this romp and hint gracefully at the choice she and her descendants would face.

Reviewed by: Lyra  ✧  Score: 9

Why did Lúthien fall in love with Beren, who must have been unattractive compared to any Elf and particularly to the reputedly most beautiful woman of all Elves ever? Oshun gives an answer in this cleverly written story. Through Lúthien's eyes, she looks at Beren's mortal features - the pores of his face, the lines around his eyes and mouth, his stubble, the smell that must have been considerable after Beren's long wanderings, the shaggy hair - in a way that almost make him repulsive, but as it turns out, it is precisely this stark contrast to Elvish men that turn him into something special, unique and desirable for Lúthien. The build-up to their first sexual encounter feels breathless and excited, as it should be, and their conversation is quite amusing. Oshun's interpretation that Lúthien may have had other lovers before Beren is justifiable (I have always considered the LaCE bit about Elves being so very exclusive to be more an ideal, a guideline rather than actual truth, and besides it's about the Elves of Valinor rather than the Sindar anyway). And of course Beren is proud to know that he's her "biggest"!

Author response: Thank you so much for your indulgent review. I had so much fun drafting this little piece and it was worth every accusation of heresy it might engender because it made me like two characters I had greatly under-appreciated before.

Reviewed by: Raksha the Demon  ✧  Score: 5

Oh gosh; I loved this. Even though I tend to stick to the idea of Luthien as a maiden when she meets Beren; Oshun makes this work so well, giving Luthien considerable wisdom and humor and Beren a salty brashness along with strength, that the story just swept me away. It makes me smile and giggle slyly, but there is still the gem of love amidst the love, and the recognition between them that they belong together. And Beren's assumption that Luthien is a maiden, for whom he is the [first] is, while not presumptuous in the context of First Age Middle-earth, macho in an endearing way. And I loved the way Luthien replied. Very sweet, funny and sexy vignette.

Author response: Thank you! I guess I didn't worry too much about what Tolkien would think, did I? I wanted a way to show her far greater experience with life in general and the cheeky self-confidence nerve of the unwashed man to engage with her, the most beautiful among her people. Mainly, I just had fun and tried to make them likable to me. Thanks again.

Reviewed by: elfscribe  ✧  Score: 4

An excellent description of the first meeting of Lúthien and Beren. I agree with Oshun that there must have been some strong attraction for Lúthien to choose him over all the other lovelies in her father's court and I like the way she finds Beren's human beauty and "newness" appealing. I also appreciate Oshun's idea that Lúthien is experienced and yet rather guilelessly frank in what she says to Beren.

Author response: Thank you! I cannot tell you how much I appreciate you taking the time to write this review. Thinking of you so much.

Reviewed by: curiouswombat  ✧  Score: 3

The author says she wrote this as she had often wondered just what the beautiful elleth saw in the man to give up so much for him. I, too, have sometimes wondered what she might have seen in him - but now I do, at least, have some idea!

Author response: Thanks so much for reading, Curious Wombat. I really enjoyed writing this little piece.

Reviewed by: Liadan  ✧  Score: 3

An wonderful story. It appears that Beren has certain charms that elven men lack and which Lúthien finds most desirable. (One cannot help but wonder if this helps to explain the later attraction that Aragorn holds for Arwen as well.)

Reviewed by: pandemonium_213  ✧  Score: 3

This is a wonderfully-sexy-hot ficlet! Mere mortals in the primary world find beauty in the exotic, someone who does not quite resemble us. So it is with Lúthien. Her first person point-of-view is a lovely paean to what she perceives as Beren's beauty, rendered in exquisite detail by Oshun. Yeah, I'm thinking Beren is pretty hot, too.

Reviewed by: Phyncke  ✧  Score: 3

I never picture Beren and Luthien in that position as they are so revered and exalted a couple. To have them coupling...whoa. I really enjoy that about the story and the lust apparent between them. The ribald flavor of that.

Reviewed by: Darkover  ✧  Score: 2

This tale is thoughtful in how it attempts to answer why the most beautiful of the Eldar was attracted to a mortal Man. Rather explicit, and amusing. Well done.

Author response: Thanks for reading and reviewing!! You are so kind!

Reviewed by: SurgicalSteel  ✧  Score: 2

I absolutely loved this - a not entirely chaste view of how this couple met and fell in love. Fantastic!

Author response: Thank you!!