like planted hearts in the great Sun
of Love so long (as two fair trees
in woodland or in open dale
stand utterly entwined and breathe
the airs and suck the very light
together) that we have become
as one, deep rooted in the soil
of Life and tangled in the sweet growth.
J.R.R. Tolkien on his wife, Edith
Holidays to celebrate love exist all around the world. Nowadays, the most widespread one is St. Valentine’s Day, which is why many associate February with love. There might not be an official date to celebrate love in Middle-earth (not one that we know of at least), but love plays a great role in Tolkien’s world, and it is because of love that light always triumphs over darkness in the end. This is why our theme for February is “In the Name of Love”.
Tolkien created one of the most memorable romances in literature – that of Beren and Lúthien, who, led by their love, lived through many adventures and accomplished great deeds of historical importance. And it is no wonder their tale is so admired - it was inspired by Tolkien’s great love for his wife Edith, so much that the names “Beren” and “Lúthien” and carved on their tombstones. And just like Lúthien, Edith had black hair and grey eyes, which is the most probable explanation why this relatively rare combination of features is so popular in Middle-earth, especially among those considered very beautiful.
If you are hesitant to try to portray the unforgettable love of Beren and Lúthien, there are plenty of couples featuring Third Age characters to choose from – Éowyn and Faramir, Elrond and Celebrían, Galadriel and Celeborn, Sam and Rosie, Éomer and Lothíriel, and, of course, Arwen and Aragorn, whose great love is considered a more recent version of the tale of Beren and Lúthien. What would they do in the name of love?
Love does not need to be romantic. Many great deeds and sacrifices are done in the name of love for a friend, a relative, or one’s land and people. It is because of love that Sam follows his master to the very end. It is because of love that Legolas chooses to stay in Middle-earth even after he has heard the Call. It is because of love that Halbarad follows Aragorn to Minas Tirith even though he foresees his death on the other side of the Paths of the Dead. And it is because of love for all the creatures in Middle-earth that Gandalf withstands the temptation of the Ring, when the supposedly wiser Saruman gives in.
And if you had a good idea for our “Animals of Middle-earth” challenge, but never got around to finish your story, you could write about what our heroes would do out of love for an animal companion (or what the animal would do out of love for its master).
Sometimes love works in mysterious ways. It is out of love for the Ring that Gollum followed Frodo and Sam. And even though this love was twisted and corrupt, it is what ultimately led to the Ring’s destruction.
Any type of love works, as long as Aragorn and/or Legolas make an appearance in your story, or are at least mentioned. Send your lovely stories by February 25th to: firstname.lastname@example.org
nautika, StarLight, and Mirach