Signum Collaboratory

A Conclusion to the Lay of Leithian

Christopher Bartlett

Fiction Production Hall

The tale of Luthien and Beren is one of the Great Tales of the Elder Days in Middle Earth, and yet readers of J. R. R. Tolkien's published works only ever got to see the poem that Aragorn recites on Weathertop. As Christopher Tolkien began publishing his father's notes and incomplete works, we learned of the long poem that John Ronald had begun to tell this epic tale, a poem he stopped working on 1931, except for a brief return in the 1950's.
In 2022, Christopher Bartlett spoke a rash vow somewhere that he would at least write the very ending, to show one view of how the miracle of Beren and Luthien's return was accomplished, and what actually might have happened in the halls of Mandos.  He discovered that he could not leave the intervening material, between the pair's escape after taking the silmaril from Morgoth's crown and Beren's death in his battle with Carcharoth unattempted, so as to make his ending fit.  From March to just before Mythmoot of that year, he took on the difficult task of seeking to match Tolkien's style and language to create a finish to this extraordinary poem.  He presented the last canto at the Mythmoot conference in 2022, where it received a positive reception.
Here then is this work, the last four cantos as they might have been, though the author makes no claim other than that he loves the work and sought only to bring it to a satisfying conclusion.
We hope you enjoy it.
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