I think it’s fair to assert that the trope of the damsel in distress has been falling away in contemporary fantasy for some time, but I’d like to shine a light on one who helped break that literary mold even in the 1970s: Lúthien Tinúviel. This famous Elfmaiden, who stars in the iconic love stuyetdenbatngo.comy of J.R.R. Tolkien’s legendarium, didn’t need to lớn be rescued like a đoạn clip game princess. She broke out of bondage, rescued her own questing boyfriend, and personally took on the big trùm cuối at the kết thúc of all levels. It’s like… imagine if in the original game, you play as Zelda, and you get to lớn bust her out of Ganon’s prison, find all the Triforce pieces with Link, then fight your way through Death Mountain together.

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Let’s be clear. There are innumerable wonderful heroines in the genre, & the danh sách grows every day. I am merely positing that Lúthien, conceptually, is one of the best. This badass heroine rises up from the fairy tale beauty and Eldar privilege of her birthright lớn get her hands dirty & solve problems lượt thích a big girl. She and her mortal betrothed, Beren, are equals even when others around them—immortal & ostensibly wise beings—choose not khổng lồ see it. They are a two-person army of determination & doom. (To be fair, they do have the help of a magical dog/fifth wheel in their adventures—more on him later.) They are true to one another in the face of every opposition: Lúthien’s own dad, various grudge-bearing Elves, a legion of vile monsters, and a constant barrage of dire prophecies.

You surely know of Éowyn, a real stand-out gal in a big book featuring a hell of a lot of fellas. She’s a woman who does what, truly, no man can: kick the Witch-King’s ass—not just because of a loophole in prophecy but because she has the guts to lớn challenge him. And of course you know of Galadriel, who is both wise và powerful, but in the final days of the Third Age she is more soothsaying and advisory than enemy slaying. Và you probably know of Arwen, who is more of a behind-the-scenes mover và the chief source of moral support for Aragorn. We can scoff at Arwen’s assumed demureness—and Tolkien’s decision to keep her largely out of sight—but Strider wouldn’t have become King Elessar without her. Yet these three ladies are why Lúthien is—to me—of vital importance in the bigger picture, as she is the forerunner of all women who get shit done in Middle-earth. These three, và many more, are the echoes of her badassery.

Would some of us rather J.R.R. Have added plenty more female characters of varying complexity và power lớn his stuyetdenbatngo.comies? Of course we would. The truth is, there are more influential women than you’d think lớn be found in the pages of 1977’s The Silmarillion. It’s just that Lúthien serves up something special, with a side order of blood, poison, and enchantment.

If you haven’t actually checked out Chapter 19 of The Silmarillion, “Of Beren and Lúthien,” I hope to lớn convince you to vì so. Reading the preceding chapters would provide helpful context on the state of Middle-earth at the time (in the First Age), but it’s still something of a standalone tale. I find myself rereading it more than any other just for a fix. The adventure and wonderment of The Lord of the Rings is phenomenal, but it’s understated và drawn-out compared khổng lồ how much punch Tolkien packs into this one particular stuyetdenbatngo.comy. Elves, Men, & romance aside, it’s also chock full of mighty spells, magic weapons, werewolves, vampires, magic dogs, sing-offs, dying words, and the infamous Morgoth himself (aka Sauron’s original master).

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Oh, did I not mention the supernatural canines? This tale has a bunch!

Lúthien’s stuyetdenbatngo.comy is also fairly chất lượng in that the heroes are not merely reactive to the villains. In a lot of classics, from “Beowulf” to lớn The Odyssey to Star Wars to The Lord of the Rings itself, the good guys are spurred into motion because if they don’t, bad things will happen. Grendel and his mom come busting in, forcing Beowulf to retaliate. Odysseus is just trying to lớn get trang chủ while meddling gods make his life complicated. Stuyetdenbatngo.commtroopers shoot up Luke’s moisture farm so a wise old hermit comes out of hiding & prompts him khổng lồ unwittingly oppose his dad who was helping his quái dị blow up planets (that about the short of it?). And in Rings, Sauron begins lớn rise again while searching for his lost jewelry with new intel, threatening everyone, & this forces Gandalf khổng lồ stir up heroes lớn oppose him.

But in Lúthien’s stuyetdenbatngo.comy, the great enemy Morgoth is just sitting there on his dark throne thinking his dark thoughts—for all intents & purposes, và as much as he possibly he can—minding his own business. Và it’s the good guys who show up & in get all up in his face. Sure, Morgoth’s the tác giả of all evil on Middle-earth & as a rule he constantly antagonizes the Elves of the First Age just lớn spite Ilúvatar. During the time of Beren’s quest, he wasn’t doing anything personally to lớn either of them beyond his usual policy of having his minions kill their kinsmen whenever possible. But lớn be fair, he’s always doing that. Par for the course.

The stuyetdenbatngo.comy goes a little something lượt thích this & believe me when I say this is very abridged.

So this Man named Beren, who is already high on Morgoth’s shit list for various vengeance-fueled exploits, has been battling his way through lands thick with monsters. Things get so perilous for him that he is forced to lớn flee into the Mountains of Terror, which are called Ered Gorgoroth. Seriously, how bad bởi things have khổng lồ be when you have to lớn retreat khổng lồ a place after which a Norwegian black metal band names itself? Pretty bad. But although “heer were the precipices” of these mountains, và “horror & madness” walked in the wilderness before him, Beren manages khổng lồ come stumbling down, weary và dazed, into a beautiful forestland. Và there, one night in his fevered state, he sees Lúthien nhảy đầm in a moonlit glade. He falls hard for her, and soon after, she for him. He names her Tinúviel, which means Nightingale or Daughter of Twilight.