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Middle-earth History: Luthien the Nightingale

Daughter of the King of Doriath, Luthien was the fairest of all her kind and her voice was so beautiful and pure it was said to cause winter to melt into spring. While she was dancing one day, the mortal man Beren spied her and fell in love with her, calling her Nightingale. However, Thingol did not wish Beren to take his daughter’s hand and required one of the Silmarils from Morgoth’s crown.

Against all odds, Luthien and Beren achieved the task with the aid of the great hound Huan, but Beren died soon after. In her grief, Luthien laid down to die and was taken to the Halls of Mandos and there was Mandos moved by her sorrow. After speaking with Eru Iluvatar, a choice was presented unto her; to dwell in peace with the Valar for eternity or be restored to life alongside Beren, doomed to die a mortal death. For her love of Beren, Luthien chose the latter, her story and legacy being preserved in both song and in the line of the Dunedain. 

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Middle-earth History meme: 1/3 men

Arvedui was the last king of Arthedain and at his birth it was prophesied that a great choice would come unto him. Were he to take the less hopeful choice, he would rule over a great realm, but if he took the most hopeful choice presented unto him, then “much sorrow and many lives of men would pass” until the Dunedain arose and united once more. During his reign, the Witch-king assaulted the Northern kingdoms relentlessly and Arvedui and his men were forced to flee, taking with them two palantiri and the Ring of Barahir.

They sought refuge in the ice bay of Forochel and Cirdan the Shipwright sent a vessel north to rescue the king. The chief of the Lossoth, the men who inhabited Forochel, warned Arvedui to wait until the summer to sail south, for great was the power of the Witch-king in the winter. However, Arvedui ignored this advice but gave unto them the Ring of Barahir as thanks. When the ship set sail, a great wind blew from Angmar and blew the vessel into ice. Arvedui drowned that day in the freezing waters of the North and with him, the two palantiri and the hope of the Dunedain.