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Success and Failure

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Title: Success and Failure

Author: Endaewen

Rating: G

Fandom: The Silmarillion

Disclaimer: All the characters and settings belong to J.R.R. Tolkien and the Tolkien Estates.

Prompt: #87. South

Story Number: 18/100

Wordcount: 420

Character: Luthien Tinuviel

Summary: Written for the Arda100 LiveJournal community, the Doom'n'Gloom prompt set.

Note: Quotes (in 'bold') are from Of Beren and Luthien from The Silmarillion.

Note 2: This is a direct sequel to “Is This Destiny?”.


            This time I traveled, my thoughts ran ahead of me to the south. Last time, on my way to Morgoth's stronghold in the north of Beleriand, my thoughts lingered behind me. On Luthien. On her father Thingol, the ruler of Doriath. On the situation I had ended up in. Pondering on destiny.

            On my first venture northwards, I had left Luthien safe in Doriath, or so I thought. Then, I traveled with Finrod and his companions. She had, however, rescued me from certain death in the prison of Sauron, although she was too late for Finrod. Together we buried him and his companions, before we continued on the quest.

            Beyond all possibility of hope we succeeded. Entering into the fortress of Morgoth. That was always the easy part. After all, he had placed a bounty on my head years ago. Capturing Luthien would have been an equally great prize. Entering his fortress in a way that left us any hope of escape was a much more difficult proposition. I would never have managed without Luthien's help.

            We succeeded at freeing one of the Silmarils from Morgoth's crown. Something which none other had managed, not even Feanor, said to be the mightiest of the Eldar. I, one of the Atani, with the aid of Luthien Tinuviel, daughter of Melian, the Maia and Thingol, succeeded at what was meant to be an impossible task. It is this which makes me more certain that this was my destiny.

            He looked down at his right wrist, seeing the healing stump that was all which remained of his hand. But, almost as soon as we took the Silmaril, I lost it. We were attacked by Carcharoth. Not only did we fail, but I lost my hand as well.

            The two were returning south to Doriath. While Luthien was certain that Thingol would relent on hearing their tale, Beren was more doubtful, for he had said “For when we meet again my hand shall hold a Silmaril from the Iron Crown.” Now he was returning, with neither hand, nor Silmaril. Presumably, the Silmaril was still in his hand, but within the wolf.

            Even if Thingol relents, and claims that I have fulfilled the quest, as Luthien believes, I will know that I have failed, and have not yet truly won the right to ask for Luthien's hand. Should the chance come, I must kill Carcharoth and take back the great jewel. Only when I have presented it to Thingol, will I have succeeded in my quest.