The Lays of Beleriand (History of Middle-Earth S.)

by J.R.R. Tolkien

Paperback, 1987



Call number




HarperCollins (1987), Paperback


The Lays of Beleriand are epic stories in verse form of the Elder days of Middle-earth. Contained herein is The Lay of the Children of Hurin, which tell the tale of Turin Son of Hurin and Glorund the Dragon. The Lay of Leithian tells of Thingol, of the meeting of Beren and Luthien, and of the battle between Fiingolfin and Morgoth. Together these Lays form an important backdrop to The Silmarillion, and illuminate some of the oldest tales of Middle-earth.

User reviews

LibraryThing member jcsoblonde
Probably my all-time favorite in this series. Though the other books are a collection of drafts and lost writings that never reached publication, this book is pure poetry, and a great read! I would recommend it to people who love fantasy, Tolkien, and poetry. As Bilbo says, this is a pleasant mix
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of them all.
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LibraryThing member Andibook
The lays are… lays! They’re written as long poems. For some reason, I was not expecting that. I also wasn't expecting it to be so pleasant to read; I usually hate poetry. It reminds me of a fanfic drabble: every word chosen carefully, lots of rich details but nothing extraneous. Maybe when I
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have the house to myself I will read them aloud. (I did, and it was amazing.)

"The Lay of Leithian" is the familiar story of Beren and Lúthien. The rhyming couplets are perfect for this story; I prefer it over all the other prose versions. It also has a lot more detail. "The Lay of the Children of Húrin" is in alliterative verse, and I enjoyed it, although maybe not as much. I don’t know a lot about poetry, but alliterative verse was a much better choice than rhyming couplets, since it’s a much darker story.

Favorites: Lúthien faces down Morgoth. She is brilliant as always, but it’s the characterization of Morgoth himself that gets to me: you can feel his hatred of the Valar, how convincing he can be, and how twisted his view of the world.

Least favorites: None of it is finished! Luckily we know how the stories end, but I would love to read them all the way through in verse.
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LibraryThing member saiariddle
The best love story/poem/epic of all time is enclosed in these pages. Do not miss it. Please skip Christopher Tolkien's dry editorial comments. It will kill the mood, trust me.
LibraryThing member ex_ottoyuhr
I wonder whether Tolkien would have published materials dealing with the First Age in his lifetime, if he hadn't tried to write epics on the period? Still, they're not half bad epics, and C.S. Lewis' fictional German professors commenting on /The Lay of Leithien/ are not to be missed.


Original publication date


Physical description

400 p.; 7.72 inches


0044400187 / 9780044400189
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