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5 minutes 45 seconds of art. Story by Tolkien, music by Tample.ru, Art by me. I recommend putting the sound on. The song is the metal version of a small section of Finrod's Song.
This post brought to you by the phrases 'how hard can it be?' and 'practice makes perfect'.
For non-Tolkien fans: this is a story about a princess who rescues her love with the help of an enormous sighthound. That's really all the context you need. Oh, and that 'Quendi' means 'Elves'. Now you have learned your first word of Quenya*, and the world is an infinitesimally better place. :-D
* one of two available dialects of Elvish.
Why is Sauron's castle white and pointy?
Sauron did not build Minas Tirith (not the same as the one in Gondor) upon the island of Tol Sirion. The tower was originally built by Finrod Felagund, king of Nargothrond, Beren's friend, who died to protect Beren in Sauron's prison. Sauron took the tower from the Elves of Nargothrond, but unlike the Barad Dur in Mordor, he did not design or build it. I decided he probably didn't have the outside re-painted, although clearly a fair bit of remodeling has gone on internally.
Why is Lúthien badly drawn?
Because that's the best that I can manage at the moment, sorry. One day I may be able to draw Luthien as she looks inside my head, but sadly, this is not that day.
Why does Lúthien have short hair? In Tolkien's song, her hair is like a shadow, following.
Luthien had long hair when she met Beren in the woods of Doriath, which is the part of the song that Aragorn sings in Lord of the Rings. But later in the story, she cut off her hair to make a rope, and to weave into a cloak to hide herself from hostile eyes. She used the rope to escape from her father who tried to prevent her going to Beren, and she is still wearing the cloak. (I gave her long hair again in the last scene).
Lúthien is not beautiful enough.
Yes, yes, I know Lúthien was supposed to be the most beautiful woman who ever lived. But in reality, there is no abstract standard for beauty. We know what Tolkien thought Lúthien looked like : she looked like his wife, Edith Tolkien (nee Bratt). Google her, there are photos. I think she was beautiful, but even if six of the world's greatest artists all painted Edith as Lúthien, there would still be people saying 'she's not beautiful enough'.
For me, the exact shape of Lúthien's nose and lips is less important than her story. I am pretty sure that when Tolkien says 'the most beautiful' he does not mean specifically 'never too skinny, nor put on a spare pound' or 'had cheekbones with this specific angle'.
What does Lúthien mean by 'I am with the strongest of all'?
The Neuromancer of kargicq, who helped me with that line, thinks it means Lúthien is relying on Eru, ie, God. I was amused to discover that putting Huan the giant wolfhound into the art adds the strong implication to that line that Anything Can Be Achieved With a Large Enough Sighthound.
Why is Huan a borzoi?
He's a wolfhound. Since the wolf has been extinct in Ireland for 230 years, but is still around in the borzoi's home in Russia, the borzoi is probably the world's most functional wolfhound. It is also definitely the world's most glamorous wolfhound. Borzois are awesome.
Why is Sauron blond?
Why not? Sauron is a shape-shifter. At this point in history, he can look any way he wants to look. I imagine him blond. Only later, after the Downfall of Numenor, is Sauron fixed in a shape that is ugly and terrifying.
Why does Sauron turn into a wolf when an enemy turns up with a wolfhound?
This is an excellent question, to which only Sauron really knows the answer.
My theory is that Sauron, who is canonically a perfectionist in a hurry, sees Huan the giant wolfhound as a specific kind of problem that can only be solved with a large enough wolf. Sauron is not imaginative. His natural response is therefore to just keep throwing larger and larger wolves at the problem. If Sauron had been able to think around the problem of a giant wolfhound, then Sauron might have anticipated that hobbits would sneak into Mordor with the Ring.
Who are the ragged people walking behind Beren and Lúthien across the bridge?
They are the people and garrison of Tol Sirion, who were enslaved when Sauron took the tower. Although Finrod Felagund and his supporters from Nargothrond who went with Beren were all killed by werewolves, captured Noldorin Elves were usually kept as thralls rather than killed. When Lúthien drove Sauron out, they were released and fled to Nargothrond.
I don't know why I made this. I spent waaay more time on it than is sane or justifiable. But it was fun, and I think my pastel drawing is improving, slowly.