Beren Erchamion was the noblest of all the heroic Edain of the First Age. He was the son of Barahir, and the lover of Lúthien.

The Tale of Beren and Lúthien was long preserved. The chief source was the Sindarin lay composed in Beleriand by the Grey-Elves' minstrels before the ending of the Elder Days. The "Lay of Leithian" (“Release from Bondage) was a long tale – so long that it was said that only Elrond remembered it in full.

After his father, Barahir was slain, Beren regained Finrod Felagund’s ring, previously given to Barahir in a token of friendship. He then fled Dorthonion, finally reaching the forest of Neldoreth in Doriath. There he saw the elf-maid Lúthien, dancing in a glade. She fled when she saw Beren, but when Beren called after her, calling Tinúviel, her doom was cast and the lovers plighted their troth by the waters of the Esgalduin.

However, Lúthien’s father, Thingol did not accept their love, and he sent Beren on an impossible quest – to return one of the three Silmarils to Doriath - to be rid of him. Eventually, Lúthien and Beren did re-capture one of the Silmarils, entering Angband and cutting one of the jewels from the Iron Crown of Morgoth.

Beren was slain shortly after by Carcharoth, the Guardian of the Gates of Angband, who took one of his hands – giving rise to the name Erchamion, meaning “one handed”. He died in the arms of Lúthien. She then decided to accept mortality so that she could go with him from Middle-earth. However, the Grace of the Valar allowed them both to be reborn as mortals, and they lived out their lives in Beleriand. Their son was Dior Eluchil.
Encyclopedia entry originally written by atalante_star