The Encyclopedia of Arda - an interactive guide to the world of J.R.R. Tolkien


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  • Updated 7 March 2016
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The Empty-handed

Camlost, Beren’s title for himself

Beren was set a quest by King Thingol of Doriath: to capture a Silmaril from the Iron Crown of Morgoth. Beren agreed to this seemingly impossible task, and with the aid of Thingol's daughter Lúthien he made his way into the depths of Angband, took one of the three Silmarils, and escaped. As they passed out through the Doors of Angband, Beren and Lúthien encountered the great wolf Carcharoth; Beren held up the Silmaril in hope of cowing the wolf, but instead Carcharoth bit his hand from his wrist, still holding the Jewel. Filled with pain by the hallowed Silmaril, the wolf fled.

Beren and Lúthien eventually made their way back to Thingol's court, where the King demanded the Jewel. Beren announced that his hand held a Silmaril from Morgoth's Crown, but then revealed his handless arm. At that time he called himself Camlost, the Empty-handed. Thingol accepted his act of bravery, and later in the Hunting of the Wolf, the Silmaril - still held in Beren's uncorrupted hand - was recovered, though Beren himself was mortally wounded in that hunt.

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