In the last post, we had reached the stage in the tale where the Eagles, warned by Huan to keep watch on the movements of Angband, had rescued Beren and Lúthien and set them down on the borders of Doriath. Even as the Eagles returned to their eyries in the Crissaegrim, Huan returned to Lúthien and together they tended Beren, whose wound was perilous. Long he wandered on the borders of Death, but at length he woke again, seeing the first leaves of Spring in the trees.
Thereafter, Beren was known as Erchamion, which is the One-handed. Together Beren and Lúthien wandered the woods, and they were both content, but both according to his love and to the laws of Men, Beren would not suffer Lúthien to remain a waif of the wild woods forever, and so he counselled that they should return again to Menegroth, and so their doom willed it.
Upon Doriath an evil climate had descended. Grief and silence had come upon the inhabitants of that land since the disappearance of Lúthien, and Daeron, the greatest minstrel of the age (save only Maglor, son of Fëanor), who loved Lúthien most ardently, despaired and strayed from the land, where it is said that he made lament for her beside the waters of strange lands for many ages. In that time Thingol turned to Melian for counsel, but Melian would not open her heart, saying that the Doom must work to its appointed end and that he must wait upon time. In that time also, Thingol learned of Lúthien's sojourn in Nargothrond, and that Celegorm would take her to wife by force, and he was wrathful and sent forth spies, thinking to make war upon Nargothrond. In this way he learned that Lúthien had gone forth from Nargothrond, that Felagund was dead and that the Sons of Fëanor were driven forth as exiles. And so, he sent messengers to Himring to summon their aid in the search for Lúthien, but in the north of his realm, his messengers had met with a peril unlooked for - the onslaught of Carcharoth.
In the impetuosity of his madness, the Wolf of Angband had burst forth from the North, had passed through Taur-nu-Fuin as a gale on its eastern side and came upon the sources of Esgalduin. Nothing stopped him, and the Girdle of Melian had no power to hinder him, for Doom drove him on. All fled before him, but alone of the messengers of Thingol, Mablung, chief captain of the King, escaped and brought the tidings to Thingol. Even in that dread hour, Beren and Lúthien returned, and the news of their coming passed through the woods like a sound of music borne by the wind into dark houses where men sit sorrowful; and they came at last to the gates of Menegroth, and a great host followed them...
Art: Ted Nasmith.