'Let Beren speak!' said Thingol. 'What would you here, unhappy mortal, and for what cause have you left your own land to enter this, which is forbidden to such as you? Can you show reason why my power should not be laid on you in heavy punishment for you insolence and folly?'
Then Beren looking up beheld the eyes of Lúthien, and his glance went also to the face of Melian and it seemed to him that words were put into his mouth. Fear left him, and the pride of the eldest house of Men returned to him; and he said: 'My fate, O King, led me hither, through perils such as few even of the Elves would dare. And here I have found what I sought not indeed, but finding I would possess for ever. For it is above all gold and silver, and beyond all jewels. Neither rock, nor steel, nor the fires of Morgoth, nor all the powers of the Elf-kingdoms, shall keep from me the treasure that I desire. For Lúthien your daughter is the fairest of all the Children of the World.'
Then silence fell upon the hall, for those that stood there were astounded and afraid, and they thought that Beren would be slain. But Thingol spoke slowly, saying: 'Death you have earned with these words; and death you should find suddenly, had I not sworn an oath in haste; of which I repent, baseborn mortal, who in the realm of Morgoth has learnt to creep in secret as his spies and thralls.'
Then Beren answered: 'Death you can give me earned or unearned; but the names I will not take from you of baseborn, nor spy, nor thrall. By the ring of Felagund, that he gave to Barahir my father on the battle field of the North, my house has not earned such names from any Elf, be he king or no.'
His words were proud, and all eyes looked upon the ring; for he held it now aloft, and the green jewels gleamed
there that the Noldor had devised in Valinor. For this ring was like to twin serpents, whose eyes were emeralds, and
their heads met beneath a crown of golden flowers, that the one upheld and the other devoured; that was the badge of
Finarfin and his house; Then Melian leaned to Thingol's side, and in whispered counsel bade him forgo his wrath. 'For
not by you,' she said, 'shall Beren be slain; and far and free does his fate led him in the end, yet it is wound with yours.
But Thingol looked in silence upon Lúthien; and he thought in his heart: 'Unhappy Men, children of little lords
and brief kings, shall such as these lay hands on you, and yet live?' Then breaking the silence he said: 'I see the ring,
son of Barahir, and I perceive that you are proud, and deem yourself mighty. But a father's deeds, even had his service
been rendered to me, avail not to win the daughter of Thingol and Melian. See now! I too desire a treasure that is
withheld. For rock and steel and the fires of Morgoth keep the jewel that I would possess against all the powers of the
Elf-kingdoms. Yet I hear you say that bonds such as these do not daunt you. Go your way therefore! Bring to me in
your hand a Silmaril from Morgoth's crown; and then, if she will, Lúthien may set her hand in yours. Then you shall
have my jewel; and though the fate of Arda lie within the Silmarils, yet you shall hold me generous.'
Thus he wrought the doom of Doriath, and was ensnared within the curse of Mandos. And those that heard these
words perceived that Thingol would save his oath, and yet send Beren to his death; for they know that not all the power
of the Noldor, before the Siege was broken, had availed even to see from afar the shining Silmarils of Fëanor. For they
were set in the Iron Crown, and treasured in Angband above all wealth; and Balrogs were about them, and countless
swords, and strong bars, and unassailable walls, and the dark majesty of Morgoth.
But Beren laughed. 'For little price,' he said, 'do Elven-kings sell their daughters: for gems, and things made by
craft. But if this be your will, Thingol, I will perform it. And when we meet again my hand shall hold a Silmaril from
the Iron Crown; for you have not looked the last upon Beren son of Barahir.' Then he looked in the eyes of Melian, who
spoke not; and he bade farewell to Lúthien Tinúviel, and bowing before Thingol and Melian he put aside the guards
about him, and departed from Menegroth alone.
Then at last Melian spoke, and she said to Thingol: 'O King, you have devised cunning counsel. But if my eyes
have not lost their sight, it is ill for you, whether Beren fail in his errand, or achieve it. For you have doom either your
daughter, or yourself. And now is Doriath drawn within the fate of a mightier realm.' But Thingol answered: 'I sell not
to Elves or Men those whom I love and cherish above all treasure. And if there were hope or fear that Beren should
come ever back alive to Menegroth, he should not have looked again upon the light of heaven, though I had sworn it.'
But Lúthien was silent, and from that hour she sang not again in Doriath. A brooding silence fell upon the
woods, and the shadows lengthened in the kingdom of Thingol.