More than the relationship between Arondir and Bronwyn, “The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power” makes reference to two other Elf and Human pairings. Relationships between Elves and Men have existed in J. R. R. Tolkien’s Middle-earth before, despite the fact that they are uncommon. The most well-known of these is the connection between Aragorn and Arwen, which is addressed in Tolkien’s appendices to The Lord of the Rings and in Peter Jackson’s cinematic adaptations. However, there are only two such similar relationships that are known to have occurred at the time that “The Rings of Power” takes place in the Second Age.
Arondir and Bronwyn are brand-new characters that were developed for “The Rings of Power,” but it is obvious that the authors drew inspiration from other couples in Tolkien’s legendarium who had comparable marital patterns. Arondir’s buddy Médhor tries to discourage him from having the connection during a talk in the first episode of “The Rings of Power” by bringing up two past sad instances of Elf/Human romance. It depends on your point of view whether these marriages were as tragic as Médhor implies, but there’s no denying that their stories are interesting. In fact, one of these unions was so crucial to the development of Middle-earth that Christopher Tolkien, the author’s son, edited it into a separate book.
Beren, a mortal Man, and Lthien, the Elven princess of Doriath, in the First Age, are the first of these Elf and Human pairs in Tolkien’s Middle-earth that is captivating enough to have their own book. The relationship between Tuor and Idril, also from the First Age, is the second partnership Médhor is referring to. The princess of the secret elf city Gondolin, Idril, and the Human Tuor fell in love. Although the tales of these two couples are undoubtedly dramatic and passionate, they are significant to the history of Middle-earth for quite different reasons.
How Did Both Relationships Fare?
King Thingol of Doriath, Lthien’s father, passionately opposed her marriage to Beren. “The Rings of Power” episode 2 briefly mentioned Morgoth’s desire for the Silmarils; as revenge, Thingol gave Beren an impossible task: remove a Silmaril from Morgoth’s crown. Even though Beren succeeds on his second try and delivers the jewel to Thingol, he succumbs to a fatal wound shortly after. Following a meeting with the Valar Manw, Luthién is given the option of sailing to Valinor to spend all of eternity as an elf, or she can choose to become a mortal and have Beren brought back to her. She decides on the latter and eventually passes away in Middle-earth from old age. Despite the dramatic nature of the story, Beren and Lthien did get to spend their entire mortal lives together. If Médhor believes, as many have throughout Middle-history, earth’s that an Elf giving up their immortal life in order to be with a Human isn’t worth it, then he might see this as tragic.
Another type of familial drama is present in the story of Tuor and Idril’s elf and human nuptials. Tuor’s connection with Idril’s father was harmed by another, despite Idril’s father’s approval. Idril’s cousin Maeglin was madly in love with her. He was so envious of Tuor that he betrayed his city and told Morgoth where Gondolin was, causing Gondolin to fall (another vital Middle-earth tale, also edited into a novel by Christopher Tolkien). Yes, The Fall of Gondolin was tragic, but Tuor and Idril’s friendship continued after that. Together with the Gondolin survivors, they established a new community where Tuor and Idril eventually had a child. When Tuor reached old age, he and Idril set out for Valinor, where they were given the chance to live in peace for all time. Unless Médhor is referring to the Fall of Gondolin and Tuor and Idril’s inadvertent role in it, that would not normally be considered a terrible ending for a relationship, therefore his warning to Arondir falls a little hollow.
There is no way to predict how Arondir and Bronwyn’s relationship will turn out because they are brand-new characters created specifically for “The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power.” But there are instances where Tolkien’s stories do indeed end happily. Although Médhor’s caution regarding his friend might seem a bit extreme, he is by no means the only Elf who avoids interactions with mortals. What happens to Arondir and Bronwyn in “The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power” is still unknown.
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