Lay of Leithian Canto XII
|Lay of Leithian cantos|
This Canto is one of the most popular, due to its opening 93 lines (3538-3631) concerning the duel of Fingolfin and Morgoth. After this interlude the lay recommences on the Quest, where Beren and Lúthien reach the Gates of Angband, and meet the great werewolf called Carcharoth the Red Maw. Carcharoth hails Beren as Draugluin, whose shape Beren bears, asking how he escaped. Beren responds that he has urgent business with Morgoth, and prays that Carcharoth let them aside. The wolf agrees uneasily, but is suspicious of Lúthien in her vampire form. But Lúthien swift casts her hideous raiment aside and throws a spell of sleep upon Carcharoth, and he is "as lightning stroke/had felled a huge o'ershadowing oak".