What is Tol Galen?

I, the avid reader of good old tales, the one with the B.A. in English, had never read anything by J.R.R. Tolkien until my first semester in college.  Part of this was because I had once picked up a copy of “The Hobbit” illustrated with images from the Rankin-Bass cartoon, and just by looking at the pictures I thought, “Um, no, not for me.”  Then I met Haus Meister, who grew up listening to The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings being read aloud by his father as they sat in front of their fireplace every Fall.  One evening in the college library I told him of my prejudice, he went to a nearby shelf, plucked off a copy of The Silmarillion and opened to The Tale of Beren and Luthien.  Suffice to say I was hooked on Tolkien from that evening–and yes, it was before the movies.

All this to say: Tol Galen is the place in the Tale where Beren and Luthien go after their marriage (and a lot of other incredible things too, but you ought to read it for yourself).  On the back of our wedding program, above our very first address, I had printed the line from The Silmarillion:

“And then Beren and Luthien went forth alone …. and dwelt there in Tol Galen.”

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