The Tale of Beren and Lúthien as sung in the Lay of Leithian sits at the heart of Tolkien’s legendarium. Aragorn was singing it on the day he met Arwen, in whom he saw the image of her foremother Lúthien; Frodo swore by it as he stood at the Ford of Rivendell facing the Black Riders. And yet, what is it about? Its title—“Release from Bondage”—is almost worse than having no clue. One reader for Tolkien’s publisher Allen & Unwin imagined it was an authentic Celtic geste, confessing himself “at a loss” what to do with it; C.S. Lewis read it one evening with great pleasure and declared it myth of the truest sort—tending to allegory even as the author intended nothing other than to tell the tale. In this episode, Professor Rachel Fulton Brown follows Beren and Lúthien on their quest to wrest a Silmaril from the Iron Crown of Morgoth in search of the meaning of that “release”—and (arguably) finds it in the songs with which Tolkien himself wove the tale.