Beren knelt before the throne of Thingol, and Thingol looked in amazement upon him (but little love, because of the sorrow that had befallen his kingdom). ''I return according to my word,'' said Beren. ''I am come now to claim my own.'' ''What of your quest, and of your vow?'' asked Thingol. ''It is fulfilled. Even now a Silmaril is in my hand'' said Beren. And Thingol said: ''Show it to me!'' And Beren held forth his hand, opened his palm, and the hand was empty, and then he put forth the stump of his right hand, and he named himself Camlost, that is, the Empty-handed.
But in that hour Thingol's mood changed, and Beren sat upon the left of the King, with Lúthien upon the left, and they told all the tale of their Quest, and all were amazed, and it seemed to Thingol then that Beren was unlike other Mortal Men, whom he had hitherto held in scorn, and the love of Lúthien a thing noble and not to be held back. Therefore, at last he consented, and Beren took the hand of Lúthien before the throne of her father.
But the joy of those present was short-lived, for learning the true tale of the madness of Carcharoth, the people were filled with dread, perceiving that the power of the Silmaril drove him on. And Beren, learning of the onslaught of Carcharoth, understood in that hour that the Quest was not fulfilled. And so, since Carcharoth drew nearer to Menegroth daily, they all prepared the Hunting of the Wolf, of all pursuits in the recorded history of Arda the most perilous. Thither went Huan, the Wolf-hound of Valinor, Mablung, chief captain of the King, Beleg Strongbow, Beren and Thingol himself with a great host. They rode forth in the morning, and as Lúthien watched them depart at the gates of Menegroth, a shadow fell upon her, and it seemed to her that the Sun grew sick and the daylight was darkened.
The hunters went north-east, following the course of Esgalduin, until sure enough they came upon the Wolf himself in a dark valley, down the northern side where there were falls. At the foot of the waterfall, the Wolf drank to ease his pain, and he howled, and thus they were aware of him. But he was aware of them, and rushed not suddenly to attack them but instead concealed himself in a deep brake and there lay hid. A guard was then set about that place and they watched and waited until the shadows grew long in the woods. Beren stood beside the King, and they were both aware that Huan was missing. Then suddenly a great baying was heard in the woods, for Huan became impatient and went to ambush Carcharoth, but Carcharoth avoided him and sprang upon Thingol. Beren strode before him with a spear, but Carcharoth swept it aside and bit his breast, and he was felled. But then Huan went in for the kill, leaping from the thickets upon the back of the Wolf and together they fought fiercely. No battle of wolf and hound has been like it, for in the baying of Huan was heard the wrath of the Valar and the echo of the horn of Oromë the Great, but in the howls of Carcharoth was the bottomless hatred of Morgoth and malice crueller than teeth of steel, and the trees and the rocks were rent by the clamour of that battle. Together they fought to the death, but none heeded them, for Beren lay dying, and Thingol knelt at his side.
Huan in that hour slew Carcharoth, but himself met his doom, and the venom of Morgoth went into him. He came to Beren and spoke then the third time, and the last, and he bade him farewell. Beren did not speak, but lay his hand upon the head of Huan, and so they parted.
Art: Ted Nasmith.