J.R.R. Tolkien - The Legend of Sigurd and GudrúnToday the latest book by J.R.R. Tolkien, The Legend of Sigurd and Gudrún, became available for purchase. The book is a retelling of the Völsunga saga, featuring the great hero Sigurd, slayer of the dragon Fáfnir. On the inside flap Christoper Tolkien writes:

«Many years ago, J.R.R. Tolkien composed his own version, now published for the first time, of the great legend of Northern antiquity, in two closely related poems to which he gave the titles The New Lay of the Völsungs and The New Lay of Gudrún.

In the Lay of the Völsungs is told the ancestry of the great hero Sigurd, the slayer of Fáfnir most celebrated of dragons, whose treasure he took for his own; of his awakening of the Valkyrie Brynhild who slept surrounded by a wall of fire, and of their betrothal; and of his coming to the court of the great princes who were named the Niflungs (or Nibelungs), with whom he entered into blood-brotherhood. In that court there sprang great love but also great hate, brought about by the power of the enchantress, mother of the Niflungs, skilled in the arts of magic, of shape-changing and potions of forgetfulness.

In scenes of dramatic intensity, of confusion of identity, thwarted passion, jealousy and bitter strife, the tragedy of Sigurd and Brynhild, of Gunnar the Niflung and Gudrún his sister, mounts to its end in the murder of Sigurd at the hands of his blood-brothers, the suicide of Brynhild, and the despair of Gudrún. In the Lay of Gudrún her fate after the death of Sigurd is told, her marriage against her will to the mighty Atli, ruler of the Huns (the Attila of history), his murder of her brothers the Niflung lords, and her hideous revenge.

Deriving his version primarily from his close study of the ancient poetry of Norway and Iceland known as the Poetic Edda (and where no old poetry exists, from the later prose work the Völsunga Saga), J.R.R. Tolkien employed a verse-form of short stanzas whose lines embody in English the exacting alliterative rhythms and the concentrated energy of the poems of the Edda.»

You can buy the hardcover, special edition or audio book in our Marketplace: click here for US and here for UK/EU (these stores are in association with Amazon.com & Amazon.co.uk. Disclaimer here). The publishers have also released two videos. The first is a book trailer and the second an information video, where we’ll also hear Brian Cox reading for the audio book:

Discuss in the forums.

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This entry was posted on Tuesday, May 5th, 2009 at 9:05 am and is filed under Works of J.R.R. Tolkien. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

2 comments so far



I am working with a music promoter to help promote a series of LOTR concerts being held at the Radio City Music Hall in NYC. The a convention will also take place that weekend. I want to know if you would be interested in promoting the concerts, I’m sure we can work something out that would interest both of us. Drop me a line and we can discuss it.

The event in question: http://www.theradiocitylotrconcert.com

All the best,

Michael Regina
Editor in Chief – TheOneRing.net
PH: 514.947.5221

May 12th, 2009 at 3:55 am

When will the forums be back up please? I was hoping to see if there’s a new version of Middle Earth Total War out yet (much better than the LOTR mods based on the film)

August 31st, 2009 at 5:05 am

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  1. J.R.R. Tolkien Reads From The Two Towers, the Second Book of The Lord of the Rings Trilogy | wine making    Jul 31 2013 / 7am:

    [...] But there is another way. I know it’s perverse, possibly subversive, and maybe, just maybe, even dangerous. Turn off the computer and open the books up again—your yellowed, crumbly paperbacks, your Barnes & Noble economy re-issue editions (I won’t judge), hell, turn on the Kindle. Savor the languages Tolkien invented and the English that he re-invented, immerse yourself in a literary world at once utterly fantastic and perfectly morally serious. Do that, and your craving for spectacle may vanish, maybe replaced by a craving for more Tolkien—like his retelling of events in the Norse Edda saga in his Legend of Sigurd and Gudrun. [...]

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