The Legend of Sigurd and Gudrun by J.R.R. Tolkien: A Masterpiece of Fantasy Poetry (PDF EPUB Download)
The Legend of Sigurd and Gudrun: An Epic Norse Saga by J.R.R. Tolkien
If you are a fan of Norse mythology, fantasy literature, or J.R.R. Tolkien's works, you might want to check out The Legend of Sigurd and Gudrun, a book containing two narrative poems and related texts composed by the author of The Lord of the Rings. Published in 2009 by his son and editor Christopher Tolkien, this book offers a unique insight into Tolkien's creative process and his fascination with the ancient legends of Northern Europe.
The Legend Of Sigurd And Gudrun Download Ebook Pdf
In this article, we will give you a brief overview of the book, its author, and its source material. We will also summarize and analyze each of the two poems that make up most of the book: The New Lay of the Völsungs and The New Lay of Gudrun. Finally, we will discuss the additional material provided by Christopher Tolkien in the commentary and appendices. By the end of this article, you will have a good idea of what this book is about, why it is important, and whether you should read it or not.
The New Lay of the Völsungs
The first poem in The Legend of Sigurd and Gudrun is called The New Lay of the Völsungs. It tells the story of Sigurd, the greatest hero of Norse mythology, who slays Fafnir, a dragon that guards a cursed treasure. He also awakens Brynhild, a Valkyrie who sleeps surrounded by a wall of fire, and falls in love with her. However, their love is doomed by fate and deception. Sigurd is tricked into marrying Gudrun, the sister of Gunnar, a Burgundian king who desires Brynhild for himself. With the help of magic and treachery, Gunnar manages to win Brynhild's hand in marriage. But when she discovers that she has been betrayed by Sigurd and Gunnar, she plots revenge against them both. The poem ends with Sigurd's murder at the hands of his blood-brothers Gunnar and Hogni (Hagen), Brynhild's suicide on his funeral pyre, and Gudrun's grief.
The New Lay of the Völsungs is based on the legend of Sigurd and the fall of the Niflungs (or Nibelungs), which is found in various sources of Norse and Germanic literature, such as the Poetic Edda, the Völsunga Saga, and the Nibelungenlied. Tolkien wrote his own version of the legend in the 1930s, using a verse-form of short stanzas that imitates the style and rhythm of the ancient poetry of the Poetic Edda. He also made some changes and additions to the original story, such as introducing a prophecy that Sigurd will fight alongside the gods at Ragnarök, the final battle of the world, and giving more prominence to Odin's role in the events.
The New Lay of the Völsungs is a powerful and tragic poem that explores themes such as heroism, love, fate, loyalty, betrayal, and revenge. It also showcases Tolkien's mastery of language, imagery, and storytelling. The poem is full of vivid descriptions, dramatic dialogues, and memorable characters. It also contains some references and allusions to Tolkien's own mythology of Middle-earth, such as the names of Gandalf and Mim, or the mention of a ring of power. The poem is a testament to Tolkien's love and respect for the ancient literature and culture of Northern Europe.
The New Lay of Gudrun
The second poem in The Legend of Sigurd and Gudrun is called The New Lay of Gudrun. It tells the story of Gudrun, Sigurd's widow, and her tragic fate after his death. She is forced to marry Atli (Attila), the king of the Huns, who covets the treasure that Sigurd had taken from Fafnir. Atli invites Gunnar and Hogni to his court, hoping to obtain the treasure from them. However, they refuse to give it up, and a bloody battle ensues. Atli kills Gunnar and Hogni, but fails to find the treasure, which Gunnar had thrown into the Rhine river before his death. Gudrun, who still loves her brothers despite their betrayal of Sigurd, avenges them by killing Atli's sons and serving them to him at a feast. She then sets fire to Atli's hall, killing him and herself.
The New Lay of Gudrun is based on the legend of Gudrun (or Kriemhild) and Atli (or Etzel), which is also found in various sources of Norse and Germanic literature, such as the Poetic Edda, the Völsunga Saga, and the Nibelungenlied. Tolkien wrote his own version of the legend in the 1930s, using the same verse-form as in The New Lay of the Völsungs. He also made some changes and additions to the original story, such as giving more details about Gudrun's life before her marriage to Atli, or introducing a character named Sorli, who is Gudrun's son by Sigurd.
The New Lay of Gudrun is a dark and grim poem that explores themes such as grief, hatred, vengeance, and despair. It also showcases Tolkien's skill in creating a realistic and historical setting for his story. The poem is full of historical references, geographical details, and cultural elements that reflect Tolkien's knowledge and research on the history and culture of Northern Europe in the fifth century AD. The poem is a remarkable example of Tolkien's ability to adapt and transform an ancient legend into a modern literary work.
The Commentary and Appendices by Christopher Tolkien
In addition to the two poems, The Legend of Sigurd and Gudrun also contains a commentary and appendices by Christopher Tolkien, who edited and published his father's work. The commentary consists of notes and essays that explain and analyze various aspects of the poems, such as their sources, structure, language, style, themes, characters, events, etc. The appendices consist of translations by J.R.R. Tolkien of some passages from the Poetic Edda that are related to his poems.
Why You Should Read The Legend of Sigurd and Gudrun by J.R.R. Tolkien
As you can see, The Legend of Sigurd and Gudrun is a fascinating and impressive book that deserves to be read by anyone who is interested in Norse mythology, fantasy literature, or Tolkien's works. It is not only a faithful and creative adaptation of an ancient legend, but also a showcase of Tolkien's talent and passion as a poet, scholar, and storyteller. It is a book that reveals a different and lesser-known side of Tolkien, who is mostly famous for his novels The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings. It is also a book that enriches and expands our understanding of Tolkien's own mythology of Middle-earth, which was influenced by his love and study of the legends of Northern Europe.
If you want to immerse yourself in a world of heroes and dragons, valkyries and magic, love and war, tragedy and hope, you should definitely read The Legend of Sigurd and Gudrun by J.R.R. Tolkien. You will not regret it.
Here are some frequently asked questions and answers about The Legend of Sigurd and Gudrun by J.R.R. Tolkien:
Q: Where can I download the ebook PDF of The Legend of Sigurd and Gudrun by J.R.R. Tolkien?
A: You can download the ebook PDF of The Legend of Sigurd and Gudrun by J.R.R. Tolkien from various online platforms, such as Amazon Kindle, Google Play Books, Apple Books, etc. However, you should always make sure that you are downloading from a legal and authorized source, and that you respect the copyright laws of your country.
Q: How long does it take to read The Legend of Sigurd and Gudrun by J.R.R. Tolkien?
A: The length of time it takes to read The Legend of Sigurd and Gudrun by J.R.R. Tolkien depends on your reading speed and level of interest. However, according to some estimates, the average reading time for this book is about 5 hours.
Q: Is The Legend of Sigurd and Gudrun by J.R.R. Tolkien suitable for children?
A: The Legend of Sigurd and Gudrun by J.R.R. Tolkien is not suitable for young children, as it contains some scenes of violence, death, and sexual references that may be disturbing or inappropriate for them. However, older children and teenagers who are mature enough to handle these topics may enjoy this book if they are interested in Norse mythology or fantasy literature.
Q: What are some other books by J.R.R. Tolkien that are related to The Legend of Sigurd and Gudrun?
A: Some other books by J.R.R. Tolkien that are related to The Legend of Sigurd and Gudrun are:
The Children of Húrin: A novel that tells the story of Túrin Turambar, a hero whose fate is intertwined with that of Glaurung, the first dragon in Middle-earth.
The Fall of Arthur: A poem that retells the legend of King Arthur and his knights in the style of Old English alliterative verse.
The Story of Kullervo: A story that is based on a character from the Finnish epic Kalevala, who is also an ancestor of Túrin Turambar.
The Silmarillion: A collection of stories that describe the creation and history of Middle-earth, including the wars between the elves and the dark lord Morgoth.
Q: What are some other books that are similar to The Legend of Sigurd and Gudrun by J.R.R. Tolkien?
A: Some other books that are similar to The Legend of Sigurd and Gudrun by J.R.R. Tolkien are:
Beowulf: An Old English epic poem that tells the story of Beowulf, a hero who fights against a monster named Grendel, his mother, and a dragon.
The Song of the Nibelungs: A Middle High German epic poem that tells the story of Siegfried, a hero who slays a dragon and wins the treasure of the Nibelungs, and his wife Kriemhild, who avenges his death.
The Saga of the Volsungs: An Old Norse prose saga that tells the story of the Volsung family, including Sigurd, Brynhild, Gudrun, and Atli.
The Poetic Edda: A collection of Old Norse poems that deal with various topics related to Norse mythology, such as the creation and destruction of the world, the deeds of the gods and heroes, and the wisdom of the seers.