Beowulf: The Lost King of Rohan

Tolkien’s creation of the culture of Rohan bears strong and obvious connections to the poem Beowulf. But could the Anglo-Saxon poem’s titular character fit into the world of Middle-earth?

Hey everyone!Beowulf cover by JRR Tolkien

Just a heads up on another contribution of mine to the wonderful people over at MiddleEarthNews.

This time, this article discusses an interesting connection between the Anglo-Saxon hero and the kings of Rohan.

Which reminds me: expect a review and an ‘Approaching Tolkien’ post on the recent publication of Beowulf: A Translation and Commentary.

Have you read it yet? 😉

In the meantime, check out the post here … Beowulf: The Lost King of Rohan.

I hope you enjoy it! 😀

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9 thoughts on “Beowulf: The Lost King of Rohan

  1. Wow, what a great connection. Do you think P.J. drew on that inspiration in the films? I thought the Riders of Rohan looked very Saxon-y (for lack of a better word) though, I guess most medieval period films go for that look.

    I have not read Beowulf: A Translation and Commentary though I am sure my English teacher wishes I had. She loved Beowulf.

    Thanks for sharing!

    • Thanks!

      I’m not sure how much PJ may have associated Beowulf with the kings of Rohan. However, since Tolkien was clearly influenced by it, and in turn Alan Lee and John Howe designed the culture on the Anglo Saxon period, no doubt we see that very clearly in the films.

      I’m sure you’d love Tolkien’s translation of the work 🙂

  2. Great article! I think it’s a really interesting connection and there are definitely a number of similarities between the two. In addition to the instance you cited of Fram slaying Scatha, perhaps Eowyn’s slaying of the Witch King and the Fell Beast was inspired by Beowulf’s slaying of the dragon–the Fell Beast isn’t exactly a dragon, but it’s somewhat similar and it was the first thing that came to mind when you mentioned the incident in Beowulf.

    • Hey Chrissy, thanks 🙂

      Yes the whole poem was indeed a source of inspiration for Tolkien and one can draw many other parallels with it and The Hobbit/The Lord of the Rings.

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