As previously explored by the author, Tolkien’s 1930’s alliterative verses published as The Legend of Sigurd and Gudrún and The Fall of Arthur make direct and repeated references to the End Times, paralleling the prominence of the apocalyptic Second Prophecy of Mandos in revisions to his Middle-earth legendarium written at that time. Similar themes can be found in Tolkien’s verse-dialogue The Homecoming of Beorhtnoth. The Homecoming’s genesis dates to the same general time period, and both The Fall of Arthur and The Homecoming describe a war-tainted world in apocalyptic tones, the environment dark (literally, figuratively, and in terms of men’s deeds). A close tandem reading of both works reveals linguistic and thematic similarities, especially related to apocalyptic themes.


Expanded from a presentation at the 2024 International Congress on Medieval Studies, Western Michigan University.



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