Snorre Sturleson – “Of the Ash Yggdrasill” (circa 1230)

INTRODUCTION:  Yggdrasill, an ash tree described by Snorre Sturleson in The Younger Eddas, and Treebeard, a character from J.R.R. Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings trilogy (written over 800 years later), don’t seem to have much in common other than being tree-like.  Treebeard is more human in scale and nature, while Yggdrasill is mystically massive and grows through the nine worlds of Norse mythology.  However, Tolkien was a scholar of Norse literature and a close comparison to Sturleson reveals a multitude of striking connections between the two stories – Tolkien presents a world that retains the atmosphere and essence of Sturleson’s.

ANNOTATED DOCUMENT:  SturlesonSnorre_YoungerEddas

Annotations by:  Rachel Linn

The annotated text is adapted from: 

  • Sturleson, Snorre. The Elder Eddas of Saemund Sigfusson; and the Younger Eddas of Snorre Sturleson. Translated by I.A. Blackwell, Project Gutenberg, 18 Jan. 2005, Accessed 20 Apr. 2017.  

Works cited & consulted in the annotations:  

  • Tolkien, J.R.R.  The Lord of the Rings.  Houghton Mifflin, 1954 & 1955.