J R R Tolkien: The Lay of Aotrou and Itroun

The "Lay of Aotrou and Itroun" is one of the lesser known works by JRR Tolkien. It was first published 1945 in the The Welsh Review iv, 254-266 and has, at least according to my knowledge, not been republished since. Written in the style of the "Breton lays" of the Middle-Ages, it tells the tale of a King and his wife and their desperate desire to have children, which leads to the King accepting help from a witch, at a high price. More information about this poem and Breton lays in general can be found here.


Aotrou and Itroun (2005)

This picture is a combination of pencil and watercolour




The painting on the cover of Simbelmynë #24

Simbelmynë is the magazine of the Polish Fantasy Society "Parmadili". I met some members during the Tolkien Tag in Berlin in May 2005 where they held an interview with me. This interview is going to be published in the Autumn 2005 issue of Simbelmynë, along with my cover-illustration of "Aotrou and Itroun".

Since the topic of that issue is Celts and Celtic motifs in Tolkien, it was suggested I have a look at the Lay which I did not know before. It was well worth the read.