This article is about the real world.

The Story of Kullervo is a prose version of the Kullervo cycle in the Karelian and Finnish epic poem Kalevala. Translated and retold by J.R.R. Tolkien when he was an undergraduate at Exeter College, Oxford, from 1914 to 1915, it was an unsettled period for the author, and this is thought to be reflected in the story's dark subject matter. It also marks "the first time that J.R.R. Tolkien, who had been a poet until then, began writing prose".

Known as a source (among others) for the First Age character Túrin Turambar, Kullervo was the center of Tolkien's efforts in 1914, as he was "trying to turn one of the stories [of the Kalevala] — which is really a very great story and most tragic – into a short story".[1]

It was edited by Verlyn Flieger in 2010 and republished in August of 2015 by HarperCollins.


The Story of Kullervo tells the powerful story of a doomed young man who is sold into slavery and who swears revenge on the magician who killed his father.

"Kullervo, son of Kalervo, is perhaps the darkest and most tragic of all J.R.R. Tolkien’s characters. "Hapless Kullervo," as Tolkien called him, is a luckless orphan boy with supernatural powers and a tragic destiny. Brought up in the homestead of the dark magician Untamo, who killed his father, kidnapped his mother, and tried three times to kill him when he was still a boy, Kullervo is alone save for the love of his twin sister, Wanona, and the magical powers of the black dog Musti, who guards him. When Kullervo is sold into slavery he swears revenge on the magician, but he will learn that even at the point of vengeance there is no escape from the cruelest of fates. Tolkien himself said that The Story of Kullervo was "the germ of my attempt to write legends of my own," and was "a major matter in the legends of the First Age." Tolkien’s Kullervo is the clear ancestor of Túrin Turambar, tragic incestuous hero of The Silmarillion. Published here for the first time with the author’s drafts, notes, and lecture essays on its source work, the Kalevala, The Story of Kullervo is a foundation stone in the structure of Tolkien’s invented world."
From the publisher


Foreign Language Translated name
Afrikaans Die storie van Kullervo
Albanian Historia e Kullervos
Arabic قصه خولليرڢو ?
Armenian Կւլլերվո-ի պատմությունը
Azerbaijani Kullervonun hekayəsi
Basque Kullervo-ren istorioa
Belarusian Cyrillic Гісторыя Куллерво
Bosnian Priča o Kullervou
Bulgarian Cyrillic Историята на кулерво
Catalan La història d'Kullervo
Cebuano Ang Sugilanon ni Kullervo
Chichewa Nkhani ya Kullervo
Corsican A Storia di Kullervo
Croatian Priča o Kullervo
Czech Příběh Kullervo
Danish Historien om Kullervo
Dutch Het Verhaal van Kullervo
Estonian Kullervo lugu
Filipino Ang Kuwento ng Kullervo
Finnish Kullervon tarina
French L'Histoire de Kullervo
Frisian It ferhaal fan Kullervo
Galician A historia de Kullervo
Georgian კულერვოს ამბავი
German Die Geschichte von Kullervo
Greek Η ιστορία του Κυλλερυο
Gujarati કુલ્લર્વોની વાર્તા
Haitian Creole A istwa de Kullervo
Hawaiian Ka Moolelo o Kullervo
Hungarian A Kullervo története
Italian La Storia di Kullervo
Japanese クレルヴォの物語
Kannada ದಿ ಸ್ಟೋರಿ ಆಫ್ ಕುಲ್ಲೆರ್ವೊ
Latvian Stāsts par Kullervo
Lithuanian Kullervo istorija
Macedonian Cyrillic Приказната за Куллерво
Malagasy Ny Tantaran' ny Kullervo
Malayalam ദി സ്റ്റോറി ഓഫ് കുല്ലെറോ
Maltese L-storja tal-Kullervo
Maori Ko te korero o Kullervo
Norwegian Historien om Kullervo
Polish Opowieść o Kullervo
Portuguese A história de Kullervo
Romanian Povestea lui Kullervo
Russian История Куллерво
Scottish Gaelic An Sgeulachd Kullervo
Serbian Прича о Куллервоу (Cyrillic) Priča o Kullervou (Latin)
Slovak Príbeh Kullervova
Slovenian Zgodba o Kullervo
Somalian Sheekada Kullervo
Spanish La historia de Kullervo
Swahili Hadithi ya Kullervo
Swedish Kullervos berättelse
Tajik Cyrillic Ҳикояи Куллерво
Telugu ది స్టోరీ ఆఫ్ కుల్లెర్రో
Thai เรื่องราวของกุลเลร์โว
Tongan Ko e Talanoa 'o e Kullervo
Turkish Kullervo'in hikayesi
Uzbek Куллервонинг ҳикояси (Cyrillic) Kullervoning hikoyasi (Latin)
Vietnamese Câu chuyện của Kullervo
Welsh Stori o Kullervo
Xhosa Ibali leKullervo
Yiddish די סטאָרי פון קולווערוואָ
Yucatec Maya Le k'ajláayo' Kullervo


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