Sir Gawain and the Green Knight

Sir Gawain and the Green Knight Summary

An Apple Books Classic edition.

The author of this epic poem remains a mystery, but the original manuscript dates back to the 14th century. In this translation, J. R. R. Tolkien of Lord of the Rings fame brings this Arthurian tale to life for contemporary readers. (A movie adaptation, starring Dev Patel, has also broadened the story’s audience.)

The story begins as the Knights of the Round Table gather for a Yuletide celebration. The festivities are interrupted when a strange knight—clad in green from head to foot—rides his horse straight into the chamber. The Green Knight challenges Arthur’s knights to slay him—but with a catch. Whoever cuts off the Green Knight’s head must allow him to return the favor in one year. Most members of the Round Table demur, but King Arthur’s nephew, Gawain, accepts the challenge. Moments later, the Green Knight carries away his own severed head, and the story follows young Gawain as he sets out on a fateful adventure full of danger, magic, temptation, and seduction. See for yourself why this ancient poem is considered a timeless classic—with a surprising moral.

Book Reviews

Dr. Strangelove!

Importance of Chivalry4 star

This tale stands as a testament to the importance of Christianity and its moral derivatives in Western culture. J.R.R. Tolkien does a great service in translating this text forward to show contemporary audiences the importance of this vaunted, yet much maligned, institution on the evolutionary arc of our society. Chivalry and Christianity produced the values we’d ascribe to our most honored and reputable stewards. Beyond being an anthropology dig site, Sir Gawain and the Green Knight also a pretty interesting tale if you can get beyond some of the archaic language. The old English mysticism definitely feels unique in character.45


Excellent adaptation5 star

J.R.R. Tolkein’s adaption is peerless.55

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