Short summary - The Brothers Lionheart - Astrid Lindgren

Scandinavian literature summaries - 2023

Short summary - The Brothers Lionheart
Astrid Lindgren

What awaits us after the end of life? Emptiness? Clouds and harps? Butterfly reincarnation? Or maybe a new, wonderful world filled with colors, conversations around a warm fire and adventures that you dare not even dream of? Nine-year-old Carl Leion, nicknamed Sukharik, is ill with tuberculosis and knows that he will soon die. His older brother Jonathan tries to comfort him somehow and promises that one day they will meet in the magical land of Nangiyale. Unexpectedly, Jonathan dies in a fire. Sukharik also dies soon after. They meet in Nangiyala...

Brothers Carl and Jonathan Leijon live in a small Swedish town whose name is not mentioned. Their mother lives with them. The Leyon family is very poor, so they are forced to live in an old wooden house.

The brothers are not alike. The eldest, Jonathan, is 13 years old. He is a smart, handsome and very talented boy. Adults admire him, and children love to play with Jonathan because he knows how to come up with interesting games and fun. The younger brother Carl is 10 years old. Jonathan affectionately calls him Breadcrumbs. Carl is terminally ill. He spends most of his time in bed. Carl is a very timid, weak and shy boy. The dissimilarity of the brothers does not prevent them from loving each other.

One day, the younger brother accidentally found out that he was going to die soon. To cheer up Carl, the older brother tells him about the country where people go when they die. This country is "on the other side of the stars" and is called Nangiyala. In this wonderful place, Karl will be healthy and happy. Rusk is very happy that his suffering is finally over. The only thing that makes the little brother sad is the long separation from Jonathan. Carl would like them to be in Nangiyala together.

Ironically, the healthy and cheerful Jonathan dies first. The older brother saved the younger from the fire. Jumping out the window with Carl on his back, Jonathan shielded him from the impact of the fall. Jonathan's act aroused the admiration of the school teacher. She named the dead boy Lionheart. Carl has lost someone dear to him. He sadly thinks that there is no Nangiyala. The older brother came up with this tale to console him. But one day a white dove flies to Carl. Thus he was visited by the soul of Jonathan. The brother promised Suharik to see him in a magical land. Karl died 2 months later. The boy managed to write a comforting note to his mother, in which he asked her not to cry and wait for a meeting in Nangiyala.

A terrible, “unfabulous” time has come to the magical land where the younger brother so dreamed of getting. The Thorn Valley has been captured by Tengil, the cruel lord of Karmanyaka, located on the Mountain of the Ancient Mountains beyond the River of the Ancient Rivers. With the help of the dragon Katla, Tengil holds power over the inhabitants of the valley. A rebel detachment led by Urvar puts up fierce resistance to the invader. The inhabitants of the Valley of Cherries help the rebels. They are led by Sophia, the "pigeon queen". Once in Nangiyala, Leyon Sr. became an assistant to the wise queen.

Not all Cherry Valley residents are honest people. There is also a traitor among them. He betrays Urvar to the enemies. The rebel leader was captured and thrown into the cave where Katla lived. To save Urvar, Jonathan travels to the Thorn Valley. Carl has a dream in which his brother calls him for help. Fearing to lose his brother again, Carl goes after Jonathan. Sophia's friend old man Matthias helps the boys hide from the invader's warriors.

The inhabitants of the Thorn Valley are forced to endure hunger, fear and violence. However, the difficult test could not break their spirit. The inhabitants of the Valley want to raise an uprising, for which it is imperative to find a worthy leader. The Leyon brothers were able to get out of the Valley by digging under the city wall. At the last moment, they managed to save Urvar from imprisonment, in which he was awaiting the death penalty. Then Jonathan and Carl went to Carmagnaca. In his new life, Carl learns to be as brave and courageous as his brother. He saves Sophia from the trap prepared for her and, at the risk of himself, helps his companions to hide from the chase.

Astrid Lindgren Brothers Lionheart Jonathan, Sophia and Urvar led an uprising in the Valley. The rebels did not have time to close the city gates. Tengil burst into the city with the dragon Katla. The battle begins. Tengil is about to win. But at the decisive moment, he drops the horn, with which you can control Katla. Tengil perished along with his army from the fire spewing out of the uncontrollable dragon. The inhabitants of the Valleys rejoice at the return of freedom and mourn the dead.

Jonathan decided to go to Karmanyaku to chain Katla to the rock. Carl wants to accompany his brother. When crossing the Karmafallet waterfall, the dragon lets out a roar, which greatly frightens the horses that have set off at a gallop. Jonathan dropped the horn he inherited from Tengil's death. Katla ceases to obey the brothers and attacks them. The horses are dying. Jonathan is paralyzed after being touched by Katla's flames. The boy can only recover in Nangilim. This is a magical land where all the dead in Nangiyala go. to help his brother, Sukharik lifts him onto his back and rushes into the waterfall.