The Brothers Lionheart is a tale of love strong enough to conquer death – not just once, but twice. After brothers Jonathan and Crusty pass away they meet again in Nangijala, the land of eternal spring. Casting a long shadow over their world is the evil tyrant Tengil, ruler of the country Karmanjaka, where he’s building his new fortress up in the The Ancient Mountains.
Jonathan and Crusty’s narrative is a story of love that’s both timeless and deeply touching. It’s a tale about the battle between good and evil, between fear and courage, about a struggle for freedom – and about death. When the book was originally published it created quite a stir, with people asking whether it was really suitable to write about death for children. However, Astrid Lindgren received such an enormous amount of letters from young people, who felt comforted by the story, and who wondered what happened to Jonathan and Crusty as they crossed over to the land of Nangilima, that she actually decided to write a letter where she recounted exactly what the brothers did next…
As Tomas Alfredson embarked on planning the new film version of The Brothers Lionheart he and artist Jesper Waldersten began a unique collaboration. Their shared goal to create a new imagery for Astrid Lindgren’s story has resulted in two fantastic new editions of the book and a major exhibition at Kulturhuset - Stockholm House of Culture & City Theatre in spring 2018.
My brother, Jonathan, knew that I was going to die.
'How can things be so terrible,' I asked. 'That some people have to die, when they're not even ten years old?'
'I don't think it's that terrible,' said Jonathan. 'I think you'll have a marvellous time.'
Astrid Lindgren received thousands of letters from young readers thanking her, telling her how they felt comforted, and wondering what happened to Crusty and Jonathan in Nangilima. And for the first, and last, time she wrote a letter to the children who were wondering what happened next. The letter was published in the newspaper Expressen in 1974.