Fenris Ulf or Maugrim

Fenris Ulf or Maugrim

After seeing “The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe,” Melanie was puzzled by one thing in the movie: Why did they change the wolf’s name from Fenris Ulf to Maugrim? The funny thing is that no one knew what she was talking about. My nephew Pete, who recently read the book and remembers the details of every book he reads besides, said the wolf is named Maugrim in the books. So Melanie pulled out her copy of the book, which happens to be the first American edition, and there it is: “Fenris Ulf.” When Pete got home, he pulled out his copy, a new American edition and it says, “Maugrim.”

It turns out they’re both right. Apparently in the first American edition, the wolf’s name was changed from Maugrim to Fenris Ulf, but later editions were changed back. Why was the name changed? Who changed it? Were there other changes?

The name Fenris Ulf comes from Norse mythology and it refers to a monstrous wolf which is the son of Loki and a giantess, who bites the hand off the hero Tyr. (Sound familiar to Tolkien fans? It recalls a similar incident involving Beren and Carcharoth, the wolf that bites off Beren’s hand holding a Silmaril.)

Still, I’m curious as to why and none of the online sources I’ve seen explain the change.

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Written by
Domenico Bettinelli
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