• Sweden edition
 
'Noble' Swede: Hobbit dwarf stole my name

'Noble' Swede: Hobbit dwarf stole my name

Published: 18 Dec 2012 13:19 GMT+01:00
Updated: 18 Dec 2012 13:19 GMT+01:00

A woman in eastern Sweden wants to take legal action after film officials translated the name of a dwarf in The Hobbit into her own “noble” Swedish name.

Yvonne Ekenskjöld is unimpressed.

The new Peter Jackson blockbuster, The Hobbit – An Unexpected Journey, has a dwarf with her name - at least according to the Swedish subtitles.

Thorin Oakenshield, the leader of the dwarves in the film based on the J.R.R. Tolkien novel, becomes Torin Ekenskölde in Swedish, a name far too similar to her own according to the 68-year-old Katerineholm resident.

“She’s suggesting that we have used a Swedish noble name in our translation,” Stefan Klockby, information head of the Swedish Film Institute told The Local.

“It’s not a noble family name anymore though; that family died out 200 years ago. We’re not really sure what she’s talking about - she’s claiming that her name is special and it's only her family that can use it.”

However, Ekenskjöld is furious over the prospect of sharing her name with a bearded and officious dwarf leader.

“It’s like a slap in the face. I don’t think our name should be associated with fairytale figures. I actually feel violated, and it’s offensive that they didn’t even bother to call and ask if it was alright,” Ekenskjöld told the Aftonbladet newspaper.

Swedish law affords a high level of protection to unusual surnames. Companies can be prevented from using aristocratic names as trademarks, for instance. The law is also frequently used to prevent ordinary Swedes from acquiring status by adopting noble surnames, unless the noble family has died out.

Ekenskjöld is even demanding that the film institute changes the translation.

“I want them to take away the name from the subtitles but I can’t afford to go up against the big guys. But even if you’re small and insignificant, you still have your rights,” she said.

According to Klockby, the translation actually appeared as early as 1947 when the book was first released in Swedish. Furthermore, he claimed the woman is not even a true Ekenskjöld.

“We found out that this woman wasn't originally named Ekenskjöld - she just made it her name ten years or so ago," he told The Local.

“We don't know where this will go or what will happen next, we have told her to contact our lawyers for now.”

The Hobbit, first published in 1937, has been translated into Swedish three times, most recently in 2007 by Erik Andersson.

The first translation was completed in 1947 by Tore Zetterholm and was titled Hompen eller En resa dit och tillbaks igen however Tolkien, who had a keen interest in Scandinavian languages, didn't like the translation and considered it to have been too liberal.

Oliver Gee

Follow Oliver on Twitter here

The Local (news@thelocal.se)

Don't miss...X
Left Right

Your comments about this article

18:02 December 18, 2012 by RobinHood
Go for it Mrs Ekenskjöld. I sued both Russel Crowe and Kevin Costner, and now I am a very rich man.
21:58 December 18, 2012 by William Sachsen-Coburg-Gotha
No! No! Don't go for it Mrs Ekenskjöld. I sued some posh bloke who lives in London and spent the next 50 years in The Tower as a result.
02:42 December 19, 2012 by Joona
Is this lady completely sane?

Thorin Oakenshield has been translated to Swedish as Ekenskjöld or similar since their edition of the Hobbit was published. In ours it is accordingly Tammikilpi. And wonders, wonders, Gandalf the Grey is called Grå or Harmaa respectively.

Gah... I wonder what would happen if someone realised his or her name was Sigfried or Brünnhilde... Let alone Jesus, as long as we're talkin' bout faerytales.
09:17 December 19, 2012 by engagebrain
Noble surnames protected by law - complete nonsense, only suitable for a fairy tale
15:09 December 21, 2012 by hydroxide
It seems she misses that the name has been a dwarf name for about a thousand years now. Tolkien himself took it from the Völuspa, where it is found as Eikinskjaldi - in a list of names of dwarfs.
19:02 December 21, 2012 by Joona
Engagebrain... I don't know about Sweden, but in Finland there are protected surnames. Being protected does not mean you can sue anyone for using it in a movie, though. You just can't take that kind of surname for yourself out of a whim.

Being protected means only the family can use it. Which Lady "Ekenskjöld" should have remembered when just taking that name 10 years ago. If the journos are right here, SHE has made a breach in protected names with no right to use it.

And yes, like almost everyone, I have the right to use at least 2 "noble" surnames. I'd rather not, as I have grown kinda fond of this "peasant" name Vainio, and made my career and "name" with it. Both in good and bad.
Today's headlines
Ikea to introduce 'green' vegetarian meatballs

Ikea to introduce 'green' vegetarian meatballs

Swedish furniture giant Ikea is planning to put vegetarian meatballs on the menu in an attempt to cut down on its carbon footprint, the company has announced. READ () »

Students to keep paying off debt beyond 67

Students to keep paying off debt beyond 67

The Swedish government has proposed scrapping the 25-year span for repaying student loans, by suggesting those who attend higher education should keep paying the money back well into retirement. READ () »

Drowned puppies found in crayfish cage
The crayfish cage in the picture is not the one mentioned in the story. Photo: Christine Olsson/TT

Drowned puppies found in crayfish cage

Police in eastern Sweden have launched a preliminary investigation of animal cruelty after two puppies were found drowned in a crayfish cage. READ () »

Three rescued after cruise ship sinks boat
Rickard Rundgren Björk of the coastguard services speaks to the media after the rescue operation on April 19th 2014. Photo: Maja Suslin /TT

Three rescued after cruise ship sinks boat

Three Saturday morning sailors had a lucky escape after their small boat collided and sank after it crashed into a cruise ship whilst sailing in the Stockholm archipelago. READ () »

Missing Swede found alive and well in UK
Sofie Marie Jansson. Photo: Metropolitan Police

Missing Swede found alive and well in UK

British police have found the missing Swedish girl Sofie Jansson in London, exactly a week after she was last seen, with authorities saying she is doing well. READ () »

Social Democrats make tax pledge to elderly

Social Democrats make tax pledge to elderly

Sweden's opposition party has stepped up its efforts to secure the pensioner vote by pledging to lower taxes for the elderly and make higher earners pay more. READ () »

Malmö Nazi attack victim on the mend
Showan Shattak pictured in Malmö before his attack. Photo: Facebook

Malmö Nazi attack victim on the mend

The 25-year-old man, whose stabbing by neo-Nazis sparked mass demonstrations across Sweden, has made a strong recovery in hospital and took to social media to thank supporters for campaigning against fascism. READ () »

Police seeking missing Swede in London

British police have issued a plea for tips in the search to find Swedish national Sofie Marie Jansson who hasn't been seen for almost a week. READ () »

University applications rocket to record high

University applications rocket to record high

Swedish universities continue to draw vast amounts of applicants with the number of prospective students seeking a third level education increasing for the seventh year in a row. READ () »

Man jailed in US over Lars Vilks murder plot
Swedish artist Lars Vilks pictured in New York in 2012. Photo: Linus Sundahl-Djerf/TT

Man jailed in US over Lars Vilks murder plot

American authorities have sentenced a 20-year-old accomplice of 'Jihad Jane' to five years in prison for an attempted terror plot to kill Swedish artist Lars Vilks, after getting involved with the murder plans when he was a teenager. READ () »

RECEIVE OUR NEWSLETTER AND ALERTS
TT
Society
Kids in Victorian garb mark Swedish Easter
Shutterstock
National
Swedish MP ordered chemtrail probe
Society
Swedish supermarket Ica pulls contested Easter commercial off air
Kungahuset
Society
Swedish royals set baptism date for princess
finest.se
Gallery
People-watching April 16
Politics
Who's the prime minister's heir?
Alfie Atkins
Society
Are children's books the key to families integrating in Sweden?
National
'Sweden Dem protests cater to party's martyr image'
National
'Swedish research grants were fantastic, but now it's like Australia'
Society
Only in Sweden: The ten problems you'd never encounter elsewhere
National
Swedes stopped to take my picture, but didn't look me in the eyes
Business & Money
A swipe of the hand replaced cash and cards in Lund
Advertisement:
YouTube
Features
Video: Oliver Gee finds out how to embrace The Swedish Hug
TT
National
Abba duo hints at reunion
Private
National
Flash mobs hug it out across Sweden
Finest.se
Gallery
People-watching April 11-13
TT
Politics
Swedes to give six-hour workday a go
TT
Society
Aussie choir member wows Abba in Sweden
YouTube
Society
Stockholm magic a surprise YouTube hit
Fastighetsbyrån
Society
Gallery: The Local's Property of the Week
Private
Society
Swedes find 200-year-old gravestone in living room
Stockholm School of Economics
Sponsored Article
Why a bachelor's degree is no longer enough
Deepti Vashisht
Features
Deepti Vashisht dissects the magic of Sweden's personal ID number
Shutterstock
Society
Ten signs you've been in Sweden too long
Latest news from The Local in Switzerland

More news from Switzerland at thelocal.ch

Latest news from The Local in Germany

More news from Germany at thelocal.de

Latest news from The Local in Spain

More news from Spain at thelocal.es

Latest news from The Local in France

More news from France at thelocal.fr

Latest news from The Local in Italy

More news from Italy at thelocal.it

Latest news from The Local in Norway

More news from Norway at thelocal.no

Blog Update: The Diplomatic Dispatch

28 October 15:16

The Green Growth Group Summit »

"Today on the 28 October in Brussels, a large group of key EU Ministers and business people, including UK Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change Edward Davey, and Swedish Environment Minister Lena Ek, will meet to discuss green growth. They all have a stake in resolving a challenge which, although it is crucial..." READ »

738
jobs available
Swedish Down Town Consulting & Productions
Swedish Down Town Consulting & Productions is an innovative business company which provides valuable assistance with the Swedish Authorities, Swedish language practice and general communications. Call 073-100 47 81 or visit:
www.swedishdowntown.com