Ronia, the Robber's Daughter

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For the 1984 film, see Ronia, the Robber's Daughter (film). For the 2014 TV series, see Ronja, the Robber's Daughter (anime).
Ronia, the Robber's Daughter
Ronia Robbers Daughter.png
First edition
Author Astrid Lindgren
Original title Ronja Rövardotter
Illustrator Ilon Wikland
Country Sweden
Language Swedish
Publisher Rabén & Sjögren
Publication date
Pages 235 pp
ISBN 91-29-54877-2
OCLC 9462379
LC Class MLCS 82/9917

Ronia, the Robber's Daughter (Swedish: Ronja Rövardotter) is a children's fantasy book by the noted Swedish author Astrid Lindgren, first published in 1981. In the film based on the story, Ronia was played by Hanna Zetterberg Struwe.

Plot summary[edit]

Ronia is a girl growing up among a clan of robbers living in a castle in the woodlands of early-Medieval Scandinavia. As the only child of Matt, the chief, she is expected to become the leader of the clan someday. Their castle, Matt's Fort, is split in two parts by a lightning bolt on the day of Ronia's birth. Ronia grows up with Matt's clan of robbers as her only company, until a rival robber group led by Borka moves into the other half of the castle, exacerbating the longstanding rivalry between the two bands.

One day, Ronia sees Birk Borkason, the only son of Borka, idling by the chasm. He is the only other child she has ever met, and so she is sorry that he is a Borka. He engages her in a game of jumping across, which does not end until Birk almost falls down. Ronia saves him, and they later on become friends.

The following winter is long and cold and although Matt's robbers are well fed, their counterparts are suffering on the other side of the chasm. Ronia brings food to Birk through a secret passageway. They get very close but both know that they cannot tell their families. Later that year, Birk is captured by Ronia's father. Ronia gives herself to the Borkas so she must be exchanged, but as a result her father disowns her and refuses to acknowledge her as his daughter. Birk and Ronia run away to the woods, where they live in a cave and experience several harrowing adventures with the wood's indigenous wildlife, including trolls, forest gnomes, and harpies. Ultimately their families repent of their feuding, and everyone is reunited, but the story concludes with both Ronia and Birk deciding that the robber's life is not for them.



In 1983, Trina Schart Hyman illustrated her own version of the book, which is published by Puffin Books. In Trina Schart Hyman's cover illustration, and all of Trina Schart Hyman's illustrations within the book.[1]


In 1984, the book was made into a Swedish fantasy film. It was directed by the Swedish film director Tage Danielsson and adapted for screenplay by Astrid Lindgren herself. It was a major success, becoming the highest-grossing 1984 film in Sweden,[2] and winning a Silver Bear at the 1985 Berlin International Film Festival.[3] More than 1.5 million people attended its screenings in Sweden.[4]


Ronia in the German musical by Axel Bergstedt

In 1994 the book was made into a German musical called Ronja Räubertochter. The musical is written by Axel Bergstedt in the German language, and has orchestra, band and more than one hundred people on the stage.[5][6][7]


A production in the Balver Höhle was performed in 1993 and 2004 with its musical director Ralf Linke, Oberkirch (Baden) in 2006. The German adaptation was written by Barbara Hass.


A CGI television series from Japan, which debuted on October 11, 2014.[8] Titled Sanzoku no Musume Ronia, the show is being produced by Dwango, NHK, NHK Enterprises, Polygon Pictures and Studio Ghibli. The show will be directed by Goro Miyazaki and scripted by Hiroyuki Kawsaki[ja].[9]


Ronia, the Robber's Daughter has been translated into 39 languages.[10] Two English translations exist which provide different translations of the Swedish names.

Swedish, Ronja Rövardotter English, 1983, Methuen Children's Books, The Robber's Daughter English, 1985, Puffin Books, Ronia, the Robber's Daughter
Ronja Kirsty Ronia
Mattis Matt Matt
Lovis Lena Lovis
Borka Ranulf Borka
Undis Hanna Undis
Birk Burl Birk
Skalle-Per Skinny-Pete Noddle-Pete
Tjegge Shaggy Shaggy
Pelje Proudfoot Pelle
Fjosok Fulke Foolok
Jutis Jolly Jutto
Joen Jip Jep
Knotas Knott Knott
Turre Tapper Tapper
Tjorm Tobbit Torm
Sturkas Bumper Bumper
Lill-Klippen Snip Little Snip



External links[edit]