Wednesday, 4 May 2016

A Hero Myth

Croesus of Lydia tells Meander of Athens (Manson Everard of the Time Patrol) that Cyrus the Great was to have been murdered as an infant but was spirited away and grew up as a herdsman until he was able to come forth in adulthood. Everard reflects that essentially this same hero myth:

"...had been told about Moses, Romulus, Sigurd, a hundred great men."
-Poul Anderson, Time Patrol (New York, 2006), p. 73.

Here is another:

"Torna...was raising Niall maqq Echach, son of the King of Mide. He had rescued the child from the murderous spite of the King's new wife, Mongfind, the witch-queen out of Mumu.

"...Torna deemed Niall of an age to return to Temir, show that he was not dead as everybody there believed, and claim his rights. Mongfind could wreak no further harm upon him."
-Poul and Karen Anderson, Gallicenae (London, 1988), p. 104.

And how many witch-queens are there in the past histories of Anderson or the Andersons?

1 comment:

Sean M. Brooks said...

Kaor, Paul!

Besides the Nine Witch Queens of Ys, I can think of at least two other witch queens found in the works of Poul Anderson: Skuld, the treacherous half sister of King Hrolf Kraki, whom we see in HROLF KRAKI'S SAGA; and Queen Gunnhild, the wife of Erik Blood-ax, the "heroine" of MOTHER OF KINGS.

And there has been any number of wicked queens in real history. I'll list some: Athaliah, the Queen Mother of Judah who massacred all but one of the royal family to usurp the throne (see 2 Kings 11); Empress Wu of T'ang Dynasty China who deposed her own son to seize the throne; Empress Irene of the Eastern Roman Empire who did the same thing; Catherine II of Russia who deposed her husband Peter III to usurp the throne (and probably at least connived in his murder). And I'm sure there were others!