Wednesday, 29 June 2016

Faerie Alliances II

(This is the last post of June. July posts will not start until some time next week.)

See Faerie Alliances.

Although the Jotuns are akin to trolls, the trolls will not call on them any more than the elves will call on the Aesir because, if those two "'...contending Powers beyond the moon...'" (p. 92) were to enter Midgard, that would initiate "'...the last battle...'" (ibid.)

How are they beyond the moon? We think of interplanetary space. However, Asgard is high in the Tree - higher than the moon? - whereas Jotunheim is to the north - beyond the horizon, thus beyond the paths of sun and moon?

When Valgard asks:

"'How does this fit with what I was taught of...the new god?'" (ibid.)

- Illrede replies:

"'Best not to speak of mysteries we cannot understand.'" (ibid.)

I find that somewhat unsatisfactory. If a fantasy author mixes his mythologies, then he is at liberty to create a new framework to incorporate diverse pantheons.

Gods protect men from Faerie. The worst outcome, for Faerie, would be if men called together upon the new white god because that would be the end of Faerie. OK. Maybe that answers Anderson's own question at the end of his Foreword:

"As for what became of those who were still alive at the end of the book, and the sword, and Faerie itself - which obviously no longer exists on Earth - that is another tale, which may someday be told." (p. 12)

Is it entirely obvious? The Faerie kept themselves invisible. Despite his prolificity, Anderson did not return to this particular theme.

Look at the image in this earlier post. The historical Jesus was a Jew but unhistorical images of Christ have been developed in diverse Christian traditions and can be adapted elsewhere. Pictures of St Patrick banishing the snakes from Ireland have been used to represent a Voodoo god of serpents. So is there some basis for the idea of a Pagan Christ, e.g., a nature deity resembling traditional images of Christ but removed from the context of the Gospel narratives and Christian doctrines?


Sean M. Brooks said...

Kaor, Paul!

It might be simpler to think of both Asgard and Jotunheim existing in another plane of reality or an alternate universe. With Faerie somehow being connected to both that "plane" and our world.

Commenting on your last paragraph, I looked at the image you linked to and wondered what you meant. Is it supposed to be an allegorical image of Our Lord?

It's quite true Christ has been portrayed in very different ways. I think Ethiopian Christians have icons of Him as dark skinned, and so on to how other peoples made images of Him in ways familiar to them.


Paul Shackley said...

I don't know whether it is meant to resemble Christ but I think it does look a bit like traditional images.

Sean M. Brooks said...

Kaor, Paul!

I didn't think the image you linked to looked that conventional. But, then, I was thinking more of how both Catholics and Orthodox have generally portrayed Christ in their icons.


David Birr said...

Speaking of images, the one for this post looks to me to be VERY much based on David A. Cherry's art for the cover of his sister's book *The Dreamstone*. The armored figure holding up a sword with both hands, the lightning going off in four directions from just above the hilt, even the position of the legs.... The background is different, and the design of the armor, and Arafel stands with MORE armor and weapons at her feet rather than on a rock, but the resemblance is quite, QUITE strong. Tsk.

Sean M. Brooks said...

Hi, David!

This is tangential, but your mentioning of armored warrior women brings up an old beef of mine: of how SKEPTICAL I am of most women being capable of truly being of being soldiers or navy sailors. I've seen comments and articles, some of them long and detailed, of how many women simply can't cope with the physical demands of military training. And if that's the case in mere training, how much more so in actual combat?

I've also seen complaints about how the armed forces have been pressured to lower their standards to enable more women to pass training "successfully." That can't be good for morale, along with many other things it's bad for!

S.M. Stirling could just barely make me suspend my disbelief at how he had so many women serving in the Draka armed forces. Because he had Draka women studying, training, drilling, and practicing the martial arts from age 7. But, it was still a bit of a strain, till the Draka were able to use genetics to enhance both male and female Draka.