Sunday, 10 July 2016

What Is To Come?

Poul Anderson, The Broken Sword (London, 1977).

Questions raised by Anderson at the end of his Foreword:

What became of -

the survivors;
the sword;

What shape are they in at the end of the book?

Freda is with Mananaan and her son is with Odin;
the sword is in the sea;
the balance of power has been restored.

What does Odin say must happen?

That Freda's son:

"'...must one day take up the sword and bear it to the end of its weird.'" (p. 196)

Can this happen?

Easily. Odin has the son and Aegir would be able to recover a magic sword from the sea.

What does Imric feel will happen?

That Faerie will fade;
that the ErlKing will shrink to a sprite, then to nothing;
that the gods will go under. (p. 207)

What did happen?

We know because we are living it.


  1. Kaor, Paul!

    Many things has happened since Imric's musings. European paganism, despite pathetic recent attempts to revive worship of the Celtic goods or the Aesir, is dead. Christianity, despite attacks on all sides (including persecution by fanatical Muslims), remains the faith of most Westerners and many non Westerners.

    And I don't think anyone, even the neo pagans, believes in the elves. So, yes, the Erl-king and the other elves have disappeared. But we see Poul Anderson giving us some hard SF both on how elves came to exist and how they be living in our times in "Interloper."


    1. Sean,
      one correspondent has told me that Faeries exist and do not appreciate human arrogance.

    2. Kaor, Paul!

      Now that's interesting, you corresponding with an actual believer in ELVES. I'm reminded of how even Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, the creator of the classic archtype of the rational, coolly logical detective, believed in Faeries!

      And did your correspondent explained what he meant by Faeries disapproving of human arrogance? What kind of arrogance was meant?


  2. Sean,
    There was not much of an exchange. However, it seems that my arrogance in not believing in fairies is the reason why I don't experience them.

    1. Kaor, Paul!

      Understood! Heck, I would be fascinated to meet real elves, or plain old non human rational beings from other planets.