Tuesday, 6 September 2016

"...As If The Dawn Rode With Him"

Poul Anderson, Three Hearts And Three Lions (London, 1977), Chapter Twenty-Four and NOTE.

"He rode out on the wold, and it was as if the dawn rode with him." (p. 154)

Not just "...as if..." We get so accustomed to figurative language that we might not notice when it is also factual. Holger says that he:

"...rode out and scattered the hosts of Chaos, driving them before me." (p. 155)

Some of the servants of Chaos cannot survive in sunlight. Therefore, when they invade the lands of Law and men, they draw the Faerie twilight with them and, when Holger drives them back, the sunlight follows him.

How much of what happens here is based on the Carolingian myths and how much is added by Anderson? Presumably, he adds the Chaos/Law schematic. Do the myths claim that a single man with a sword can scatter an army? And do they say that Western Christendom is surrounded by Faerie twilight which, in the marchlands, is visible on the horizon?

Anderson tells us what different people say about where Holger is now (see here) and the two versions, waiting in Avalon or sleeping beneath a castle, exactly correspond to what Thomas Malory wrote about Arthur.

1 comment:

Sean M. Brooks said...

Kaor, Paul!

I thought of Faerie as lying mostly to the east of Christendom and the Empire. And we should probably think of most of Spain still being held by the Muslim Moors to the south.