Saturday, 3 September 2016

Magic Swords And Mystical Geography

(Holger sleeps amidst the traffic.)

Poul Anderson, Three Hearts And Three Lions (London, 1977), Chapter Fifteen.

We get another list of magic swords (for previous, see here, here and here):


- belonging to Ogier, Charlemagne, Roland and Arthur, respectively.

We have previously considered Mythical Cosmography and Mythical And Physical Geographies. Now we learn some "'...mystical geography...'" (p. 101) -

- the world of Law and man (the Holy Empire, France, Spain, Britain etc) has:

giants to the north;
dragons to the south;
Faerie and Trollheim to the east;
Avalon, Lyonesse and Huy Braseal in the ocean to the west.

The Chosen, like Charlemagne, Arthur or their greatest paladins, were not saints but warriors whom God gave uncommon gifts and burdens. The Knights of the Round Table and of Charlemagne's court are dead but Holger lives. It is possible that Morgan le Fay deprived him of his memory, transformed him into a child and hid him in another world.

(Well, if that's possible, anything is!)

1 comment:

Sean M. Brooks said...

Kaor, Paul!

Hmmm, that statue of Ogier/Holger shows him SLEEPING? I had thought it was to show Holger in a contemplative, thoughtful moment.

We have legends of other heroes who are not dead but sleeping, waiting till the time they are needed comes again: King Arthur and Frederick Bararossa, etc.

Besides Cortan, Joyeuse, Durindal, and Excalibur, we do have an actually existing sacred weapon (or possibly existing): the Spear of Destiny, the lance which pierced the side of Christ. It is included among the regalia of the Holy Roman Emperors and preserved in Vienna. I'll have to look it up!