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The Elves, who are they?

The Elves are in our minds majestic beings, imbued with magic, mystery and immortality (or at least of an astonishing longevity). But what is really happening? Where does their myth begin? Especially: are they really what we believe?

Hello my Marmosets!

I know, I know, I was sooooooooo long absent … but I reassure you: “Here I am!” So you have the choice: either I tell you what I did during my half-holidays (I have a lot to tell you!), Or I speak to you about something else … then? Okay, OK… I’ll tell you about fantastic creatures … (pfff you’re really not friendly with me!).

Creature of the day, hello!

The Elves: Guardians of Nature

In fact, I realize that the word “Elf” is often used in the plural. Would it be a distortion of our imagination to perceive them thus? I think so. Try. Close your eyes and try to project an Elf into your mind. They are always imagined as a great family: “to many, we are better! “Great? Pointy ears ? With arcs perhaps? Fine? Almost immortal? Links with magic? Nature too? Do you see it ? A beautiful “Legolas” stands before you. (Do not babe too much, girls!) Is that it? Are you there? Good. If I told you that all these facts about them are not quite true? That our “literary” imagination has distorted the real image of these beings?

First of all, we must know that the origin of the Elvish myth is northern, even if they are also found in Celtic mythology.

This myth is still deeply rooted in Scandinavian folklore. Initially, they were minor divinities, linked to nature, but also to fertility.

That is, I think (this is still my personal opinion), which undoubtedly gave birth to their legendary longevity, but of course I can be wrong.

A human appearance

An elf is an anthropomorphic creature (whose appearance is human) that originally lived close to nature, was small in size and had pointed ears. The Norwegian term “Huldrefolk” refers to the “hidden people” or “vetter” a kind of earth-related “goblins”, approaching the dwarfs of northern mythology more than elves.
Their figure will be taken up again in fantasy, especially in the mythical writings of Tolkien, who then made them great characters, incredibly beautiful, imprinted with nobility and wisdom.

(Légolaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaas !)

Their attachment to nature persists, since they often live in forests. They are also given amazing magic powers and incredible longevity. In fact, humans perceive them as immortal. They will also keep their ears long and pointed. They would be incredibly agile, fast, gifted in the handling of bows and would have a piercing view. This makes them formidable hunters and warriors.
J. R. R. Tolkien, in parallel to the writing of the accounts of Middle-earth, invented a series of elvish languages ​​whose existence is not reduced to their mention in narrative; with other non elven languages ​​placed in the same imaginary world, they form the set of languages ​​of Middle-earth.
Once adults, the Elves no longer age, they never get sick. Only a serious wound (or deep grief) can cause them to die. Their astonishing longevity gives them a totally different view of the world (and life) from that of humans. In fact, they tend to view short-term adventures with disdain and indifference, as they necessarily project themselves on the “longer term”. Nevertheless, when they have a well-defined purpose, they are tenacious, with a determined determination. If they bind little friendship, it is always perennial.

It would seem that the Elves themselves would choose their first name in adulthood (about 100 years).

The Elves are generally more intelligent than humans (no, no, I will not comment), or at least endowed with greater wisdom. They possess ancestral knowledge, especially in the field of trees, plants … They live indeed very close to nature. This concept is probably derived from the Nordic and Germanic mythologies. I do not want to pass for a rambler, nevertheless, it seems to me to have said above that the Elves were minor divinities of nature. Their senses, mainly sight and hearing, are particularly refined and far superior to those of men.

The voice of the Elves is sometimes compared to the murmur of the water. In some stories, their song has a relationship to magic.

At the beginning…

In ancient texts in Norse (ancient Icelandic) the Elves are named “álfar” in the singular “álfr”. And in modern Scandinavian languages:

  • Icelandic: “álfur” – plural “álfar”, “álfafólk”;
  • Danish: “elver”, “elverfolk”, sometimes “ellefolk”, or “alf” – plural “alfer”;
  • Norwegian: “alv” – plural “alver”, “alvefolk”;
  • Swedish: ‘alv’ – plural ‘alver’, in the female ‘älva’ – plural ‘älvor’;
  • Scots: “elfen”.

Moreover, this first word “álfar” would have a proto-Indo-European origin, a prehistoric language that gave rise to the Indo-European languages. (What? I’m cheating it to death? No, not even true!). In fact, the word “alb” meaning “white” is found, for example, in Latin: “albus” which means the same thing. This linguistic “root” is found in ancient Germanic languages, but also modern: English (and Old English), Dutch (and Dutch), German (as well as Old High German and Middle High (without the letter “H” is a dead language spoken by the Goths in the Middle Ages).

Northern Mythology

Freyr, god of fertility in Nordic mythology, would be the lord of the “Alfes (Elves)”.

This leaves us immediately to think that if the myth relates “elves of light” and therefore “benevolent” there must also exist “black elves”, therefore “dark”. Be that as it may, Elves appear in various ways in northern mythology (but also in Germanic mythology). They are generally described as semi-divine beings associated with fertility (thank God Freyr) and ancestor worship.
The concept of “Elf” thus seems similar to the animist beliefs: everything is provided with soul, with spirit, even objects like a stone, or an element like the wind. The belief of the “fylgjur”: “the spirit totem” and the “vörðar”: “the protective spirit” is identical in Nordic mythology. The Elves are frequently compared to the nymphs of Greek and Roman mythology, to Vili (the northern god, brother of Odin) and to the Roussalki (close beings of the naiads, sirens, fairies or Greco-Roman wonders) of Slav mythology .
Many Germanic first names are taken from the name of the elf: Ælfric, Ælfwine, Ælfréd (modern Alfred), Alberich. It is also the case of some ancient French names of Germanic origin, such as Auberon and Aubry.
The mythologist and mythographer (Mythographer, not to be confused with mythomaniacs!) Seriously, mythography is studying … myths, not even funny, I know) Icelandic. Snorri Sturluson sometimes refers to the Nordic Dwarves as “Dark Elves”: “dökkálfar” or “black elves”: “svartálfar”. They would be blacksmiths and guardians of treasures. But this is a mistake. For Dwarves and Elves are two types of different creatures, not remaining, and moreover, in the same place. The “Dark Elves” would live in Svartalfheim while the Dwarfs would be in Nidavellir. It would therefore be a belated belief. The distinction between light Alfes (from the sky) and black Alfes (subterranean) influences the vision of these creatures. Since then, Men have been suspicious of the Black Alves, while the Clear Alves remain beneficial.
The Elves would be as closely linked to the “Æsir” (or Ases), the main gods of northern mythology, as to the “Vanir” fertility gods, but each “group” would have its own translations of words which would mark the difference of their status.

European Folklore

From the beginning of Christianization of the Germano-Scandinavians, belief in the Elves is assimilated to paganism (those who are not considered Christian or Jewish). In fact, this belief is severely opposed. The Elf then becomes a kind of demonic creature. An important amalgam is set up between Dwarves and Elves.
The British “pixies”, little winged fairies, are assimilated to “älvor” in modern Swedish or “alfer” in Danish.
The original myth of the Elves was perpetuated in European folklore as predominantly female beings who established their dwellings in hills, mounds (mounds only consisting of earth, covering a burial) or tumuli (mounds of earth and stones ). However, belief in the common people is rare in France, unlike the Scandinavian countries.

Folklore of the Germanic regions

The “dark side” is what remains most of the Elves in German folklore. Their nature would have “evolved”. They would be mischievous, mischievous. They would be the cause of diseases of cattle and people, bad dreams.

The German word for nightmare, “Albtraum or Alptraum” literally means “dream of Elf” and its archaic form “Albdruck” means “Elf pressure”.

This aspect of the Germanic Elvish belief comes from the Scandinavian belief of the “mara“: this evil spirit that provokes nightmares.

It could also come from legends about incubus (demons that take male form to abuse women in their sleep) and succubus (demons that take feminine form to seduce men during their sleep and their dream).
We find a posterity for the Elves of Germanic folklore in the tetralogy of the “Ring of the Nibelung” by the German composer Richard Wagner.Il serait rapporté que les Elfes danseraient dans les prés, surtout les nuits et les matins où la brume est dense. Ils laisseraient alors derrière eux des sortes de cercles, à l’emplacement même de leur danse ; on les appelle « älvdanser » : « danses d’elfes » ou « älvringar » : « cercle d’elfes ».

This is how many legends in the Middle Ages would have been born: nymphs, dryads, elves and gnomes would be responsible. Urinating in one of these circles is believed to cause venereal disease. Typically, these circles are traced by a multitude of small mushrooms, but they can also be traced by drawing grass stripped against the ground.
There would be several Elf peoples, such as the High Elves (Elves of Light), Elves of the Woods (Elves of the Woods), Gray Eves (or Moon Elves), Elves of Water (or Undines) … The Dark Elves, or drows, are most often the obscure counterpart of the Elves.

Some literary works …

(Incomplete list)

  • The Hobbit, The Lord of the Rings, The Silmarillion, J. R. R. Tolkien;
  • The Forgotten Realms, R-A Salvatore;
  • The Annals of World Records, Terry Pratchett;
  • The Legacy, Christopher Paolini;
  • Tara Duncan, Sophie Audouin-Mamikonian;
  • The Chronicles of the Lodoss War, Ry? Mizuno (MANGA);
  • The Knights of Emerald, The Heirs of Enkidiev, Anne Robillard;
  • Aïnako, Ariane Charland;
  • Amos Daragon, Bryan Perro (comic);
  • Merry Gentry, L.K. Hamilton;
  • The legendary Patrick Sobral (comic)

Video Games

  • Warcraft;
  • The Elder Scrolls;
  • The Legend of Zelda (called Hyliens);
  • Final Fantasy;
  • Dragon Age;
  • Magic, the assembly;
  • Naheulbeuk Dungeon;
  • Dungeons and Dragons;
  • Warhammer;
  • Warhammer 40,000;
  • The world of Palladium;
  • Shadowrun;
  • Heroes of Might and Magic;
  • The Witcher.

Whether they provoke us nightmares or make us dream, the Elves will always be assimilated, for me, to allies or representations of Nature, those beings who remind men that Mother Nature also has a say and that it will not let anyone deteriorate without flinching or replying. The Elves are the spirits of this Nature that we love so much and that makes us well … provided we take care of her so that she continues to protect us and bring us her blessings.

Article written by S-P Decroix, author of The Princess of the deepest Times, from Lysons editions.

Did the vampires really exist?

Vampires are emblematic figures that form an integral part of our culture. These are mythological creatures entered into legend since the dawn of time… Discover their origins and where to find them through this exciting article! Did the vampires really exist?

It’s S-P DECROIX that tells you better about it…

Hello girls, boys and marmosets!

What? There are no boys among you? Ah! Ah! I know, I know, not even funny! Alexia told me I was funny. It’s really nice of you Alexia, but my sense of humor is to see again. So, from today, I will call you “marmosets“.

So, after my article on the dragons I asked myself: “But what am I going to tell them to marmosets next time? “Ah! If you knew all that crosses my mind, you would take your legs to your necks! In short, let’s go back to our monsters and various creatures.

“What’s she going to talk the lady?”

(OK the sentence is super null, but hey, you will have to do with!)

After jargoning about the “dragon”, I decided to talk to you about “creatures of the night”, but which one? No! Not John Travolta! So? You found ? Yes? No?

The Vampires!

Origins

Yes, with their pointed teeth and their pronounced taste for blood, vampires are the creatures of the night par excellence! The origins of this legendary creature are found in ancient myths and diverse throughout the world, but become popular mainly on the European continent.

“Vampire” comes from the German “Vampir”, which comes from the Hungarian “vámpir”, which in most Slavic languages is a word designating a bat.

The vampire is part of the great “ghost” family. According to the different folklore and the most common superstition, this undead man feeds on the blood of the living to derive his life force. Its victims die of having been emptied of their blood or they undergo certain conditions (blood exchange, placing underground with its “genitor” are some of the best-known examples), in vampires, but only after their death: “they die and live again!”

It is Arnold Paole, a Serb, who was the first to be called “vampire” in the eighteenth century.

You may think that it is the one that everyone calls “Dracula” who was the first vampire, but not… Vlad III Basarab, of his real name, knows indeed an important celebrity during his lifetime: the merchants Saxons of Transylvania and the king of Hungary, Matthias Corvin, make him a cruel ruler who impales his enemies, which earned him nicknames such as “The Impaler” or “Drăculea” (“son of the devil” or “son of the dragon”). Inspired by the nickname of Vlad III Basarab, the figure of the Count of Dracula was invented by Bram Stocker for his novel in 1897, which is why Vlad III Basarab is now assimilated to a vampire but he wasn’t one!

The contemporary myth of the vampire would be a sort of “superposition” of several other supernatural creatures from various European folklore, especially Slavic. Some authors have enumerated precursors: spirits, demons, or ghosts in turn, possessed or not (incomplete list): the “visitor”, the “hungry”, the “nightmare”, the “strangler”, the “chewer” (well yes, they chew us gently the neck with their small pointed canines… ok… really must I stop!) And finally the returning to animal form (Bat? Hum … no comment).

Characteristics of Vampires

This undead creature is universally known to feed on the blood of the living as soon as night falls, for, as I said before, to take their vital force and remain immortal! In fact, this is not entirely accurate, as it is for the Vampire to no longer be subject to old age. Other elements of folklore are well entrenched in our minds: the coffin in which he takes refuge during the day to rest and the cemetery: “let’s go home!” (Honestly each his “trip”, me personally, the cemeteries at night, it’s not my trip…).

In many legends, the vampire also feeds on human excrements and flesh, including his own: it is the automation that includes not only his flesh but also his clothes (if you had just eaten, excuse). This detail seems to be verified by old records of stories of shrouds found chewed. (I warned you: Vampires love to chew on).

Of course, what also characterizes the Vampire is his legendary pair of … what? From sharp canines! (Stop having ideas misplaced!) The clothing appearance, it would have been built in the cinematographic and theatrical folklore, in particular his famous cloak.

Some mystical powers are also given to him:

He hypnotizes his victims, seduces them, reads in thoughts, changes into mist, bat, sometimes in wolf or, according to legends, he controls them.

It is also this particular link with the wolf that makes that generally when one thinks of the Vampire, we often associate the Werewolf.

It seems that killing a “master vampire” or a “vampire-genitor” frees those he has transformed or sometimes his children die with him.

The Vampire if he becomes more powerful, fast, and resistant with age, would be “indisposed” by the smell of garlic, wild rose or hawthorn. Some objects would be able to repel it: the mythical crucifix, the rosary, the holy water and the mirror (since it cannot be reflected in it). He cannot walk on consecrated soils (Church, etc.). The legend also says that a Vampire cannot enter a house without being invited.

Bram Stoker’s work, Dracula, was first published in 1897 and is still popular today.

As the Vampire is an undead, he is already dead! So to kill him, it was necessary to rack one’s brains! (Ah, Ah!) Of course, decapitation is the most effective way to eliminate it, followed by a stake in the heart, a nail in the head (definitely) or a cremation in good form!

References to the Vampire

(Incomplete lists, you understand that they are too long…)


Literature:

  • Dracula by Bram Stocker.
  • The Vampyre by John Stagg
  • The Vampire by John William Polidori
  • The Vourdalak Family (published in Tolstoy’s Stories of the Living Dead)
  • History of the Pale Lady, novel by Alexandre Dumas (1849).
  • The Knight of Darkness by Paul Féval (1860)
  • Lokis of Prosper Mérimée.
  • The Horla (in its first version) by Guy de Maupassant
  • The Parasite of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
  • Vampire Chronicles, Interview with a vampire by Anne Rice

Movies:

  • Nosferatu the vampire by Friedrich Murnau, in 1922
  • Vampyr, or the strange adventure of David Gray in 1932
  • The Dracula Nightmare, by Terence Fisher in 1958.
  • Polanski’s Ball of the Vampires in 1967 (parody)
  • Tony Scott’s Predators in 1983
  • Vampire, did you say vampire ? Tom Holland in 1985 and Tommy
  • Lee Wallace in 1988 Dracula by Francis Ford Coppola in 1992
  • Interview with a vampire by Neil Jordan in 1994
  • Craig Gillespie’s Fright Night in 2011.

Cinematographic and television series:

  • The Blade Saga
  • The Underworld Saga
  • The Twilight Saga
  • Buffy the Vampire Slayer
  • Angel
  • Vampires Diaries
  • Supernatural (Ahhhhhh the best series in my senses, which has many other creatures!)
  • True Blood
  • Being Human
  • The Clan of the Damned
  • The Originals (I love it!)

Mangas / Comics:

  • Vampire Hunter D (manga)
  • Vampire Princess Miyu (manga)
  • Vampire Knight (manga)
  • Hellsing (manga)
  • Requiem, Chevalier Vampire (BD)
  • The Prince of the Night (BD)
  • 30 days of night (comics)

Video Games:

  • Castlevania (since 1986),
  • Legacy of Kain (since 1996)
  • Bram Stoker’s Dracula, in 1993.
  • The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion
  • The Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind
  • Dracula: Resurrection, Dracula 2: The Last Sanctuary, Dracula 3: The Way of the Dragon
  • The Masquerade (roleplaying)
  • Dracula’s Fury (board game).

We may never really know if the vampires existed as they are described to us, but is there smoke without fire? One thing is certain: those who inspired these creatures did indeed exist, but they undoubtedly renounced their immortality in order to rest in peace! Their legend, in any case, it, continues to persist in time… for eternity!

Article written by S-P DECROIX.

The dragon: a symbol of life and power!

Hello everyone,

First of all, let me introduce myself. I am S-P Decroix, author of “The Princess of the ends of Time” which will be released at the beginning of Lysons Éditions. When my publisher (Leandro De Carvalho) asked his authors if they wanted to participate in the blog of the publishing house to speak literature, I immediately accepted. But suddenly, my little brain got overheated … once again. For it is not ideas that are lacking to discuss literature. I have therefore cooled my neurons (it is necessary if I want to continue writing) and thought of all the creatures that populate our imaginary adult and child. But where do you start? There are so many and so many! So I said to myself:

“What could be more noble, more dangerous, such attractive as frightening as THE DRAGON?”

A symbol of life and power in China, protector in Indonesia, protector of treasures in Ancient Greece or even evil and a ravisher of princesses in medieval Europe, this legendary creature is often represented as a gigantic animal, winged, provided with claws Lion and a snake tail.

Its Latin etymology “draco” is derived from the Greek “drakeîn” itself coming from the verb “dérkomai” meaning “to see clear”.

Several myths and legends about this fabulous animal have mingled with one another to finally grant him his form that we all know him today.

Indeed, it is necessary to know that the western dragons are different from the Asian dragons. Among the Westerners, especially in the Greco-Roman, Norse or Celtic myths, the dragon is above all an animal of reptilian form (winged of course), but above all spitting fire, which binds it to the earth element. It is for this reason that he is often attached to more “basic” things, more “down to earth”: he is then the fierce guardian of fabulous treasures. In the Western mind, the dragon is also an evil creature, and because of its specific form, it also embodies evil. This is why the archangel Michael fights it.

Asian dragons are also related to the forces of nature, but not specifically to fire. How many accounts, and more precisely of mangas, show them associated with the other elements: water, air, ice, wood, metal? In reality, here (in Europe), it is above all, linked to water. In Asian beliefs, dragons are not hostile creatures either. They do not necessarily have wings.

It is the fifth animal of Chinese astrology (and by the way, this is my sign), where it is the symbol of luck. Many emperors are of this sign and great festivities are given the years of the dragon. The nickname of the very famous Bruce Lee is “Little Dragon”.

The symbolism of its horns would come from astrology and its place in the ranking of the calendar, carried out during a race under the aegis of either the Jade Emperor or Buddha.

In any case, the pig (or the pig according to the divergences of the calendars), mu in arbiter, has sown the zizanie among the animals (that is why it is relegated to the last place) and to calm the dragon, Offered him his horns as a crown for the king of aquatic animals.

In any case, they are incredible fantastic animals, of an extraordinary intelligence, endowed with thoughts, sometimes speech and often linked to magic. It would also seem that the scales (or the skin according to legends), the blood and sometimes the claws (even the teeth) of dragons are provided with incredible properties.

Where to find dragons?

(List incomplete because too, too long !!!)

Books / mangas:


The Endless Story, Michael Ende

The Hobbit, J. R. R. Tolkien

Harry Potter of J. K. Rowling

Tara Duncan by Sophie Audouin-Mamikonian

Terry Goodkind’s Sword of Truth

The Iron Throne of George R. R. Martin

The Royal Assassin, The Adventurers of the Sea and The Cities of the Ancients by Robin Hobb

The Legend of Drizzt by R. A. Salvatore

Fairy Tail by Hiro Mashima

Dragon Ball, Dragon Ball Z by Akira Toryama

Games


Dungeon and Dragon (board game and movies)

Dream of Dragon (role-playing)

Drakkhen (video game)

Warcraft (video game)

Dragon Age (video game)

And many others…

Movies


Excalibur (1981)

The Endless Story (1984)

Heart of the Dragon (1996)

Dungeons & Dragons (2000) and Dungeons & Dragons, the Supreme Power (2006): Inspired by role play.

Dragons, Dragons 2 (2014): 3D animation movies.

Me, Arthur, 12 years old, dragon hunter [] (2010)


I hope you enjoyed this article.

See you soon !

Article written by S-P DECROIX.