Thursday, October 9, 2008

The Wolf

I have been paying quite a bit of attention lately to books, and specifically the Harry Potter series. In conversation with my mother (who loves word origins) we discovered that there must be some definition or origin for the name Fenrir Greyback, the horrible werewolf character in the HP series who "created" Remus Lupin. We came to this conclusion based on the existence of Fenris Ulf in the Chronicles of Narnia. As they are both wolves (or wolf like) there must be some background to the word. So I did a bit of digging.

According to Norse mythology, Fenrir (or Fenris) is the eldest son of Loki and Angrboda, and he is a "gigantic and terrible monster in the shape of a wolf". He was prophesied to be "the destruction of the world", so the gods caged him. They tried numerous challenges to contain him, until they finally succeeded. They commissioned the dwarves to make a magical chain (Gleipnir) that could not be broken.

Long story short (too late) they created a monster by caging and baiting him all of his life. That woudl piss me off, too. I'm just saying. Anyway, I am fascinated by the comparison of the two characters.

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