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Thread: Mythology and Its Roots in the Wizarding World

  1. #1

    Mythology and Its Roots in the Wizarding World

    I've recently been considering a story idea involving me completely butchering Arthurian legend, and it has me thinking.

    We know, from Chocolate Frog cards, that many people who we consider legendary or mythological figures exist in this world. Examples are:

    Quote Originally Posted by HP Lexicon
    Circe (SEER-see)
    Circe, in Greek mythology, is a sorceress who lives on an island called Aeaea, near Italy. Circe was able to turn people into beasts. (web link)

    Cliodna (CLEEV-nah)
    Celtic Irish goddess of beauty, the eldest daughter of the last Druid of Ireland.

    Grunnion, Alberic
    Could possibly be in recognition of 'Alberich,' a powerful wizard from "Song of the Nibelungen." The poem is mythical, but was the basis for Wagner's Ring Cycle. In Wagner's version, Alberich makes a ring from gold that he has found and places a curse on it against its thief! Interestingly, one of the prizes given to a 'hero' of the Ring Cycle is an Invisibility Cloak. (contributed by Adrian Allum)

    Hengist of Woodcroft
    Hengist was a Saxon King of Britain shortly before King Arthur's time, who helped King Vortigern defeat Scot and Pict rebels. Later, he led a rebellion of his own, and eventually founded the county of Kent. Quite what this has to do with wizardry, I don't know, but David Colbert offers a similar suggestion in his book, "The Magical Worlds of Harry Potter." (contributed by Adrian Allum)

    Wizard, famous for his role in the King Arthur chronicles. Tutored the young Arthur before he knew who he was and what role he was to play in history.

    The famous Witch Morgana, like Merlyn, figures into the King Arthur legend. According to the legend, Morgan le Fay, or Morgana, was the witch in the castle that Wart and Kay encountered with Robin Wood (Robin Hood for the unenlightened), Maid Marian, Little John, and the merry men to rescue Friar Tuck, the Dog Boy, and an old man named Wat. Morgana was the child of the Duke of Cornwall and Igraine, the woman Uther Pendragon seduced to have Arthur. (contributed by William Givens)
    How do you think these figure in? We can assume that at the times of these people, magic was more accepted than today. Were these legends and myths merely Muggle interpretations of events, or wizarding inventions to keep Muggles from suspecting the truth?

    I'm curious as to how all of you interpret this.

  2. #2
    Fourth Year Ravenclaw
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    Were these legends and myths merely Muggle interpretations of events, or wizarding inventions to keep Muggles from suspecting the truth?
    It could be a combination of both, really. In the HPverse, these 'legendary' people existed, and maybe their tales--their powers--were either greatly exaggerated or downplayed, depending on the wizard/witch in question. Back then, perhaps wizards felt more free to expose themselves to Muggles and integrate into their society. At some point, the Muggles became threatened-- for a myriad of reasons (think Paganism v Christianity)--and wizardry had to move underground, like many controversial religions/sects/organisations. While we could name some events that fostered this intolerance (see 'Inquisition'), what would be very interesting to read would be an explanation for why it happened--what events led to such things as the Witch Hunts or the Inquisition.

    As for wizards and witches during the time of Arthur, maybe these legendary figures were outcasts in wizarding society. According to HP lore, the wizarding purist society has been around for a long time--around 1000 AD. Of course, it could have existed before then, but we do not know. Hogwarts was the first school, that we know of. During a time when the wizarding world is trying to establish itself as a separate class from Muggles, how do you think this newly formed (or not) society viewed those who mingled with Muggles, like Merlin, who is now held in high regard in wizarding society. Why? He helped a Muggle become king. What did he do for the wizarding world to make everyone revere him so? Hmm, food for thought.

    I'd love to add more thoughts to this, but I have to run. I hope this helped stir up some conversation, even if it's to nitpick what I wrote. ^_^

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