Sunday, August 21, 2016

The Elvenking

The Elvenking by J.W. Goethe is probably one of the creepiest stories of Western literature. I remembered it while driving through a German forest at night, high in the mountains:)

There has been some discussion in comments whether the King of Elves only symbolises Death or there is a darker meaning. Personally I believe there is, considering that the author created his own version of an old Nordic legend which told the story of a mortal man tempted by an elf-maid who stabs him when he refuses her sexual advances,  but you can read the poem for yourself and then decide.

It's amazing how J.R.R. Tolkien managed to turn elves into positive characters, isn't it now?


  1. Housewife from FinlandAugust 22, 2016 at 4:47 AM

    Glad you are bakc!

    I have allways found Tolkien's elves pretty annoying. They are so unreal.

    Finnish mythology differs a great deal from Norse mythology. Here elves used to be more like spirits of places and things; it was very important to please them. For example every sauna had it's own sauna elf. Every place, thing and fenomenon had it's own elf or elves. Some of them were god-like when it comes to their povers. And of course there were forest maiden's who could lure men to their doom...

    BTW, I managed to borrow some miss Silver books and have been binge reading them. Thank you ever so much for the recommendation.

  2. Thanks! I'm glad I'm not the only one who finds them annoying, especially Galadriel:) Strange thing is, I used to actually like them when I first read it at school. Though he based them partly on Tuatha De Dannan, too. I think there are similarities between all those European stories, though. I'm especially interested in it since I used the legend of a forest maiden in my upcoming book.

    I'm glad you are enjoying Miss Silver!
    BTW, don't know what happened to comments as I was sure I had switched off the moderation but turns out I haven't.

    Well, I did now so folks should be able to comment freely again.