Hey, Tolkien, Where’d You Get Those Elves? Part 2: Build an Elf

The road goes ever on…especially when you dig into the origin of Tolkien’s Elves! At this point, I’ve pretty much concluded that there is no single model for the Elves of Middle-earth, but rather that Tolkien incorporated bits and pieces from a variety of influences. And some elements, of course, were original inventions. In Part 1, I went over a few possible inspirations from pre-Tolkien fantasy literature and cultural connections based on his languages. This time I’d like to get more into the true mythological sources. So let’s dive in and see what pieces Tolkien used to craft his Elves! Continue reading “Hey, Tolkien, Where’d You Get Those Elves? Part 2: Build an Elf”

Siuil a Run: A Song and a Manga Bridging Two Traditions

It’s the week of St. Patrick’s Day, which means it’s time for an Irish-themed post! I’m part Irish and feel a strong connection to that heritage. So every March, I’ll be covering a topic related to Irish mythology, history, or media—or even all three. Erin go bragh!

Follow a thread of story and you never know where you’ll end up. About a year ago, I stumbled on an unusual manga about two characters who blur the black-and-white rules of their world. Siúil a Rún: The Girl from the Other Side is now one of my favorite graphic series, and volume 8 is scheduled for release today, St. Patrick’s Day! What’s Irish Gaelic doing in a manga title? Well, when I went searching for the answer to that question, it led me back to an Irish folk song. On the surface, they’re very different works, but both reflect on the divisions of human conflict versus the bonds that bring us together. This time, I’ll take the proper path, from “Siúil a Rún”, a song of love and war, to a manga that blends European and Japanese mythological influences. Continue reading “Siuil a Run: A Song and a Manga Bridging Two Traditions”

Choosing Grizabella: The Importance of Telling Stories about Older Women

Universal Pictures’ movie version of Cats will soon be released in theaters. I’m a long-time fan of Cats, so you’d think I’d be eagerly awaiting its arrival. However, I find myself anxious instead, wondering how this first true Hollywood adaption will handle my favorite character, Grizabella. Trying to write a critique of a film based on the trailer is as unlikely to succeed as trying to stop a future based on a prophecy, so I’ll hold my review until I’ve seen the film. But while I wait for my chance, I want to share my thoughts on Grizabella, and why I think her role is so important. Continue reading “Choosing Grizabella: The Importance of Telling Stories about Older Women”

Open Hours, Open Doors: More Thin Times

I know it’s almost time to turn our attention to Christmas, Solstice, and other winter holidays, but posting about Samhain as a thin time got me curious about other ones. Also, today is the 2nd anniversary of Coco‘s release, so I want to take a moment to quickly cover just a few more! Continue reading “Open Hours, Open Doors: More Thin Times”

When the Veil Thins: Why Halloween Falls on October 31st

Hi, everyone! I hope you all had a wonderful Halloween! I would have liked to post this closer to November 2nd, but my health needed some tending to and Quarterly Bestiary was my October feature. Anyway, it’s still before U. S. Thanksgiving, so if you’re finding yourself missing Halloween, here’s a little trip back!

Halloween has come and gone, on the final day of October as it has for many years. Yet could that soon change? Continue reading “When the Veil Thins: Why Halloween Falls on October 31st”