Linking Internal and External Lore: Norse, Arthurian, and Etymology in Dark Souls

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    Re: Linking Internal and External Lore: Norse, Arthurian, and Etymology in Dark Souls

    Post by JohnnyHarpoon on Tue Aug 14, 2012 4:06 am

    skarekrow13 wrote:
    There was one painting of a location I did not recognize in game
    but strongly resembled Stone Henge, although the pillars are fairly
    regularly spaced so this would be Stone Henge pre-decay or more
    romanesque actual pillars.

    Probably the Kiln, before Gwyn relit the flame and nuked it.


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    Re: Linking Internal and External Lore: Norse, Arthurian, and Etymology in Dark Souls

    Post by DoughGuy on Tue Aug 14, 2012 4:09 am

    ^Thats actually a good point. Can someone go take another look?


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    Re: Linking Internal and External Lore: Norse, Arthurian, and Etymology in Dark Souls

    Post by JohnnyHarpoon on Tue Aug 14, 2012 5:24 am

    Also, I think Tolvo already said that it was the Kiln (sorry, had so many comments during my read of this thread, and for some reason I couldn't hold that one back)!

    Just for reference, was there ever the realization that Ciaran is a chick, or, at least, the body on which the Hornet Ring is found is Female? I didn't see it, but this thread was long...either way, the corpse is blatantly donning the chestpiece of a naked female toon.

    Other than that, this is all great stuff, particularly the connections to Islamic Mythology - particularly, the stuff about the Snake who resides in an abyss under the world is amazing.

    I believe without a doubt that the Darkwraiths represent the gluttony of this snake. For all intensive purposes, the DW represent what happens when man is left to their own devices - without the word of God(s), there are no rules/commandments, and thus killing somebody, even in the name of preserving Humanity, becomes justified.

    Basically, it's http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tragedy_of_the_commons but with Humanity itself as opposed to some kind of resource, though in Dark Souls, Humanity has kinda totally become a consumable resource.

    But yeah, so pretty much Kaathe and DW represent gluttony, and this gluttony kind of stands for humanity as a whole. I have written a good bit on how the actual consumable sprite Humanity represents death (http://soulswiki.forumsrpg.com/t5085-humanity-and-death?highlight=humanity+++%2Bdeath), and particularly in this world, I find it pretty easy to say that the Gods see death as gluttonous, though I suppose the 'distaste' for death is more blatantly influenced/connected to the Sumarian myth.

    This is interesting because I've never really been able to see things from Gwyn and the Gods' perspective, and while I can't say I agree with an Undead Curse as means to eliminate Humanity (and thus, Death) from the world, I've never been closer to seeing eye-to-eye with them.

    I also think the depictions of one snake with two heads are pretty excellent, because even though Frampt/Kaathe are like literally physically the same, this reinforces the whole 'duality' of it all. Basically, in the end, no matter which side you take, it's just the ouroboros (no, not the boss from Resident Evil 5, but ).

    They do all but give you the literal image of one eating the other (although they do do us the pleasure of giving them floppy ear-mustache things).


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    Re: Linking Internal and External Lore: Norse, Arthurian, and Etymology in Dark Souls

    Post by Tolvo on Tue Aug 14, 2012 6:53 am

    I'm still trying to figure out how Frampt and Kaathe take the abyss with them, because when they stretch when moving between the Abyss, Firelink, and the shrine, their bodies move the darkness around them, as if it is a part of their body. Long ago someone speculated it was actually one large hydra, and I'm wondering if that wasn't too far off. But instead of a serpent body, the abyss itself is the body. I need to get to looking back into this sort of stuff, nothing just comes off the top of my head at this moment of a real world mythology to go with it. But if you want an example, let Frampt take you to the Kiln. Watch the corners of the hole he is in as he grows larger to eat you, and you'll notice something interesting.
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    Re: Linking Internal and External Lore: Norse, Arthurian, and Etymology in Dark Souls

    Post by Tolvo on Tue Aug 14, 2012 6:56 am

    Oh yeah, in regards to that painting it is the kiln, or possibly Oolacile since the two have some similar buildings. But, more than likely the kiln. If you look it is of some of the burned pillars in the kiln, as well the skyline behind them, and the large circular structure Gwyn resides in is visible. So, I'd assume it is the Kiln.
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    Re: Linking Internal and External Lore: Norse, Arthurian, and Etymology in Dark Souls

    Post by skarekrow13 on Tue Aug 14, 2012 10:43 am

    When I did a recheck of the painting (not sure if I posted it or not) I thought it looked the top part of the tower in the Painted World. The Kiln is similar and I think I might have said something like that too. So many posts.....

    Anyway, the new content with Oolacile has similar structures so I wonder if the painting was concept art or if there are deliberate similarities. Or both.

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    Re: Linking Internal and External Lore: Norse, Arthurian, and Etymology in Dark Souls

    Post by SEANB240 on Mon Aug 20, 2012 4:55 pm

    Don't take the quotes and info word for word, but rather look for the general themes involved. Bear with me.

    I'll start with the Abyss. In many mythologies, the abyss or void represents a chaotic, primal world, particularly in Norse mythology. What I am theorizing here is that the Abyss of DS is the remnant(s) of this age, which Gwyn and company ended after defeating the dragons (creatures of the Abyss?) and starting the age of fire.

    Now, on to the good stuff, Celtic mythology.

    In Irish mythology, the Fomoire (or Fomorians) are a semi-divine race said to have inhabited Ireland in ancient times. They may have once been believed to be the beings who preceded the gods, similar to the Greek Titans. It has been suggested that they represent the gods of chaos and wild nature, as opposed to the Tuatha Dé Danann who represent the gods of human civilization.

    Fomorians= Abyssal gods and/or primordial serpents
    Tuathe De Danann= Gwyn and Co.

    A group of people try to invade the land, but are oppressed by the Fomorians and leave, with very few survivors. Later, a group called the Fir Bolg go to the land, before the arrival of the Tuathe De Danann.


    Next, the Tuatha Dé Danann, who are usually supposed to have been the gods of the Goidelic Irish, defeated the Fir Bolg in the first Battle of Magh Tuiredh and took possession of Ireland. Because their king, Nuada, had lost an arm in the battle and was no longer physically whole...(extraneous)

    So the human gods took over, with the help of their king Nuada who is very, very interesting in regard to this theory.

    After his arm is injured at the first battle of Magh Tuiredh, a new, half-Fomorian guy (relationships between the humans and Abyssal deities/creatures, may be important later) named Bres takes his place as king. Nuada is restored to the throne later, which starts the second battle, as the Fomorians want it back.

    Bres, aided by the Fomorian Balor of the Evil Eye, attempted to retake the kingship by force, and war and continued oppression followed. When the youthful and vigorous Lugh joined Nuada's court, the king realised the multi-talented youth could lead the Tuatha Dé against the Fomorians, and stood down in his favour. The second Battle of Mag Tuired followed. Nuada was killed and beheaded in battle by Balor, but Lugh avenged him by killing Balor and led the Tuatha Dé to victory.[4]
    Nuada's great sword was one of the Four Treasures of the Tuatha Dé Danann, brought from one of their four great cities.

    Balor was notable for his eye in the middle of his forehead and one directly opposite at the back, which meant he couldn't be sneaked up on from behind. According to prophecy, Balor was to be killed by his grandson. To avoid his fate, he locked his daughter, Ethlinn, in a tower made of crystal to keep her from becoming pregnant. However, Cian, one of the Tuatha Dé Danann, managed to enter the tower with the help of the druidess Birog. Ethlinn gave birth to triplets by him, but Balor threw them into the ocean. Birog saved one, Lugh, and gave him to Manannan mac Lir, who became his foster father. He was called Lugh Lamhfada and became a member of the Tuatha Dé Danann.
    Lugh led the Tuatha in the second Battle of Magh Tuiredh against the Fomorians. Ogma disarmed Balor during this battle, but Balor killed Nuada with his eye. Lugh shot a sling-stone, which drove Balor's eye out the back of his head, where it continued to wreak its deadly power on the Fomorian army. In other versions, Lugh blinded Balor with a spear made by Goibniu or decapitated him and used his eye against the Fomorians .
    One legend tells that, when Balor was slain by Lugh, Balor's eye was still open when he fell face first into the ground. Thus his deadly eye beam burned a hole into the earth. Long after, the hole filled with water and became a lake which is now known as Loch na Súl, or "Lake of the Eye", which is to be found in County Sligo.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Balor

    With its foul distorted glances, its piercing beams, and venomous properties, like those of the basilisk this eye in the back of the skull would strike people dead. Because of this Balor kept it constantly covered except when he wished to get the better of his enemies.

    http://www.shee-eire.com/Magic&Mythology/Kings&Queens/Fomorian/Kings/Balor/Page1.htm

    An evil eye with basilisk-like qualities...Recall that the Ring of the Evil Eye is found on a body in the basilisk area of the depths. If this is truly the case, and we do encounter this monster in the DLC, better bring some Purging Stones along.

    While we're on this note, here is an interesting tidbit:

    In European bestiaries and legends, a basilisk is a legendary reptile reputed to be king of serpents and said to have the power to cause death with a single glance.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Basilisk

    Could the Darklurker be the king/leader/originator of the primordial serpents, based loosely off the legend of Balor of the Evil Eye? Taking the above into account, as well as the footage of his arm grabbing and pulling you into the Abyss (almost primordial serpent style), I think it is somewhat of a compelling case. Or maybe I need to take off the tinfoil hat, I'm not sure.

    Perhaps Nuada's status as king of Britain/knight of the Tuathe and his wounded arm might be one inspiration for Artorias and the events surrounding the DLC. Also, Balor may be the inspiration for the Darklurker or related Abyssal creature. The hero destroys him, then uses his eye to fight other demons, etc. I also think the obvious relationship between the pre-Tuathe humans and Fomorians is interesting. I'm thinking Oolacile and the Abyss here, though I found some other possibles within Norse mythology that I'll post later. Perhaps the humans had been working with or seeking out help from the Abyss (black magic, the witches, all that junk) to rebel against Gwyn.

    All speculation and very much incomplete, just wanted to post this rough thought so I would remember it later and expand on it.

    EDIT: I have cut out all the misc. stuff I found in order to keep this post shorter. I'll post it later if anyone is interested.




    Last edited by SEANB240 on Mon Aug 20, 2012 11:47 pm; edited 1 time in total
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    Re: Linking Internal and External Lore: Norse, Arthurian, and Etymology in Dark Souls

    Post by skarekrow13 on Mon Aug 20, 2012 11:30 pm

    A round of applause to ya good sir

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    Re: Linking Internal and External Lore: Norse, Arthurian, and Etymology in Dark Souls

    Post by Barnission on Tue Aug 21, 2012 3:06 am

    skarekrow13 wrote:When I did a recheck of the painting (not sure if I posted it or not) I thought it looked the top part of the tower in the Painted World. The Kiln is similar and I think I might have said something like that too. So many posts.....

    Well, Oolacile has a structure similar to that of the Kiln: http://i.imgur.com/OJMdt.png The coliseum-like structure in the Painted World has a staircase visibly leading up to the very top, if I recall, whereas the one in Oolacile and the Kiln do not.
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    Re: Linking Internal and External Lore: Norse, Arthurian, and Etymology in Dark Souls

    Post by SEANB240 on Tue Aug 21, 2012 6:04 pm

    Salvaged from my terrible theory thread:

    In the 1380s, a French duke decided to appropriate a castle in his territory from an aristocratic family that had lived there for centuries. When he did, the locals flew into a rage and he had to think of a way to get them to accept the eviction besides going to war with them. So he had a myth created, the myth of Melusine.


    It tells how in the time of the crusades, Elynas, the King of Albany (an old name for Scotland or Alba), went hunting one day and came across a beautiful lady in the forest. She was Pressyne, mother of Melusine. He persuaded her to marry him but she agreed, only on the promise — for there is often a hard and fatal condition attached to any pairing of fay and mortal — that he must not enter her chamber when she birthed or bathed her children. She gave birth to triplets. When he violated this taboo, Pressyne left the kingdom, together with her three daughters, and traveled to the lost Isle of Avalon.
    The three girls — Melusine, Melior, and Palatyne — grew up in Avalon. On their fifteenth birthday, Melusine, the eldest, asked why they had been taken to Avalon. Upon hearing of their father's broken promise, Melusine sought revenge. She and her sisters captured Elynas and locked him, with his riches, in a mountain. Pressyne became enraged when she learned what the girls had done, and punished them for their disrespect to their father. Melusine was condemned to take the form of a serpent from the waist down every Saturday

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Melusine

    Later, a guy named Raymondin, "son of the Earl of the forest", accidentally kills his cousin while being attacked by a giant boar near their bonfire. He runs away and is distraught about it, but comes to a fountain and meets a beautiful half-human, half-fairy named Melusine. At first he thinks she is some kind of "diabolical creation", but she convinces him that she is a servant of God and that she will help him accomplish his goals. They marry on the condition that he never "follow her on a Saturday but to leave her alone in privacy.

    Everything goes well and Melusine builds a great fortress called "Lusignan" after "the latter part of her name". One day Raymondin peeked through her door and saw her snakeform. He gets mad about being lied to, but she goes crazy because he broke his oath. "Thus tragically betrayed, Melusine assumed the form of a serpent and flew around her namesake castle of Lusignan, as a public warning to those who would violate an oath." She vowed that she would only return when the rightful owner of the fortress appeared.

    Which, back to real life, was allegedly the aforementioned French duke, of course, and the evictees accepted the tale wholeheartedly.

    http://books.google.com/books?id=wvTo0fIuBIUC&printsec=frontcover#v=onepage&q&f=false


    The myth has a lot of possible inspirations for Gwyndolin. Gwyndolin as the enforcer of oaths and punisher of oath breakers, peeking through his "door" and seeing his true form, etc. Also, if it truly is an inspiration for Gwyndolin, he could have actively done something to Gwyn before he was transformed into snakelegs.

    Well, that's it, let me know what you think.
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    Re: Linking Internal and External Lore: Norse, Arthurian, and Etymology in Dark Souls

    Post by skarekrow13 on Tue Aug 21, 2012 11:41 pm

    Keep it coming. That's pretty awesome stuff. All new to me

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    Re: Linking Internal and External Lore: Norse, Arthurian, and Etymology in Dark Souls

    Post by Emergence on Wed Aug 22, 2012 1:04 am

    I like seeing this thread still active, even if I've lost time to really sit down on it. Good stuff here.


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    Re: Linking Internal and External Lore: Norse, Arthurian, and Etymology in Dark Souls

    Post by SEANB240 on Thu Aug 23, 2012 6:38 pm

    The cats from Darkroot may be related to the Welsh Arthurian "Cath Palug", a mythical giant cat that killed men by the hundreds. There is also a Celtic myth of a smaller cat deity that would hoard treasure and would kill anyone venturing to steal it, thereby adding their loot to the pile. There is another forest guardian type myth regarding a woods dominated by animals and magic, but I can't find it right now.

    The Sanctuary Guardian, while obviously a Manticorn, could be influenced by Humbaba, the monster guardian of the Cedar Forest (home of the gods), from the Epic of Gilgamesh. This would be weird, though, because Humababa's father was the Sun God. Some of the descriptions of Humbaba are very similar to the manticorn, as well as their roles. Pretty baseless speculation, but I found it interesting.


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    Re: Linking Internal and External Lore: Norse, Arthurian, and Etymology in Dark Souls

    Post by SEANB240 on Thu Aug 30, 2012 12:22 am

    This point may have already been made, or an alternative explanation already proven, but I think I might have found something neat regarding Estus.

    A while back I posted a huge wall of text explaining the Sunbros as a nod to the Mithra-worshiping Roman soldiers of ancient times. While reading a book I bought today, History of the Persian Empire by A.T. Olmstead, it contained a few things about this particular deity and its worship.

    One such thing was the
    Haoma drink, the "Averter of Death."
    This drink was known for its healing qualities, hence the nickname. It was closely associated with Mithra, the god of sunlight/god of war.

    This is massive speculation here, but just think of the nature of Estus in-game, how it glows, its relation to the Flame, etc. Then consider the above.
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    Re: Linking Internal and External Lore: Norse, Arthurian, and Etymology in Dark Souls

    Post by Siegfried. on Sat Sep 08, 2012 10:55 am

    While this is a minor point in terms of the relationship between external and internal lore (or history, in this case), I think it's worth noting that the term "Vereor nox", translated from Latin into English, is "I fear the night". It's kind of just an interesting tidbit and gives us an indication of how the Way of White thinks about its task. That is, it supports the (painfully well-established) notion that they're all about keeping the bonfires lit and the current world order in place. I think the relevance here is that the term appears to be used as an end to prayers and even social interactions, the way "umbasa" was used in Demon's Souls and the way "amen" can be used in our world.

    On an entirely different note, it appears that with the DLC, Artorias has three different swords associated with him; appropriate, given that our mythological Arthur had Caliburn, Excalibur and a small armoury of other divine weapons including both a spear and dagger. The names of those weapons escape me right now, though. This is a point that probably doesn't hold particularly significant meaning, but it's a fun little parallel.

    Sorry if this is ground that has already been trodden; this is a large thread and I'm quite new here.
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    Re: Linking Internal and External Lore: Norse, Arthurian, and Etymology in Dark Souls

    Post by SEANB240 on Sat Sep 08, 2012 4:50 pm

    Siegfried. wrote:

    On an entirely different note, it appears that with the DLC, Artorias has three different swords associated with him; appropriate, given that our mythological Arthur had Caliburn, Excalibur and a small armoury of other divine weapons including both a spear and dagger. The names of those weapons escape me right now, though. This is a point that probably doesn't hold particularly significant meaning, but it's a fun little parallel.

    Sorry if this is ground that has already been trodden; this is a large thread and I'm quite new here.

    Good point, very interesting. The Welsh Arthurian lore is so much more interesting than the more contemporary versions.

    Excalibur – King Arthur's magical warsword.
    Clarent – King Arthur's sword of peace. Also sometimes known as the sword Mordred stole and later used to kill King Arthur. Sometimes called the Coward's Blade.
    Carnwennan - King Arthur's dagger, sometimes described to shroud the user in shadow.
    Rhongomiant - King Arthur's Spear

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_magical_weapons#Arthurian_legend



    +1, Welcome to the forum!
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    Re: Linking Internal and External Lore: Norse, Arthurian, and Etymology in Dark Souls

    Post by Siegfried. on Sat Sep 08, 2012 10:56 pm

    Thank you for the warm welcome. happy

    I was just now thinking about modern interpretations of Arthur, and the 80s film Excalibur came to mind. One thing about this film is that it phrases the Welsh origin of the myth and the Christian appropriation of it as a spiritual conflict within Arthur -- "the old gods making way for the new God". This is interesting, given how the Way of White in Dark Souls is an appropriation of Christendom, but applied to a pagan pantheon and Artorias himself was a great friend of Sif. And I'm absolutely sure it's been covered in this thread that Sif is the name of a Norse goddess. Again, probably not much of relevance, but there are quite a few references in Dark Souls to other works of media. I can count references to Kurosawa's samurai films, Peter Jackson's The Lord Of The Rings, Fire Emblem, World of Warcraft and probably a few more.

    So perhaps Artorias' connection with the forest and his place as a servant of the Christian-pagan pantheon in this game is drawing upon the spiritual conflict presented in the film Excalibur? It might also have something to do with his fall and servitude to Kaathe. In Excalibur, Arthur had to choose between the ancient pagan wisdom of Merlin and the divine, faith-based power of Excalibur, and it's interesting to note that Excalibur actually acted against Arthur if he too heavily broke Christian values or the code of chivalry. Perhaps Artorias' sword was cursed in a similar manner? Who knows?

    All I can say for sure is that FromSoftware is almost certainly trolling us with its mythology and media references, albeit in the absolute best way possible.
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    Re: Linking Internal and External Lore: Norse, Arthurian, and Etymology in Dark Souls

    Post by Shkar on Sat Sep 08, 2012 11:23 pm

    Siegfried. wrote:Thank you for the warm welcome. happy

    I was just now thinking about modern interpretations of Arthur, and the 80s film Excalibur came to mind. One thing about this film is that it phrases the Welsh origin of the myth and the Christian appropriation of it as a spiritual conflict within Arthur -- "the old gods making way for the new God". This is interesting, given how the Way of White in Dark Souls is an appropriation of Christendom, but applied to a pagan pantheon and Artorias himself was a great friend of Sif. And I'm absolutely sure it's been covered in this thread that Sif is the name of a Norse goddess. Again, probably not much of relevance, but there are quite a few references in Dark Souls to other works of media. I can count references to Kurosawa's samurai films, Peter Jackson's The Lord Of The Rings, Fire Emblem, World of Warcraft and probably a few more.

    So perhaps Artorias' connection with the forest and his place as a servant of the Christian-pagan pantheon in this game is drawing upon the spiritual conflict presented in the film Excalibur? It might also have something to do with his fall and servitude to Kaathe. In Excalibur, Arthur had to choose between the ancient pagan wisdom of Merlin and the divine, faith-based power of Excalibur, and it's interesting to note that Excalibur actually acted against Arthur if he too heavily broke Christian values or the code of chivalry. Perhaps Artorias' sword was cursed in a similar manner? Who knows?

    All I can say for sure is that FromSoftware is almost certainly trolling us with its mythology and media references, albeit in the absolute best way possible.

    WHAT!?!

    Peter Jackson did NOT write The Lord of the Rings! Repent, sinner! (Just kidding, I'm assuming it was a typo of some sort?)


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    Re: Linking Internal and External Lore: Norse, Arthurian, and Etymology in Dark Souls

    Post by Siegfried. on Sat Sep 08, 2012 11:29 pm

    Of course he wrote it! lol

    I was actually referring to a visual reference from the movies -- when you do a dashing attack with a greatsword, you do a spin and a wide cut. This isn't exactly unique to the LotR films, but it very much resembles a move Aragorn pulls off at Helm's Deep. Combined with the historical accuracy of the human technologies in Peter Jackson's films and Dark Souls, it looks like a subtle reference to me.
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    Re: Linking Internal and External Lore: Norse, Arthurian, and Etymology in Dark Souls

    Post by SEANB240 on Sun Sep 09, 2012 6:08 pm

    Siegfried. wrote:Thank you for the warm welcome. happy

    I was just now thinking about modern interpretations of Arthur, and the 80s film Excalibur came to mind. One thing about this film is that it phrases the Welsh origin of the myth and the Christian appropriation of it as a spiritual conflict within Arthur -- "the old gods making way for the new God". This is interesting, given how the Way of White in Dark Souls is an appropriation of Christendom, but applied to a pagan pantheon and Artorias himself was a great friend of Sif. And I'm absolutely sure it's been covered in this thread that Sif is the name of a Norse goddess. Again, probably not much of relevance, but there are quite a few references in Dark Souls to other works of media. I can count references to Kurosawa's samurai films, Peter Jackson's The Lord Of The Rings, Fire Emblem, World of Warcraft and probably a few more.

    So perhaps Artorias' connection with the forest and his place as a servant of the Christian-pagan pantheon in this game is drawing upon the spiritual conflict presented in the film Excalibur? It might also have something to do with his fall and servitude to Kaathe. In Excalibur, Arthur had to choose between the ancient pagan wisdom of Merlin and the divine, faith-based power of Excalibur, and it's interesting to note that Excalibur actually acted against Arthur if he too heavily broke Christian values or the code of chivalry. Perhaps Artorias' sword was cursed in a similar manner? Who knows?

    All I can say for sure is that FromSoftware is almost certainly trolling us with its mythology and media references, albeit in the absolute best way possible.

    I don't know if you've played the DLC yet or not, but...

    I think you could really be onto something with Artorias's inner conflict theory and could draw some more connections with the new content. Can't spoil it here, though.
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    Re: Linking Internal and External Lore: Norse, Arthurian, and Etymology in Dark Souls

    Post by Siegfried. on Sun Sep 09, 2012 11:14 pm

    Unfortunately, I haven't played the DLC and may not get the opportunity to for some time. Good to know that I might be thinking along the right track, though.
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    Re: Linking Internal and External Lore: Norse, Arthurian, and Etymology in Dark Souls

    Post by SEANB240 on Tue Sep 18, 2012 5:26 am

    Found some very, very interesting stuff tonight. I'll start with the simple stuff:

    Big Hat Logan is Merlin:

    Emrys A Welsh name for Merlin. In some accounts, a sun-god. Occasionally identified as Llalawc, Llallogan Vyrdin or Myrddin.

    http://www.mythologydictionary.com/welsh-mythology.html

    Because of the description of him as a wild man and seer living in the forests of Southern Scotland he is sometimes identified with Myrddin Wyllt, the prototype for the wizard Merlin of Arthurian legend.[2] Myrddin is particularly associated with the Battle of Arfderydd in Cumberland (now Cumbria) and the area just to the north, over the border in modern Scotland. Myrddin fought for the losing side and after the battle went insane.
    In the Welsh text Cyfoesi Myrddin a Gwenddydd ei Chwaer (The Conversation of Merlin and Gwendydd his sister), Gwenddydd refers to Merlin as Llallawg and its diminutive Llallogan. A.O.H. Jarman also associates Llallogan ~ Laloiken with the primitive character Myrddin Wyllt that would give birth to the Arthurian Character Merlin.[3] There was also a late-15th-century story Lailoken and Kentigern which states: "...some say he was called Merlynum".

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lailoken

    Sen's Fortress is a nod to Syn of Norse myth: (Think we already knew this one)

    Syn: "the denier": a goddess who guards gates and doorways against those who should not enter.

    http://paganandproudofit.com/norse.html

    While we're at it, from the Prose Edda...

    Ganglere asked: Which are the goddesses?

    ...The eighth is Lofn, who is kind and good to those who call upon her, and she has permission from Alfather or Frigg to bring together men and women, no matter what difficulties may stand in the way; therefore "love" is so called from her name, and also that which is much loved by men.

    The ninth is Var. She hears the oaths and troths that men and women plight to each other. Hence such vows are called vars, and she takes vengeance on those who break their promises.

    ...The eleventh is Syn, who guards the door of the hall, and closes it against those who are not to enter. In trials she guards those suits in which anyone tries to make use of falsehood.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aesir-Asura_correspondence#Etymology

    I think there is enough familiar content there to raise eyebrows.



    The top goddess, though, was Frigg, Odin's wife. Another name for Odin is Alfather. Doesn't seem like such a great connection yet, but bear with me.

    Frigg and Alfather had a son, Balder. He was a great king and "lord of men", but one day an oracle foretold of his violent death. Frigg freaked out and granted him protection so that "common steel could not wound his sacred body". The Ring of Steel Protection originally belonged to King Rendal of Balder. Though Alfather Lloyd is from Thorolund, I think there could be something to this.

    I'll source and elaborate on the rest of this when I'm not dead tired.

    There is another interesting thing about Frigg and Alfather. Alfather was exiled for a time and while he was gone Frigg hooked up with a guy named Mith-Othin, who then claimed divine status and convinced the people of the land to basically blow off the other gods and not worry about the "deus ira", wrath of the gods (quoted from the Havamal). Odin came back and was pissed so he exiled both Frigg and Mith-Othin. While exiled, Mith was killed by locals of the new land, but he was able exact revenge from the grave by shrouding the area in plague. It wasn't until he was beheaded that this would end.

    I think this could possibly establish a link between Mith as Xanthous and Frigg as Fina (if not, possibly one of the other love goddesses from the Norse pantheon). Xanthous was Occult, therefor against the gods, and also has a relation to the Great Swamp (plague infested) due to his pyromancy. If you trade his crown to Snuggly, you get a Ring of Favor and Protection, a gift from Fina. Just throwing it out there, I'll admit this one is pretty tenuous.



    Going back to Welsh Arthurian lore, there existed a cauldron which would grant restoration to life after death. It was "kindled" and "tended" by nine maidens. While we don't actually see nine Firekeepers in-game, there are exactly nine bonfires, which necessarily means they're out there somewhere.
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    Re: Linking Internal and External Lore: Norse, Arthurian, and Etymology in Dark Souls

    Post by Raem on Wed Oct 24, 2012 5:33 pm

    Very interesting and in my opinion right things here. I am now going trough the Old Testament for references, as many of the Saints from the old testament are in fact gods and heroes from the celtic and nordic mythology.
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    Re: Linking Internal and External Lore: Norse, Arthurian, and Etymology in Dark Souls

    Post by Tolvo on Thu Nov 15, 2012 2:23 pm

    Emergence I was wondering if perhaps you were interested at all in the relation of Jupiter to Artorias, based off of the name sake and world.
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    Re: Linking Internal and External Lore: Norse, Arthurian, and Etymology in Dark Souls

    Post by Emergence on Wed Nov 21, 2012 5:48 pm

    Sorry I missed this Tolvo. What have you got on that?


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