Tuesday, April 12, 2011
Tolkien and the Prose Edda
There were a few similarities between Prose Edda and Tolkien's works that I found that may seem obvious, but they weren't mentioned in class so I figured I'd mention them now. One thing I noticed is that there's another hierarchy of gods; in The Silmarillion there is "One" above all else: Eru ("The One") (AKA Iluvatar?) and in the Prose Edda the highest and oldest god is Alfather. Each god also has multiple names; Eru has at least two while Alfather has twelve(!). The story in the Prose Edda also talked about ages that had passed (the "golden age" if I'm remembering correctly), while the passing of ages is an important theme in Lord of the Rings (and consequently, The Hobbit as well). Also, did anyone else notice that both the story in the Prose Edda and Lord of the Rings/The Hobbit use lays or verses? I felt that they served to advance the respective stories in a way that normal text may not have been able to do. The ideas that Tolkien gained from studying other mythologies helped him to make a mythology that could qualify as a real mythology, in my opinion.