In the Companions Quartet by Julia Golding, the primary antagonist is Kullervo, an insubstantial, shapeshifting force of evil, bent on destroying humanity for the good of magical and non-magical non-human species: a supernatural eco-terrorist of sorts.

He shares a name with the abused, incestuous, hapless character from the Kalevala. However, the Kullervo from the Companions Quartet is (apparently) an extradimensional, formless entity that was never human, whereas the character from the Kalevala was human, and would be long deceased by the time of the Companions Quartet (having committed suicide). Nonetheless, it seems that there must be a connection.

Why does Kullervo have that particular name?

  • Is he somehow the Kullervo from the Kalevala?
  • Did humans name him after the Kullervo from the Kalevala?

Or is there some other explanation altogether?


1 Answer 1


Who better to quote than Julia Golding herself.

In short, it was from the Kalevala but "set loose to take new form".

For her characters she borrowed creatures from all mythologies and has tried to re-envision them into her universe. Golding's Kullervo was originally a creature who could speak on behalf of all mythical creatures, this lead her to Kullervo from the Kalevala. Another reason she chose Kullervo was what it's name suggested.

Email from Julia Golding

My series has borrowed mythical creatures from all over the world and reimagined them in my universe. When looking for a powerful creature who could speak on the behalf of mythical creatures, I decided I needed someone who got a bad deal in traditional story telling and Kullervo fitted the role (not an ideal upbringing and being labelled 'evil' so early on). The name also suggests 'Kill' which is a good sound. So in response to your questioner, it was from the Kalevala but then set loose to take new form for the purposes of the story in which he appears.

Best wishes


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