9

I was originally going to title this "Is Elric the last incarnation of the Eternal Champion?" but decided to ask something more limited and maybe build towards that.

Some incarnations of the Eternal Champion, such as John Daker aka Erekosë, are able to remember other incarnations. This suggests that incarnations are in some sort of subjective sequence threaded through the multiverse.

Elric of Melniboné cannot remember any other incarnations (although there are episodes where he temporarily becomes a different one, and his companion Moonglum does remember past Companions). However, a unique thing happens to Elric at the end of the novel Stormbringer:

Elric, the entire world having dissolved into chaos around him, blows the Horn of Roland during the Conjunction of the Thousand Spheres, allowing the multiverse to begin again. Having done that, Elric's sword Stormbringer comes to life on its own and runs itself through Elric, sucking out his soul as it has done to so many others when Elric wielded it.

Michael Moorcock isn't precise about what the essence of the Eternal Champion is, but

Elric's soul, which Stormbringer devoured, has got to be a strong candidate.

In light of what happened at the end of Stormbringer, I could see where Elric might necessarily be the "last" incarnation, so there are no incarnations "after" Elric to remember being him.

Of course, evidence of a different aspect of the Eternal Champion who remembered being Elric would invalidate this theory.

Daker is the aspect who seems to remember the most past lives, but as far as I can tell he doesn't remember being Elric.

1
  • Been a long, long time since I read the books, but as I remember it the whole "Eternal Champion" cycle could be thought to have ended with "The Quest for Tanelorn". I think Hawkmoon was the only Champion left standing at the end of that one...? Apr 2 '20 at 18:53
3

I'm lead to believe that the issue cannot be resolved in terms of linear time. In the vanishing tower, which I tend to quote because

there we see an encounter between Elric, Corum and a nameless Champion that we are to call Erekosë

Corum specifically says that

he is from a time and a place which are not related to that of Elric.

In the Multiverse forums we see radical theories of advance physics applied to the Moorcock multiverse: time isn't linear, time is circular-ish (with some events taking place multiple times), there are accumulation points in the fabric of the multidimensional reality (where events can only happen once at all - see Tanelorn, or the Tower of Voilodion Ghagnasdiak) and humanoids are only able to sense some of these dimensions, that are only linear because of there scope (think of a sphere: if you are small enough and close enough to the sphere, you may think it is a plane).

So, let's pick up from the episode you quote. John Darker, who might or might not be Erekosë himself (The vanishing tower is vague here), Duke Dorian Hawkmoon von Köln, why should they be set "before"? The list of Ethernal Champions is long, some are living on our Earth (or a version of it in the Multiverse) and I'm pretty sure that (but I may stand corrected)

our Earth is born out of the death of Elric

So, if you look at it under this light, and if we account for the related question, Elric looks more as one of the many incarnation of the Eternal Champions who has no idea of the many re-incarnations, rather than the last.

To answer the question in your title, in The Vanishing Tower, the third Ethernal Champion who is neither Corum nor Elric at first says:

"But I know you!" Then proceeds to despair because he know he is or was Elric, but is now confused about who he is now. He also says he is Elric of Melniboné.

2
  • This is the answer, but there are a bunch of typos.
    – Spencer
    Jan 12 at 23:46
  • Please be my guest if you'd like to fix them :D I'll take no offense whatsoever. To this day, English sometimes defeats me. Jan 13 at 9:02

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.