64 votes
Accepted

In American Gods, is there another version of the gods in their native lands?

In the appendix to the novel, it's made clear that people carry their gods with them and that when they alight in a new place, those gods are made anew in the image of the old god. There's an Odin in ...
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  • 621k
32 votes
Accepted

Why do Marvel prefer Norse Gods and DC the Greek pantheon?

The short answer seems to be that while none of the various gods are copyrighted, DC got there first, in the 1940s, with their depiction of Wonder Woman and the (more familiar) Greek gods that were ...
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  • 621k
31 votes

In American Gods, is there another version of the gods in their native lands?

When the gods came to America, they did not leave their original lands. Depending how you look at it, the gods either sent a version of themselves abroad, or they left versions of themselves behind. ...
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  • 88.2k
29 votes
Accepted

Is the "Pale Man" from Pan's Labyrinth based on any mythological character?

From an Article titled "In his new book, 'Cabinet of Curiosities,' director Guillermo del Toro reveals the inspiration behind his monstrous creations": For what’s considered his signature creation, ...
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24 votes
Accepted

Was the ending of The Return of the King inspired by some other story?

It seems extremely likely that the ending was inspired by the story of the Death of Arthur; from Le Morte d'Arthur: Then Sir Bedivere took the king upon his back, and so went with him to that water ...
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24 votes

Is there a real-world mythological counterpart to WoW's "kill your gods for power" theme?

I believe at the root of this is the notion of "that which you eat you will gain the strength/speed/inteligence/power of." Draining the power of Gods in WoW would be the equivalent of eating ...
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23 votes

What is the first known work of fantasy or legend to feature a magic sword?

There are almost certainly much older examples, but this was the one I first thought of- slightly older than the stories of Excalibur: The sword Beowulf uses to kill Grendel's mother. According to ...
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22 votes
Accepted

Did Lewis Carroll make up these creatures?

Yes, the words are all made up. The Jabberwock, Bandersnach, and Jubjub Bird are all Carroll's creations. However, some of these words (notably "galumphing") have begun to enter actual usage, and "...
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20 votes
Accepted

What is the meaning of Tolkien regarding the legend of King Arthur?

Being a philologist, Tolkien viewed Anglo-Saxon as the original source of English culture, and thus the correct source for any truly English mythology. It frustrated him that Anglo-Saxon mythology had ...
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  • 4,233
19 votes

Did Gaiman make up "Loki Skywalker", or does he have a source for it?

I found this reference in a New York Times article from 1997, some 4 years before American Gods was published. Darth Vader: Mr. Lucas went back to the Dutch root for father to arrive at a name ...
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  • 621k
18 votes
Accepted

Did wizards of the coast invent aasimars?

The term "aasimar" was invented solely by TSR. The Oxford English Dictionary does not list it, and I also recall Usenet discussions with some Planescape designers and/or play testers where it was ...
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  • 86.6k
17 votes
Accepted

Spider demon in Japanese folklore that feeds on human beings

This sounds like Jorōgumo This yokai is typically depicted as being a seductive female who lures men close before revealing its spider-like body and eating its victim. As Mythical Creatures List ...
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  • 133k
17 votes
Accepted

Why are Tolkien’s Elves tall?

Actually, the first "Fair Folk" archetypes in Northern European myth were all tall. In fact they were described as much taller and physically more impressive than humans. Tolkien built his Elves on ...
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  • 186
17 votes

Why don't Thor's goats appear in the MCU?

Thor Odinson's goats do appear in the comic Marvel Universe. Recently when he lost access to Mjolnir (which in the Marvel Universe is how he gains the power of flight) he was forced to return to his ...
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15 votes

In the Dresden Files, why does Nicodemus Archleone find Mouse so startling/threatening?

Mouse, as a Foo Dog, is a scion. In human terms in the Dresdenverse, that usually means half-mortal, half-supernatural, or some other mix like that. In this case, Mouse is a mix of a divine guardian ...
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  • 34.2k
15 votes

Is there a real-world mythological counterpart to WoW's "kill your gods for power" theme?

There is an elephant in the room which I am going to address. Yes, there is an example. Christianity. You may have heard of it. Christianity believes that through the death of their god, humanity ...
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  • 22.1k
15 votes

Is there a real-world mythological counterpart to WoW's "kill your gods for power" theme?

The story of Kvasir comes to mind. In Norse mythology, Kvasir was a being born of the saliva of the Æsir and the Vanir, two groups of gods. Extremely wise, Kvasir traveled far and wide, teaching ...
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  • 151
14 votes

What is the first known work of fantasy or legend to feature a magic sword?

I can beat Asi by 2599 years with a fairly boring answer. Wikipedia states (without citation) that "It is probable that the roots of the sentient weapon myths stem from ancient peoples belief that ...
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  • 4,539
13 votes

Story about space travelers who stumble across an alien civilization only to realize it is heaven and God has gone insane

This question sounded really familiar to me and I tracked down where from: The PrintSF subreddit "The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay" was the answer posted there. This looks to be your ...
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13 votes

Inspiration for the Dementors

Out-of-universe, Dementors were an avatar for Depression: Winfrey: So you became depressed after your mother died? Rowling: Yes, but I think it was a kind of delayed – I think I had ...
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  • 24.5k
13 votes

Who is Oberon in the Dresden-verse?

I think you asking it from the wrong angle: if there would be "Oberon" HE would be a consort to Mab or Titania, akin to Prince Philip to Queen Elisabeth - both queens hold the power tightly and ...
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  • 28.5k
12 votes

In the Dresden Files, why does Nicodemus Archleone find Mouse so startling/threatening?

A quick word of "god/Jim" about mouse Basically: Foo dogs gain strength based on what treshold they are set to guard. At that point in the story, Mouse is garding the Carpenter's home. You know, the ...
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  • 121
11 votes
Accepted

Is there a real-world mythological counterpart to WoW's "kill your gods for power" theme?

In previous fantasy, there's lots of examples, for example from the D&D Forgotten Realms setting from 1990s. During The Time of Troubles, mortals kill gods, in some cases to steal their powers. ...
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  • 5,219
11 votes

Science fiction/Mythology story/author that may have been in the back of a Michael Moorcock book

Note: this answer is incorrect; it's a short story called "The Stone Thing" by Moorcock himself, in Elric at the End of Time. See my other answer. I thought this was Randall Garett's ...
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  • 7,850
11 votes
Accepted

Do the Norse gods exist in Star Trek?

In a word, yes. The Norse gods are (for the most part) assumed to be mythical in the series and EU novels, but in the ToS Novel Gods Above we encounter the "Old Father" a powerful godlike ...
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  • 621k
10 votes

Did Gaiman make up "Loki Skywalker", or does he have a source for it?

Loki had many appellations including: Lokimotion, Loptr, Loke, the Sly One, the Trickster, the Shape Changer, and the Sky Traveler. It is this last one I suspect Gaiman is using license and changing ...
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10 votes
Accepted

French folklore: giants trying to raise a ladder into Heaven to overthrow God

There's a reference to La Crau (or rather the plain of La Crau) in the catchily titled 'Remarks on several parts of Europe, relating chiefly to their antiquities and history : collected upon the spot ...
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  • 621k
10 votes
Accepted

Which of the Eternals were based on mythological characters?

Sersi: Circe, Greek enchantress Ikaris: Icarus, Greek who flew too close to the sun Thena: Athena, Greek goddess of wisdom Ajak: ? Ajax — a hero of Homer’s Iliad & Trojan War. In Homer's Iliad he ...
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9 votes

Did Lewis Carroll make up these creatures?

Yes, the words are all made up. If the subject interests you, you MUST find a copy of "The Annotated Alice". You'll find an amazing variety of information, such as a summary of the chess game which ...
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