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42

Made for TV, intended to be a one off character, but expanded to more when the studio wanted a spin off from Hercules. Xena was originally conceived to die at the end of the third episode, "Unchained Heart", but when the studio decided they wanted to do a spin-off from Hercules, the producer Robert Tapert said that Xena was the best choice, since she was ...


35

The earliest magical sword I could find was Asi, from the Mahabharata The sword Asi, the first sword ever created, was supposedly made by Brahma (the creator of the universe in the Mahabharata) in a fire sacrifice ritual next to the Himalaya, as a tool for the Devas to fight back against the Asuras. It was a sentient weapon, derived from a being described ...


32

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 situated into her stories. These characters appeared on and off for more than 20 years before Stan Lee and Marvel, in the 1960s, decided to create a godly ...


29

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, the child-devouring albino demon Pale Man, del Toro started with an idea of an old man with sagging skin. “There was also this thing that I had as a ...


24

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 side. And when they were at the water side, even fast by the bank hoved a little barge with many fair ladies in it, and among them all was a queen, and all ...


24

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 wikipedia: c. 700–1000 CE (date of poem), c. 975–1010 CE (date of manuscript) As readable on Project Gutenburg (chapters XXIII - XXIV), Beowulf goes to slay ...


24

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 them in olden times. It is now easy to understand why a savage should desire to partake of the flesh of an animal or man whom he regards as divine. By eating the ...


18

There are very few examples, one of which is Aeneas: a Trojan hero, the son of the prince Anchises and the goddess Aphrodite. The Wikipedia article on demigods gives a good cultural explanation as to why there were not many: The fact that male deities of Greek myth had far more notable children with mortals than the female goddesses can be ...


17

Copy and pasted from How Many Creatures did J.R.R. Tolkien Invent for Middle-earth?: It’s hard to say how many of the creatures in the various Tolkien books were actual creatures of his own invention. Even Hobbits bear some strong resemblances to certain types of fairy-creatures: they live in hills, they are diminutive in size, they can disappear quickly, ...


17

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 explains, The Jorogumo is a mythical creature from Japanese folklore whose name translates as ‘prostitute spider’. The name is now used to denote particular ...


17

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 chariot and his two magical goats: Toothgnasher and Toothgrinder. They do not appear in the Marvel Cinematic Universe because it isn't necessary that they do. ...


16

There is no direct basis for the Destroyer in Norse mythology. However, I can make the case that it is consistent with it. First, how many minor gods and goddesses are extant in this pantheon? Wikipedia suggests forty or more, and some of the sagas and eddas hint that the real number is far higher. Add in all the other not-quite-divine supernatural beings ...


16

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 the foundations of the Nordic Ljosalfar and the Celtic Tuatha De Danann/Tylwyth Teg. In all of these cultures, the original myths depict these folks as mighty ...


15

It's a yes and no answer, as the other user postulated. At various times, they've been portrayed as different dimensions, and as aspects of the same dimension. All are related to the tree Yggdrasil. The tree is central to Norse mythology, and is depicted as having three roots. Marvel iteration Each of the roots connects to a different level of realms. ...


15

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 that approximates ''Dark Father.'' Vader's original name is Anakin Skywalker. Anakin is a variation on a race of giants in Genesis, and Skywalker is an ...


15

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 essentially been obliterated by the Norman conquest. Of course, Tolkien appreciated the Arthur legends at a certain level--he even began an alliterative work ...


15

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 confirmed that the name was invented. The other things I recall from such discussions include that tieflings, the evil equivalent, were developed first, and the ...


15

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 would be saved. Some believe that emulating the pain and suffering of this death increases the state of Grace in the world and lubricates the way to heaven or the ...


15

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 and spreading knowledge. This continued until the dwarfs Fjalar and Galar killed Kvasir and drained him of his blood. The two mixed his blood with honey, ...


14

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 "vorpal" is an adjective often used to describe bladed weapons in games such as D&D (though this usage was again taken from Carroll's poem). Some of these words,...


14

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 sword making and metallurgy was in fact a magical process." This is reinforced by claims made in this paper (top of page 9), which seems to know what it is ...


14

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 spirit and a very large dog. If you want real world parallels, you can image-search foo dogs - they are the giant guardian statues in some Asian cultures, ...


13

Too Long, Didn't Read The Nine Realms aren't situated solely in SPACE. From our perspective, Midgard is the entire reality of three dimensional (four if you count time) space-time we inhabit. Asgard and its assorted realms are not in the same dimensional space, maybe not even in the same universe as Earth (Midgard). Any action which gives that impression ...


13

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 same question perhaps, but thought I'd drop it here just in case.


13

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 undisputed. If you are asking for the male counterpart to queens, here is the word of God - interview with Butcher According to him, there are in fact two "kings" ...


12

How about The Magic Thread ? Appears to be a French tale/fable from an anonymous author. Tells the story of Peter who could never live in the moment. He liked to wander in the forest. One day he meets a very old woman. She offers him a a silver ball from which dangles a golden thread. Turns out the 'thread' is his life thread. He's told that he can ...


12

No, the Destroyer has no direct mythological connection or mythological corresponding agent in the Norse legends. The Destroyer and the eventual return of the Celestials may have been considered a type of Ragnarök, the Twilight of the Gods and may be considered an allegory for that event. The Destroyer was created as a threat capable of being a challenge to ...


11

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 tendencies toward depression from quite young. It became really acute when I was sort of twenty-five to twenty-eight was a dark time. It’s that absence of feeling – ...


11

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 place that's solid owned, lived in and guarded by a whole bunch of warrior angels... Major treshold = Major Foo dog


11

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. Most notably the mortal Cyric who kills the god Bhaal and becomes a god himself. This story is central to the Baldur's Gate series of RPG computer games, ...


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