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Franz Klug

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2-5-2022 10:00 AM

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The proposed essay aims at comparing J.R.R. Tolkien’s Nazgûl and barrow-wights with the white walkers (also known as “the Others”) and wights from George R.R. Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire. To begin with, the folkloric/mythological templates for these sub-created monsters would be scrutinized. The introductory ascription of source material would be followed by an analysis of these creatures as horror monsters and gothic elements within the fantasy worlds of Tolkien and Martin. This analysis would also be linked to addressing the question of how the gothic/horror genre influenced the fantasy worlds of both authors, and as in how far the scenes relating to these creatures could be viewed as instances of (gothic) horror within these fantasy novels. Additionally, the essay at hand would follow up on the originally planned but later dispensed with connection between barrow-wights and Ringwraiths in Tolkien’s work and would propose that the two creatures are nonetheless still congeneric, the Ringwraiths being a special kind of barrow-wight bound not by the treasure of a hoard but by Sauron’s rings. Finally, the essay would inspect the symbolic significance and function of these horror monsters, pursuing the question what they might represent when viewed as motifs commenting on key themes within the novels of Tolkien and Martin.

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Host: Diane Fitzsimmons

Tech Mod: Cait Rottler

Franz Klug is currently a PhD student at Friedrich Schiller University Jena (Germany), where he had previously studied English and worked as a tutor for English Medieval Studies between 2016 and 2020. He also studied English at the UZH (Switzerland), as well as Art at the Bauhaus University Weimar. His research interests include the linguistic and artistic components of literary worldbuilding and the works of Shakespeare, Tolkien, Martin, and Joyce.

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Feb 5th, 10:00 AM

White Shadows, Black Riders and Restless Wights: Undead Horror Monsters in the Fantasy Worlds of J.R.R. Tolkien and George R.R. Martin

The proposed essay aims at comparing J.R.R. Tolkien’s Nazgûl and barrow-wights with the white walkers (also known as “the Others”) and wights from George R.R. Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire. To begin with, the folkloric/mythological templates for these sub-created monsters would be scrutinized. The introductory ascription of source material would be followed by an analysis of these creatures as horror monsters and gothic elements within the fantasy worlds of Tolkien and Martin. This analysis would also be linked to addressing the question of how the gothic/horror genre influenced the fantasy worlds of both authors, and as in how far the scenes relating to these creatures could be viewed as instances of (gothic) horror within these fantasy novels. Additionally, the essay at hand would follow up on the originally planned but later dispensed with connection between barrow-wights and Ringwraiths in Tolkien’s work and would propose that the two creatures are nonetheless still congeneric, the Ringwraiths being a special kind of barrow-wight bound not by the treasure of a hoard but by Sauron’s rings. Finally, the essay would inspect the symbolic significance and function of these horror monsters, pursuing the question what they might represent when viewed as motifs commenting on key themes within the novels of Tolkien and Martin.

Mythcon 52: The Mythic, the Fantastic, and the Alien

Albuquerque, New Mexico; July 29 - August 1, 2022
https://www.mythsoc.org/mythcon/mythcon-52.htm

Mythcon Conference
 

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