Thursday, March 8, 2012

Wolves

So I said to my mother, "Mother," I said, "Mother. what should I do a blog post on?"
And she said to me, she said, "Wolves."
The previous night we'd watch the first episode of Game of Thrones on my new Blu Ray box set and so wolves were on the brain.

Nymeria from the Television series Game of Thrones


The wolf is a prominent part of human myth and legend. Primarily they appear as adversaries or villains but in some cases as nurturers, companions or helpers. The later seems to be more popular today as seen in Game of Thrones.

Tyr and Fenrir by John Bauer.
Fenrir is a son of the trickster god Loki. The wolf is one of three creatures responsible for Ragnarok (the end of the world) when he will kill the god Odin. Tyr placed his hand in the mouth of Fenrir allowing to other gods to bind him. They were successful but Tyr lost his hand.

Lycaon becoming a wolf by Bernard Picart
Lycaon was the king of Arcadia but he foolishly sought to deceive Zeus, king of the gods, by serving him the flesh of his own son. As punishment Zeus turned Lycaon into a wolf creating the first lycanthrope or werewolf.

Moonlight Wolf by Frederic Remington

Shepherd Wolf by Gustave Doré
An interpretation of the saying "A Wolf in Sheep's Clothing" which comes from the line in the bible (New Testament), "Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep's clothing but inwardly are ravenous wolves." (Matthew 7.15).

Red Riding Hood and Wolf by Trina Schart Hyman
And of course there's the menacing wolf from the well know fairy tale Red Riding Hood.

Catherine's Wolf by Adrienne Segur
Now this seems to be our first picture of a benevolent wolf, however, something about the way he's looking at her is a little suss to me. Maybe I've just been brainwashed by all the red riding hood propaganda.

Spirit Wolf by Miskis (Source)
Much of Native American culture consider the wolf to be a teacher or brother, who shows the way beyond death. This is quite similar to the role of the Dire Wolves in Game of Thrones in which the wolves are companions and protectors to the Stark children.

Angua by Paul Kidby
Another werewolf but this time a character from Terry Pratchett's Discworld series. Angua may be a werewolf but she's also a Sergeant of the Watch aka she's a cop.

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