Now, those of you who follow the blog fairly closely might remember when I discussed my lack of appreciation for mythical beasts-- centaurs, satyrs, hydras, etc. I just don't find them all that compelling as a writer. Yes, I did write a story for Ariadne and the Minotaur in Crete. It was an exception, and really, the more fascinating element to me was Ariadne's struggle against Minos. But the problem is, that lack of appreciation for GREEK mythical beasts and monsters? It totally extends to things like Orcs, Goblins, Trolls, Elves, Fairies, etc. Some people can write them well, and make them interesting to me, but for the most part, I'm just not interested in digging into that myself. Elves are too perfect, Goblins and Orcs and Trolls are too boringly evil, it's just all been done and done-over, I don't have anything new to contribute. In fact, I even swore to myself I'd never write fantasy of that nature.
Now I'm writing an Orc Romance.
I'm not entirely sure why I'm doing this to myself. The what-if kind of took over my brain, I guess. But the end result is that I'm meditating on the semi-fluid definition of what makes an Orc an Orc.
|this ogre is totally Cyclops-esque|
|Polyphemus, the cyclops from the Odyssey (Roman Fresco)|
But isn't that the nature of dark things moving beyond our sight? That what we imagine them to be is often worse than the truth of what they are? An Ogre or a Cyclops has no real redemption. It is what it is, and it is bound by its nature and, in the case of the Cyclops, the gods. But Tolkien's Orcs are something else. They were, once, all that was good and beautiful.
Why didn't he ever use that?
Or maybe the better question is: Can I?
We'll find out shortly, I guess! Orc Romance, here I come.