Created By: Generality on October 21, 2012
We know a lot about wind as a superpower or a dramatic device. This is about wind as a motif. Wind is an complex and duplicitous phenomenon. It's invisible, yet its presence is easily detected. It can't be grabbed or manipulated, but it can affect the environment in a huge way. Only very recently has science devised the means to predict its motions with even the slightest accuracy. Because of this seemingly contradictory and mystifying nature, wind is often used, in religion and fantasy, as a representation of the unseen realm. Wind swirling in places where there should be none is a common sign of supernatural activity. It carries the voices of the damned, moans out of caves like cursed breath, and lingers over persons and things that have some connection with the other world. It will often be connected with birds and other flying things, for either good or ill. It's commonly controlled by supernatural entities, but especially the divine, and is associated with the sky, since that is where it comes from. In this case, it tends to be depicted as a heavenly blue rather than the more prosaic green.
- According to The Silmarillion, the leader of the Valar is Manwë, lord of air, who resides atop a huge mountain. His colour is blue, and he commands the loyalty of birds, especially the great eagles, who both bring him news and occasionally perform errands in Middle-Earth on his behalf.
- The Lord of the Rings also uses wind occasionally to tell the story. It is often the harbinger of a supernatural threat ("There are fell voices on the air"), and when Boromir dies, the remaining Fellowship compose a dirge in which they ask the winds for tidings of him, in a manner reminiscent of Classical Mythology (see below). In the film adaptation, the Paths of the Dead manifest first as an angry breath from the cave mouth, then as spectral hands in the air, which Gimli tries humorously to blow away.
- Classical Mythology has the gods of the four winds, who each have different characteristics, especially Zephyr, of the gentle west wind, and Eurus of the east wind, considered unlucky. The superstition against the east wind is referenced in much later literature, such as The Lord of the Rings, above, and the Sherlock Holmes story, "His Last Bow": "There's an east wind coming, Watson."
- The Legend of Zelda series often references the wind and the sky, with increasing emphasis on sky-dwellers, known as the Wind Tribe in The Minish Cap, and Link can get help from birds in some fashion in almost every game. The cake is taken, though, by Wind Waker, which is obvious enough from the title; it features wind control as a central mechanic, has two wind gods that help Link out, and wind is often referenced with regard to spiritual events, as well as by Ganondorf when he explains his Freudian Excuse.
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