The Finnish story that inspired Tolkien- an idea I had:

Total posts: [43]
1 2
Aussie Tolkien freak
Tolkien was inspired by the Kalevala, the Finnish national epic. One particular story he liked was the tale of Kullervo, which he retold loosely as the tale of Turin Turambar. I have an idea about writing a Gothic version of the story, with some horror elements. The way in which Kullervo takes revenge on Ilmarinen's wife is very similar to ''Carrie".

Anyway, what I thought was that maybe our anti-hero's an Artificial Human and freaks out his Luddite uncle by his existence, so his uncle gives him away and he grows up with his foster parents (Ilmarinen and his wife) who adopted him as a slave, and frequently set him "trials" as a form of education in magic. They're not outright cruel, but they believe that since he's artificial, and a slave he should know his place, and so they, especially his foster mother, treat him differently from their biological children.

Somehow, he finds out about his presumed-dead biological parents and how he was created, and leaves the place after snapping and taking horrific revenge on one of his foster parents' workers.. then some weeks after he arrives, he discovers why he was taken in. Kullervo means "Pearl of Combat" so maybe his family wanted a "child" (but not a "natural" child) who would uphold their honour against the Evil Overlord (who's a woman, and actually our protagonist's aunt).

edited 9th Apr '13 5:03:13 AM by MorwenEdhelwen

The road goes ever on.
Aussie Tolkien freak
The fascinating thing about this legend, IMO, is just why Ilmarinen's wife hates Kullervo.
The road goes ever on.
Sounds cool. Go and write it
Aussie Tolkien freak
How would I find a name for a character in the original who was originally unnamed? Could I use a name someone else was going to use Eg. Tolkien thought of naming Kullervo's sister Kivutar= Maiden of Pain. I'd want to use it.
The road goes ever on.
Pick a name you like and use it
6 peccantis1st Apr 2013 10:44:43 PM , Relationship Status: Pining for the fjords
the flies will find you
Btw, Kullervo doesn't mean Pearl of Combat, it's a separate name that Untamo, master of Kullervo's mother, called the boy. (Btw if you're interested the Finnish version of the name Pearl of Combat translates directly to "a noble one for war".)

And yes, Kullervo's tale would make for excellent themes for a Gothic horror story... The circumstances of his birth, his childhood and youth as a slave/servant and his mistress's target, the circumstances that led to the rape of his sister specifically, his dedication to war, and the whole Ukko's sword thing. Go for it.

edited 1st Apr '13 10:49:13 PM by peccantis

before the darkness arrives
7 MorwenEdhelwen3rd Apr 2013 04:20:01 AM from Sydney, Australia
Aussie Tolkien freak
@peccantis: Really? I didn't know that! What is the Finnish name that translates as "Pearl Of Combat" ? And what does Kullervo mean? I read somewhere that it has something to do with the Finnish word for gold, "kulta". Does it?

edited 3rd Apr '13 10:22:06 PM by MorwenEdhelwen

The road goes ever on.
8 MorwenEdhelwen3rd Apr 2013 05:51:51 PM from Sydney, Australia
Aussie Tolkien freak
And also, what is something that's abusive but not obvious as child abuse? That is, not something that screams "child abuse", outside of severe corporal punishment like a beating which leaves bruises, which someone would be suspicious about?

edited 4th Apr '13 3:21:08 AM by MorwenEdhelwen

The road goes ever on.
9 MorwenEdhelwen4th Apr 2013 03:21:24 AM from Sydney, Australia
Aussie Tolkien freak
And also, is the Maiden of The North some kind of minor goddess? From my research into Finnish mythology, I found references to beautiful maidens who were daughters of the sun, moon, North Star, and Great Bear constellations. These women were weavers who sat on rainbows, weaving gold cloth. In fact, in my draft version, the Maiden is called Tahetar, (Daughter of The Stars, or Star-Daughter).

edited 4th Apr '13 3:27:47 PM by MorwenEdhelwen

The road goes ever on.
10 Lockedbox4th Apr 2013 03:42:43 AM from Australia , Relationship Status: YOU'RE TEARING ME APART LISA
Plenty of other actions count as abuse, many of which more phsycologically damaging than straight forward physical abuse. Withholding food or water, or only providing food water and shelter in exchange for labour. Perhaps deliberately preventing him from having an education in order to ensure compliance with his 'parents' wishes. Inappropriate (not necessarily sexual, but it can be) touching or verbal abuse. Withholding clothing or amenities. Withholding clothing in order to prevent him from leaving a specific area or forcing him to go without clothing or another such thing in order to suffer humiliation in a public place. Confining him against his will for an unscrupulous purpose. Deliberately giving him tainted food or water, or letting him go without medical treatment when sick or injured. failure to provide adequate nutrition. Forcing him go without human contact for extended lengths of time. Knowingly exposing him to hazards, such as biological wastes.

That's pretty much all that comes to my mind right now, hope it helped.
11 MorwenEdhelwen4th Apr 2013 04:24:51 AM from Sydney, Australia
Aussie Tolkien freak
[up] Those ideas are really good, thanks! Especially the "food in exchange for labour" one. It's exactly what a slave owner would do.

edited 4th Apr '13 4:29:02 PM by MorwenEdhelwen

The road goes ever on.
12 MorwenEdhelwen4th Apr 2013 04:29:08 PM from Sydney, Australia
Aussie Tolkien freak
Also, I planned for the foster mother, the Maiden, to be Yupik.

The following Inuit story is similar to the Kullervo legend:

The hero is sometimes called Kaujjarjuk.

edited 4th Apr '13 10:59:34 PM by MorwenEdhelwen

The road goes ever on.
13 peccantis5th Apr 2013 09:42:40 AM , Relationship Status: Pining for the fjords
the flies will find you
Hm, for a Kalevala feel, four syllables for something like Pearl of Combat... it's not an easy task... (Po C is an excellent translation for sotijalo IMHO). Taiston helmi would be the idiot-proof direct translation but has the mood of a kenning for "droplet of blood" and needs to be written separately. I guess you could use it if Sotijalo won't do it for you or you need to have the word for pearl in it.

"Kullervo" has no explicit meaning AFAIK but is similar to dialect words "kullerva" or "kullertava", for "of gold-like hue" or "of hue approaching gold", and shares the root of kult-, for gold. In the Kalevala, Kullervo's mentioned to have golden-yellow hair.


And also, what is something that's abusive but not obvious as child abuse? — which someone would be suspicious about?

(I'm no expert.) Depends on the age of the child... Up to ages 9-10 generalisation is an universal trait for kids, in good things and bad. Whatever they experience home sets their standard for the rest of their life spheres. A kid abused at home will think it's the way things work, and will expect all adults are like their parents. This is where the eerie stories of sexually abused kids displaying themselves in obviously sexual ways to doctors or such comes from. A simple thing is to make a child exaggeratedly afraid of upsetting an adult. Define the abuse they experience clearly, and base everything on that.

To add to what Lockedbox said, psychological abuse can be as simple as a one-sided row with a parent and a child. The parent could even not be blaming or demanding (Mama could be ranting about something that Dad's done, for instance, or the taxes, anything really), but an adult being loud and angry, especially suddenly, can be very scary for a kid.


The Maiden of The Northland was the daughter of Pohjan Akka // Old Woman/Mistress of The Northland, who was a mighty woman who apparently knew some magic, something like a downplayed witch queen. The daughter was far famous for her beauty and skills, something like a famed princess so to say (although with far greater value as a mistress of a house and leader of all domestic work). AFAIK she was not related to the Tähettäret. It's a good name for her though, a revered princess like her would surely be compared to the celestial maidens, both in flattery and awe.
before the darkness arrives
14 MorwenEdhelwen5th Apr 2013 03:25:47 PM from Sydney, Australia
Aussie Tolkien freak
[up] Thanks. Those are good suggestions. After all, this story is about child abuse and slavery. It's
''unique among ancient myths for its realistic depiction of the effects of child abuse.

IMO it's impossible to write an adaptation of it without making child abuse a big part of the plot, because that's the whole point of the story, the way The Saga Of The Volsungs is about greed, pride and honour.

  • On the name Tahetar: I never thought of it that way before. That's definitely a good explanation.

Funnily, I always imagined the Northland as being in the Arctic, around Greenland, southwestern Alaska, or Siberia, which makes me think of sod houses and girls sewing with bone needles, and imagine a version of the story where some of the people of Kalevala are Karelian traders, and the people of Pohjola are indigenous Yup'ik/Yupik/Inuit, so that's what I'm working from (the Kalevalans' culture has influences from Southwestern Alaskan cultures, mostly the Aleut and Yup'ik) and some of the background is based loosely on Russian colonisation of Alaska. In some of my research I found out that Siberian Yupik people had/have a tradition of bride service, where a man who wants to marry a woman works for her family for a year. Gives a whole new meaning to the forging of the Sampo. I know it's not around Greenland or Siberia, but that's just what I think of. And actually the kid (Kullervo)'s a young teenager here. About 14.

I think I might post some extracts here.

edited 6th Apr '13 4:04:10 PM by MorwenEdhelwen

The road goes ever on.
15 peccantis6th Apr 2013 12:27:58 PM , Relationship Status: Pining for the fjords
the flies will find you
I really like the idea of a REALLY northern Northland... I think the place is most often associated with Lapland. But you know—your idea gives immense new weight for the Sampo. A magic item that churns out limitless gold, salt and grain is a huge treasure to anyone of course, but for a leader of an ice-dwelling people whose livelihood is seals, whales and fish? [awesome]
before the darkness arrives
16 MorwenEdhelwen6th Apr 2013 02:27:11 PM from Sydney, Australia
Aussie Tolkien freak
@peccantis: Thanks! Actually, now you've convinced me to post some extracts from it on here for critique. Are you (or anyone, really) willing to do it?

Also, I've been looking up stuff about the original Karelian folktale and found out that the version in which Kullervo, the orphaned shepherd boy, referred to as the "Kalova Boy", seduces his sister comes from Archangel, which was part of Karelia in the 19th century, and also that in the folk song where he kills the mistress, the tree-cutting episode happens at his master's house where the hero has been sold (the master is usually an unnamed smith or sometimes Ilmarinen) not his uncle's house. There's also a version where he goes to an island, then travels north where he gets a job as a shepherd. Usually, though, the hero in the "slept with his sister" song is somebody else, called Tuiretuinen*, Turikkainen, or even Vainamoinen's son.

  • is that a symbolic name?

Interestingly, I found one version of the text of the folk song about Kullervo and the famous cake (or bread depending on translation) incident. Can someone please translate it (I know it's really long, but can I at least know what it means, please)?

Tuo kaunis Kalervon poika

Kaupattih on Karjalaha,

Vienahan Venäjän moalla,

Kahtee kattilah ranihe,

5 Viiteh viikate kuluhe,

Kuutee kuokan ruopivohe.

Tuo kaunis Kalervon poika

Jopa noin sanoiksi virkki:

"Kulla työllä uusi orja,

10 Roavolla rahan alaini?"

Pantih lapsen katsojiksi.

"Syötä lasta, syö itseki,

Katso lasta, kaiva silmä."

Syötti lasta, söi itseki,

15 Katso lasta, kaivo silmän.

Jopa noin sanoiksi virkki:

"Kull' on työllä uusi orja.

Roavolla rahan alaini?"

Pantih nuotan soutajiksi.

20 Hänpä näin sanoiksi virkki:

"Soutanenko veän takoa,

Vain souan asun mukaha."

Vetäjä on Venarin poika,

Perimies Pelasen poika

25 Hänpä noin sanoiksi virkki:

"Mikä siitä soutajasta,

Kuin ei soua veäntakoa,

Kuin soutaa asun mukahe."

Souti hankat hajalla,

30 Levitti lesen venehen,

Katajaiset koaret katko.

Itse noin sanoiksi virkki:

"Kull' on työllä uusi orja,

Roavolla rahan alaini?"

35 Pantih häntä tarpojiksi.

Hänpä noin sanoiksi virkki:

"Tarponenko veän takoa,

Vain tarvon asun mukahan?"

Vetäjä on Venarin poika,

40 Perimies Pelosen poika,

Jop' on sanoiksi virkki:

"Mikä siit' on tarpojasta,

Kun ei tarvo veän takoa,

Kuin tarpou asun mukaha."

45 Honkan varreksi hotasi,

Pani poajen tarpomeksi,

Tarpo nuotan tappurahe,

Vejen velliksi sevotti,

Kalat liivakse litsotti,

50 Kalojah hän käsin) kantoi.

Itse noin sanoikse virkki:

"Kull' on työllä uusi orja,

Roavolla rahan alaini?

Pantih hänt' kasen ajoho.

55 Leikkai puuta kaksi, kolme,

Itse nousi kannon peähä:

"Kuni huuto kuulunohe,

Sini kaski koatukohe,

Älkä vesa venykkä,

60 Älkä kanto kasvakka,

Olen hyvän ottakka,

Vain älkä terävän tekkä

Kasessa Kalervon poijan."

Itse noin sanoiksi virkki:

65 "Kulla työllä uusi orja,

Roavolla rahan alaim?"

Pantih häntä paimeneksi,

Viijen vitan vartihaksi,

Puun kaheksan katsojaksi.

70 Mäni päivä männiköllä,

Kului päivä kuusikolla,

Vieri vehnä koivikolla,

Karkasi katajikolla.

Jo emäntä koista huusi:

75 "Aik' on syyvä uuven orjan,

Ravita rahan alaisen."

Veti veitsehe kivehe,

Karahutti kallivoho:

"Syöjätär paha emäntä,

80 Kiven leipo leipähäni,

Vehnän peälitse veteli,

Vejin veitseni kivehe,

Karahutin kallivoho."

Itse noin sanoiksi virkki:

85 "Millä maksan naisen naurun,

Naisen naurun, piian pilkan,

Emännän pahan piännän?

Millä jaksan, sillä maksan."

Jo emäntä koista huuti:

90 "Mist' on paimen pillin soanut,

Rautivo rahasen torven?"

Jätti lehmäset leholla,

Maion antajat aholla,

Hatasarvet hoavikolla,

95 Kultasarvet kuusikolla,

Ajoi köllit kotihe,

Karhut kirjokartanohe.

"Oi sie entini emäntä

Tule lehmies lypsämähe,

100 Roavahis roavittamahe,

Vaikeitas valuttamahe!"

Mäni lehmies lypsämähe,

Roavahia rovittamahe,

Vaikeita valuttamahe.

105 Susi peällä suimastihe,

Karhu peällä koamistihe,

Jalan reijestä revitti,

Keän katkoi kalovehesta,

Kiskoi karvat kinttuloista.

110 Hän noin sanoiksi virkki:

"Oi Ukko ylijumala

Eli toatto taivahini,

Nossa pilvi luotehesta,

Toini kohta koilisesta,

115 Tapa sie Kalervon poika

Rakehilla rautasilla,

Niekloilla teräsnenillä!"

Hänpä joutu kuulomassa,

Itse noin sanoiksi virkki:

120 "Oi Ukko ylijumala,

Toatto taivon valtivoija,

Nossa pilvi luotehesta,

Toini lännestä lähetä,

Vihmu vettä taivosesta,

125 Mettä pilvistä pirota,

Jott' ei tukki tulta ottais,

Vänttä veäntäisi savuo,

Suurina sotakesänä,

Vainovuonna vaikiena."

130 Kuulin minä kummempia,

Näin minä imehempiä

Hämehessä käyessäni.

Hämehess' on härkä suuri,

Sonni Suomess' lihava,

135 Ei ole härkä suuren suuri,

Eikä ole härkä pienen pieni,

Keski lehmien vasoja;

Päivän lenti peäskölintu

Härän sarvien välitse,

140 Hätäsestä peähä peäsi;

Kuun juoksi kesäorava

Härän häntäluuta myöte,

Eipä vielä peähä peässy,

Härän hännällä lepäsi,

145 Siit' on vasta peähän peäsi;

Kesän kärppä keäntelih

Yhen kyntyvön sijalla.

Etsitähkö iskijövä,

Tahotahko tappajoa.

150 Läksi ukko iskemähe,

Palvani pitelemähe,

Virokannas viilemähe.

Härkä peätä heiluhutti,

Mussat silmät muljahutti.

155 Ukko kuusehe kajahti,

Palvani pajun nenähä,

Virokannas kannon peähä.

Ukko kuusesta toruve,

Palvani pajun nenästä,

160 Virokannas kannon peästä:

"Kuin mie tullen toisen kerran,

Soan verta seitsemän venehtä,

Satoa syltä makkaroita,

Satoa puutova lihoja,

165 Kuuta kuusi leiviskeä."

Siitä mäni toisen kerran,

Ukko hammast' hivove,

Palvani pitelöyve,

Virokannas viilömähe:

170 Sai verta seitsemän venehtä,

Sata syltä makkaroita,

Sata puutova lihoja,

Kuuta kuusi leivisköä.''

edited 7th Apr '13 5:57:49 AM by MorwenEdhelwen

The road goes ever on.
17 MorwenEdhelwen7th Apr 2013 06:08:33 AM from Sydney, Australia
Aussie Tolkien freak
Here's an extract from the first draft of my retelling/adaptation, titled The Pearl Of Combat; again, thanks, peccantis! I wrote it in first-person because I like it and feel that first-person lets the reader get closer to the character.

I’m called Kullervo, but also Sotijalo,”Pearl of Combat.” My mother named me when I was born. Then someone else named me too. So I’ve got two names. Finnish names. Even though I probably only have a little bit of Finnish blood, if there’s anything white in me at all except for my eyes and blond hair and if any of that is actually mine. It’s the first thing I know about my family.

Here are the two other things.

I’m an orphan and my uncle, or someone saying he was my uncle, brought me here when I was a baby, along with an iron knife. My mother wasn’t human. She was like me; an artificial, created in a lab by scientists, with a bit of magic.

Right now, I know that I’m a slave. It’s impossible to forget it. In fact I’m her slave.

She’s my mistress, Tähdetär, Ilmarinen’s wife, who raised me and told me about my family.

She was in a good mood, probably. She’s the kind of person who usually ignores or snaps at questions like that, unless she’s in a really good mood. If she’s in a good mood, she just gives me half-answers or says “I’ll tell you later.”

When she’s in a bad mood she yells at and insults me.

edited 7th Apr '13 2:33:12 PM by MorwenEdhelwen

The road goes ever on.
18 BestOf7th Apr 2013 01:26:55 PM from Finland , Relationship Status: Falling within your bell curve
[up][up]I'm Finnish and I can barely understand most of that text...

[up]This might be asking for a lot but since you seem to care about the language, "Tahetar" should be "Tähetär" (though in modern Finnish it would more likely be "Tähdetär.")

It's derived from "tähti" (meaning star) and the female suffix "-tar/-tär." The suffix is similar to the English "-ess" (as in "actress.")

Whether it takes an "a" or an "ä" depends on the vowels of the word - there's something called "vowel harmony" (I'm just directly translating the Finnish term for it) in Finnish which dictates that if the root of the word contains a front vowel (ä, ö, y) the suffix(es) will also take a front vowel. If the root of the word contains a back vowel (a, o, u) the suffix(es) will also take back vowels. E and i are neutral.

The word for a bar of music is "tahti" so "tahetar" sounds like "tahti" with a female suffix - a female bar of music. With the umlauts in place, though, you have "tähti" (star) and "tähetär."

I don't know if you really care all that much about this stuff but there you go.

edited 7th Apr '13 1:40:03 PM by BestOf

Quod gratis asseritur, gratis negatur.
19 MorwenEdhelwen7th Apr 2013 02:17:39 PM from Sydney, Australia
Aussie Tolkien freak
@Best Of: Thanks! I needed that mini-language lesson! grin.

Incidentally, the setting of this story is based loosely on the Aleutian Islands in Alaska, where many Russians settled. It's not unlikely that a Karelian could end up settling in Alaska. (oh, and btw the Maiden of The North is Yupik). Also, just noticed that the beginning is very infodumpy.

Here's a revised version:

Chapter 1. Kullervo and the Maiden Of Pohjola

“You know, you weren’t born like other people.” she said, back when I was three years old and came back in from the fields one day after taking care of the cows. She’d undressed me and plunged me into a cold bath – “that’s what you get for not turning on the heater”- a few minutes earlier. Now we were sitting in the front room, and I was reading a picture book and talking to her.

“So how was I born?” I looked closely at her across the floor from . It was safe to ask her another question, since she wasn’t busy. If I waited, she might have something to do and start ignoring me. Or worse, if I tried to get her attention. I rubbed the bruise on my shoulder. I didn’t want to fall again.

She- my mistress, also known as Tähetär, Star Daughter and the Maiden of the North, Ilmarinen’s wife, who raised me- stuck a brown hand up and made quote marks in the air. ”You weren’t. You were made. They stuck a tube in your ‘mother’. You were in it, grown inside a goat.

Then you crawled out nine months later, exactly like your ‘father,’ that golden-haired half-breed Kalervo.” She spat out my father’s -or my original’s- name. “You stayed at home for two months, but you gave your uncle so much trouble that he sold you.” She’d stopped making quote marks by then. “He said you were a nuisance that he was glad to see the back of. And we bought you. He was right. No wonder. You were rocked too hard."

She looked closely at me. “You love me, don’t you?”

I nodded. “Yeah.”

She slowly put her arms around me and hugged me. “Oh, your poor shoulder.” she murmured. “Did I really do this to you?” She bent down and put some cream on the bruise. “There, does that feel better?” She always acts like she cares about me, like a mother or something, after one of her rages. The beautiful, kind, sweet Tähetär, the Maiden of Pohjola. She is beautiful, but I don’t know about the other things, If I told anyone what she’s really like they wouldn’t believe it. Because she doesn’t treat anyone else the way she treats me.

edited 9th Apr '13 3:52:25 AM by MorwenEdhelwen

The road goes ever on.
20 peccantis8th Apr 2013 01:40:07 PM , Relationship Status: Pining for the fjords
the flies will find you
Yeah, the excerpt you posted is in most parts extremely obsolete language. For a rough equivalent, think Middle English. A well-read native Finnish speaker can keep on track and more or less understand what's going on but many of the words are super archaic and known to only speakers of some dialects (and never consistently). I'll be happy to try and translate a few lines (5-10) for you, to learn which ones are most important for you find out which poem this is (they have numbers), find the corresponding English translation and pick the lines from there.
before the darkness arrives
21 MorwenEdhelwen8th Apr 2013 03:18:19 PM from Sydney, Australia
Aussie Tolkien freak
@peccantis: Thanks. That would help, especially since I think it'd be a nice touch to quote from a folk version of the same story (or part of it anyway) since Lönnrot combined several tales and versions into the story he told. Another thing, is anyone willing to read any extracts I post here and check them for general faithfulness to the story? I'm planning on being generally faithful to the basic plot ie the selling into slavery, abusive and malicious treatment from Ilmarinen's wife, the stone in the bread, the meeting with and incestuous relationship with the sister, the revenge against Untamo. But I don't really know the ins-and outs of the story, so I'd really appreciate it if someone acted as a beta reader and checked my portrayals of the characters.

Also, one translation I've read says:

So they swung him and they rocked him,

Rocked him till his hair was flying

Do these lines refer to what I think they mean (shaken baby syndrome)? Shaken baby syndrome can cause quite serious problems, including emotional ones, and I've heard (from people who know about this stuff) and read that excessive rocking can cause shaken baby syndrome. Plus, very young babies don't have much hair, so if "his hair was flying" or tossing about, this obviously wasn't your ordinary fast rocking. Verlyn Flieger, the Tolkien scholar, did an analysis of Tolkien's retelling of this story, and noted under the line "for ill cradle rocking":

For ill cradle rocking. The “for” in this phrase should be taken to mean “because of.” The tradition that physical mistreatment of an infant could have psychological repercussions is an old one. Compare the saying, “as the twig is bent so grows the tree."

edited 9th Apr '13 5:02:17 AM by MorwenEdhelwen

The road goes ever on.
22 MorwenEdhelwen9th Apr 2013 02:14:40 PM from Sydney, Australia
Aussie Tolkien freak
bump. Also, the Kalevala makes it pretty damn obvious that Kullervo has mental issues. I mean, no ordinary mentally healthy person kills someone over a stone in their lunch. Then again, he was mistreated, but even before his arrival at Ilmarinen's, he's depicted as a troublemaker without much of a conscience. Until he has sex with his sister. Anyway, anyone want to read any posted extracts?

edited 10th Apr '13 6:27:36 AM by MorwenEdhelwen

The road goes ever on.
23 peccantis10th Apr 2013 12:27:46 PM , Relationship Status: Pining for the fjords
the flies will find you
Oh, a second version of Sotijalo: Battlehero. Nice.

Anyways, I do wholly agree with the mental issues thing, even regarding that the stone in his bread was a) merely the latest jab of many, from his mistress as well as undoubtedly many others (see following) and b) what broke his knife, i.e. his only family heirloom...

As for your shaken baby theory, here it goes flying (I'll pm you a condensed translation of the previous passage) :3
before the darkness arrives
24 MorwenEdhelwen10th Apr 2013 03:18:04 PM from Sydney, Australia
Aussie Tolkien freak
@peccantis: Got your PM.

The biggest inconsistency in this whole story is the sudden appearance of the sister. It's like this: first he's an only child. Then he has a sister. Tolkien actually made this more plausible by having his hero and his (twin) sister grow up together, but get separated due to him getting sold away into slavery. The incest happens as a result of a curse on the hero by his mistress. Actually I might borrow that curse idea and tweak it a bit.

And, were Untamo and Kalervo from Northland originally? That's how it goes in my version; the Northern ancestry of Kullervo and Kivutar (his sister) gives them dark skin and typical Native American features, but the curly golden hair shows that he's also part White from that region/Kalevalan. Also, those names are just the White names they were given, in much the same way as Native Americans in the 21st century sometimes have a traditional name and a name in the predominant language of the country they are from.

Interestingly, Kullervo's revenge also reminds me of the song "Pirate Jenny" from The Threepenny Opera, about an abused hotel maid who turns pirate and kills everyone in the hotel where she works, after getting her crew to burn down almost the entire town.

That version would probably go something like this:

''You aristocrats can ask me to herd all your cows,

And I herd all your cows just like you ask me,

Maybe you feed me, give me a meal or two,

And you sleep at night thinking "Aren't I just good to you?"

But you'll never guess to who you're talking,

You'll never guess to who you're talking.

Oh, one night there's a crash in the night,

You say, "By Jumala, what's that crash?"

And I'm standing here, just staring out the window,

And you ask, "What's he looking for?"

And a boat, with eight black sails,

Rowers moving through the river

Comes just 'round the bend.

Of course, "Pirate Jenny" is only a fantasy, while Kullervo's revenge is carried out.

edited 11th Apr '13 3:23:31 PM by MorwenEdhelwen

The road goes ever on.
25 MorwenEdhelwen11th Apr 2013 03:10:21 PM from Sydney, Australia
Aussie Tolkien freak
Anyone have tips on Show vs tell? It's coming back in this draft, probably because this is quite an obscure tale outside of Finland to anyone except mythological scholars and Tolkien fans.

edited 12th Apr '13 4:15:40 PM by MorwenEdhelwen

The road goes ever on.

Total posts: 43
1 2