Dreams and Shadows


SF SIGNAL Guest Post: C. Robert Cargill on Folklore, Mythology and Religion in Fantasy

posted on February 28th, 2013

Folklore and Mythology are the polite, though backhanded, words we use to describe religion we don’t believe in; Mythology being the word we ascribe to officially recognized beliefs, Folklore to those that didn’t borrow from the establishment, but people believed anyway. When you think about it, it’s strange that so much of what we put in our fantasy books, movies and video games actually, once upon a time, was believed somewhere, by someone, as (their) God’s honest truth. After all, Tolkien didn’t invent elves and dwarves – he borrowed them from the religions of northern Europe – and The Arabian Nights weren’t all just bedtime stories, they were lessons of Islam and tales about the things people once thought really might lurk in the desert sands.

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