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Thread: Week 53- Horror: There Wolf. There Castle.

  1. BarriLang Guest

    Quote Originally Posted by tiggerpete View Post
    I don't remember if you touched on it, but does anyone know the origins of the silver weakness? and is it universal, or optional? (I know everything is optional if you can back it up, but I don't want to open that hornets nest right now)
    This is from Wiki (so it could be utter rubbish)

    "Most modern fiction describes werewolves as vulnerable to silver weapons and highly resistant to other attacks. This feature does not appear in stories about werewolves before the 19th century. (The claim that the Beast of Gévaudan, an 18th century wolf or wolf-like creature, was shot by a silver bullet appears to have been introduced by novelists retelling the story from 1935 onwards and not in earlier versions.)"

    Incidentally, if you haven't seen it already check out the French film - "Brotherhood of the Wolf" (about the "Beast of Gévaudan") it's blooming great!



  2. CalvinCamp Guest

    Still online research, but, for whatever it's worth...

    From the Online Etymology Dictionary...
    silver bullet

    "very effective, almost magical remedy," 1808. The belief in the magical power of silver weapons to conquer foes goes back at least to ancient Greece (e.g. Delphic Oracle's advice to Philip of Macedon).
    However, according to the Wordsworth Dictionary of Phrase and Fable...
    "With silver weapons you may conquer the world." The Delphic oracle to Philip of Macedon, when he went to consult it. Philip, acting on this advice, sat down before a fortress which his staff pronounced to be impregnable. “You shall see,” said the king, “how an ass laden with gold will find an entrance.”
    ...which tends to indicate that the oracle was talking about a bribe, not an actual silver weapon.

    In fact, A Thesaurus of Traditional English Metaphors translates "With silver weapons you may conquer the world" to mean "Money overcomes all".

    There are numerous claims that the idea of silver weapons being superior against any foe (and against supernatural ones) goes back to ancient times, but I haven't been able to pin down any specific references or dates other than the oracle's message (which sounds like it's probably a mistaken reference).

    I also found some claims that silver (on it's own) was considered a sacred metal by some cultures, that it has magic(k)al properties, that it was associated with various gods going back to ancient Greece and Egypt, that it had some signicance in alchemy, and that it was associated with the moon.

    And that's about all the time I have for research today. Got to get some work done.



  3. MartinBrandt Guest

    ahem... cold iron....



  4. CalvinCamp Guest

    Quote Originally Posted by MartinBrandt View Post
    ahem... cold iron....
    :confused:
    I've only ever heard of it being useful against fairies and ghosts. You want more than that, you're on your own.

    Edit:
    Here's a bonus (just 'cause I'm such a nice guy). I downloaded it awhile back and haven't gotten around to reading it yet, but for a start on pre-movie werewolf lore, you could try poking through this...
    The Book of Were-Wolves, by Sabine Baring-Gould (1865)
    http://www.gutenberg.org/dirs/etext04/bofww10h.htm
    Last edited by CalvinCamp; Thursday, August 13, 2009 at 07:48 PM.



  5. CalvinCamp Guest

    Oh, what the hell. I'm waiting for a client to call me back, and I can't do squat with his drawings until he does, so...

    Cold Iron and Werewolves

    Apparently werewolves in the Neverwinter Nights computer game are vulnerable to cold iron (I waded through a lot of Google results relating to that). It seems to show up in a couple of other fictional sources too.

    Monsters: An Investigator's Guide to Magical Beings by John Michael Greer (2001) claims that there is a French and Eastern European belief that cold iron will cause a werewolf to revert to its human shape. The creators of a number of websites seem to have read that book, because they quote it almost word for word - and one even attributed the information to the book's author, which was nice (especially since, for all I can tell, the guy may have invented it).

    In the e-book I linked, a quick word search uncovered a couple of instances where iron was used to transform someone into a werewolf - by having a witch beat them with an iron whip, or bind them with an iron belt.

    I could find nothing else that wasn't modern fiction related (which, of course, doesn't mean there isn't anything - but that's where I'm at with what's at hand).

    But, that all said, cold iron (which isn't anything but iron, really, it just sounds cooler) has a long history of being useful against magical/supernatural creatures in general, so I don't see any real reason you couldn't have werewolves be vulnerable to it.

    The only downside I can see is that, if they're harmed by iron even in human form, then they're screwed trying to live among normal humans. Have you ever thought about how much steel (refined iron) you come in contact with every day? But if all it does is force them to revert to human form, it might work to their benefit, as a preventative - "It's going to be a full moon tonight, dear. Don't forget to wear your iron. And bring a jacket, it might get cold."
    Last edited by CalvinCamp; Thursday, August 13, 2009 at 09:34 PM.



  6. tiggerpete Guest

    well, steel probably won't have the same effect as iron, because if you are going with the alchemical properties of iron, steel has zinc and others included, so it has different properties. it is in a different state, and wouldn't work the same (if it worked at all, it would be a muted effect)



  7. CalvinCamp Guest

    Quote Originally Posted by tiggerpete View Post
    well, steel probably won't have the same effect as iron, because if you are going with the alchemical properties of iron, steel has zinc and others included, so it has different properties. it is in a different state, and wouldn't work the same (if it worked at all, it would be a muted effect)
    Depends on who's writing it, I imagine. In modern fantasy stuff, I've usually seen steel treated like iron for fairy and ghost bashing.

    But that's a great explanation for why it wouldn't work the same, if you didn't want it to.



  8. Sliverbane Guest

    Iron/Steel weapons are also mentioned in Dennis McKiernan's 'One upon a time...' fantasy novels. I think this includes steel and if memory serves steel can also mess up a troll's ability to regenerate.... No mention of werewolves, however.

    Bwaaa-haaa-haa we're talking fantasy now!!:eek:




  9. MartinBrandt Guest

    Cold iron is metal unworked by man. It is raw metal that has never seen a forge.



  10. Join Date
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    Cold iron, is usually, as Martin said, unforged iron. However, in most of the "use-against-magic-creatures" in mytholgy and folklore context, it can also be WROUGHT IRON, which is forged, but still pure iron, with nothing added to make it steel or harder.

    So, steel wouldn't hurt the Werewolf in either form, as it hs been tainted.

    As for the Moon effecting the change thing, that comes from two main sources.

    One being the already mentioned effect the moon has on crazy people. Have you ever heard the term "barking Mad"? Well some people with certain mental/emotional disorders actually behave rather feral and make almost barking noises, these outbreaks can be increased by the full moon. To the non-scientific mind of yore, that seemed like the moon turning them into wolves.

    Also, the idea of wolves and dogs baying at the moon gave the impression that the moon controlled wolves, hence, it would also control werewolves.
    "Living Robert Venditti's Plan B!"

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