The Magic Ring of Andvaranaut

All of the great Modern stories of magic rings come from a single ancient Indo-European tale about a magic ring called Andvaranaut. Both J. R. R. Tolkien and Richard Wagner built their stories of magic rings from this same source.

In the original Volsunga Saga, the dwarf Andvari creates the magic ring Andvaranaut, whose sole purpose is to create gold. The ring is stolen by the Norse trickster Loki. But Andvari places a curse on the ring so it destroys the lives of all who wear it. Loki finding out this truth, gives the ring to Hreidmar, King of the Dwarves, as reparation for having inadvertently killed Hreidmar’s son. The ring then gets filtered down through a number of heroes and Gods, inflicting its revenge on them all before being being lost to time.

In Wagner’s story, the God Wotan takes the ring and gives it in payment to the Giants for building Valhalla, thereby dooming himself and the God’s to its curse. In Tolkien we see a more Modern play of the underdog Hobbit a pawn in the larger and much older tragic play of a Ring of Power he must overcome and destroy in order to save the world. In both cases the age old tale of a cursed relic manipulating the world and its Gods and people for some darker purpose at play.

We all need to remember such modern ring stories in Western Culture are not original. That theme is as old as the Earth. All great artists take stories from ancient Mythology and reuse such myths, even when they do so unconsciously, because such stories are embedded in all our entertainment systems and media. Even the human relationship tales originate from those same myths, simply because they are all based on Western themes tied to thousand’s of years of storytelling, symbol-building, and myth-making in European culture.

If we take the time to review such myths in ancient sources, we enrich our culture and our entertainment (like Tolkien and Wagner) because we consciously build upon their original sources versus blindly repeating distorted versions by uninspired modern versions which are watered down with the author’s personal needs or political motivations.

That is why I will continue to push all writers to explore the ancient mythological sources that represent the very foundation of our religions, our entertainment, and our Western culture. To avoid such things means you are just repeating unconsciously things you do not fully comprehend, succumbing unknown forces in your stories – like the ring of Andvaranaut, that control almost every single word you write. For such is the influence of culture and myth over us all though we deny it.

– the Author

Created Mar 20, 2017, 10:15 AM

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