A to Z Blogging Challenge – Day 7: Fantasy Squad – Fates (The)

FThe main benefit of writing my posts on the fly, is flexibility. I had planned on fairies today, and they would make an interesting addition to my fantasy squad, but I wanted something completely different. As we had elves yesterday, and fairies are closely linked in folklore, I opted for (the) Fates – the three sisters known as the Moirai.

Zeus and Themis are credited as being the parents of the Moirai: Clotho – spins the thread of life; Lachesis – measures the thread of life (determines the length), and Atropos – cuts the thread.

Although Zeus was the supreme ruler, he was also subject to the three Fates (he didn’t have complete control). The sisters were said to be superior even to the greatest of gods.

The Fates by Toradh Traditional Art / Paintings / Fantasy©2013-2015 Toradh

The Fates by Toradh – Traditional Art / Paintings / Fantasy ©2013-2015 Toradh

The Fates in Literature and Film

In Macbeth, the three witches, whose identity was not revealed, were probably a reference to the Fates – given the visions, and predictions of the future. They are referred to several times as the ‘weird sisters’ which can be translated into the Old English term meaning ‘fate.’

Homer referred to the Fates in Odyssey –  combining them into a single force determined by the gods.

Disney’s Hercules included the Fates – three sister’s who shared one eye, which they used to predict the future. They also appeared in the animated television series. These sisters were reminiscent of the Graeae from Greek mythology (the sisters of Gorgons).

I’m sure there are other examples, and if you know of other references to the Fates in literature, I’d love to hear about them. But I guess I’m curious about how you would translate the myth into modern fantasy. The Fates held enormous responsibility, and with great power…you get my drift!

What might they look like? How would they form part of a fantasy squad? Perhaps as one being, able to heal and raise people from the dead. There would be consequences, both internal and external. It would be a lot of fun, and its own kind of power, to decide what those consequences would be!

With or without the sisters, my squad is shaping into a formidable team! Thanks for stopping by.

Mel

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27 Comments

Not heard of Fates, but immediately connected once you mentioned Macbeth! Thanks 🙂

Now that is a very interesting thought – all three fates in one would be a very powerful being and probably very dangerous too. I guess messing with Fate would be a very bad, bad idea 😉
Tasha
Tasha’s Thinkings | Wittegen Press | FB3X (AC)

I always wondered how the Fates and Norns appeared in 2 cultures independently. Is it common for fate to be chosen by three women?

I enjoyed the Fates in MacBeth. I always picture them as they are in Hercules. I thought passing the eye around was a cool idea.

You certainly have got quite the team shaping up here 🙂 Great post!

Sounds like in a modern fantasy they would be the navigators. Hmm…. you’re getting the brain turning. 😀 Thanks for reminding me of them!

Alex Hurst, A Fantasy Author in Kyoto
A-Z Blogging in April Participant

heatherjacksonwrites April 7, 2015 at 3:00 pm

I’ve always been fascinated with the Fates. In post grad, actually, one of the most talented writers in my class developed a TV series around them. I loved it! Sadly, it never saw the light of the small screen. Three female protagonists? Mythology? Who’s gonna watch that? Women? Sigh.

I’ve only seen the Fates in the Hercules movie. I bet they’d make an interesting story if we threw them into modern times.

~Patricia Lynne aka Patricia Josephine~
Member of C. Lee’s Muffin Commando Squad
Story Dam
Patricia Lynne, Indie Author

Good choice. I knew a lot less about the Fates than fairies. I always think of them as oppressive.

That would make a great YA novel indeed! I’ve seen them used, but mostly as Big Bads that terrify the gods, not as active protagonists.

I find the Fates a fascinating aspect, and Neil Gaiman put them to excellent use in his Sandman comics by transmuting them into the Furies.

Time to drop some Fates examples.

In the Percy Jackson stories (which I admit I’ve only seen the movies) the Fates show up. As I recall, the three of them share the one eye/eyes and they drive a taxi. So one of them driving at a time, but all of them sitting up front. They were pretty comical as well.

Then there’s Piers Anthony’s Incarnations of Immortality series, showing personifications of deities… which is where I read stuff like this before I found Neil Gaiman 😉 One of the books focuses on the Fates, and from their perspective. It was called “With a Tangled Skein.” Hey look, on Wikipedia! http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/With_a_Tangled_Skein

And then of course there are a ton of seers or prophesying characters, often women but not always. I love a good prophecy in a series – like in Harry Potter, Eragon, or The Dark Tower! 😀

    Thanks, that’s so cool. I love the image of the fates in a taxi, though it sounds to me they are confusing the myths again (considering they share an eye) – regardless, I can live with a comedy trio (I must watch it), rather than the evil hags they had in Clash of the Titans! I like prophecy too or prophets themselves. So far though, I don’t think the fates have been represented with enough clout! They are either evil, mad or slapstick 🙂

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