SCBWI's Blueboard - A Message & Chat Board

Writing, Illustrating & Publishing => Research => Topic started by: elizabethp on December 16, 2014, 06:21 AM

Title: Fairy tale/folklore supernatural army
Post by: elizabethp on December 16, 2014, 06:21 AM
Does anyone know of a fairy tale or folklore that has an army come to life--made of inanimate objects or skeletons? I keep thinking I've seen/read this somewhere but can't find it despite exhaustive search. Thanks!
Title: Re: Fairy tale/folklore supernatural army
Post by: Melissa on December 18, 2014, 01:57 PM
There are various "supernatural army" types of folklore. 

Necromancy is the art of raising the dead (so potential skeleton). 

In Jewish lore, there is golem (an animate creature made of inanimate things). For that, the Golem of Prague and Rabbi Loew are the terms to search. 

Of course, there's also Haitian vodoun/voodou/voodoo and the bokor who controls the zombies--NOT the ridiculous film & TV Americanized zombies, but the traditional ones.  They are sorcerers (houngan if male & priestesses if female). 

In fairy tales, there is the exceedingly short "Three Army Surgeons" which is the closest I can think of.  Clever surgeons, remove their own organs, innkeeper does something wrong (IDK what, can't recall), they are reanimated but with a twist . . . & blackmail in there too, IIRC.
Title: Re: Fairy tale/folklore supernatural army
Post by: Pons on December 18, 2014, 02:12 PM
The two things that come to my mind are Ezekiel's prophecy in the old testament and Bedknobs and Broomsticks - the Disney movie based on The Magic Bed by Mary Norton.

ETA: I think an army of skeletons comes to life in the Chronicles of Prydain by Lloyd Alexander.
Title: Re: Fairy tale/folklore supernatural army
Post by: dewsanddamps on December 18, 2014, 02:13 PM
Your question made me think of the green skeleton guys in LOTR.
Title: Re: Fairy tale/folklore supernatural army
Post by: PatEsden on December 18, 2014, 04:51 PM
Are you thinking of Jason and the Argonauts? I know in the old movie there were fighting skeletons. I'm not sure if they were actually in Greek mythology or not though.  :star2  I think they were created from some monster's teeth.

I checked. Try Cadmus, Jason and dragon's teeth.
Title: Re: Fairy tale/folklore supernatural army
Post by: elizabethp on December 19, 2014, 04:13 PM
Guys, thanks so much!! I thought I had imagined it. Still mulling a plot based on  mashup of folklore, fairy tales etc.!
Title: Re: Fairy tale/folklore supernatural army
Post by: Debbie Vilardi on December 21, 2014, 09:37 PM
The Nutcracker comes to life and defeats the Mouse King in the ballet. He has wooden soldiers as his army.

I feel like there should be others too, but I'm not coming up with any.
Title: Re: Fairy tale/folklore supernatural army
Post by: Marissa Doyle on December 23, 2014, 11:31 AM
Perhaps the most fascinating one is one that a lot of people believe actually happened...but was, like the radio broadcast of H.G. Wells' War of the Words, fiction mistaken for fact--the "Angels of Mons", in which spectral bowman left from the Hundred Years' War came to the aid of the British during an early battle of WWI. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Angels_of_Mons
Title: Re: Fairy tale/folklore supernatural army
Post by: elizabethp on December 23, 2014, 12:28 PM
That's a cool story Marissa! Thanks.
Title: Re: Fairy tale/folklore supernatural army
Post by: Pons on December 23, 2014, 01:15 PM
Fascinating story, Marissa. I hadn't heard of this before.