16 November 2018
Moon Light Blood Lust
The werewolf has been in the nightmare of mankind in many cultures across the world. He is the well-known monster of the nights full moon. Werewolf existed in every era of man since the times of the ancient Greeks and Romans. The Celts had their own ideas of the wolf men and how animal and human consciousness could coexist. In Viking mythology, the god of war (Tyr) took on wolf like qualities after losing his right arm to a giant wolf. In modern time the werewolf has had many changes to the myths behind him and the representation in film and popular culture.
Since the start of the myths and stories of the werewolves, they have always been associated with the full moon. It has been believed that werewolves can have the ability to change into a blood hungry monster with the light of the full moon “ Since the very earliest accounts of werewolf’s, those who would seek to explain the onset of such frightening behavior have stated with authority that it is the light of the full moon that serves as the catalyst for the transformation of humans into wolf.”(Curran,256). With the light of a full moon someone can turn into a predator of the night with the instincts and urge to find prey like the wolf.
Like in the movie “Monster Squad” the Wolf man knew with every full moon he was forced to change into a werewolf, losing all human consciousness and just having the urge of the wolf left. During the day he was a normal human, taking drug trying to prevent himself from changing but with the full moon rose he lost everything human inside having the primal instincts of a wolf take over his body with the urge to kill any humans that comes in contact with him, and the need to hunt the kids in the movie.
The full moon became associated with werewolves since the times of the ancients Roman and Greeks where they believed that the full moon was the time of the underworld “The ancient Greeks and Romans associated the moon with the Underworld and those human and In-humans entities who used the night to work their dark magic. Witches, Werewolves, and the other shapeshifters received great power form the moon and just as the moon changed its shape throughout the months, so could these servants of the underworld transform their shapes into bats, wolves, dogs, rats, or any creature they so choose.” (Steiger,54). They believed that in order for a shapeshifter to change form they needed the moon to do so. The night represented the time of the evil ones.
In one of the modern interpretation of werewolf in the movies “Underworld” the Wolf men in that story franchise did not need the moon to change form, They lived so long they have learned over time how to change with no moon at all, instead they used anger and rage to change at will, even during the day or when the moon was covered. Never needing the moon to go into wolf form, but the Full moon did play a role by giving the wolf man more power, it gave them more strength when they did change into a Werewolf.
The Irish people believed that when a shape shifter is in wolf form that they did not lose the human conciseness that both the human and wolf coexist together in the same body. The instinct like the cunningness, the pack mentality of the wolf and the smart, logic, problem solving of a human “As they lay down to sleep in the dark, the priest was suddenly disturbed by a human voice calling to him from the nearby forest. Rising, he walked to the edge of the circle of firelight and looked out into the gloom. As a huge wolf came padding into the light the priest drew back in terror, shielding the boy behind him from the animal. The wolf spoke in human tones, and told him not to be afraid.” The wolf did not lose the human side, lost the human form but kept the human mind when in the shape of a wolf both man and beast live in one body.
The movie “Dog Soldiers” showed the idea of having both the wolf and the human mind together driving one monster. The werewolf’s in the movies have the human smarts and know how paired with the wolfs instincts and skills to hunt. Both conciseness making the werewolf very smart and vicious, for example the werewolves killed campers by zipping open sleeping tents and pulling out people hiding inside showing the human know how instead or tearing the tents to pieces and trying not leave any trace of the monster being there at all. The pack of werewolf’s were very intelligent they played games with British Soldiers running an exercise in the woods, they tricked and baited the soldiers to run away and take cover at the wolves’ own human house where they know the area. They picked off one soldier at a time one by one playing with tactics like for example immobilizing one to make the others come out of hiding to rescue the injured soldier, just like tactics used in guerrilla warfare. The wolves also destroyed the soldiers long distance radio to prevent them from being rescued and keeping the hunt going.
Tyr is the Viking God of war and courage. According to the mythology detailed in John Grant’s book “An Introduction to Viking Mythology” Tyr volunteered to place his arm inside the mouth of Fenris, a giant ferocious wolf. No other God was willing to complete this task, but Tyr did and lost his right arm in the process. After this almost mortal injury Tyr began to take on wolf qualities of strength, savagery and animalistic drive. He is commonly depicted with a wolf skins and an open toothed snarled expression standing over the dead on the field of battle. His assistants the Valkyries were often pictured riding wolves across the sky’s above battlefields, swooping to pluck the dead from the ground. Although the Vikings fall short of considering Tyr a werewolf or wolf man, he is a strong example of a mythical figure who takes on wolf characteristics after a bite.
A modern example of this same concept can be found in the plot of the movie “Underworld Evolution” The story of Alexander Corvinus the first human and his two sons Marcus and William. The story goes that both sons Marcus and William were bitten by creatures of the night Marcus bitten by a bat and William by a wolf, both transforming into what Man has feared in the night. Marcus becoming the first Vampire, William becoming the first Werewolf. Both spreading the curse with a bite. William was never able to change back into human form due to huge amount anger and rage he had lost the human part of himself forever and the wolf side took over. When William went on a rampage for no reason at all but to kill whoever he bit, clawed, killed turned into a werewolf almost instantly, full of rage, also curse with the wolf and the inability to ever go human again.
No matter the stories told thru time or interpretation used about Werewolf’s they will always have the same key points a vicious wolf man and the moon involved. The fear the night and a howl bring to people will never change but how the Werewolves is seen will keep on evolving with every iteration that will be told.
Curran, Bob. Werewolves: A Field Guide to Shapeshifters, Lycanthropes, and Man-Beasts. New Page Books, 2009. EBSCOhost, chaffey.idm.oclc.org/login? url=http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&db=nlebk&AN=353827&site=ehost-live.
Steiger, Brad. The Werewolf Book: The Encyclopedia of Shape-Shifting Beings. Vol. 2nd ed, Visible Ink Press, 2012. EBSCOhost, chaffey.idm.oclc.org/login?url=http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&db=nlebk&AN=390315&site=ehost-live.
Grant, John. Introduction to Viking Mythology. Quantum Books, 1996. p.50,71-74