Naming Unto Death
tegerio at 9:41AM, Nov. 30, 2010
A strange phrase on page 277 has some people confused, so I thought I'd explain. It comes from the ballad of Rederbrand, and is one of many tidbits of Celtic superstition. Basically the concept is a form of magical protection; Death cannot claim you if he doesn't know your name. In the ballad, Rederbrand has eloped with his human lover. They are pursued by a posse consisting of the lady's father and brothers. The war party gradually overtakes the lovers, and Rederbrand decides to make his stand. He instructs his lady to wait on the sidelines and UNDER NO CIRCUMSTANCES to call out his name, no matter how bad the fighting gets nor how fearsomely he seems to be wounded. Of course, the girl can't take the pressure. Eventually she calls out his name (in some versions she is alarmed by the hits he is taking; in others she calls for him to spare her youngest brother or her father.) Rederbrand has won the battle - his adversaries all lay dead but one who returns to tell the tale - but at the moment she names him, all of his wounds (which he was ignoring until now) start to bleed, and he dies a victim of mortals' inability to follow instructions.
It's-a me, Tegerio!
last edited on July 18, 2011 10:15AM
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