Jess C Scott
In Nordic mythology, the figure of the dragon was used as a symbol of material greed. The dragon acquired clearly negative associations, unlike its relatively benevolent (unless angered) counterpart in Eastern mythology.
Nordic dragons frequently return to the idea of the Ouroboros, a symbol of the universe and eternal renewal. This symbol is represented by a serpent devouring its own tail to sustain its life. In Norse mythology, this serpent is known as Jörmungandr.
Historically, the dragon appears in the carved figureheads on the prows of Viking longships. They were said to endow keen eyesight. They were also a symbol of destruction and chaos in Viking lore. To their enemies, Viking longships became generally known as “the dragons”.
The Dragon in The Song of the Nibelungs
In The Song of the Nibelungs, Fafnir was the son of the magician Hreidman, who had been corrupted by a cursed ring called Andvarinaut. Fafnir's greed grew to be so great, that it not only made him monstrous in nature, but also monstrous in form. Thus, he turned into a terrible dragon. Over a period of time, he managed to collect a massive number of treasures and vigilantly guarded this hoard.
Throughout history, many European stories of dragons have them guarding a treasure hoard. The influence from classic texts is evident. Both Fafnir and Beowulf's dragon guarded earthen mounds full of ancient treasure. The treasure drew many valiant heroes to the lair in search of both wealth and fame, and brought ill to those who later possessed it.
One might be naturally inclined, to draw similarities between the Ring in Tolkien’s epic, The Lord of the Rings, with the Nibelung's Ring. Tolkien personally disliked the comparison of his Ring with the Nibelungenlied.
The similarities that do exist, are broad and general. Both Rings are symbols of power. Both carry with them an ability to inspire a lust for power. Ownership of the Ring carries a price to be paid. Also, one has the freewill to take, or leave, the Ring in the first place.
In essence, Sauron's Ring possesses the evil power of its maker, whereas the Nibelung's Ring is derived from the sacred Rhinegold (though Alberich later lays a curse upon the Ring). Sauron’s Ring works subtly, playing upon the desires and particular motives of those who come upon it.In terms of creative background, both Rings have a common ancestry. In the context of their respective settings, they are significantly distinct from each other as well.
Jess C Scott
Jess C Scott is primarily a writer/novelist/poet.
According to the MBTI, her personality type is the INFJ.
She is currently working on her third book, and maintains a bunch of websites, which are listed on her personal site.
| || || || || || |