[Okay this question is really, really long, so I’m going to cut it down to a few salient points. No judgement on the person who submitted this, but I am starting to receive longer and longer questions, and there is a theoretical point at which I’m basically hosting other people’s articles with no filter or editorial process; I would rather say “no” to that before it happens.]
This is mostly just idle curiosity, but since I stumbled back into your piece on the Norse mythology theory for the Kalos mascots, I was curious to know if your opinion on them has changed at all since we saw Zygarde’s alternate forms.
[Basically this question brings up the “children of Loki” interpretation of Zygarde’s forms; 10% = Fenrir, 50% = Jormungandr, 100% = Hel. It’s all on Bulbapedia if you’re not familiar with it. The short answer is that I have indeed revisited the topic since those forms were revealed (though not actually in response to them) and still thought it was abject nonsense.]
Continue reading “Re: the XYZ Trio asks:”
Personally, I do see the Kalos Trio being based off of Norse Mythology, but more generalized, and not drawing inspiration from just the one myth. Like, eagles in general are associated with death in Norse mythology. Not just Hraesvelgr, but other beings such as the God of Death (who turns into an eagle), and the Blood Eagle ritual. (Also, Zygarde is more Jormungand than Nidhogg, with its other two forms likely being based off Fenrir and Hel.) Those are just my thoughts: you’re free to disagree.
Let the disagreement commence. [rolls up sleeves, cracks knuckles]
It is honestly baffling to me that this idea is so widely and unquestioningly accepted, because personally, I don’t think I’ve ever been less convinced by a Pokémon fan theory in my life. I don’t even understand why people look at Yveltal and think “eagle.” The “ruff” around its neck is almost certainly meant to make us think “vulture,” which is a much easier association with death. Stags can be associated with nature without having to bring Norse mythology into it; birds of prey or carrion birds can be associated with death without having to bring Norse mythology into it; insisting that Norse mythology has anything to do with these Pokémon makes the concept weaker and more confusing. Continue reading “Anonymous asks:”
What do you think of the new formes of Zygarde that were revealed? They turned him into Cell from DBZ.
Oddly enough, Dragon Ball Z’s Cell is not what leaps out at me, though I certainly wouldn’t want to rule him out as a possible influence. Conceptually, the way Zygarde’s forms are described – scattered cells that operate independently, gaining full power when they reunite – that reminds me, more than anything else, of Jenova from Final Fantasy VII. The black and green colour scheme, the notion of many individual units working as one under a single intelligence, along with Zygarde’s existing designation as the Order Pokémon… well, that, bizarrely enough, calls to my mind Star Trek’s Borg Collective. The red and blue elements of Zygarde’s “perfect” form hint at Yveltal and Xerneas being somehow absorbed (or assimilated? :-p) into it – which sounds like Cell, I admit, but is already something that exists in Pokémon, in the person of Kyurem’s augmented forms. In any case… all this possibly has interesting symbolic resonance with Zygarde’s presumed role as guardian of Kalos’ ecosystem, in that Zygarde is itself, apparently, a self-contained ecosystem of sorts, a whole that is greater than the sum of its parts. A strikingly appropriate theme for the “Order Pokémon,” I think.
Also, I feel compelled to note that Bulbapedia seems to have decided that Zygarde’s dog and humanoid forms are based (in line with the Norse mythology theme that someone decreed back when X and Y were released) on Jormungandr’s siblings, Fenrir and Hel, respectively. Hel, the goddess of the underworld, who was a beautiful woman above the waist and a rotting corpse below. I mean, okay, maybe this is what they’re referencing, but if so, they’re doing it badly. It’s a stretch, for me. Presumably if Zygarde’s “10%” form were a goat, people would be saying it was based on Tanngniost and Tanngrisnir; if it were a horse, people would point at Sleipnir; if it were a boar, people would point to Gullinbursti. I have little patience for that whole conceptual house of cards.