Literary Influences behing Warhammer 40K

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Literary Influences behing Warhammer 40K

Postby -Thrax » Fri Sep 01, 2006 10:25 pm

I know, I'm geeking out with this topic, but it seemed like it might be fun to suss out some of the obvious literary/cultural influences behind 40K.

I was reading George Orwell's 1984 recently and it suddenly occurred to me that the Imperial society is pretty much Orwell's brainchild taken to extremes -- especially with respect to Imperial doublethink: ie, "Hate enriches", "Ignorance is bliss", "The loyal servant learns to love the lash", "Only the insane prosper", etc. I know these are not technically double-think, but it's clearly inspired by it.

Any other obvious or hidden literary/cultural influences on the universe? I can think of dozens but I thought it would be more fun to open it up.

T.
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Re: Literary Influences behing Warhammer 40K

Postby The Gunslinger » Sat Sep 02, 2006 2:24 pm

Interesting
:2guns:
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Re: Literary Influences behing Warhammer 40K

Postby Amazonwarlord » Sat Sep 02, 2006 10:20 pm

Clearly, Starship Troopers.

Eldar, the name is from Tolkien - for elves.

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Re: Literary Influences behing Warhammer 40K

Postby Flavius Infernus » Sat Sep 02, 2006 11:57 pm

Eldar craftworlds are named after the Celtic/Gallic holidays Samhain, Beltane and Yule.
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Re: Literary Influences behing Warhammer 40K

Postby -Thrax » Sun Sep 03, 2006 1:32 am

Hey that is cool, I had no idea. (So where does Iyanden come from?)

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Re: Literary Influences behing Warhammer 40K

Postby Flavius Infernus » Sun Sep 03, 2006 8:05 pm

I haven't been able to find sources for the names Iyanden & Alatioc. There's a holiday called "Imbolc" but that's kind of a stretch for "Alatioc" so they're probably just made up.

Also the holiday spelled "samhain" is actually pronounced more like "sowhan." So sometimes when I see the craftworld name and I'm not thinking about it, I want to call it Sowhan.
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Re: Literary Influences behing Warhammer 40K

Postby Ancow » Mon Sep 04, 2006 4:54 am

I see clear and present influences of Cat in the Hat.
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Re: Literary Influences behing Warhammer 40K

Postby -Brother Suspectus » Mon Sep 04, 2006 5:40 am

I think I ran into dark eldar in a module called the "The queen of the demon web pits..." Loth was their Spider Goddess. I guess thats pure Gygaxian. JRR didn't have dark elves.. those just became Orks.

I smell a bit of Lovecraft with regards to the chaos daemon gods.

Any of the English Gothic writers play into the Imperia of Man. It has tragedy like Shelly and darkness like Stoker all over it. As a pale grrl with Siuoxie Sioux like hair once said to me, "Gothic Gothic Gothic, gothic as fuck!"

I think the obvious hints at the eldar come from the Celtic pagan origins of fairies, not the ones from Chelsea but the ones found in the dark ancient wood of deep England, or the open moors of Scotland. I'm getting scared just thinking about them... Hence the similarity to the holiday names.

Clearly the bio enhancements can be read as early as 1984 William Gibson Neuromancer. Lotta cyberpunk in 40K.

This is a great thread!

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Re: Literary Influences behing Warhammer 40K

Postby -Thrax » Mon Sep 04, 2006 7:02 am

Quote:
JRR didn't have dark elves..


That's not entirely true. There were many kinds of elves, and the term "Dark Elves" originally comes from Tolkien, although they have little in common with the 40K DE:

www.answers.com/topic/moriquendi

Quote:
I smell a bit of Lovecraft with regards to the chaos daemon gods.


Absolutely, especially with respect to the daemon cults -- where weird mutations are granted as "gifts" from Cthulu and the Old Ones. See especially Lovecraft's stories Dagon, The Shadows over Innsmouth, The Call of Cthulu, and At the Mountains of Madness. Cthulu himself seems to have influenced the depictions of Nurgle and Tzeentch more than anything else. (BTW, every Lovecraft and horror film lover should check out the recent Spanish film Dagon, which was just great).

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Re: Literary Influences behing Warhammer 40K

Postby -DasDevilSquid » Mon Sep 04, 2006 7:43 am

Necrons = Terminator. They even call their ability "We'll be Back".

Granted, that's not literature...

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