The Herald of Manwe Picture

I like to think of this image as Eonwe, Manwe's banner bearer and champion in arms, even though it was originally done for a fantasy rpg book; the client called for "angel in battle armor." Really he could just as easily be Saint Michael, Mercury, or any number of figures from our collective mythological past. I think that's what has always endeared me most toward fantasy; that it opens up for us that world of myth and archetype, folktales and epic sagas, gods and heroes which for much of our history were all-important to us, and even today permeate beneath the surface of so many received constants we take for granted (the names of the days of the week come to mind) a very good fantasy writer like Tolkien (which is to say the best there ever was) can tap into this wealth of myth, and present back to us it in a way that is both new and resonantly familiar. Most decent renditions of Manwe, I think, would pass very easily for Jupiter, and vice versa, or yavanna for demeter, ulmo for neptune, melkor for lucifer, and iconic moments like turin's realization he has married his sister, the elves' kinslaying and exile form paradise, the drowning of numenore, resonate as echoed re-tellings (or alternate tellings) of Oediphus, cain and able, atlantis and so on.

did i mention i like tolkien?
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