The Mists of Time: Reimagining Irdya as Earth's Mythical Past

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Andrettin
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The Mists of Time: Reimagining Irdya as Earth's Mythical Past

Post by Andrettin »

Though it is well-established in Wesnoth lore that Irdya is a different world from our own, for the purposes of this post I aim to reimagine it as the mythical past of our own world, as a thought experiment.

1. The World's Name

The name "Irdya" is itself conductive to this idea, as it is reminiscent of the words for "earth" in the various Germanic languages. Proto-Germanic "ertho"[1] (meaning "earth", "soil" and "land") became "erda" in Old High German and "Erde" in modern High German, as well as "eorth"[2] in Old English and "aarde" in Dutch[3].

The name of the world where Tolkien's Middle-Earth is set in, "Arda", is itself very similar to those Germanic words. And considering that Tolkien was a linguist, that is probably from where he derived the name. It is worth to note here that Tolkien's Middle-Earth is intended by the author to a fictional past for Earth.

2. The Fallen Island Civilization

The fall of Atlantis, a mythical island civilization, was described in Plato's Timaeus and Critias dialogues. In modern fantasy, Atlantis-analogues have become a staple of the genre. Tolkien's Númenor is not just an analogue for Atlantis, however, but is supposed to be the mythical Atlantis itself - as made clear by its name in Quenya, "Atalantë". In Tolkien's works, survivors from Númenor then head east and settle in Middle-Earth/Europe.

With these things in mind, in our reimagining of Irdya as Earth's past, we could likewise identify mythical Atlantis with the human civilization which existed on the Green Isle, and after the fall of which the survivors headed east to settle on the Great Continent (which would largely correspond to Europe), as told in The Rise of Wesnoth.

Identifying the Green Isle with Atlantis also provides us with an idea of how far into the past the events of Battle for Wesnoth would occur. In Critias, it is said that Atlantis fell 9,000 years prior, which would be c. 9400 BC. As the Green Isle civilization fell on 2 BW, this allows us to posit that 1 YW would be c. 9398 BC.

3. Under the Burning Suns

Reimagining Irdya as our Earth's fictional past brings up the question of what happens then to the Under the Burning Suns storyline, since it is set in Irdya's far future. In that regard, two possible solutions arise. The first, and easiest to deal with, is to simply consider that storyline to occur in an alternate timeline. The second solution is to change it to occur in a different world, perhaps named "Quenoth". This would require more substantial changes, of course, specially regarding the backstory for what happened before the Fall.

4. What happened to Wesnoth?

If Wesnoth is set in the mythical past, then what happened to it? Why isn't it still around? One explanation is that Wesnoth could have been successively weakened by incursions of horsemen from the east, who would eventually destroy Wesnoth and conquer its lands. This would fit well with the history of the Indo-European invasion of Europe, and displacement of Old European cultures. The Indo-Europeans did possess domesticated horses, and rode them to war, and were originally a horse-riding steppe people. And they could be identified with the horse clans of Wesnoth's eastern plains.

The Old European cultures which managed to survive the several waves of Indo-European invasions, such as the Etruscans, the Minoans and the Basques, could then be understood as remnants of Wesnothian civilization.

[1] This is an anglicized spelling to replace special characters and diacritical marks. The actual word is "erþō-".
[2] The word is "eorþ" without being anglicized.
[3] Guus Kroonen, Etymological Dictionary of Proto-Germanic, 2013, p. 118.
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Helmet
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Re: The Mists of Time: Reimagining Irdya as Earth's Mythical Past

Post by Helmet »

Andrettin wrote: November 30th, 2020, 10:08 pm The Old European cultures which managed to survive the several waves of Indo-European invasions, such as the Etruscans, the Minoans and the Basques, could then be understood as remnants of Wesnothian civilization.
Okay, but where are the liches?

Haha, just kidding. Interesting thought experiment. I can see the parallels -- some more clearly than others. Thanks for sharing.
gnombat
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Re: The Mists of Time: Reimagining Irdya as Earth's Mythical Past

Post by gnombat »

Andrettin wrote: November 30th, 2020, 10:08 pm Reimagining Irdya as our Earth's fictional past brings up the question of what happens then to the Under the Burning Suns storyline, since it is set in Irdya's far future.
That seems to suggest yet another possibility: Irdya is actually our Earth's future. ^_^
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Helmet
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Re: The Mists of Time: Reimagining Irdya as Earth's Mythical Past

Post by Helmet »

gnombat wrote: December 1st, 2020, 1:53 pm ...Irdya is actually our Earth's future. ^_^
Oh no. That means...we are the liches!
name
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Re: The Mists of Time: Reimagining Irdya as Earth's Mythical Past

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https://www.reddit.com/r/lotr/comments/ ... _could_be/

... looks like the Kingdom of Wesnoth sank to become the English Channel in our time period.
gnombat wrote: December 1st, 2020, 1:53 pm That seems to suggest yet another possibility: Irdya is actually our Earth's future. ^_^
That would better explain the large number of non-human tool-wielding creatures. They might be products of genetic engineering in the time period of our nearer future.
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