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Dark Kingdom

Posted by Nancy J. Cohen on April 14, 2011

DARK KINGDOM: THE DRAGON KING

Serendipity may be defined as making a fortunate discovery while looking for something unrelated. Recently, I visited our local Blockbuster store that was going out of business and bought some pre-viewed DVDs on sale. One of the films that looked promising was a fantasy epic titled Dark Kingdom: The Dragon King with Benno Fürmann, Alicia Witt, and Kristanna Loken.

Dragon King

As I watched it at home, I realized two things: One, I’d seen the tragic tale before on television, and Two, it tied in almost exactly as told to the second book in my Drift Lords paranormal romance trilogy. The movie’s storyline could have been extracted from these two pages in my book, Warrior Rogue [Spoiler Alert!!!]. Jen is my heroine, and Paz is my hero. We’re in his viewpoint. Warning: If you haven’t seen the movie yet, this gives away the story. They change the name of Sigurd to Siegfried in the film.       

Dragon King

Jen pulled a printout from her pocket.

“What’s that?” He waved a hand at it.

“While you were gone this morning, I went to the hotel’s business center and looked up Fafnir the Dragon on the computer.”

“What did you learn?” His lip curved in bemusement. She seemed to be taking to these myths same as her prophesied sister, Nira.

She brushed a stray hair off her forehead. The humidity made her hair curl around her face. He watched her graceful movement, entranced by her slender wrist. He’d like to take her palm and swirl his tongue on her sensitive flesh.

“In Norse mythology, Fafnir was a giant who disguised himself as a dragon to defend his treasure. One of the items he guarded was a magic ring that brought its wearer unending wealth. However, the trickster Loki had taken that ring from the dwarfs who created it. The dwarfs were metal workers who made magical items for the gods.”

“Like our friend, Smitty?”

She nodded. “The dwarf who originally guarded the treasure cursed the ring that Loki took. Now instead of creating wealth for its wearer, it would bring death.

“A descendant of Odin named Sigurd killed Fafnir and stole his treasure. Sigurd ate the dragon’s heart in order to understand animals. He bathed in the creature’s blood to become invulnerable except for a spot on his shoulder.

“Sigurd was in love with a Valkyrie named Brynhild. The Valkyries were virgin warriors of the god Odin. They could fly and carried the souls of dead warriors to Valhalla.”

He scratched his jaw. “Nira told us some of these stories but I don’t recall this one. What is Valhalla?”

“It’s Odin’s hall where dead warriors lived in honor while they prepared for Ragnarok, the end of all times.”

According to the prophecy, Ragnarok was coming again. Loki wanted to bring chaos and destruction to the multiverse in revenge for the gods banishing him.

He kept his dark thoughts to himself. “You’ve certainly done your homework.”

Jen beamed at him. “Listen to the rest. To mark his engagement to Brynhild, Sigurd gave her the magic ring he stole from Fafnir without knowing he’d been cursed by possessing it.”

“So what happened?”

“He set off on a journey to a foreign court. There a magic potion made him fall in love with the king’s daughter. When Brynhild found out he’d betrayed her, she persuaded one of the king’s sons to kill Sigurd. The fellow pierced him at his weak spot on the shoulder. Brynhild repented and killed herself on his funeral pyre.”

“Ah.” He tilted his head. “And what does this tale of woe have to do with us?”

“How can Fafnir be here if he’s supposedly dead?”

*****

My heroes are in Hong Kong searching for a dragon that still lives. This story is based on Norse mythology, which in turn is based on a Germanic epic called the Edda. My series was inspired by a visit to Epcot at Disney World where we went on the Maelstrom ride in the Norway pavilion. The scenes take you back in time to the early days of Norse myths when trolls roamed the land. Thus was my Drift Lords trilogy born, for which my agent is still seeking a home. Once I finish my current mystery project, if nothing else is pressing, I will work on book three in this trilogy so the entire set will be complete.

It was just such a coincidence that I’d written this mythic tale before I’d seen the film. But then if you’re familiar with Joseph Campbell’s work on The Hero’s Journey, you’ll know that mythological structure anchors many stories told throughout time.

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