January 28th, 2006


The Moirae - A Study In Fate

I've finally figured out how I'm going to channel my screen grabbing power. In honor of The Spectre and the end of The Ninth Age of magic, I'm going to make a huge collage of magic users with The Specte in the middle (those magic users I have so far are Puck, Willow, Giles, Dr. Fate, Etrigan, Jason Blood, Klarion, Demona, and The Magus). So while doing it, I stumbled on the Weird Sisters, fun bunch. Luna's the one with the white hair, Selene is raven-haired, and Phoebe is the blonde, all named after goddesses of the moon and based on the three witches from MacBeth (on Gargoyles they were Oberon's Children).

Right then, so as fate would have it, this morning I happen to catch an episode of Sabrina The Teenage Witch. Despite the horrible last season, I did like the one episode where she encounters The Fates. In this incarnation, they were named Ashley, Paris, and Mackenzie and were sort of airheads who dressed like Avril Lavigne meets Britney Spears.

So that got me thinking, some day it'd be nice to do a collage of the Moirae. In Greek they are Clotho, Lachesis, and Atropos. Their Roman equivalents are Nona, Decima, and Morta while their Norse equivalents are The Norns, Urd, Verdandi, and Skuld. They weave the tapestry of everyone's life and represent past (birth), present (drawing of lots), and the future (death). Sometimes they take the form of the maid, the mother, and the crone.

Aside from Gargoyles and Sabrina, I've seen them represented in Clash of the Titans, Hercules The Legendary Journeys/Xena Warrior Princess, and Disney's Hercules (which, interestingly enough, showed that The Fates and The Norns were one and the same or, as Philoctetes said, they're "double dipping"). These were primarily based on the Greek interpretation, and in Clash of the Titans and Disney's Hercules they were depicted as three blind old women who would fight over a single eye that revealed everything to them.

Gargoyles adds another dimension to the "double dipping" concept. Greg Weisman has said that Phoebe is Compassion (The Graces), Selene is Revenge (The Furies), and Luna is Destiny (The Fates). They've taken on various forms at some point or other. It's kind of hard to put them in a maid/mother/crone situation since Selene, revenge, for instance, doesn't seem to fit any of them. Maybe you could say Phoebe is past, Selene is present, and Luna is future. I haven't even re-watched City of Stone yet (haven't seen it in about 6 years). And for anyone whose memory of MacBeth is fresher than mine (assuming anyone can even follow what I'm saying), are the witches there distinct enough to be given titles?

Getting back to Sabrina, I'd put Ashley (the young and naive one) in the maid/past/compassion role. MacKenzie didn't do that much, but I'd say she was the mother/present/destiny. Paris seemed to particularly enjoy torturing Sabrina (and threatened to kill her or her boyfriend since Sabrina intervened and saved her friend from certain death), so I'd say she was crone/future/revenge.

Phew, okay, I'm out. Anyone have anything else to add? Surprisingly, I haven't come across them in comics, although I'm sure The Norns have been in Thor (not just the Norn Queen) and Wonder Woman must've come across The Fates. I know Neil Gaiman's used the Norns in Sandman, but I don't know a whole lot about that.

Okay, and this doesn't have much to do with the Triple Goddess idea, but I'm still upset about Dr. Strangefate. Back in the 90's, Marvel and DC had this Amalgam Universe thing where they combined characters, and Dr. Strange and Dr. Fate combined and became Dr. Strangefate. Okay, obviously, that's a Dr. Strangelove reference, but come ON! Dr. Weird would've been a MUCH clever name since "weird" can mean both "strange" and "fate".

All right, NOW I'm done. Although I must say it's kind of depressing that so many religions believe in an outside force that decide your life. Any thoughts on that?