Boneskinner = Garmr / Fenrir (General norse inspiration discussion) — Guild Wars 2 Forums
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Boneskinner = Garmr / Fenrir (General norse inspiration discussion)

demitel.1340demitel.1340 Member ✭✭✭

I wasn't too sure if I should post this in Lore or General discussion, but I'm pretty surprised that this matter haven't been discussed yet (at least I didn't find any topic and I was not going to search from 100 pages of finds relating to Boneskinner). What is the origin of Boneskinner?

We all know already that Norn are based on Vikings / Norse mythology and rightfully so, The Icebrood Saga narrative is written in old Norse. I didn't actually pay much attention to it, but recently I played Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice and the events / boss fight against Fenrir goes just like in Guild Wars 2. He gets stronger in the dark, he is afraid of light and we use it to our advantage. Even the creature model is really similar, though this is still an artistic decision. In Hellbalde Fenrir is visualized as a boar, but in the game he is mentioned as Garmr / Fenrir. Sometimes called as Hellhound. Boneskinner and Garmr / Fenrir shares the same fate basically, Boneskinner guarding Sanctum Arena and Fenrir guarding Hel's gate. There are other references too, such as Fraenir of Jormag is named after Fafnir, a dwarf who became a Dragon.

https://i.imgur.com/8pLhwvS.png

This is just my guess, but I think Jormag's voice actor is female, because she is pretty much influenced by Hel (daughter of Loki). Did you know that Hel is the ruler of Niflheim, a realm of primordial ice and cold?

I like Norse mythology and stuff related to it. I love in games how developers take inspiration from it.

Comments

  • demitel.1340demitel.1340 Member ✭✭✭
    edited April 26, 2020

    Sure, it was called Wendigo at one point of development, but I think they had a good reason not to call it by that name. Wendigo is from North American folklore and does not really fit the Norse mythology. Though Wendigo and Fenrir has similar abilities, quoted from different site: " While in the wraith world, Fenrir is capable of using shadow strike, an attack which allows him to teleport to his enemies' location and quickly kill them, as well as easily navigate over the terrain. The most important of Fenrir's abilities is his power to strike fear into and dominate his enemies, allowing him to access a whole host of opportunities." Just like the Boneskinner does.

    Same as Wendigo, he causes fear on his pray and strike upon the victim when it has driven away by despair. Sure when you Google search images of Wendigo, you can find similar images like Boneskinner, but the most common "sight" has been a human like creature with fur.

    Developers had a really good reason to change the name, the model is still really good.

  • Inculpatus cedo.9234Inculpatus cedo.9234 Member ✭✭✭✭

    That's all you took from the discussion?
    Ok.

  • The Greyhawk.9107The Greyhawk.9107 Member ✭✭✭
    edited April 26, 2020

    Norn aren't exclusively Norse based, their culture also takes some influence from Northern Native American, their shamanism/nature worship being a big example.

    So yeah, the Boneskinner IS based on the wendigo.

    Hate Is Fuel.

  • Randulf.7614Randulf.7614 Member ✭✭✭✭
    edited April 26, 2020

    Norn are based on more than one culture and utilise other mythologies than just Nordic

    Wendigo is the chief inspiration for the Boneskinner

    What sleep is here? What dreams there are in the unctuous coiling of the snakes mortal shuffling. weapon in my hand. My hand the arcing deathblow at the end of all things. The horror. The horror. I embrace it. . .

  • demitel.1340demitel.1340 Member ✭✭✭
    edited April 26, 2020

    @Inculpatus cedo.9234 said:
    That's all you took from the discussion?
    Ok.

    I didn't find anything else interesting in the summary. I don't have time to check the 2 hours long video or transcription either. But I still find the resemblance funny for everything what I wrote or noted, so in another universe that might be true. Heh heh.

    @The Greyhawk.9107 said:
    Norn aren't exclusively Norse based, their culture also takes some influence from Northern Native American, their shamanism/nature worship being a big example.

    So yeah, the Boneskinner IS based on the wendigo.

    That I can figure out by myself that they are influenced by different cultures. Though ravens are important part in Norse mythology.

    For everyone. This is just my own rambling, so don't take me too seriously. More like fanfiction than anything else.

  • Dawdler.8521Dawdler.8521 Member ✭✭✭✭
    edited April 26, 2020

    I am pretty sure Garm, Eirs legendary ranked dire wolf who gets his name from the Norse word Garmr/Fenrisulven, would be quite confused if you started to call the boneskinner the same name. And maybe a little insulted since he's practically a member of Destinys Edge and you just said he's an enemy boss.

    Dont look a gift Asura in the mouth.
    No seriously, dont. Shark teeth.

  • demitel.1340demitel.1340 Member ✭✭✭
    edited April 26, 2020

    @Dawdler.8521 said:
    I am pretty sure Garm, Eirs legendary ranked dire wolf who gets his name from the Norse word Garmr/Fenrisulven, would be quite confused if you started to call the boneskinner the same name. And maybe a little insulted since he's practically a member of Destinys Edge and you just said he's an enemy boss.

    Okay, that was funny. Good that Garm does not speak Tyrian or common language.

  • Fenom.9457Fenom.9457 Member ✭✭✭✭
    edited April 26, 2020

    @demitel.1340 said:

    Sure, it was called Wendigo at one point of development, but I think they had a good reason not to call it by that name. Wendigo is from North American folklore and does not really fit the Norse mythology. Though Wendigo and Fenrir has similar abilities, quoted from different site: " While in the wraith world, Fenrir is capable of using shadow strike, an attack which allows him to teleport to his enemies' location and quickly kill them, as well as easily navigate over the terrain. The most important of Fenrir's abilities is his power to strike fear into and dominate his enemies, allowing him to access a whole host of opportunities." Just like the Boneskinner does.

    Same as Wendigo, he causes fear on his pray and strike upon the victim when it has driven away by despair. Sure when you Google search images of Wendigo, you can find similar images like Boneskinner, but the most common "sight" has been a human like creature with fur.

    Developers had a really good reason to change the name, the model is still really good.

    Wendigo may not fit into Norse mythology, but they fit perfectly into the isolated, cold, dark, deep forests of the north. Boneskinner is basically a wendigo. Also I’m not an expert but from what I know, Fenrir is quite different from this, being a gigantic intelligent wolf. And jormag is less like hel (or hela) and more like Jormangandir - a giant serpent that could consume the world

    HARRY! DIDYA PUT YER NAME IN DA GOBLET OF FIYAH?!

  • Kossage.9072Kossage.9072 Member ✭✭✭
    edited May 1, 2020

    @Dawdler.8521 said:
    I am pretty sure Garm, Eirs legendary ranked dire wolf who gets his name from the Norse word Garmr/Fenrisulven, would be quite confused if you started to call the boneskinner the same name. And maybe a little insulted since he's practically a member of Destinys Edge and you just said he's an enemy boss.

    Funnily enough, if the developers had kept the wendigo name for Boneskinner, they would've had two unrelated creatures with a similar name in GW lore. In GW1 there were specific minotaur enemies named Berserking Wendigo. Sadly these wendigos are nowhere to be found in GW2's Bjora Marches (which contains GW1's Jaga Moraine and Bjora Marches where these wendigos once roamed), but maybe we'll see some wendigo minotaur action in Varajar Fells if/once we travel there in GW2. It'd make sense to see these berserking wendigos there if the devs intend to honor several lesser Spirits of the Wild as masteries in upcoming episodes (with Ep 1-2 having already honored Ox, Eagle and Wolverine alongside the Great Spirit of Raven), so having Minotaur and his herd play a role in the story of Varajar Fells would be thematically fitting so he can have his long overdue revenge on Jormag and the Sons of Svanir for trying to feed him and his herd to the Dragon Beast back in norn personal story. :)

    @demitel.1340 said:
    Okay, that was funny. Good that Garm does not speak Tyrian or common language.

    Interestingly a section of norn players have actually spoken with Garm if they sought out Wolf's blessing in "Twilight of the Wolf" story step before going to face the jotun king Korag in "The Last of the Giant-Kings." While transformed into a spiritual wolf, the norn Slayer was able to converse with Garm who revealed himself to be old and wise with a bit of insight on his relationship with Destiny's Edge:

    Garm: You are Eir's new pack? Good. She has missed her old pack. She is sad too often. Now, we will hunt once more!
    Player: Her old pack? You mean Destiny's Edge?
    Garm: Yes. The charr and the human and the rest. I have missed them too, but most of all I have missed my alpha's smile. [...]
    Player: Wait a second—Garm? You can talk?
    Garm: Only to other wolves, young one. Now watch your tail, and prepare to fight!

    I hope that once we unlock Wolf's mastery in upcoming Icebrood Saga episodes, there'll be a chance for every Commander regardless of race to hear Garm speak out loud (and I imagine they'll choose as fitting a voice actor for Garm as they did for Wolf in Episode 2 if they go this route) either permanently or in a specific magical event. In fact, it would be fascinating if the barriers between the Mists and Tyria remained thin and we were able to recruit the ghost of Ormi, one of Wolf's favorites who was corrupted and put out of his misery in "Twilight of the Wolf", so he can return and fight side by side with Garm and Wolf against Jormag's minions and have his revenge on the Sons of Svanir who had corrupted him. As the shamans of Wolf say, "Run with the pack," so I'm sure Wolf would love seeing his two champions Garm and Ormi fighting side by side as they hunt a bigger foe. :)

    Back in the day, narrative designer Angel McCoy suggested that there may be a lot more to Garm's story than what's been shown in game so far regarding what happened to his pack, how he met Eir and chose her as his alpha etc.:

    Q: Some questions regarding Garm; how did he and Eir meet, and where specifically? And assuming dire wolves are by now extinct in Tyria (as well) with the only live specimen being him, what happened to the pack he was born into? Lastly, what happened between them that makes him follow Eir as his ‘alpha’?
    Angel McCoy: That’s a big story. I’ll put it into my list of possible ideas to tackle in a blog post.

    Instead of just writing it as a blog post, I think this story should merit in-depth exploration in a Wolf-centric Icebrood Saga episode now that the Spirits of the Wild are playing a bigger role in Tyria's story.

    Imagine if we actually found Garm's old dire wolf pack but corrupted by Jormag, and Garm had to end their lives while we learn from Garm what his life before Eir was like and how he eventually met and befriended her, and how she earned his trust and admiration. We could also get insight into why Garm, despite viewing Eir as his only alpha, was willing to follow Braham's orders without protest during Season 3, why he decided to "retire" during Season 4 and how Wolf was able to nudge him out of retirement to go help Braham in Bjora Marches as shown in "Shadow in the Ice".

    Or alternatively we could find that some dire wolves have survived in the north, and Garm has to prove his worth as an alpha to lead what remains of them so they can reclaim their homeland from the Icebrood with Braham supporting his wolven companion to honor Eir's legacy. I'd likewise love to see Eir and Garm be reunited one last time so they can say proper farewells in a touching scene (just like I'd love to see one more scene between Snaff and Zojja so they can do the same); maybe once Garm has fulfilled his promise to Eir to hunt Jormag and ensured that Braham walks in Wolf's steps, he can retire and become an alpha of the rejuvenated dire wolves so they can repopulate the north and usher in a new age of Wolf free from the Ice Dragon's shadow. :)

    As for Fenrir, curiously we've actually faced a wolven beast named like that back in GW1. The Fenrir in GW1 was the alpha and sire of the two-headed kveldulves who terrorized Norrhart Domains near Gunnar's Hold. Despite being defeated, he proved to be quite sturdy and returned once again to threaten the countryside so the Zaishen were forced to place a bounty on him.

    If the narrative designers wanted to go wild with the story, they could actually tie Fenrir and the Kveldulf story with the fate of the dire wolves as discussed above. Perhaps in the distant past the kveldulf and dire wolf packs were rivals. After the defeat of their sire Fenrir, perhaps the son of Fenrir (they could call him Hati to reference Hati Hróðvitnisson, Fenrir's son known as the "Enemy" who chases the Moon across the night sky in Norse mythology) took over what remained of the kveldulves but found his pack weakened, so in his desperation he fell to Jormag's temptations and gave in to corruption to receive enough power to crush his hated dire wolf rivals once and for all. This could've led to a dire wolf massacre (or mass conversion into Icebrood), leaving Garm and a few other survivors scattered throughout the wilderness with Garm being separated from the rest and being unaware if any of them survived the slaughter. Maybe Garm was the son of the previous dire wolf pack leader, so he and Fenrir's son would be destined to collide again in the future to settle their sires' dispute.

    Just imagine us returning to Norrhart Domains where Garm finds what remains of his pack, manages to regain their trust to become their representative and challenges Fenrir's son to a duel to settle the dispute between the two wolf packs once and for all. The Commander and Braham could be Garm's seconds while Fenrir's son could have his own seconds too, thus leading to a fierce struggle and, if we wanted to be hopeful, redemption for not only the dire wolves but possibly some of the kveldulves who had not yet been fully tempted by Jormag's lies. This could lead to Garm's victory, and what remains of the dire wolves and kveldulves setting aside their rivalry and uniting forces into a temporary bigger pack to go hunt Jormag in a touching, heroic scene so the north may one day belong to the wolves once again, while Wolf will be pleased that the packs are once again living in harmony according to his creed. :)

  • demitel.1340demitel.1340 Member ✭✭✭
    edited April 26, 2020

    @Kossage.9072 That was really interesting to read and you had some good points. I actually own Guild Wars Factions and Nightfall, but never got that far in the story, it was back then when I was young adult while trying to find some games to play. Never played a Norn character either, so that Garm part was new for me.

  • Konig Des Todes.2086Konig Des Todes.2086 Member ✭✭✭✭

    @demitel.1340 said:
    Sure, it was called Wendigo at one point of development, but I think they had a good reason not to call it by that name. Wendigo is from North American folklore and does not really fit the Norse mythology.

    The norn take from both Norse and North American mythos since GW1. While they're much more influenced by Norse, they were never exclusively taking inspiration from there. Similar to how the charr take inspiration from both Mongols and Ancient Rome and, in GW1, steampunk.

    The fact that the Boneskinner takes heavy from North American mythos instead of Norse is far from out of the ordinary and while it may not fit Norse mythology, it does still fit norn. Most lore surrounding the Spirits of the Wild take more influence from North American beliefs than Norse, and the Boneskinner is tied more to the Spirits of the Wild than to the norn, so it actually makes sense that its inspiration, the wendigo, is from North American stories.

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