I’ve been asked a fair number of times now why GREEN KNIGHT is rooted in Celtic mythology and lore.
It’s a great question, and one I’m delighted to answer.
The truth is, I’ve always loved swords.
The Celts invented them.
Long ago, the spear ruled the battlefield. A simple and effective strategy was to simply poke the enemy as quickly as possible, from as far away as you could manage, whether by throwing, or thrusting.
The Celts were different. They ran into battle mostly naked, but painted for war. They were, as Al Gore put it: “super cereal“.
I mean, they lived for this stuff. The women too.
And, wouldn’t you know, other cultures followed suit, because while using a spear was about timing, using a sword was about timing and skill.
Tactical slices cut arteries and severed the limbs of foes.
Everybody wanted in.
It was the bronze age-motherfucking-fidget-spinner.
It sounds great.
What followed was the start of a technological race that, to this day, has never stopped. We still craft weaponry to foil our enemies defenses, and when they surpass us, we develop defenses to negate their advantages.
A cycle, you see?
Thus, GREEN KNIGHT draws on inspiration from those sunlit battlefields.
But, you may be asking, why would I care about any of this? Why is it worthy of note?
That, too, is a great goddamned question, and the answer lies in a moment over twenty years past, when my young hands first reached down to grasp a wooden toy sword.
Being so young, the sensation should have seemed new and unfamiliar.
…it was anything but.
It felt like going home. It did feel familiar… in an undefinable way.
The scientific world is still trying to untangle and define the concept of genetic memory, by tracing upward from what we believe to be raw instinct.
We don’t know for sure what types of memories, if any, we actually pass on to our offspring… but we know something is being passed on. Instinct is a wolf knowing to bite the ice from between the toes of it’s paws to prevent frostbite. With repetition, it would see, actions become ingrained instinct, at a genetic level. This, we know.
But from there? Writers like Frank Herbert of the Dune series have written volumes of delightful scientific lore on the subject.
It wouldn’t be inaccurate to call our brains “wild spaghetti machines”.
They’re the product of evolution and circumstance, and shaped by experiences within a random and unpredictable universe.
They defy logic. Sure, one area of the brain may have a specialty and a specific function, but anecdotal evidence has shown that it can re-route itself through other synapses, in the same way that we take an alternate route to the grocery stores when expecting traffic. There’s a documentary on Netflix I found fascinating, which delves into the subject, called: “The Brain That Changes Itself”. The concept itself is referred to as ‘brain elasticity’. When you get right down to it, our brains are what we need them to be.
Is it so hard to believe that the sensation of gripping a weapon: a sword, could become ingrained after generations of use?
GREEN KNIGHT is an ode to the sword, and the Celts who created them.
I wanted to breathe life and energy into a wild world of diverse and chaotic creatures, who live in the shadow of a greater age of achievement and enlightenment.
We accept that periods of advancement and great progress can often prove temporary, and that nations can quickly decay and go belly-up.
And it’s always due to greed.
It’s always due to a gradual shifting of the tracks, and a realignment to prioritize and advance business interests over the common good of the people.
GREEN KNIGHT is not, in my opinion, a narrative heavy on politics, but isn’t entirely shorn of them either.
Wheels turn, nations rise, and nations fall.
To believe otherwise is to embrace the notion that our country or people are “special”, or worse: “ordained”.
I know now that I will never lack for inspiration when crafting my stories.
Our age shucks out inspiration like candy at a parade. Open thine hat, and the words are there; purpose built, available, and imminently applicable.
Non teño deus, só inimigos e amantes.