Saturday, 15 March 2014

The Wardens' And Rangers' Time War

Poul Anderson, The Corridors Of Time (London, 1968).

In 1535, near Viborg, the Warden Mareth tells Lockridge that, in the sixteenth century, Warden strength is concentrated in Britain, not in Denmark. The Wardens cannot prevent the pivotal Henry VIII from forsaking the Roman Church but do prevent him from becoming Lutheran. They gain during the two Queen Marys episode, lose to the Rangers under Cromwell but drive out the Rangers again at the Restoration.

Why wage a war with foreknown outcomes? Because each battle inflicts casualties on the enemy and because each period firmly held is a source of strength and recruits for a future battle whose outcome is still unknown. The Wardens lead fighting men from the sixteenth century through a time corridor to rescue their leader, Storm, who has been captured by the Rangers circa 1800 BC. The time war seems to bypass the thousand year, thousand mile stretch of Bronze Age Northern Europe so Storm decides to build strength there-then. Warden agents active in that period will be hidden from the Rangers but therefore also from themselves. Storm remains in Avildaro as the Goddess while her agent, Lockridge, bears the message that the Goddess is not the enemy of the Aryan invaders' sky gods but their Mother, Wife and Daughter. The Powers want their children to be united as They are united.

The time war entered the history of religion. Lockridge reflects that primitive peoples have wholeness of spirit and are:

" with earth and sky and sea in a way that those who set the gods apart from themselves, or who denied any gods, could never be." (p. 104)

I think that those who deny any gods can regain that oneness.

The Indo-Europeans' patriarchal pantheon brings a lonelier consciousness. However, the old ones blend with the new gods. Dyaush Pitar's sun chariot and battle ax become Thor's goat-drawn chariot and rain-bringing hammer. Thor becomes St Olaf, Frey becomes St Erik, the Goddess becomes the Virgin Mary. Rangers promote war gods; Wardens preserve the old and remake the new.

Lockridge escapes when the Wardens are attacked, then, later on his own world-line, leads the attack.

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