Friday, November 21, 2008

What the hell is a Maenad ?

What the hell is that ? Who the hell is Maryann ? Who was that naked lady in the road with the huge hog when Tara crashed ?

A Maenad is -- In Greek mythology, Maenads (Greek: Μαινάδες) were the inspired and frenzied female worshipers of Dionysus, the Greek god of mystery, wine, and intoxication, the Roman god Bacchus. Their name literally translates as "raving ones". They were known as wild, insane women who could not be reasoned with. The mysteries of Dionysus inspired the women to ecstatic frenzy; they indulged in copious amounts of violence, bloodletting, sexual activity, self-intoxication, and mutilation. They were usually pictured as crowned with vine leaves, clothed in fawnskins and carrying the thyrsus, and dancing with wild abandon.

She appears in Bk 2 and attacks Sookie as a way to get Eric's attention because she wants to be given a tribute ( remember the car and big house ?) it gets more complicated and involved as the book proceeds

bk 2
*...Excuse me, ma'am, but what are you? If you don't mind me asking."
She smiled again, and I shuddered. "Not at all. I'm a maenad."
That was something Greek. I didn't know exactly what, but it was wild, female, and lived in nature, if my impressions were correct.
"That's very interesting," I said, grinning for all I was worth. "And you are out here tonight because . . . ?"
"I need a message taken to Eric Northman," she said, moving closer. This time I could see her do it. The hog snuffled along at her side as if she were tied to the woman. The smell was indescribable. I could see the little brushy tail of the razorback—it was switching back and forth in a brisk, impatient sort of way. "What's the message?" I glanced up at her—and whirled to run as quickly as I could. If I hadn't ingested some vampire blood at the beginning of the summer, I couldn't have turned in time, and I would've taken the blow on my face and chest instead of my back. It felt exactly as though someone very strong had swung a heavy rake and the points had caught in my skin, gone deeper, and torn their way across my back.

*....Chow said, "The god entered some women so completely that they became immortal, or very close to it. Bacchus was the god of the grape, of course, so bars are very interesting to maenads. In fact, so interesting that they don't like other creatures of the darkness becoming involved. Maenads consider that the violence sparked by the consumption of alcohol belongs to them; that's what they feed off, now that no one formally worships their god. And they are attracted to pride."

**.....I took a deep breath. "I'm worried .."My mother used to tell my father that they love a proud man," he said, and for a moment I thought he was still teasing me. But I looked at his face, and he was not. "Maenads love nothing more than to tear a proud man down to size. Literally."
"Yuck," I said. "Anything else satisfy them?" "Large game. Bears, tigers, so on."

**......"I've spent a few evenings in the woods with her, yes. As Sam, and in my other skin."
"But she's so evil," I blurted.
Sam's back stiffened. "She's a supernatural creature like me," he said evenly. "She's neither evil nor good, she just is." "Oh, bullshit." I couldn't believe I was hearing this from Sam. "If she's feeding you this line, then she wants something from you." I remembered how beautiful the maenad had been, if you didn't mind bloodstains. And Sam, as a shapeshifter, wouldn't. "Oh," I said, comprehension sweeping me. Not that I could read Sam's mind clearly, since he was a supernatural creature, but I could get a lock on his emotional state, which was—embarrassed, horny, resentful, and horny.
"Oh," I said again, somewhat stiffly. "Excuse me, Sam. I didn't mean to speak ill of someone you . . . you, ah . . ." I could hardly say, "are screwing," however apropos it might be. "You're spending time with," I finished lamely. "I'm sure she's lovely once you get to know her. Of course, the fact that she cut my back to bloody ribbons may have something to do with my prejudice against her. I'll try to be more open-minded." And I stalked off to take an order, leaving Sam open mouthed behind me.

*......"Hello, messenger," the maenad said to me. "I forgot to introduce myself last time, my canine friend reminds me. I am Callisto."
"Miss Callisto," I said, since I had no idea what to call her. I would have nodded, but Andy had hold of my neck. It was sure beginning to hurt.
"Who is this stalwart brave gripping you?" Callisto moved a little closer.
I had no idea what Andy looked like, but everyone on the deck was enthralled and terrified, Eric and Bill excepted. They were easing back, away from the humans. This wasn't good.
"I love drunkenness, and you are very drunk," Callisto said happily. "I love pleasures of the flesh, and these people are full of lust. This is my kind of place."

Scenes from True Blood:

tara swerves to miss what in the road ?

tara after wreck and in jail

tara at Maryann's home


Anonymous said...

Interesting observations. Thank you.

And thanks for the quotes from the novels.

Ive just completed the first season of True Blood and I think will now read the Sookie Stackhouse books.

Anonymous said...

One should know that the Maenads were probably the very archetype of human or humanlike females exhibiting superhuman strength in addition to their unreasonability. In mythology they knock over giant trees with their bare hands and dismember people and large animals by, for example, closing a hand around a person's neck and yanking off the head as you or I would remove a chicken leg. They killed Oddyseus by pelting him with large boulders.

They're not merely easy girls who like to party.

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