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View Full Version : Column: 'Wraith Be Dead?'



Mister Oragahn
January 30th, 2006, 05:42 PM
http://gateworld.net/articles/columns/sum/wraith01.shtml

Since I can't find the appropriate thread to react to the essay, I'll post my remarks here.

I think the writing could have been more detailed about the vampire folklore, notably as how variations of the theme exist on other continents, like for example in Africa.

The concept of drinking blood to regain strenght and/or absorb the strenght of your enemy fits admirably well with the Wraith, safe for the blood part, and this theme is quite wide spread over multiple old cultures on Earth.

Now, I'm surprised you completely forgot to mention the iratus bug.

In "38 minutes", what we do see is that bug actually jumped at Sheppard's neck and planted its two mandibles into his flesh, soon starting to suck blood.
The iratus bug seems more primitive in the sense that despite killing Sheppard, it didn't make him age. It only sucked blood in the classical vampire way. Although we can also notice that the wounds, resulting from the Wraith act of pressing their hand to life drain their prey, may also bleed.

Now, to fall back to the iratus bug, when the insect was removed, it was nice to see that it left two holes in Sheppard's neck, typically matching the vampire trademark as they're often described biting their prey in the neck.

The contemporary vampire mythology seems to be a combination of the crude blood sucking iratus bug and the rather supernatural Wraith, with all the aura and charisma they carry along.

edokun
February 5th, 2006, 05:39 AM
Hi. I wrote the article and here are my responses to your comments.

Yes, I could have provided more background about how vampires differ in each culture, but I felt that would have distracted from the article's main purpose. There are many cultures to reference and if I was to detail every one, that would become an encyclopedia in itself. I could have drawn up a chart, but that doesn't always provide as great of a detail as a properly written paragraph would do. I do note that I wrote, "Because information about vampires can be found from many sources (ranging from electronic to print), this article serves to give a quick historical review about the creature of the night before putting it into the context of the television show."

If I was to reference every single culture, I would have wrote cultural. :)

I can mention a few things that I've learned in my research in regards to what you are looking for. The Assyrian vampire (Ekimmu) is a spirit, capable of possessing its victims. The African vampire's appearance really varies, depending on the tribe, and not necessarily the same name from each tribe. The Otgiruru is bat-like in its appearance, with hooks for feet and iron teeth. In Malaysia (Penanggalan), they are giant heads with their stomachs attached to the neck, and said to look like giant mosquitos (in reference to your iratus bug question). To note, there are two more vampire type creatures from this country. Also, in the West Indies, they are females who can literally strip off their skin and transform into balls of fire to hunt.

Variations in how to slow-down a vampire include counting seeds (South America) or rice (China). I remember a vampire episode in X-files where Mulder tossed poppy seeds in order to escape a vampire. This is interesting because poppy seeds are also used to prevent a deceased from becoming a vampire. Other variations include burying the dead face-down, decapitation (burning the head sometimes), removal of the heart (burning that too and drinking the ashes to cure the victims) and bondage (yes, tying the hands and feet). Superstition includes not crying over the dead body (Romanian), burying the body under a pile of rocks, or placing of a coin in the deceased's mouth (Greek).

I can go on forever, and to work everything into one article would expand it beyond the word count that Darren wants me to average at. That's why I mentioned the wealth of information easily found on the internet.

I did not mention the iratus bug because I wanted to include that in the follow up article than in the initial treatise about the Wraith. The article does encompass most of season one, but I did not feel I could do mention of the bug justice in two sentences in an article that was laden towards an overview of the lore. Looking back, I should have but no human is perfect.

I wanted to reserve information about the bug for a follow up article, when I can find more than just a paragraph's entry about the Malaysian creature, which is perhaps the closest vampyre to being like the bug, and when more details about Wraith origins and behaviours are revealed to affirm this race's "humble" beginnings.

I want to answer the question: are the Wraith like the blood suckers of nature or human genetic experiments on Ancients gone wrong? Some information can be drawn from just one episode, but it would make for a short article. Ford's conversion and Michael's de-evolution will contribute heavily in the follow-up which will be iratus bug theory heavy. There is material to be said about how the bug transfers its own traits to the then human Wraith and the Dhampir (think Marvel Comic's Blade), which may be the inspirations for Ronan.

After all, I did write: "Because very little history has been given so far about this race, only future episodes can tell [more about the bug theory] and a follow-up to this article will explore the ideas the show creators have since put forth."

robinmdh
February 8th, 2006, 10:53 AM
i had the same thoughts on the wraith previus to this article, and ofcourse you'r verry right, i must say the way you sugest the iratus bug fits in is a verry clever find.
totaly plauseble (in the stargate galaxy)

they do sleep (over centuries), they were once men(converted by the iratus bug) and the iratus bugs are found in damp dark caves ...

seeing as the wraith use organic based ships(atlantis S02E20) would there be any weapons that might work well against vampires wich might work against wraith and/or their ships, it would stand to reason the ancients brought the stories of how to kill wraith/vampires aswell.... and the onely reason they lost was there were too manny.
anny thougths on how we may in the future see wraith (ships) getting killed of ?