Bad Hound!, on 12 December 2012 - 02:18 PM, said:
So a whole range of word has developed around the 'warg' concept.
As Elyrica's link shows, a warg is originally a wolf (and not a nice one - more like a bad direwolf), but in GRRM's world has evolved to mean an animal whose brain/soul has been highjacked by a human. And so we have the word 'to warg', 'warging' etc etc.
Is the word 'maester' a GRRMism too? And 'septon'?
Warg is such an interesting concept and there is sooo much to it in myth and folklore. Yes, a "bad wolf" but more so literally the spirit of an outlaw. The old norse (the ancient germanics in general) did not have a black and white concept of good and evil so much as a concept of what lies within the right order of things and society and what lies without it. They believed the Seidhkona (witch) could possess the body of a warrior by riding that aspect of his soul which is an animal (the fylgja), the fylgja of an outlaw often being a warg/vargr, or wolf. A closely related term is hamingja, and the third would be hide as in http://www.etymonlin...x.php?term=hide
. That a hide is a literal skin or covering and that it is also a word meaning "to conceal" is no coincidence. The hide covers all the other elements of the spirit as if they were organs themselves.
I think GRRM does a great job incorporating some of these concepts into his idea of "warg", but really the folklore is so rich and deep that there is endless source material for so much more great writing and fiction.
As far as "Maester" I think this is GRRMs ingenious combination of the ideas of meister, maestro, and mage.
Last but not least is "septon", the word "Sept" in latin meaning "seven", it makes perfect sense that a preist of the seven-facd god would be called a Septon and the temple of the same god a Sept.
Edited by tom_saxon, 12 December 2012 - 09:46 PM.