israel8491

[OB] Unmade Name Linguistic Origins

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A couple of years back, I posted a thread about how the names of the Unknown listed in Words of Radiance resembled a bunch of Mesopotamian gods. I'd like to start digging into the new Unmade names in Oathbringer.

Previous thread:

Other thread I wasn't in:

In the meantime, a friend of mine asked Brandon about the Unmade names and Brandon said that he was inspired by real-world sources, but the sources didn't really have any influence on the Stormlight Archive plot. So this thread is just for fun inspiration digging. There aren't going to be any cool revelations about what will happen later in the series. Really. This is me being pedantic and academic.

Anyways, I made a handy-dandy chart of the Unmade and which Mesopotamian gods I think Brandon got the names from:

Unmade Nickname Powers Source?
Yelig-Nar Blight Wind Consumes souls? ?
Sja-anat   Corrupts spren Satan (New Testament) or Anat, the Ugaritic and Egyptian goddess
Nergaoul   Causes the Thrill Nergal, the Mesopotamian god of death, pestilence and plague, and Lord of the Underworld
Moelach   Causes the Death Rattles Moloch, God of fire and chaos; child sacrifices
Dai-gonarthis Black Fisher ? Dagan or Dagon, fisher or spear god
Re-Shephir Midnight Mother Copycat murders Resheph, a Canaanite/Ugaritic god of plague; often equated to Nergal
Ashertmarn Heart of the Revel Partying Ashera, Sumerian goddess and lady of the sea
Bo-Ado-Mishram   Commander of the unmade? Baal-Hadad? Seems a bit of a stretch.
Chemoarish Dustmother ? Chemosh, Moabite god
 
We previously attributed Re-Shephir to Resheph, Dai-gonarthis to Dagon (although he might not be an Unmade after all), Moelach to Moloch, and Nergaoul to Nergal. There's also been some debate over whether Sja-anat gets her name from Satan or Anat. Personally, I lean towards Anat. Anat was a goddess in both Egypt and Mesopotamian cultures, while Satan originates in the Old Testament and is never a Mesopotamian (or other nearby culture's) god. 
Of the new Unmade we learn about in Oathbringer, Chemoarish seems to pretty obviously take her name from the Moabite god Chemosh. The one wrinkle in that is Chemosh is a male god, while Chemoarish's sobriquet "Dustmother" implies she's a female spren. Ashertmarn is a bit more difficult. There's a goddess named Astarte/Astoreth, but I think it's Asherah, another goddess in the area. The "marn" part I have no idea about. Asherah is also called Asherah of the Sea, or Asheret Ya'am, and "mar" means "sea" in Spanish? I think that's a coincidence though.
Bo-Ado-Mishram is a tough one. There's a god called Hadad who was also sometimes called Baal-Hadad (a conflation of two separate gods I think?). If you take a syllable from each name you get "Ba Ad", which is maybe a tiny bit similar? I think I'm on the wrong track with this one. Help!
And as always, who the heck knows where Yelig-nar comes from. 
There's also the question of whether Brandon was taking inspiration from Judeo-Christian demons or Mesopotamian gods. Judeo-Christianity tends to label Mesopotamian gods as demons, hence the crossover. For example, Moloch, Dagon, Resheph, Asherah, and Nergal all get Old Testament mentions (I know very little New Testament stuff, so if anyone wants to chime in on that end that'd be great). This really comes into play over whether Sja-anat gets her name from Satan or Anat; the former is only possible if Brandon was going for demonology.
 
Edited by israel8491
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I noticed Moelach and Nergaoul, and I suspected Ashertmarn, but I had no idea the others fits into the pattern. Wow, that's really cool.

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I fully support Anat for Sja-Anat. "Satan" just doesn't make sense to me, especially when you have a much closer cognate already.

I have also been trying to identify these, and don't have a good suggestion yet for Ba-Ado-Mishram. I've been using this list to look for similarities, and you found the best ones. I do think that Yarikh, a moon good on the list, sounds somewhat similar to Yelig, so he could be a match for Yelig-Nar. 

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I found this old thread while reading up about the unmade, and can add that I have confirmed the 2 missing unmade are inspired by Lovecraft's old gods.

https://wob.coppermind.net/events/395-icon-2019/#e13089

Updated list is as follows:

Ashertmarn - אשרה - Ashera
Ba ado mishram-?
Yelig nar -?
Dai gonarthis - דגון Dagon
Moleach - מולך - Moloch
Neragaoul- נרגל - Nergal
Re shephir - רשף - Resheph
Sja anat - ענת - Anat

 

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Aaaaah thanks for the update!! Here's what I said about Yelig-nar back in the original post from 2014:

Quote

Yelig-nar sounds like something out of a Lovecraft story. I couldn't find any connection.

HA I was right! If anyone wants to research Lovecraft deities, feel free to knock yourself out. I'm less familiar with his larger body of work and there were no obvious matches on the Wiki entry for Lovecraft creatures.

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Posted (edited)

On 1/3/2020 at 7:26 PM, israel8491 said:

Aaaaah thanks for the update!! Here's what I said about Yelig-nar back in the original post from 2014:

HA I was right! If anyone wants to research Lovecraft deities, feel free to knock yourself out. I'm less familiar with his larger body of work and there were no obvious matches on the Wiki entry for Lovecraft creatures.

Yog-Sothoth is the only name that comes close to Yelig-Nar. There are some parallels between the two(if you squint) in that both entities are capable of bestowing power, one by knowledge, the other of the Surges. Both entities can end up consuming the host/being to which power was granted. 
For Ba-Ado-Mishram, I don't have any linguistic parallels but her intelligence reminds me of Nyarlathotep.

Edited by Honorless
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On 1/5/2020 at 2:28 AM, Honorless said:

Yog-Sothoth is the only name that comes close to Yelig-Nar. There are some parallels between the two(if you squint) in that both entities are capable of bestowing power, one by knowledge, the other of the Surges. Both entities can end up consuming the host/being to which power was granted. 
For Ba-Ado-Mishram, I don't have any linguistic parallels but her intelligence reminds me of Nyarlathotep.

What about Mh'ithrha for Ba-Ado-Mishram?  That's the closest I've found.

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1 hour ago, Jamahu said:

What about Mh'ithrha for Ba-Ado-Mishram?  That's the closest I've found.

Ooh, the Hounds of Tindalos, nice! 

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'Ymnar is a cthonic deity, which looks vaguely like Yelig-Nar. The kicker: "A shape-shifting entity spawned by the Outer God Ngyr-Korath to serve him only. It may grant great powers to whoever chooses to serve him and his master, but his final aim is the destruction of all sentient and intelligent life in the Cosmos."

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