ADVANTAGES

DRAUGR, DRAUGAR (Old Norse, "phantom," related to PIE drowgos, "deceive"; plural form is draugar or draugur): Also called aptrgangr ("again-walkers"), draugar are undead beings from Old Norse, Icelandic, Faroese, Danish, Swedish, and Norwegian mythology. Animated blood-drinking corpses, these monsters were either death-blue ("hel-blár") or "corpse-white" ("nár-fölr") in color. Folklore depicted them as superhumanly strong, foul-smelling, and vengeful. They enjoyed crushing or suffocating victims, as depicted in the Hrómundar Saga. They possessed a number of powers, most notably the ability to drive men or animals insane, to control weather, to prophesy, to increase their mass at will, and to turn into smoke or pass through rock. The oldest legends distinguished between sea-draugar (vengeful spirits of the drowned), land-draugar (types that wandered at night and often preyed on shepherds), and a third variation known as haugbui. The latter type lurked in , protecting the treasure-hoard buried therin. Any marginalized, evil, or unhappy person might become a draugr after death (especially those who were greedy or vengeful in life), but draugar were also infectious. Those they kill turn into draugar after death, as is the case in the story of Glam in Grettir's Saga and the story of the shepherd in the Eyrbyggja Saga. Along with vague Anglo-Saxon allusions to the (OE wiht), the Old Norse legends of draugar were Tolkien's primary inspiration for barrow-wights in The Lord of the Rings. Incidentally, in Nynorsk (modern Norwegian) translations of Tolkien's work, the word draugr is applied to the barrow-wights as well as to the Nazgûl ring-wraiths and the dead men of Dunharrow. Cf. , .

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