Eternal Champion

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This article is about the Michael Moorcock character concept. For the book, see The Eternal Champion (novel). For the video game, see Eternal Champions.

The Eternal Champion is a fictional creation of the author Michael Moorcock and is a recurrent feature in many of his novels.

About the Eternal Champion[edit]

The fictional Multiverse, which consists of several universes, many layered dimensions, spheres, and alternative worlds, is the place where the eternal struggle between Law and Chaos, the two main forces of Moorcock's worlds, takes place. In all these dimensions and worlds, these forces constantly war for supremacy. Since the victory of Law or Chaos would cause the Multiverse either to become permanently static or totally formless, the Cosmic Balance enforces certain limits which the powers of Law and Chaos violate at their peril. Law, Chaos, and the Balance are active, but seemingly non-sentient, forces which empower various champions and representatives.

The Eternal Champion, a Hero who exists in all dimensions, times and worlds, is the one who is chosen by fate to fight for the Cosmic Balance; however, he often does not know of his role, or, even worse, he struggles against it, never to succeed. Since his role is to intervene when either Law or Chaos have gained an excess of power, he is always doomed to be surrounded by strife and destruction, although he may go through long periods of relative quiet.

All the incarnations of the Eternal Champion are facets of each other, and the Champion may also be aided by a companion, who, like himself, exists in various incarnations. Likewise the Champion is often associated with a romantic interest that is possibly an aspect of an eternal figure. Other characters in the various books have occasionally crossed over from one universe to another, although it is unclear what their status in the multiverse may be. Normally, the incarnations of the Champion do not interact and are treated as a series of serial incarnations for facets of a single consciousness, but various cataclysmic events (such as the end of a Cycle of Cycles of the multiverse's progression, or an invasion by hostile entities from an entirely separate multiverse) may bring them together in various ways. This is very dangerous (it causes strains on the fabric of the multiverse as well as mental issues for the Champion), but amplifies the Champion's power enormously.

In every aspect, the Champion is a warrior almost without peer: when he wields some version of his usual weapon, the Black Sword (known by various names such as Stormbringer or Kanajana, although not all versions of the Sword are the same and some are active entities in their own right) few can stand against him. He is also usually an adept, if often unwilling, leader of fighters and has strategic and tactical abilities.

Incarnations of the Eternal Champion[edit]

Incarnations of the Eternal Champion include:

  • Alan Powys
  • Alerik
  • Alivale
  • Artos the Celt
  • Asquiol of Pompeii
  • Aubec, Earl of Malador
  • Brian
  • Captain Cornelius
  • Clen of Clen-Gar[note 1]
  • Clovis Marca (later changed to Clovis Becker)
  • Jerry Cornell
  • Corum Jhaelen Irsei (an anagram of "Jeremiah Cornelius", a.k.a. Corum Llaw Ereint}
  • Duke Dorian Hawkmoon
  • Elric of Melniboné
  • Lord Erekosë,[note 1] the first identity assumed by John Daker
  • Prince Flamadin,[note 1] the fourth identity assumed by John Daker
  • Franik
  • Ghardas Valabasian, Conqueror of the Distant Suns
  • Goldberg
  • Ilanth
  • Ilian of Garathorm
  • Jerry Cornelius
  • Jherek Carnelian
  • John Daker,[note 1] the one aspect of the Champion who remembers his previous lives.
  • Karl Glogauer, who turns out to be the real man behind the messianic figure of Jesus Christ (note also how some other incarnations bear the initials J.C.)
  • Klan
  • Konrad Arflane
  • Mejink-La-Kos
  • Michael Kane (Kane of Old Mars)
  • M'v Okom Sebpt O'Riley, Gunholder of the Qui Lors Ventures
  • Oshbek-Uy
  • Oswald Bastable
  • Pournachas
  • Colonel Pyat or Maxim Arturovitch Pyatnitski
  • Roland (a paladins of Charlemagne)
  • Ryan
  • Shaleen
  • Sojan the Swordsman
  • Graf Ulrich von Bek[note 2]
  • Ulysses
  • Umpata
  • Count Urlik Skarsol,[note 1] the second identity assumed by John Daker
  • The "Scar-Faced Brooder" from Michael Moorcocks' The Time Dweller: One of the earliest incarnations of the Eternal Champion, but set in Earth's final years

Incarnations of the Companion to Champions[edit]

Some of the incarnations of the "Companion to Champions" include:

  • Jaspar Colinadous (with Elric in the Dream Realm)
  • Jhary-a-Conel (mostly Corum, sometimes Hawkmoon)
  • Alnac Kreb (Elric's companion in The Fortress of the Pearl)
  • Moonglum (Elric's companion for most of his journeys)
  • Oladahn (Hawkmoon)
  • Gurni Gurnisson (Ulrich's companion)

Incarnations of the Eternal Consort[edit]

Some of the incarnations of the "Eternal Consort" include:

  • Cymoril (Elric)
  • Catherine Cornelius (Jerry Cornelius)
  • Ermizhad (Erekosë)
  • Rhalina (Corum of the Scarlet Robe)
  • Yisselda (Hawkmoon)
  • Dadrico (Ulrich)

J&C characters[edit]

There is also a very obvious repetition of characters whose first names begins with the letter "j", and whose last names begins with the letter "c" (Moorcock himself poked fun at this in the novel The Fortress of the Pearl). Some of these "J&C" characters seem to be companions, while others seem to be mentors, and still others are champions (and at least one was said to be the Spirit of the Runestaff, an instrument of the Cosmic Balance).

A summary of "J&C" characters created by Michael Moorcock:

  • Jaspar Colinadous
  • Jehamiah Cohnahlias
  • Jeremiah "Jerry" Cornell
  • Jermays the Crooked
  • Jerry Cornelius
  • Jhary-a-Conel
  • Jherek Carnelian
  • Jagged of Canaria
  • J'osui C'reln Reyr (an anagram of 'Jerry Cornelius')

The Eternal Champion Sequence[edit]

This is the sequence as published (in omnibus editions) by White Wolf Publishing from 1994 to 2000 (and now out of print). That was the last time they were published all together in a comprehensive collection, though there have been several stories (The Dreamthief's Daughter, The Skrayling Tree, and The White Wolf's Son, among them) added to the cycle since then, and some of the stories have been published in new editions (sometimes with changes), as well. In brackets are listed the incarnation(s) of the Eternal Champion featured in a given story.

Vol. 1: The Eternal Champion

  • The Eternal Champion [Erekosë/John Daker]
  • The Sundered Worlds (has also been titled The Blood Red Game) [Renark von Bek and Asquiol of Pompeii]
  • Phoenix in Obsidian (later titled The Silver Warriors in the US) [Erekosë/John Daker/Urlik Skarsol]
  • "To Rescue Tanelorn" [Rackhir the Red Archer]

Vol. 2: Von Bek

Vol. 3: Hawkmoon [all four stories with Dorian Hawkmoon]

Vol. 4: A Nomad of the Time Streams [all three stories with Oswald Bastable]

Vol. 5: Elric: The Song of the Black Sword [all six stories with Elric]

  • Elric of Melniboné
  • The Fortress of the Pearl
  • The Sailor on the Seas of Fate [also Erekosë, Corum, and Hawkmoon]
  • "The Dreaming City"
  • "While the Gods Laugh"
  • "The Singing Citadel"

Vol. 6: The Roads Between the Worlds

  • The Wrecks of Time (has also been titled The Rituals of Infinity) [Professor Faustaff]
  • The Winds of Limbo (originally titled The Fireclown) [Alan Powys]
  • The Shores of Death (originally titled The Twilight Man) [Clovis Becker]

Vol. 7: Corum: The Coming of Chaos [all three stories with Corum]

  • The Knight of the Swords
  • The Queen of the Swords
  • The King of the Swords [also Elric and Erekosë, briefly]

Vol. 8: Sailing to Utopia

  • The Ice Schooner [Konrad Arflane]
  • The Black Corridor [Ryan]
  • The Distant Suns [Colonel Jerry Cornelius, who seems to be a different character from Jerry Cornelius](written with James Cawthorn)
  • "Flux" [Max von Bek]

Vol. 9: Kane of Old Mars [all three stories with Michael Kane]

  • City of the Beast (originally titled Warriors of Mars)
  • Lord of the Spiders (originally titled Blades of Mars)
  • Masters of the Pit (originally titled Barbarians of Mars)

Vol. 10: The Dancers at the End of Time [all three stories with Jherek Carnelian]

  • An Alien Heat
  • The Hollow Lands
  • The End of All Songs

Vol. 11: Elric: The Stealer of Souls [all six stories with Elric]

  • The Sleeping Sorceress (has been sometimes titled The Vanishing Tower) [also Erekosë and Corum]
  • The Revenge of the Rose
  • "The Stealer of Souls"
  • "Kings in Darkness"
  • "The Caravan of Forgotten Dreams" (previously titled "The Flame Bringers")
  • Stormbringer

Vol. 12: Corum: The Prince with the Silver Hand [all three stories with Corum]

  • The Bull and the Spear
  • The Oak and the Ram
  • The Sword and the Stallion

Vol. 13: Legends from the End of Time (collection of novellas)

  • "Pale Roses"
  • "White Stars"
  • "Ancient Shadows"
  • "Constant Fire" (previously titled The Transformation of Miss Mavis Ming and A Messiah at the End of Time )
  • Elric at the End of Time [Elric]

Vol. 14: Earl Aubec and Other Stories (a collection of 33 short stories, only the first of which features Earl Aubec) [Earl Aubec and others]

Vol. 15: Count Brass [all three stories with Dorian Hawkmoon; set after the "Swords" books]

  • Count Brass
  • The Champion of Garathorm [also Ilian of Garathorm]
  • The Quest for Tanelorn [also Erekosë, Corum, and Elric]

Jerry Cornelius[edit]

Novels added to the cycle since 1994[edit]

The Second Ether sequence

  • Blood: A Southern Fantasy
  • Fabulous Harbours (a collection of 11 short stories)
  • The War Amongst The Angels

The Dreamquest Trilogy [all three stories with Elric and Oona von Bek]

  • The Dreamthief's Daughter
  • The Skrayling Tree
  • The White Wolf's Son

Doctor Who novel, featuring Captain Cornelius:

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  • Darren Harris-Fain, "British fantasy and science-fiction writers since 1960", Gale Group, 2002, ISBN 0-7876-6005-1, p. 293
  • Carter Kaplan, "Fractal fantasies of transformation: William Blake, Michael Moorcock and the utilities of mythographic shamanism" in "New boundaries in political science fiction", (edd Donald M. Hassler, Clyde Wilcox) Univ of South Carolina Press, 2008, ISBN 1-57003-736-1, pp. 35–52
  • Frank Northern Magill, "Survey of modern fantasy literature, Volume 1", Salem Press, 1983, ISBN 0-89356-451-6, p. 489

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e Erekosë, Urlik, Clen, Flamadin and Daker are related incarnations of the Eternal Champion, in that the individual transforms over the course of several novels while maintaining the memories of each and is not biologically reborn between each aspect. He remembers the lives of numerous other incarnations, the third identity assumed by John Daker.
  2. ^ Graf Ulrich von Bek and his descendants are a somewhat unusual family in Moorcock's works, as they function both as an aspect of his Eternal Champion and as a companion to him.