Talk:Fafhrd and the Gray Mouser

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Why Citation Needed?[edit]

Why is this article peppered with "citation neededs" all over the place? Looking through them, I can't see how any of the statements that bear that mark are the kind that would actually be cited in an academic publication. What am I missing exactly? 18:51, 14 February 2007 (UTC)


Sixth Paragraph:

Started before the publication of Lord Of The Rings the Lankhmar books are in many ways an unintentional anti-LOTR - hip where LOTR is ponderous, sexy where it is chaste, knowingly amoral. In these qualities, as well as their elegance and wit, the books resemble Jack Vance's later Dying Earth fantasy stories.

And, if you'll allow me, Fafhrd and the Grey Mouser remind me, as characters, of the John Carter of Mars series in some ways; not immoral - Barsoomian morality anyway - and hyperheroic vs. Tolkien's "ponderous". Nice term, especially for The Silmarillion - I still get chills, and a sense of epic dread, from Turin of Turambar and the poetry of the opening chapter is some of Tolkien's finest writing, perhaps precisely because it is religious in content and tone - Bach's greatest art is in his sacred works, after all.

John Carter reminds me more of a Homeric character, handsomely animal but not raunchy, gifted with strength and jumping powers because of his Jasoomian origin. Lankhmar, somehow, is more like earth - with trees like ours, and a vaguely medievalist-Earth society; unlike Barsoom's exotic cities and laws and strange beings and devices. On Lankhmar, the heroes are human, many of the enemies supernatural, the politics and the magic and the morality complex but still familiar; Barsoom is as though something from a strange dream, and always poetic though often a bit maudlin (unless well-acted, perhaps...). Some Conan stories come close in literary tone - to having poetry in them; the one I'm thinking of is The Tower of the Red Elephant, which I thought had a magical quality; something of the soul of the elephant given up to Conan via its ruby heart; Conan understood but didn't care.

Fafhrd or John Carter would have, and that's the difference from Conan, and the similarity between them as men and as heroes and adventurers; and the Mouser, too, of course, Aragorn seems like a virginal priest by comparison, and not an adventurer by choice - a king born to destiny, seems almost worse doesn't it? - never mind being in love with a woman from a family of immortals).

The other similarity between Lankhmar and Barsoom is the sense of fun; of sport, of thrills and chills. Tolkien's stories are high drama, grand epic, meant more to spellbind than to entertain. Even his supernatural beings are not as, er, twisted as they are on Lankhmar. There's a big difference in tone between the mirror-world in The Bazaar of the Bizarre and the otherworld Frodo enters when he wears the ring; and there is humour in the former, and almost none in the latter. The magic in the Conan books is usually more comic-like; in Tolkien and The Boys From Lankhmar the magic is cinematic, almost surreal; and in John Carter there is no magic - only power and courage and one's oaths and bonds; very Roman, in fact. Tolkien's Middle-Earth is Avalon by comparison; Leiber's Lankhmar is a vaguely 7th C. Earth-likeworld with a motley crew of slums, pirates, hoodlums, loot, booty (both kinds), an assortment of Vincent-Priceish wizards and other sorts of beings and of course our two shwashbuckling heroes.

But Aragorn does not swash, nor does he buckle; Gandalf's magic is religious in quality and, if you paid attention in The Silmarillion, religious in character as well as intent; the evil wizards of Lankhmar are comic characters, very much different from Saruman (pathetic, almost tragic), the majestic and sanguine Smaug, or the grotesque, fiery darkness of Sauron - who is a lieutenant of the Devil-figure of the world of Arda, no less than Lucifer himself; can we say that about Ningooble? Sauron and Smaug and Saruman are mad in a scary way, psycho; the wizards of Lankhmar are just nuts.

Would Aragorn have gone to the bar - the whorehouse - with Fafhrd and the Mouser? I can't see it. Frodo might, but he'd leave after a few drinks and go to bed, hoping to avoid trouble and trying to be a good little hobbit.....but watch out if he hits the whiskey, maybe. The only character in Tolkien, of the main cast, that might hang out with the Lankhmar Loafers is Gimli, and only because they're worthy of respect as warriors. I can't see them corrupting Legolas, though.

In Valinor and Beleriand and Numenor, there's a sense of tragedy, of tragic heroism, of virtue gone awry and corrupted, and in the case of the elves a sort of cold resolve, after so much death in ages past. There's nothing creepy on Lankhmar in the same way as the dark earth-power of the Balrog or age-old, dread queen of darkness Schlob; vs. the valour and beauty of the civilizations of Gondor and Arnor or the Tree-deity Fangorn/Treebeard (yeah, I know he's not a deity, it's just a figure of speech); Lankhmar is corrupt and revels in it, its creepiness in the sense of a horror movie instead of a great poem - which, to me, is what much of LOTR and The Silmarillion is (less so with his other stuff, methinks)). Magic is just perverse on Lankhmar, and somehow a lot more like a horror movie than a warrior epic. Tolkien is The Elder Edda, Lankhmar is rollicking, like The Golden Ass or Aristophanes. (Ah ,the Greek tragedians - now there's good fantasy-supernatural-adventure-horror writing, huh?...almost grand guignol in some plays)

And who else do Fafhrd and the Mouser remind me of? - Harry Flashman, oh yeah, and that guy with leprosy - where the world had leprosy - in Donaldson's Ill-Earth; he has sardonic humour, something like Duchovny or one of the dry, cigarette-smoking cocktail wit of Zelazny's characters....pretentious immortal zillionaire-deities with pretentions of grandeur and the ability to "make it so" nonetheless; or afflicted comically tragic characters like Jack of ShadowsSkookum1 10:48, 26 November 2005 (UTC)

...uhm... if it's your goal to justify that bit in the 6th paragraph, mission accomplished. Ithaqua 09:01, 24 February 2006 (UTC)

based on?[edit]

I removed the phrase "based on", in "heroes created by, and based on," Leiber and Fischer. Is there any documented justification for saying the heroes were based on Leiber, or Fischer? If so, this description could be restored. Also, note that Fischer was certainly not a co-creator. Zaslav 06:43, 27 November 2006 (UTC)

See, e.g., the entry on Leiber in Supernatural Literature of the World: An Encyclopedia (Greenwood, 2005): "The pair [Fafhrd & Mouser] -- who were based on Leiber himself and fantasy enthusiast Harry Otto Fischer, who befriended Leiber in the 1930s and helped him work up the story's main points -- adventure in Lankhmar[...]" I THINK that this is also covered in Leiber's own essay "Fafhrd & Me", which I don't have available at the moment, and there are also references in the letters of H. P. Lovecraft, who corresponded with both Leiber and Fischer (HPL even addresses Fischer as "Mouser" in a letter included on p. 416 of Selected Letters 5). Also, Fischer SHOULD rate as a co-creator, since the concept of the two heroes grew out of Leiber and Fisher's correspondence -- also covered in that Leiber essay, but for now I'll have to make do with the following quotation from p. 433 of Lovecraft's Selected Letters 5: "[Adept's Gambit] is part of a very unusual myth-cycle spontaneously evolved in the correspondence of young Leiber and his closest friend--Harry O. Fischer of lately-inundated Louisville. [...] Their myth-cycle, [...] revolves around the adventures of two roving characters (Fafhrd the Viking, modelled after Leiber--who is six feet four--and the Gray Mouser, modelled after the diminutive Fischer)[...]". So could someone with better knowledge of Wikipedia rules than I please edit the article? (talk) 22:36, 12 January 2008 (UTC)
There is actually yeah, which just means I've read it in some book as well, but I can't remember the chapter and verse. It might even have been the D&D supplement, God help me. -J —The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talk) 05:02, 9 December 2006 (UTC).


The Cat's Claw section seemed rather irrelevant, and was also innacurate - "Lean Times in Lankhmar" specifically states that Cat's Claw is not curved. I've put in a more general section on the weapons of both Fafhrd and the Mouser. Ergative rlt 20:21, 25 May 2006 (UTC)

References in other works[edit]

Gary Gygax is said to have considered Fafhrd & Grey Mouser his major influence, according to an other developer interviewed in the Dragon Magazine (some issue 110-160, I dumped my collection 5 years ago). I also remember them from the AD&D 2nd ed. DMG´s suggested reading. The original AD&D settings do remind me more of Nehwon than Middle Earth, am I the only one? Orc & elves, ok, LOTR & hippie hype, too. Anyway... Most fantasy writers were inspired by AD&D, so I´d consider them Leiber´s grandchildren. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 23:17, 26 December 2007 (UTC)


With the greatest respect for Hellboy, I removed as unsourced and unlikely the text "Hellboy himself shares some personality traits with Fafhrd". Other than both being big, strong and sometimes grumpy ... they aren't really alike. rewinn (talk) 03:25, 6 January 2010 (UTC)

Creator of Fafhrd and the Mouser--Lieber or Fischer?[edit]

According to Lieber himself (in the author's introduction of Swords And Deviltry) it was Fischer who first came up with the characters. --BRPierce (talk) 15:21, 16 January 2010 (UTC)

But Leiber published first. Rick Norwood (talk) 16:49, 16 January 2010 (UTC)
To be sure. In fact, he mentions that he did virtually all of the writing and development. The question is whether his acknowledgment of the original idea being Fischer's is noteworthy enough for inclusion, and if so, how to incorporate it in a way that's not awkward. What do you think? --BRPierce (talk) 17:49, 16 January 2010 (UTC)
In Starlog #83, dated June 1984, Leiber makes a statement similar to the one in Swords And Deviltry, though with much less detail. In The Dragon #1, dated June 1976, he refers to "...Harry Otto Fischer, widely revered inventor of the two characters." —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 17:21, 16 September 2010 (UTC)

Unholy Grail[edit]

I notice that The Unholy Grail, part 3 of Swords and Deviltry, has been created and then deleted. Why was this? --Robert Fraser (talk) 01:42, 24 March 2011 (UTC)

Fafhrd pronunciation[edit]

OK, here's a funny, and yet serious, question.... How do you pronounce Fafhrd? Is there a definitive source (from Lieber for instance) giving the pronunciation? — Parsa (talk) 21:51, 7 November 2011 (UTC)

Don't have the citations to hand, but there are at least two places in the stories in which Lieber addressed the issue; one in which Fafhrd and the Mouser were themselves disputing the pronunciation (the Mouser favoring "Faferd" and Fafhrd a literal version including all the consonants of the final syllable without the insertion of any helpful vowels; the second instance, later on in the series, gave the pronunciation (also per Fafhrd) as "Faf-hrud." The subject may also have come up in Lieber's essay "Fafhrd and Me." BPK (talk) 15:22, 10 November 2011 (UTC)

Merger proposal[edit]

It has been proposed that Nehwon be merged into this article. A merger rationale should be provided (see Help:Merging#Proposing a merger). Without a strong rationale, Nehwon should be kept as the main article in Category:Nehwon and comparable to others in Category:Fantasy worlds. Goustien (talk) 05:55, 23 February 2013 (UTC)

Merger proposal: characters[edit]

It has been proposed that Sheelba of the Eyeless Face and Ningauble of the Seven Eyes be merged into this article. A merger rationale should be provided (see Help:Merging#Proposing a merger). Without a strong rationale, the character articles should be kept in Category:Nehwon characters and comparable to others in Category:Characters in fantasy literature. Goustien (talk) 01:02, 1 August 2014 (UTC)