Dear Sara,At first, I thought George R.R. Martin invented wargs – a person who forms a particular psychic bond with a specific wolf – for his A SONG OF ICE AND FIRE books. Then I remembered that wargs are also in J.R.R. Tolkien’s HOBBIT and LORD OF THE RINGS, but in Tolkien, wargs are just big, evil wolves. What are wargs?
Sincerely, Pam J.
The term “warg” originates in Norse mythology, with the giant wolf Fenris, also spelled Fenrir, one of the sons of the mischief-making god Loki. Fenris and his sons Skoll and Hati are the original wargs. As Tolkien based a lot of his Middle Earth mythology on Norse mythology, he used the term for a race of evil wolves who are in league with goblins and orcs. Wargs and the alternatively-spelled Vargs and worgs, larger and more intelligent than usual wolflike beings, have subsequently turned up in a variety of works of fiction and videogames, including WORLD OF WARCRAFT and RAGNAROK ONLINE. Additionally, a character named Varg is the leader of a species of wolflike beings in Jim Butcher’s CODEX ALERA series of novels.