Golem – T.F. Walsh’s Kick-Ass Mythology



Crossing paths with a golem would be a truly terrifying experience… they are assassins after all.

According to legend, golems are creatures that resemble a human, but not by much. A golem is largely shapeless, cannot speak, and is not made from flesh. If you ever encounter such a creature, it is very likely that you are facing down a golem. 

Golems are magically created from inanimate material such as clay or mud, and they tend to be created in the form of the creator. On the inside, they are empty of a heart, lungs etc, and are generally solid.

In medieval writing, the word golem refers to ‘shapeless matter’. According to old tales, golems are brought to life by inscribing a Hebrew word such as ‘truth’ on their forehead or inserting it into their mouths on a piece of parchment. Golems can be incredibly dangerous depending on who created them, and for what purpose. By erasing the name or letters out of the paper, the golem will become inactive. Those who create and animate a golem have been know to use them as slaves to do their chores.

Though some problems can arise here. Because golem can’t speak, trying to deactivate this creature can sometimes result in the golem turning on his creator and killing him / her. The golem then takes instructions entirely literally – can be a big problem at this stage.

The earliest stories of golems appear in Judaism. The most famous golem narrative comes from the 16th century known as the Golem of Prague. The rabbi Judah Loew ben Bezalel had created a golem to defend the Jews in Prague. In one story, the golem goes on a violent rampage after being rejected by his love. By removing the words from a Golem, he will return to the material he came from.

Golem-like creatures are found in other cultures such as Norse mythology. Mökkurkálfi was a giant made of clay to help the troll, Hrungnir battle Thor.

Golems are depicted in popular culture, including the TV series The X-Files, Supernatural, and even in the Simpsons.

Did you know? The word “golem” appears only once in the Bible (Psalms139:16). In Hebrew, “golem” stands for “shapeless mass.”

References: New World Encyclopedia | Ancient OriginsWikipedia

Golem Appearance in FALLEN ASHES

In my novel, Fallen Ashes, the hero, Saber, is a type of golem. Of course, I've taken liberties and give him a few different abilities and appearance, but if you're looking for a modern spin on the golem CHECK OUT Fallen Ashes by clicking on the book cover.

I've called golems Ashes and they are soulless forms crafted from clay and bone ash, then brought to life through magic by a Spell Forger. While they look identical to dragon-shifters in my book, Ashes are considered shadow assassins and abominations because of the task locked inside their chest, directing them to kill.

BEHIND THE SCENES: Ashes can be weakened and even destroyed by fire. So, when the hero in Fallen Ashes is magically tied to a sexy, fire-breathing dragon-shifter… well let's just say their union is explosive.

Excerpt from Fallen Ashes:
The word scratched through Fallen’s mind like iron nails dragged over stone.
From the moment she’d met Saber, she found him odd in a way that screamed caution. Beneath his voice lay danger. He had attempted to fight everyone who stared wrong at him. Still, never in a billion galaxies would she have guessed Saber was a shadow assassin.

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5 thoughts on “Golem – T.F. Walsh’s Kick-Ass Mythology

  1. Funny, when I think of a golem, I think of Golem in the Lord of the Rings.  πŸ™‚ They really are NOT nice creatures at all and a little scary especially of what they can do. I so love these mythology blogs-I'm printing them out, nice to have as references.  Thanks again for doing this. 

  2. Interesting application of the Golem myth. From what I understand, the Golem can be awakened to protect the Jewish people, like the Prague Golem. πŸ™‚

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