Favourite Eternal Champion??

Favourite Eternal Champion?

  • Elric

    Votes: 26 41.3%
  • Corum

    Votes: 17 27.0%
  • Hawkmoon

    Votes: 8 12.7%
  • Jerry Cornelius

    Votes: 5 7.9%
  • other

    Votes: 7 11.1%

  • Total voters
Elric, very definitely. Possibly the most original creation in fantasy - the doomed, treacherous albino prince who is a weakling without his soul-stealing, jet-black runesword Stormbringer. Early Elric stories were apparently written as Conan tales and then re-cast when an editor reckoned there was scope for a whole new series here. Certainly, the classic Elric tales partake of some of the sense of exotic, antediluvian antiquity that Howard's work portrays. Elric is also Moorcock's own favourite version of the Eternal Champion, with his least favourite, interestingly, being Hawkmoon.

Jerry Cornelius comes a close second.
Once again I show my ignorance. What is an Eternal Champion? Is this from a specific set of works or just an appellation for an immortal hero?

Edit: I now see that this post is under Michael Moorcock and must be related to something he's done. Shucks, I haven't read any of his works. Man, I've got to get reading!
Well, I've answered that a bit on the other thread, the one asking whether all his works are linked. Here's some info from the wikipedia entry on Moorcock:

Central to many of his fantasy novels is the concept of a "Eternal Champion", who has potentially multiple identities across multiple dimensions. This cosmogony is called the "Multiverse" within his novels. The "Eternal Champion" is engaged in a constant struggle with not only conventional notions of good and evil, but also in the struggle for balance between order and chaos.

Moorcock's most popular works by far have been the Elric novels, starring the character Elric of Melnibone. Moorcock wrote the first Elric stories as a deliberate reversal of the cliches common in Tolkien-inspired fantasy adventure novels (which he despised). The popularity of Elric has overshadowed his many other works, though he has worked a number of the themes of the Elric stories into his other works (the "Hawkmoon" and "Corum" novels, for example).

One of Moorcock's popular creations was Jerry Cornelius (another JC), a kind of hip secret agent of ambiguous sexuality; the same characters featured in each of several Cornelius books, but the individual books had little connection wiith one another, as another variation of the Multiverse theme. The first Jerry Cornelius book, The Final Programme was made into a feature film.
Thanks for the info knivesout. I've just been thinking on the normal, cliched themes in fantasy as I'm reading Eragon by Christopher Paolini. I think I will definitely have to check out Moorcock's works.
From the same source, a little more detail on the Eternal Champion:

Eternal Champion

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.

The Eternal Champion is a creation of the author Michael Moorcock and is a recurrent feature in many of his novels. Perhaps the most famous incarnation of the Eternal Champion is Elric.

The Multiverse, which consists of several universes, many layered dimensions, spheres and alternate 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. But the victory of either Law or Chaos would be disastrous for mankind, and therefore the Balance needs to work for, unsurprisingly, balance.

The Eternal Champion, a Hero who exists in all dimensions, times and worlds, is the one who's chosen by fate to fight for the Balance - but he often doesn't know of his rôle, or, even worse, he struggles against it, never to succeed.

All the incarnations of the Eternal Champion are facets of each other.

Some of the incarnations of the Eternal Champion include:

* Ereköse, aka John Daker, the one aspect of the Champion who remembers his previous lives.
* Ulric von Bek and some of his descendants.
* Elric of Melniboné
* Corum Jhaelen Irsei
* Dorian Hawkmoon
* Jherek Carnelian
* Jerry Cornelius

and many others...
The first book about the Eternal Champions I read of was about Hawkmoon.

I voted for Jerry Cornelius because it seemed that he had more of an ability to challenge fate than the other champions.

I hated the way each champions tale ended.

Noting all that I'll have to say that I remember more of the tales about Hawkmoon and Elric rather than the tales about Cornelius....:)

I need to start rereading the Eternal Champions again.
Jerry Cornelius for me. His stories contained just the right blend of adventure/comedy/pathos. I actually managed to get a hold of The Final Program on DVD - it was quite disappointing unfortunately - the book is much better.
I've just finished my first Michael Moorcock book. I found Elric of Melnibone in a second-hand store. It was quite short and read more like a morality play or a myth that is handed down verbally through generations than a regular novel. Most of the characters seemed one-dimensional and the story was simplistic. However, for all that, I quite enjoyed my little foray into the struggle between Law and Chaos. I will probably have to see about finding the rest of the tales of Elric and possibly some of the others. At the very least it was light and easy reading and I read it in a total of about an hour (doing chores in the house all day and when I got to certain points my reward was to sit and read for a bit :D).
A lot of Moorcock's fantasy, mainly the earlier works, are writen more in the mythic mode than the more familiar fictional narrative we are used to. Probably a mix of conscious choice and his novice skills at the time. Still, the Elric books are worth following through - I like them for the vast, symbolic moments (Cymoril's death for instance)and the sense of ageless melancholy.

I'd say this book is also a set-up for the rest of the series, in a way. Stormbringer, the culmination of the Elric saga is possibly the strongest, but the new books featuring Elric (Dreamthief's Daughter, The Skrayling Tree and more to come) promise to take the character to a new level. The young sword-and-sorcery author struggling to break the mould has matured into a far broader writer than nearly anyone in the fantasy genre, I think, embracing a range of concerns and ideas far beyond the usual scope of fantastic fiction.
From what I remember of Elric, he was the anti-hero with as many flaws as his foes; he didn't exactly have any problems having people tortured for information or abandoning his allies in order to survive.

All the same couldn't help admiring or rooting for the man.
Elric certainly was an anti-hero in may ways. Among other things, he was effectively an agent of Chaos via Strombringer. He was also quite ruthless and treacherous. All the same, I too couldn't help siding with him. And as another manifestation of the Eternal Champion it's worth noting that he probably played an important part in maintaining the cosmic balance of the Multiverse.

It's interesting - I enjoyed the Jerry Cornelius books immensely, but cannot recall much either. I think I need to look out for them and re-read them.
knivesout said:
I like them for the vast, symbolic moments (Cymoril's death for instance)and the sense of ageless melancholy.
Um, thanks for the spoiler! Don't worry about it though, I figured that since there were many more stories to be told that Elric wouldn't be following through with his 'one year and I'll be back' plan. I pretty much assumed that the only thing that would cause him to continue to travel and be the 'hero' would be the loss of a reason to go back home. Since his only reason to go back home is Cymoril, I kinda guessed that Chaos wouldn't want him to give up and go home and would somehow eliminate his reason to go back for good. Just don't tell me any more! :)
Oh, dear. That was unintentional - I have the Elric books in an omnibus, and without consulting it, assumed that this incident occured in the title you mentioned. Profuse apologies.
Cornelius takes it for me without a thought! The Cornelius Chronicles are the only works by Moorcock that threaten to become more than just entertaining and could be argued are real literature.
Hard question. Having not read them all yet, I'd be inclined not to answer. Though I think Oswald Bastable (Nomad of the Time Streams) deserves a mention he's a jolly good sort!
No contest - has to be my namesake, doesn't it? :cool: (same initials too, but not the same surname). The Cornelius Chronicles were my first introduction to Moorcock and remain my favourites - dammit I even enjoyed the film of The Final Programme! (note: I didn't say it was any good, just that I enjoyed it... ;) )

Similar threads