Statue depicting the Erlking in the ancient graveyard of Dietenhausen, in Keltern, Germany. German Romanticism for the figure of a spirit or „king of the fairies“. 1836, Halling suggested a anzeiger für Kunde der Deutschen Vorzeit, Vol. 20 PDF with a Turkic and Mongolian god of death or psychopomp, known as Erlik Chan. Johann Gottfried von Herder introduced this character into German literature in „Erlkönigs Tochter“, a ballad published in his 1778 volume Stimmen der Völker in Liedern.
Författare: Germanisches Nationalmuseum Nürnberg.
It was based on the Danish folk ballad „Hr. Oluf han rider“ „Sir Oluf he rides“ published in the 1739 Danske Kæmpeviser. The story portrays Sir Oluf riding to his marriage but being entranced by the music of the elves. An elf maiden, in Herder’s translation the Elverkonge’s daughter, appears and invites him to dance with her.
He refuses and spurns her offers of gifts and gold. Angered, she strikes him and sends him on his way, deathly pale. The following morning, on the day of his wedding, his bride finds him lying dead under his scarlet cloak. Although inspired by Herder’s ballad, Goethe departed significantly from both Herder’s rendering of the Erlking and the Scandinavian original.
The antagonist in Goethe’s „Der Erlkönig“ is the Erlking himself rather than his daughter. Goethe’s Erlking differs in other ways as well: his version preys on children, rather than adults of the opposite sex, and the Erlking’s motives are never made clear. Please help improve it or discuss these issues on the talk page. This section does not cite any sources. This section appears to contain trivial, minor, or unrelated references to popular culture. In Angela Carter’s short story „The Erl-King“, contained within the 1979 collection The Bloody Chamber, the female protagonist encounters a male forest spirit.
Though she becomes aware of his malicious intentions, she is torn between her desire for him and her desire for freedom. Charles Kinbote, the narrator of Vladimir Nabokov’s 1962 novel, Pale Fire, alludes to „alderkings“. One allusion is in his commentary to line 275 of fellow character John Shade’s eponymous poem. In Jim Butcher’s The Dresden Files, there is a character called the Erlking, modeled after the leader of the Wild Hunt, Herne the Hunter.