Keeping up with the weekly theme, we’re ending this week off with a well known word, the wraith.
Wraith is merely a Scottish term for ghost or spirit. But in popular culture it’s become a bit more than that. Having a need to differentiate between ghost and wraith (as they are basically the same thing), wraiths have taken on different qualities depending upon the property that uses them. In Lord of the Rings, the wraith is specifically mentioned as a Ring Wraith, or the old kings who were tricked into taking a ring for themselves and thus relinquished their lives. In death, they would forever be drawn to the ring until their master was defeated or gave them release.
Wraiths have even been created as a different species, in particular the Stargate universe. The crew of the Stargate missions meets up with a hostile alien race known as the Wraiths.
Dungeons and Dragons has used wraith quite a bit as a monster in its own right, as players in both the table top and the video game versions can run up against wraiths (as well as ghosts, which is what a wraith is as explained before).
While wraiths are basically spirits, many times a wraith is made to be similar to the undead , and more corporeal than a spirit. Often looking like a zombie, but having more intelligence but none of the power of a lich, a wraith only wishes to visit harm upon those it encounters.
More recently, wraiths have appeared in the television series Once Upon A Time, and they appear as soul suckers, or beings able to drain a person’s soul or spirit.
Needless to say, with all the awe inspiring aspects of what a wraith could be, it’s really nothing more than just a ghost.