Friday, October 6, 2017

Have You Met Old Father Thames?

Kara has.

This Poseidon-y statue stands at the top of a hotel overlooking Trinity Square, which contains a series of monuments honoring British soldiers who were lost at sea in both Great Wars. And if you go down into a little alcove, there are even more plaques, flanked by decidedly aquatic-looking deities.

"Old Father Thames" is a long-running figure in England, a genius loci (spirit of a place) -- same as Herne! Except, well -- the Thames is very real (unlike William's Grove), and Father Thames's legend exists in statues and poetry and a series of books by Ben Aaronovich. He even showed up in political cartoons addressing the heavy pollution of the river in centuries past.

But like (and before) Herne, Father Thames sees to have received his share of offerings. If you go to the British Museum, you can see shields, ornaments, and more thrown into the river, supposedly in offering to the spirit. Slightly higher caliber than our resident demigod... then again, Father Thames is big news.

If you're ever in London and want to see him for yourself, all you have to do is take the underground to the Tower Hill tube station, exit toward the Tower of London, and turn right. Go through the gate into Trinity Square, and you'll catch sight of the statue in his alcove over the hotel.

Of course, this begs the question: will he be showing up in the future of Owl's Flower? We can't confirm or deny anything... but he certainly left an impression on Kara during her trip.


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