Lovecraft, Lovecraft-H.P.

The Quest of Iranon

The Quest of IranonThe Quest of Iranon

Into the city of Teloth wandered a youth. He shone with a brightness and his hair was decorated with grape leaves. He sang and played music, singing of a wonderful land named Aira. This land was far away, but it was home to the singer, whose name was Iranon. The people of Teloth put him up and told him that he must apprentice to a blacksmith. He was a prince, Iranon protested, but the men of Teloth must toil for their food. People dismissed Iranon’s speech as whimsy, but one did not.

His name was Romnod and he was young still. He told Iranon that he dreamed of lands such as Iranon’s Aira. He offered to go with Iranon to help him find the land of Aira. The two wandered for years. Romnod grew into a man, while Iranon stayed the same. They finally came to a land called Oonai, which both had heard of. The city was not as beautiful or as golden as both had perceived, but they stayed there some time.

Romnod grew redder and older with wine, while Iranon remained the same. Ultiamtely, drink killed Romnod and Iranon was without a traveling companion. He wandered yet again.

He eventually came to the hut of an old shepherd. Iranon asked the shepherd if he knew of the land of Aira. The shepherd, surprisingly, had heard of it. He recounted a tale of a friend he used to have when he was very young. This friend woulds peak of a land called Aira. The place didn’t exist the old man said. The boy was a beggar’s boy, wonderful to look at, very much like the boy now standing before the shepherd. The shepherd has remembered this boy, all these years later, his name was Iranon.

As the stars came out, one by one, a very old man in tattered purple, with grape leaves in his hair, walked out into the quicksands gazing ahead to a place where his dreams might be understood.

Observations

Nobody stays the same. We all change. It’s quite strange that Iranon was able to wander for so many years remaining the same, but this whole thing is a metaphor, so it makes more sense.

Themes

Iranon had this dream. He wandered around the country in search of it. As long as his dream was alive, he remained young. When he found out that he had been searching for his dream for at least decades and decades and hadn’t found it, he turned into an old man. Iranon is not a real person, of course, but there’s a bit of Iranon in all of us I suppose. We all search for something in our lives and if we never find it and never find out that it doesn’t exist, we can remain in a perpetual state of hope that we could eventually obtain this thing. If we found out this thing we were searching for does not exist, then we have lost something.

Sometimes the search for something is a huge part of our lives. As long as we don’t have it and don’t know that it’s possible or impossible, then there’s always the chance that it could happen. If we do find out that it’s not possible, we can become devastated. In Iranon’s case, the search for Aira kept him young. He always had this dream alive and as along as it was alive, he was young and full of life. Like Iranon, I do think realizing that some of our searches may never come true can age us, maybe not physically, but we do age mentally, or maybe we toughen up, or maybe a little piece of us dies, when that dream is taken away from us.

You could equate Iranon’s quest and aging to any large dream you’ve had in your life that went unrealized. Maybe you wanted to get married and it never happened. Maybe you wanted to have children and it never happened. Maybe you wanted to be a rock star and it never happened. The thing you wanted so badly turning out to be elusive and now you have to redefine yourself because so much of you was put into hoping for that dream. Iranon was not Iranon without his search for Aira. To use a heartbreaking example–if you spent twenty years trying to have a baby, but it never happened and you finally went through menopause, who are you going to be after your realization?

Iranon’s life essentially ended when he realized that his dream could not come true, but hopefully we’re a bit more resilient and we just redefine ourselves rather than letting a deflated dream crush us.

Overall

I kind of feel bad for the kid.

Weigh In

Do you think Iranon ever found happiness?

Where do you think Iranon originally came from?

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