Terminal Café

Reflections on the von Bek Family

© 1997 Max Wilcox


There are many books that Moorcock has written that feature the von Bek family. Because of the nature of the Multiverse, a von Bek is sometimes the Eternal Champion, and sometimes not. In the Von Bek series, each member of the family dealt with, is certainly the champion, and in others, such as The Brothel in Rossensrasse where Moorcock branches from the more simple fantasy genre, to achieve more complex efects, the notion of the eternal champion takes very little importance in the plot. The War Amongst the Angels series is also centered around the von Bek family (in fact, it contains startiling revelations about Moorcock's own past...) There are further stories that a member of the von Bek family (or a variation of the family) appears, where they only seem to be fairly ordinary people.

Von Bek as the Champion

In the first von Bek book, The Warhound and the World's Pain, we gain some hint as to the nature of the Champion, albeit in the language of Christian mythology. Lucifer explains to von Bek that souls that he releases from his "custody" do not necessaraly become transfered to God's care...

'I can promise you only that I will release your soul from my custody. Such souls do not always enter Heaven. But they are said to live forever, some of them.'

'I have heard legends', I said, 'such as that of the Wandering Jew. Am I to try to save myself from Hell merely so that I may wander the world for Eternity seeking redemption?'"

- p62 Von Bek. London: Orion, 1995.

To be contiuned...