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The Real Revenant

Updated on December 23, 2015

With the release of the Leonard DeCaprio movie I thought it might be a good idea to explore and explain exactly what a Revenant is. I am sure you are all wondering, and didn’t want to wait for the movie to explain it to you right?

Well, to put it bluntly a Revenant is a Zombie. Now I have written about Zombies, including Zombie Chickens but this is a unique kind of Zombie with a rather rich history in folklore.

Originally from the Latin word reveniens, meaning returning or the French revenir, to come back. In folklore the Revenant would come back from the dead to seek revenge on someone living that did the revenant harm while they were alive. In many medieval accounts they would come back to harass family members or neighbors. Sounds like an Ex girlfriend to me.

Real Proof?

Interesting that the revenant, being a zombie would also share attributes associated with Vampires. An account of this phenomenon was told by a count Newburgh….ok …ok, the Historian William Newburgh - "It would not be easy to believe that the corpses of the dead should sally (I know not by what agency) from their graves, and should wander about to the terror or destruction of the living, and again return to the tomb, which of its own accord spontaneously opened to receive them, did not frequent examples, occurring in our own times, suffice to establish this fact, to the truth of which there is abundant testimony."

Not the brightest in the bunch

It seems clear from this account that there was no doubt revenants are real and that is that. To add to this there appear to be several reports indicating that the revenant comes back and drinks the blood of the living. I’d say that is very vampire like.

If the stories of revenants are to be believed they may not be the smartest people when alive.

One account has a man on the run from the law who subsequently gets married but suspects his wife is being unfaithful so he hides in the attic and while spying on her sleeping with a younger man falls through the ceiling and dies, wherein he comes back to torment the town. Frankly, I think he was so embarrassed by his own death that he had to come back and make others suffer for it, like an evil ghost bully.

That being said, if you ever want to rid yourself of a Revenant just dig them up and cut off their head and tear out their heart, that should do the trick.

Ok, to be fair, Websters dictionary defines Revenant as: "one that returns after death or a long absence" so they don't have to be dead, but it certainly makes for a better story if they were.

Now, doesn’t that make the movie seem that much more interesting?

The Real Real Story

Like most movies these days The DiCaprio movie is "Based" on a true account of a real Person, Hugh Glass. Glass was a trapper and mountain man with a sketchy past who signed up to travel with a hunting party in the Rockies. As the story has it Glass was attacked by a grizzly bear and was left for dead.... but he wasn't see, ergo The Revenant. He managed to crawl and walk 250 miles eating carcasses of animals and berries to survive. Then when he was all better sought revenge on those who left him behind. So he goes about looking for the guys who left him for dead and finds them.... then. Well, I guess you have to watch the movie, realizing of course that it is a movie and is only based on actual events and is not the actual events. Just as a Revenant is not really a Zombie or vampire.

The Trailer


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