Wednesday, March 6, 2019


We’ve got a mix today of Wikipedia entries for our Wiki Tiki Wednesday offering.  First up, an excerpt from the article about a very dark Scandi-noir that finally reached the American shores last year:

From Wikipedia:
‘100 Code’ (also known as ‘The Hundred Code’) is an internationally co-produced Swedish crime drama series, created by Ken Bruen and developed by Bobby Moresco, that first aired on German premium channel Sky Krimi on May 14, 2015.  The series, which stars German-born British actor Dominic Monaghan and the late Swedish actor Michael Nyqvist, is based upon Bruen's novel “Merrick”, and follows Tommy Conley (Monaghan), an NYPD detective who travels to Stockholm to advise and investigate a particularly gruesome series of murders.

Young, blonde, blue-eyed women are found murdered at regular intervals near water bodies and flower fields. Conley has to work with the Swedish investigator Mikael Eklund. The two hate each other, both fight with their own demons. After initial problems, the [detectives] investigate a series of murders, which, as initially thought, is not limited to New York and Stockholm, but has much larger dimensions.

One aspect of the murder ritual intrigued me:

From the IMDb:
New York, USA. Stockholm, Sweden. Over the past twelve months young, blonde, blue-eyed women have been found dead in a meadow where Asphodel flowers grow.   
Asphodel.  I knew I heard that word before as part of all the Tolkien lore that was now burned deep into my mind.  While they were in Ithilien, Frodo Baggins and Sam Gamgee found a field full of asphodel.  But also it was used as a first name - Asphodel was the daughter of Gorbadoc Brandybuck and Mirabella Took. She married Rufus Burrows, and their child, Milo Burrows, was born in S.R. 1347. They all attended Bilbo's Party in S.R. 1401. 

(I always thought it was a name Sam and Rosie might have one day given to a child of theirs.  Having assumed a new surname – that of Gardner - they had thirteen children, mostly girls, and most of them had flowery names like Daisy, Primrose, and Elanor.  An Asphodel Gardner would have made for a lovely addition to the family.)

Interesting that the other Tolkien connection is of course the star of '100 Code', Dominic Monaghan, who played Meriadoc "Merry" Brandybuck in the "Lord Of The Rings" trilogy of films.

But even with their mention throughout ‘100 Code’, I didn’t learn more than some sort of tenuous affiliation with death. So it was off to Wikipedia!

From Wikipedia:
Asphodels are popular garden plants, which grow in well-drained soils with abundant natural light. Now placed in the family Asphodelaceae, the genus was formerly included in the lily family (Liliaceae).

The plants are hardy herbaceous perennials with narrow tufted radical leaves and an elongated stem bearing a handsome spike of white or yellow flowers. Asphodelus albus and A. fistulosus have white flowers and grow from 1½ to 2 ft. high; A. ramosus is a larger plant, the large white flowers of which have a reddish-brown line in the middle of each segment.

The leaves are used to wrap burrata, an Italian cheese. The leaves and the cheese last about the same time, three or four days, and thus fresh leaves are a sign of a fresh cheese, while dried out leaves indicate that the cheese is past its prime.

In Greek legend the asphodel is one of the most famous of the plants connected with the dead and the underworld. Homer describes it as covering the great meadow (ἀσφόδελος λειμών), the haunt of the dead. It was planted on graves, and is often connected with Persephone, who appears crowned with a garland of asphodels. Its general connection with death is due no doubt to the greyish colour of its leaves and its yellowish flowers, which suggest the gloom of the underworld and the pallor of death. The roots were eaten by the poorer Greeks; hence such food was thought good enough for the shades. The asphodel was also supposed to be a remedy for poisonous snake-bites and a specific against sorcery; it was fatal to mice, but preserved pigs from disease. The Libyan nomads made their huts of asphodel stalks.


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