The word revenant, which is derived from the Latin word reveniens, is used to describe someone who returns after a long period of absence. It is an animated corpse or rather a visible ghost believed to reappear from the grave to intimidate the living. The actual revenant meaning is derived from a French word “revenir”, which means “to return” or “to come back”.
For instance, let us say your pet goes missing for a number of weeks only to resurface back into the house one evening; the scenario can be described as revenant. Similarly, a person who returns home after a long period of absence is described as revenant. Clearly note that revenant can either be a noun or an adjective.
The word revenant is used to describe stories regarding ghosts, which are said to be the spirits of those resurfacing from the dead. It can also be used in describing a fashion trend that was quite prevalent long ago, yet the actual trend becomes endorsed again in the present era. This may include revenant tie-dye t-shirts.
Vivid stories pertaining to revenants emerged in Western Europe during the High Middle Ages. The “neamh mairbh” is a word that was used to describe revenants in old Irish Celtic mythology. Nevertheless, folklore and legend would later depict revenants as characters returning to accomplish a specific mission, such as vengeance against a deceased’s assassin.
In most medieval accounts, revenants often return to harass or intimidate their surviving families along with their neighbors. Their main objective is to revenge against a deceased’s killer. They share several traits with folkloric vampires, considering the fact that the contemporary depiction of zombies evolved from vampire fiction.
Case in point
A good case in point is Richard Matheson’s novel dubbed “I AM LEGEND”, which brought a key influence on the zombie film “NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD”. The typical folklore concerning zombies had less mutual characteristic with revenant legends.
The resemblances are equally apparent with the aptrgangr (one who walks after death) of the Norse mythology, though the aptrgangr (or draugr) is more powerful and possesses exceptional magical capabilities. Most notably, though, the aptrgangr is usually not confined to a death-like sleep during the day, but does stay in its burial mound.
The aptrgangr resists intruders that may ruin its body. Stories that involve it encompass direct confrontations with the creature, where it demonstrates itself to be immune to conventional weapons. These elements tend to be absent from the revenant lore, in which the body engages its inactive state during the day and is harmless.