Here is the sixth chapter of the epic myth A War Between Gods, complete with another of my pet theories in comparative mythology. For all the chapters plus Vietnamese gods and goddesses click here:

CANTO VI – Thuy Tinh called down the strongest rains and the most furious winds the world had ever seen (but would see many times thereafter). Countless city and country dwellers were drowned in the deluge and rice paddies, dams, residences and estates of the lesser nobles were submerged. Tan Vien and the jungle animals he was the lord of were permtting humans to  ride them to safety on higher ground. Soon the lowlands were flooded enough that Thuy Tinh could send some of his grandfather Long Vuong’s sea monsters inland to assault Tan Vien Mountain. 

Tigers, rhinoceri and elephants were battling sharks, squids and eels while even the smaller animals of the land and sea met in savage struggles to the death. The deadliest battles were between the land-dwelling mythical beasts like saolas and the tiger -headed elephants from the land side and dragons and acid-breathing makaras   from the sea side. At length the land animals were driven back by the ferocity of the sea beasts and by the rising waters. As those waters kept threatening to overtake the highest peak of Tan Vien Mountain Tan Vien himself caused the peak to rise higher over and over again to prevent its submergence.

Thuy Tinh was by now in the forefront of the assault, keeping the rains intense and  encouraging his grandfather’s creatures to  continue their attack. Tan Vien and Thuy Tinh were within earshot of  each other now and exchanged threats and curses. Mi Nuong tried assuring him she loved Tan Vien and was happy with him but still Thuy Tinh refused to stop the violence.

Tan Vien reminded him how he had saved his life but still Thuy Tinh remained resolute. Even the memory of the pleasant times he and Tan Vien had had with Hung Vuong XVIII’s retinue and in Long Vuong’s undersea realm did nothing to soften his obsessive desire to possess Mi Nuong. 

Tan Vien began raining huge boulders down on Thuy Tinh and many of the sea monsters, crushing their skulls but leaving Thuy Tinh unfazed.

(This whole situation is similar to many creation myths in Philippine mythology that involve battles between gods. If you’re unfamiliar with myths from the Philippines each set of people had their own pantheons and mythic systems complete with separate creation myths. 

Some of those creation myths involved a giant primordial bird flying around the newly formed Earth, which was nothing but water. Anxious for a place to find a place to rest and unable to return to its heavenly home – reasons vary as to why – the bird provoked a war between the heavenly gods and the sea gods.

The sea gods used rain to try to raise the sea level to inundate the heavens while the heavenly gods took to throwing huge boulders down on the sea gods. Those boulders formed the Philippine Islands and at last gave the crafty, giant bird land to rest upon to soothe its tired wings. 

Other versions are not creation myths per se and lack the bird instigator. Those versions feature a mountain or sky deity running off with a sea god’s mate and the sea god launches an attack on the sky or mountain god’s home with rains and rising waters. The deity under siege retaliates by throwing enormous boulders that become islands.

These later versions seem to be myths explaining why the monsoon rains come each year, which is exactly the purpose of the tale of A War Between Gods in Vietnamese lore. In the interests of full disclosure I’ll point out that I’m the only one I’m aware of who points out the similarities but the parallels are too numerous to ignore. And as I always say when people are skeptical of the parallels  I see between Vietnamese and Philippine myths: Look at a map!)

© Edward Wozniak and Balladeer’s Blog, 2010, 2011 and 2012. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Edward Wozniak and Balladeer’s Blog with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.



Filed under Mythology


  1. lifewith4cats

    6th canto. Never having been in a monsoon, I can only try and fail to imagine what this must be like to experience. But reading this ‘war’ scenario is rather intense a visual picture of what a monsoon must be like, since it is what inspired the story. (I think thats what it said)

    It also reminds me of Japan today.

  2. Yes, you read it right. The Vietnamese version is strictly a seasonal myth that explains why monsoon season comes every year (the concluding canto next week will wrap all that up)

    Thanks for stopping by! Your comparison of this with the havoc in Japan is chillingly accurate, isn’t it?

    Hope you liked my list of the Top 11 Deities In Korean Mythology!

  3. Woman

    I do not know if it is just me and I am used to it being just me, but I could not get to the comment section if I clicked on the read the whole post link above. I had to flip through some pages before I got back here.

    I have not read it all, but what I have read so far reminds me
    of many of the Chinese myths and lore around these parts.

    Thanks! Signed up and cannot wait to sink my teeth into your blog!!!

  4. Thank you very much! I hope you like what you find here. I’ve disabled the comments on the myth and bad movie pages to allow maximum room for pure content. That was nice of you to make an effort to get back here to leave a comment.

    I agree about the similarities in Vietnamese and Chinese myths. There would be even more parallels except I make an effort to stick to the more inherently native Vietnamese versions over those that are just outright imitations of Chinese myths.

  5. I’m just catching up with my blog reading, and it looks like you’ve been a busy bee over the past few days and I’ve got a lot of reading material to go through. Your posts on mythology are like taking a university course. I love them!

  6. Well, thank you very much! I try to combine info from multiple sources (the umpty-zillion books I list on my myth pages) so I’m really glad that you notice the details. You’re always so nice!

  7. I hope your information gets spread around so a lot of people can see what the major problems are in this problem.

  8. Pingback: A WAR BETWEEN GODS: VIETNAMESE EPIC MYTH | Balladeer's Blog

  9. Pingback: VIETNAMESE MYTHS: A WAR BETWEEN GODS | Balladeer's Blog

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