Guest Post: What Are Los Nefilim? by T. Frohock
I have been reading and loving T. Frohock’s Los Nefilim series and was curious about the Nefilim themselves as well as her choice of setting. Angels and demons are reasonably common elements of gothic horror and dark fantasy, but stories set in Spain? Not so much. So I invited Lady Frohock to give us a little primer on her fascinating world!
Los Nefilim is simply the Spanish spelling of Nephilim. So Los Nefilim are the sons and daughters of angels and daimons. Through their supernatural lineage, they have the ability to work magic. They also have the ability to reincarnate and retain the memories of their past lives.
The two most important lives for a Nefil are the firstborn life and the current life.
In their firstborn lives, my main characters lives were as follows (in order of their ranking in Solomon’s court):
- In his firstborn life, Guillermo was Solomon, third king of Israel;
- Miquel was Benaiah (or Ben), commander of Solomon’s armies; and
- Diago was Asaph, one of the chief priests in the Temple, and Solomon’s best friend.
Solomon and Benaiah are based on Biblical texts, and since I had nothing for Aspah other than a name, I made everything else up. In my backstory, Diago/Aspah started out as a minor character, then he became a secondary character, and finally the protagonist. Now I can’t imagine the series without him.
So why isn’t Los Nefilim set in the Middle East?
During the Diaspora, many Jews fled to the Iberian Peninsula, and since, in my backstory, Solomon, Benaiah, and Asaph were fleeing the daimons of Israel, I thought maybe they, too, would seek another country to begin anew. So they went to the Iberian Peninsula and became Los Nefilim.
Were they all reborn in the same region of Spain?
No. Guillermo was born in Aragon, which is in northern Spain. Miquel is from Barcelona, in the Catalan region. Diago was born in Sevilla, in the southern region of Andalusia.
Guillermo is of Visigothic ancestry. Miquel is Gitano, and Diago has Berber lineage among his mortal parentage in his current life.
How did they find one another?
That is a very long story, which is a novel. Suffice to say: the angel who forced them flee Israel brought them together again in Iberia.
Why the Spanish Civil War?
Guillermo del Toro is one of the few fantasists who have attempted to portray the events surrounding the Spanish Civil War with both The Devil’s Backbone and Pan’s Labyrinth. It was his works that initially ignited my interest in the conflict.
While I was between projects, I talked to my agent about reworking my Guillermo/Solomon story so that it was set in the twentieth century. Since a lot of other authors have, or currently are, writing novels set during either World War I or World War II, I decided to keep Los Nefilim in Spain and begin my series in the early years of Spain’s Second Republic.
I didn’t want to start at the outbreak, or in the middle, of the war. I wanted to juxtapose the angels and daimons with the mortal conflict so that the reader can see how political rhetoric became so strident that it eventually leads to war. I also wanted to give the two youngest Nefilim, Ysabel and Rafael, time to grow up before thrusting them into the final days of the Spanish Civil War and before they fled to France where the surviving members of Los Nefilim joins the French Resistance.
T. Frohock has turned a love of dark fantasy and horror into tales of deliciously creepy fiction. Her other publications include everything from novelettes to short stories. She is also the author of the novel, Miserere: An Autumn Tale. The second novella in her Los Nefilim series, Without Light Or Guide will be available this week! Read my review here!