"Echthros" is the Greek word for "enemy." The plural form is "echthroi." Madeleine L'Engle uses the word to name the antagonists of Swiftly Tilting Planet and Wind in the Door. She draws from the Platonic idea that everything, in so much as it truly exists, is good. The ultimate evil, therefore, is Void. Vacuum. Nothing. The echthroi for L'Engle are beings that have no Name; they seek to bring about the end of All Creation.

L'Engle's protagonists are Namers. A Namer is anyone who seeks to bring substance to the universe. Without a name, without being known, a person or thing will cease to matter. If something ceases to matter, it will cease to exist. Namers seek to fill the void. Namers are the Good; echthroi are the Nothing.

If we noders look at echthroi in the same way that L'Engle does, then we are the salvation of the universe. We are the Namers of our world. We are attempting to give a name to everything, to make everything Matter. We are the keepers of the Good. Feeling messianic?

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