MarrowStone

Define Wintermute

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Ive never heard this word before and a quick google search isnt giving me any definition, can someone explain to me what it means in the context of the long dark please ?

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In the context of The Long Dark, I'm afraid I have no idea. I've only encountered it as the name of an AI in William Gibson's Neuromancer.

Gibson has lived in Canada for many years and has written a short story titled "Hinterlands" (which happens to be one of my favorites of his), but I'm fairly certain that's just coincidence. I doubt there's any real connection between Gibson and TLD besides the name, but I guess I won't know for sure until after August 1st.

 

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Wintermute isn't a real word, but more rather a word created by the devs to describe the state you are thrown into in TLD. The title of the game itself, The Long Dark, means darkness (obviously), and a connotation to a lack of sight or that there is nothing to be seen but darkness. With Wintermute, the thing that comes to mind is its relation to hearing. When I think of Wintermute in my head, I think of how freshly fallen snow muffles the sound of everything around you. It creates a really eerie yet beautiful distortion in nature, where nothing can be heard. Wintermute sounds to me like danger because of the deafness you feel when out in the snow like that. Perhaps it also relates to speech, and that you would be left speechless if you crashed your plane into a cold wilderness with no sign of relief. Those are just my thoughts, and I applaud Hinterland for being so creative with their titles.

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I've checked it and there is, like many other words, no direct translation to english.

In german, it translates literally to "Winterstille". It expresses the silence in the wintertime (no birds singing, frozen rivers ...). Also people are more indoors because of the cold and are generally more quiet (prayerful?) towards christmas, "the end" (of the year). So part of the word also refers to the "end time" - what, in a apocalyptic dimension, is the theme of TLD.

The word fits perfectly because TLD actually is the only game i know that gives you that feeling.

All people who live in a country where you have 4 seasons (real summer and real winter - snow) know this expression.

Edited by MueckE
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On 5/19/2017 at 6:25 AM, NorseRaven99 said:

Wintermute isn't a real word, but more rather a word created by the devs to describe the state you are thrown into in TLD.

The word is real, and has been around a lot longer than Hinterland has. It's been used in a number of works of fiction well before TLD was dreamed of. Earliest uses of the word seem to be as an Anglicised version of a German surname.

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On 5/19/2017 at 10:43 PM, MueckE said:

In german, it translates literally to "Winterstille". It expresses the silence in the wintertime (no birds singing, frozen rivers ...). Also people are more indoors because of the cold and are generally more quiet (prayerful?) towards christmas, "the end" (of the year). So part of the word also refers to the "end time" - what, in a apocalyptic dimension, is the theme of TLD.

Thanks.. that may well be the best definition of the usage I've seen.

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Yeah @MueckE. Nice job explaining! Your definition was definitely "In context". Sorry for late reply even though I posted this thread haha.

I am definitely familiar with the silence of winter. Last winter in particular I would regularly go out in the woods to take wildlife photos, the atmosphere was very "TLD/wintermute". 

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Posted (edited)

Ancestry.com had the following information available for family name " WINTERMUTE ":

WINTERMUTE

"Americanized spelling of German Wintermut(h), a variant of Wendemuth, a nickname for an inconstant or fickle person, from Middle High German wenden ‘to turn’ + muot ‘mind’,‘sense’, later ‘courage’."

Source: Dictionary of American Family Names ©2013, Oxford University Press
               Ancestry.com

At this link:
https://www.ancestry.com/name-origin?surname=wintermute
There is a map showing where in Canada & the US they could be found.  If the highlighted (green) areas are showing the US Northeast, simply click on "location" and choose Canada.

and the following accompanying text:

"You can see how Wintermute families moved over time by selecting different census years. The Wintermute family name was found in the USA, and Canada between 1840 and 1920. The most Wintermute families were found in the USA in 1880. In 1911 there were 57 Wintermute families living in Ontario. This was about 58% of all the recorded Wintermute's in Canada. Ontario had the highest population of Wintermute families in 1911.
Use census records and voter lists to see where families with the Wintermute surname lived. Within census records, you can often find information like name of household members, ages, birthplaces, residences, and occupations."

In-game reference without spoilers:

Players of TLD  Story mode, will have heard the name / word used before the end of Episode 2.

To the best of my knowledge, @Raphael van Lierop has not elucidated on any relevance of the name / word to the game, though I haven't done an exhaustive search:  I seriously doubt he has.

 

Edited by FrozenCorpse
added Ancestry.com as source

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6 minutes ago, Raphael van Lierop said:

WINTERMUTE doesn't mean any of these things.

My speculation... The never ending winter that will mute life as we know it.

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I guess we'll just have to wait and see how the next episodes elaborate on it. 

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I think after the geomagnetic storm all devices gone silent.

Thus the world became mute.

In winter. 

The answer is simple as that.

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To me the word WINTERMUTE is closely related with the Quiet Apocalypse concept. Winter is the season where nothing grows, there's no life, all is dead... and sometimes it makes reference to the end of the life (in a symbolic way). In other words, this is the Apocalypse, the end of any existence, like the Winter. But this is a Quiet Apocalypse, silent, mute... there's no fire, or earthquake/tsunami... here the power went out, the technology... everything was muted.

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On 6/12/2019 at 6:14 AM, Raphael van Lierop said:

WINTERMUTE doesn't mean any of these things.

Interesting question @MarrowStone !

I assumed it would have the meaning  "silence of wintertime" like @MueckE explained it. (Winterstille)

Hinterland is also a German word and means the same as in English (back-country)

Wintermute is also a family name from east Canada?

 

Would be very interesting to hear what it is meaning exactly here @Raphael van Lierop

 

 

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