Lolo Bromios – the meaning behind MaryAnn the maenad’s creepy chant in True Blood


MaryAnn and her followers repeat it constantly:

“Lo Lo Bromios, Lo Lo Dendrites, Eleutherios, Enorches, Bacchus.”

But what does it mean? Here is what I have been able to decipher:

The “lo lo” part is most likely a mistake. A capital “i” (I) looks very much the same as a lowercase “l” (L), and so I’m led to believe that what is really intended to be said is, “Io io bromios,” et cetera.

Io most likely means “lord” or “master” because the term always proceeds those two words in ancient Greek songs of praise. Io was also the daughter of Inachus in Greek mythology and is the name of a moon of Jupiter, but the first explanation makes the most sense in this context.

Bromios is an epithet – that is, it is a term used to characterize and/or a descriptive title for the god Dionysus. It means “thunderer,” “noisy” or “boisterous” – literally translating to “to roar.”

Dendrites comes from the Greek word “dendron” (tree). Dionysus is also a tree god, symbolizing his power over nature and fertility. He is also a patron diety of agriculture.

Eleutherios is another epithet for Dionysus – it means “the liberator.” Dionysus was known for freeing one from one’s normal self through wine, ecstasy or madness. His divine mission was to end the world of worry and care.

Enorches can be roughly translated into “the dancer.” Enorches was also the son of Thyestes, a man with a deep history of incest. Enorches’ mother was also his aunt, Daeta. In addition to his sister, Thyestes fathered a child with his daughter and slept with his twin brother’s wife. Upon learning of this deceit, Thyestes’ brother killed Thyestes’ sons and served them to him as food. Does cannibalism sound familiar?

Well, it gets better! Remember the end of the Sunday, August 30th episode of “True Blood?” In that 11th episode of season 2, titled “Frenzy,” Tara and Eggs are building a nest for an egg. Enorches, son of Thyestes and his sister Daeta, was born out of an egg and later built a temple to Dionysus.

Bacchus is the Roman equivalent of Dionysus, referring to the frenzy he induces – “bakkheia.”

So we can extrapolate the following from the chant:

“Loud God, Tree God! The Liberator, The Dancer, The Frenzy Inducer!”

P.S. Almost all myths depict Dionysus as a “foreign” god with little known origins, meaning he is typical of the epiphany, “the god who comes.”

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7 Responses to Lolo Bromios – the meaning behind MaryAnn the maenad’s creepy chant in True Blood

  1. I’m worn OUT this month, after seven months of laboring. All I could think of reading of Bacchus/Dionysus? Was that both were attributed as deities of drunken bacchanalias, too. And then my mind sprang back to a bottle given me by a Mexican friend…filled with home made “Baccanoria” — a sort of mescal based alcohol, potent and tasty.

    Io Bacchus, indeed! Oh, wait…this was about a show I never saw, based on a book I never read…

    • Heretic says:

      Cool story! I just thought the show depicted the maenad mythology well enough to post about it (and I’m a big fan of mythology in tv shows). Frenzy, ecstatic states and chaos were big themes. Nobody has to actually see the show to get what’s said here although I do wish they correctly said “io” and not “lo.”

      • True, true. Of course, maenad mythology would likely be unpopular, lol; imagine females being so rowdy and chaotic — not to mention murderous on occasion!

      • Heretic says:

        Oh, yeah, the murdering females. Say, the movie Wicker Man (similar “dying vessel as sacrifice to god” subject) on imdb only has a rating of 3.6. Women murdering, even on occasion, are definitely not popular, alright. And imagine women in real life taking up two seats on buses on trains like men do, men would have a hissyfit.

      • Don’t even start my engine on that one…

  2. michael says:

    Io in Ancient Greek is “An exclamation of joy or triumph”. Only a know it all would say something like “most likely means” without bothering to do any research.

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