Unsurprisingly, Gaiman recognizes a ripping yarn as he sees one. The items of the “Edda” material he’s plucked and fleshed here are pretty entertaining by themselves, and Gaiman’s assumes them play in the portrayal the extant sources only hint at. His Thor is dense but is familiar with to operate round his limitations, generally by threatening violence his Loki is minus the cackling, malign creature from the movies than the usual practical joker whose cruelty is in some way never quite wretched. “The Treasures from the Gods” starts with Thor finding that his wife Sif’s hair continues to be stolen by Loki, and intimidating him into convincing a household of dwarfs to replace it all. Jesse Byock’s 2005 translation of Sturluson’s “Prose Edda” dispatches that area of the story in 2 quick sentences. Gaiman’s version extends the setup to four pages of slow-burn comedy:
“Thor’s brow decreased. ‘Sif’s hair was her glory. Individuals will believe that her mind was shaved for punishment. That they did something she shouldn’t did, made it happen with someone she shouldn’t have.’
“‘Well, yes. There’s that,’ stated Loki. ‘They will most likely believe that…’”
Gaiman can be quite funny, sometimes so much in fact that their own voice’s commentary upstages the storyline he’s telling: When Odin is offered the spear Gungnir, which always hits its target, Gaiman wisecracks that “Odin had only one eye, in the end, and often his aim might be under perfect.” (That archaic “but” should not fool anybody.) And he isn’t above an periodic linguistic anachronism with regard to a giggle, as when Loki praises a trick performed through the giant Utgardaloki: “That was congratulations. Brilliantly deployed illusions. I believe we have all learned something today.”
Neil Gaiman on Thor, Loki and 'Norse Mythology'
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mateo scotti: The fact that you and your ten friends still believe in viking gods is proof enough that you don't do research on anything.
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