I am an enormous fan of mythology. My niche to date continues to be Ancient Egyptian mythology since i have began studying about individuals gods after i was just nine years old. However, my second favourite canon is the Norse gods. Sadly, because individuals such as the Vikings did not wrote records, the majority of that mythology was lost. Furthermore, that old records that people will have, happen to be produced by men for example Snorri Sturluson, who resided a long time later. Which explains the reasons female gods are generally not mentione
I am an enormous fan of mythology. My niche to date continues to be Ancient Egyptian mythology since i have began studying about individuals gods after i was just nine years old. However, my second favourite canon is the Norse gods. Sadly, because individuals such as the Vikings did not wrote records, the majority of that mythology was lost. Furthermore, that old records that people will have, happen to be produced by men for example Snorri Sturluson, who resided a long time later. Which explains the reasons female gods are generally not pointed out whatsoever (we all know about the subject from various depictions on tapestries or any other artistic representations), or only by name/title, never at length using the corresponding tales. This saddens me particularly – not only since i should also learn about female gods speculate the feminine gods we all do know existed within this canon were doctors (how interesting one thing the gods needed doctors, eh?). And thinking about exactly what a kick-ass character Freya is, another female gods could have been quite interesting too, I am sure. Losing a lot of this mythology can also be heartbreaking since the little we all do learn about Norse mythology generally is vivid, funny, and original.
As is frequently the situation with gods (for instance also using the Greek ones), those listed here are deeply problematic: they get drunk constantly, lie, cheat, trick, murder, … many are married, incidents where divorced and re-married. So far as I understand, this is actually the only mythology by which divorce is featured, but that’s simply to be anticipated when we consider the societies by which Norse mythology was dominant, because individuals such as the Vikings were very open about this. The Norse gods aren’t really "caring" as numerous other gods all over the world were portrayed. Situation in point, there’s a couple of creatures that will get slaughtered continuously his or her sole purpose in existence (Thor’s goats along with the huge boar in Valhalla, who get slaughtered, eaten, then return to existence, simply to be slaughtered again) and you will find no tales about humans praying towards the gods and sacrificing for them to obtain divine help (Vikings did that however the Edda never mentions gods really reacting unlike other religions).
Why is the Norse gods stand out then? Simple: their pathos. And also the wealthy, intertwined details of all of the worlds within the most colourful and inventive world-building I have heard about.
We’ve Yggdrasil, the planet tree
that connects all creation. On its different branches and plains, from roots to crown, you will find the 9 realms (Asgard, Midgard, Jötunheim, Vanaheim, Svartálfaheim/Nidavellir, Hel, Nifhel, Muspellheim, Ljósálfaheim/Álfheim – what they are called are typed differently, based on which text you are studying). In individuals different realms live different races (Aesir and a few Vanir in Asgard, humans in Midgard, Giants in Jötunheim, Vanir in Vanaheim, Dark Elves or Dwarves in Svartálfaheim/Nidavellir, the dead (not died a respectable dying / around the battlefield) in Helheim and Nifhelheim, the fireplace Giants in Muspellheim, and also the Light Elves in Ljósálfaheim/Álfheim).
We have messengers for example Ratatoskr, the squirrel that runs up and lower a corner of Yggdrasil to provide messages (frequently lies), snakes and deer all over the world tree as well as an eagly in the crown. We’ve Odin’s ravens, Hugin and Munin (thought and memory), we’ve Sleipnir, the eight-legged horse of Odin (really a young child of Loki), we’ve mountain tops and valleys, oceans and rivers, …
Our primary players within the Edda and for that reason and in this book would be the Aesir for example Odin and Thor, but additionally some Vanir like Freya and her brother. Furthermore, we’ve Loki, a huge who nonetheless seems as an Asgardian (most likely because he’s a shapeshifter, he turns into a mare, too, for instance) and lives using the Aesir. The tales illustrate the gods’ adventures, for example Odin attempting to develop a wall to safeguard Asgard and forcing the giants to cover it (I kid explore).
Most of the tales are really funny – like when Thor needs to dress like a lady to obtain his hammer back or what goes on to Loki as he transforms in to the above-pointed out mare to cheat the builder from the also above-pointed out wall.
But there’s tragedy too. First and foremost because Ragnarok (finish of days). The gods usually have been aware of it, know they’re defeated during Ragnarok but they’re prepaing for this (it is the sole reason behind Valhalla where Odin collects best wishes fighters). Consider that: they already know that the ending which can’t be altered, but they’ll a minimum of venture out inside a blaze of glory and take as numerous opponents together as they possibly can. A effective message.
On the other hand, a lot of Ragnarok (otherwise the whole factor even) might have been avoided had the gods socialized more honorably to begin with.
The best character within the entire canon is Fenrir,
boy of Loki along with a giantess (yes, Loki cheated on his wife, 3 occasions with this particular giantess and when by being a mother themself), the enormous gray wolf who will be a friend towards the Aesir had they not tricked him cruelly from fear.
Outstanding about these myths can also be the implications, the things they inform us concerning the Norsemen. It’s obvious in my experience that they didn’t always love their very own gods, and certainly didn’t have confidence in them. However they respected them and learned from their store. They understood these to be treacherous however that only built them into perform guard, using wit on the top of physical strength themselves simply because they often see the need for the mixture of brains and muscles (a really interesting effect)!
This book is definitely the myths within their original form (as provided to us within the prosaic and poetic Edda) but slightly fleshed by helping cover their Neal Gaiman offering some descriptive details, essentially giving the tales a face-lift, without altering a dark tone or content. It’s possible to tell the author knows his stuff and it has an in-depth desire for Norse mythology (specifically for Loki) which means this book was written using the utmost respect towards the source material. This respect, actually, is palpable, making studying the tales a delight.
Like a huge fan of Norse mythology, I am really overjoyed at what Neil Gaiman presents us with here and hope he seems to achieve a large audience therefore the myths will survive (not only to Marvel comics and films).
Norse Mythology by Neil Gaiman – Review
Mark Gunnells: I highly recommend Neverwhere, my favorite novel of his, and he's working on a sequel right now. You should also check out his short fiction. Brilliant. Smoke and Mirrors is a great place to start.
Steven and his Books: +Mark Gunnells I'll keep that in mind. I think I heard about the sequel, but yeah that would be a good one to read next.