Norse Mythology

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by Julia Bauer

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Norse Mythology

  1. 1. By Julia Bauer
  2. 2. Intro to Norse Mythology • Norse mythology is the myths and legends of the Vikings, and of the people who lived in what is now Norway, Sweden, the Netherlands, Germany, and many other parts of Northern Europe.
  3. 3. Intro to Norse Mythology • Later on in their history, the Norse people converted to Christianity. The conversion was likely eased along by the fact that many of their myths and beliefs bear a striking resemblance to Christianity, as well as the myths of other cultures that we have studied.
  4. 4. Odin • Leader of Aesir tribe of gods • Often leaves the god kingdom of Asgard on solo quests • Contradictory: – War God and Poetry God – Tribal Leader, yet solo, uninterested in community affairs
  5. 5. Loki • Trickster, God of Mischief • Father of Hel, the goddess of graves, and Jormungand • Represented as shallow, concerned with selfpreservation, but familial ties with gods, not the giants that represent evil
  6. 6. Thor • God of Thunder • Traditional Warrior/Hero • Defender of Asgard and Midgard • Enemy of Jorgmund, a sea serpent that surrounds Midgard and bring misfortune
  7. 7. Similarities to Other Mythologies Norns and Fates • Norse and Greek mythology have two very similar concepts of three wise old women who sit under a tree and weave the destiny of everyone and everything. In Norse they are known as the Norns, or magic-practicers, and in Greek mythology they are known as the Fates.
  8. 8. Similarities to Other Mythologies • Norse has a creation of humanity story similar to the biblical story of Adam and Eve • The Norse Aesir gods created one man, called Ask, represented by an Ash tree, and one woman, called Embla, represented by a water pot. • They were given the human world from the gods, called Midgard
  9. 9. Similarities to Other Mythologies: Mythical Creatures and Beings • Like many other cultures, the Norse culture had legends of supernatural creatures. Elves Dwarves Valkyries
  10. 10. Similarities to Other Mythologies: Creation Myths • As we learn in “ The Story of the Beginning” the Norse creation myth is very like Egyptian creation myths. • Both believe before the world, there was nothing but darkness, and things came into being one by one. In Norse mythologies, there was Niflheim, a cold expanse of ice, and Muspelheim, an expanse of fire, that met in the middle to create fog, and life. This is like the Egyptian Nun, a dark great ocean, from which land and the sky and the gods came.
  11. 11. Similarities to Other Mythologies: Creation Myths Continued • As in Egyptian beliefs, in Norse there was one first god, called Ymir. Ymir was like the Egyptian God Ra, as both gods were the first to exist, and created all the other gods asexually.
  12. 12. Mythology in Pop Culture • Myths inspire modern retellings of old stories, like the Thor movie and comic series, the sequel of which comes out later this week. Being a fan of these comics and other like it, however, unfortunately comes with certain stipulations.
  13. 13. Mythology in Pop Culture Continued • The new Thor trailer does stay on par with original Norse mythology in several ways. First of the character Thor remains the same. He is the most well known and widely involved of all Norse gods, He is the god of thunder, and can be seen carrying his hammer known as Mjollnir, which means lightning. As in the myths, Thor is concerned with protecting Asgard, the city and stronghold of the gods, shown briefly in the trailer as a glittering fantasy city. However, Thor also cares about Midgard, the realm of humans, as he has long been known as the defender of humanity. Loki is also in character as the mischievous trickster god, who reluctantly comes to the side of the gods, as he does in the myths.
  14. 14. Mythology in Pop Culture Continued Listen To This – “Pointing At The Moon” This song by Faded Paper Figures references mythology in its lyrics “No mythologies to guide you”. It makes an interesting point throughout the song, that stories and beliefs like the myths we read guide us by showing us what other people and think and expect. Without this source of new ideas, we are stuck in the same old patterns we are used to, “pointing fingers at the moon”. To read the lyrics, click on the lyrics tab, scroll down to number 9
  15. 15. Bibliography • Rayworth, Melissa. "Comic Book Heroes Are Hot. Comic Books Are Not. And That's OK with Their Fans." Windsor Star. The Canadian Press, 1 Oct. 2013. Web. 31 Oct. 2013. <http://www.windsorstar.com/life/Comic book heroes Comic books thats with their fans/8982032/story.html>. • McCoy, Dan. "Norse Mythology." Norse Mythology. N.p., 2013. Web. 27 Oct. 2013. <http://norse-mythology.org/>. • "Norse Mythology." Infoplease. Infoplease, 2012. Web. 02 Nov. 2013. <http://www.infoplease.com/ipa/A0197623.html>.

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