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Overview On Norse Mythology


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A little summ I started for myself.

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Overview On Norse Mythology

  1. 1. Basics on Norse Mythology (without aim of entirety)
  2. 2. Major realms of Norse Religion <ul><li>Yggdrasil: The World Tree, which connects and sustains all the other realms. </li></ul><ul><li>Asgard: Home of the Aesir gods. </li></ul><ul><li>Álfheimr: Home of the elves. </li></ul><ul><li>Midgard: „Middle world”. Our world, the human realm. </li></ul><ul><li>Jötunheim: Land of the giants. </li></ul><ul><li>Hel: The underworld, the realm of those who died an unworthy death. </li></ul><ul><li>Valhalla (Hall of the slain): A sub-realm of Asgard. Odins hall, where the souls of honorably slain warriors gather to feast, drink and fight, until the final battle is at hand. </li></ul>
  3. 3. Yggdrasil
  4. 4. Major Gods <ul><li>Odin (Oden, Woden): The All Father. Leader of the gods. God of war, wisdom, and magic. </li></ul><ul><li>Thor (Tor): Son of Odin, god of thunder and war. The idealised warrior. </li></ul><ul><li>Baldr (Balder, Baldur): Son of Odin. God of innocence, purity, and joy. Sometimes associated with the sun </li></ul><ul><li>Tyr: God of combat, glory and honour. </li></ul><ul><li>Freyja (Freya): Godess of fertility, love, and beauty. </li></ul><ul><li>Loki: Son of two giants. Though not a god he is associated with trickery, mischief, and often treachery. </li></ul>
  5. 5. Other major figures <ul><li>The Norns: Three old woman, sitting in the base of the Yggdrasil, tending its roots, and weaving the fate of every creature. </li></ul><ul><li>Fenrir(Fenris): A giant wolf, son of Loki. On the day of Ragnarok, the twilight of the gods, he will battle and kill Odin. </li></ul><ul><li>Jörmungandr: The world serpent, son of Loki. He is so huge, that he encircles the whole world. During Ragnarok, he willbe slain by Thor, who will die of Jörmungandrs poison. </li></ul><ul><li>Valkyres: Servants of Odin. These woman seek out the souls of those, who died in an honorable battle, and carry them to Valhalla. </li></ul>
  6. 6. Odin, facing Fenrir
  7. 7. Influences on modern culture <ul><li>J.R.R Tolkien heavily relied on Norse and Celtic religion, when he wrote the Lord of the Rings, and The Silmarillion. Thus, at some level, they can be seen as the ancestors of modern fantasy literature. </li></ul><ul><li>Some revived the ancient religion, and consider themselves „Neopagan”. They can be considered as a minor (?) subculture. </li></ul><ul><li>There is a certain popularity for historical reenactment. Of course, in northern Europe, probably the most favored era for reenactors is the Viking age. </li></ul><ul><li>Influenced folk and rock music (with bands like Manowar, Therion etc.). </li></ul><ul><li>The day-names in English are named after norse gods. (Wednesday-Woden’s day, Thursday-Thor’s day, etc.) </li></ul><ul><li>And many-many more... </li></ul>
  8. 8. Sources <ul><li>We don’t know much about the exact „how” of norse religious practice. Supposedly, there were solitary keepers of faith in different settlements, isolated from each other. </li></ul><ul><li>Norse language was strongly speach oriented. Their rune-writing was most often carved in stone, so there aren’t much written sources left. The main sources are the works of Snorri Sturlson, an Icelandic historian, and the Gesta Danorum, by Saxo Grammaticus. </li></ul><ul><li>There are of course, sources of other nations, which the vikings contacted, but these sources are to be treated with care, as most were written by Christian figures, who had prejudice of pagan cultures. </li></ul>