“Remarkable.… Gaiman has provided an enchanting contemporary interpretation of the Viking ethos.”—Lisa L. Hannett, Atlantic Neil Gaiman, long inspired by ancient mythology in creating the fantastical realms of his fiction, presents a bravura rendition of the Norse gods and their world from their origin though their upheaval in Ragnarok. In Norse Mythology, Gaiman stays true to the myths in envisioning the major Norse pantheon: Odin, the highest of the high, wise, daring, and cunning; Thor, Odin’s son, incredibly strong yet not the wisest of gods; and Loki—son of a giant—blood brother to Odin and a trickster and unsurpassable manipulator. Gaiman fashions these primeval stories into a novelistic arc that begins with the genesis of the legendary nine worlds and delves into the exploits of deities, dwarfs, and giants. Through Gaiman’s deft and witty prose, these gods emerge with their fiercely competitive natures, their susceptibility to being duped and to duping others, and their tendency to let passion ignite their actions, making these long-ago myths breathe pungent life again.
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The stories of Thor, Odin and Loki are familiar to most of us. Many people know that the Norse gods fought against giants and were ultimately betrayed by Loki the trickster. The end of the world and the death of the gods in a grim battle called Ragnarok has also found its way into popular culture. Ideas taken from Norse mythology are frequently found in modern fantasy and science fiction – such as elves, dwarfs and undead warriors rising from an unquiet grave, for example. Norse mythology is rich in adventure and ideas about creation, death and the afterlife. Norse Myths takes a wide-ranging approach, examining the creation stories of the Norse world, the monsters and the pantheons of the deities, including such figures as Heimdall, Freya and Baldr. It looks at the sagas and the Prose and Poetic Eddas, which tell of real and imagined people, featuring both heroic tales and humorous escapades. The book also examines how Norse myths were interpreted in a Christianized Europe and how their motifs influenced medieval German writers and, in turn, were used in the modern world in very different ways, by the likes of composer Richard Wagner and in the writings of J.R.R. Tolkien. Illustrated with 180 colour and black-&-white artworks and illustrations, Norse Myths is an engaging and highly informative exploration of a rich mythology that still resounds today.
Norse Mythology explores the magical myths and legends of Norway, Sweden, Denmark, Iceland and Viking-Age Greenland and outlines the way the prehistoric tales and beliefs from these regions that have remained embedded in the imagination of the world. The book begins with an Introduction that helps put Scandinavian mythology in place in history, followed by a chapter that explains the meaning of mythic time, and a third section that presents in-depth explanations of each mythological term. These fascinating entries identify particular deities and giants, as well as the places where they dwell and the varied and wily means by which they forge their existence and battle one another. We meet Thor, one of the most powerful gods, who specializes in killing giants using a hammer made for him by dwarfs, not to mention myriad trolls, ogres, humans and strange animals. We learn of the ongoing struggle between the gods, who create the cosmos, and the jötnar, or giants, who aim to destroy it. In the enchanted world where this mythology takes place, we encounter turbulent rivers, majestic mountains, dense forests, storms, fierce winters, eagles, ravens, salmon and snakes in a landscape closely resembling Scandinavia. Beings travel on ships and on horseback; they eat slaughtered meat and drink mead. Spanning from the inception of the universe and the birth of human beings to the universe's destruction and the mythic future, these sparkling tales of creation and destruction, death and rebirth, gods and heroes will entertain readers and offer insight into the relationship between Scandinavian myth, history, and culture.
Introduces and retells the myths of the Norse gods and goddesses, describes available written sources, and examines what they tell about the way Norsemen viewed their world
Are you fascinated by the characters and myths of Thor and Odin, and eager to learn more about the Nordic gods, the significance of Ragnarok and the history of Norse mythology? By reading this book you will learn about the history of Norse mythology and become familiar with the Nordic gods. This book provides clear information about the numerous gods such as Thor, Odin, Loki, the Valkyries as you learn about their origins and legends. Discover the gloomy fate of Ragnarok, and what it meant for the gods and people of that mystic time. This book reveals not only the myths of Norse mythology, but also provides the reader with historical background information of the Norse people, their developments, their history, and Ragnarok. It reveals and explains many of the sagas and legends, and you will become familiar with the most important mystic places, legends, poems, and anecdotes of the Nordic gods and their meanings for humans.
This unique collection of essays applies significant critical approaches to the mythological poetry of the Poetic Edda, a principal source for Old Norse cosmography and the legends of Odin, Loki, and Thor. The volume also provides very useful introductions that sketch the critical history of the Eddas. By applying new theoretical approaches (feminist, structuralist, post-structuralist) to each of the major poems, this book yields a variety of powerful and convincing readings. Contributors to the collection are both young scholars and senior figures in the discipline, and are of varying nationalities (American, British, Australian, Scandinavian, and Icelandic), thus ensuring a range of interpretations from different corners of the scholarly community. The new translations included here make available for the first time to English-speaking students the intriguing methodologies that are currently developing in Scandinavia. An essential collection of scholarship for any Old Norse course, The Poetic Edda will also be of interest to scholars of Indo-European myth, as well as those who study the theory of myth.
Collects stories from ancient Norse mythology, including the creation of the world, the tree of the universe, and the end of the world with the battle of Ragnarok.
Alphabetically listed entries identify and explain the characters, events, important places, and other aspects of Norse mythology.