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.
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“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.
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.
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.
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
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.
To be captured by the Northern Thing means to be taken with the Norse stories of the Gods. If that describes you, then The Norse Myths should help. It contains the most complete versions of the Norse myths available in the English language. The Norse Myths is presented as a narrative from the beginning of creation to the final great battle of Ragnarok, followed by the Rebirth. The Norse Myths is split into several parts: Part One: In the Beginning. Eight chapters that set up the Universe. Part Two: The Adventures. Twelve chapters about the adventures of Gods, Elves, Jotuns, Humans. Part Three: The Ending of All Things. Overarching in all the stories is Ragnarokr, the Doom of the Gods. Even in the humorous stories there's a sense of fatality. Part Three is eight chapters leading to the final battle (Ragnarokr) and the subsequent Rebirth into a more Utopian world. Finally, there is a complete Glossary of all the characters, places, and objects in the book. The spelling used in the book is presented with definitions of the word and alternate spellings, followed by a complete description. And there's a Genealogy chart showing the familial relationships of many of the characters. Norse mythology comes from the Nordic countries, including Sweden, Denmark, Norway, and Iceland. These countries were heavily influenced by Teutonic (German) mythology. This book contains all of the legends which pertain to the Gods. Future volumes will be about family sagas like The Niebelungenlied (The Ring Saga). There is a deep foreboding, a sense of doom, that pervades Norse mythology. The Gods are not immortal. They can be injured and need to be healed. They can find themselves bent with old age. Against the right enemy they can be killed. From the beginning the Gods know they are in a violent battle of good versus evil. The Gods, mankind of Midgardr, and light elves, are doing what they can to stave off the last battle, Ragnarokr, the Doom of the Gods. They fight against evil giants, ferocious wolves, giant sea serpents, and the cunning Loki. The Nordic countries have harsh winters resulting in a mythology that is darker than most. The Norse hero wants to die a hero's death, in battle, fighting for right. The worst death is the straw death, in bed, old, infirm, and away from the fight. The hero who dies in battle goes to Valhalla or one of the other fighting halls to practice and prepare for the last great battle. Those who die straw deaths go to the torturous halls in Niflheimr. Glory does not await them. Pain, venous snakes, and starvation awaits them. Yet, there is hope . . . always hope. There is the vision of a better life filled with peace and tranquility, the Rebirth. Norse mythology has influenced many fantasy novels including The Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien, who taught Norse mythology at Oxford. The Norse Myths will take you to a world of legend with Thor, Odin, Loki, Gods, Goddesses, monsters, giants, and dwarves doing what they can to help or hurt each other.
The Norse Myths presents the infamous Viking gods, from the mighty Asyr, led by �?inn, and the mysterious Vanir, to Thor and the mythological cosmos they inhabit. Passages translated from Old Norse bring this legendary world to life, from the myths of creation to ragnar�k, the prophesied end of the world at the hands of Loki’s army of monsters and giants, and everything that comes in between: the long and problematic relationship between the gods and the giants, the (mis)adventures of human heroes and heroines, with their family feuds, revenges, marriages, and murders; and the interaction between the gods and mortals. Photographs and drawings show a range of Norse sites, objects, and characters, from Viking ship burials to dragons on runestones. Dr. Carolyne Larrington describes the Norse myths’ origins in pre-Christian Scandinavia and Iceland, and their survival in archaeological artifacts and written sources, from Old Norse sagas and poems to the less-approving accounts of medieval Christian writers. She traces their influences into the work of Wagner, William Morris, and J. R. R. Tolkien, and even Game of Thrones in the resurrection of the Fimbulvetr, or “Mighty Winter."