The Penguin Book of Norse Myths: Gods of the Vikings
The Scandinavian myths form a linked chain of stories, creating a mighty, fantastical world teeming with gods and goddesses, master-smiths and magicians. Battles between gods and giants exist alongside unexpected love matches until the final days of destruction dawn, with their promise of rebirth.
Using his talents as poet, translator and author, Kevin Crossley-Holland br
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This is probably the closest you'll get to the actual tales without reading the Prose Edda.(less)
What We Learned from "Thor" (skip if you remember the movie)
- The universe consists of nine realms.
- The gods live in Asgard, humans live in Midgard, and the Ice Giants live in Jotunheim.
- The nine realms are connected by the roots/branches of a tree called Yggdrasill.
- Odin is the Allfather, or most powerful.
- Thor is Odin's son and the god of thunder.
- Sif is one of the warriors from the movie.
- Loki is... well, you know who he is. The most cunning villain of all time.
This is what Marvel sh ...more
Rather than simply translate-and-annotate, Crossley-Holland has compiled these stories fro ...more
The stories themselves, though, come across as short folk tales for children (no offense intended to old Snorri Sturulson and company). The one exception, the prophecy of Ragnarok, which packs an entire mythical apocalypse of universal darkness and destruction into four pages. It's worth reading, re-reading, and a little memorizing. Start with:
Read with a flagon of ale and a roaring fire (preferably seated a reindeer pelt) to truly get into the mood.
So, after reading this (for the second time), what strikes me is the innate sadness of the Norse view of the universe. The Ragnarok story seems to indicate that all creation is cyclical--the universe w ...more
They call Loki* the trickster God but really they all could have had this title. And not just the Gods, all of the creatures in this universe seemed hell bent on tricking each other at any opportunity. Yet Loki seems to be blamed the most, I think this is because he likes to trick other Gods and the others just s ...more
The myths are laid out in very easy to digest chunks, I promise there will be very little indigestion. Many only a couple pages. The only exception was Ragnarok, this i ...more
There are two types of story in these myths - the wildly implausible adventures, including drinking bouts, seduction ...more
Some of the myths are fantastic (e.g. Binding of Loki, Thor go ...more
The myths are pretty good, the start and end notes take a certain amount of plowing through - perhaps more for the full on anthropologist or someone really into the historical background. I enjoyed the myths, however they could do with being a bit lengthier (more story like) although I think that is a general issue with reading all sorts (Greek / Roman etc) unless you are studying them. Still some note reading to do - he certainly has a ...more
In addition, the author provided excellent context for the myths by giving readers loads of background history and notes. The extra depth made for a much richer experience.
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There will be life and new life, life everywhere on earth. That was the end; and this is the beginning.”