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NORSE MYTHOLOGY

PANTHEON OF THE GODS

SKADI AND NJORD

CREATION MYTH

IDUN AND THE GOLDEN APPLES

RAGNAROK

EXPLANATION OF IDEALS

SIGURD THE VOLSUNG

PROFESSIONAL CRITICISM

LIST OF IDEALS

SIGNIFICANT MISCELLANEOUS

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PANTHEON OF THE GODS

NAME OF GOD

SPHERE OF INFLUENCE

ODIN

"ALL-FATHER" - MOST SUPREME GOD

FRIGG

"QUEEN OF THE HEAVENS"

FREYJA

GODDESS OF LOVE AND FERTILITY

FREY

GOD OF PEACE, FERTILITY & WEATHER

HEIMDALL

WATCHMAN OF THE GODS

IDUN

KEEPER OF APPLES OF YOUTH

BALDER

GOD OF BEAUTY AND CHARISMA

LOKI

GOD OF MISCHIEF, STRIFE, & FIRE

THOR

GOD OF THUNDER AND LIGHTNING

NJORD

GOD OF THE WIND AND SEA

 

CREATION MYTH

Before there was the world that we know today, the earth was made of ice, mist, and flame. The icy region was called Niflheim, the fiery region called Muspell, and an empty void between them named Ginnungagap. The flames of Muspell warmed the frozen region of Niflheim and ice melted into water and the water dripped into the void and formed two creatures. The first creature was an evil frost giant named Ymir. The second creature was a cow named Audumla. Ymir drank Audumla's milk and as he drank more and more, he grew bigger and stronger. As he slept during the night, different creatures formed from different parts of his body. The cow had started to lick a salty ice block. As she licked, a head started to form, then a torso, and finally a human body evolved. Audumla had created the good giant named Buri. Buri and his grandsons stood for all that was good. Odin was the greatest of Buri's grandson's and led his brothers against Ymir and killed him. They dragged his body to the void (Ginningagap). Ymir's flesh turned into the earth and his blood into the sea. His bones became the mountains, his hair the trees, and his teeth turned into stones. From the halls of Asgard, the gods and goddesses created nine worlds. They were Niflheim, the world of mist and dead, Muspell, the world of fire, Midgard, the world of the humans, Jotunheim, the world of frost-giants, Alfheim, the world of the light elves, Nidavellir, the world of the elves, Svartalfheim, the world of the dark elves, Vanaheim, the world of the Vanir gods, and Asgard, the world of the Aesir gods and goddesses.There was a tree named Yggdrasil (the World Tree) that was above all the worlds. A wise eagle sat in the top of the tree observing the world.

 

Ragnarok

The end of the world will come with the final battle between good and evil. This battle is started by a god named Loki. Loki is the god of mischief, strife, and fire. The first sign of the onset of Raganarok was Fimbulvetr, or years of long savage winters. For a while, Loki had been becoming more and more evil and many of the gods were starting to dislike him. He had tricked Balder's blind brother, Hod, into killing him by throwing a spear made of mistletoe into Balder. For that evil deed, Loki was punished. The gods and goddesses punished him by binding him to a rock and fastening a serpent above his head. The serpent dripped poisonous venom onto Loki's face, but his faithful wife, Sigyn, sat with him and held a bowl over his head to catch the poison. Though she caught most of it, whenever she had to empty out the bowl, the venom would drip onto Loki's face and the earth would tremble as he writhed in pain. Finally, Loki broke free from his imprisonment. He joined the ranks of evil and turned against the gods and goddesses. He brought together an army of monsters and the sons of Hel and went to do battle with Asgard. Heimdall, the watchman of the gods, saw the advancing army and took hold of a mighty trumpet that had never been sounded and used it for the first time. The trumpet's blast wakened all the gods who met the evil army. Odin attacked Fenrir, the wolf-child of Loki, but was devoured by him. Thor, the mighty god of thunder with his hammer, killed the Midgard serpent, Jormungandr, but then was killed by it's venom. Frey fought against Hel, the goddess of death, and lost. Heimdall and Loki battled each other and died by each other's hand. On the earth, people battled with each other for the sake of greed and died. Flames engulfed the universe and all things perished. After the nine worlds had been destroyed, the earth began to grow green once more. Waterfalls flowed and eagles soared. Some of the gods returned to the living world and reminisced. Afterwards, they went to heaven, the home of the wind. But while the terrible battle and destruction were occurring, two humans had hidden themselves in the forest inside the World Tree. They were called Life and Eager-For-Life. A new pantheon was created and life on earth started again. And now began a new world and a new time.

Sigurd The Volsung

Sigurd was the son of Sidmund, who was famous for his sword, Gram. No weapon could prevail against Gram and so Sidmund never fell in battle. But one day in battle, Odin approached Sidmund and shattered his sword, thus leaving him vulnerable. One by one, the Volsungs fell, and finally, Sidmund was mortally wounded. His wife, Queen Hiordis was searching for him and when she found him, she tried to heal his wounds. But Sidmund told her to let him die and not to grieve for him. Then he told her of what was to come in the future for her. He told her that she would have a son named Sigurd and he was to be the last and most noble of the Volsungs. He then gave her the two pieces of Gram and told her to guard them for they were to be newly forged for Sigurd to use. And with that, Sidmund ceased to speak and died peacefully at sunrise. A short while after that, Sigurd was born, as was foretold by Sidmund. He grew up handsome, noble, fearless, and loved by all. He lived in Denmark with Prince Alv as his stepfather. Sigurd knew a master-smith named Regin, whose love for him was false. Since Sigurd's birth, Regin had plotted how to use him for his own means, though no one suspected it. One day, Regin hinted that Sidmund's son should have a horse instead of traveling around on foot like a peasant would. Sigurd said that his stepfather would give him one if he ever asked, and so he did ask when the opportunity arose. Prince Alv granted him permission to go to the stream Busilwater and choose the best one by his own judgment. As Sigurd was choosing his horse, a one-eyed man in a grey cloak came and asked him what he was doing. Sigurd told him of his plan and asked for the stranger's help. The old man told him to drive the herd into the water, but the horses were frightened and they all came back to land except for one which swam to the other side fearlessly. Sigurd chose that horse and turned to thank the stranger for his help, but he was gone. He named his horse Grani. Later on, when he told Prince Alv of the old one-eyed man, he learned that the stranger was Odin. When Sidmund went to show Regin his horse, the smith asked him what had become of the Volsung's treasure. Then, Regin told him of a magic suit of armor that would make the wearer invisible. The only catch was that the suit was guarded by a terrible dragon named Fafnir. Sidmund declared that he would kill the dragon and told Regin to forge him a sword. For days, Regin worked in his smithy, forging a sword for Sigurd. But when Sigurd tested the sword, it simply shattered. Regin again made a sword for Sigurd and this time it split in half when Sigurd tested it. Sidggurd then went to his mother and asker for the pieces of Gram. He gave the pieces of Gram to Regin and asked him to forge a sword out of them. This time, when Sigurd struck an anvil to test the sword out, it was the anvil that broke in half and not the sword. Sigurd declared that before he would slay the dragon, he would kill King Lynge first and avenge his father's death. Sigurd went and killed King Lynge and returned home with glory for Denmark. Then remebering his promise to Regin, he started on his journey to slay the dragon. Regin accompanied him on his journey and they set off for Gnita Heath, where the dragon was. Regin advised Sigurd to dig a ditch and wait for the dragon to come for a drink by the stream and strike him from below. Sigurd followed Regin's advice and dug himself a ditch and hid in it and waited for Fafnir to come. Soon, he could hear Fafnir come to the stream for a drink. As the dragon crossed over the sitch, Sigurd thrust Gram into the dragon and mortally wounded him. The blood from Fafnir's body flowed into the ditch and almost drowned him, but he escaped in time and was covered from head to foot in the dragon's blood, except for a small area on his back where a leaf had been. His sword Gram was also immersed in the blood. The blood had made Sigurd almost immortal and his sword would never break because they had both been immersed in the blood of Fafnir. As Sigurd stood and gazed at the dead beast, he saw two ravens and immediately he knew that they belonged to Odin. One was named Hugin, thought, and the other was named Munin, memory. They both perched on the ground near him and asked him why he was still standing there. They told him that fame awaited him and that winning the suit was not an honor, but that he could win fame and honor by nobler deeds. As the birds prepared to depart, Munin whispered in Sigurd's ear a warning. He warned him to be careful of Regin because his heart was evil and he would be the death of Sigurd. And with that, the birds departed. Regin approached Sigurd and told him that he had killed his brother and so the treasure rightly belonged to him. Sigurd now looked at him through different eyes. He did not argue, but went on. Later, they were resting and Sigurd was roasting the dragon's heart and Regin had fallen asleep. Sigurd realized that this was his chance to kill Regin and rid himself of a death threat. And so with that, Sigurd kills Regin and takes the suit and continues on to other adventurous journeys. (Finally, you've reached the end of this myth)

 

List of Ideals

1. No one is immortal.

2. Good will triumph over evil (eventually).

3. Truth

4. War (Warriors and heroes are honored)

5. Strength over trickery

6. Family

 

Skadi and Njord

There was a giantess named Skadi, who was the daughter of the slain giant Thiazi. She went one day to Asgard to avenge her father's death. Odin and his warriors met Skadi at the gate to Asgard and Odin told her to put her sword away for enough blood was already shed. Skadi, still angry, is determined to get revenge for her father's death. Odin offers Skadi a gift instead of a battle and after a while, Skadi gives in and requests a husband from among the gods. Odin agrees, but Skadi's only condition is that she herself must choose her husband. Odin knows that if was to choose her husband, his favorite son, Balder, would be chosen and so he sets his own condition. He agrees to let Skadi choose her husband, but only by the look of his feet. Skadi agreed to Odin's terms for she was certain that she would be able to identify the feet belonging to the fairest god. All the gods stood behind a curtain that hid all but their feet. After deliberating for some time, Skadi finally found the fairest feet among the group, and thought they were Balder's. She pointed to them and declared that the god to whom they belonged would be her husband. To her surprise, it was not Balder who stepped out from behind the curtain, but Njord, the god of the sea. His feet had been worn smooth by the waves in the ocean and were indeed quite fair. Skadi, at first, was disappointed, but soon fell in love with Njord's warm blue eyes, SHe agreed to take Njord as her husband, but requested one more thing from Odin. She asked him for her laughter back, because since her father's death, she had lost her ability to laugh, and this Odin granted her.

 

Idun and the Golden Apples

Idun was the wife of Balder and was entrusted with one of the most important things in Asgard. In her possession and care was the box containing the golden apples, or the apples of youth. Everyday, the gods and goddesses would come to Idun's garden and there they would relax and eat the golden apples which kept them young, but not forever nor did they make them immortal. Idun always stayed in her garden, because it was there that she was safe from any evil or danger. If she ever stepped out of her garden, any harm could come to her. One day, Loki and a companion travel outside of Asgard. Along the way, they catch a stag for dinner and sit down to roast it. A giant bird flies by and offers them something in exchange for a part of their food. Loki and his companion agree to this and give the bird their food. The bird, however, double crosses them and starts to fly away without holding up his end of the bargain. Loki takes hold of the bird and hangs on and is soon high above the ground. He is terrified and begs the bird to set him down gently on the ground. The bird agrees to do this only if Loki can get him the golden apples. Loki agrees and soon is set down. He returns to Asgard and goes to Idun's garden. There he sees the gods and goddesses all sitting around Idun, laughing and talking and eating the apples. Idun catches sight of Loki and reaches into her box for an apple for Loki. Loki accepts the apple while pondering whether or not he should comply with the bird's condition. One day, Frigg, Odin's wife, who has the ability to see into the future, but rarely tells anyone anything, warns Balder to tell Idun to stay in her garden. Balder, knowing his mother can predict the future, warns Idun not to stray out of her garden. With that, he leaves to go hunting. Later on that day, Loki comes back to the garden and tricks Idun and leads her out of the garden. Immediately, Idun is snatched up by the giant bird and taken away. He puts her into captivity and will keep her there until she gives him a golden apple. Idun refuses and therefore is kept in captivity. Meanwhile, the rest of the gods and goddesses are worried about Idun. They worry for her safety and besides that, without her golden apples, they will not maintain their youth and so will age and eventually die. Odin and Balder set out to search for her, but had no luck. Finally a break came, when Heimdall reavealed that he saw Loki trick Idun into coming out of the garden. Balder and Odin immediately demanded to know where Idun was, and because all the gods and goddesses were starting to lose their youth and eventually die, Loki revealed Idun's location and plight. Balder and Odin went to reescue poor Idun and returned immediately to Asgard. There, Idun gave out her apples to the godss and goddesses to stop their aging, and out of the goodness of her heart, Idun also gives one to Loki.

 

Explanation of Ideals

Norse mythology has many key points. For instance, no one is ever immortal in Norse mythology. Good triumphs over evil, eventually. War, family, truth, and strength over trickery are also ideals in Norse myths. In Norse mythology, no one is immortal. Everyone is fated to die, except the gods and goddesses, who are not immortal but eat of golden apples that keep them young (but not forever). The gods and goddesses will die, though, if mortally wounded. Good eventually triumphs over evil. During Ragnarok, the last battle between good and evil (gods/goddesses versus giants), all the gods/goddesses and giants die, but good triumphs over evil. (How bizarre, and please don't start singing the song) War is a big part in these legends, many battles take place and the last big event before the creation of a new owrld is a battle between good and evil. Another example of this is the fact that all heroes are taken to Valhalla, where they will fight for Odin. Family is also represented in Norse myths, all of the gods and goddesses are connected by family ties and their relationships are quite strong. Truth is one of the keys in Northern European myths. It is sort of connected with the good will triumph over evil bit, and truth is viewed as good, while lying is viewed as evil. For example, Loki is a trickster and liar and so is viewed as an evil god in Norse mythology. The last ideal in Norse mythology is strength over trickery. Loki does not start out evil, but has a dark side which eventually takes over. One day, when his evil side is now dominant, he goes into Odin's hall, where all of the gods and goddesses are seated, and is immediately asked to leave. Instead of turning around and leaving, Loki starts to mock each one of the gods and goddesses and obviously angering them. Thor, who was not present yet, walks in while Loki is mocking his wife and demands to know what is going on. Thor hears Loki tormenting his wife and is immediately angered. He threatens Loki and Loki, terrified of Thor's hammer (Mjollnir), turns and departs. These are some ideals in Norse mythology and some examples of each.

 

Professional Criticism

The pre-Christian beliefs of the Germanic and Scandiavian people, otherwise known as Nothern heathenism, ended in the leventh century. But before this happened, there were a thousnand years where the old gods were worshipped in the North, and during this time, there must have been a considerable anount of change in the course of the religion. For example, we know that there are many varieties among the religions of the German tribes, who did not have one particular faith. There were also influences from the outside that affected them like the pagan Mediterranean area, the East, and the Christian church itself. The heathens left very few, if any, written records. The restless explorers who told these intriguing stories were not the kind to sit down and write them out, nor did they know how to do that either. One of the only written records comes from the Roman historian, Tacitus, who was extremely interested in the Germanic lifestyle and believed that Rome should learn from it. Fortunately though, it appears that many monks took a liking to the stories and poems, and so wanted to preserve them. England holds in her possesion the complete epic poem, Beowulf, a tale about the exploits of a Scandinavian hero from heathen times. There are fragments left of some pems and stories that remind us how great our losses are in the fact that not many more were recorded. There is one fact that we must face and that is the fact that the written sources that we contain are comparitively late, fragmentary, and are of uncertain reliability. These are all things we must keep in mind while reading myths.

 

Significant Miscellaneous

"Wherever you go, you're there." Let's just hope you go somewhere good. This page is part of an English project that my English teacher decided to give for some odd reason. If you are looking at my page for any other reason besides the fact that you need info for a project, let me apologize because it's absolutely boring. If you are looking at this page because of research, let me apologize because it probably put you to sleep. Anyway, my name is Phuong Trinh and I am a female. Let me get that straight, I am girl. I go to West Essex High School in New Jersey. My closest friends are Lena, Betty, Josh Stern, Amanda, Katherine, Danielle, Kelly A., Kelly O., Mary, and Lauren. They're all really cool and some of them (JOSH) are really spazzy. If I forgot to put anyone down, sorry, I can't remember everyone at once, so sue me--not literally. I did put a lot of work into this page and hope it was helpful in some way. This category is just a fun category and will contain a lot of things that are useless, but I like them.

Did you know.....

If you see a statue with a guy on a horse, if all four of the horse's legs are on the ground, the guy died of natural causes, if one leg was up in the air, he died of wounds from a battle, if two legs are up in the air, he died in battle. (Useless, but interesting fact)

All the kings in a deck of cards represent great kings from history--King David, Alexander the Great, Julius Caesar, and Charlemagne.

At any given hour, about 61,000 people are airborne over the US.

Coca Cola was originally green.

My English teacher really likes Surge.

The Haiwaiian alphabet has 12 letters.

The average cost of raising a medium-sized dog to the age of eleven is $6,400.

Or the percentage of men asked if they could marry again, would they marry the same person, 80% answered yes. 50% of the women answered yes.

These are all really useless facts, but sometimes work as conversation starters.

Here are some quotes that I thought were really neat and were given to me by my friend Josh:

"The possesion of trust for another is the basis of the strongest friendship one can have"

The jury's verdict showed they were one of mind--temporarily insane."

Some days you're the dog, some days you're the hydrant." "It's time to bark you heart out"

"It's like finding a haystack full of needles."

"During this time in my life, my friends are my foundation. Carefully chosen and layed, they are what keep me strong. Without them I have no base and the smallest of winds may make me crumble."

"Take a chance and true friends will catch you."

"To the world you may be one person, but to one person, you may be the world."

The glory of friendship is not the outstretched hand, not the kindly smile, nor the joy of companionship; it is the spiritual inspiration that comes to one when you discover that someone else believes in you and is willing to trust you with a friendship."

-Ralph Waldo Emerson

"Each friend represents a world in us, a world not possibly born until they arrive, and it is only by this meeting that a new world is born." -Anais Nin

"The mind is its own place, and in itself, can make heaven out of Hell, and a hell out of Heaven." -John Milton

Basically some quotes that can make you think.

Remember, broccoli is your friend. If you have time, visit MSNBC.COM. "Spoooon!" Or in Josh's case, "Spooooork!"

Thanks for visiting my page and I hope you like it.

Good day!

 

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