Norse Mythology Mr Moore Is My Teacher

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M Y T H O L O G Y,G A I M A N,W W NORTON COMPANY,Independent Publishers Since 1923. New York London,FOR EVERETT,OLD STORIES,FOR A NEW BOY. C O N T E N T S,An Introduction,THE PLAYERS,BEFORE THE BEGINNING AND AFTER. YGGDRASIL AND THE NINE WORLDS,MIMIR S HEAD AND ODIN S EYE. THE TREASURES OF THE GODS,THE MASTER BUILDER,THE CHILDREN OF LOKI.
FREYA S UNUSUAL WEDDING,THE MEAD OF POETS,THOR S JOURNEY TO THE LAND OF THE GIANTS. THE APPLES OF IMMORTALITY,THE STORY OF GERD AND FREY. HYMIR AND THOR S FISHING EXPEDITION,THE DEATH OF BALDER. THE LAST DAYS OF LOKI,RAGNAROK THE FINAL DESTINY OF THE GODS. A Glossary,A N I N T R O D U C T I O N, It s as hard to have a favorite sequence of myths as it is to have a favorite.
style of cooking some nights you might want Thai food some nights sushi. other nights you crave the plain home cooking you grew up on But if I had. to declare a favorite it would probably be for the Norse myths. My first encounter with Asgard and its inhabitants was as a small boy no. more than seven reading the adventures of the Mighty Thor as depicted by. American comics artist Jack Kirby in stories plotted by Kirby and Stan Lee. and dialogued by Stan Lee s brother Larry Lieber Kirby s Thor was. powerful and good looking his Asgard a towering science fictional city of. imposing buildings and dangerous edifices his Odin wise and noble his Loki. a sardonic horn helmeted creature of pure mischief I loved Kirby s blond. hammer wielding Thor and I wanted to learn more about him. I borrowed a copy of Myths of the Norsemen by Roger Lancelyn Green. and read and reread it with delight and puzzlement Asgard in this telling. was no longer a Kirbyesque Future City but was a Viking hall and collection. of buildings out on the frozen wastes Odin the all father was no longer. gentle wise and irascible but instead he was brilliant unknowable and. dangerous Thor was just as strong as the Mighty Thor in the comics his. hammer as powerful but he was well honestly not the brightest of the. gods and Loki was not evil although he was certainly not a force for good. Loki was complicated, In addition I learned the Norse gods came with their own doomsday. Ragnarok the twilight of the gods the end of it all The gods were going to. battle the frost giants and they were all going to die. Had Ragnarok happened yet Was it still to happen I did not know then. I am not certain now, It was the fact that the world and the story ends and the way that it ends. and is reborn that made the gods and the frost giants and the rest of them. tragic heroes tragic villains Ragnarok made the Norse world linger for me. seem strangely present and current while other better documented systems. of belief felt as if they were part of the past old things. The Norse myths are the myths of a chilly place with long long winter. nights and endless summer days myths of a people who did not entirely trust. or even like their gods although they respected and feared them As best we. can tell the gods of Asgard came from Germany spread into Scandinavia. and then out into the parts of the world dominated by the Vikings into. Orkney and Scotland Ireland and the north of England where the invaders. left places named for Thor or Odin In English the gods have left their names. in our days of the week You can find Tyr the one handed Odin s son Odin. Thor and Frigg the queen of the gods in respectively Tuesday. Wednesday Thursday and Friday, We can see the traces of older myths and older religions in the war and. the stories of the truce between the gods of the Vanir and the Aesir The. Vanir appear to have been nature gods brothers and sisters less warlike but. perhaps no less dangerous than the Aesir, It s very likely or at least a workable hypothesis that there were tribes of. people who worshipped the Vanir and other tribes who worshipped the Aesir. and that the Aesir worshippers invaded the lands of the Vanir worshippers. and that they made compromises and accommodations Gods of the Vanir. like the sister and brother Freya and Frey live in Asgard with the Aesir. History and religion and myth combine and we wonder and we imagine and. we guess like detectives reconstructing the details of a long forgotten crime. There are so many Norse stories we do not have so much we do not. know All we have are some myths that have come to us in the form of. folktales in retellings in poems in prose They were written down when. Christianity had already displaced the worship of the Norse gods and some. of the stories we have came to us because people were concerned that if the. stories were not preserved some of the kennings the usages of poets that. referred to events in specific myths would become meaningless Freya s. tears for example was a poetic way of saying gold In some of the tales. the Norse gods are described as men or as kings or heroes of old so that the. stories could be told in a Christian world Some stories and poems tell of. other stories or imply other stories that we simply do not have. It is perhaps as if the only tales of the gods and demigods of Greece and. Rome that had survived were of the deeds of Theseus and Hercules. We have lost so much, There are many Norse goddesses We know their names and some of their.
attributes and powers but the tales myths and rituals have not come down to. us I wish I could retell the tales of Eir because she was the doctor of the. gods of Lofn the comforter who was a Norse goddess of marriages or of. Sjofn a goddess of love Not to mention Vor goddess of wisdom I can. imagine stories but I cannot tell their tales They are lost or buried or. I ve tried my best to retell these myths and stories as accurately as I can. and as interestingly as I can, Sometimes details in the stories contradict each other But I hope that. they paint a picture of a world and a time As I retold these myths I tried to. imagine myself a long time ago in the lands where these stories were first. told during the long winter nights perhaps under the glow of the northern. lights or sitting outside in the small hours awake in the unending daylight of. midsummer with an audience of people who wanted to know what else Thor. did and what the rainbow was and how to live their lives and where bad. poetry comes from, I was surprised when I finished the stories and read them as a sequence. to find that they felt like a journey from the ice and the fire that the universe. begins in to the fire and the ice that end the world Along the way we meet. people we would know if we met them people like Loki and Thor and Odin. and people we want to know so much more about my favorite of these is. Angrboda Loki s wife among the giants who gives birth to his monstrous. children and who is there in ghost form after Balder is slain. I did not dare go back to the tellers of Norse myth whose work I had. loved to people like Roger Lancelyn Green and Kevin Crossley Holland and. reread their stories I spent my time instead with many different translations. of Snorri Sturluson s Prose Edda and with the verses of the Poetic Edda. words from nine hundred years ago and before picking and choosing what. tales I wanted to retell and how I wanted to, tell them blending versions of myths from the prose and from the poems. Thor s visit to Hymir for example the way I tell it here is a hybrid it. begins in the Poetic Edda then adds details of Thor s fishing adventure from. Snorri s version, My battered copy of A Dictionary of Northern Mythology by Rudolf. Simek translated by Angela Hall was always invaluable continually. consulted eye opening and informative, Huge thanks go to my old friend Alisa Kwitney for her editorial.
assistance She was a fabulous sounding board always opinionated and. forthright helpful sensible and smart She got this book written mostly by. wanting to read the next story and she helped me make the time to write it in. I m incredibly grateful to her Thank you to Stephanie Monteith whose eagle. eyes and Norse knowledge caught several things I might have missed. Thanks also to Amy Cherry at Norton who suggested that I might want to. retell some myths at a lunch on my birthday eight years ago and who has. been all things considered the most patient editor in the world. All mistakes conclusions jumped to and odd opinions in this volume are. mine and mine alone and I would not wish anyone else blamed for them I. hope I ve retold these stories honestly but there was still joy and creation in. the telling, That s the joy of myths The fun comes in telling them yourself. something I warmly encourage you to do you person reading this Read the. stories in this book then make them your own and on some dark and icy. winter s evening or on a summer night when the sun will not set tell your. friends what happened when Thor s hammer was stolen or how Odin. obtained the mead of poetry for the gods,Neil Gaiman. Lisson Grove London,M Y T H O L O G Y,T H E P L A Y E R S. Many gods and goddesses are named in Norse mythology You will meet. quite a few of them in these pages Most of the stories we have however. concern two gods Odin and his son Thor and Odin s blood brother a giant s. son called Loki who lives with the Aesir in Asgard. The highest and the oldest of all the gods is Odin. Odin knows many secrets He gave an eye for wisdom More than that. for knowledge of runes and for power he sacrificed himself to himself. He hung from the world tree Yggdrasil hung there for nine nights His. side was pierced by the point of a spear which wounded him gravely The. winds clutched at him buffeted his body as it hung Nothing did he eat for. nine days or nine nights nothing did he drink He was alone there in pain. the light of his life slowly going out, He was cold in agony and on the point of death when his sacrifice bore. dark fruit in the ecstasy of his agony he looked down and the runes were. revealed to him He knew them and understood them and their power The. rope broke then and he fell screaming from the tree. Now he understood magic Now the world was his to control. Odin has many names He is the all father the lord of the slain the. gallows god He is the god of cargoes and of prisoners He is called Grimnir. and Third He has different names in every country for he is worshipped in. different forms and in many tongues but it is always Odin they worship. He travels from place to place in disguise to see the world as people see. it When he walks among us he does so as a tall man wearing a cloak and. He has two ravens whom he calls Huginn and Muninn which mean. thought and memory These birds fly back and forth across the world. Many gods and goddesses are named in Norse mythology You will meet quite a few of them in these pages Most of the stories we have however concern two gods Odin and his son Thor and Odin s blood brother a giant s son called Loki who lives with the Aesir in Asgard Odin The highest and the oldest of all the gods is Odin Odin knows many secrets He gave an eye for wisdom More than

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