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Here are thirty-two classic myths that bring the Viking world vividly to life. The mythic legacy of the Scandinavians includes a cycle of stories filled with magnificent images from pre-Christian Europe. Gods, humans, and monstrous beasts engage in prodigious drinking bouts, contests of strength, greedy schemes for gold, and lusty encounters. The Norse pantheon includes Odin, the wisest and most fearsome of the gods; Thor, the thundering powerhouse; and the exquisite, magic-wielding Freyja. Their loves, wars, and adventures take us through worlds both mortal and divine, culminating in a blazing doomsday for gods and humans alike. These stories bear witness to the courage, passion, and boundless spirit that were hallmarks of the Norse world. From the Trade Paperback edition.
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.
Whether they focus on Thor's powerful hammer, the wailing Valkyrie, the palatial home of the gods - Asgard - or ravenous wolves and fierce elemental giants, the Norse myths are packed with rowdy incident. But at the centre of their cosmos stands a gnarled old ash tree, Yggdrasil, from which all distances and times are measured. When the old tree creaks, Ragnarok - the end of the world and of the gods themselves - is at hand. It is from this tree that Odin, father of the gods, hanged himself in search of the wisdom of the dead: a disturbing image of divine sacrifice far removed from the feasting and fighting of his otherworld home, Valhalla. And an image so problematic for thirteenth century Christians that they left it out when they wrote the myths down. From Asgard to Valhalla is the first book to show how and why the Norse myths have so powerfully resonated from era to era: from Viking-age stories of ice and fire to the epic poetry of Beowulf; and from Wagner's Ring to Marvel Comics' Mighty Thor. Heather O'Donoghue, who is an expert on Old Norse culture, shows in what ways the Norse myths have impacted on the western mind, across the fields of literature, art, music and politics. She considers the wider contexts of Norse mythology, including its origins, medieval expression and reception in post-medieval societies right up to the present. From Asgard to Valhalla is a book that will intrigue and delight anyone who is keen to understand how the Norse myths have so profoundly shaped, and continue to shape, the western cultural heritage.
The great Norse Myths are among the most dramatic and unforgettable stories in all human history. These fascinating, fantastical tales have inspired centuries of art, culture and literature, including the storytelling of Tolkien, Neil Gaiman, George RR Martin's Game of Thrones, Wagner's Ring Cycle and Marvel Comics. The Norse Myths takes us on a thrilling journey through the Norse cosmos, from the creation of the world to Ragnarok, the final world-destroying conflict; via the Nine Worlds, and the exploits of the mighty gods and goddesses - mystical Odin, malicious Loki, mighty Thor and more - and their quarrel with the giants. Bringing to life the magical world of monsters and mythical creatures, this also introduces the adventures of humankind: folk heroes and tricksters; Sigmund's great battle in the Volsung Saga; the exploits of Kings and Princes; and Viking exploration and settlement of new lands including Iceland, Greenland, America, and Viking life in the Mediterranean and the East. As well as a treasure trove of these epic stories of heroism and cruelty, squabbles and seductions, The Norse Myths is a comprehensive study of their origins, survival and interpretations - as academically important as it is exhilarating.
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."
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'Burning ice, biting flame; that is how life began' The extraordinary Scandinavian myth cycle is one of the most enduring, exciting, dramatic and compelling of the world's great stories. The Penguin Book of the Norse Myths compellingly retells these stories for the modern reader, taking us from the creation of the world through the building of Asgard's Wall to the final end in Ragnarok. You'll discover how Thor got his hammer and how Odin lost his eye, the terrible price of binding the wolf Fenrir and why Loki the trickster can never be trusted. The Norse myths are as thrilling to read as they are of vast cultural and historical importance. In this gripping book Kevin Crossley-Holland brings alive the passion, cruelty and heroism of these unforgettable stories.

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