Imagine: in your apartment cooking. Sunday Vibes are right, light spring day 70 degrees outside. Feast being cooked, house cleaned, rent paid & you’ve balled at work & made it to the gym everyday this week. These are the type of things that get me excited.
Charming of the Plow: This is the date of an agricultural ritual performed in Northern Europe from ancient times. Grains and cakes were offered for the soil’s fertility, and the Sky Father and Earth Mother were invoked to that end. Meditate upon your dependence on the soil, and crumble upon the earth a piece of bread as you call upon Odin, Frigga and the Land Spirits to heal the Earth and keep it from harm.
Day of Remembrance for Raud the Strong: Raud was a landowner in Norway who was put to death by (St.) Olaf Tryggvason for his loyalty to Asatru by having a snake forced down his throat. Rauds lands were then confiscated in the name of the king and his monks. Raise a horn in honor of Raud and all of his kinsmen who gave their lives, rather then submit to the enforced love of the kristjan empire.
Thorrablot: This holiday began the Old Norse month of Snorri. It is still observed in Iceland with parties and a mid-winter feast. It is of course sacred to Thorr and the ancient Icelandic Winter Spirit of Thorri. On this day we should perform blot to Thorr and invite the mighty Asaman to the feast.
Horning / February
Barri: This is the day we celebrate the wooing by Ingvi Freyr of the maiden Gerd, a symbolic marriage of the Vanir God of Fertility with the Mother Earth. It is a festival of fertility, the planted seed and the plowed furrow. For those of you who garden, this is the time to plant seeds indoors, to later be transplanted in the summer garden.
Day of Remembrance for Eyvind Kinnrifi: Olaf tortured him to death by placing a bowl of red-hot embers on his stomach until his body burst open. Eyvind’s crime was a steadfast loyalty to the Old Gods. A good day to reflect on kristjan kindness.
Feast of Vali: This feast originally celebrated the death of Hothr at the hands of Vali. This late winter festival relates to the triumphant return of the light of the sun over the dark days of winter. Today it is traditional celebration of the family. A time for the customary exchange of cards and gifts with loved ones. It is also a time for the renewal of marriage vows and an occasion for marriages.
Lenting / March
Day of Remembrance for Oliver the Martyr: He was an adherent of Asatru who persisted in organizing underground sacrifices to the Gods and Goddesses despite decrees by St Olaf the Lawbreaker forbidding such activities. Betrayed by an informer, he was killed by Olaf’s men while preparing for the Spring sacrifice in the village of Maerin Norway. Many other men whose names are lost to us were also killed, mutilated, or exiled for taking part in such sacrifices.
High Feast of Ostara: This is the Spring Equinox. The end of Winter and the beginning of the season of rebirth. Today we honor Frigga, Freya and Nerthus with blot and feast. Pour a libation of mead onto the Earth; celebrate the rebirth of nature, Asatru, and the new hopes of our Folk.
Ragnar Lodbrok Day: Ragnar was one of the legends most famous Vikings. On this day in Runic Year 1145 he raided Paris. It just happened to be Easter Sunday. Today toast Ragnar and read from his Saga.
Ostara / April
Day of Remembrance for Jarl Hakon of Norway: As ruler of the western part of the realm, Hakon restored the worship of the Old Gods and cast out the alien religion. In the process, the common folk regained political liberties which were erased under the kristjan yoke, and the flame of our Troth burned brighter in an era of gathering gloom. It may be that Hakon’s defense of our ancestral ways helped encourage the survival of our traditions in Iceland, where they eventually became the seeds of modern day Asatru. On this day reflect on how the actions of the individual can impact world events and the future of Odinn’s Nation.
Sigrblot/Sumarsdag: Today we celebrate the first day of Summer in the Old Icelandic calendar. In Iceland it had strong agricultural overtones, but elsewhere in the Nordic world, it was a time to sacrifice to Odinn for victory in the summer voyages and battles.
Yggdrasil Day: On this day we realize the great significance that the World Tree plays in our culture, heritage, and native spirituality. It is from the World Tree that we came, and it shelters and nurtures the Asatru today, and will offer refuge to the Folk come Ragnarok. Trees are the lungs as well as the soul of Midgard. Plant a tree today, nurture it, and protect it. In this act the Folk must abide.
Walburg: this is better known as Walpurgisnacht or May Eve. Walberg is a goddess of our folk combining some of the traits of Her better-known peers. Reflect on this day on Freya, Hel, and Frigga as the repository of the glorious dead, and you will have an idea of Wulburg’s nature. On this day pour a horn of mead upon the earth in memory of our heroes.
Merrymoon / May
May Day: The first of May is a time of great celebration all across Europe, as the fields get greener and the flowers decorate the landscape with colorful confusion. Freya turns her kindly face to us after the night of Walburg. Celebrate the birth of Spring and the gifts of Freya on this day.
Day of Remembrance for Guthroth: One of the upland minor kings. Guthroth had to the audacity to make a speech opposing the policies of Olaf Tryggvason, who at the time was busy killing people who did not want to become kristjans. For exercising his Gods given rights to worship his tribal Gods, Guthroth was captured and his tongue was cut out. Use your tongue for the Gods today! Sing their praises and recite some heroic poetry, tell someone of the Gods glory, and call a kinsman to keep in touch.
Frigga Blot: Today we rejoice in the warmth and splendor of Spring. A traditional time for a Kindred campout, perform blot to honor the AllMother and thank Her for the health and vitality of the Family, Kindred and Tribe.
Midyear / June
Lindisfarne Day: On this day in the year 1043 Runic Era (793 CE) three Viking ships raided the Isle of Lindisfarne, officially opening what is the Viking Age. Toast these brave warriors who began the noble resistance of the alien invasion of the Northlands and sought rightful revenge for the slaughter of the Saxons by Charlamange.
Day of Remembrance for Sigurd the Volsung: He is the model Germanic hero. His wooing of the Valkyrie Brynhild, the winning of the treasure of the Nibelungs, and the constant theme of Odinic initiation that weaves itself throughout his story are priceless parts of our Asatru heritage, that provide endless material for contemplation and inspiration for action.
Midsummer: This is the longest day and the shortest night of the year: Now Sunna begins its ling decline, sliding into the darkness which will culminate six months from now at Yule. Identifying the sun with the brightness of Baldur, we celebrate in honor of both. Hold blot to Baldur and High Feast. This was the traditional time for holding the AlThing in ancient times.
Haymoon / July
Founder’s Day: On this day we honor the unselfish personal sacrifice and unswerving dedication to our Folk exemplified by the founders of modern era Asatru, H. Rud Mills of Australia, Sveinbjorn Beinteinsson and Thorsteinn Guthjonson of Iceland. On this day reflect on just what YOU can do to promote the growth of our ancestral religion and protect our sacred heritage and traditions.
Day of Remembrance for Unn the Deep Minded: Unn was a powerful figure from the Laxdaela Saga who emigrated to Scotland to avoid the hostility of King Harald Finehair. She established dynasties in the Orkney and Faroe Islands by carefully marrying off her grand daughters. As a settler in Iceland she continued to exhibit all those traits which were her hallmark-strong will, a determination to control, dignity, and a noble character. In the last days of her life, she established a mighty line choosing one of her grandsons as her heir. She died during his wedding celebration, presumable accomplishing her goals and worked out her orlog here in Midgard. She received a typical Nordic ship burial, surrounded by her treasure and her reputation for great deeds.
Stikklestad Day: Olaf the Lawbreaker (“St. Olaf”) was killed at the battle of Stikklestad on this date in the year 1280 R.E. Olaf acquired a reputation for killing, maiming, and exiling his fellow Norwegians who would not convert to Christianity, and for carrying an army with him in violation of the law to help him accomplish his oppression. Today honor the Asatru martyrs who died rather then submit to gray slavery. Also honor the warriors who brought justice to the Lawbreaker.
Harvest / August
Freyfaxi: Freyfaxi marked the time of the harvest in ancient Iceland. Today the Asatru observe this date as a celebration of their harvest with blot to Freyr and a grand Feast from the gardens and the fields.
Day of Remembrance for Radbod: On this date we honor Radbod a king of Frisia what was an early target kristjan missionaries. Just before his baptism ceremony, he asked the clergy what fate his befallen ancestors who died loyal to Asatru. The missionaries replied that Radbod’s Heathen ancestors were burning in Hell-to which the king replied: “Then I will rather live there with my ancestors than go to heaven with a parcel of beggars.” The baptism was cancelled, the aliens expelled, and Frisia remained free. Drink a horn this day in memory of Radbod.
Shedding / September
Day of Remembrance for Herman of the Cherusci: Few mortals have privileged to serve our Folk as did Herman, a leader of the tribe called the Cherusci. We he defeated Varus’ three Roman Legions in 9 C.E. he blocked our amalgamation into the Mediterranean morass. Herman was very aware of his duties not only as a member of his tribe but also as an Asaman - indeed the two were probably inseparable with him. Shedding is the ideal time to give him praise, because the crucial battle for which he is remembered was fought during this month.
Winter Finding: The Fall Equinox; Summer and Winter balance for a moment and the cold, old man wins - for now. Brace yourself for longer nights and the onset, eventually, of the cold and darkness of Winter. Do blot to Odin for inspiration to get through your personal lean times, whenever they may strike. This is the traditional time for Fall Fest and the Second Harvest Feast.
Hunting / October
Day of Remembrance for Erik the Red: Praise the stalwart founder of Greenland, and father of Leif, the founder of Vinland. Erik remained loyal to Thor even when his wife left the Gods and refused to sleep with her Heathen husband. Pause in memory of Erik today; drink a toast to his honor. No doubt he gets enough warmth in Har’s Hall to make up for his wife’s coldness.
Day of Remembrance for Leif Erikson: this is a day that even the U.S. Government admits who should dedicate to the man who beat Columbus to the shores of Vinland by over 500 years. Don’t let it slide quietly - write your local newspapers and share the word of the Norse colonies with neighbors and friends.
Winter Nights/Vetrablot: In the Old Icelandic Calendar, winter begins on the Satyrday between Hunting 11th and 17th. Winter Nights celebrates the bounty of the harvest and honors Freya and the fertility and protective spirits called Disir, that She leads (often the Disir are seen as our female ancestors). Give glory to Freya and pour a libation of ale, milk, or mead into the soil an offering to the Disir and the Earth itself.
Fogmoon / November
Day of Remembrance for Queen Sigrith of Sweden: When Olaf the Lawbreaker had been king of Norway for three years, he asked Queen Sigrith of Sweden to marry him. She agreed, but when he insisted that she give up her ancestral Gods Sigrith replied, “I do not mean to abandon the faith I have led, and my kinsmen before me. Nor shall I object to your belief in the god you prefer.” As usual Heathen tolerance was met with kristjan imprecations and a blow to the face. The wedding was off - depriving Olaf of political power that could have sped the christianization of Scandinavia. As it were, history tells us that the Heathens held on for over 300 more years in the Northlands. Hail Sigrith, defender of Asatru, and women of stubborn virtue!
Feast of the Einherjar: The chosen heroes who sit in Odin’s Hall are the Einherjar. Today we honor those dead kin who gave their lives for Family and Folk. If you have friends or family who died in battle, visit their graves today, if that is not possible, drink a libation in their memory.
Feast of Ullr: The Feast of Ullr is to celebrate the Hunt and to gain personal luck needed for success. Weapons are dedicated on this day to Ullr, God of the Bow. If your hunting arms were blessed by the luck of the God of the Hunt, your family and tribe shared the bounty with a Blot and Feast to Ullr.
Yule / December
Day of Remembrance for Egil Skallagrimsson: Odin was his God, and the blood of berserks and shape-shifters ran in his family. His lust for gold and for fames was insatiable. Yet the same man was passionately moved by the love of his friends and generously opened handed to those who found his favor. The same brain that seethed with war-fury also composed skaldic poetry capable of calming angry kings. Can it be by accident that Egil worshipped Odin, the great solver of paradoxes and riddles? Indeed all Asafolk - but especially those who follow the one-eyed God of battle and magic - can learn much from the life of this amazing man.
Mother Night: As the night before the Winter Solstice, this is the time when the New Year is born. We honor the beginning of Sunnas return and the breaking of Winter’s spell. This is a time to honor Thor and Freyr, celebrate by Blot, Sumbel, and High Feast. Burn a Yule Log and jump the flames for luck and purification.
High Feast of Yule - Beginning of Runic Year - Sacred to Thorr and Freyr
Twelfth Night: This culminates the traditional twelve days of Yule. Each day of which is a month of the preceding year in miniature. Reflect on the past year. Take stock and lay a course for the future. Make New Years resolutions in the old way by swearing your oath on Freyr’s boar or on your Hammer.
Imagine Loki liking you. And even though he knows you like him, he won’t bring himself to actually ask you on a date. When you see him at feast for Spring, you decide to make the first move by giving him a kiss on the cheek. Imagine looking back and seeing him staring at you.
Reading the books… I just wished that the show loved Bran as much as you can see George does. He is one of the best characters ever written in fiction and to be young, supernatural, frightened, important, AND disabled… just I love Bran and he deserves so much more credit.
BEAUTY AND THE BEAST (2017): EASTER EGGS, TRIVIA, AND THINGS YOU MIGHT HAVE MISSED
THE BEAST’S COAT OF ARMS
The coat of arms in the ballroom of the Beast’s castle consists of a lion, a boar, and the letters WD. The boar and lion are references to the Beast’s design, and the W.D. is of course, a reference to Walt Disney.
In the 2017 beauty and the Beast, the Beast has mentioned that he had an expensive education and read most of the books in the castle’s library, whereas in the original animation, the Beast never learned how to read, so Belle teaches him. Dan Stevens, who played the Beast, also famously portrayed the character Matthew Crawley on Downton Abbey, who also had a expensive education. Dan Stevens himself also studied English Literature at Cambridge University.
THE BEAST’S BEARD
At the end of the new adaptation, Belle asks the Beast how he feels about growing a beard, and the producers have confirmed that that line was originally supposed to be included in the 1991 animation, but it was scrapped.
When the Beast shows Belle the magical book that allows her to teleport to anywhere in the world, she chooses Paris. The scenery of Paris shows, we see Notre Dame; Beast also suggests that they go visit it. Belle has a tiny cameo/was an easter egg herself in The Hunchback of Notre Dame!
Extra: Just like Belle in the movie, Emma Watson herself was also born in Paris!
During the opening song, Belle, she asks Monsieur Jean if he lost something again, to which he responds that he can’t remember what he forgot. While many fans considered this a nod to Neville’s scene with the remembrall from Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone, director Bill Condon said that it was a total coincidence and that the line was supposed to be a reference to the Enchantress’ spell on the palace and townspeople; Monsieur Jean forgot about his wife and son, Mrs. Potts and Chip.
The name of Belle’s town in this movie is Villeneuve, which is a reference to the author of the original Beauty and the Beast story, Gabrielle-Suzanne Barbot de Villeneuve.
When Maurice enters the castle for the first time, he travels the sound of music to the great hall, where Cadenza was playing a song, and that song was Be Our Guest! This is also a reference to the fact that in the original animation, Be Our Guest was initially meant to be performed for Maurice instead of Belle.
Director Bill Condon has said that the Be Our Guest musical number has at least 12 musical homages including Singing in the Rain, Chicago, Cabaret, and West Side Story.
In the original draft for Beauty and the Beast (1991), Chip was initially a very minor character with only 1 sentence of dialogue, and all his other scenes were supposed to be replaced by a music box that couldn’t talk, only playing music to show his emotions. The music box was replaced with Chip after the producers realized it would be better to have a viewpoint of a child shown in the film.
MRS. POTTS’ ORIGINAL NAME
When Belle enters the castle, Chip tells Mrs Potts that there’s a girl in the castle and also wonders what type of tea she likes to drink (Chamomile, Oolong, Earl Grey, etc). This is a nod to the fact that Mrs. Potts’ original name was supposed to be Mrs. Chamomile but it was changed to Mrs. Potts after the producers realized that Chamomile might be too hard for children to pronounce.
THE BLUE BIRD BOOK
When we see Belle teaching a young girl to read in the village, the book reads “The blue bird that flies over the dark wood.” This is a reference to the opening scene in the original Beauty and the Beast animation, where we see blue birds flying over the dark first in front of the Beast’s castle.
LEFOU IS CLINGY
At the tavern, Gaston asks LeFou “why no woman has snatched him up yet” to which LeFou responds that he has been told that he’s clingy, but he doesn’t see it. This could be a subtle reference to Olaf from Frozen (also voiced by Josh Gad), who is a very clingy character and is completely unaware of it.
Just outside the tavern there are 2 wooden carvings of boar heads, which is a reference to the design of the Beast in both the animation and live action movies. The production team used a wild boar as the main source of inspiration for the Beast’s head, with the tusks being a big resemblance (especially in the animation).
OLD LYRICS REUSED
When creating the music for the movie, the director, producers, and music team came across some lyrics that were scrapped from the original film. Bill Condon confirmed that the lyrics were in Gaston, as well as the ending of Emma Thompson’s Beauty and the Beast in the finale.
The new Beauty and the Beast words are: “Winter turns to spring//Famine turns to feast//Nature points the way//Nothing left to say//Beauty and the Beast”
& the new Gaston lyrics are: “When I hunt, I sneak up with my quiver//And beasts of the field say a prayer//First, I carefully aim for the liver//Then I shoot from behind//Is that fair?//I don’t care”
The new lines from Gaston “First I carefully aim for the liver/ Then I shoot from behind / Is that fair? / I don’t care” can be seen as foreshadowing to Gaston shooting the Beast in his back after the Beast let him go.
MAURICE MOVING ON
During the song “How Does a Moment Last Forever”, Maurice is shown making a music box that resembles his life in Paris with his wife and an infant Belle. (His art studio is also full of sketches of Belle’s mother and baby Belle.) These reflect Maurice’s inability to move on from his tragic past and let his daughter find true happiness. At the end of the film, during Belle and the Prince’s party (and possible wedding), Maurice is shown painting a picture of the joyous event. This reveals that Maurice has finally continued on with his life.
MAURICE AND GEPETTO
Maurice played by Kevin Kline is possibly inspired by Gepetto from Pinocchio as both old men are single fathers and are creators by making music boxes and toys respectively and both get separated from Belle and Pinocchio respectively as well.
THE MAGICAL BOOK
The book the Beast uses to transport Belle to Paris is similar to the book seen in Beauty and the Beast: The Enchanted Christmas during the song Stories, in which Belle flips through a book and is then incorporated into the scenes within the book.
The 2017 edition does not feature the song “Human Again” which was deleted from the 1991 animated edition but included with the home releases after 2002.
HOMAGES TO THE BROADWAY ADAPTATION
The concept of the household objects slowly losing their mobility comes from the stage musical. When Belle first enters in her bedroom, you can hear the instumental version of “Home”, the song which Belle sings in the musical in this moment of the story.
Part of you died each year when the leaves fell from the trees and their branches were bare against the wind and the cold, wintery light. But you knew there would always be the spring, as you knew the river would flow again after it was frozen.