Valkyries assemble ready to ride
The last war, the wolf awaits
But before, a brief moment
Odin reflects, murmurs with Mimir
He remembers in early days
The world he shaped the ways he walked
And watched every spirit awaken
i refuse to live in a world where valkyrie doesn’t ride out of the desert three days later on a bike she killed a rock rider for and walk into the citadel like a martyred god so she can be sitting at furiosa’s bedside when she wakes up from her blood loss/collapsed lung/probable concussion coma
“Hail to the W A R R I O R woman on the equinox morning, white-armored, choosing the slain by her own glorious criteria, harbor to the defenders of beauty. Oh F R E Y A who rides with valkyries, give me strength to defend all that I love for I am dull and frightened with years of defeat and I have forgotten the mystery of shield mates in love.”(x)
tiny-viking-boy asks: What do you know about decapitation and soul imprisonment?
I’m so glad I got this question! It’s really fascinating. Most of my initial research into it was through HR Ellis Davidson’s work. She took the examples from the sagas the mythology for some really powerful observations of imagery. The thing about decapitation, is that the head is the seat of consciousness. There’s some evidence that if someone is separated from their body (someone meaning their head) they will not be able to find their way to the afterlife. Their consciousness and soul will remain in this world. Furthermore, it seems like whomever owns the head can make it do whatever they command. Odinn keeps Mimir’s head in order to ask it questions and gain wisdom. I recall another story where a bard was decapitated, and the man who killed him kept his head and forced it to sing and perform for his parties.
The earliest descriptions of the valkyries consisted of them riding wolves and carrying human heads. Since whomever holds the head commands the soul, this makes sense. This is also why I am always really intrigued when “viking” burials supposedly come up and they have been decapitated. Also, the soul can be released by returning the head to the body, as that way it can find its way back to its body in the afterlife.
jarn-tungu asks: Could you Remind me which Gods/Goddesses survived Ragnarok? Or I guess more accurately weren’t mentioned to have been slain?
A lot of this kind of has to do with how you interpret Ragnarok. The only gods which are actually named as having returned are Hoth and Baldr, but Voluspa also mentions “other gods” and “the aesir.” Nidhogg is also brought up, which could be a kenning for Jormungandr as I have speculated before, but this is not an accepted theory.
We know that these figures die as a result of the events that begin and include Ragnarok: Baldr, Nanna, Loki, Odinn, Fenrir, Thor, Jormungandr and Mani (the moon). Voluspa, however, appears to be a condensed version of the story and we should assume that we are only hearing about the most important and most notable deaths.
If you’re interpreting Ragnarok to be linear, meaning that the world does not literally start over and instead a new world has taken its place, than I think it’s fair to assume any of these gods not mentioned are survivors. However, I personally prefer the cyclical time model, in which case all the gods would come back to life along with Baldr and Hoth.
Majortibb asks: What is your favorite Norse myth centered around loki?
There are so many good ones! I think my favorite might be Lokasenna, where Loki gets drunk at a party and insults everyone there. I think it’s just such a brilliant illustration of Loki’s role. He’s there to keep the gods in check and keep them from getting too cocky, and he does that job well.
maeglian asks: How much is known about Angrboda in the myths? Why did Loki keep returning to her despite the fearsome nature of their offspring?
Not much. We know she a jotunn and is the parent of most of Loki’s monsterous offspring. As to why, I think with the Trickster we have to ask “why not?”
For a more literary analysis answer, Loki is bridging of two worlds: that of the nature-oriented and chaotic Jotnar and that of the Aesir which represent human civilization. All of Loki’s “monstrous” children help to bridge this gap in vital ways. Hel, of course, is the keeper of the underworld and all the souls of the departed, which is an undeniably important job. Jormungandr is possibly the one that holds Midgard together, although this is never outright stated in the source material as far as I know. Sleipnir allows his rider to cross between the worlds of the living and dead, connecting the gap. Loki is all about the liminal space- the world in between. Perhaps that is why he parents children with another spirit who, by virtue of being Jotunn, is tied to the raw forces of nature.
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Want to see your question answered next week? Submit them at any time for the Tuesday QandA.
Also, I will not be doing a liveblog study session this week, as I have to work late on Sunday night at my job.
Heaven Opens the
Path to Divine Destruction with Valkyrie & Freyja! By GM Amelia
Hiya adventurer! We know you know what’s up so we’re just
gonna say it straight: Rose’s Valkyrie & Freyja paths come out tomorrow!
Yes, we have a feeling that you’re all excited to try it out but what’s a few
more hours of agonizing wait, right? We’re also starting phase 2 of Eltrion’s
raid where you sneak into his chamber and you try to destroy him. Keyword: try.
But you still get all the sweet loot! How did you get into the chamber? Magic!
Remember to check out what we have in store at the Item
Mall for you lovely folks! It never runs out of things, it’s just a bottomless
pit of goodies!