These upper echelon Norse gods have all the grace of Greek gods, and seem more heroic.  This was a surprise to me as the little exposure I had to them as a child (Thor is for Thursday, Woden is for Wednesday, and Frey is for Friday, or some such) somehow confounded them in my mind with the rampaging Viking hordes accosting the poor British isles in low boats.  This slight course correction in my boundless ignorance confirms the value of deciding to read 1,000 myths, legends and fairy tales to mark a new decade. 

But Odin sacrificed an eye in exchange for wisdom and seems to have used it well.  My favourite line of his in the retelling I just read: ‘We cannot stay any longer here, where there is nothing evil for us to fight against.’

Thunderbirds are go!

And when they weren’t fighting evil …

The bright-browed Aesir reclined at the board on soft water couches…

You never knew that gods had soft water couches, did you?  

Source: A. and E. Keary, The Heroes of Asgard: Tales from Scandinavian Mythology, illus. by C. E. Brock (London: Macmillan, 1972 (1930)), p. 75


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