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The Prose Edda also describes the afterlife for humans, with honorable warriors feasting and battling endlessly in Valhalla, while those who died dishonorably or out of battle were sent to Niffelheim. With the widespread publication of Norse myths and legends at this time, references to the Norse gods and heroes spread into European literary culture, especially in Scandinavia, Germany, and Britain. In the later 20th century, references to Norse mythology became common in science fiction and fantasy literature, role-playing games , and eventually other cultural products such as comic books and Japanese animation.

Traces of the religion can also be found in music and has its own genre, viking metal. Media related to Norse mythology at Wikimedia Commons. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. For the practices and social institutions of the Norse pagans, see Old Norse religion. Norse mythology in popular culture. Germanic mythology and Germanic neopaganism.

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Loki in Scandinavian Mythology. Murder and vengeance among the gods: Baldr in Scandinavian mythology, Edition Nordic Gods and Heroes. For hammers, see Simek , pp. Simek , pp. For Valhalla, see Lindow , pp. For Gefjon, see Orchard , p. Translated by Faulkes, Anthony. MacLeod, Mindy; Mees, Bernard Runic Amulets and Magic Objects.

In Search of the Indo-Europeans: Language, Archaeology and Myth.

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Dictionary of Norse Myth and Legend. Johns Hopkins University Press. Myth and Religion of the North: The Religion of Ancient Scandinavia. Holt, Rinehart and Winston. Dictionary of Northern Mythology. View all 59 comments. In the beginning, there was nothing but mist and flames. At least, that's what the Edda claims. I've always been fascinated with Norse Mythology and with everything ancient in general. With its strong impact on Marvel's movies, metal music and J.

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  7. Tolkien , the AllFather of high fantasy, references to the mighty Gods of Asgard, and the impending twilight thereof, are a part of daily life. Neil Gaiman did not invent a story from the start. He had the material, the facts, the descriptions ready. For in Norse Mythology, it is obvious that rebirth always follows death. You can't help but notice the similarities with other mythologies, the traditions of people who thrived miles away.

    Take the creation of the Nine Worlds for example: You will notice the same pattern in Greek Mythology, with Deucalion and Pyrrha, in Genesis, with Noah's ark, and many other cultures, like the Aboriginal tribes and the Mayas. You will also discover the origins of the Middle Earth's creation, and the races inhabiting it, and you'll marvel at the parallels between Gjallerhorn, which will be blown by Heimdall at the end of all things to wake the Gods, and the Horn of Valere which will summon the Heroes to battle in Tarmon Gai'don, the Final Battle, in Robert Jordan 's Wheel of Time.

    It's chilling , and strangely satisfying. Through Neil Gaiman's eyes, his witty narration infused with humour, subtle comments and foreboding , you witness Odin's quest for wisdom, and the price he had to pay to acquire it; you will find out how Loki made Sif go bald, and thus the greatest treasures came to the possesion of the Gods; you will follow a strange man's efforts to create the walls of Asgard, demanding to be paid with the sun, the moon and beautiful Freya. His Gods are naive and cruel, spontaneous and bloodthirsty; Thor is not particularly bright nor as hot as Chris Hemsworth , and Loki is a spiteful creature, a puppeteer, a troublemaker and by the end, you'll crave his suffering.

    Deceiver of the gods! It is a quick and relaxing read I highly recommend if you're searching for your next epic adventure! View all 28 comments. These are a few popular figures from many mythologies around the globe. Norse mythology has always been one of the foundations used for most fictional stories in our time. I grew up playing tons of video games 3. I grew up playing tons of video games that were based on these myths without even realizing that they were based on the mythology in the first place.

    Thor and Loki from Marvel Universe. No idea why, they just do. Hair of the Gods Anyway, my point is, Norse mythology is a really important source of material for our current media entertainment and I admit, it has always been one of my favorite mythologies along with Japanese, Greek and Rome mythology. Despite not finding anything original here, I still find it enjoyable and good to read. Plus, Norse Mythology is one of the best myths out there. View all 52 comments. Norse Mythology by Neil Gaiman is a compulsively readable retelling of various myths from Norse Mythology.

    Once upon a time, in that hazy prehistoric time before Goodreads, Neil Gaiman was my favorite author. Sandman was the gateway drug but I read all the Gaiman works I could get my hands on: American Gods, Neverwhere, Coraline, Stardust, you get the point. As the years went by, some of the shine wore off that penny. As I explored Gaimain's influences, like P. Wodehouse and Ray Bradbury, some of the magic was diminished. Anyway, I heard Gaimain was writing this book and my interest was rekindled. I've been curious about Norse mythology since reading my first Thor comic. Gaimain delivers the goods here.

    In Norse Mythology, Gaimain retells fifteen Norse myths, from the creation of the Aesir to Ragnarok, the twilight of the gods, making them accessible to the modern reader. All of the Norse gods you're familiar with from pop culture, namely Odin, Thor, Loki, Balder, and Heimdall, are here, as well as a slew of others like Vidar, Kvasir, and Hod. I was tangentially aware of some of what transpired, like Loki giving birth to a six-legged horse and Odin hanging from Yggdrasil, the world tree, for nine days and nights before gaining his wisdom, but a lot of it was new to me.

    The Aesir sure liked to booze it up, didn't they? While there was quite a bit to like about this book, the thing that really stuck in my mind was Naglfar, the ship of the dead made out of fingernails. Loki tying his junk to the beard of a goat for entertainment purposes was right up there, though. Nothing O'Clock was also pretty sweet.

    Four out of five stars. View all 5 comments. Hammer of the gods! There was no way I was NOT going to read it. Thankfully Gaiman goes into some more detail and has crafted for us a beautiful modern saga of the coole Hammer of the gods! Thankfully Gaiman goes into some more detail and has crafted for us a beautiful modern saga of the coolest pantheon in the multiverse. Cyclopedia of Gods and Heroes from Myth and Legend and refreshed my memory of these badass northerners.

    And like Norman Mailer did with Egyptian mythology in Ancient Evenings , and like Kevin Hearne is doing with the Celtic gods in his Iron Druid books, so too does Gaiman give life and breath to ancient myth. We learn that unlike the money making Marvel heroes, these gods and goddesses are complicated and unfit for easy labels and stereotypes. This also made me think of myth in terms of ancient psychological needs and how primitives came up with the gods and their stories.

    A comparative religion study could trace the similarities in many legends and ancient belief systems. I am especially interested in a comparative study of Loki and other trickster gods like Coyote and Anansi. And the author of American Gods is uniquely able to make this more than just a history lesson about primitive theology, and also more than just a current re-telling of legend. Gaiman reveals Loki as a colorful and complex rogue who is, like most of these figures, more than simply bad or good. Thor is a simple and straightforward brute, sometimes petulant and easily misled.

    Recommended for Gaiman fans, myth and legend fans and everyone else, a fun book. View all 31 comments. First off the cover of this book is amaze balls! I just freaking love it! You will meet quite a few of them in these pages.

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    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. I have always wanted to read a good book on Norse Mythology and I think Neil Gaiman did a great job explaining some things before the stories. The diffe First off the cover of this book is amaze balls! The different stories were awesome, okay, some were mean and what not but they were just so awesome.

    Stories of the gods and giants and ogres and cunning and trickery. I just loved it. This book isn't very long at all and the stories are short but I think they were still great. I would liked to have seen two more books. I think that anyone that loves the gods will love or like this book. I would recommend it for all of the great stories. Melissa Martin's Reading List View all 29 comments. Was it still to happen? I did not know then. I am not certain now.

    This review will be short because what can I say that hasn't been said? And consider yourselves warned because I am going to sound like a major fangirl and I regret nothing: World mythologies can be tricky,in my opinion. They're alive,well-known,interesting by themselves. Choosing to use them as a retelling can become a boomerang in the hands of an incompetent author. Naturally,this isn't the case here. Neil Gaiman takes the Norse legends and transforms them into a sequence of tales that may be episodic but are linked to each other in a coherent way, written in a beautiful language that is contemporary and poetic.

    And most importantly, he approached his material with the utmost respect and wasn't influenced by recent popular teenage notions and Marvel abominations I hate those things,sorry His introduction is a wonderful text in which Gaiman explains his deep fascination with the myths of the lands of the North. Let us not forget that in Mr. Wednesday,Gaiman has created a version of Odin that would have satisfied even Grimnir himself. Had he existed,of course. The journey starts with the tale of the creation of the world by Odin,Vili and Ve after the killing of the giant Ymir.

    Then,we come to know the importance of Yggdrasil,the sacred tree, and the way the Norns hover over the past,the present and the future.

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    All the beloved myths are here. Loki's cute children, the building of the Wall, the marriage of the false Freya,Idunn's apples,the trials of Loki and Thor in the Hall of the Giant king,Frey's search for happiness and the tragic tale of Baldr and many other legends are given new life in Gaiman's masterful hands. And of course,the shadow of impending doom,the Ragnarok, is always present, every time Loki speaks,every time he works on his tricks. The chapter that talks about the Twilight of the Gods is the most chilling description of Ragnarok you will ever read….

    The narration is smoothly divided between the major deities,even though the Big Three are the focus. Gaiman is the omniscient narrator and allows the reader to sit back, enjoy the tales and contemplate on their epicness. It is not dry or disengaged. It is storytelling in the good, old-fashioned way. Although I was very familiar with the vast majority of the myths, I felt as if I was reading them for the first time.

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    The dialogues are beautiful,without being modernized and each God and goddess have their own distinctive voice. The spirituality that inevitably escorts every mythology of the world is present and the deities are portrayed as complex characters,unlike other recent attempts that tried to portray them as sarcastic,stupid archetypes. Gods are anything but archetypes. We just have to look closely. After having read The Gospel of Loki , which was a major disappointment, Norse Mythology is more than fresh air. It is Mythology at its best.

    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 in 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 View all 44 comments.

    What a fantastic retelling of Norse Myths. Featuring such characters as Odin, Thor and Loki along with a host of other lesser known gods and characters. Gaiman does his best to stick to the source material and not stray too far from the myths themselves, writing it in his own language which really brings the stories to life. By doing this, Gaiman has written the perfect place to start if you want to learn more about Norse Mythology in my view. What really added to my enjoyment was that I had rea What a fantastic retelling of Norse Myths.

    What really added to my enjoyment was that I had read the Poetic Edda before this, so I had an inclination as to which myths would get the Gaiman treatment. Amongst my favourites were: Gaiman stays true to how the characters are described within the ancient myths. The characters are different to what people have come to expect from Marvel films. Thor is a bit of a dumb meat head. Odin is treacherous and ultimately clever. Gaiman starts the book by saying that Norse myths are his favourites, and this shows with the level of care he gives the source material whilst adding his own spin to the tales.

    Norsemen also play a large part in American Gods. Something really special happens when writers narrate their own works. The passion comes across when they read their own works. View all 10 comments. I am telling you because this book was getting little serious about narrating these myths. Like trying to make us believe these are real facts. Now, the actual review: This book is the re-writing of Norse Mythology. Author doesn't exaggerate the facts. He simply re-writes some of the popular myths in pretty straight-forward way.

    I really liked the writing style. Most of the myths are about Odin, Thor and Loki. In the whole fifteen myths, I just loved four: Other than these were just fine. Some of them I liked as a fiction. Some of them I didn't even like as a fiction. Cause of every bad deed. But he was little good too. I couldn't decide whether he was completely good or completely bad.

    Old Norse Death Poems

    Thor was also good. I liked reading his myths too. I couldn't like Odin that much. He was just fine. After reading this book, I wouldn't recommend this book to children. Even though this book is totally fine for them. But still I won't be recommending this to them. I hope some of you have gotten an idea why I am saying this.

    Believe me this book is totally fine for them. But I am not feeling that they should read this book. Of course when they will have grown-up then there is no harm. Or the most important thing I almost forgot to tell you that this was my first Mythology reading. I thought these were just like our regular fantasy genre. But now I think that there is a great joy in reading myths as a part of books' plot. Like Rick Reordan's books. Rather than reading the original myths. Don't get me wrong, please! Nevertheless, this book is good.

    Highly recommended for those who love reading original myths. But not for children until their mature age.

    Norse mythology

    It saves a lot of time -- Thor April 5, View all 16 comments. Byatt and Michael Chabon. Thanks to Marvel the Norse gods are even familiar superheroes. A master storyteller, Crossley-Holland switches his prose without apparent effort from the formal and poetic to the informal and conversational, adding dynamism and detail. Each story is short enough to read before bedtime but long enough to contain drama, wonders and yet another triumph for the gods. It is the humour, moral ambiguity and inescapable impetus towards tragedy that makes Norse myth so unusual.

    The ​Penguin Book of Norse Myths (könyv) - Kevin Crossley-Holland |

    As we destroy our own planet, it is no wonder these themes resonate. These tales will always terrify and entrance the young. They are exactly what many children most enjoy reading about. Amanda Craig, Times Literary Supplement. With fiery, lyrical prose and shadowy, sinewy illustrations, this is a wintry marvel of doom, hope, cruelty and imagination. A serious gift, which will be reread many times over. Ragnarok might be one introduction to Norse mythology, but for a masterly version, which is also a splendid object, by Norse Myths: It is powerfully illustrated by Jeffrey Alan Love using monolithic black shapes touched with primary colours.

    It is spectacular and enjoyable, as well as essential cultural bedrock. Together words and pictures work to memorable effect, doubtlessly inspiring their young readers to yell and cry. The myths have seldom been better served. The brutal, mischievous, and fascinating stories of Norse mythology unfold in lively and dramatic retellings, which introduce the gods and goddesses of Asgard, as well as the dwarves and giants of Midgard and Jotunheim. Twenty tales of gods, giants, and dwarfs, of mighty feats and epic trickery…the tales are…powerful in emotional resonance—not to mention chock-full of bold deeds, glittering treasures, and scary monsters.

    Lavishly illustrated and strongly atmospheric—as well suited for reading aloud as alone. This is an essential purchase for middle and high school collections. Kevin Crossley-Holland is a master storyteller who over the years has been the definitive re-interpreter of myth from many lands — making the stories live for children and adults alike. Crossley-Holland tells them here with an economy of style, using straightforward narrative and eschewing complexity in favour of the simple recounting of stories. Crossley-Holland is also a pretty fine poet in his own right and we can see that come through in the text:.

    Gods and friends of gods, foes of gods, the merely curious, they all knew that unless Hel would agree to let Balder come home to Asgard, his death — the death of the handsome god who cherished and protected whatever was beautiful, and patient, and innocent in the nine worlds — must bring closer their own death-day. Here Crossley-Holland doing what he always does so well — finding the universal truth in the myth. One of the really great little touches here is the way the author has prefaced each of the tales with a moral which flows naturally from the story.

    The moral for The Last Battle being:. We probably know many of them — the steadfast and dependable Thor; the cunning trickster, Loki; gentle and caring Balder, Odin the Allfather and Frigg his wife. This book also gives us the stunning illustrative work of Jeffrey Alan Love. Working on the big scale he uses what looks like a block or lino printing technique to create dark and menacing images.

    His use of the occasional slash of red colour or the tingeing of green gives the drawings a startling added dimension. Terry Potter, The Letterpress Project. We see elements of it all over modern pop culture. Almost a millennia after they were first told and recorded, the stories of Norse mythology still play on our minds.