Norse Mythology for the Win
Norse Mythology has always been something that’s interested me. My dad always had movies or shows on with bits and pieces of Nordic flare throughout my childhood. I think the first true taste of the Nordic culture that had me all-in was back in 2007. Pathfinder had just come out and my father and I went to watch it in theaters. Looking back at it now, it’s not that great of a movie (5.4 on IMDB and a 10% Rotten Tomato), but it truly was the first movie that drew me into that Nordic realm. From there, my passion has been fueled by Vikings, The Elder Scrolls: Skyrim, and even vaguely by the loose Nordic aesthetic within Game of Thrones. But the most influential Norse thing throughout my years was actually the PS4 exclusive God of War. This realm will almost always be a part of my life and it has inspired many ideas for my book. So grab your sword and braid your beard because Norse Mythology is here to seduce you!
The Lore & Stories
The intricate stories within Norse Mythology are one of the main things that draw me in. I love how detailed and farfetched these tales of ancient gods, creatures, and peoples are. Not to mention, most of the stories have tons of holes within them, which leaves plenty of room for my imagination to add its own spin. This actually brings us to how some of this lore inspired ideas within my first book, Brightblood. When I began writing, I started with the usual “Hero takes on evil to save his world” idea, and I was drawing a lot of inspiration from Game of Thrones. But when I really sat down and wondered how the character I had developed would look, I was clueless. After roughly an hour of pondering, I knew I was going to go Norse, and that theme quickly spread throughout my chapters.
Then I really started doing research on Norse Mythology. I stumbled across the tale of Ymir the frost giant and the general basis for my world was born. A dying good whose body turns into a planet, how could I not use that! From there I went down an even deeper rabbit hole into the lore of Ymir. His story has so many areas for me to delve into to make my own. Like how he was created or what actually led to his demise (potential spinoff, watch out!). This led to a shoot-off down the path of Norse Gods, which funneled into a slip and slide of Nordic mythological creatures, which ended in the general study of more lands, peoples, and cultures. Granted, my entire book is not solely based on this culture. Buttttt it is the essential driving force behind its birth.
The Language & Symbols
Some of the cooler, yet more challenging pieces of Norse Mythology are the language and symbols. This is where a lot of my research has been lately as I’ve started developing artwork for the story. Obviously, with such a heavy Nordic flare in the book, I wanted to accurately portray ancient runes and language everywhere. Yet, as a native English speaker, it is very challenging attempting to figure out such an old, intriguing language. Even with the help of the all mighty google machine I still struggle! However, over the last few weeks, I’ve been tackling a good amount of translations and have also come to the conclusion that this is another area that is open to tons of interpretation.
Take Odin’s Illusion Rune for example. If you do a quick google search, you cannot really find any definitive explanation for what this rune means. Many say it’s related to basic trickery and deception among the Nordic people. Many believe it could simply tie into Odin’s powerful godly magic. And some even think it’s a made-up rune that a random person who loved Norse Mythology created. That rune has just slowly been making its way across the internet for years, but I personally couldn’t care less. So even if it is a made-up rune that means absolutely nothing, I’ve taken this idea and branched it out onto its own unique path that I believe fits perfectly with my story.
The Look & Aesthetic of its People
Finally, what may be my favorite thing about the Nordic Culture, their aesthetic. There’s just something about long, unkempt, dreaded hair and bald guys with intense, waste-long beards, am I right? Tattoos covering the body of a warrior who hasn’t lost a battle in years. These are the things that really get me amped up! The fur-lining on everything is just so pleasing too. And don’t even get me started on the animal head cloaks our Nordic heroes wear so often! There is something extremely menacing about a character who puts on one of these cloaks. The ferocity one exudes once put on is just unmatchable. This whole culture’s aesthetic is just spot on at all times and it truly makes me wish I experienced that day and age.
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