Tolkien and Norse Dragons

When Westerners think of dragons, we often think of vicious flying serpents who also guard a hoard of treasure–a mound of gold, silver, and jewels. Dragons are usually depicted as enormous, scaled beasts with long teeth who breathe fire, and who also hate humans. Unless, of course, humans have tamed them to the point where they can ride them.   Tolkien…

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Tolkien and Norse Mythology

With the new Lord of the Rings: Rings of Power series coming up, I thought I’d explore the connections between Tolkien’s world and the world of Norse mythology. Let’s start with Gandalf!  Gandalf The most obvious, and most mentioned, connection between The Lord of the Rings and Norse mythology is the character of Gandalf. Gandalf is very similar to the…

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Batman, Valkyries, and the Evolution of a Story

In 2022, we saw the release of yet another Batman movie. This one, called The Batman, is a little different from recent movie incarnations in that it focuses more on Batman as a detective and also really digs into the negative psychological impact of being a vigilante.  Even Batman’s alter ego Bruce Wayne has succumbed to the darkness–in the new…

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Jorunn Skaldmaer: the Viking age female poet

"The ruler reddened weapons in the blood of evil people;The army suffered the king’s anger;Houses often collapsed because of fires.”* These words were created by a rarity in the Viking world–a female poet. Jorunn Skaldmaer (poet-maiden) lived in Norway in the 10th century and was a court poet, along with others, of King Harald Fine-Hair.  In an age and place…

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Aud the Deep-Minded: Resilient

Click here for audio version We've all heard the term "resilience." It's the ability to bounce back after a setback or some kind of difficulty. How much resilience we have can determine how successful we are in life, and it's something most of us try to instill in our children.  Viking age women had to be resilient. It was a…

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Norse Dragons: Worms of the North

Click here for audio version We are all familiar with dragons, those Western symbols of power, wealth, and greed. It should come as no surprise that people in the Viking world had stories of dragons. In fact, J.R.R. Tolkien derived the inspiration for his creature, Smaug, from one of the Norse world’s most well-known stories, the Saga of the Volsungs.   Dragons…

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Skadi: Norse Winter Goddess

Click here for audio version It should come as no surprise that the Norse people had a deity they called the snowshoe goddess. This goddess, Skadi (SKAH-thee), is a Jotun who married into the family of the Aesir gods, and she is associated with winter. Skadi Skadi is known for loving the high snowy mountains, and she is most often…

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Norse Undead

Click here for audio version Witches. Skeletons. Zombies. Scary creatures in the dark. We humans love to be scared and the Norse people were no exception. They told stories of some very spooky creatures. Living in the far North where it was bitterly cold and dark for many months of the year seems to have lent itself to inventing terrifying…

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HWF Hauntings Blog Hop! Inspiration behind Kindred Spirits: The Monster of Machecoul

Guest Post by Jennifer C. Wilson I’ve always said that I don’t write ghost stories – I write stories about ghosts. But a couple of years ago, our writing group was planning a Halloween reading event, with everyone writing a ghost story to take part. Given that I’d been writing stories set in the Kindred Spirits world for a couple…

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Idun: Norse Goddess of Immortality

Click here for audio version Remember that old saying, “an apple a day keeps the doctor away”? Well, the Norse people must have known about the benefits of apples, because they even created a story that apples were the fruit of immortality. It’s true! The Norse gods and goddesses ate magical apples to keep themselves from aging.  Idun The person…

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