Tolkien and Norse Dragons

Click here for audio 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…

Continue ReadingTolkien and Norse Dragons

Tolkien and Norse Mythology

Click here for audio version 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…

Continue ReadingTolkien and Norse Mythology

Batman, Valkyries, and the Evolution of a Story

Click here for audio 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…

Continue ReadingBatman, Valkyries, and the Evolution of a Story

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…

Continue ReadingNorse Dragons: Worms of the North

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…

Continue ReadingSkadi: Norse Winter Goddess