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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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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Thor, a Cauldron, and Jormungandr

Click here for audio version What do the Aesir gods do when they need help finding a cauldron big enough to hold all their ale? They call on Thor. The gods of Asgard decided one day to hold a feast, but Aegir, the god who prepared the ale, told the other gods that he didn’t have a cauldron big enough…

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Sigyn the Venom Catcher

Click here for audio version Did you know that Loki has a wife? If not, don’t feel bad. Loki’s wife, the goddess Sigyn (SIG-in), is only mentioned at any length in one story, the Lokasenna, and even then, it is more about Loki than her. For the most part, she’s either called Loki’s wife or Loki is called Sigyn’s husband. …

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Sif and her Golden Hair

Click here for audio version How would you like it if your name meant “relation by marriage”? That is the unfortunate fate of the Norse goddess, Sif--her main importance is her relationship to others. Like some of the other Norse goddesses, there are few stories about her that survived. The only thing we do know is that she is a…

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