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By Odin's Beard

Norse Mythology and ASOIAF

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Posted (edited)

I am doing research on Norse mythology and how it relates to ASOIAF, and  I re-read this section and felt compelled to post it. 

In Niflheim ("Mist home" a realm of ice and cold) there is a one of the 3 roots of the World Tree Yggdrasil at the well Hvelgelmir ("boiling bubbling spring").  Underneath Hvelgelmir is Nastrond ("corpse shore") here is how Nastrond is described

A hall she saw standing
remote from the sun
on Dead Body Shore.
Its door looks north.
There fell drops of venom
in through the roof vent.
That hall is woven
of serpents' spines.
She saw there wading
onerous streams
men perjured
and wolfish murderers
and the one who seduces
another's close-trusted wife.
There Malice Striker (Nidhoggr) sucked
corpses of the dead,
the wolf tore men.

The walls are snakes, there is a dragon Nidhoggr (another translation is "Striker in the Dark") sucking blood out of corpses and gnawing on the roots of the World Tree, and it is a special place in Hel for "men perjured" ( "Nid" was a term for a social stigma implying the loss of honor and the status of a villain, Nid=ned?  Ned perjured himself), wolfish murderers (could be any Stark, Brandon?),  "the one who seduces another's close-trusted wife" (could be Lyanna?)  Niflheim is where Hel is located, Hel is very similar to Lady Stoneheart. 

Niflheim is the North, Hvelgelmir is Winterfell, Nastrond is the crypts.  This suggests that there is a weirwood cave under Winterfell, and there was/is some sort of "dragon" or serpent there that feeds on the dead.  (Summer maybe saw a dragon after the burning of Winterfell.)  3-eyed crow was trying to get Bran to go down there, but did not succeed.

Niflhel/Niflheim is also where Fenrir/Garmr/Bran is bound until Ragnarok.  If the books end up following what happens in the myths, Jaime (Tyr) will convince Bran (Fenrir) to sit the Weirwood throne under the Crypts (the Binding of Fenrir).  In the myth Fenrir bites off Tyr's hand after discovering that he has been tricked.

 

Have we got any Norse mythology buffs on board to find more parallels like this?

 

Edited by By Odin's Beard

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Well except for the fact that the term "warg" means a big wolf (Fenrir is a warg), I can't help very much.

I think that @The Fattest Leech can tell us a thing about the connection between Scania (region in Sweden) and Skagos-Rickon is probably there, and he is a warg with a monstrous wolf, coincidence? 

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Posted (edited)
2 hours ago, By Odin's Beard said:

am doing research on Norse mythology and how it relates to ASOIAF,

There are many people on this site that will nurture your research.

My question is why would martin assume that the mass majority of fictional fantasy book readers know anything about mythology, be it Norse, Greek, or Aborigine.

2 hours ago, By Odin's Beard said:

and  I re-read this section and felt compelled to post it. 

You forgot to post the part from the ASOIAF you re-read that compelled you to post.

I get it, I really do. Book geek snobs see all the inferences to the multiple references to high literature. Whereas the lowly folk don't get it. I just read a a fiction story and root for I who root for.

Martin wrote a story about some people fighting over a throne and power to rule the realm and the lies, deceit, murder and mayhem that comes along with it. Hell, until martin releases the final two books who knows wtf is gonna happen in his saga.

Edited by Clegane'sPup
I'm sorry, but martins work is not all that good.He tells a good story, lacks the follow through. If he follows through he may have a literary work of art.

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9 minutes ago, Clegane'sPup said:

My question is why would martin assume that the mass majority of fictional fantasy book readers know anything about mythology, be it Norse, Greek, or Aborigine.

I get it, I really do. Book geek snobs see all the inferences to the multiple references to high literature. Whereas the lowly folk don't get it. I just read a a fiction story and root for I root for.

I didn't know much beyond basic world mythology before I happened upon this guy's site a while back, then I started reading up on this stuff. I think rather than expecting you know all this beforehand, he might be hoping you will learn some of it because of him.  And I am not a "book geek snob" in the least, I am a hardwood floor guy and finish carpenter by trade, just about as lowly as it gets.

 

1 hour ago, The Sunland Lord said:

Well except for the fact that the term "warg" means a big wolf (Fenrir is a warg),

That actually is helpful, it hadn't occurred to me to look that word up.  I think it is telling that the reference to Fenrir is part of the definition of warg.  So every time a warg it mentioned it is supposed to bring up Fenrir in our minds.

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7 minutes ago, By Odin's Beard said:

I didn't know much beyond basic world mythology before I happened upon this guy's site a while back, then I started reading up on this stuff. I think rather than expecting you know all this beforehand, he might be hoping you will learn some of it because of him.  And I am not a "book geek snob" in the least, I am a hardwood floor guy and finish carpenter by trade, just about as lowly as it gets.

Put the mythology aside. As a story, a fictional tale, does martin's tale make sense. I'm talking book one through five with two books forthcoming. 

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3 hours ago, By Odin's Beard said:

I re-read this section and felt compelled to post it. 

It would be helpful if you disclosed which section. Thanks

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3 hours ago, The Sunland Lord said:

Well except for the fact that the term "warg" means a big wolf (Fenrir is a warg), I can't help very much.

I think that @The Fattest Leech can tell us a thing about the connection between Scania (region in Sweden) and Skagos-Rickon is probably there, and he is a warg with a monstrous wolf, coincidence? 

Hey there TSL. Thanks for the shout. I can't believe you can remember what I posted so long ago. It took me a minute to remember myself :D

I looked and found what I believe you are referring to, so I will just paste it below:

Not adding much at the moment because my kid brought home germs and had made me super sick... like, way beyond cheese touch sick :ack:

Anyway, while nursing myself with bedtime and books, I came across something that I thought was interesting. Just gonna give a few bullets here, but I thought it was interesting... which actually was part of an info hole that started with Peter Steele of Type O Negative. Go figure :dunno:

  • Scania, or Skane as it is known locally, is a Nordic province on the southern tip of Sweden.
  • It has had bitter battles with its mainland and now seems to have its own semi-distinct, yet connected, culture.
  • Scanian dialects have various local native idioms and speech patterns, and realizes diphthongs and South Scandinavian Uvular trill, as opposed to the supradental /r/-sound characteristic of spoken Standard Swedish.
  • The name is possibly derived from the Germanic root *Skaðin-awjã, which appears in Old Norse as Skáney.[23] According to some scholars, the Germanic stem can be reconstructed as *Skaðan- meaning "danger" or "damage"
  • the province of Scania serves no administrative or political purposes, but is an exclusively historical and cultural entity.
  • Scania/Skane does not use a unicorn as a sigil, but they do use a red griffin, which is a cousin to the Thunder Chicken for any Trans Am fans out there.
    • However, a sigil only began its use when Charles X Gustav of Sweden suddenly died in 1660 a coat of arms had to be created for the newly acquired province, as each province was to be represented by its arms at his royal funeral. I can't help but wonder if something similar to this could happen if RIckon were to return and travel through Castle Black with a Skagosi retinue as Jon is still dead?, or newly healed?, and through these acts and the renewed loyalty to the Starks the Skagosi formally comeback into the northern houses??? Just a thought.
  • Scania's long-running and sometimes intense trade relations with other communities along the coast of the European continent through history have made the culture of Scania distinct from other geographical regions of Sweden.

Ack! Don't even get me started on unicorns and how they are in the Christian bible! (sorta)

Sorry if this has all been talked about already. Medicine head and all.

Carry on.

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6 minutes ago, Clegane'sPup said:

As a story, a fictional tale, does martin's tale make sense.

I don't want to get into that discussion.  But if you are trying to argue that if his story can stand on its own, then we should disregard references and homages to other works, that doesn't fly with me.  To really understand any piece of writing you need to understand the context in which it was written, ideally you would know everything that the author knew, but of course that is not possible, but you can try. 

Also, unrelated to Norse myth, but I googled the phrase "Heart's Bane" to see what that might be referencing, I found that it is a synonym for "jealousy" from a book of epithets from 1849.  I don't know what that is supposed to mean, but I would guess that it means that there is a good chance George has that book on his shelf.

Quote

It would be helpful if you disclosed which section. Thanks

I was referring to the section about Nastrond that I then quoted.  Sorry if that was not clear.

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Posted (edited)
2 hours ago, By Odin's Beard said:

I didn't know much beyond basic world mythology before I happened upon this guy's site a while back, then I started reading up on this stuff. I think rather than expecting you know all this beforehand, he might be hoping you will learn some of it because of him.  And I am not a "book geek snob" in the least, I am a hardwood floor guy and finish carpenter by trade, just about as lowly as it gets.

 

That actually is helpful, it hadn't occurred to me to look that word up.  I think it is telling that the reference to Fenrir is part of the definition of warg.  So every time a warg it mentioned it is supposed to bring up Fenrir in our minds.

There is no doubt that GRRM has used Norse myth in all of his works at some point, as he talks about in interviews and one of his anthologies. It is certainly not limited to just ASOAIF, and it is also not limited to Norse myth. He also uses Native American, Mongolian, Middle Eastern, Welsh, Greek, Egyptian, and many other more obscure myths. I would not look too hard to compare the Norse myth to GRRM's work in any literal, one-to-one way. It just doesn't exist that way because also as he says, he takes every inspiration and melds them together and twists them into something that is his own. For instance the word 'warg'. Keep in mind that GRRM is a game player, and warg's have been used in the games he once played. Yes, those bits are based in myth as well, but they are tales of tales, as GRRM is recreating his own tale of a tale for us to enjoy now.

That said, it is fun to try and parse out, as I have done as well as many, many others, but it is not a direct blueprint from start to finish (adding) and many times it only has to do with one point in some character's arc for just a given amount of time.

Edited by The Fattest Leech

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35 minutes ago, By Odin's Beard said:

I don't want to get into that discussion. 

okay

36 minutes ago, By Odin's Beard said:

But if you are trying to argue that if his story can stand on its own, then we should disregard references and homages to other works, that doesn't fly with me. 

Martin's ASOIAF story should stand on its own. The reader can infer whatever the reader wants. The story without all the extra material should stand on its own. And if you hang around this site long enough the story is about star crossed lovers who die leaving their baby to ---- I dunna know.

As I said earlier, there are many people on the site that will nurture your research.

Elvis has left the building. :leaving:

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Posted (edited)
On 4/4/2018 at 8:47 PM, The Fattest Leech said:

I would not look to hard to compare the Norse myth to GRRM's work in any literal, one-to-one way. It just doesn't exist that way

Counterpoint: Melissandre is Freyja
 

Quote

Freyja (or Freya meaning "Lady") is famous for her fondness of love, fertility, beauty, and fine material possessions – and, because of these predilections, she’s considered to be something of the “party girl” of the Aesir. In one of the Eddic poems, for example, Loki accuses Freya (probably accurately) of having slept with all of the gods and elves, including her brother. She’s certainly a passionate seeker after pleasures and thrills, but she’s a lot more than only that. Freya is the archetype of the völva, a professional or semiprofessional practitioner of seidr, the most organized form of Norse magic. It was she who first brought this art to the gods, and, by extension, to humans as well. Given her expertise in controlling and manipulating the desires, health, and prosperity of others, she’s a being whose knowledge and power are almost without equal.

Freya presides over the afterlife realm Folkvang. According to one Old Norse poem, she chooses half of the warriors slain in battle to dwell there.

Seidr is a form of pre-Christian Norse magic and shamanism concerned with discerning destiny and altering its course by re-weaving part of its web. This power could potentially be put to any use imaginable, and examples that cover virtually the entire range of the human condition can be found in Old Norse literature.

In the Viking Age, the völva was an itinerant seeress and sorceress who traveled from town to town performing commissioned acts of seidr in exchange for lodging, food, and often other forms of compensation as well. Like other northern Eurasian shamans, her social status was highly ambiguous – she was by turns exalted, feared, longed for, propitiated, celebrated, and scorned.

Freya’s occupying this role amongst the gods is stated directly in the Ynglinga Saga, and indirect hints are dropped elsewhere in the Eddas and sagas. For example, in one tale, we’re informed that Freya possesses falcon plumes that allow their bearer to shift his or her shape into that of a falcon.

Freyja has a magical necklace called Brisingamen ("ornamental neckring of precious metal" brisingr may mean "fire" or "amber").  Thor wears the Brisingamen in the story of Thor and Thrym to impersonate Freyja (glamor?) and the Ice Giants think Thor is Freyja (But they get suspicious when he eats an entire ox and drinks two barrels of mead).  The Brisingamen is also featured in many other modern fiction stories.

So, Freyja is called "Lady," is a beautiful woman fertility goddess, who sleeps with many people, who is a very powerful sorceress/shaman/seer, who has a magical necklace, who is a shapeshifter, who is involved with necromancy.  Except that Freyja has a chariot that is pulled by two cats, she is a dead ringer for Melissandre.

 

I am not saying that ASOIAF is a direct retelling of Norse myth, but it certainly built off the bones.

 

 

Consider also the story of the magical sword Gram (Gramr "wrath").  Odin stuck a magical sword into the Barnstokkr tree and challenged the men at a wedding to pull it out, only Sigmund was able to.  Then adventures take place and heroic things happen and Odin ends up splitting the sword in two and the pieces are given to Sigmund's son Sigurd. 

Sigurd apprentices with the dwarf smith Regin, whose brother is the dragon Fafnir who is guarding a hoard of gold that Regin is jealous of.  Regin asks Sigurd to slay Fafnir and makes him a very fine sword with which to do it.  Sigurd tests the sword by striking the anvil with it and the sword breaks.  Regin forges him another sword and it breaks also.  Sigurd then brings the two pieces of Gram and Regin reforges it, and when Sigurd strikes the anvil with the sword it cuts the anvil in half.  He then slays the dragon with it. (in one version he digs a grave, hides in it, and waits for the dragon to slither over the hole and stabs him in his soft under belly)

This parallels both the lightbringer 3 forgings myth and Eddard's sword Ice.  Ice got split in two, and I think by the end of the story it will be reforged and used for some great purpose. 

 

There are a whole bunch of these kinds of parallels.

 

Samwell is Heimdall

Heimdall is called the white god (the pure, innocent god).  He is the son of nine virgins (“born was I of mothers nine”).  His father is the great warrior Odin. He is called the “gold-toothed” (does that mean well-spoken?)  Lives at the Bifrost bridge.  He is the warder of the gods, and is therefore placed on the borders of heaven to prevent the giants from forcing their way over the bridge.  He requires less sleep than a bird and sees by night as well as by day a hundred miles around him.  So acute is his ear that no sound escapes him, for he can even hear the grass growing on the earth and the wool on a sheep’s back.  He has a horn called Gjallar-horn, which is heard throughout the universe and is used to alert the gods at Ragnarok.  Has a sword called Hofud ("head"), Heimdal is the god of the rainbow, symbolizes the favoring grace of the gods.  Kills Loki at Ragnarok

Samwell is innocent, is a momma's boy, his father is a great warrior, he is very observant and intelligent, lived at the wall was a watcher on the wall, acquired a (magical?) horn. He is from Horn Hill.  He is not a sword-fighter, he fights with his head (Heimdall's sword was called "Head")

If Bran ends up being Loki, and Sam kills him in the end, then the fact that they met at the Nightfort and he was warned not to disturb Bran's bones would be extra poignant foreshadowing.

 

The list goes on

Odin = Raegar, Bloodraven, Beric, Jaq’en  Mance, the weirwood.net

Thor = Robert Baratheon, Gendry, Tormund

Tyr = Jaime

Baldr = Jon Snow

Sutr = Drogon

Hodr = Hodor

Freyr = Daenarys (and Jaime)

Sif = Cersei (Cersei is a little Freyja too)

Loki = Bran/Night's King

Fenrir = Bran

Jormungandr = Euron

Hel = Lady Stoneheart/ Arya

Valkyries = Children of the Forest

Frost giants = White Walkers

Fire giants = invaders from Essos

Clay giants = Greyscale outbreak

Ymer = the great empire of the dawn

 

Edited by By Odin's Beard

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1 hour ago, By Odin's Beard said:

Counterpoint: Melissandre is Freyja

Melisandre is a GRRM reuse of his favorite magic charlatans that he uses over and over.
Melisandre is from the GRRM story Bitterblooms and both are based off of Morgan La Fey from Arthurian legend... but done his way. I am not making this up. It is in one of his anthologies and the red haired witch, named Morgan La Fey, that tricks people by distorting her interpretations of visions she gets on a "screen", all the while controlling them through sex, eating imaginary food/no food, and calls herself "Morgan Full of Magic", and later the hero calls her "Morgan Full of Lies". Oh, and she lives in a giant brazier and this story takes place during a long, harsh winter.

 

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Posted (edited)
14 hours ago, The Fattest Leech said:

Melisandre is a GRRM reuse of his favorite magic charlatans that he uses over and over.
Melisandre is from the GRRM story Bitterblooms and both are based off of Morgan La Fey from Arthurian legend... but done his way. I am not making this up. It is in one of his anthologies and the red haired witch, named Morgan La Fey, that tricks people by distorting her interpretations of visions she gets on a "screen", all the while controlling them through sex, eating imaginary food/no food, and calls herself "Morgan Full of Magic", and later the hero calls her "Morgan Full of Lies". Oh, and she lives in a giant brazier and this story takes place during a long, harsh winter.

 

I haven't read Arthurian legend yet (or Martin's other works) so these connections are very helpful,  "Hartmann von Aue describes the sorceress Famurgan (Feimurgan, Fairy Murgan) as a deceased mistress of dark magic who has lived her life 'in defiance of God' and was capable of raising the dead and turning people to animals at will, commanding wild beasts, evil spirits and dragons, and having the devil in Hell as a trusted companion" 

Freyja and Morgan Le Fay are described in such similar terms (they are even both daughters of a sea god) that I wonder if they are derived from the same original character.  Norse culture was spread all over Europe and England before Christianity took over.

Morgan is associated with the secret magical island of Avalon, where the apples of healing grow.  In Norse myth Idunn possesses the apples of youth, without which the gods rapidly grow grey and decrepit.  And then there are the Hesperides in greek myth who guard the apple trees of immortality on a secret island, which I previously connected with the Weirwood.  Secret magical island where a tree grows that grants everlasting life, sounds like the Isle of Faces.

While we are on the subject of the Isle of Faces,  Loki's mother is Laufey ("full of leaves" or "leaf-isle") and his father is Fárbauti  ("dangerous hitter" "cruel-striker" "ship-destroyer") there is a possible nature mythological interpretation with lightning hitting the leaves or needles of a tree to give rise to fire.  In ASOIAF there is the recurring theme of the Weirwood being struck by lightning. 

Loki might mean "flame" but " there is quite a bit of evidence that Loki in premodern society was thought to be the causer of knots/tangles/loops, or himself a knot/tangle/loop" this might hint to the time-loop paradox that they are stuck in ASOIAF.  He is described as “the evil crow” “mischief-maker.”  In some tellings he was Odin's brother and they were very close in early times, but had a falling out and Loki has been nothing but trouble for the gods ever since.  Although most of the trouble he gets them in, he also gets them out of.  He created an eight-legged horse named Sleipnir, (Ice spider?).  Later he created the monsters Fenrir, Jormungandr, and Hel. 

"Boredom was a problem for Loki, who 'was tired of the string of days that unwound without a knot or a twist in them.'  He was a mishief-maker, trickster, and shape-changer, and grew progressively more evil until eventually the gods bound him in a cave until the coming of Ragnarok."  The gods bound him to a rock with a snake suspended over his head that dripped venom on his face. "In this dreadful prison, the god awaited Ragnarok.  Then he was to emerge to lead the army of evil in their final battle with the gods"

Recall that in Nastrond venom drips from the ceiling, Loki in his cave has venom dripping on his head, is it the same place?  Is Loki the dragon in the crypts?  There are many parallels between Nastrond and the Night's Watch, as both are places for criminals and dishonored people.  The Night's Watch is described as being "black of blood" meaning dead.  Could the Wall represent the barrier between life and death, and the magical weirwood door under the Nightfort lets the dead come back to life?  Bran passes through the weirwood door and Coldhands (the psychopomp) later says "The world believes the boy is dead ... Let his bones lie undisturbed." Could the Night's Watch be a metaphor for the Starks being in charge of keeping the dead (and Loki) below ground.  Recall also that in Egyptian myth, Anubis, the black wolf, is the crypt-keeper, who decides who is worthy to enter the realm of the dead.  At the very least the Wall and the Crypts of Winterfell are parallel locations performing the same function.  In Norse myth there are at least 3 afterworld locations, Valhalla, Hel, and Folkvangr.

I think Bran with raise the Stark dead from their tombs and bring judgment and destruction to Westeros.  The rules of both Norse myth and ASOIAF state that as long as the bones are unbroken, the dead can be resurrected. 

 

Edited by By Odin's Beard

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Posted (edited)

I missed this connection before, in my other thread I detailed that in Greek mythology Zeus gets baby-swapped by his mother so his father Cronus would not eat him. Zeus is then raised in a cave, or hung from a tree.  But one of the Meliae tree nymphs that raised him is named Melissa.  Whose name means "honey" and she feeds Zeus honey and goat's milk.

"The weirwood paste at first tastes bitter, then better, then almost sweet, tasting of honey"  " The white paste has red veins, which Bran supposes are only weirwood sap, though in the torchlight they look like blood"  Fed to Bran by CotF tree nymphs.

shade of the evening "on her tongue was a taste like honey"  Fed to Daenarys by a little dwarf servant

In Norse mythology the Mead of Poetry is a "mythical beverage that whoever 'drinks becomes a skald or scholar' to recite any information and solve any question."  The Mead of Poetry is made from the blood of the all-knowing man Kvasir mixed with honey

In Hindu myth Soma is an intoxicating mixture of honey and blood of Quoasir, which, in Norse mythology imparts prolonged life to the gods.  It gives strength to Indra, enables him to conquer Vritra,  "We have drunk soma and become immortal; we have attained the light, the Gods discovered"

 

I have been arguing that Melisandre is an agent of the Weirwood, and I think this supports that hypothesis.  I think her role is to nurture the weirwood's chosen champion(s) and give him/her strength for the upcoming battle.

 

Edited by By Odin's Beard

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18 hours ago, The Fattest Leech said:

Hey there TSL. Thanks for the shout. I can't believe you can remember what I posted so long ago. It took me a minute to remember myself :D

I looked and found what I believe you are referring to, so I will just paste it below:

Not adding much at the moment because my kid brought home germs and had made me super sick... like, way beyond cheese touch sick :ack:

Anyway, while nursing myself with bedtime and books, I came across something that I thought was interesting. Just gonna give a few bullets here, but I thought it was interesting... which actually was part of an info hole that started with Peter Steele of Type O Negative. Go figure :dunno:

  • Scania, or Skane as it is known locally, is a Nordic province on the southern tip of Sweden.
  • It has had bitter battles with its mainland and now seems to have its own semi-distinct, yet connected, culture.
  • Scanian dialects have various local native idioms and speech patterns, and realizes diphthongs and South Scandinavian Uvular trill, as opposed to the supradental /r/-sound characteristic of spoken Standard Swedish.
  • The name is possibly derived from the Germanic root *Skaðin-awjã, which appears in Old Norse as Skáney.[23] According to some scholars, the Germanic stem can be reconstructed as *Skaðan- meaning "danger" or "damage"
  • the province of Scania serves no administrative or political purposes, but is an exclusively historical and cultural entity.
  • Scania/Skane does not use a unicorn as a sigil, but they do use a red griffin, which is a cousin to the Thunder Chicken for any Trans Am fans out there.
    • However, a sigil only began its use when Charles X Gustav of Sweden suddenly died in 1660 a coat of arms had to be created for the newly acquired province, as each province was to be represented by its arms at his royal funeral. I can't help but wonder if something similar to this could happen if RIckon were to return and travel through Castle Black with a Skagosi retinue as Jon is still dead?, or newly healed?, and through these acts and the renewed loyalty to the Starks the Skagosi formally comeback into the northern houses??? Just a thought.
  • Scania's long-running and sometimes intense trade relations with other communities along the coast of the European continent through history have made the culture of Scania distinct from other geographical regions of Sweden.

Ack! Don't even get me started on unicorns and how they are in the Christian bible! (sorta)

Sorry if this has all been talked about already. Medicine head and all.

Carry on.

The latinate name is Scania, the vernacular is Skåne, the å pronounced somewhere like the "o" in English words like dog or hot. Or even like a long "o" like in Scottish "scone".

Looking at a map, it's easy to understand why the southern tip of present day Sweden was Danish. Seaways, old Viking things, they were next to each other and easily accesible. Inland waterway places were hampered by poor roads or portages between them. Still, the vikings, traders, forged their trade routes from the Baltic Sea to Russian rivers down to the Caspian Sea, and mostly, through the Crimean to Constantinople. They called the northmen "the Vargars", employed many of these ferocious northern warriors as bodyguards. It must've been an intetesting culture clash.

My people, of course, staid at home, we were no Vikings or Northmen, we just wanted to be left alone. We even sort of became Christianised quite gently. Then Swedish kings and jarls came on crusades = conquering, to forestall Novgorod influence. Like, helooo, you can't crusade on an already Christian population, jeez! 

It's all a glorious muddle. Swedish and Danish kings repeatedly went on "Crusades" in the Baltic states or Finland, to grab lands, or at least plunder, rah rah rah!

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Posted (edited)
3 hours ago, By Odin's Beard said:

But one of the Meliae tree nymphs that raised him is named Melissa

Bloodraven’s mother was melissa blackwood... but I want to play with the Norse Myths first!

Bloodraven is a ridiculously good parallel to Odin...

One eyed trickster hanging from a tree to gain knowledge... he is the gallows god, and d&e shows multiple incidents of execution (including hanging in a cage) of those who spoke against Bloodraven.

Wandered the world of men in disguise... like a one eyed dog or a Plumm.

Odin’s ravens go out and see the world, returning to him with information... Bloodraven lives in a cave full of ravens out of who’s eyes he can literally look.

Odin does not eat, he only drinks the mead of poetry, which is made from blood.

Odin lived in Aesgaurd, “a great place for sacrifices”.

In Proto-Norse, the three brothers' names were alliterating, *Wódin, Wili, Wé (Proto-Germanic*WōdinazWiljôWīhą),[1] so that they can be taken as forming a triad of *wōdaz, wiljô, wīhą, approximately 

inspiration (transcendent, mantic or prophetic knowledge) Bloodraven

cognition (will, desire, internal thought that leads to action) Bittersteel

and numen(spiritual power residing in the external world, in sacred objects) Blackfyre

Coincidence, I think not...

The poem Völuspá features Odin in a dialogue with an undead völva, who gives him wisdom from ages past and foretells the onset of Ragnarök, the destruction and rebirth of the world.

Sounding familiar?

Odin will be killed by Fenrir at the end of the age (enter age of wolves- a time for wolves was the old title of a book)... but for now Fenrir is bound (after biting off Tyr (Jaime) hand) with a ribbon... after having broke free from chains (winged wolf bound in chains?).

 
Quote

 

Still, it was nothing that Tyrion could not manage. He looked off to the east and west, at the Wall stretching before him, a vast white road with no beginning and no end and a dark abyss on either side. West, he decided, for no special reason, and he began to walk that way, following the pathway nearest the north edge, where the gravel looked freshest.
His bare cheeks were ruddy with the cold, and his legs complained more loudly with every step, but Tyrion ignored them. The wind swirled around him, gravel crunched beneath his boots, while ahead the white ribbon followed the lines of the hills, rising higher and higher, until it was lost beyond the western horizon. He passed a massive catapult, as tall as a city wall, its base sunk deep into the Wall. The throwing arm had been taken off for repairs and then forgotten; it lay there like a broken toy, half-embedded in the ice.

 

The sun sets in the West and Westeros is the sunset kingdoms.

Edited by LiveFirstDieLater

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Oh, and as to Norse, or any other mytholgy parrallels.I've been told that GRRM did a course on Nordic mythology at college, so that's an obvious influence. An influence, not one-on-one copy.

JRRT, a huge influence on GRRM, was very influenced by Finnish pagan mythology and language but made his own languages, mythologies and stories. Turan Turanabard's story is pretty much the story of Kullervo (which is basically the Oidepal story), of which we have several vernacular poetic renditions, always pretty much an alliterative trochaic quatremetre, the thing best suited to our language. To be honest, JRRT plundered much of our pre-christian mythology and language, and made it close to elvish and their mythology...I feel a bit ripped off, but also sligthly smug because JRRT chose to make his mythology close to ours, the elvish languages similar to ours (Finnish and Estonian), delegating bog standard English to the bog standard people. Still, culturally appropriated. Not that JRRT ever maliciously approprated my heritage. GRRM is a far better storyteller, if he ever finishes his story, but he's nowhere as erudite as JRRT.

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8 minutes ago, talvikorppi said:

Oh, and as to Norse, or any other mytholgy parrallels.I've been told that GRRM did a course on Nordic mythology at college, so that's an obvious influence. An influence, not one-on-one copy.

JRRT, a huge influence on GRRM, was very influenced by Finnish pagan mythology and language but made his own languages, mythologies and stories. Turan Turanabard's story is pretty much the story of Kullervo (which is basically the Oidepal story), of which we have several vernacular poetic renditions, always pretty much an alliterative trochaic quatremetre, the thing best suited to our language. To be honest, JRRT plundered much of our pre-christian mythology and language, and made it close to elvish and their mythology...I feel a bit ripped off, but also sligthly smug because JRRT chose to make his mythology close to ours, the elvish languages similar to ours (Finnish and Estonian), delegating bog standard English to the bog standard people. Still, culturally appropriated. Not that JRRT ever maliciously approprated my heritage. GRRM is a far better storyteller, if he ever finishes his story, but he's nowhere as erudite as JRRT.

GRRM: “My major was journalism, but I took a minor in history. My sophomore year I signed up for the History of Scandinavia, thinking it would be cool to study Vikings. Professor Franklin D. Scott was an enthusiastic teacher who invited the class to his home for Scandinavian food and glug (a mulled wine with raisins and nuts floating in it). We read Norse sagas, Icelandic eddas, and the poems of the Finnish patriotic poet Johan Ludvig Runeberg. I loved the sagas and the eddas, which reminded me of Tolkien and Howard, and was much taken with Runeberg’s poem “Sveaborg,” a rousing lament for the great Helsinki fortress “Gibraltar of the North,” which surrendered inexplicably during the Russo-Swedish War of 1808. When it came time to write term papers, I chose “Sveaborg” for my topic. Then I had an off-the-wall idea. I asked Professor Scott if he would allow me to submit a story about “Sveaborg” rather than a conventional paper. To my delight, he agreed. “The Fortress” got me an A … but more than that, Professor Scott was so pleased with the story that he sent it off to The American-Scandinavian Review for possible publication.”

 

sidenote to this: notice how he used to make the mulled wine for his teacher (mentioned here and elsewhere) just as Jon does as the steward for LC Mormont ;)

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3 hours ago, LiveFirstDieLater said:

Bloodraven is a ridiculously good parallel to Odin

 I was going to comment in your other Bloodraven thread, that it seems like he was an agent of the Weirwood way before he ever got to that cave. 

Odin is an “exceptionally strong-willed warrior-poet who was apathetic to established societal norms” “his actions are carried out within the context of a relentless and ruthless quest for more wisdom, more knowledge, and more power, usually of a magical sort.”  “must typically undergo a ritual death and rebirth in order to acquire his or her powers, and Odin underwent exactly such an ordeal when he discovered the runes.” Hung himself on Yggdrasil to acquire mystical knowledge.  Stabbed himself with his own spear while hung from the tree. “Many of Odin’s numerous bynames allude to his wanderings or are names he assumed to disguise his identity while abroad.” Odin speaks only in poems.  Rides an eight-legged horse.

In Borg-like fashion the weirwood is constantly trying to assimilate new forms of life and new information to increase its power.  What mission is Jaqen on in the Citadel to acquire new information for the network? 

Odin “travels to distant lands on his own errands or those of others” while he appears to others to be asleep or dead.  He is a skinchanger/greenseer.  He is assisted by ravens, wolves, and valkyries.  He is sometimes referred to as “Ygg”

He had a magical spear called Gungnir ("swaying one") that always hit its target, and was thrown over the heads of the enemy at the start of a battle.  In Wagner's telling, the spear is made from the wood of Yggdrasil.  Weirwood spear thrown over the heads of the enemy, never misses its target? 
 

Below are listed the powers Odin acquired when he learned the runes (went into the weirwood).  As enumerated, Odin and the Weirwoods are basically immune to all forms of attack.  He's got telekinesis, mind-control, healing powers, weather control, fire control, necromancy, he's magic-proof, has super-seduction powers will make your daughters and wives fall in love with him

The Song of Spells

145.
Those songs I know, which nor sons of men
nor queen in a king's court knows;
the first is Help which will bring thee help
in all woes and in sorrow and strife.
(will help you out if you ask him?)

146.
A second I know, which the son of men
must sing, who would heal the sick.

(can heal the sick)

147.
A third I know: if sore need should come
of a spell to stay my foes;
when I sing that song, which shall blunt their swords,
nor their weapons nor staves can wound.

(enemies cannot harm him with weapons)

148.
A fourth I know: if men make fast
in chains the joints of my limbs,
when I sing that song which shall set me free,
spring the fetters from hands and feet.

(cannot be imprisoned)

149.
A fifth I know: when I see, by foes shot,
speeding a shaft through the host,
flies it never so strongly I still can stay it,
if I get but a glimpse of its flight.

(can stop arrows with his mind)

150.
A sixth I know: when some thane would harm me
in runes on a moist tree's root,
on his head alone shall light the ills
of the curse that he called upon mine.

(if you try to cast a spell on him it gets cast on you instead)

151.
A seventh I know: if I see a hall
high o'er the bench-mates blazing,
flame it ne'er so fiercely I still can save it, --
I know how to sing that song.

(can put out fires with his mind)

152.
An eighth I know: which all can sing
for their weal if they learn it well;
where hate shall wax 'mid the warrior sons,
I can calm it soon with that song.

(has mind control powers?)

153.
A ninth I know: when need befalls me
to save my vessel afloat,
I hush the wind on the stormy wave,
and soothe all the sea to rest.

(has weather control powers)

154.
A tenth I know: when at night the witches
ride and sport in the air,
such spells I weave that they wander home
out of skins and wits bewildered.

(counter-warging abilities?)

155.
An eleventh I know: if haply I lead
my old comrades out to war,
I sing 'neath the shields, and they fare forth mightily
safe into battle,
safe out of battle,
and safe return from the strife.

(can protect his fellow warriors)

156.
A twelfth I know: if I see in a tree
a corpse from a halter hanging,
such spells I write, and paint in runes,
that the being descends and speaks.

(has necromancy powers)

157.
A thirteenth I know: if the new-born son
of a warrior I sprinkle with water,
that youth will not fail when he fares to war,
never slain shall he bow before sword.

(can protect warriors from harm)

158.
A fourteenth I know: if I needs must number
the Powers to the people of men,
I know all the nature of gods and of elves
which none can know untaught.

(is omniscient)

159.
A fifteenth I know, which Folk-stirrer sang,
the dwarf, at the gates of Dawn;
he sang strength to the gods, and skill to the elves,
and wisdom to Odin who utters.

(???)

160.
A sixteenth I know: when all sweetness and love
I would win from some artful wench,
her heart I turn, and the whole mind change
of that fair-armed lady I love.

(good with the ladies)

161.
A seventeenth I know: so that e'en the shy maiden
is slow to shun my love.

(still good with the ladies)

162.
These songs, Stray-Singer, which man's son knows not,
long shalt thou lack in life,
though thy weal if thou win'st them, thy boon if thou obey'st them
thy good if haply thou gain'st them.

(man does not know these magical runes and never will, but you wish you knew these runes)

163.
An eighteenth I know: which I ne'er shall tell
to maiden or wife of man
save alone to my sister, or haply to her
who folds me fast in her arms;
most safe are secrets known to but one-
the songs are sung to an end.

(I will never share these magical runes with anyone)

164.
Now the sayings of the High One are uttered in the hall
for the weal of men, for the woe of Jötuns,
Hail, thou who hast spoken! Hail, thou that knowest!
Hail, ye that have hearkened! Use, thou who hast learned!

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On 4/5/2018 at 10:03 AM, By Odin's Beard said:

Except that Freyja has a chariot that is pulled by two cats, she is a dead ringer for Melissandre.

Freyja the fertility goddess sounds more like Garth Greenhand rather than Mel. GRRM does a gender switch there. Fertility irl is associated with women and female goddesses. In AWOIAF, it's male. 

As @The Fattest Leech points out, I think GRRM is being heavily inspired by Norse and other myths rather than creating parallel characters in the books. I was just listening to Neil Gaiman's Norse Mythology audiobook and it was striking how the origin of the world stuff resembled made-up myths in the books. I think GRRM got the ice and fire thing from Norse myths. 

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