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in: Manly Knowledge, Podcast

April 15, 2019 Last updated: April 16, 2019

Podcast #499: A Fascinating Primer on Norse Mythology

The world of Norse mythology and legend is a thoroughly fascinating one, and my guest has captured it in all its compelling mystery in his book which retells those stories, called Tales of Valhalla. His name is Martyn Whittock and today he takes us on a gripping tour of Norse culture and myth.

We begin the show discussing who the Norse people were, and the misconceptions people commonly have about them, including associating them exclusively with Vikings. We also talk about misconceptions about the Vikings themselves, and what it really meant to be a Viking. We then get into why it’s hard to completely recapture Norse myths and rituals as they were originally known. Martyn then unfolds the Norse creation story, offers interesting snapshots of the major Norse gods, including Odin, Thor, and Loki, and explains what Ragnarok was all about. We end our conversation discussing Norse sagas, and how Norse culture continues to influence our modern culture today.

Show Highlights

  • Who were the Norse? What misconceptions do we have about them?
  • The worldwide reach of the Norse people
  • What about Vikings? Who were they?
  • How do we know about the Norse people and myths?
  • Were there rituals or even canons associated with these North myths?
  • The Norse take on the creation of the gods and the universe  
  • Why this mythology is so complex
  • The very human traits of the Norse gods 
  • Short primers on the primary gods and their characters
  • Why (and how) Odin came to overshadow the other gods 
  • The curious and complex nature of Loki the trickster god  
  • The dark and ever-present shadow of Ragnarok 
  • What were the sagas of Norse mythology? Why were they written in the first place?
  • Influences of Norse mythology in our modern world and culture 

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