Matt / Odin

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Matt / Odin

Post  The_Dark_1 on Tue Jun 09, 2009 12:35 am

Ok so I know that no one has come on here in like two months but I came across something I thought was really cool and wanted to get it on here before I forgot. I was looking up someone on encyclopediawot.com and there was a mention of a quote from Matt "I was hanged for my knowledge" the footnote said "This is one of Jordan's most direct connections between Mat and Odin from Norse mythology." I thought that's crazy but I wanted to look into the matter because the extent of my knowledge of Odin is what I learned from Marvel Comics.
Well I found out that Odin was hanged from the tree of the world. "In Rúnatal, a section of the Hávamál, Odin is attributed with discovering the runes. He was hung from the world tree, Yggdrasil, while pierced by his own spear for nine days and nights, in order to learn the wisdom that would give him power in the nine worlds." Thats not all ..."Odin has a number of magical artifacts associated with him: the spear Gungnir, which never misses its target; a magical gold ring (Draupnir), from which every ninth night eight new rings appear; and two ravens Huginn and Muninn (Thought and Memory)"
Finally, contrary to Marvel's teachings (who would have thought you couldn't get all your knowledge from comic books) THOR not Odin was the primary among 3 gods. "In this temple, entirely decked out in gold, the people worship the statues of three gods in such wise that the mightiest of them, Thor, occupies a throne in the middle of the chamber; Wotan and Frikko have places on either side. The significance of these gods is as follows: Thor, they say, presides over the air, which governs the thunder and lightning, the winds and rains, fair weather and crops. The other, Wotan—that is, the Furious—carries on war and imparts to man strength against his enemies. The third is Frikko, who bestows peace and pleasure on mortals. His likeness, too, they fashion with an immense phallus.
I know Eric was telling me that Jordan got the idea for the Great Hunt of the Horn from Norse mythology but I guess that wasn't the only thing he took from it.

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Re: Matt / Odin

Post  Eric Gaidin on Sat Jun 13, 2009 9:11 am

That's fantastic. Funny thing is, I'm very familiar with the story of Odin hanging from Yggdrasil yet I never made the connection. By the way, the narrative elements between Odin's hanging and the death of Christ are similar: Odin and Christ both died displayed on wood, and both were pierced by a spear. Christianity started influencing Norse religion by the middle of the first millenium so it's no surprise that we see common elements. Oh, also, to say that Thor was definitively the most powerful or revered of the pantheon is misleading. The Norse religion was extremely dynamic. In certain parts of Scandanavia, like Sweden and northern Denmark, archaelogical and literary evidence--including the frequency of place names-- suggest that Thor was primarily worshipped. However, other parts of the Norse world, primarily western Norway and most-likely Iceland (as shown by the Prose Edda) revered Odin as the chief god. Generally speaking, Thor dominated weather and storms, while Odin was looked upon as an upper-class king. Odin was the god of wisdom and battle, two highly respected social components of Norse culture. So, there is no true answer as to which god was worhsipped above all others, because the religion varied with the time and location. Just to throw another god into the mix, there's a lot of evidence to suggest that Frey, god of fertility, was also extremely prominent--and maybe even the most prominent in some locations. Just to make things a bit more problematic, in some Old Norse poetry Frey controls the wind, rain, and the sun.

My whole point, really, is just to show that the Old Norse religion was not as fixed or as immutable as Christianity was. It varied quite a bit.
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