- For the book by Neil Gaiman, see Norse Mythology (book).
|Creator:||Snorri Sturluson, other Viking & medieval Scandinavians|
|Date(s):||9th–13th century, or earlier|
|Country of Origin:||Scandinavia|
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Norse mythology refers to the myths of Scandinavia, and is also known as Scandinavian myth or Icelandic myth. They tell of the gods of the Aesir & Vanir and their conflict with each other and with the Jotunn (sometimes translated as "giants"), plus a cast of heroes, shield-maidens, crones, dwarves, elves, dragons, wolves, serpents, talking birds & a great big tree, and feature shape-shifting, gender swapping, crossdressing & male pregnancy, and lots of fighting, feasting, drinking & sex. Several characters in Norse mythology are in possession of or have access to magical weapons or mythological objects, sometimes even both.
Most of the texts were written down in Iceland in the 13th century, after the area had converted to Christianity, but often originate in much earlier oral tradition. The main texts are the Prose Edda & Ynglinga saga by Snorri Sturluson, the anonymous Poetic Edda, and skaldic poetry by various poets. These are supplemented by numerous Sagas of Icelanders. Despite the lack of a single source text, it is sometimes considered a rarelit fandom.
Other Media Sources
Since the 19th century, numerous sources have rewritten Norse myths, used Norse characters or borrowed other elements.
- Parts of Norse myth form the basis of Richard Wagner's Ring Cycle (1869–76)
- Tolkien borrowed liberally from Icelandic sagas
- The Weirdstone of Brisingamen by Alan Garner (1960) also borrows Norse elements
- Marvel Comics included Loki & Thor as recurring characters from 1962
- Eight Days of Luke by Diana Wynne Jones (1975)
- Life, the Universe and Everything by Douglas Adams features Thor (1982)
- Ragnarok manhwa (1995), Ragnarok Online MMORPG (2002) & Ragnarok the Animation anime (2004)
- Stargate SG-1 (1997–2007)
- American Gods by Neil Gaiman (2001); there are also Norse elements in Gaiman's earlier Sandman series
- The Mythical Detective Loki Ragnarok manga/anime (2002–4)
- Supernatural includes some Norse elements (2005– )
- The Almighty Johnsons tv series (2011–13)
- The Avengers & Thor films (2011– )
- Ragnarok: The End of the Gods, a novel by A. S. Byatt (2011)
- Norse Mythology (book) by Neil Gaiman retells several stories from Norse mythology (2017)
- Professional Wrestling promotion CHIKARA brought in the Eye of Tyr, presented as a Norse Mythological artifact that could be used to control minds
- ...and many others (see Wikipedia for a long list)
Norse mythology was a small fandom under the rarelit umbrella. It has increased significantly in popularity with the release of Thor (2011) & subsequent Avengersverse films; the first crossover with Thor appeared in a few months before the film's premiere. As of 2013 it remained small enough to qualify for Yuletide, where it's been a staple since 2005.
The most popular character in fanworks is the trickster Loki from the Jotunn, lord of fire & mischief. His popularity pre-dates the Marvel films but the fan acclaim for Hiddleston's version hasn't done it any harm, even though the characters are little alike. Other major characters include the one-eyed Odin the Allfather & his son Thor of the famous hammer, Freyja (the only Vanir to get much attention), Loki's wife Sigyn & his children with the Jotunn Angrboða, especially Hel & Fenrir, Odin's wife Frigg and their son Baldr, and Thor's wife Sif. The Valkyries, the Norns & Yggdrasil also turn up in canon works & crossovers. Most pairings include Loki, who is usually portrayed as omnisexual. Odin/Loki was relatively common before the Marvel films; subsequently there's been a rise in both Loki/Sigyn and Loki/Thor. The rare examples of femslash often involve a female-Loki.
Lots of works play up the gender-bending and just plain weird aspects of the original myths, while many darkfics focus on Ragnarok, the Norse apocalypse. Before the Marvel films, the majority of works were set in the canon universe, although some works used a modern setting, generally with the conceit that gods/Jotunn are immortal (as opposed to a modern AU). Valhalla & Hel, the Norse versions of the afterlife, sometimes appear in crossovers with other fandoms.
Many fanworks in American Gods, Eight Days of Luke and Wagner's Ring Cycle fall within the general mythverse, while some Marvel film stories draw on elements of the myth that don't appear in the films. Crossovers with Supernatural are also relatively common, as are those with other myths/religions including Greek myth and the Bible.
- Raven Father by lferion. Odin-centric poem (1997)
- Thor's Treasure by Anne B. An early piece of online slash archived at Slash Cotillion. Loki/Thor (2001 or earlier)
- (some say the world will) End in Fire by Gloria Mundi. Odin/Loki (2004)
- will end in fire by ghost_lingering. Widely recommended Eight Days of Luke story that fuses with the Norse canon underpinning (2004)
- Trickster's Game by Alchemine. The earliest Yuletide non-crossover (2005)
- The Big Sleep by fresne. An early example of a modern setting. Loki/everyone (2006)
- just a trick of the light by barrowjane: There is a man sitting by himself, at the table by the window. (This is the story of a trick. Now pay attention.) (2009)
- A Game of Shapes by Bagheera. Ensemble quest story featuring shape-shifting; widely recommended (2010)
- Lokakvitha by vocal_bard. Dark Loki/Thor (2010)
- Faithful Sigyn by Fialleril. One of many Loki/Sigyn in the cave stories (2011)
- Victorious girl-friend by fennishjournal. A lighter look at Loki/Sigyn (2012)
- Odinstattur by Neotoma. Crossdressing, penis stealing humour. Odin/Loki (2012)
- Who Gathers All Things Mortal by raspberryhunter. Hel-centric, gen (2013)
- Three Sentence Fics: Norse Mythology by Zdenka. Fills based on Norse mythology for caramelsilver's 3 Sentence Ficathon (2016)
- The Saga of Three-Bodied Loki by chiefson contains two works so far: Loki's Last Trick (2017) and Loki's New Life (2018–?)
As of January 29, 2020, at least two Incorrect Quotes-blogs based solely on characters and events from Norse mythology are active on tumblr:
- Norse Mythology at ff.net (300 works as of June 4, 2019)
- Norse Religion & Lore tag at AO3 (2058 works as of June 4, 2019, swamped by Marvelverse)
- asgardkinks_ita – kink meme (Italian)
- asgardlibrary – fan fiction, fan art, songs, poems
- doomofthekinks – kink meme
- norse-mythology – discussion, occasional fanfiction
- Espresso Recommendations: Norse mythology
- Norse Mythology on TV Tropes
- The Politics of Retelling Norse Mythology by Lisa L. Hannet (2017)
- Dwarves (and possibly elves) originate in Norse myth.
- Movie Night by khilari, posted to Archive of Our Own on 18 January 2011
- On FanFiction.Net (which has a separate category for the Marvel films), the most popular characters as of 17 August 2014 are Loki (139), Sigyn (41), Thor (39), Odin (32), Hel (30), Fenrir (18).
- In canon, Loki has sex with a stallion while in the form of a mare and gives birth to the eight-legged stallion Sleipnir.