Discover the Stories of Odin, Thor and Loki
As part of our Autumn Tales festival this half-term, families can explore Norse mythology in a storytelling session with award-winning author Kevin Crossley-Holland.
In this short blog, Kevin gives us an introduction to mythology…
Thanks to a rather amazing man who lived in Iceland 800 years ago – and who was murdered while he was having a bath! – we know plenty about the gods worshipped by the Vikings.
This man, Snorri, was the first to write down the stories (we call them myths) about how 13 gods and 13 goddesses lived in their green-and-gold realm of Asgard, high above Middle Earth, and how their main enemies were the rock-giants and frost-giants.
Pictured: Christian Krohg, Snorre Sturluson: Heimskringla, J.M. Stenersen & Co, 1899, Wikimedia
Snorri tells us that the gods and goddesses looked after different parts of our lives − our health, our safety, our skills and the living world around us. He describes stunning battles between them and the giants, and how the slippery, fast-talking trickster Loki often got the gods into deep water only to bail them out again, sometimes with the help of the greedy dwarfs.
The myths involve humans and are full of thrilling journeys, running and wrestling and eating and riddle contests, and dazzling magic, and they all take place under the mighty ash tree, Yggdrasill – there’s a mouth-cracking name! – that spreads over the whole of creation.
I’ll be talking about all of this and telling you a few of my own favourite myths at my event on 24 October.
You’ll be meeting Thor, strongest of the gods, swinging his short-handled hammer; and Idun, who looks after the apples of youth; and Loki’s three horrifying children.
All this, and we’ll be riding nine days northward and downward into the freezing, misty world of the dead.
I’ll see you there!