Shockingly, I’m a World of Warcraft nerd. In past expansions of the game, I’ve enjoyed Blizzard’s integration of Norse myth into its universe — particularly with the Ulduar raid.The most recent expac (Legion) dives back into Norse myth.
So, I thought it’d be fun to note a few examples / references to Norse myths that I’ve seen so far.
- Aegira: I play a monk. Aegira is integral to one of my quest lines & ends up being one of my followers. She’s a “brewmaster.” In Norse myth, Aegir had a cauldron (fetched by Thor from a giant named Hymir) in which he brewed mead for the Aesir.
- Egyl the Enduring: Possibly a reference to the Icelandic poet/skald Egil (“Egil’s Saga”).
- Fathnyr: Refers to Fafnir, brother of Andvari and Regin who, in Reginsmol, murders his father Hreithmar. Fafnir somehow became a dragon, as you do, and was subsequently killed by Sigurd in the Fafnismol.
- Havi: One of the names associated with Odin in the Havamal. It means “High One.”
- Helya: This is Hel, of course. In WoW, she’s the body-double for Ursula (yes, from The Little Mermaid) which is both weird, funny and not at all true to the myths.
- Naglfar: The “Nail Ship” is made from the fingernails and toenails of dead men and women — cutting the nails of the deceased before they are interred means that fewer nails get to Helheim. Therefore, it’ll take Hel longer to build the ship. Once finished, Naglfar is the ship on which the dead, along with Loki and several others sail to Asgard at Ragnarok.
- Huginn: “Thought,” one of Odin’s ravens.
- Muninn: “Memory,” Odin’s other raven. He sends both ravens out at dawn to scour the realms for information; they come back at night.
- Nithogg (and his brood): “The One Full of Striking Hatred,” is a dragon of death in the Voluspa. Due to drinking blood and eating corpses, Nithogg has serious halitosis issues. This dragon lives thru Ragnarok.
- Odyn: Odin, the Alfather. In Legion, Odyn has a full, glowing beard of fiery hot magma.
- Runelord Ragnar, Floki, Lagertha (fallen Val’kyra): All three are references to Vikings the TV show (History channel), as well as to Norse myth and sagas.
- Val’kyr: The valkyrie are the “choosers of the slain.” Contrary to the image of beautiful spear maidens riding winged steeds, an older interpretation/conception suggests that valkyr were vicious, demonic creatures related to the disir (female spirits).
- Vydhar: Found in a land “Filled with growing trees | and high-standing grass” (Grimnismol, 17), Vidar is a son of Odin — and one of my book’s main characters. In a jaw-dropping moment (mine, not someone else’s) I came across Vydhar in Stormheim. He’s a tree. My jaw dropped b/c in my BK3 I had Vidar turn into a tree. Once I saw that same idea in WoW: Legion, I ditched my idea and found another, better one. It’s better b/c it ties more directly to him as a character and what he gets up to. Saying anything more would be teh spoilerz!
- Yotnar: Or Jotnar, which is the plural form of Jotunn. As a name for a dude, it’s a little silly, but so are gnomes dancing. In a good way.
- Ymiron (the fallen king): Obviously a riff on Ymir, the Jotunn progenitor.
Many of those listed above inhabit Stormheim (Home of Storms) which also features a really cool, humongous statue of Thorim, I think (have to double check). One of the new dungeons is the Halls of Valor; it has a whole Valhol thing going on, including a glowing golden bridge up to where Odyn’s waiting for you to comb his magma beard.
Hymdall (Heimdall) is the first boss in the “Halls of Valor” dungeon which is fitting because he guards the main gate to the halls. He’s also a huge PITA. Fenryr (Fenrir, one of Loki’s sons) is another boss in that dungeon.
Anybody playing the game catch names/places that I haven’t included?