Norse Mythology Neil Gaiman Review – Five Great Stories
13 June 2018
Book Category: Fictional
Norse Mythology Neil Gaiman Review
The book, Norse Mythology Neil Gaiman review is exactly like the title says it’s about. Norse mythology. Have you heard of it? You probably have and you’d be surprised at how similar Marvel’s Avengers and Thor movies relate closely to the stories in this book. The premise of Norse Mythology is a retelling of the original text entitled Poetic Eddas written from 1000 to 1300 C.E. It focuses mostly on the adventures of the gods Odin, Thor, and Loki.
I was extremely pleased with the introduction explaining Gaiman’s interest in the Norse mythologies. He was specifically interested in telling about the three characters I mentioned above. I guess that makes sense since those characters are most familiar to us thanks to Marvel. His interest in Norse mythology originally came from Stan Lee and Jack Kirby’s Thor comics. Fun stuff!
It is Fun!
Although my rating for this book is fairly low I have to say I enjoyed it. I enjoyed it because it was simple and hilarious because of some of the situations the gods put themselves in. The fact that Gaiman put a lot of research into the Poetic Eddas shows his passion for the topic. He wrote it for a reason, I think not just to entertain but also to educate us about the Norse Mythologies. He crafted it, although many stories put together, in a seamlessly flowing manner from story to story as if it were one connected story. In this Norse Mythology Neil Gaiman review I’ll cover over five of the best stories in this book and leave you with an Amazon link if you decide to buy it.
Norse Mythology Neil Gaiman Review – Five Great Mythological Stories
Story One: The Treasures of the Gods
The story opens up quite hilariously where Thor’s wife, Sif, wakes up without hair. Thor immediately assumes it was Loki who cut her hair off. Thor then goes off and threatens to torture Loki in the most severe way possible. Like always in this book Loki devises a quick plan to save his own neck. Literally. He goes to the most creative dwarfs to recreate Sif’s golden hair even more beautifully. He even promised to have the dwarfs make a gift for all the gods.
This is the story where Thor gets his famous hammer, Mjollnir. By the end, all the gods were pleased with Loki’s performance in providing these gifts. The dwarfs saved his ass from being crushed by Thor.
Story Two: The Master Builder
This is the story where the gods get a wall built for them but almost losing Freya, one of the well-respected goddesses from Vanir, the sun, and the moon in the process. A mortal stranger shows up alongside his mighty horse and offers the gods to build a wall for them in one season to keep out the trolls and giants from entering Asgard. His reward would be what I mentioned above.
Loki insists that they take up the offer since it’s impossible for any mortal to build a wall that big in that short a period of time. They agree but ends up this mortal’s horse has some special strength to carry tons of rocks to build walls quickly. He is also not who he appears to be. He comes within just a day of finishing the complete wall when Odin orders Loki to figure out a way to interfere discreetly otherwise the gods will kill him.
Hilariously Loki shapeshifts into a chestnut mare to attract the builder’s horse away from the builder. The builder’s horse was so attracted to the mare, who was Loki, that they went off together and made babies. The builder was unable to finish the wall without his horse.
Loki was not seen for nine months and when he came back he had an eight-legged grey foal in tow. The foal followed Loki wherever he went as if he were its mother, which was actually the case. The foal became Odin’s horse, the fastest horse alive.
Story Three: Freya’s Unusual Wedding
I guess in this Norse Mythology Neil Gaiman Review there are tons of unusual parts such as the time Thor had to unwillingly dress up in a wedding gown with a veil to hide his identity. The gown was even stuffed to make him look more like a woman. Thrym, the lord of all orges, stole Thor’s hammer and asked for Freya’s hand in return of Thor’s hammer. Hence Thor dressing up like Freya in a bride’s gown to trick Thrym and get his hammer back.
Story Four: The Last Days of Loki
The gods finally get fed up with Loki’s continuous mischievous actions and banned him from entering Asgard. The gods have an agreement that they cannot kill Loki so they devise a plan to capture him and trap him forever until Ragnarok.
Story Five: Ragnarok: The Final Destiny of the Gods
Ragnarok (Armageddon) still has not come. The unique part of this chapter that I really loved was that I was written in the future tense as if telling about things that are still to come. So if you believe in Norse mythology then Ragnarok is still coming for you. The battle scenes are the most epic which leaves you with a great climax and thankfully a positive ending.
In this ending, you find that after much destruction there is the birth of new life. Not all is lost and there is hope for a better future without the previous mistakes of the foolish and careless gods.
Norse Mythology Neil Gaiman Review Final Thoughts
Although this book was not really what I was expecting after I bought it I was pleasantly surprised at how well researched and pieced together the old stories were. These are extremely old stories which Gaiman took and recreated in a modern novel format keeping some of the original flow of writing. It’s simple yet fun to read. Because of its simplicity, it’s a book which will take you no time to get through.
Thanks for reading and hope you enjoyed it.
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