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Todd Jensen writes...

Thanks for the ramble on "Eye of the Storm", Greg! This is another episode that I'm very fond of, especially because of the Norse mythology elements (which I've long been interested in, ever since reading the d'Aulaires' "Norse Gods and Giants" as a boy). While I had from the start taken a strong interest in the Eye of Odin on account of its name, I had not even suspected, before this episode aired, that this really was the very eye that Odin had given up for a drink from Mimir's well. And the revelation that it was definitely excited me.

I'd suspected that the Sturlissons were named after Snorri for some time; thanks for confirming it for me.

This episode answered one question that I'd had about the Eye for some time. I'd noticed the dark effect that it had had upon Fox and the Archmage, but I also knew that both of them had been "bad guys" before they ever donned it. So I was wondering what impact the Eye would have upon a "good person" who donned it, and whether it would corrupt them or not. This episode definitely answered my question, and made it clear that nobody was safe with the Eye except for Odin himself.

(As I mentioned in an earlier remark here, the Eye in this episode reminds me a bit of the One Ring in "The Lord of the Rings". Odin is attempting to recover his Eye for (more or less) the same reason that Sauron was attempting to recover the Ring; much of his power had passed out of it when he parted with it, and he needed to regain it to recover his old strength. And the impact that the Eye had on Goliath paralleled the element of how anybody who would try to use the Ring to defeat Sauron would become corrupted enough by it to become almost another Sauron. There's even the "eye imagery" in both cases. Of course, a major difference between the two stories is that giving the Eye back to Odin turned out to be the right thing to do - not to mention that Sauron definitely wouldn't have apologized to Frodo afterwards for all the trouble that he'd caused in trying to get the Ring back.)

I still find it a bit ironic that Odin would be ruefully admitting, at the end, that he was out of practice in dealing with mortals; in the original Norse myths, he was the only one of the Aesir who regularly interacted with humans much. All the other gods seemed to have dealings mainly with the other mythical races (dwarves, frost giants, etc.); Odin alone took part in human actions, often turning up in the human-centered sagas in his "old wanderer" disguise (such as thrusting the sword meant for Sigmund and Sigurd in the pillar of the Volsungs' hall, advising Sigurd on the correct means of slaying Fafnir, or engaging in a riddle-game with King Heidrek and winning when he asked a riddle - "What did Odin whisper in the ear of his dead son Balder?" - that only he knew the answer to). I can't help but think that if Odin's getting rusty in dealing with mortals, it's a good thing that Goliath and Co. didn't run into any of the other Norse gods while they were in Norway.

As I've also mentioned before, I was initially a bit disturbed by both Odin and the "Odinized Goliath" wearing horned helmets, since the series had shown earlier, in its character designs for Hakon and his Viking followers, that Vikings didn't actually wear those helmets, so my response was one of "The animators know better than that." I've come to accept this more, however, since both Odin and Goliath are "fantasy beings" rather than human Norsemen, and could be expected to dress more in accordance with popular notions about how Vikings dressed.

I hadn't picked up on the callousness of how Goliath spoke of transporting Bronx and Angela, but I did notice a couple of other acts of Goliath's while wearing the Eye which did, for me, serve as "danger signals". One was the way that he spoke when he was eagerly talking about seeing the sun for the first time; he delivered it in a very "over-the-top" fashion, almost straight out of Sevarius's style. (Though "over-the-top" in a good acting way, of course.) The other came when he, while reassuring Elisa that he was under control, patted her on the head in a very patronizing fashion.

(One thing that I'd really like to know was how conscious Goliath was of his motivations. Was he aware that his goal was to dispose of Odin so as to remove his chief rival claimant to the Eye, or did he believe that he was doing it to protect Elisa and the others, with his true motives buried deep below the surface without his being conscious of them?)

Perhaps the one thing about Odin getting his eye back that I find a bit of a pity is that his having one eye (and, as per the cartoon, in the original Norse myths, this was a feature that he had no matter what form he took on) was a major distinguishing feature of his; Odin having two eyes again feels to me, well, just a bit like Owen's stone hand returning to normal. But it certainly provided a great way to write the Eye of Odin out of the series.

Greg responds...

I don't think the Eye-influenced Goliath was very self-aware at all.

As for Odin regaining his eye, I'll admit to a pang or two visually. But change is inevitable, and I think that the difference is that we KNOW Odin as one-eyed. Giving him back his eye is in fact change. Giving Owen back his hand is not allowing change.

Or at least that's how it feels to me.

Response recorded on September 01, 2006