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The Phoenix Gate

Comment Room Archive

Comments for the week ending November 8, 2015

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BRAINIAC - I'd heard about that, and that it explained the differences between the Marvel take on Norse myths and the regular version of them (such as in the Eddas).

I used to have a trade paperback called "Tales of Asgard" which was a reprint of "back-up stories" for Marvel's "Thor" about Asgard's background, some of which were actual adaptations of Norse myth (such as Thor being given the test of having to break a cup belonging to the frost giant Hymir; it turns out that the only way to break it is to throw it at Hymir's head), though the last few stories were more "Arabian Nights" in tone. One I particularly recalled was the Fenris-wolf trying to eat the goddess Idun and her apples of youth, with Idun wearing a red hooded cloak - and at the end, they reveal that, yes, this was the supposed original of a certain fairy-tale.... Some of the warriors in it, incidentally, looked modelled on knights and warriors in "Prince Valiant" - probably Jack Kirby doing a hommage to Hal Foster's work.

Todd Jensen
Hufflepuffs are really good finders

One theory I've seen floated around is that Odin, Vili and Ve originally weren't separate entities but rather three names or aspect of the same deity.

Todd Jensen> I seem to recall Marvel established Ragnarok as a cyclical event for the Asgardians (from which certain higher beings derived power via the many divine deaths) that was eventually broken. Heck, at least one previous cycle had a red-haired Thor.

*looks over the rest of the comments*

Also, ninth, apparently.

Brainiac - [OSUBrainiac at gmail dot com]
There is balance in all things. Live in symmetry with the world around you. If you must blow things up and steal from those around you, THAT'S WHAT RPGS ARE FOR!

Sounds like Marvel has cheapened Ragnarok - though that's probably an inherent danger of the comic book series medium. (I recall Greg Weisman's comments on how they did the same with "Days of Future Past" for the X-Men.)
Todd Jensen
Hufflepuffs are really good finders

unfortunately the number of times Surtur has broken out to cause destruction on Earth and Asgard means that the whole sealing probably wasn't done properly. Now that I'm thinking about it Surtur always had some great villain quotes, case in point...

"Sons of Muspell, daughters of Fury, demons of the flame, our time has come! Sound the battlecry that all who live may hear it and despair!"

"March to death! March to destruction! March to the fall of the gods! March to Ragnarok!"

From far, from eve and morning, And yon twelve-winded sky, The stuff of life to knit me, Blew hither: here am I. -A.E. Housman

Vili and Ve's disappearance is one of those loose ends in the Norse myths that I've noticed recently in my rereading them. Another is that Odin and his brothers apparently don't have a grandmother. Their grandfather, Buri, is licked out of the ice at the beginning of the world by a giant cow (I'm not making this up), and has a son named Bor - but without any mention of whom he has a son by. At least we're told whom Bor had his sons by (a certain Bestla).

Surtur sealed in Muspellheim until Ragnarok? That did match my speculation (though only the "sealed" part, not how the sealing was done) of why he and his followers wait until Ragnarok before heading out to burn up the nine worlds in an "Incinerate! Incinerate!" mood.

Todd Jensen
Hufflepuffs are really good finders

TODD & ROSS> There was an old Marvel Thor story by Walt Simonson that suggested Villi and Ve sacrificed themselves early in Asgard's history to order to give Odin the power to seal Surtur in Muspelheim until Ragnarok.

I always thought that was neat.


It has always bugged me, ever since I first read about Norse myths, how Vili and Ve just effectively vanish after helping Odin create the world (via murder, like you do). I'd love to see some modern retelling elaborate on what they were up to afterwards. Maybe one of them is the progenitor of the annoyingly-originless Vanir? Or all those Aesir that just randomly pop up in the family tree with parents only vaguely attested to at best? (Looking at you, Frigg.)

Manjusri, Vajrapani, Avalokitesvara, Maitreya, Ksitigarbha, Nivaranavishkambhi, Akasagarbha, and Samantabhadra!
Masterdramon - [kmc12009 at mymail dot pomona dot edu]
"Experimentation and observation - that's all a true scientist cares about. And I am a scientist. Everything in the world is an experimental test subject. Of course, that includes myself as well." - Professor Franken Stein

Vinnie - [tpeano29 at hotmail dot com]

Rhea, Tethys, Themis, Theia, Phoebe, and Mnemosyne.

Also, shouldn't the Hand of Tyr be up there with the Eye of Odin?

Paul - [nampahcfluap at yahoo dot com]

ALGERNON - Thanks for your contribution - and trust Vili and Ve to have the less serious-sounding artifacts. I've been thinking about Norse mythology a lot lately, and couldn't help wondering what happened to those two; they seem to drop out of the story after they and Odin made the world out of Ymir's remains.

(Though there is a story that once, when Odin was away from Asgard for a long while, Vili and Ve decided to run things in his absence - and apparently made themselves a little too much at home there, to Odin's annoyance when he returned. Some months ago, I learned about a very funny Danish graphic novel series called "Valhalla" based on Norse mythology which, along with the better-known myths like the binding of the Fenris-wolf and Thor's visit to Utgard-Loki or dressing up as Freya to get his hammer back, did an adaptation of that legend - including Thor, Loki, and Balder alerting Odin to the poor way Vili and Ve are running things, disguised as three warriors bearing a suspicious resemblance to a trio from Asgard in Marvel Comics. Sadly, "Valhalla" hasn't been translated into English yet - it's been translated into other Scandinavian languages and even Indonesian, but not yet English.)

Todd Jensen
Hufflepuffs are really good finders

Nereus, Thaumas, Phorcys, Ceto, and Eurybia!

Orchid, Bamboo, Chrysanthemum, Plum Blossom!
From far, from eve and morning, And yon twelve-winded sky, The stuff of life to knit me, Blew hither: here am I. -A.E. Housman

The Eye of Odin, The Ear of Vili and the Nose of Vé
'Twas a long time ago, longer now than it seems in a place perhaps you've seen in your dreams. For the story you're about to be told began with the holiday worlds of auld. Now you've probably wondered where holidays come from. If you haven't I'd say it's time you begun.

Todd Jensen
Hufflepuffs are really good finders

"The suspense is terrible, I hope it lasts" -- Willy Wonka