Peter Nicolai Arbo - The Battle of Stamford Bridge (1870)

The Battle of Stamford Bridge and the End of the Viking Age

The Battle of Stamford Bridge on 25 September 1066 is generally considered to be the final ending point of the Viking Age. Of course, like the “beginning” of the Viking Age, the pillage of the monastery at Lindisfarne in 793 CE which was just a more famous version of things that had already been happening, […]Read Post ›

Dresdener Bilderhandschrift des Sachselspiegels, hrsg. v. Karl v. Amira, Leipzig 1902, Neudruck hrsg. v. Heinrich Lück, Graz 2002

The Duel of Father and Son in Hildebrandslied

The Hildebrandslied is one of the oldest literary works in German (Old High German, specifically), and is a famous tale of a warrior facing his son on the battlefield. It’s a heroic epic poem, like Beowulf, though of course Beowulf is Anglo-Saxon, telling a story that happened in Denmark, so the fact that we have here a German […]Read Post ›


Heathen Iron-Beard Stands Up To Christian King Olaf

I’ve shared several poems from Henry Wadsworth Longfellow now, and it’s a good tradition to continue. This poem is from his collection Tales of a Wayside Inn, which is a series of stories written as if they were stories told by travelers at an inn, only preserved as poems by Longfellow. This poem, seventh in the […]Read Post ›

The Catatumbo Lightning is an atmospheric phenomenon in Venezuela. It occurs only over the mouth of the Catatumbo River where it empties into Lake Maracaibo. The frequent, powerful flashes of lightning over this relatively small area are considered to be the world's largest single generator of tropospheric ozone. Photo by Fernando Flores, 31 October 2015.

Thor: (The Sound of) Thunder

  A year ago, I covered Thor’s relationship to Thunder. I think the phrase “God of Thunder” is a touch misleading, because when you’re the god of X, people pray to you hoping that you’ll give them X. It seems silly, though, to think that anyone would ask a god to bring them thunder and […]Read Post ›

Journey Into Mystery 83, the first appearance of Thor, cover art by the legendary Jack Kirby and Joe Sinnott

Journey Into Mystery With The Mighty Thor!

Comic books, that is, artwork set alongside text, published in sequential form to tell a story, have been around as an artform for a while, going on almost two hundred years. They weren’t always about superheroes – the earliest American comics were tales of romance and comedy. As publication methods became more favorable for the […]Read Post ›

Bridge over the canyon at the Skocjan Caves in Slovenia

Wardruna’s Helvegen – Who Shall Sing Me Into the Death-Sleep?

Everyone dies. Each of us must face our own death. We each must live with the fact that people we know will die. Even those we love the most die, our friends, our siblings, our parents, even, sometimes, our children. Eventually, everyone dies. Death is many different things to many different people, and is treated […]Read Post ›


Thor, Supreme Commander of the Asgard Fleet

Since today is the twentieth anniversary of the premier of Stargate SG-1, let’s celebrate with a post about that show’s connection to Norse mythology. And the biggest badass in the history of that show (Morena Baccarin notwithstanding), Supreme Commander Thor of the Asgard. Just to catch you up: in 1994 there was a movie, Stargate, […]Read Post ›

Lava at Bardarbunga and volcanic gasses (Photo: Ragnar Axelsson/ Morgnebladid)

Fire and Ice by Robert Frost

Ragnarok is on my mind a great deal lately. Obviously the trailers for Marvel’s Thor: Ragnarok continue to entertain, but the summer in the southern US is particularly oppressive this year, and the global temperatures this year have remained alarmingly warm. Feels like Surt’s striking up the anvil for the end times. Robert Frost doesn’t […]Read Post ›

Tom Hiddleston as Loki in Thor: The Dark World

Loki Solves Your Problems When The Aesir Fail

The Faroe Islands, halfway between Iceland and Norway, an autonomous territory of Denmark, have their own culture with deep roots in seafaring and the literature of the Viking age. One particularly noteworthy product of this culture was a series of ballads (kvæði) that have survived generations beyond the original inspiration. Below is one of the most […]Read Post ›

Harald Fairhair Statue in Haugesund, Norway

Harald, The King with the Glorious Hair

Harald Fairhair, son of Halfdan the Black, is known as the king who unified Norway during the Viking Age. Like much of the Viking Age, history during this time is sketchy, but tales of Harald survived and were eventually written down. We know Harald best of all through sagas and through poetry, and so we […]Read Post ›