February 6th, 2007, 12:37 pm
We have, in the potterwerse, two names borrowed directly from norse mythology. Fenrir Greyback and the Granian horse.
Are there any more connections hidden in the HP books?
February 7th, 2007, 5:16 pm
I think we can also count the winged boars on Hogwarts gate as well.
One of the Norse myths has Eitri (Sindri) forging a boar at the hearth with Brokkr (after a bet with Loki). Brokkr then gave this boar (Gullinbursti) to Freya. In the Prose Edda it says that "...to Freyr he gave the boar, saying that it could run through air and water better than any horse...". No mention of actual wings, but running through the sky sounds an awful lot like flying to me.
Some interesting quick links:
Also: http://www.timelessmyths.com/norse/ (for a more complete set of norse myths)
March 8th, 2007, 3:31 am
Maybe you could be a little more specific about the similiarities that you see. I would like to know more about Norse mythology.
March 8th, 2007, 5:12 am
Could "grendel" and "grindelwald" be a relation?
I know zero about Norse mythology, so I'm posing this as more of a question than anything. I realize there's german roots to Grindelwald, but could it be a double reference?
March 8th, 2007, 1:25 pm
As Beowulf isn't exactly Norse, I dug up an old thread, renamed and moved it to this subforum.
Harry Potter and the Beowulf saga (http://www.cosforums.com/showthread.php?t=98653)
Kindly continue about Beowulf there. :)
March 9th, 2007, 2:41 am
Thanks Alastor D, I deleted my message and reposted there. (Sorry, all, for the confusion.)
April 9th, 2007, 9:41 pm
As far as names, Sybil was the Norse seer who forsaw many of the events in the Norse Canon, and the Divination Prof at Hogwarts.
I've wanted to do some looking at the possibility of the Harry Potter Endgame battle being a reflection of Ragnarok, the final battle of Norse Aseir Gods and the forces of Chaos led by Loki. This is where Fenrir comes from - the monsterous wolf child of Loki. He also has Jormungandr the giant venomous serpant and an army of giants and reanimated dead from the realm of Hel (different from Hell).
So obviously i'm looking at Loki as a Voldemort character with his army including Grayback, Nagini, Giants, Inferi and Death Eaters.
As for the Order resembling the Aseir, there's also possibilities. Odin, the father of the Norse gods has potential to be represented by a few characters. Clearly Dumbledore, as the leader of the Order has paralells. Arthur Weasley may also being the father of the huge family.
Even Luna Lovegood has some likeness in Odin. Oden hung himself upsidedown from the tree of life to read runes that would bring clarity. This altered perspective gave him great wisdom. Luna's introduction is while reading runes in an upsidedown Quibbler. She is in Ravenclaw - so very bright - and generally sees outside the box (and is often right about it).
A bit of a reach: Odin was known for his weapon, a giant spear called Gungnir. The Arthurian relic of the Spear of Destiny has come to be represented in playing and Tarot cards as the club or Wand. Some think Rowena Ravenclaw's Wand will be the unknown Ravenclaw horcrux item - if it represents the Spear, and Luna represents Odin she may factor in the end battle. Odin also took the form of two ravens, Thought and Memory, during times of war. If Ravenclaw is to have their day, this could be a good bet how.
Thor is a red haired God of Thunder. This could be Harry with his lighting bolt scar, his emotions and temper, and his broomsticks (the Nimbus and the Firebolt). At Ragnarok Thor defeats the serpant Jormunganrd after a long battle, walks 9 paces and keels over dead from the venom of the beast. Thor is Odin's son and generally the second in the hierarchal canon of the Aesir gods.
Other Thor possibilities - Hagrid who was, like Thor, the product of a Giantess mother. Ron with his red hair. Reinforced by the Arthur-as-Odin (Alfather) imagry, because Thor was his son. If Odin is Arthur, the saga says Odin battles Fenrir the Wolf and is ultimately swallowed. Odin's son Vidar comes forth and avenges his father's death bracing a foot clad in a magic boot on the wolf's lower jaw and prying the top of the jaw upward.
The warrior afterlife in Valhalla (Hall of the Slain) may be a paralell to the Death Chamber in the Dept of Mysteries. The slain warriors of Valhalla feast in the hall until the call for battle is sounded by the golden cock Gullinkambi. Then they perticipate in the battle.
The battle of Ragnarok is to be proceeded by a three year period of endless winter called Fimbulwinter. This period was to start upon the death of Balder the god of innocence and joy. I associate him with Sirius, the innocent outlaw with a joyful bark-like laugh. As the result of a prophetic dream of Balder's death, his mother made everything on earth promise it would not harm Balder. Everything promissed except for mistletoe - she thought it too insignificant/young to bother asking. I associate this with Harry who was considered by Dumbledore to be yet too young to be burdened with the secret of the prophecy. Loki, whom i feel associates with Voldemort, found out about the oversight and tricked Balder's blind brother Hodr into throwing a mistletoe spear at Balder, killing him. Often we see that Harry shared a brotherly relationship with Serius, and his ignorance could be his blindness - perhaps there is some parallel here. Harry was tricked by Voldemort, as in turn was Sirius tricked into coming out of hiding, which lead to his death. The mistletoe is foreshadowed in the Room of Requirements Holiday decorations as well though Luna specualtes that it is less than harmless.
Another idea would be Cedric as a Balder image of innocence and beauty. His death was facilitated through the trickery of the Tri-Wizard Cup portkey - something he and Harry both thought harmless. In this way Harry is the blind brother Hodr again. And the death of Cedric spurs the start of the 3 year Fimbulwinter which runs the rest of the series until the endgame in book 7.
The pre-battle also features giants approaching from the south tearing earth and sky. Surtur wields his fiery sword of revenge and as he and his forces cross over the rainbow bridge Bifrost, it cracks and breaks behind them. This could easilly be all the signs we see in The Other Minister chapter at the top of Book 6. The unseasonable hurricane in the southwest with suspected work of Giants. The unexplainable collapse of the Brockdale bridge. And if Surtur has paralells Death Eaters, they'd want vengence on many including Madame Bones who likely put many of them in prison.
I have to take a look at my copy of the Eddas and see if there's anything more.
May 24th, 2007, 3:17 am
I think i figured this out. JKRowling uses Viking mythology in her books. someone may have already opsted this, but i may (or not) have new information. I was reading from a book called Mythology of the World by Neil Phillip and i found this quote
"The was one god, Loki, the shape-changing trickster, who belonged to neither the Aesir nor the Vanir. He was a joker whose pranks slowly turned sour. He engineered the death of Balder (the Beautiful) and prevented him from being brought back to lihe. Hel, the underworld godess, would not release Balder unless everyone wept for him, and Loki refused. Loki's origins are unclear, but in the battle of Ragnarok his allegiance stood with the giants. He had three children- the world serpent Jormungand, the blue-faced goddess of the underworld, Hel, and the wolf Fenrir- by the giantess Angrboda" (pg 57).
well does this remind you of ANYONE?
It reminds me of Voldemort
Lets see, first of all Voldemort is shape-changing in two ways. One way is he has actually shape changed (from Querills (sp? sry) head in Philosopher's Stone and to his human form). And the other form is he lives in his Horcruxes, which are objects, therefore in a weird way, he shape-changes.
Now in Viking Mythology, Aesir was the side of gods which dealt with war. Vanir was the side of gods who dealt with peace and fertility. So though this sounds slightly disantly linked, Aesir can be the side of pure-bloods and Vanir can be the side of Muggles (you can switch it around if you like, I don't have reasons for giving them those roles, but I'm sure JK does). Now Loki belonged to neither side, making him half blood. Does this make sense?
Or it could be that Aesir can be pure-bloods and Vanir can be half-bloods. Voldemort doesn't like is half-blood heritage, but will never be a pure blood. So he belongs to neither. I think this makes for sense than the previous paragraph for two reasons. 1.because in the previous paragraph Voldemort would have to belong to both sides, not neither. 2.because the Vanir want peace, just like half-bloods don't want war.
Now he engineered the death of Balder the Beautiful, the son of Odin and Frigg and brother of Thor. (by the way, Thor in Viking God lingo means lighting and is also the origin of the world Thursday).Now my first guess is Dumbledore, though it doesn't seem to make since. Balder could be any of the people Voldemort killed. I'm sure the part about Hel, the goddess, has something to do with Harry Potter, but I'm not sure what.
It said that Loki's origins were unclear. Now this doesn't seem like it could relate to Voldemort, but I just thought of some weird, far-fetched idea. Maybe Loki's origins were unclear, to himself. Voldemort never knew much of his heritage until he got the chance to reserach. But like I said, this seems very far-fetched.
Now here is the part that made me certain of Viking Mythology's link to Harry Potter because everything else seems a little far-fetched. Now Loki had three children, a serpent (NAGINI!!!!! SNAKES!!!!! SLYTHERIN!!!! Need I say more), the goddess of the underworld, Hel (we have yet to firgure that out), and Fenrir, the wolf. Now Fenrir, where does that word sound familiar from. FENRIR GREYBACK. The evil werewolf who tries to kill and turn young children into werewolves.
Now there is something else I found in this book on page 56
"The wolf Fenrir was bound with a magic chain by the gods when it became to strong for them to control. To gain Fenrir's trust, the god Tyr put his hand into the wolf's mouth, but it was bitten off. At the final battle of Ragnarok Fenrir killed both Odin and Tyr before swalling the sun".
Odin was Balder's father and Tyr's father and Thor's father. Now Odin is considered the father of Gods. So in HP this would probably have to be a very powerful wizard who has many people who trust him. Odin also had one for offspring (gender unknown) named Heimdall. All of these were children of Odin and Frigg (probably the origin of the word Friday).
Now I would assume that Odin would be relating to Dumbledore and not Balder the Beautiful (who is a man, by the way). Frigg is an unknown person (unless you guys can take better guesses). Maybe McGonagall. Not i'm not emplying a love here, but a bond of trust and friendship between the two, thus PARENTING and MOLDING their "children". Now all of Dumbledore's "children" must be cosely linked to DD and molded my DD. My guess is Thor is Harry, DD's "right hand man" along with the fact that Thor means lightning (god of). Heimball and Balder are unknow and all we know of Balder is that he is dead and "beautiful".
Now Tyr must have been killed with Odin, so the HP "Tyr" must have been killed with DD and afterwards Fenrir Greyback "swallowed the sun". Now this must be some horrible deed of Greybacks that leaves no hope for the wizards world. So the 7th book must be pretty scary at the beggining. Maybe the closed down Hogwarts after the death of DD and Fenrir on the loose. It's probably something worse. Maybe he's managed to tear apart the Ministry. That would cause Chaos (that goes back to Greek and Roman Mythology. Weel not really, but its a coincidence). And that would make sure there is no Minister. If JKRowling has said that there will be new minister, sorry.
So while this "undoes" my theory of Aesirs being purebloods and supposedly bad, its very interesting. Now it also says in this book that Vikings gave many rights to women. Well in this case the women in the Viking world would apply to House-Elves in the Wizard world. They are the cleaners, the servants, the cooks, etc... (i'm not trying to be anti-feminist, that's how it was BACK THEN). Maybe this forshadows what will happen after the war.
And I have a feeling that House-Elves would side with Order of Pheonix side because Pure-bloods are the oppressing ones and half-bloods are probably more liberal one these sorts of things.
Okay, I just found out that Ygg (the root, maybe of the word yggdrasil which is the tree that was the center of the universe which linked the world of gods, giants, and men/the dead) means terrible. This also happens to be another name for Odin, the Father of all gods, who i just linked as dumbledore. This is getting really confusing.
It also says in the book that "The Warriors of Valhalla (Odin's great hall) were called Einheriar, 'those who fight alone'. They only left Valhalla to fight in the mythical final battle of Ragnarok, when the warriors and the gods fought the powers of the underworld." (pg 58).
So first of all, thes battle of Ragnarok must have been a pretty important battle seeing as its the FINAL battle. I think this is more than just sheer conincidence like the Mark Evans incedent.
It also says that Odin was the god of battle, the dead, poerty, inspiration, and magic. Odin had two ravens, Thought and memory. Odin also only had one eye, because he traded the other for a mouthful of water from the spring of wisdom. It also says that Loki was seen as the devil and Odin is Christ in relationship from Paganism to Christianity.
So in the battle of Ragnarok, even the Viking myths prophosized that the God would loose that that Loki and the underowrld would defeat them. This seems rather forshadowing of the 7th book. It also says that after this battle Fenrir the wolf would swallow the sun.
The book also says that after the destruction of the tree Yggdrasil in the battle of Ragnarok, that this tree would shelter one man and woman named Lif and Lifthrasir, who would then form a new race of humans.
So about the actual battle of Ragnarok. In this battle Tyr (son of Odin, brother of Balder, Thor and Heimdall) could not fight because Fenrir had bitten off his right hand. Thor died while trying to kill the world serpent , Jormungand, son of Loki. Loki and Heimdall killed each other (that makes Heimdall Harry, not Thor). and Fenrir devoured Odin. Surt, who had been waiting a long while, set the world on fire afterwards. After this battle, it gave rise to the sons of Odin (Vidar and Vali) and Thors sons (Modi and Magni). THe sons are the only survivors of the battle. These four sons were joined by Balder the Beautiful (finally released from the underworld) and his blind bother, Hoder and wept over golden chess peices of which Odin used to play with.
I would analyze this, but I must leave now, my time is up.
I REALLY LIKE WHAT HerbProfNeville SAID. ITS WEL THOUGHT OUT AND MUCH BETTER THOERIZED. I BELIEVE IN YOURS.
June 1st, 2007, 6:17 pm
I came accross something a few months ago when looking up info for a mythology project at school. I can't remember it exactly, but if I recall the basics, it said that Fenrir will be released during the final battle, in which a very important god will be killed. When I read this is absolutely screamed ending of HBP to me, and I was getting all HP crazy in english class.
November 17th, 2007, 6:12 pm
The Black Sisters as the Fates.
Belletrix/Urd-- The oldest who represents the past. Bellatrix is also obsessed with the past of Pureblooded dominace and old grudges that are becoming less important though not yet unimportant. Notably, the one without children.
Andromeda/Verthandi-- Goddess of the Present and one who embraces, in Potterverse terms the conflict of the present by her choices. She has elements of both the past and present in her manner and bearing.
Narcissa/Skuld-- Her main concern is the future. Her hopes are focused on the future through her son. Her decision in the forest to lie to Voldemort literally shapes what the future will be.
Remus Lupin as Tyr-- God of justice and law, and the most evenhanded. He has lost his hand in an encounter with the Fenris Wolf, whom he bound til just before Ragnorock (when Loki/Voldemort free's him?) and where Tyr dies. He is concerned with law and justice, hence is troubled by his marridge (against custom) but chooses the higher law (his duty to his wife and son).
Cedric Diggory as Balder-- The dying god who is perfect, guiless, and whose death forshadows Ragnorock/the final war. He brings out the bes in people, whether it is Harry, Cho, and whose death, because of what it forshadows, is too terrible to believe.
All the Best,
September 25th, 2008, 7:19 pm
The bit in OotP where the Trio first meet Grawp in the Forbidden Forest and initially mistake him for a mound is, as far as I can remember it, very reminiscent of Thor and Loki's first encounter with Utgarda-Loki in the forest on the way to his castle.
It's nothing to do with Norse mythology, but it is to do with Norse literature...for some reason, Merope giving her son Marvolo as a middle name, despite her fraught relationship with her father, really reminds me of the bit in Njals Saga where Hallgerd Hoskuldsdottir tells her daughter to call her first son Hoskuld. Not a very good link, though, as Hallgerd is about as diametrically different a character from Merope as you're likely to find.
July 14th, 2009, 3:04 pm
Well, more than direct references, what reminded me of Norse mythology when I was reading "Deathly Hallows" was when Harry is making that walk into the forest to die in Voldemort's hands. The Norse had a strong belief in the idea that the hero had to die with his head held high. That a true hero is one who is not afraid of Death--which is a similar idea to the Hallows. Where the third brother didn't fight Death, but gladly went to him.
April 2nd, 2010, 1:16 am
Isn't it cool how Jo used mythology to create Fenrir and other characters? Like Fenrir is based off of a giant wolf in Norse mythology. what do you think?