Norsevember Q&A Wrap Up
Welcome to our final #Norsevember post! It's been a crazy-busy but rewarding month full of book reviews, research, and reading content that other participating blogs have put out. To access all that goodness, pop by Spells and Spaceships' Norsevember Hub for the complete list of Norsevember posts.
Now that Kori and I are armed with a little more knowledge than we started out with, we thought we'd wrap up with a fun Q&A about our Norse favorites!
1. Who is your favorite Norse god and goddess?
J: Neil Gaiman's Norse Mythology really endeared me to Freya, who I've always liked and seems like such a badass. However, I have to say Hel and Fenrir for me. There's something so deadly and badass about an Underworld goddess and a giant wolf god. Plus, they both got screwed over and deserve a little justice.
K: As a cat-loving Taurus, I HAVE to love Freya. She's like Aphrodite but also a badass warrior! But I cannot deny that Hel is intriguing to me with her half-beautiful, half-ghastly face. Baldur is my current favorite god; a beautiful man whose home is "a place of joy and music and knowledge"? Sign me up!
2. Which Norse tale is your favorite?
J: My favorite serious tale is Fenrir's imprisonment, because it's so emotional and heartbreaking. My favorite lighthearted tale is Thor disguising himself as a bride to go retrieve his stolen hammer from a giant.
K: "The Death of Balder" reminds me a bit of the story of Persephone and Hades, my favorite Greek myth. So it's special to me. However, I also love the story of how Odin got his knowledge of the runes; it's a beautiful illustration of sacrifice and the sacred.
3. What was your favorite Norsevember read and why?
J: Norse Mythology by Neil Gaiman. It's told beautifully and makes for such a handy writing reference. Besides, I'm a major Neil Gaiman fan, so anything he writes has an unfair advantage.
K: House of Earth and Blood by Sarah J Maas. I'm a huge fan of her work in general, but I enjoyed the way she blended Nordic and Celtic lore in this new book/series. I can't wait to see where it goes.
4. If you could live in any of the Nine Realms, which would you choose?
J: Either Alfheim or Vanaheim, both of which seem peaceful and full of natural beauty. However, I'm enjoying all the modern conveniences we have here in Midgard, so maybe those can be my vacation homes?
K: Honestly, I'm with Jordan for all of the same reasons. I have been obsessed with the fey since I was a child, so Alfheim and Vanaheim seem like the perfect spot for me. But you can't beat things like modern plumbing and WiFi!
5. Who is your favorite Norse-inspired character?
J: I want to say Hiccup from How to Train Your Dragon, but it's made very clear he's not a typical Viking, so I'll slide over to my home girl Astrid from the same movie. Fierce, loyal, and ready to sacrifice herself for honor and the protection of her home, she's everything a shield maiden is meant to be. Then there's that soft side that comes out around Hiccup and their dragons.
K: Though she's known as "The Party Princess" by the 33rd Legion, Danika Fendyr of House of Earth and Blood works as hard as she plays. As Alpha of the Pack of Devils, she is tasked with overseeing the wolves and doing her part to make sure Crescent City is safe. What I love most about Danika is not her incredible power, but her style. From her muli-colored hair and tattoos to her vibrant, proud personality. She is so unabashedly herself, despite what others think of her and the horror it causes her mother. Hell, half of it is probably to piss her mom off.
6. Which mythological Norse weapon would you most like to wield?
J: Probably Freyr's sword, which can literally fight on its own. That's perfect for someone who has zero skill with a blade. I'd let it do all the work.
K: Odin's spear, Gungnir. I weapon that penetrates anything, never misses, and binds people to their word? Oh yeah, I'm in. Then again, one of Idunn's golden apples of immortality wouldn't suck!
7. Which mythological Norse treasure would you most like to have?
J: I would love to own Freya's falcon cloak, which transforms its wearer into a falcon much like a Skinwalker. Though I'm terrified of heights, the ability to become an animal of flight, to see everything the way a bird of prey does, is tempting.
K: In a culture where longships are coveted, I think I'd like to have Skidbladnir—a ship which can hold all the gods and sail on sea, land, and air, yet can be folded up to fit in a pocket.
8. What's your favorite Norse creature?
J: Odin's two ravens Huginn and Muninn (Thought and Memory) who travel the world and bring news back to Odin. Aside from my general fascination with ravens, the idea of two mystical creatures who see all is really cool.
K: I really appreciate dwarves for their craftsmanship and the pride they take in their work. If I had to pick a specific creature, I might go with Sleipnir, Loki's 8-legged equestrian offspring.
9. What is your favorite Norse fairytale (including later Scandinavian, Danish, etc. folklore)?
J: I've always had a fondness for "The Snow Queen," but more so its retellings, so I'll go with a lesser-known one called "The Witch in the Stone Boat," an Icelandic tale about Prince Sigurd who marries a beautiful princess. However, when sailing back from her homeland so Sigurd can be crowned king, the queen-to-be notices a stone boat coming towards her through the water, navigated by a troll witch, and things take a dark turn.
I won't spoil the ending, so if you're interested, you can read the full tale here or listen to my favorite telling by the podcast Tales on Spotify.
K: This month, I stumbled upon the tale "Sian and the Winterwife." In this story, a small mining village is visited by the Grey Man, who argues to the adults that if they were to forego their offerings to the Winterwife so she will bring the snows, they can mine year-round and make a bigger profit. They go for it of course, despite the warnings of a local woman. Before long, everyone is run-down, and it seems all life has left the village. In order to save everyone, Sian, a young woman with the ability to See, must travel to the Winterwife and beg her to visit their home so the adults will be forced to stop mining for the winter and rest up with their families.
10. What's your favorite thing you learned this month?
J: I don't know that there's a specific fact so much as a general enthusiasm at diving further into Norse mythology. While Viking culture is extremely interesting, mythology is always my go-to.
That said, I did enjoy learning about Nidhogg the Corpse-Muncher and his eternal snark-match with the Yggdrasil eagle via squirrel. The absurdity makes me so happy.
K: It would be hard to nail down a specific fact, as Norsevember ended up accidentally having a HUGE influence on the book I've been working on for NaNoWriMo.
One thing I certainly won't forget is the god's poetry meads: the good one and the "ass mead" of bad ideas. It makes me giggle.
Thanks for tuning in to our final Norsevember post! If you missed any of the others, hit that Norsevember button below to find all of this month's content. Then tell us about some of your Norse favorites in the comments!