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Norse mythological influences on later literature

From Academic Kids

Norse mythology provides a rich and diverse source which many later writers have borrowed from or built upon. The most well-known example is probably The Lord of the Rings by J. R. R. Tolkien, although he was by no means the first writer to help himself to this source. The Victorian adventure writer H. Rider Haggard, for example, wrote an epic adventure in the style of the Nordic sagas, "Eric Brighteyes". The childen's writer Alan Garner is another writer who has found inspiration in this rich seam of mythology, and borrowed many Norse concepts, such as the tale of Freya's necklace Brisingamen and the hard winter (Fimbulwinter) which portends the end of the world, Ragnarok in his classic story, The Weirdstone of Brisingamen. Episodes of Doctor Who have also referenced the Norse twilight of the gods.

During the 1960s, Marvel Comics writer/artist team Stan Lee and Jack Kirby introduced Thor as a comic book superhero. The character was very popular, and he remains a foundation of the "Marvel Universe" today. Walt Simonson's tenure on the series during the middle-to-late 1980s is consider its high point by many fans, as Simonson drew heavily on the Norse myths for inspiration. The graphic novelist Alan Moore is also thematically influenced by Norse mythology.

Neil Gaiman's novel American Gods touches extensively on the Norse mythos, (amongst others), and one of the central characters is called Wednesday and is subsequently revealed as the god Odin; Loki (nick-named Low-Key) is also depicted in this novel. The Aesir gods also figures in Gaiman's comic book series The Sandman.

Norse mythology heavily influenced the worlds of the Dungeons & Dragons role-playing game.

Other writers who tangibly draw on the Nordic pantheon include L. Sprague de Camp, C.S. Lewis, Lord Dunsany.

In the film The Mask, the character played by Jim Carrey comes to an understanding that the mask itself may be an aspect of Loki.

The graphic novel series Ragnarok, by Myung-Jin Lee, is based on Norse mythology and the events of Ragnarok, the prophesized fall of the gods.

See also

A common problem when researching things Norse is that the spelling of names varies much depending on one's country of origin. In the articles presented here, several common forms of the names will be presented. For more information see:

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