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an owner's manual for your Mjölnir.

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The dwarves make this one-off thing for you, super-powerful, self-returning, electrical ly generating, requiring a belt & gloves to even handle, so with a dangerous naming that means "the crusher" or "that which smashes", you probably should have an instruction set for it , just in case. Or maybe you have a different model : [designs by moviemaniacs of Stotfold, United Kingdom.] #    #    # Guillermo Maytorena IV knew there was something special in  the Norse Lore when he picked up a copy of the d'Aulaires'  Norse Gods and Giants  at age seven. Since t hen he's been fascinated by the truthful potency of Norse Mythology, passionately read & studied, embraced Ásatrú, launched the  Map of Midgard  project, and spearheaded the neologism/brand NorsePlay.   If you have e mployment/ opportunities in  investigative mythology, field research, or

Frazetta is NorsePlay.

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While we've explored Conan here & there for NorsePlay, one cannot speak of the Cimmerian of the North without referencing the artist most responsible for visually depicting him: Frank Frazetta. Given Frazetta's standing as a giant of fantasy art , and as the fantasy genre draws upon the bottomless wellsprings of Norse Lore & the Icelandic Sagas for its material , we would present Frazetta's Kane On the Golden Sea as his most outstanding manifestation of NorsePlay : [First published as a book cover on  Darkness Weaves in 1978 CE.] Vikings on a longship looking for targets to raid, Kane boldly shirtless, Berserker -style. Of course some of this composition, like the Wagner ian horned helmet s, and D&D double-bladed battle- axe , plus the fur barbarian breechclout are visual tropes from later Germanic Romanticism, derivative medieval art, and other sources, but the spirit of this & his other famous works are Norse inspired. [this official print & o

Gerðr of the shimmering arms.

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Detail from The Goddess Gerd by UK sculptor George Blackall Simonds (1847–1929 CE). Gerðr of The Shimmering Arms is her most-known kenning. This could be yet another attribute derived/associated with the Northern Lights as they shimmer across the sky, so the sculpture depicts the jotun maiden with her arms upraised, and a possible dawn-esque Goddess halo of radiance made of hair, so her shimmering epithet could also perhaps alternately be a Midnight Sun association, or more simply the sun's reflection dazzling one's eyes off of the ice , or all the above really given the polyvalent nature of the Norse Gods, but the beauty of the proverbial & ideal pale-limbed lovely is definitely at work. And when Freyr beholds this attribute from his sneaking a view from Odin's throne  Hlidskjalf , the D'Aulaires show the phenomena of her shimmering as the first thing of Gerðr he sees. #    #    # Guillermo Maytorena IV knew there was something special in  the Norse Lore when

Conan in the Aesir-Vanir War.

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  While we've mentioned the first chronological Conan story  The Frost-Giant's Daughter (1934 CE), which was later altered & published as Gods of the North (1953 CE), there is something in Howard's Northmen 's lore that evokes an interesting NorsePlay when we find Conan as part of a skirmish in the Æsir - Vanir War. Howard's fiction suggests that Ymir is regarded as the God of the Jotuns , who is still sacrificed to and called upon, and if we NorsePlay this idea into the Norse Lore, the Gods versus Giants rift gains an even more sensible irreparability. If the creation story encounter had gone the other way with Ymir killing the divine grandsons of Búri instead, it may have been the Aesir seeking an exile-like home on the outskirts of the worlds, and been as equally unforgiving in their relations with their ascendant giant rulers . One also shudders to think that humanity might have become a thrall race to the giants, or worse, livestock . #    #    # Gui

hey NorsePlay "subscribers", do hit follow instead.

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  The above pictured "SUBSCRIBE" by email button Feedburner widget will cease to work with Blogger in July, meaning it'll stop functioning & disappear in a few weeks, so if you've previously subscribed using this button, please now instead hit the blue follow button  in the column at left to continue receiving NorsePlay's high-quality content in your inbox. And thank you for your continuing readership, dedication, and enthusiasm. #    #    # Guillermo Maytorena IV knew there was something special in  the Norse Lore when he picked up a copy of the d'Aulaires'  Norse Gods and Giants  at age seven. Since t hen he's been fascinated by the truthful potency of Norse Mythology, passionately read & studied, embraced Ásatrú, launched the  Map of Midgard  project, and spearheaded the neologism/brand NorsePlay.   If you have e mployment/ opportunities in  investigative mythology, field research, or product development to offer,  do contact him .

the Norse American medal.

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  This handsome octagonal Norse-American centennial medal was issued for Minnesota State Fair on June 6th–9th, 1925 CE, and would make a nice bit of modern Viking hoard swag given its silver content of .900, 1/2 oz+ weight, and rare shape. Issued in a run of 40,000 silver medals and 100 gold ones, the medal was made to recognize the docking of Norwegian immigrant ship Restauration. The arrival of this ship is generally considered the first organized emigration of Norwegian-Americans to the United States. Obviously the 1825 CE boat wasn't a Viking longship, nor did they have horned helmet s, but the spirit of the idea's present in the coin's recognition of the event. As of this writing, they're starting at around $150, which metalwise is like 6-times the cost of the silver , but its the numismatic value and rarity that factors into its pricing. #    #    # Guillermo Maytorena IV knew there was something special in  the Norse Lore when he picked up a copy of the d'A

Hel's really metal.

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  The Hordes of Death are Summoned Forth (2015 CE) by Christian Sloan Hall, who does much illustration work in the realm of metal music, particularly commissions for renowned Viking Metal band Amon Amarth ! Survive the Jive uses this image in a YT video as a visual reference to Norse Death Goddess  Hel , and there seems to be some influence from Kirby 's green-dominant deathly yet sexy Hela from The Mighty Thor . [go buy prints or hire this artist at https://www.deathlord.co.uk/] #    #    # Guillermo Maytorena IV knew there was something special in  the Norse Lore when he picked up a copy of the d'Aulaires'  Norse Gods and Giants  at age seven. Since t hen he's been fascinated by the truthful potency of Norse Mythology, passionately read & studied, embraced Ásatrú, launched the  Map of Midgard  project, and spearheaded the neologism/brand NorsePlay.   If you have e mployment/ opportunities in  investigative mythology, field research, or product development to of

the horseplay in NorsePlay.

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The original punditry of this blog's name aside, the sagas talk about the sport of horsefighting or Skeid/Hestavíg . In this competition stallions are shown a mare which gets them excited, then they are prodded and egged on by their owners with long sticks to attack each other, and the last horse standing wins. These horse bouts lasted into the 20th century CE, but if we examine this tradition and a hypothesis of where it comes from, we can eventually find implied links to the story of Loki & Svaðilfari. This last point is our addition to this. Following the Icelandic settlers back to Norway where Skeid continued until it was banned in 1820 CE, not for the sake of the horses, but because during the raucous & usually violent festivals surrounding it, someone was stabbed. Going further back, the status of the horse as a ruling class animal can be seen in burials where valuable horses were sacrificed for inhumation in Viking Age ship burials and Vendel Period large mounds. T

the Sons of Muspell march on Reykjanes Peninsula.

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With some concern we've recently been watching the thousands of earthquakes and threat of an eruption of some degree in Iceland, which happened Friday night at Fagradalsfjall Mountain. [3/20 photo by Vilhelm Gunnarsson.] The island country's been statistically overdue for one for awhile now, as Iceland formed up out of the Mid-Atlantic rift, and straddles the North American & Eurasian tectonic plates, so geographically it's lava-made and volcano-centric. The Reykjanes Peninsula happens to be where metro Reykjavík is, which groups nearly 2/3rds of the country's population together, and in this context is a vulnerability in terms of possible lava flow and poisonous gases. While the eruption was originally predicted to be at Mount Keilir, ~20 miles SW of Reykjavík, the instead active Mount Fagradalsfjall fissure eruption is ~25 miles SW on an opposing slope away from the capital. So far the lava is mostly within the unpopulated Fagradal valley south of the mountain. If

under the Norn-haunted tree.

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Dark aesthetics, a trio of faceless otherworldly figures, implications of unquestionable temporal power, and the looming hint of a tree that is far more than a tree , guarded by their presence. These are the Norns. [This photo illustration has been reposted so many times without creative attribution that its original maker escapes easy research. If this is your work, we'd love to attribute you because we love it, so do let us know.] #    #    # Guillermo Maytorena IV knew there was something special in  the Norse Lore when he picked up a copy of the d'Aulaires'  Norse Gods and Giants  at age seven. Since t hen he's been fascinated by the truthful potency of Norse Mythology, passionately read & studied, embraced Ásatrú, launched the  Map of Midgard  project, and spearheaded the neologism/brand NorsePlay.   If you have e mployment/ opportunities in  investigative mythology, field research, or product development to offer,  do contact him .

the unsafety dance.

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NorsePlay wants to put forth the original & doctorate-worthy observation that there could be a historical throughline betwixt medieval Scottish Sword Dances, Viking Age Berserker Rituals, and the Vendel Period Spear Dancers. Our NorsePlay hypothesis runs thus visually, backtracking with the Scottish Sword Dances (15th c. CE): [ Go, lassies, go! ] In this tradition there's also the halberd-like  Lochaber Axe used in a dance, and a Dirk Dance, the latter termed a "battle dance" with "dueling" performers. The sword dance is done without touching the crossed swords before battle, which if successful is an indicator of imminent victory ... or death if not.   Further back, we have tentative guesses that the Viking Bersærkergang  was a ritually evoked religious ecstatic state reached via a frenzied dance , either pre-battle or done just before battle in front of assembled enemies, which would double as a psychological warfare technique. And at earliest, the Odinic

Map Of Midgard Project update: 700 mappoints completed & counting!

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  I've successfully plotted 700 mappoints for my Map Of Midgard Project! This is the sixth update since  the initial blog post ,  the first update ,  the second update ,  the third update ,  the fourth update , and the fifth update . I'm still working on the remaining backlist of mappoints that weren't as easily findable during the course of my research. This list, originally  of 360 candidates, is now down to 248 possible additional locations. [yes, this is a for-real one-off promo Map Of Midgard t-shirt, because it's only getting closer with each of these posts!] While I expected to take on a more mercenary & expedient approach to this final list to get to a publication point, such an approach  doesn't respect the value of the data, so even though this lengthens the timeline of the project, I'm giving these the time they deserve. For example, no respectable Norse Lore map wouldn't include a speculative mappoint for Jotunheim , but that's a "s

glory & gore & the viking ethos.

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While rollin in the NorsePlay mobile , we were bumping Lorde's Glory and Gore track and couldn't help but notice how lyrically evocative the song seems to be of holmgang duels , battle readiness, craving for achievement through confrontation, and warrior ethos. Lorde, on the other hand, actually wrote this song as a "black satire to express disdain towards modern emphasis on violence, and compares celebrity culture to gladiatorial combat". Yet sometimes art can  miss its target,  transcend its creator's intent, and even be flipped into opposition of that. Perhaps the straight-on bloody fistfight imagery of Lorde's breakout single Royals  video carried over into how its audience reads Glory and Gore (and we suspect these aspects may actually have led to her curation of the 2014 Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1 soundtrack, definitely a combat-centric franchise) , but it's obvious we're not the only ones to instead embrace it as a martial anthem, gi

Thor's Adventures in Babysitting.

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As cultural champions of the Norse Lore & the 1980s, we're surprised to have never noticed this clip from 1987's Adventures in Babysitting , where the director sets up a young Vincent D'Onofrio as an avatar of Marvel Thor ! The joke here is that mechanic Dawson apparently isn't Thor, but the strongly presented visual diegesis of the film, along with how he, at the end of the exchange, acknowledges that perhaps he is Thor . Within that there's a lesson in Heathen Worldview in looking at how future Harry Potter director Chris Columbus sets up the majesty of Dawson's entrance. Sarah, a true believer in Thor, sees Thor when no one else can, or they're at least too secularized by non-belief and adulthood to perceive Thor, who actually has three kids and takes on two more as servants during one of his journeys to Jotunheim , and his begrudging change due to Sarah's persistence suits his role as a father. Dawson's temper at an implied ef feminate ness

does Yggdrasil divide The Nine Worlds?

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  [Voluspå fresco depiction rom 1933 CE by Axel Revold & Per Krohg.] The NorsePlay inspired by this mural of the World Tree at the Nasjonalbiblioteket in Oslo, Norway, is within the angular elements of the roots & branches which create sharply divided spaces. This provokes the question that what if Yggdrasil isn't only the unifying structure that holds the Nine Worlds in place, but is also the mechanism which divides those worlds and keeps them apart in differing dimensional spaces? Odin, Vili, & Ve are definitely wise enough to come up with such a dual purpose cosmic tree. And is the formidability of this structural holder/divider such that after emplaced it keeps Odin & other Aesir from spatially seeing other locations that then requires them to travel & discover that additional knowledge?  Also, like those angled curling branches, if space is folded-in upon itself, is that division of worlds then partly a mutually shared space and instead a separation of

DC's Norseplay of Beowulf.

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  DC's Beowulf: Dragon Slayer was a short-lived series that only ran six issues from 1975 CE. In a rather strange expansion where Grendel answered to the Devil, Beowulf dives through a mere into Hell, Vlad the Impaler shows up, there's an ancient alien encounter, and a tussle with the Minotaur, it seems the Geatish hero's legend grew far taller in this telling. We only had access to issues 2,3,5, & 6, and my impression was that although DC was putting out fantasy adventure titles like Warlord (which we liked), Arion , and Stalker , they still couldn't replicate the success of Marvel's Conan . Beowulf specifically reads jarringly, and shifts gears between incohesive elements, and one gets the impression that it never knows what it wants to be exactly, nor did it get the chance to decide to become anything, much less finish. Still, if you had to pick a high point issue, #5 with Beowulf actually uttering Von Daniken's title phrase "chariots of the gods&