So after five days of nothing but Skyrim, I suppose it’s time to get back to business. I’ve vowed not to touch the Xbox today, except in the case to move it when I clean up the disaster zone my living room has become. And while I will have to start using my brain beyond figuring out how to sneak through a cavern stocked with Falmer without being noticed, I decided that today should be a fun post. I haven’t done a non-writing post in a long time (those posts where I lament about not writing are technically still about writing). I used to do fun little posts about snippets of history or magical creatures because they fall under the category of my interests, and I think I should start doing those again. If only once a month or something.
It should come as no surprise to most of you that I love the Norse. I’m not sure exactly when my passion for helmed, hairy, fur-clothed men began, but that fascination has done nothing but grow over the years. Every archeological discovery regarding the Norsemen excites me—tombs, ships, houses, jewelry, gravestones. I’ve read all the Norse myths multiple times. I know the Elder Futhark (in fact, I made a set of Elder Futhark runes), and I’m slowly learning Icelandic. I once tried to write a novel set in a Norse setting (which indubitably failed). I dream of successfully writing a Norse epic someday, maybe after the Chroniker City novels are finished. And when I first found out that the next Elder Scrolls game would take place in Skyrim, the home of the Nords, I think I died of awesome.
I’d like to think that in a past life, I was a Viking (an early 9th century one, no doubt). I may have been a skald, writing eddic verses to sing in mead halls, perhaps contributing to the fabled Norse poems. Maybe I carved this:
Their mythology alone is fascinating. The Æsir (the principal gods) and Vanir (lesser known gods) and the war that joined them into a single pantheon, the jötunn (giant nature spirits), the álfar (elves), and dvergr (dwarves), and their respective homelands—Asgard and Vanaheim, Jötunheim, Álfheim, Svartálfaheim, and Midgard for us humans. And also, Hel, the land of the dead, and the two primordial realms, Niflheim and Muspellsheim, the lands of Ice and Fire, respectively.
Maybe I’m just a geek, but I can’t help but want to experience that world, a culture so utterly complex, yet outwardly primitive. The Vikings were intelligent, religious, battle-hardened, and fierce in every way. I can’t help but respect that. They fascinate me. I hope that we continue to find artifacts from their time and continue to learn about their culture. They are a part of our ancestry after all.
Is there a culture or time period that you are obsessed with? If you could live in any age in history, when would you live? What would you do?