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Viking mythology and all that goes with it

Discussion in 'Amon Amarth' started by Celtik Militia, Jan 29, 2005.

  1. Xurek

    Xurek Waaagh!

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    I'm reading a book just now that doesn't go into too much detail more a condensed version of the most important events, myths and sources to know if you are new to Norse Mythology.

    One thing that is confusing me so far is the Dwarfs and Dark Elves. It says that Nidavellir is the land of the Dwarfs and Svartalfheim is the land of the Dark Elves. But, in the myths on a few occasions the Dwarfs and Dark Elves are considered one and the same thing. If they are not the same what sets them apart? And if they are the same why do they have two different lands?

    Also what exactly are the light elves? "Good" versions of the dark elves or something completely different?

    And finally, in appearance should we consider them to look like something we think of today when we imagine Dwarfs and Elves?

    Thanks for your time.
     
  2. Bates

    Bates Swamp Yankee

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    Not so much good and evil. My general though on the ljotalfr are that they are the "lesser" members of the Vanir, as opposed to the well known ones such as Frey, Freja, Njord, etc. The svartalfr/dwarves (I'm pretty sure they're the same) are something totally different, neither man nor god, but possibly occupying a similar relationship to jotunkind. Nidavellr doesn't ring a bell, however, but nearly everything in the old stories had multiple names. Lemme think here: Asgard, Vanheim, Alfheim, Midgard, Jotunheim, Svartalfheim, Hel, Niflheim, Muspell. Yep, that's 9, so my guess is that Nidavellr is a kenning for Svartalfheim.

    As for whether they appear like Tolkeinesque elves and dwarves, it's hard to say, but Tolkein did draw a lot of his influence from Germanic and Finnish mythology.
     
  3. Xurek

    Xurek Waaagh!

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    Thanks for the reply Bates ye master o' knowledge.

    See in this book it doesn't count Muspell as one of the 9.

    It says

    But that still leaves in Nidavellir either way.

    See where I live we have a very small library and this book was the only one they had relating to Norse Mythology. It is called "Norse Myths: Gods Of The Viking" by Kevin Crossley-Holland. Haven't read a whole lot on this subject before so I can't say if it's any good or not.
     
  4. Erzebeth.Rouge

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    sadly i dont remember my sources and cant for sure say they were trustful, but for the name of the realms i got Asgard, Vanaheim, alfheim, svarthalfheim, Midgard, Jotunheim, nithavellir, nifelheim and muspelheim. threfore including muspelheim. but i understand that muspelheim is not comprised in Yggdrasil, but then, if Nifelheim is north, muspelheim south, and nifelheim has a place in the tree, why not muspelheim? both needs the other to create life... anyway...

    personally, i think the difference between light elves and dark elves is that general color feature. as Bates said, the distinction is not wheter they are good or evil. there isnt really of that clear distinction on that mythology methink anyway.

    but ive read some place that dwarves dont have the diminutive features we give them nowadays, they were quite the contrary, being tall and strong, etc.

    sorry i cant point sources ><
     
  5. Bates

    Bates Swamp Yankee

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    LOL, I'm a long way from master of any knowledge. My opinions are just that, my opinions. There are a lot of blanks and grey areas when it comes to the old stories, so it's kinda up to each person to put it together in the way that makes the most sense to them. As for the look of them, again, I'm pretty sure I've seen the svartalfr (but not necessarily the same people) described as both short and tall. Also, some of them were know to be shapechangers (which is a pretty common thing in the mythology), so that makes it doubly hard to say.
     
  6. Tyra

    Tyra Member

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    The dark alfar grew forth from the rotting flesh of Ymer, like so many maggots. They're not nice, no to be trusted, but are masters of smithing. Light alfs are benign creatures. Read the story of the Ring of the Niebelungs and you'll see a dark alf king in action. Sorry for the short reply - I'm in a rush, on my way out the door. I'll have to come back later with a better answer!
     
  7. Bates

    Bates Swamp Yankee

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    Oh yeah, I forgot about that.:oops:
     
  8. Tyra

    Tyra Member

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    OK, I'm back...

    Well, this hing with the alvar is a bit tricky, especially for those who grow up outside of the Scandinavian culture, because you really only have the two Eddas to go by. Most of the stories about alvar come from the lore, the oral tradition which, for he most part, has not been translated or, when it has, is not commonly read by non-Scandinavians. To make matters worse, the Eddas give us two different accounts of the alvar. According to Snorri, there are ljosalfar, who live "in heaven" and are more beautiful than the sun, and then there are dokkalfar (sorry about the spelling - I'm on the wrong computer and this keyboard lacks the correct symbols...), who live in the ground and are black. Some scholars think that this was somehing Snorri got from Christianity, where there is a good and a bad side to things.
    The Poetic Edda, on the other hand, tells of "aesir and alvar", which can be interpreted as "all the gods". In one story, a Christian named Sigvat stops at a farm and requests lodging, but is told that he cannot stay there, since the folk at the farm are holdig a blot to the alfr (alfarblot), and Christians shouldn't be present. That's where the idea that Bates explained about comes in, becasue some then have thought that since the aesir and the vanir are what generally constitutes "all the gods", then alfr might be synonymous to vanir. It's also the reason why the alfr have been associated with fertility, seeing as how the vanir were the fertility gods and goddesses. To boot, Frej, who's the main fertility god, lives in Alfheim. Then there's also the issue of some powerful men who, upon their death, obtain the title of alfr, which has been interpreted as the alfr having to do with ancestor worshipry (again, the idea of a blot held in their honour would fit in with this theory, as the female ancestor spirits, the disir, are honoured with a blot every year).

    In the ring of the Nibelungs and/or the Song of Völund the king of the alfr is Völund, who is captured and enslaved but then avenges this fate.

    Anyhow, as you see, this Icelandic litterature is contradictory. The folklore is much more clear. In it, the darkalf is called that becasue he is dark in spirit, not just in his looks. He is fickle and tricky to deal with, so you have to make sure to pay him well for what he does for you, or he'll cause all sorts of trouble. He can turns to stone if he is hit by sunlight.
    Lightalfs, on the other hand, are bnign and help us out in various ways. They keep us and our livestock safe and healthy.
    These beings are some of the ones that Christianity has been completely unable to erase even 1000 years after the conversion. Even when I was brought up, kids were told not to run in the house, make too much noise in the house and to take their shoes off in the house, lest you bother or annoy the alfar who live under the floor. You do not want to do that, since they might leave then, and if they do, there would b nobody left to help keep you and yours safe in he house. Eventually, these beings were sucked p ino he Christian mythology. The Swedish version of Santa is actually an alf, much in the same way as the English Santa has helpers who are - guess what? - the Anglo-Saxon version of alfar!

    So, now that you're completely confused, I'll stop.
     
  9. Krigloch the Furious

    Krigloch the Furious Pants full of poo

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    hey guys, I need some help.
    where can I get some sweet viking/northern euro clothing? cloaks, pants and everything else.
     
  10. Bates

    Bates Swamp Yankee

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    http://www.medievaldesign.com/indexengl.html has a lot of good shit, not cheap tho.

    You know, looking at some of those prices, I'm wondering if I should go into business making some of that stuff myself. Shoes and knives are pretty easy...
     
  11. Tyra

    Tyra Member

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    The best place is Jelling Dragon, but I can barely afford to look at their stuff. http://www.jelldragon.com/viking_clothing.htm
    These guys make a kyrtle: http://www.viking-shield.com/historicalvikingclothing.html
    I've never used these guys, but they do make nice stuff: http://www.twinrosesdesigns.com/Mens Clothing for Sale.html

    As for me and my dudes, we make our own stuff. It is soooooo much cheaper and can be done very quickly if you can use a sewing machine. It's very, very basic sewing - even my daycare kids used to e able to make garb when I was still doing daycare. If you want more reasonable prices, the thingto do is to contact your local SCA group and ask if they know of any local retalers. There are usually ladies that will sew something for you or already have stock.
    When do you need it, and what do you need it for?

    -T, who's offically screwed in the head today (on account of it being Halloween, I have a large screw poking out of my forehead and blood gushing out of the wound...)
     
  12. Krigloch the Furious

    Krigloch the Furious Pants full of poo

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    I want stuff for halloween, just to have, and for those stupid moments.
    i want the normal clothes... nothing that the rich would have had. oh, and I need a cloak heh
     
  13. Celtik Militia

    Celtik Militia Dumb French Bastard

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    You wanna be a dead viking? I was a dead roman soldier once. :) and a dead boy scout... yeah ok, I admit, i was always a dead *something* for the few Halloween parties I've been in but hell, its easy to do usually.
     
  14. Tyra

    Tyra Member

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    Well, th Norse mainly used the regular old rectangular cloaks, so what you need to do is either find a nice used wool blanket at Village of Value (a k a Value Village, or any second hand store where such items don't cost an arm and a leg), or go to a faric store and find some finer wool fabric (like the kind used for suits) and pick up about two meters (the idea is to only buy stuff that's on sale - only people like myself that need to have absolutely period clothing bother trying to find diamond twill etc). Now you have to hem the fabric. Use a good old blanket stitch for that (even an idiot can master that in an evening), it's very quick and vey easy, and it's totally period. Now comes the tricky part: finding the cloak pin. The only place I know of that can produce nice Viking cloak pins etc cheaply and corrctly, and is very reliable, is Quiet Press. They carry an assortment of pennanular pins and a ring brooch: http://www.quietpress.com/vikingclasps.html. There are other places out there, but I use these guys and have always been happy, plus most other places are located in Europe, which adds to shipping charges. Some of us are lucky enough to have friends that do blacksmithing (HINT, Bates, HINT) and may sell you or trade you one. Once you get the pin, you just poke it through the fabric at the non-sword side (dunno if you're a south paw or not).
    If you should fails, PM Tyra, and she will see what she can do.
     
  15. Tyra

    Tyra Member

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    Celtic, one of our firends was a Celt one year. Not an Irish one or nuttin', but the continental version, complete with blue hair and warrior paint etc. That was so cool, he didn't even have to be dead to look scary!
     
  16. Spanish_Lass

    Spanish_Lass Dahar Mistress

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    Yes, I have seen the groups here in really cool pictish clothes... But so far I have found no sites dedicated to woad paint. We were vikings last year because we could not get a pictish costume in time for hallowe'en

    Another place that does cheap pewter brooches is St. Justin's- they do a lot of touristy stuff as well but some of their jewellery is based on originals, such as the Tara Brooch and some Viking brooch found in Dublin.

    http://www.stjustin.co.uk/cornish-h...isplayproducts.asp?id=14&cat=Brooches+(pewter)
     
  17. Tyra

    Tyra Member

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    Oh, and Krigley, a cheat tip: To get the baggy pants, some guys buy East Indian pants that are meant for Bangara. The young guys can get away with the ladies style Sikh pants (the name escapes me atm, but they are very big and baggy with a drawstring in the waist) then you cover up the bottom part, where the pants tighten up, with leg bindings. You can make he bindings out of a used leather coat or out of felt strips, or even tensor bandages if all else fails.
     
  18. HermoD

    HermoD New Metal Member

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    I wonder what Asator means, i didnt find it anywhere..
     
  19. Phantomreaper

    Phantomreaper Dude with the sideburns

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    It's another name for Thor.
     
  20. Mystical_

    Mystical_ Perkele!

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    Mostly my friends are atheists and few Christians, i am Ásatrú.
    I just love those all those wonderful stories of Edda and other scandinavian mythology books. Mostly you can see it also on my musical taste, for example i like Týr, Thyrfing, Moonsorrow and Bathory a lot. Music with lyrics that tell tales about norse mythology is just something so awsome...

    Im also pretty proud about my name wich is Vili. You all who have knowledge about norse mythology stories know that Vili was brother of Odin
     

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