Wednesday, 7 January 2009

Why I love the Vikings

The shiny Viking way of life fascinates me. It has since I heard a few tracks from a Manowar album. There's so much mythology from Viking times that talks of honour, warriors and.....violence.

The following quote describes the Berserker Rage (where we get the word "berserk" from)

His (Odin's) men rushed forward without armor, were as mad as dogs or wolves, bit their shields, and were as strong as bears or wild bulls, and killed people at a blow, but neither fire nor iron told upon themselves. (From the Ynglinga Saga).

And to quote from the Manowar track (spoken, not sung), this is The Blood of Odin. It's an amazing story. Take the time to read it as you listen to the track and you'll see the mastery - brilliant storytelling: (see below vid for lyrics)

Upon his shoulders perch two ravens, Hugin and Munin.
They circle the earth by day seeing all, at night they report to him the world's tidings.
He wears a golden helmet and a golden ring, at his side sit two wolves.
His weapons a magic sword and a spear called Gungnir, they are carved with runes.
His eight legged horse Sleipnir carries him over land, sea and air, the bringer of the valiant dead, the einherjar, from the battlefield across the rainbow bridge to Valhalla.

For a single drink of the enchanted water he paid with one eye, he was granted supreme wisdom.
He is the god of poetry, sorcery, and death.
Wounded, pierced by a spear he hung upside down for nine days.
Fasting and agony he made of himself a sacrifice to himself.
Given no bread nor mead he looked down, and with a loud cry fell screaming from the world tree.
In a flash of insight the secret magic of the runes was revealed to him.
He took up the runes and mastered them, eighteen powerful charms for protection, success in battle, lovemaking, healing and the power to bring back the dead.

His sacred blood mixed with black wind and rain wept down from the world tree deep into the earth.
He commanded the earth to crack open and to spew forth the strongest of the strong!

On this day he did bestow unto the world the sons of Odin!

The belief that if you die honourably in battle Valkyries will come down to the field and take you to Odin's Hall - Valhalla in Asgard. Amazing stuff.

If this sort of thing interests you, you have to check out some Manowar stuff. And I guarantee that one day I will write something to do with Vikings.

And speaking of, here's a trailer for upcoming film Outlander.

Plot - Vikings vs Aliens.

That's both a dream and a nightmare. It's clearly a 'what-if' fun fest. This film won't try and be a clever, sophisticated thing, but it will be fun. And the acting doesn't look too bad. John Hurt, Sophia Myles and the amazing Ron Perlman.

It is what it is - a fun-looking, visually gorgeous action dream. The worst thing you could do is approach this film expecting something on a par with Lord of the Rings. Hopefully it won't disappoint.

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