Monday, October 20, 2008

Daily Sketch: More Aesir!

I've got a secret!

But today's sketch ain't it. Anyone who hasn't figured out by now that the Norse myths are my personal brain candy must be new. Hi, new people!

Ok, free guessing time before I start prattling on about my pet pantheon. Can you tell who any of these are?

Well, don't feel bad if you can't, they aren't anywhere near done in this mode. Heck, I'll probably redo them in a different brown tonight. I love my Photoshop! ANyway, from left to right:

Odin, grand high poobah. Did you know most of what we know about Norse mythology comes from Odin? No, really! The Edda is pretty much Odin being asked questions by some mortal, calling the mortal an idiot for not knowing, and then telling him the answers anyway. Good for Odin.
Then again, Odin is the All-Father, the original prnakster, the guy who was messing with heads even before Loki came on the scene. And this mortal is pretty clearly easy to rook. And you remember how your dad (or uncle, or older brother) would answer your questions about the way the world worked? How you always had to double-check with Mom, to make sure you weren't walking around telling your classmates that clouds moved by solar wind.
So yeah, if you believe Odin at face value, we're all animated trees living on a dead eyebrow. Of a giant who was created by the friction on a cow tongue. Methinks the Edda amounts to All-Dad pulling our collective leg. He always did like humans to figure things out for themselves-one of many reasons he's my favorite divine patriarch.

Balder, The One Who Dies. Despite his near-total lack of presence in the myths, I really like Balder. He's the mellow god in a pantheon that otherwise gives us, well, Thor. Pretty, gentle, total Mama's boy, and yet the one god without whom the whole cosmos goes to pot. Such a weird dichotomy for a myth cycle otherwise dripping with testosterone.
Oh, also, while everyone rightly blames Loki for orchestrating the whole thing, Balder was actually killed by his blind brother Hod. Disabled doesn't mean unable!

Skaad! Or Skade, or whatever; look, it was an oral tradition, standardized names are kind of optional. Skaad rocks! Goddess of the hunt, mountains, and skiing. Former giantess of skiing, hunting, etc. Like Artemis, but with none of the creepy virgin obsessions. No weird untouchable feeeeemale myyyysteries, either. You could totally hang out with Skaad, go skiing, have a brew, whatever. She married into godhood, as a lot of the Aesir did. None of that Greek my-father'-wife-is-my-sister-is-my-cousin-is-my-daughter Greek nonsense. Things were confusing enough. See the next guy.

Heimdall, famous for his gold teeth, centuries before that was popular thing. Or indeed, possible. Slightly less famous for having nine mothers. Now, there are a lot of supernatural beings who claim multiple fathers, because it'sm hard to figure out exactly how a man contributes to child bearing, without microscopes and such. But multiple mothers are a big more problematic. Did they each bear a part of him, and assemble him after birth? Did they pass him from one womb to the next every month? Were the moms, who were sisters, just covering for each other in their out-of-wedlock circumstances, and making sure none of them got ostracized from the family? So many options, when you've already decided logic need not apply!
Anyway, Heimdall was sort of Loki's arch enemy, in the way those kids who always ratted each other to the teacher wee arch enemies. It was complicated and dumb, and like most of the non-mothering weirdnesses in the myths, pretty well Loki's fault. Heimdall was guardian of the bridge. He had a really long horn. Women went crazy for him. He always says it's because of the teeth.


Mannie Vincent said...

Oh goodness... these are fabulous! I love them!

<3 Mannie

Carapace said...

I knew you'd like them! I could pretend I'm drawing these for you, but in fact I'd be drawing these with no venue at all.

But just for research purposes, who IS your favorite Aesir?