Thor versus the Volcano: The Christianization of Iceland

Trying to understand the Vikings takes some patience and careful research. They built homes of wood and turf, and their clothes were mostly wool and linen, so much of the physical evidence of their travels and lifestyle has been ravaged by natural processes. Viking societies depended heavily on oral communication, and many of the texts we have today were written down a century or more after the Viking Age. Determining how the information may have changed over that time is tricky business, and we can only guess how many stories were completely lost over the years. One story that has survived is the Christianization of Iceland. But did the Icelanders turn to Christianity out of fear of volcanic eruptions, as some researchers have suggested?

The Master of Mischief, Part V: Ragnarök

Ragnarök: the doom of the Gods and the end of the worlds as Odin created them. But this is no ordinary war. Ragnarök and Fimbulvetr, the three-year winter that precedes the final battle, symbolize the destruction of the natural order of society as the Vikings conceived of it, and the creation of a new society from the remnants of the old.

Link Roundup #1: Going A-Viking

The Vikings originally occupied Denmark, Norway, and Sweden as we know them today, but they didn’t exactly stay put. In fact, the term “viking” comes from the Old Norse term vikingr, a concrete noun that may be translated as “sea warrior”1 and an abstract noun that means “the act of going raiding overseas”. Given that their homelands were surrounded by oceans, it should come as no surprise that they developed some of the fastest ships in the world.

The Master of Mischief, Part II: Prophesy and Fate

They say you should keep your friends close and your enemies closer still, and Loki is about the worst enemy you could ever possibly have—but not strictly because of his character. As troublesome as he is, he is not really evil, or at least, he’s no worse than Odin in many ways. Nonetheless, the Norns have already decided that Loki will lead the Jötnar to the ultimate Pyrrhic victory at Ragnarök.