Friday, November 22, 2013

Mistaken Mythology

In an unpublished interview with Wired, Norse mythologist (and accomplished bassist) Karl E. H. Seigfried finds little in common between the original gods of Asgard and the Marvel movie versions of Thor, Odin, and, of course, everyone’s favorite mischief maker:

“There is no such thing as a “god of mischief.” How would mischief play a positive role in a society that placed an emphasis on proper behavior within the community? In any case, the question is moot: the major scholars agree that Loki was never worshipped as a god in ancient times. The myths back this up: Loki is a visitor among the gods, and is finally revealed as their greatest enemy when he leads the forces that will destroy the world at the final battle of Ragnar√∂k [“doom of the power”].”

How he sums it all up:

“I’d say that the producers of the films have used some elements from the myths and some from the Marvel comic books, then thrown in a heavy dose of Abrahamic mythology and generic tropes of Hollywood film. This says nothing about the myths themselves, but it says a lot about how the entertainment industry grinds up cultural artifacts to create works that are easily graspable by the widest audience possible.”

(Image: Tom Hiddleston as Loki in The Avengers, Marvel Studios/Walt Disney Studios)

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