Sunday, May 22, 2011

Butchering a legend

OK, I'm doing it myself...the very thing I derided the director/screenwriters of the movie Thor for in an earlier post.  I'm butchering a legend.  Specifically, I'm having the lovely heroine of the story go spend time in Valhalla with its master, Thor. 

But wait, those who know Norse mythology will say: Odin is the master of Valhalla. 

Not in my story. 

It kind of comes down to a bit of a sticky point on how I'm tying the Norse deities in with the Roman/Greek pantheon, and then fitting Yahweh in to the whole mess.  It's a bit sacreligious from a Judeo-Christian standpoint, so if I believed in Hell I'm sure I'd think I was going there.  What I'm doing now, meanwhile, is sacreligious to my Asatru friends, so hey, I guess I'm an equal opportunity offender.  But the only way the story makes sense to me is if Thor is in charge of Valhalla.  If that makes me destined for Helheim, or to be eaten by the dragon Niddhog, after my death, so be it.  But it's my story, after all. 

Hopefully, if I'm telling the story right, it's the only way it will make sense to the readers, as well.  I did write in a long discussion between Matt and his resident expert in mythology to explain it away, and then yesterday I revisited the discussion with the guy whom Matt's resident expert in mythology is named after, and it seemed to work out fine in both cases.  Maybe I'll escape offending the Asatruars after all.  Maybe.   

In any event, it's an awfully fun part of the story to write.  Valhalla is a cool place, after all. 

And now, back to writing....

Word Count: 68,269


  1. I'm not a fan of those long explanations written into the text... Atlas Shrugged, for example.
    I'm perfectly willing to have my legends retold, and the information contributed by earlier authors being alluded to, but pointed out as being incorrect... Jim Butcher does a little of that in his Dresden files books...
    God was created in man's image, to help us get through the scary moments of life... If you write about the Gods, you empower them... it's when they run out of believers, and people forget them that they have trouble.

  2. Thank you for the comment. I'm also not a huge fan of long explanations, so I've tried to keep my own explanations fairly short and only really told through the use of what I hope is realistic dialogue. It's challenging at times, but I deal with it by just going along and only explaining what naturally comes up at the time.