For Readers: Myth in Blackwell
Norse mythology is awfully important in Blackwell, South Dakota. Although very few of the townsfolk know it, some of the residents of this small town are the descendants of the gods. Unlike the gods in most mythologies, Norse gods can—and in this case did–die. That doesn’t mean that Ragnarök isn’t coming, just that the gods can’t fill their foretold roles so a few of their descendants are going to have to step in to fight in their places for the great battle.
In Norse myth, there are two groups of gods, the Aesir and the Vanir, as well as one part-god who is a category by himself.
Trickster; shapeshifter who took the forms of wolf, eagle, salmon, fly, and horse; often used his cleverness to help the gods out of trouble. If the gods ended up in trouble, injured, or dead, odds were good that Loki was responsible.
Aesir: gods of power and battle
god of storms, thunder, and lightning; defeater of monsters and giants; protector of humankind; fierce warrior; often traveled with Odin and Loki. Thor would rather wade into a battle against all odds than fail to protect the other gods or humanity.
the “brave god”; builder of a great ship; kind to all he met; beloved of all. Balder is best know for a game in which gods threw weapons at him. Because he couldn’t be injured, the game was great fun for everyone. . . at least it was unlike Loki handed one of the gods a spear of made of mistletoe.
the “all seeing”; associated with prophecy, magic, and poetry; also god of victory and battle; kept company with two ravens who are called Hugin (Thought) and Munin (Memory); associated with the Berserkers; has a spear named Gungnir.
Vanir: gods of wisdom and life
son of the god of the sea; god of farming; has a magic sword which will fight on its own and a boar with a mane and bristles of gold that was made by dwarves. (We’re not sure why he needs a big pig with gold bristles, but we have a few things in our possession that are a little peculiar too.)
daughter of the god of the sea; the goddess of love and beauty; had a carriage drawn by cats and a cloak of falcon feathers that enabled her to take the shape of a falcon. She may have once ruled the Valkyries.