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Explore More - 2018

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The Norse Gods The

The Norse Gods The legends of giants, gods and goddesses told by the mighty Vikings have inspired Scandinavian culture and are as captivating as ever The Vikings were the greatest explorers of their age. They ventured all over Europe and beyond to create new settlements and forge important new trading routes. The success of their explorations was built on a rich Scandinavian culture wedded to the sea. Yet the Vikings were also dependent on the land. Bound by a sense of family and clan, they populated the lands we know as Norway, Sweden and Denmark, where they lived as farmers and merchants. Life brought many challenges and dangers, too. Both at home and at sea, their world was ruled by their gods and their tales of bravery, strength and wisdom. At Viking, we are proud of our Norse heritage. That is why we have honored our Viking Longships—and our Russian fleet—with the names of celebrated Viking gods and heroes. The following pages detail some of our ship names and describe the Norse gods, goddesses and mythical characters that inspired them. Here you will also find paintings of the gods by the Norwegian artist Roy Christian Lauritsen. The original artworks are proudly displayed in the Atrium on each Viking Longship. We hope that you enjoy discovering the mythological Norse stories that inspired the Vikings—tales of gods, giants and horses that evoke the magnificent heritage of a magical land. 138 EXPLORE MORE 2018

VIKING GODS HEADSTRONG HEROES GOD OF WISDOM ODIN As the father of the Norse gods, Odin is associated with magic and prophecy. He also brings victory in battle. Odin is often pictured with long gray hair and a beard, cloak and floppy hat to disguise himself as he travels among ordinary people. He carries with him a powerful spear, Gungnir, which never misses its target, and a magic ring, Draupnir. GOD OF THE SEA AEGIR Personifying the ocean’s power, Aegir is also known for hosting lavish parties for the gods, who marvel at his magical cups that refill themselves with drink. In his home below the sea, Aegir brews ale in a large cauldron, the froth of which is the ocean spray. Married to Ran, goddess of the sea, Aegir has nine daughters who are the Norse wave maidens. GODDESS OF THE FROZEN EARTH RINDA Beautiful and headstrong, Rinda is the daughter of Billing, king of the Ruthenians, and wife of Odin, father of the gods. Odin learns of a prophecy that he would have a son with Rinda who would avenge his son Baldur’s death by slaying Hodur. So Odin sets out to marry Rinda to fulfill the prophecy. Nine months later, Vali is born and grows into a strong young man. As foretold, he travels to Asgård and kills Hodur. GODDESS OF WINTER SKADI The giantess Skadi is also associated with hunting and skiing. When her father is slain by the gods, Skadi heads to Asgård, home of the gods, to avenge his death. To appease her rage, the gods agree to her demands for a god as a husband, on the condition that she makes her choice by gazing at their feet. Skadi chooses the most graceful feet, believing them to belong to the young and beautiful Baldur. But she has chosen Njord. GOD OF THUNDER TOR Tor, a version of the name Thor, is a son of Odin and the protector of gods and people. Strong and powerful, he is usually depicted wielding his mighty hammer, Mjolnir. Famous for his quick temper and feats of strength, Tor is both feared and revered by the gods, and worshipped by mortals. The Norse people wore hammer-shaped amulets, a symbol of Tor, for protection well into the advent of Christianity. EXPLORE MORE 2018 139