Reimagining Today’s Horse for Tomorrow’s World
4. Horses of Norse Mythology
Chapter 4 Horses of Norse Mythology With his identity protected under his wide-brimmed hat, the wise and fearsome one-eyed god Odin dashes through Norse sagas on his mag- ical, wingless, eight-legged gray horse named Sleipnir. Together they fly like the wind between worlds mortal and divine. Odin’s Sleipnir is possibly the most beloved of all the horses in the richly-woven, rough and tumbling Viking folk tales as told in the Eddas and other poet- ic sagas from the northern Scandinavian countries of Norway, Den- mark, and Sweden from about 793 A.C.E. to 1066 A.C.E., and Iceland from about 800 A.C.E. In these tales, horses and their riders play vital roles. Warriors killed in battle, for example, are taken by horse-rid- ing Valkyries to the afterlife in Odin’s hall, Valhalla, or Freyja’s field, Fólkvangr. Many wondrous horses from Norse mythology romp through this chapter, including the magical Sleipnir, born of the stallion Svaoilfari and shape-shifter Loki in the form of a mare. Unveiled are insights into why Sleipnir is gifted to Odin, god of noblemen and kings, while Thor, god of the common man, does not ride a horse. 28 riding on horses’ wings Valkyries Take Deceased Warriors to Valhalla Viking tales banter about life in Midgard, or Middle Earth, for people, elves, dwarfs, and animals, as well as life in Asgard, or Sky World, for gods and goddesses, and a rainbow bridge connecting these two worlds. Monsters such as trolls, dragons, sea serpents, and other crea- tures add punch...
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