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by Norman Descendants August 11, 2017

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The downfall of the Æsir
The downfall of the Æsir

At the start of the Viking Age, the belief in many gods was the norm. Most of the Vikings were pagan, they had many gods but had no problem accepting the Christian god with theirs, there was no true hatred towards the Christian Church, despite widely popular belief. What we do know about their Pagan practices comes from their stories spoken about the gods. When the Vikings came to Normandy and Britain, they still practiced their own pagan religion. The old stories that spoke about monsters, gods, and giants are known as Norse myths. In one story, Thor, the god of thunder, tries to prove his strength to the Giant King by attempting to lift a giant cat. The AllFather, one-eyed Odin, was the most powerful god of warfare, poetry, death, justice, and wisdom.

Thor and the Midgard Serpent
Thor and the Midgard Serpent

The most wildly popular god was Thor. He wielded a hammer crafted by the dwarfs known as Mjölnir. Thor was the god of thunder and was worshiped by seafarers.

Loki breaks free at the onset of Ragnarök
Loki breaks free at the onset of Ragnarök

The gods had many enemies and the most feared enemy were the giants. Thor was the main defender of the gods against the giants as he was the only match for the giants in strength. There were many conflicts between the two races and unfortunately for the other gods lack of lifting they had to rely on cunning to outwit the giants.

Frey and Freyja, the god and goddess of fertility, were very important and were also brother and sister. Odin is the chief god in Norse mythology. He is the father of Balder, Thor, Hoder, Tyr, Heimdall, Bragi, Ull, Hermod, Vidar, and Vali. His wives were Fjorgyn, Frigga and Rind. Odin as the chief god had a bad habit of seducing and impregnating women in human form while roaming around Midgard.

Then the Awful Fight Began
Then the Awful Fight Began

 

The Vikings believed of a final battle that would end the world known as Ragnarok, between the gods and giants. A great fire would engulf and sweep across the entire world, nearly destroying all flesh including gods. In all this destruction, enough members of both races would survive to start a new world.

"It sates itself on the life-blood of fated men, paints red the powers' homes with crimson gore. Black become the sun's beams in the summers that follow, weathers all treacherous. Do you still seek to know? And what?"

"Brothers will fight and kill each other, sisters' children will defile kinship. It is harsh in the world, whoredom rife —an axe age, a sword age —shields are riven— a wind age, a wolf age— before the world goes headlong. No man will have mercy on another"

The new world that rises after Ragnarök, as described in Völuspá
The new world that rises after Ragnarök, as described in Völuspá

In Norse mythology, Ragnarök was the final battle between the gods and giants that would result in the end of the world before its renewal and the death of major figures. The world will eventually resurface anew and fertile. Surviving gods will return and meet. The new world will be repopulated by two human survivors.

Norman Descendants
Norman Descendants

Normans were the people who gave their name to Normandy, a region in northern France. They were descended from Viking conquerors lead by Rollo of the territory and the native Merovingian culture formed from Germanic Franks and Romanised Gauls. Their identity emerged initially in the first half of the 10th century, and gradually evolved over succeeding centuries.



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