Presenting the Norse Myths in Modern Narratives and the Case of Netflix’s Ragnarok

Warning: This post may contain spoilers for season one of Ragnarok. Turn back now if you want to watch the series first before reading.  One series that I’ve stumbled upon during the course of three lockdowns is Ragnarok, a Norwegian series broadcast on Netflix. Produced by a Danish production company named SAM Productions, it is …

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“Now if you don’t mind, I’ve got a city to keep”: Exploring Gender in the Jarls of Skyrim and Its Links to Norse Mythology and Beowulf.

I have recently begun yet another replay of The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim and as a scholar of Old English and Old Norse, one cannot help but notice many of the parallels or direct references to the culture and literature of these eras, especially when one is nearing 1000 hours on Steam (please don’t judge …

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Embracing Intersectional Approaches to Criticism

I have spent the last two weeks writing and editing a potential journal article in my effort to keep a toe dipped firmly in academia during my job hunt. This article discusses the appropriation of Old Norse religion by the alt-right and shows how a gender analysis of Sigurd and Loki can contradict the arguments …

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Bytes of Passion: The Historical Origins of “Stans”

Reader, you may or may not have noticed but the Internet is a strange place in 2020. From employment opportunities and heightened political campaigns, to the dedicated worship of young, handsome singers such as Niall Horan, there seems to be no limit to the types of content you can access online. If you have thought …

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The Man, The Hero, The Outlaw: The Shared Criticism of Traditional Masculinity in Beowulf and The Saga of Grettir The Strong.

Due to the circumstances surrounding the Covid-19 pandemic, the three conferences I was due to take part in were cancelled. While I am glad that organisers prioritised safety, it is unclear when I will next get to partake in a conference, and so I have decided to turn one of these papers into a blog …

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“To Dungeons Deep and Caverns Dim” How J. R. R. Tolkien Explores Gender and Masculinity in The Hobbit.

J. R. R. Tolkien’s novel The Hobbit has been picked apart and reconstructed by scholars on numerous occasions since its publication in 1937, responding in an essay that “In Dasent's words I would say: 'We must be satisfied with the soup that is set before us, and not desire to see the bones of the …

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“That Is Unparalleled Black Magic”: ‘The Wonders of the East’ And The Overlapping of Race and Gender in Depicting Monstrosity.

The Wonders of the East is an early medieval prose text that can be found in three manuscripts from England: Cotton Vitellius A. xv (the famous Beowulf manuscript), Cotton Tiberius B.v, and Bodleian 614. The oldest of the three is that found in the Beowulf manuscript, which scholars have dated to around the year 1000AD (although this date is …

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The Parameters of Heroic Identities Part 2: Icelandic Sagas and Pop Culture  

  *Note: Featured image is a depiction of Oðinn from the Icelandic manuscript SÁM 66.* The Sagas of the Icelanders were written from the 13th to 15th centuries and cover the greater Viking Age across pre-Christian Scandinavia, as well the migration and transition into Christian Iceland (Smiley ix). Exploring a variety of socio-political aspects and familial disputes in Iceland and Scandinavia, these sagas have frequently been …

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The Parameters of Heroic Identities, Part 1: The Legend of Sigurd. 

The story of Sigurd, the dragon-slaying hero is a wide-reaching tale of oral Germanic origins, being retold in a variety of Scandinavian and German texts, even stretching as far as Britain, with his appearance on stone crosses and a brief reference in Beowulf. The heroic figure is one that has fascinated audiences for some time …

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The Journey Goes Ever Onward: Towards a PhD.

"Toss a coin to your witcher, oh valley of plenty." - Jaskier of The Witcher. It has been a while since I have last written, a combination of setting myself too many deadlines and slowly developing a fear of my own devices. Nevertheless, I have returned to hound your WordPress newsfeed once more and babble about …

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