Mar 17, 2017

Nude Norse Gods

I went to a Swedish Lutheran college, where we were proud of our Viking heritage.  Our team was the Vikings, our radio station was WVIK.  There was a quote from the Icelandic Hamaval over the circulation desk in the library.  The courses in Norse Mythology was well populated.

Ancient Greek and Roman myths seemed somehow decadent: wandering around the bucolic Mediterranean half-naked, eating grapes and having erotic encounters.  The last story is about Venus and Cupid.  But the North was harsh, with frost giants and battle-hammers, and it ended with Ragnarok, the Apocalypse of the gods.

But Greek and Roman myths had a benefit: nudity.  The gods were portrayed naked, with hard, thick chests and abs and even penises on display.  You had to did deep to find a Norse god with his shirt off.

Ok, it was cold in the north, but still...

Thor was the most popular of the Norse gods among the college students, due to his appearance in comic books and fantasy illustrations.  Here Boris Vallejo shows him fighting some very buffed giants.

But Freyr or Frey seems to have been the most popular among the real Vikings.  He was the god of fertility and prosperity.

Some phallic images of Freyr have survived.

Some phallic images have survived, and modern Neo-pagans have produced many more.

My favorite myth is of Baldur the Beautiful, so beautiful that all the gods were in love with him.  His mother went around to ask every animal, plant, and natural object to agree not to hurt him, so the gods played a game of throwing things at him, to see them bounce off harmlessly.  But Mom forgot to ask mistletoe.

The evil Loki convinced the blind god Hodur, here portrayed as a muscular Classical beauty, to throw a sprig of mistletoe at Baldur, thus killing him.

For punishment, Loki was chained beneath a giant serpent that sprayed venom onto him forever.

We don't see a lot of myths about Odin, the leader of the gods, but here he, plus archaic gods Villi and Ve, are creating the world.

See also: Loki.

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