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Let’s Talk Novels-Norse fantasy novels pt 6: Fur and Feathers

Norse Fantasy Novels Part 6: Horses, Dragons, Ravens and a Squirrel? – Fur and Feathers:

A select number of all the Norse Fantasy Novels I have read feature Norse mythical animals in a major role although they do mostly appear in settings or as challenges for heroes and heroines or even as companions. For instance, in two different series involving Valkyries, they have pet ravens akin to Hugnin and Mugnin, Odin’s ravens.

The Wolves

There is an exception and that is the way the wolves of Norse Mythology have become key characters and feature prominently within the Wolfsangel series and Ragnarok Prophecies series.

Wolves feature prominently within many of the Norse myths and so within many of the Norse Fantasy novels, the most well known are; 

Fenrir: Who is Loki’s son and so big his jaws can touch the earth and moon, he is fated to break free of any bonds and devour Odin during Ragnarok! Fenrir plays a dominating force in Wolfsangel by M.D. Lachlan.

The Wolves Pursuing Sol and Mani” by J.C. Dollman (1909)

Skol and Hati:  Two wolves who chase the sun and moon through the sky, these two fluffy nuisances finally catch up with their prey plunging the world into darkness during Ragnarok.  However, there are some wolves regarded as good omens, these are Freki and Geri, Odin’s companions. These rival pairs feature in the Ragnarök Prophecies (Fade, Fall and Flame) by A. K. Morgen.

Norse wolves influence the characters of the title Broods of Fenrir by Coral Moore – descendants of the great wolves but who shape-shift into their wolfish form but have wolf-like qualities in their personality.

Jörmungandr

Jörmungandr, is one of my absolute favourite mythical creatures, he is also known as the world or Midgard serpent. If you have played the latest God of War you will be very familiar, a little too familiar in some cases with this big slithery dude. He is another of Loki’s children, seriously that boy got around.. he lives in the great oceans in Midgard and he is so ginormous that he circles the world and bites his own tale. His nemesis is Thor and they have the ultimate showdown during Ragnarok. 

thor battles a snake
“Thor’s Battle with the Midgard Serpent” by Johann Heinrich Füssli (1788)

 

Hugin and Munin 

Hugin and Munin may sound like the Norse equivalent of sooty and sweep but they are actually Odin’s ravens. They are regarded to have been Odin’s spies, flying all over Midgard and reporting back to him whatever goings on they witnessed. Often the people believed that seeing ravens just after death was Odin accepting the sacrifice and the good death of the recently departed.

Odin, with ravens in black and white on throne with his spear
Odin enthroned and holding his spear Gungnir, flanked by his ravens Huginn and Muninn and wolves Geri and Freki (1882) by Carl Emil Doepler

 

Other titles involving Norse Myth Creatures:

 

Norse Mythology by Neil Gaiman – Sleipnnir, Fenrir, Jörmungandr, Hugnin and Mugnin

Blood Tide and Blood Song by Melvyn Burgess – Fafnir the Dragon

Dead Radiance series by T.G. Ayer – Hugnin, Mugnin and Dragonkin

Valda and the Valkyries by Mark Neumayer – Ravens

Valkyrie by Kate O’Hearn – Ravens

Magnus Chase and the Gods of Asgard by Rick Riordan – Ravens, Ratatosk, Fafnir, Wolves, Goats, Boars

United States of Asgard series by Tessa Gratton – Fenrir, Trolls, Wights

 

As always, if you want to pick up any of the Norse Fantasy novels we have touched on simply click the picture below! Any novels ordered through our storefront does earn The Valks a small commission which goes directly back into keeping the Valks running!

Want to read the other articles in the  Norse Fantasy Novel series?

 

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