The Worlds of the Norse Gods
By Brad Cameron
Author of The Zeke Proper Chronicles
Odin’s Light and The Serpent’s Ship, Book One and Book Two of the Zeke Proper Chronicles, introduces the reader to the bleak world of the Norse Gods. Book One begins the series by taking the reader on a winding tour through the streets of Alder Cove as Zeke slowly discovers his unique connection with the Mist and the Norse Deities. Here Zeke is forced to battle dark powers, powers that are completely foreign to our modern world of science and technology.
Taylre, one of the main characters in Odin’s Light, ponders the existence of these myths and the possibility of an evil monster threatening the town of Alder Cove:
“A reality like that, she thought, would crush the comfort I have always felt in the nonexistence of fairy tales and myths. There’s got to be order to life. The existence of a monster like the Korrigan would stifle that order…No, she thought, not in this town! A creature like that can’t really exist…”
As the story evolves Taylre, as well as Zeke, begins to see that the myths are so much more; their fiction becomes fact.
One of the major problems that the characters face, however, is determining exactly what facts the old myths contain. Their research provides them with very little information, leading them to another very colorful character, the Captain. His knowledge of the old Norse tales, provided once upon a time by his mother, establishes him as the guide the protagonist needs in order to complete his heroes quest.
The Captain, in Book Two, The Serpent’s Ship, explains the universe, according to the Norse tradition. His explanation describes the nine worlds that the ancient Norse believed in, with particular emphasis on Midgard and Asgard, home of the gods.
“’There are several worlds’ he began…’that the Northern people believe exist. Here,’ he said, pointing and circling the word he’d written, ‘above all else, is the realm of the gods themselves. Asgard is its name. It is here that the twelve divine gods and goddesses live. They control all. At least for now…But here,’ he said, writing out another word in bold block letters in the very center of the page, ‘is Midgard. It is home to man. In other words, Earth, where we live now.’”
The Captain’s description of the Norse universe includes the great tree of life and time, Yggdrasil. It is this tree that supports the universe with several roots, one of them driven deep into Niflheim, the land of the dead, the second in Midgard, and a third in Asgard. Thus the tree binds together all parts of the universe. This is crucial knowledge that Zeke needs in order to make his way amid paths that connect the fragile worlds. The key being the Mist and his ability to maneuver amongst its labyrinth of secret doors and portals.
As the Captain’s narrative continues, further discussion concerning the other six worlds takes a back seat, but only for now. Later, in Book Three, The Gates of Asgard, Zeke will discover more about the make up of the universe and how all the pieces fit into place. He will discover that the Norsemen visualized the universe as a tricentric structure – like three plates set above each other with space in between them.
It is not uncommon to find that other cultures share similar beliefs of multiple worlds and a tree or mountain in their center binding them all together. Like the Norsemen, their worlds contained different races with not so uncommon animosities. Perhaps it is the myth makers desire to portray the real world in which we live, offering us a chance to come together: nation to nation, race to race, and world to world.