The Norns


     Urd, Verdandi, and Skuld - fear ripples up the spines even of the Norse Gods when they hear these names.

     Human life is short, and yet we hate it when we are not in control of our own lives. Our ignorance of our own doom/reward is a kind of blessing; we know that death will one day come for every human being, and how frail human beings are, but we can delude ourselves because we don't know our eventual fate, so we humans have hope.

     Imagine that you are immortal, have lived since the creation of time, and that your death is already documented and known to all. You do not die easily, which means that you are capable of sufferings beyond anything that a human could endure. You are a god, so even praying won't help; who would you pray to? The paradise-afterlife that humans aspire to does not exist for you; when you die, there is no afterlife. You are doomed for all eternity to live under the predictions of 3 wicked giantesses who care nothing for your predicament ... until their predictions come true, and then you die.

     The Norns are 3 giantesses whose appearance startled the Norse Gods and ended their 'golden age'. They embody destiny and can see the future, but they reveal little of it. They are said to be all-powerful.

     The mythology of  'the 3 magical sisters who weave the fates of all' is shared in many cultures. In ancient Greek mythology, the 3 sisters are called The Fates, in Celtic tradition, they are called the Wyrd. Traditionally, the three are the Spinner, who spins the tread of each life, mortal and immortal, on her spindle, the Weaver, who plots the course of each life on her loom, and the Slayer, who cuts the thread of each life with her scissors.

     To be honest, very little of what is known about any of these sisters comes from only one source. What is recorded in the ancient texts of one mythology is often used to fill in the unknown gaps in another mythology; very little research into any mythology will reveal this fact. So the Norns, who were never ascribed to own a spinning wheel, a loom, or a scissors, are often depicted with these objects.

     This may not be far off the mark. While purist researchers are devout fanatics about 'provable facts', many people in the Dark Ages were travelers, and some visited distant lands. We know that, occasionally, people from Ethiopia traveled to England. Chinese coins have been found in viking burial mounds. Harald Hardradda (with his mercenary army) spent many years in Russia, Africa, and Greece. Pilgrimages were all about travel for religious redemption. Ancient peoples shared stories and ideas back before the dawn of recorded history. Legends were swapped and adopted, then plagiarized, and no one documented how the Age of Legend originated.

     In The VIKINGS! Trilogy, the Norns are mentioned several times, and I used this mythological 'composite description' to share with my readers, since I didn't want to reinvent the Norns, write a vague description to confuse my readers, explain nothing, or include an informative blog like this right in the middle of my action-adventure fantasy.

     But no one ever describes exactly how the 3 women are all-powerful. Apparently, they were truly immortal, or many of the gods would have killed them ... in several mythologies. Perhaps the gods didn't dare try, lest their own threads be severed ... we may never know.

     The only truth that we have about the Wyrd, the Fates, or the Norns, is that they manage our fate, which resolves us from being responsible for what we make of our lives. I reject this notion entirely. When I do write about a meeting with the Norns (yes, those chapters/books are already written!), I will not be nice in my descriptions; I feel that people would do better to forget about the immortal 3 sisters and focus on taking charge of their own lives.

     If the Norse gods had done this, then Raggnarrock might not have been inevitable.

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