Odd and the Frost Giants
By Neil Gaiman




external image odd-and-the-frost-giants.jpg
- Gretchen Roesch
AdamStower_OddtheFrostGiants01.jpg
-Alyssa Velk



Characters:

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The bear = Thor (Lord of the Thunders)
History of Thor
The Eagle = Lord Odin (all father, greatest of the Gods)
History of Odin
The Fox = Loki (blood-brother to the Gods)
History of Loki
-Alyssa Velk

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The Frost Giant who Odd defeats by his smarts
History of the Frost Giants
-Alyssa Velk

The Goddess Freya = desired by the Frost Giants
History of Freya
-Andi Matecki





Monomyth Cycle:

Birth/Home: Odd's crippled after a tree falls on him and he isn't a welcome resident in his stepfather's home. Winter should have ended weeks ago and everyone is getting sick of each other.
Call to Adventure: After running away to his deceased father's hut in the woods, a fox gets his attention and leads him to an eagle and a bear who has his paw stuck in a tree. Odd manages to help the bear by cutting down a tree that is blocking the bear's paw. The bear lets Odd ride him back to the hut where the boy, the bear, the fox, and the eagle all stay for the night.It is during this time that they reveal who they are to the boy: Odin, Thor, and Loki.They explain the predicament that Loki got them into and how the Frost Giants have control of Asgard.Odd decides that they all must venture out in the morning to take control of the land of the gods again in order for winter to finally end.
Helpers: Thor (the bear,) Odin (the eagle,) and Loki (the fox) help Odd through the adventure as much as they can.

Crossing the Threshold: The Rainbow Bridge is a transport between the land of the humans and Asgard, but since the gods are in animal form they cannot create a rainbow. Odd carves a piece of ice into a triangle so when the sun hits it a rainbow appears. The four of them are able to be transported between the worlds and end up in Asgard.

Helpers: Loki, Odin, and Thor assist Odd in his travels while still in their animal form. Thor brings Odd to a spring to drink and leaves him there. Here Odd sees many things reflected in the water including his father carving the unfinished piece of wood that Odd found back in the hut. The spring enlightened him and he begins carving the piece of wood until it is finished.

Climax/Final Battle: Odd walks to the the wall of Asgard to meet the Frost Giant that overtook the land. They have a conversation about why the Frost Giant wanted everything and wanted to defeat the gods. The Frost Giant wanted to avenge his brother who was tricked by the gods as well as gain beauty in the land of the giants through the Sun, the Moon, and the goddess, Freya. Odd gives the Frost Giant the finished piece of carved wood: a carving of how his mother looked when his father met her in Scotland for the first time. This little piece of wood was beautiful enough for the Frost Giant to take back to the land of the giants and so, he retreated. Asgard was back in the hands of the Norse gods once again.

Flight: Odd was placed on top of the wall while him and the Frost Giant were talking.Odin came swooping down in his eagle form and gave Odd Loki's flying shoes so Odd would be able to descend back down to the land below.He and the three gods still in animal form entered into the great hall and were greeted by Freya who returned all of them back into their normal, god-like forms. As a thank you to Odd, Freya also reconstructed his crippled leg the best she could, but couldn't completely heal it.Odin gave Odd a beautiful carved walking stick also as a thank you.

Return: Odin created a Rainbow Bridge using a small globe of water that transported Odd back home to the outskirts of his village. As Odd walked he was grateful for what Freya did to his leg since it didn't hurt like it used to.When he was at his stepfather's house, his stepfather didn't recognize him. Odd had grown up into a young man during his adventure and was no longer a child.

Elixer: After learning that his mother left his stepfather to return to Odd's father's original house, he walked there. Reunited with his mother, Odd invited his mother to go back to her home land of Scotland with him. Even without Odd's father, him and his mother were still a happy little family.

-Andi Matecki



Possible Lesson Plans/Assignments:

1. Assign the students to do a short paper on the significance of each god's animal-like form: Why was Odin represented as an eagle? Thor a bear? Loki a fox?

2. Create a presentation on the climate of the Scandinavian (Nordic) countries. How long is a normal winter there? How do they survive in the winter? etc.

3. Create a presentation or write a research paper on the similarities between Norse Mythology and Greek Mythology (or Roman Mythology, etc.) How are the gods similar? Different? Are there symbols in one culture that represent the same things in the other? etc.

-Andi Matecki



Norse Influences on Literature:
Much of literature is influenced by mythology, and Norse mythology is no exception. Why is mythology always an influence on literature? I think mythology is the very basis of human life. People has based religions on mythology, and many myths attempt to explain why the world works the way it does. By basing literature on mythology, authors can show how everything connects and relate things back to the beginnings of a culture.


Neil Gaiman's comic series Sandman has influences from Greek mythology and Norse mythology.
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J.R.R. Tolkein admitted that Norse mythology influenced his Lord of the Rings series heavily.
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The Everworld series by K.A. Applegate was influenced by Norse Mythology, specifically the characters Loki and Hel.
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-Gretchen Roesch


Videos:


- Gretchen Roesch


Neil Gaiman reading from the book!
-Alyssa Velk


In which Neil Gaiman talks about the book and why he wrote it.
-Alyssa Velk



a series of YouTube videos on Norse mythology and Vikings
-Alyssa Velk


Director and Suit Construction Supervisor from the movie Thor talk about the Frost Giants in the movie
-Gretchen Roesch



IGN takes in inside look at the ideas surrounding Thor and Loki in the upcoming Marvel movie, The Avengers. The past of the gods are discussed and there's even mention of the Rainbow Bridge._Andi Matecki



Links:

Neil Gaiman's Website
Here you can find tons of info on Neil and the books that he writes!
- Alyssa Velk

Odd and the Frost Giants: An Archetypal Analysis
a link to an article I found on Yahoo! talking about Odd and the Frost Giants and norse mythology!
- Alyssa Velk

On the history of Thor
really interesting stuff about Thor and Lord Odin and many other things discussed in the book
- Alyssa Velk

Get an inside look at the book, summary, and a review of it here!
-Andi Matecki

An anthology of Norse mythology
further reading into the myths from the book!
-Gretchen Roesch

A history of Norse mythology
-Andi Matecki

Another wiki about Odd and the Frost Giants
-Gretchen Roesch

The Prose Eddas (Poetic Edda)
This is made up of 34 Icelandic poems that deal with Norse mythology and legends.
-Andi Matecki

Norse Symbols
This site has numerous images of the symbols in Norse mythology and what they represent.
-Andi Matecki