Norse Myth Expert Reacts to God of War Ragnarok

Watch a Norse mythology expert react to God of War Ragnarok! We got Jackson Crawford, a Norse myth expert and media consultant for projects like Assassin’s Creed Valhalla, back on IGN to react to the newly released God of War sequel. From God of War Ragnarok Odin’s modern interpretation, to Ragnarok Thor’s powerlifter body, shapeshifting, prophecies, and so much more, Jackson breaks down what works and what doesn’t in Santa Monica Studio’s God of War Ragnarök!

00:00 – Intro
00:19 – Loki Shapeshifting
03:13 – Odin and Thor
07:37 – Groa’s Prophecy
09:17 – The Norns
11:30 – Nidhogg
13:26 – Garm
14:21 – Heimdall
16:26 – Final Thoughts

#Gaming #GodOfWar #GodOfWarRagnarok

Foreign [Music] ER that I've never seen in a modern Adaptation which is it can bring goats Back to life Hi I'm Dr Jackson Crawford I'm a Specialist in Old Norse language and Mythology and today I'm reacting to God Of War Ragnarok Yes So Loki is canonically a shapeshifter But he is a voluntary shapeshifter we See him take all kinds of different Forms but always deliberately that Includes human and animal forms Interesting thing about this is that There are other people who involuntarily Take bear shapes we have Loki kind of Taking on a characteristic without Otherwise associated with them but that Is their in the mythology so for example There's The Saga of Rolf Crockett which Includes a thread about this guy named Bothvar whose father is a bear in the Daytime and a man at eye time but both Of our at the end of his own life also Turns into a bear and then there's this Uh this notion in in Norse literature of The the field Gap the filga is a animal That kind of represents a person's Personality and may appear either to That person or to other people when that Person is in danger and tough aggressive Men often their field get is a bear

There's a couple things here that I Guess strike chords in my mind are Definitely there in the original Literature but not an association with Looking It was a bear Charging and I charge back These stories don't have any kind of Built-in FAQ that tells us why or how or Or the background of anything with the Characters right we don't have stories Of it's Just thinking about you know an Indiana Jones of the Last Crusade where it Starts off the first 15 minutes or so we See like how Indiana Jones became Indiana Jones like why he has the hat And why he has the scar and all that Stuff we we really don't get anything Like that endorsement right the gods are Adults and the kind of always adults and There's no reflection anywhere about you Know when so and so was young or how So-and-so learned to do something and in Fact the only thing that that occurs to Me that even suggests that Loki isn't Always in control but shape-shifting is The one story in which he becomes a Mayor and actually is impregnated by a Stallion and does carry the pregnancy Determ it gives birth to a full so it Implies I suppose that maybe he got Stuck in mayor form

So lookie is really associated with Wolves that's not a nonsensical thing I Can't think of a time when he turns into Well the words that are used about Wolves and monsters and evil figures Often get applied really kind of Liberally so that someone called a wolf Might not be literally a wolf but just Somehow otherwise monsters and Personality reform and so actually him Turning into a wolf well it doesn't Specifically happen anywhere it makes Perfect sense to me thematically Now what you did to his boys Self-defense Dying is what we as here live for I Think that the way that Odin and Thor Look is kind of cool right and I like That they've really gone their own way Here and not tried to just do another Spin on like the uh the Marvel Universe You know we've talked before about So-called popular Thor that Thor you Know he looks more like a power lifter And that seems fine it's an interesting Different take you know we don't Otherwise have a ton of description of Thor other than he's red-haired red Bearded and big of course the Norse word In context there mikhil could imply all Kinds of things from strong to large oh Then they've also really gone in their Own different way with like I think I Said last time I don't think I've ever

Seen a bald of them before and I don't Think there's anything in the sources That contradicts that notion he is Supposed to be an old man with a gray Beard something about the baldness I Think gives him just a little bit more Of a modern look right rather than the Long sort of medieval style here that we Often associate with as gods and I think That's there's something kind of Appropriate to that about ozan he's such A Timeless figure in the way that he's Obsessed with the future it seems okay To me to kind of take him out of what Looks more medieval of course oven is Missing one eye we never know what I Based on the original sources so they've Chosen ripe that's fine there's no Reason to quibble about that but as a Bird person I'm gonna slightly quibble With his Birds because they should be Ravens and what I see and here there are Crows And there is a difference so that's Going to be my my little quibble for This section Seek no quarrel with me and I'll have None with you Of course it means that that one That one has to stop his search for tear Oh then is obsessed with knowledge but a Lot of the reason for that to prevent His own death at Ragnarok he knows Thanks to prophecy that he is going to

Be swallowed by the wolfenery at Ragnarok and that the other God is going To die too and he is trying to find some Way to forestall that or prevent it and In his obsessive quest for knowledge he Is willing to sacrifice other people and Himself example lost his eye because he Gave it up in the will of mimir so he's A very Shifty selfish presence in the Stories you know he's he's a a talker or Thor is a doer and something about the Way that he uh he carries on with this Kind of you know business lunch opening At this this first meeting with him in The video game here actually kind of Strikes me as realistic to him right he Strikes me as somebody who's going to Try to get things done with words he is A God song associated with poetry and uh Is not himself a fighter about time I think the mill near is depicted pretty Well it's the shape resembles many of The Viking age amulets of Thor's hammer Its name probably is related to an Otherwise lost word for lightning and Old Norse so depicting it as sort of Glowing with lightning seems fine Although it's ever described that way in The sources one neat thing about mjolnir In the original sources is Thor can Basically kind of call it up right he Can he can it can shrink to the size of A little amulet that he can wear but it Comes back to him when he's thrown it so

Him kind of summoning it up in the scene Where he's about to fling it at the main Character seems you know not not to do Any Injustice to the source material Foreign If you fly you have wings or you ride a Flying horse which I guess doesn't Necessarily have wings for example the Only gods or goddesses I can think of Flying actually put on this thing called The falcon skin or feather suit which Either turns them into a falcon or Otherwise provides them with the wings Of a falcon that lets them fly but no Thor doesn't ever fly and it's and Nothing is ever said about him jumping Particularly far however I won't point Out one special power of mjolnir that I've never seen in a modern adaptation Which is it can bring goats back to life Oh no I say when we're done Be on the lookout for that one I'm still Waiting for that to come out in some Modern movie What is this lag where are we Somewhere Only Giants were meant to see Let me Give a Little Bit of context About uh grow up there is a figure named Gorilla who does have some association With prophecy growa she is the wife of a Lost or dead husband as this scene sort Of implies that the person she actually Interacts with and broke Alder is her

Son who comes to her and seeks her Magical protection as he goes on his own Quest and his quest may be to avenge the Dad or something like that I can't Remember off the top of my head but That's where the name growah comes from So it is certainly a witch or a serious Like figure the prophecy of Ragnarok is Not attributed to Growing you know Reasonable poetic license to take a name To Sirius or witch and make it hers as To the specifics of the prophecy that They're seeing here so there is a wolf Named Patsy and a wolf named skull who Are supposed to be sons of fenrir hathi Follows the moon and school follows the Sun although these names are only Specified in the prosetta that's kind of It that we hear about them they will Swallow the respective celestial bodies At Ragnarok once again watching Something from this game I get driven to Distraction by the runes I know this is A tiresome point for me to make but the Alphabet is so mismatched to the Language that it's writing that it's Like seeing LOL WTF in Gothic writing From the Middle Ages and it's not even Done by someone who knows what runes to Use if you were going to use that outfit So it just kind of it just annoys me why Why do this stuff if you're not going to Do it right but so I'm always going to Be annoyed by language and and ruin

Stuff though You seek What all who search for us see To know the ending to your story The Norns are three female beings who are Somehow associated with determining Faith they have a very shadowy presence In Norse mythology they're not really Speaking figures but rather someone has Died because that was the Judgment of The Norms they're very shadowy and in The background there's no reason to Think that they are inhuman looking as These norns kind of are there's Something I can't quite place what They're trying to do with their faces But they don't quite look human so Werther is the one who's usually Mentioned and her name if you want to be Literal about it would mean something Like what has happened so it may seem a Little bit strange that a figure who's Associated with someone's Fate has a Name that sounds a little bit like the Past but perhaps there's a concept a Little bit like Karma behind this right What has happened determines what can Happen or what is like due to happen but Then uh the other one named schooled her Name is actually exactly cognate with The English word should so you could Consider her perhaps again this is never Stated but perhaps she's monitoring What's obliged to happen one has obliged

Oneself to do of course a lot of modern Interpreters ticker as the future which Seems to be kind of what's going on in This game where she like knows what Someone's about to say before they say It But you called him the destroyer of Fate There must be a way to survive Destiny There is no Destiny pop and then bear Dundee means becoming or happening so Again Loosely you can kind of see their Names as like past present future but It's never laid out they have roles Executives that are related to that and We get no sense of their personality Because again they're not like speaking Characters who interact with anybody Else I guess I would just say that it is Nice to see that they are not weaving Because I get sick of seeing the norns Depicted as weaving because it's Influenced by the Greek Fates and the Norris North don't do that Foreign So that's a that's actually a Celtic Mythical animal not ever mentioned the North sources you know if they want to Bring in some Celtic stuff okay but uh You're not going to find Kelpies Anywhere in North Stone There's not much that we can say about His appearance because it's never Described although I will point out that In the last stanza of the prophecy vola

Spa on the poetic era feathers are Mentioned so he may have feathered wings Actually what got my attention in this Clip and the next clip is that there's Spoken Old Norse in this game and it is Like Yoki are Los sandwiches level Old Norse right I mean someone has taken a Dictionary and looked up words but did Not know how to use them and I can't Always tell what they're supposed to be Saying so like Freya here says open Barrow open Barrel that would mean like To make public I think it's probably Intended to be like open up but that's Not what it would mean and it's not the Form of the verb you'd use and then she Says when she uh cuts off its head with Some kind of magical effect she shouts Um Lassa arriba which is lock rip A I don't know what that's also supposed To mean uh again the performs are not What they would be in a command I'm a Language guy So probably what they want to say is Lock or close the rip okay but what she Says is to lock right like to lock a Door and to rip like to rip a sheet of Paper so it's not it's not right like I Said it's yo it's Yoki area Los Sandwiches level Old Norse so that's Unfortunate uh and I am a language guy So I'm going to fixate on that kind of Thing also for the record although he's Beheaded here he is the evil being who

Definitively survives Ragnarok because The very last stanza Volvos bug in the The prophecy Ragnarok is in the Poeticetta says that after Ragnarok the Witch sees neither flying over the Valley with corpses in his wings so Clearly he does not have his canonical Ending here because it looks like he Dies in the game All right let's start with the lock not Near its teeth We'll know very much about him snorri Describes him as a dog as a domestic dog As a post Defender being a wolf Certainly these depicted kind of like That here he looks more doggish than Wolfish to me uh as to the Soul and the dagger people are sometimes Surprised by how little talk there is in Old Norse about souls Spirits things Like that in fact it's hard to find a Word in Old Norse that's an easy Equivalent to English Soul or Spirit Notion of something Soul being in an Inanimate object is a little foreign to Old Norse myth to me although not too Neighboring Finnish myth maybe although Maybe in some way they're trying to kind Of connect back to this notion that Fenger and garma are kind of the same Thing man can you imagine how much money You could make on Etsy if you could put People's dead pet Spirits into stuff There's a here's a toothpick with

Muffins in it So What part of the enormous wall made you Think Oh Visitors must be welcome All right so there's stuff to like here And stuff it's equivalent with which is Perhaps the headline for this entire Discussion so one thing that I like to Start with is this portrayal of the the Wall as just an immense mountainous wall Right that's a cool different touch that I've never seen done before it's not you Know necessarily obvious what the wall Is supposed to look like in our original Sources but the notion that it's high Enough to keep all of the yoltner Antagon Giants whatever term you prefer Out I guess I had always kind of Pictured something that looks more Constructed but this mountain wall Appears to my my Mountain sensibility so That's that's cool I see that aim dollar Is depicted as being really pale like Kind of bleach pale I'm sure that's Inspired by this remark about him dolly That we get in the poetic era that he is The quote whitest of the Gods a lot of Anchorman's build and what that means I Think that it's probably intended to Imply that he's the most beautiful of The Gods words for like shining or Bright tend to be associated with Beauty

But you know taking him is very pale I Guess that works too his horse although We don't know anything else about it is Said to be ghoul topper and I see that In the game he has a lion Ram Chimera Thing that's named gold topper okay I Mean uh I'm not sure they even know what Lions or tigers are but uh you know I Would definitely picture just just a Horse you know we don't get any picture In our surviving sources of like the Layout of Oscar the realm of the Gods we Don't have a sense of you know what is Next of what it's and where you would Walk to do this or you'd walk through That so plenty of poetic licenses Available there and and that's all fine Little detail that I kind of like how They did is is actually treating Odin as One-eyed and having physical Repercussions right like you can't Always see who's talking to him okay That's clever like actually making it Something as consequences is neat so Again yeah good things and quibbles Thank you And so the thing is there's all these Little things they do where I say I like That they go in their own Direction with Right you know I'm I'm sure I I can get Some heat about this but I do like that They go in their own Direction about What it looks like what Odin looks like Right like that's that's neat I like

Some of the little details like you know Again the The Raven shoulder detail on Odin that's that's a neat little detail I've worked on Assassin's Creed called How I write I know that like a thousand People worked on that game so you'll Have one person who's really really Concerned with getting things you know Very consistent or at least having like A consistent explanation for why it's Not the same and then you'll have people Are just like whatever you know just Throw in whatever just seems it seems Right so surely some of it could be that Different people have different Attitudes I really wish they had handled The language more responsibly like even Just doing it consistently as like a Good modern Icelandic or good modern Swedish or something would have made it Not raise my heckles the same way I Guess the way that they've really given Their own visual signature to this story I think is imprisoned right I will say That I I think that you can look at the Characters in this game the settings in This game and say you know this is its Own interpretation that's not unduly in Debt to any other interpretation right This isn't just another spin-off that's Kind of like half based on the Marvel Interpretation it's its own thing and I I do like that and I do respect a lot of The artistic originality

For more God of War make sure to watch Our review or another video of Jackson Crawford reacting to Ragnarok [Music] Thank you

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