VIKING SEDUCTION IN THE #METOO ERA
“Now plainly I speak, since both I have seen;
unfaithful is man to maid;
we speak to them fairest when thoughts are falsest
and wile the wisest of hearts.”*
Odin’s words, of course, speak to how men are generally programmed by evolution to flatter as many women into bed as they can, even wise ones.
Considering the gender wars raging at the moment, that’s central to what infuriates women about men in general––playing the wild card of sex. Since I’ve been married for decades, have three grown sons and am no longer in the mating market, I’ll stay mum about how I think this is all going to turn out.
Instead, I’ll just tell The Mead of Poetry as it was handed down and let the chips fall where they may. In this old Viking myth, Odin’s best friend has been murdered and his blood brewed into a magical mead. Toward the end of his long quest to return the mead to Asgard, Odin learns that a beautiful but deadly giantess, Gunlod, guards it inside a mountain.
What does he do? After sneaking inside, he speaks to her “fairest” when his heart is “falsest” and seduces her. He then steals the mead and flees, feeling no remorse at breaking her heart.
I’m not saying that’s honorable, but it’s certainly timeworn male behavior.
Taking whatever lumps I will for it, with guitar in hand, I’ll be telling this controversial tale on Sunday, April 1 at the Riverwalk Café and Music Bar in Nashua, NH, along with another big old Norse myth, Thor Against the Frost Giants. It’s adult imagination entertainment with compelling, movie score-like music that proves once again: there’s nothing new under the sun.
The show is at 7 pm.
*from Hávamál: The Words of Odin the High One
(illustration created by Meaghan Ingram, after seeing this show in Boston)