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Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Magical Objects, Arrow-Odd Edition (Seven Viking Romances IV)

You might remember Arrow-Odd's magical arrows, from our discussions about his super odd religious choices. But these arrows, (undeserved by Odd, p.s.) are just the first a great many magical objects littered throughout the Seven Viking Romances, so I thought it'd be fun to go through the catalog, just in case anyone is in the market for something in their own fiction. Or wants to go on a quest. Either/or.

Orvarodd
And that would be odd, with the red beard,
looking super baffled. (I still hate him.)
(image from wiki commons, natch!)
Let's start with the Romance of Arrow-Odd (but seriously I hate this guy).

1) Odd's Magic Arrows, AKA Gusir's Gifts
     These are the first magic objects we come across in this book of Viking Romances, and they have a couple impressive properties:
  • They're feathered with gold.
  • They always return after their shot, and they rarely miss. When a normal arrow might be stopped by some magic or other, Gusir's Gifts usually get the job done. (That said, you'd be amazed how many people get shot directly through both eyes and out the back of their skull, and still don't die.)
Odd uses Gusir's Gift to kill a great many people and monsters in his day, until they're lost to him in a fight against a giantess.

2) Odd's Magic Shirt
     While in Ireland, the Irish manage to kill Odd's BFF, Asmund. (And don't ask me why every opponent of Odd's takes arrows through both eyes and the armpits before they even slow down, but Asmond gets struck by one arrow and drops dead just like that.) Odd flies into a rage, of course, and starts slaying everyone in sight. Then he happens upon a group of women, and one of them, named Olvor, strikes a bargain with him: Let her go free, and she'll make him a magic shirt unlike any he'll ever find anywhere else. What made it so special? Well...
"You'll never be cold in it, either by sea or land. You'll never be tired when swimming, never hurt by fire, never troubled by hunger, and no iron will bite you. It will protect you against everything with one exception" (52).
That exception is of course that if he runs away from battle, he can still be killed. Clearly it is a shirt woven with Viking sensibilities in mind. It also happens to be silk, embroidered with gold, and when Odd returns to collect his shirt, he gets a bride as well.

But this isn't the only magic shirt in the Viking Romances, either. Just the first mentioned.

3) The sword called Tyrfing
     For a change, it doesn't belong to Odd, but rather his opponent, Angantyr. Two things make it special:

  • It was forged by dwarfs.
  • It cuts through anything, including iron and rock. (But presumably not Odd's shirt.)

And we'll take a breather here, but tune in next week for more Magical Objects! Because there are a lot of them, friends and followers.

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