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Decius
13-12-2008, 21:03
My girlfriend is doing a paper for one of her university classes on Norse Mythology in Modern Culture. Or nerdy culture. Anyway, she is interested in any Norse references in 40k that she can work into her paper.

I'll get the ball rolling: Aren't a few of the Tyranid hive fleets named after Norse creatures? And the Space Wolves (http://wh40k.lexicanum.com/wiki/Space_Wolves#Iconography) are just oozing with Norseness. That's all I could think of really. Anything significant outside of these two examples?

Links and sources would hyper-awesome fellas. Thanks.
(I need your help guys. My girlfriend is getting interested in 40k! I need this!)

Grimtuff
13-12-2008, 21:17
Yes, there are a few Hive Fleets named after various Norse myths. The main "official" one is Kraken though I have seen fan-made Hive Fleets by the names of Jormungandr (one of Loki's children) and Ragnarok (also an Imperial Tank).

If you ask me, there are far more references in WHFB than 40k, most of the Chaos book for example. Valkia the Bloody is obviously a Valkyrie (hey! another Imperial vehicle). Wood Elves have a magic item called the Fimbulwinter shard.

One of the most blatant examples in 40k (before it was retconned) were Leman Russ' dying words:
"In the end I will return. For the final battle. For the Wolf Time."

The "final battle" being Ragnarok.

*goes and digs for more* ;)

Surgency
14-12-2008, 00:15
the Space Wolves always struck me as having a Norse Barbarian feel to them, though I don't have any links for ya

ctsteel
14-12-2008, 06:19
Don't forget the Valhallans.
I'm sure you could find links between some of the creatures in 40k, and their representations in norse mythology. I mean, elves are in lots of cultural stories, but some versions of elves are very different than others. I have a vague memory that the norse versions of many of the fey races are a lot more 'grimdark' than other countries' versions. So you may be able to draw additional parallels there as to one particular interpretation over another. eg Dark Eldar being the child snatching type of elf, goblins/gretchin and so on

Condottiere
14-12-2008, 07:08
Space Wolves Marine chapter is obvious. Valhallans is a reference to their icy planet, though their force structure looks rather Soviet to me.

The Hive fleet names might be a reference to their total annihilating nature, just like prophesized in the Norse mythology.

Because of their barbaric nature, Norse references are unlikely to occur in Eldar, which tends to be more Celtic. Elves in Norse mythology are sparsely documented, and Tolkien based his mythology on his Catholic faith and Finnish folklore.

Dwarves tend to be Nordic, but it seems the Tyranids got to them first.

Your girlfriend will probably have more material in Fantasy.

StormWulfen
14-12-2008, 08:28
the planet valhalla not the valhallans themselves, valhalla was the norse "heaven" so to speak where all the warriors who earned odins' favour went when they died

MrBigMr
14-12-2008, 08:44
From official stuff, you can't go wrong with Space Wolves.

Simon Sez
14-12-2008, 08:52
The Rhana Dandra has always struck me as Ragnarok-esque.

Grimtuff
14-12-2008, 09:48
The Rhana Dandra has always struck me as Ragnarok-esque.

Good catch. It is Ragnarok down to a "t". What with the Phoenix Lords fighting the Chaos gods themselves. Seems exactly like Ragnarok.

Also, what about Loec (from WHFB) or his (possible) 40k equivalent The Laughing God?

chromedog
14-12-2008, 10:34
Vaul the crippled smith god of the eldar has a direct link to one from Norse mythology - and weyland/wayland the smith from celtic is based ostensibly off the same myth (I've been re-reading the Snorri eddas to get some background on another set of SF novels).

Condottiere
14-12-2008, 11:24
The Norse Gods received their holiday gift catalogues from the Dwarves.

Messiah
14-12-2008, 21:17
Make sure she checks out World of Warcraft, Warcraft 3, Warahmmer etc.

Id really like to read that when she is finished btw, could you make sure to post it here.

pookie
15-12-2008, 16:57
Yes, there are a few Hive Fleets named after various Norse myths. The main "official" one is Kraken though I have seen fan-made Hive Fleets by the names of Jormungandr (one of Loki's children) and Ragnarok (also an Imperial Tank).

If you ask me, there are far more references in WHFB than 40k, most of the Chaos book for example. Valkia the Bloody is obviously a Valkyrie (hey! another Imperial vehicle). Wood Elves have a magic item called the Fimbulwinter shard.

One of the most blatant examples in 40k (before it was retconned) were Leman Russ' dying words:
"In the end I will return. For the final battle. For the Wolf Time."

The "final battle" being Ragnarok.

*goes and digs for more* ;)

dont Orks have a version of this too?

Emperor's Grace
15-12-2008, 19:04
Vaul the crippled smith god of the eldar has a direct link to one from Norse mythology

I thought that this was a nod to Hephaestus/Vulcan of the Greek/Roman traditions?

Weyland/Volund was news to me. I read up what I could quickly on the web. Weyland/Volund seems to be a mortal (extraordinary/a "hero") but not a "god".

KharnTheBetrayer01
15-12-2008, 21:04
Small link only, but lets not forget the Thorian Inquisition.

Might be namesake only, but Thor... Ring any Norse bells?

Grimtuff
15-12-2008, 21:38
dont Orks have a version of this too?

I'm pretty sure Ragna-Ork/c is mentioned somewhere, it may be in the WHFB book near Grimgor's entry IIRC.

chromedog
15-12-2008, 23:16
Hephaestos/Vaul/Vulcan are all based off the same archetype. There are many legendary figures in human history that share similar characteristics - even from cultures that never had contact with each other at the time the legends were created. We tend to share these things around, and the same idea does tend to propagate through different cultures at the same time without intermediaries.

Many cultures have legends of vampires - in many cases, they're vastly different, but the drinkers of blood/immortal creatures share some key characteristics.

Michael M.
16-12-2008, 05:21
Not to forget the name of the SW Primarch: Leman Russ. The Rus had been one of the large viking groups, who became later the Russians. The SW have the most norse background in 40K.
The way that the people on the SW homeworld Fenris lifes remindes of the vikings. Let your girlfriend read the SW novels. The first one descript it best.