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Kai Lawson




Location: Madison, WI
Joined: 26 Aug 2010
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Posts: 469

PostPosted: Wed 21 May, 2014 10:05 am    Post subject: Nordic/Germanic supernatural depictions         Reply with quote

Does anyone have any good photos, descriptions or know any good literary resources for nordic depictions or descriptions of the supernatural? I'm thinking something like the wraiths seen sometimes in guldgubbers, or other weird anthropomorphic figures (Not the wolf or bird-headed warriors, mind). Any ideas?
"And they crossed swords."
--William Goldman, alias S. Morgenstern
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Erik Heller





Joined: 10 Jun 2013

Posts: 9

PostPosted: Thu 22 May, 2014 10:21 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Grettir's saga has ghosts, trolls, and giants: http://www.gutenberg.org/files/347/347-h/347-h.htm#link2HCH0032. It doesn't spend a lot of time describing their appearance.
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Eric W. Norenberg





Joined: 18 Jul 2008

Posts: 265

PostPosted: Thu 22 May, 2014 11:55 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Kai, you might already know this but one term you might scour resources for is Draugr [urlhttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Draugr[/url]

a kind of viking - saga era zombie or revenant (vampire-like creatures before Bram Stoker gave vampires a sexy make-over). Gjenganger is another term to chase down, very probably another (maybe post-viking era) word for the same creature.

As Erik pointed out there is a fair bit of draugr action in Grettir's Saga but not a lot of description of the thing. I'm having a hard time finding any original sources that do, although the internet is full of second-hand "info" relating to their appearance.

I just ran across a theory [url]http://www.vikinganswerlady.com/ghosts.shtml[url]
that Beowulf's Grendel could be considered a draugr or at least a very similar thing, if this is true then you've got some pretty good literary description there. Not sure how I feel about that connection yet.

Wish I could give you more than this...

*Edit: I can't get the links to work for some reason... anybody interested will have to cut-n-paste. Sorry.
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Jared Smith




Location: Tennessee
Joined: 10 Feb 2005
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PostPosted: Fri 23 May, 2014 10:19 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I would suggest looking under Valkyrie. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Valkyrie

There are some interesting paintings from much later period, and some archeological depictions to start from.

Absence of evidence is not necessarily evidence of absence!
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M. Livermore





Joined: 20 Aug 2008

Posts: 90

PostPosted: Sat 24 May, 2014 5:38 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

There are somewhat more detailed descriptions of a draugr in Eyrbyggja Saga, but what is there is still fairly sketchy. There is plenty of the supernatural in Volsunga Saga as well.
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