Author Topic: Doc Jensen's Stab at the Mythology of Lost: Enter the Vikings  (Read 9711 times)

Offline laklost

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As I always say about ole Doc, he can drive me nutso, but this "wide swatch" of Norse mythology he explains is fascinating.  The whole article is here http://www.ew.com/ew/article/0,,1550612_20250233_20272495_5,00.html while the Norse stuff is here:

Jeff Jensen from EW.com
There's another mythology (besides Egyptain) that had a similar yet more oddly focused tradition. Meet the Vikings, those rough-and-tumble mead-swilling, horn-hatted Scandinavian pagans partial to Norse gods of Odin and Thor. Viking tradition called for corpses to be dressed in their finest threads and their feet to be shod with ''Hel-Shoes.'' After all, souls need a good pair of footwear for the journey to hell — or ''Hel'' as the Norse called it, named after the goddess who served as its warden. Hel had some very interesting father issues, just like many characters on Lost. And Hel has something in common with dearly departed Alex: As it happens, Hel's dad is Loki, the great villain of Norse mythology — the god of lies. Which finally brings me to the week's big discovery:

''LUKE...THERE IS...ANOTHER...SKYWALK — ER, I MEAN HOTH...''
Introducing the Norse Code Theory of Lost

When I asked the Lost Super-Computer (i.e., Wikipedia) to crunch the word ''Hoth,'' it came back with the fact that ''Hoth'' also refers to a figure from Norse mythology sometimes known as ''Hod,'' ''Hoor,'' or ''Hotherus.'' Investigating Norse mythology brought me to the concept of ''Hel-Shoes,'' as well as some other intriguing possibilities for Lost.

You see, for eons there were two sets of Norse gods that were at war with each other: the gods of Aesir and the gods of Vanir. There was an attempt at a truce, which involved an exchange of hostages as insurance. One of the hostages was an Aesiran god named Mirmir, who had the ability to see future events. For various reasons, the Vanir felt they had been tricked, so they cut off Mirmir's head and sent it back to Odin, who for a long time carried it around and asked it questions and stuff. Creepy. And it gets better! Eventually, Odin buried the head in a well under the Tree of Life and was able to continue asking it questions about the future — but he had to cut out his eye as a sacrifice. Anyway, the truce between the rival tribes eventually collapsed, there was a rumble, and when it was over...the bickering deities found a way to get along and merged pantheons into one big super-pantheon.

Might we see the Dharma/Hostile feud proceed along parallel lines? Will there be a hostage swap to preserve the peace? Is disembodied Jacob something similar to beheaded Mirmir? Will Dr. Marvin Candle cut off his arm to glean the Island's secrets of the future in the same way Odin plucked out his eye? Will Dharma and the Others finally merge to form their own super-group?

But back to this Hoth guy. Hoth had a distinctive trait: He was blind. He also murdered his brother, a god by the name of Balder. One might be tempted to forge a Cain and Abel comparison, but Hoth had a good excuse: He was tricked by the god of lies, Loki, into shooting a ''missile'' (or spear) loaded with mistletoe, the only substance capable of killing Hoth's otherwise invulnerable sibling. Yet despite being deceived, Hoth was punished severely. Odin sired a monstrous son named Vali for the sole purpose of slaying the sightless, accidental god-killer. At Balder's funeral, Odin whispered something into his dead son's ear. No one really knows what Odin said, and from that day forth, anyone who dared to challenge Odin in a battle of wits had to answer the Sphinx-like riddle: ''What did Odin whisper in Balder's ear?'' Finally, Balder's death set in motion Ragnarok, or ''destiny of the gods,'' a series of events that culminated with a final battle between various sets of gods and monsters from various corners of Norse mythology. One of the major players in Ragnarok was the Norse equivalent of Cerberus, the hound of Hell. Named Garmr, this wolfish creature was unchained during the final battle for the world and allowed to slaughter with impunity. Ragnarok ended with the death of the world (everything gets submerged in water, ΰ la the Flood) and the birth of the new world and the rebirth of fallen gods — including Balder. Indeed, while Odin's whisper was technically a mystery, most scholars believe that it was actually a single word: ''Resurrection.''

Might this wide swath of Norse mythology parallel or at least intersect with Lost mythology? Garmr? Smokey, of course. Missile? Jughead. Odin's Resurrection Riddle? That brings to mind the Rainier-Canton anagram (''resurrection'') from earlier this season, plus the ''What did one snowman say to the other snowman?'' riddle from season 2 and the ''What lies in the shadow of the statue?'' riddle of ''Dead Is Dead.'' (My answer: Mirmir's head!) Balder? The slain, reborn god, could be John Locke, because, after all, Locke is...bald. And he has been resurrected. Ragnarok? ''There's a war coming, John. And if you're not on it when that happens, the wrong side is going to win.'' —Charles Widmore.

Might all of this be something of a stretch? Maybe. And yet, I'm taken with the idea that Lost's fixation with Egyptian mythology this season has actually been an elaborate misdirection — a smoke screen, if you will — for the real mythic cosmology that inspires it. And anyway, remember that the money that built the Dharma Initiative came from one Alvar Hanso, a Danish guy who according to ''The Lost Experience'' had secret Dharma facilities located in Iceland — which may have been Lost's way of hinting that the roots of its whole mythology lie in Norse soil...

You're rolling your eyes again. I love it when it when you do that!

Offline TheBrightandTheDark

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Re: Doc Jensen's Stab at the Mythology of Lost: Enter the Vikings
« Reply #1 on: April 15, 2009, 01:23:33 PM »
Yup...them's my people, the vikings! Nice to feel represented.  ;)

I don't agree that the Egyptian mythology is a smoke screen, though. I think it's possible that there are several mythologies working on multiple levels.

And in the "Some Like it Hoth" hype thread, somebody did mention the Norse god Hoth...I'll try to find it...

Offline BadRobot64

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Re: Doc Jensen's Stab at the Mythology of Lost: Enter the Vikings
« Reply #2 on: April 15, 2009, 01:42:32 PM »
As I always say about ole Doc, he can drive me nutso, but this "wide swatch" of Norse mythology he explains is fascinating.  The whole article is here http://www.ew.com/ew/article/0,,1550612_20250233_20272495_5,00.html while the Norse stuff is here:

Jeff Jensen from EW.com
There's another mythology (besides Egyptain) that had a similar yet more oddly focused tradition. Meet the Vikings, those rough-and-tumble mead-swilling, horn-hatted Scandinavian pagans partial to Norse gods of Odin and Thor. Viking tradition called for corpses to be dressed in their finest threads and their feet to be shod with ''Hel-Shoes.'' After all, souls need a good pair of footwear for the journey to hell — or ''Hel'' as the Norse called it, named after the goddess who served as its warden. Hel had some very interesting father issues, just like many characters on Lost. And Hel has something in common with dearly departed Alex: As it happens, Hel's dad is Loki, the great villain of Norse mythology — the god of lies. Which finally brings me to the week's big discovery:

''LUKE...THERE IS...ANOTHER...SKYWALK — ER, I MEAN HOTH...''
Introducing the Norse Code Theory of Lost

When I asked the Lost Super-Computer (i.e., Wikipedia) to crunch the word ''Hoth,'' it came back with the fact that ''Hoth'' also refers to a figure from Norse mythology sometimes known as ''Hod,'' ''Hoor,'' or ''Hotherus.'' Investigating Norse mythology brought me to the concept of ''Hel-Shoes,'' as well as some other intriguing possibilities for Lost.

You see, for eons there were two sets of Norse gods that were at war with each other: the gods of Aesir and the gods of Vanir. There was an attempt at a truce, which involved an exchange of hostages as insurance. One of the hostages was an Aesiran god named Mirmir, who had the ability to see future events. For various reasons, the Vanir felt they had been tricked, so they cut off Mirmir's head and sent it back to Odin, who for a long time carried it around and asked it questions and stuff. Creepy. And it gets better! Eventually, Odin buried the head in a well under the Tree of Life and was able to continue asking it questions about the future — but he had to cut out his eye as a sacrifice. Anyway, the truce between the rival tribes eventually collapsed, there was a rumble, and when it was over...the bickering deities found a way to get along and merged pantheons into one big super-pantheon.

Might we see the Dharma/Hostile feud proceed along parallel lines? Will there be a hostage swap to preserve the peace? Is disembodied Jacob something similar to beheaded Mirmir? Will Dr. Marvin Candle cut off his arm to glean the Island's secrets of the future in the same way Odin plucked out his eye? Will Dharma and the Others finally merge to form their own super-group?

But back to this Hoth guy. Hoth had a distinctive trait: He was blind. He also murdered his brother, a god by the name of Balder. One might be tempted to forge a Cain and Abel comparison, but Hoth had a good excuse: He was tricked by the god of lies, Loki, into shooting a ''missile'' (or spear) loaded with mistletoe, the only substance capable of killing Hoth's otherwise invulnerable sibling. Yet despite being deceived, Hoth was punished severely. Odin sired a monstrous son named Vali for the sole purpose of slaying the sightless, accidental god-killer. At Balder's funeral, Odin whispered something into his dead son's ear. No one really knows what Odin said, and from that day forth, anyone who dared to challenge Odin in a battle of wits had to answer the Sphinx-like riddle: ''What did Odin whisper in Balder's ear?'' Finally, Balder's death set in motion Ragnarok, or ''destiny of the gods,'' a series of events that culminated with a final battle between various sets of gods and monsters from various corners of Norse mythology. One of the major players in Ragnarok was the Norse equivalent of Cerberus, the hound of Hell. Named Garmr, this wolfish creature was unchained during the final battle for the world and allowed to slaughter with impunity. Ragnarok ended with the death of the world (everything gets submerged in water, ΰ la the Flood) and the birth of the new world and the rebirth of fallen gods — including Balder. Indeed, while Odin's whisper was technically a mystery, most scholars believe that it was actually a single word: ''Resurrection.''

Might this wide swath of Norse mythology parallel or at least intersect with Lost mythology? Garmr? Smokey, of course. Missile? Jughead. Odin's Resurrection Riddle? That brings to mind the Rainier-Canton anagram (''resurrection'') from earlier this season, plus the ''What did one snowman say to the other snowman?'' riddle from season 2 and the ''What lies in the shadow of the statue?'' riddle of ''Dead Is Dead.'' (My answer: Mirmir's head!) Balder? The slain, reborn god, could be John Locke, because, after all, Locke is...bald. And he has been resurrected. Ragnarok? ''There's a war coming, John. And if you're not on it when that happens, the wrong side is going to win.'' —Charles Widmore.

Might all of this be something of a stretch? Maybe. And yet, I'm taken with the idea that Lost's fixation with Egyptian mythology this season has actually been an elaborate misdirection — a smoke screen, if you will — for the real mythic cosmology that inspires it. And anyway, remember that the money that built the Dharma Initiative came from one Alvar Hanso, a Danish guy who according to ''The Lost Experience'' had secret Dharma facilities located in Iceland — which may have been Lost's way of hinting that the roots of its whole mythology lie in Norse soil...

You're rolling your eyes again. I love it when it when you do that!


definataely not rolling my eyes.. but one thing.... why does LOST have to stick with one mythology for the island..? what if its an accumulation of many belief systems? Norse, Egyption, Catholicism... etc etc...?

does make sense though.

Offline laklost

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Re: Doc Jensen's Stab at the Mythology of Lost: Enter the Vikings
« Reply #3 on: April 15, 2009, 04:14:45 PM »
I'm with both of you, Mrs. A and Bob, we can handle more than one mythology at once.  ;) Plus, the best part is that they are making THEIR OWN mythology.  From the time that this story is sealed and finished, we can then refer to the Lost mythology as it affects other stories.

Offline TheBrightandTheDark

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Re: Doc Jensen's Stab at the Mythology of Lost: Enter the Vikings
« Reply #4 on: April 15, 2009, 04:22:44 PM »
I'm with both of you, Mrs. A and Bob, we can handle more than one mythology at once.  ;) Plus, the best part is that they are making THEIR OWN mythology.  From the time that this story is sealed and finished, we can then refer to the Lost mythology as it affects other stories.
Like how it's part of our lives now... lol!

Offline laklost

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Re: Doc Jensen's Stab at the Mythology of Lost: Enter the Vikings
« Reply #5 on: April 15, 2009, 04:24:38 PM »
Yes, we are ISLAND-FIED!  :D

Offline TheBrightandTheDark

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Re: Doc Jensen's Stab at the Mythology of Lost: Enter the Vikings
« Reply #6 on: April 15, 2009, 04:27:18 PM »
Yes, we are ISLAND-FIED!  :D
(I've read all your articles btw, but where do you want to discuss it? I feel like it needs its own place, off the front page, for discussion...)

Offline laklost

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Re: Doc Jensen's Stab at the Mythology of Lost: Enter the Vikings
« Reply #7 on: April 15, 2009, 04:30:40 PM »
The old front page used to be part of the forum, now it's only for single comments.  Which can make things pretty quiet.  But there was a lot of junk on the front page before which made being serious about the topic difficult.  So, we could go have some cookies in your thread and discuss if you like. But we can on the front page too.  You need to write an article yourself - you're too good of a writer!

Offline BadRobot64

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Re: Doc Jensen's Stab at the Mythology of Lost: Enter the Vikings
« Reply #8 on: April 15, 2009, 06:02:16 PM »
laky.... its not bob... its bad robot... step 1 put on the glasses... step 2 read correctly.

Offline BrianIsLost2

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Re: Doc Jensen's Stab at the Mythology of Lost: Enter the Vikings
« Reply #9 on: April 15, 2009, 06:07:53 PM »
This is great.  I love reading things like this.  

I have this theory that the mythology of LOST is intended to be the "original story" if you will.  Let me explain:

What if the island is where life began?  After all, it is absolutely full of it, and we already have an Adam and Eve on the island.  All of the events that have taken place on the island as we are seeing them (far past, past, present, future) are the way that it actually happened.  But when life spread from the island, and generations went by and the story of the island and its magical stories were told and retold, eventually the story gets altered a bit and you get the mythologies that we are familiar with.  

Think about it.  We have obviously seen many many references to Egyptian mythology.  Probably more Egyptian than any other, with the hieroglyphs, four toed statue, and smokey/cerberes.  It would make sense that the when life spread form the island to the rest of the world that the first place it went to would tell the story of the island the closest.  After all the exit to the island is Tunisia, which is awfully close to ancient Egypt.  Then we also see life spread across other reaches of the world: to the Scandinavian world, who tell the island's story in the way above, and the western Europeans tell the island's story via Christianity, and the eastern world tells it from a more Zen, or Dharma, like way.  Almost form Locke's point of view.  

Anyway, you get the idea (I hope.  I know I don't write that well) I’m at work right now and my boss is looking over my shoulder.  I gotta go.
« Last Edit: April 15, 2009, 06:20:57 PM by BrianIsLost2 »

Offline vickilynn

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Re: Doc Jensen's Stab at the Mythology of Lost: Enter the Vikings
« Reply #10 on: April 15, 2009, 06:18:49 PM »
I'm also in the camp that the mythology/Gods are a representation of all the parts of the whole; have any of you read the novel, American Gods?

Offline BrianIsLost2

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Re: Doc Jensen's Stab at the Mythology of Lost: Enter the Vikings
« Reply #11 on: April 15, 2009, 06:22:47 PM »
I'm also in the camp that the mythology/Gods are a representation of all the parts of the whole; have any of you read the novel, American Gods?

No but you've peaked my interest.  What is it about?

Offline vickilynn

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Re: Doc Jensen's Stab at the Mythology of Lost: Enter the Vikings
« Reply #12 on: April 15, 2009, 06:33:05 PM »
I'm also in the camp that the mythology/Gods are a representation of all the parts of the whole; have any of you read the novel, American Gods?

No but you've peaked my interest.  What is it about?

The main characters are members of the Norse Pantheon, but "old world" gods from all religions/belief systems are represented. They were brought to America by their followers at various times in history, but most of them have been "forgotten." They have been replaced by "American Gods" (credit cards, mass media, technology and so forth). They all live amongst us as humans, with weird twists. Odin is a grifter. Anubis is an undertaker. I won't tell you what happens at the end, but it is a strange (entertaining and thought-provoking) novel.

It pertains to this thread because it is jam-packed full of myths/stories, esp. surrounding the Norse Gods.
« Last Edit: April 15, 2009, 06:34:51 PM by vickilynn »

Offline BrianIsLost2

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Re: Doc Jensen's Stab at the Mythology of Lost: Enter the Vikings
« Reply #13 on: April 15, 2009, 07:17:32 PM »
That's it.  I'm going to the book store.

Offline Bostonlost

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Re: Doc Jensen's Stab at the Mythology of Lost: Enter the Vikings
« Reply #14 on: April 15, 2009, 07:41:30 PM »
Like I said before.....

The Island is a melting pot of religions and mythology:

Ancient Rome and Greece....Carthage and Egypt......old testament...Hindu....etc

I think if you go by what happen to Constantine the I and how he shape "modern" Christianity is what we kinda have on the Island.....

Taking old pagan beliefs-dogmas-icons-idealogies and forcing them into the bible. One mans saint might be another mans minor god. A Greek god might be/could be a Norse god...The Island could be this idea of Atlantis or Paradise or even the Garden of Edan and it could be all of those things

I say they are all aleins....... http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chariots_of_the_Gods%3F....This book is great