Marissa Lingen (mrissa) wrote,
Marissa Lingen

Who I Like, the Myffic Version

Someone asked me about which mythological characters are my favorites, and someone else asked about fairy tale characters. I am not actually a purist about which is whom, so they're going right here together. I have surely forgotten half of them.

I always liked Skade when I was small. Skade is still my favorite. The bit with Loki's beard and the goat made her seem like she had quite a lot of power; now that I know more about the culture in question, it was the law's power, not hers personally, but that doesn't make me less fond of the story. I liked that she was the goddess of skiing and matter-of-factly associated with men and male gods -- seemingly at will, even from the euphemistic phrasing of my childhood mythology books. It was a nice contrast with the Greek myths that were always on about who was and was not a virgin. I liked the idea of her hunting with Ull, god of snowshoes and magic -- I liked Ull. I still like Ull. And I like Sigyn, because it's What You Do if your spousal unit gets himself into that kind of mess, holding the bowl to catch the venom until the end of time, telling him not to whine when you have to empty the bowl, and anyway Baldr was probably annoying to have around at parties and family gatherings. I like Tyr the law-god, with the hundred-headed mother, or was it thousand-headed? I like that that's where the law comes from. I like the intimate familial relationship of law with human chaos.

Actually I like most of the obscurer Norse gods.

Also I like Lemminkainen's mother, even though she doesn't get her own name, because gathering the chopped up pieces of your kid out of Death's river to start him over again takes some sisu. And I like Death's dumpy daughter just because. I have some affinity for Ilmarinen, and for Aino. Stubborn fishy Aino. I rewrote her story in "Väinämöinen and the Singing Fish." And she gets her own name. Hey. I also have a good deal more sympathy for Louhi, gat-toothed dame, than Mr. Lönnrot wanted me to.

I like all the Saami goddesses of the different doors, and the blood man and the alder man Leibolmai, and Rota, the god of death, who wants your horses and your frogs, or who at least will take them in trade for yourself, for a time.

I like Bedwyr, not Lancelot, and I like Gawain even better, and I have no use whatever for Arthur himself; Arthur just sort of goes up there and is and occasionally causes trouble with past and current bits of idiocy.

I like the wise pike, and I'm lukewarm on the subject of Athena, but her owl can stay. And I like Saraswati.

I am exceptionally fond of St. Thomas the Doubter. Nice Haugean Girls don't have patron saints, but if I did, I would pick the Doubter and the Magdalen, and also Martha, because I know what it's like to have other people trying to tell you about how damn spiritual they are when the dishes need washing, like you can't listen to any Messiah worth his salt and wash dishes at the same time. It's not like they had a vacuum to run. Sheesh. Although I would confess a fondness for someone who turned on the vacuum just when Jesus was about to go on about the meek again: "Oh, what was that, Christ? I'm sorry, there was something on the rug, wanted to catch it before it set in. No, do go on, I'll catch up -- you'd gotten as far as hunger and thirst for righteousness. I like that part."

Also I have made a note from something I read, and it says, "Colima artists thought ducks were greatly spiritually capable," and I love the spiritually capable ducks.

I like Arachne, because her gods were bastards, and she likely knew it, and she did her best damn weaving anyway.

I like the twelve dancing princesses, and the boy who goes east of the sun and west of the moon, and also I like little two-eyes.

I like Janet in almost every Tam Lin. Sometimes I like Tam Lin, too, and often I like Thomas the Rhymer.

I like the plucky girl with the beautiful boyfriend and the squirrels in her pants.

Your turn.
Tags: bookses precious, carter hall, dead vikings are lots of fun, full of theories

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