For the long time readers of this blog, its been quite a while since I've done one of my geeky historical posts.
/turns back on super geeky historical hat
So I think its pretty clear to y'all that there is a lot of Norse influence for Northrend. Let's look more closely at some of the inspirations shall we?
Valgarde in Howling Fjord:
Wowwiki says Valgarde "is most likely a reference to the Swedish town of Valsgärde, the site of a large number of Viking archaeological sites dating from the 6th - 8th centuries". Valsgärde is located north of Gamla Uppsala, the ancient centre of the Swedish kings and of the pagan faith in Sweden.
Check out a pic of the Old Uppsala Church in Gamla Uppsala:
Check out the inn in Valsgarde:
Now Valsgärde is one of the oldest known excavation sites in Sweden and they have found ship burials and graves there. Here is a pic of the Valsgärde 6 helmet, found in a cemetary believed to be from the late 7th century. What is that... T2? T3? :)
Hrothgar's Landing in Icecrown:
This new island north of Icecrown seems to have been inspired by Hroðgar, a legendary Danish king who lived in the early 6th century. Hroðgar appears in the Anglo-Saxon epics Beowulf and Widsith, as well as in Norse sagas and poems.
Gjalerbron in Howling Fjord:
Gjalerbron is the vrykul fortress in the northern area of the Howling Fjord. Wowwiki says a secret tunnel is being dug to here from below Utgarde Keep. In Norse mythology, Gjallarbrú is a bridge spanning the river Gjöll in the underworld, which must be crossed in order to reach Hel.
Tree of Life:
Now I did a post almost a year ago about the history of the tree of life, where I talked about the concept of Yggdrasil, or the World Tree, from Norse mythology and how it must have inspired Teldrassil. Now take a closer look at the Norse mythology view that Yggdrasil's roots and branches connect all the principal divisions of the world:
Hmmm, do you see any familiar names? Any names that remind you of any locations in Northrend?
Jotunheim in Icecrown:
You see Jotunheim in the middle there? Well Jotunheim was the "home of the Jotuns", or giants, in Norse Mythology. Jotunheimen is currently also known as a mountainous area in Southern Norway:
Utgarde Keep and Pinnacle in Howling Fjord:
Hmmm, see right above Jotunheim there is Utgard, Citadel of the Giants? Utgard, or "the Outer Dwelling", was a world, that surrounded the world of the men (Midgard). Utgard was a place, located in Jötunheim.
Dun Niffelem in Storm Peaks:
On the Yggdrasil diagram, see Niflheim on the bottom there? Niflheim, or "house of mists", is a region icy fogs and mists, darkness and cold. It is situated on the lowest level of the universe and lies underneath the third root of Yggdrasil.
I'm sure there is a ton of other inspiration from Norse mythology in WOW. I haven't even discussed any individuals (hello Freya... Sif... Thorim?) What can we learn from all of this? Well if the Yggdrasil diagram taught you anything, its that the tree holds everything together. :p
***Most of historical info gathered from wikipedia (Wikipedia FTW) and www.pantheon.org