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Odin 
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http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Odin
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Odin, a mythological King of Sweden, is considered the chief god in Norse paganism. Homologous with the Anglo-Saxon Wōden and the Old High German Wotan, it is descended from Proto-Germanic *Wōđinaz or *Wōđanaz. The name Odin is generally accepted as the modern translation; although, in some cases, older translations of his name may be used or preferred. His name is related to ōðr, meaning "fury, excitation", besides "mind", or "poetry". His role, like many of the Norse gods, is complex. He is associated with wisdom, war, battle, and death, and also magic, poetry, prophecy, victory, and the hunt.

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Tue May 12, 2009 12:17 am
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Hello Robert:

Found this one too. Love the picture, it really gives me a visual.

Odin
by Micha F. Lindemans
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The chief divinity of the Norse pantheon, the foremost of the Aesir. Odin is a son of Bor and Bestla. He is called Alfadir, Allfather, for he is indeed father of the gods. With Frigg he is the father of Balder, Hod, and Hermod. He fathered Thor on the goddess Jord; and the giantess Grid became the mother of Vidar.

Odin is a god of war and death, but also the god of poetry and wisdom. He hung for nine days, pierced by his own spear, on the world tree. Here he learned nine powerful songs, and eighteen runes. Odin can make the dead speak to question the wisest amongst them. His hall in Asgard is Valaskjalf ("shelf of the slain") where his throne Hlidskjalf is located. From this throne he observes all that happens in the nine worlds. The tidings are brought to him by his two raven Huginn and Muninn. He also resides in Valhalla, where the slain warriors are taken.

Odin's attributes are the spear Gungnir, which never misses its target, the ring Draupnir, from which every ninth night eight new rings appear, and his eight-footed steed Sleipnir. He is accompanied by the wolves Freki and Geri, to whom he gives his food for he himself consumes nothing but wine. Odin has only one eye, which blazes like the sun. His other eye he traded for a drink from the Well of Wisdom, and gained immense knowledge. On the day of the final battle, Odin will be killed by the wolf Fenrir.

He is also called Othinn, Wodan and Wotan. Some of the aliases he uses to travel icognito among mortals are Vak and Valtam. Wednesday is named after him (Wodan).

Old Norse: Odínn

http://www.pantheon.org/articles/o/odin.html

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Tue May 12, 2009 9:41 am
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American Gods has an intense fantastic imagination in the way it presents Odin as the main character Wednesday, weaving a tapestry of symbolic language from all around the world in its imagined contribution to the American psyche.

Wednesday is very similar to Gandalf in the Lord of the Rings, with the hat and cloak and staff, all derived from Odin. The myth of Odin was used by Tolkien in creating Gandalf, who falls into the pit of Moria in the battle with the Balrog.

Odin is predicted to die, in the Poetic Edda Völuspá, by a völva, who tells Odin of numerous events reaching into the far past and into the future, including his own doom. She describes how Odin is slain by the wolf Fenrir at Ragnarök, the subsequent avenging of Odin and death of Fenrir by his son Víðarr, how the world disappears into flames and, yet, how the earth again rises from the sea.

So we would not be surprised if Wednesday might die in American Gods. Gaiman sticks to the myth to some extent, including the story of Odin hanging for nine days on the world tree Ygdrsil. And indeed Ygdrsil makes an appearance, including with a squirrel providing a tiny cup of water in a walnut and saying Ragnarök.

Julius Caesar and Tacitus thought that Odin was Mercury, in different guise. Mercury, of course, is the Roman analog for the Greek Hermes and the Egyptian Thoth.

American Gods does not include any Judeo-Christian or Greco-Roman Gods in its pantheon. Odin has pride of place, with Gods from Egypt, Africa, Russia and India, in forming a natural pantheon which is at war with the constructed pantheon of western civilization.



Thu May 14, 2009 12:31 am
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