Many are drawn to Norse Heathenry though media like Skyrim, Vikings, and Marvel’s Thor movies. While the “viking genre” is fun and exciting, it’s not meant to represent Norse Heathenry. Nevertheless, it has left us with a specific impression:

  • That Norse Heathenry is masculine, dark, serious, and militaristic
  • That Valhalla is the most desirable afterlife
  • That all Heathens want to go to Valhalla
  • That the viking characters’ values are the values held by heathens
  • That Ragnarök is a very big deal in Norse paganism
  • That there are good and evil beings
  • That Helheim (the underworld) is a dark and grim place
  • That Norse Paganism is exotic, otherworldly, and fantastical

The romanticization of Norse culture and mythology goes back as far as the 1870’s with Richard Wagner’s opera Der Ring des Nibelungen.