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The name patrons of the new Viking longships

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Home >> The name patrons of the new Viking longships

Until a few days ago, just one of the 2013 names for the second wave of Viking's Longships in Europe had leaked: 'Skadi'. Now they have published the full set on their website. Interestingly, no one else thought it could be worth a few words about their mythological background. So lets have a short look at the who is who of nordic gods and godesses. Maybe that becomes a decisive point for some of you - forget about the cruise itinerary, is the name patron stylish enough?

Viking Longship Rendering

Aegir: Sometimes written 'Ægir', is the god of oceans and throws parties for the other gods. Read more about Aegir.
Embla: Usually not mentioned alone but with her male counterpart, 'Ask'. Ask and Embla are no gods, but the first humans created by them. Kind of the northern Adam and Eve. Read more about Ask and Embla.
Freya: The nordic goddess Freya or Freyja is 'associated with love, beauty, fertility, gold, seiðr [witchcraft], war, and death'. Wohoo. Besides that she seemes to be associated with a lot of different things, her name just means 'The Lady' - the german 'Frau' derives from this. Read more about Freya.
Idun: 'Iðunn' is associated with apples and youth. The apples was a fertility symbol (or one representing immortality in other legends) for the ancient Northman. She ist married to Bragi - see the 2013 season list. Read more about Idun.
Njord: 'Njörðr' is associated with sea, seafaring, wind, fishing, wealth, and crop fertility. Sounds a bit like the roman god of Saturn. Besides that, he was the father of Freya. Read more about Njord.
Odin: Now we deal with the big boys. His original name was 'Wodan' and he is associated with war and other unpleasant stuff. Half of the warriors who decided to end their carrier KIA went to Freya, the other half to Odin's Valhalla. He was the father of Thor and the only god who has a day of the week named after him: Wednesday derives from Wodan. It should make him proud that he is the father of my second favorite among the Avengers. Read more about Odin.

Marvel's Thor
Bragi: God of poetry. Thats why he is usually displayed playing the harp. He is the husband of Idun. Read more about Bragi.
Forseti: The god of justice. He manages to settle every dispute and everyone who comes before him leaves reconciled. That is why he is seen as the counterpart of Tyr. If you ask me - lame... Read more about Forseti.
Rinda: Sometimes written as 'Rindr'. We don't know if Rinda is a goddess, a woman or a giant, but she was impregnated by Odin (well, not really voluntarily after she had turned him down twice) and gave birth to Vali. Read more about Rinda.
Skadi: Skaði is the goddess associated with bowhunting, skiing, winter, and mountains. So all the things you usually do during your river cruise. Read more about Skadi.
Tor: The god of lightening, wields his hammer and follows Captain America to beat the Nazis at Ragnarök. Or something like that. Read more about Thor.
Var: 'Vár' is goddess associated with oath and agreements. Read more about Var.

As Viking has announced even more ships to come (at the moment rumors on the net talk about another 6 to be launched for the 2014 season), here are my guesses:

Ask: Pro: Counterpart to Embla. It would complete a set. Con: It might lead to stupid confusing discussions. Which ship are you cruising? - 'Ask' - Yes, i ask you, which ship are you cruising'?. Sounds a bit like Jim Sherman's Hu is the president of China? joke.
Baldr: Family links, father of Forseti. Easy to prounce.
Eir: Just put her on the list to have a balanced gender distribution and because her name is short.
Loki: Well, some would claim he was not the coolest of all gods, no good guy or fair player. But the Rindr story would be rated PG-MA and still a ship is named after her, I'll bet he is in.
Saga: Viking already owns the 'Legend', so why not. :)
Tyr: Pro: Short name, easy to prounce, family links with existing ships. While Odin, his father was the god of war, Tyr was the god of single handed combat. Again, this would complete a set.

If you think I stretch the 'short name' argument too much, just try to pronounce names like Jörmungandr, Hringhorni or Hyrrokkin. See my point? Which are your favorites among the nordic deities?