9. Comparison of Old Norse Mythological Gods and Their Modern Day Counterparts

Allyssa Burdine Ball State University, Gunner Bills Ball State University
Faculty Sponsor(s): Brent Blackwell Ball State University
Modern American film and media have developed an acceptance of villainous, Old Norse Gods as redeemable characters that can even be deserving of heroic story arcs that they never received during their mythological tales. Looking towards villainous gods in today’s media, such as Loki, we see that they are given defining traits that allow them to become heroes or connect with the audience as self-reflections of their views on how to grow as a person. However, when looking to Old Norse mythology we see that gods who work with trickery and magic are treated as foreign entities and are punished in the end for their magical abilities without ever receiving a heroic story arc. The villains remain the forces of evil in mythology and serve as an example of what will happen to those who are evil. Examining Marvel’s Thor: Ragnarök and other Thor films, we see that the trickster god, Loki, develops into a heroic character over time that even has an overwhelming fan-base who supports the character’s growth; but within mythology, he is the villain that causes Ragnarök and is tortured until his final battle for his actions. We will discuss our understandings of Loki’s development through modern popular culture and why he has evolved from being solely an unsympathetic villain to a character who created a strong fan reaction after his death on the big screen in the recent Marvel movies.
Modern Languages, Cultures, & Literatures
Poster Presentation

When & Where

Irwin Library 2nd Floor