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The Lost Pages of Norse Myth is a promotional campaign for God of War (2018). The event is an audio podcast composed of a series of small stories that expand the Nordic universe, along with the backstories of Kratos, Atreus, and other characters.

Episodes

1. Odin and the Knowledge Keeper

Groa the Seer finds a tome in an attempt to find her lost husband, Aurvandil, which has been a long and fruitless journey across all the realms. Aurvandil was last heading heading on a journey with Thor from which he never returned. She was told that Thor had tried to save a frostbitten Aurvandil in Vanaheim but got lost in a tundra, leaving Thor to return with only a basket. Groa in searching for her lost husband became a vast collector of knowledge and a famous prophet gathering her knowledge in a library, which caught the attention of Thor’s father Odin, who came to rely on her. Groa had seen much farther in the future then anyone else and thought her most recent acquisition would finally be known. However, what she saw instead were visions of ruin (three-year winter, the sky split apart, realms tremble, a terror wielding a flaming sword, a large wolf eats the sun, monsters and gods fight, and a pale white ghost from a distant land his young son being the key to all of it). Odin sensed these visions and recognized these as Ragnarok (Groa suspects that someone is hiding her husband’s fate from her). Odin then heads to Groa’s house and arrives to interrogate Groa, telling her that Thor murdered Aurvandil and that he would do the same to her if she would not tell (he had been hiding his fate from her). Groa refused and Odin kills her, taking with him her vast knowledge[1]

2. And Only Rage Remained

A man spirit looks at his dead corpse, his family, and the creature that killed him, a draugr, a creature, which was once a man, now only driven by rage. Before he was a monster, he was also a man who was part of a tribe who worshiped Freya that like most were desperate to survive the Norse wilds of Midgard, with one rule never yield. The man had a wife and a child which the clan helped to support but bandits and rival clans continued to make life difficult. The men moved east and came to a forest which they had no choice but to go through due to thirst. They are then ambushed by bandits from the treetops with the man fighting the bandit king, as the rest of the bandits kill his men and kidnap the rest (include his family) before killing the man himself. The man’s spirit finds himself at peace as a Valkyrie comes to take him to Valhalla, her blade makes him remember the battle he fought and (thinking it was a trick) fights the Valkyrie, leaving him to become a draugr due to the flames of their combat.[1]

3. The Dead Stonemason

As Thor continues his genocidal campaign against the Giants in a effort to find Jötunheim, the great stonemason Thamur has begun the process of building a massive wall around Jotunheim to protect his people. As he grew weary at the seemingly impossible task, he asked his son, Hrimthur, for help. The boy insisted that he had the heart of a warrior, not a builder, and hardly pulled his weight with the tasks he was given. Eventually, Thamur and Hrimthur began to argue over the wall, ending with Thamur losing his temper and striking his son with his hammer, causing Hrimthur to run away. Feeling shame and regret, Thamur chased after his son, and eventually ended up in Midgard’s forests at night where his desperate cries attracted the attention of Thor himself. Instead of telling Thor what he wanted, Thamur engaged Thor in futile combat until the Aesir hit the elder Jotunn with Mjolnir, causing Thamur to land on his own chisel, driving it into his own skull, killing him instantly. In sheer luck, the fall crushed a village which worshiped Njörd, leading to Thor claiming credit for planning the attack this way, and vowing to complete his genocidal campaign. Hrimthur was sobbing in a cave and when he returned home discovered his father was not there, and eventually discovered his father’s corpse in Midgard. The giants left Thamur’s corpse and built a temple to protect the chisel, but before they finished, they all retreated to their home forever.[1]

4. The Forging of Leviathan

Thor attacks three Giants in Midgard with the mighty hammer Mjolnir, killing two while the third one fled. Brok and Sindri, the ones who forged the hammer 30 years prior, are in their Svartalfheim workshop, not having started the fires of their forge for a long time. Sindri voices his horror at the suffering they caused, while Brok is annoyed at Sindri’s constant “yapping” and says, “what’s done is done”. Sindri argues that everyone, not just the Giants, suffer at the hands of their weapon, while Brok retorts that Sindri was prideful for appeasing Odin by making the “lightning hammer” for Thor. Sindri claims that since they both made it that it is their responsibility to undo the mistake they made. They then commence a plan to create a weapon to counter Mjolnir. Fifteen days straight of manual labor pass as a bloated black spider, whose kin Brok had crushed days before, crawls up Brok’s leg (reminding him of when a malicious gadfly bit him three times during Mjolnir’s creation, causing the dwarves to deform the handle) and bites him on the thigh, spreading a chill throughout his body until it reaches his heart, killing him, as Sindri catches him. Sindri then drags Brok’s now ashen blue body to the realm of Alfheim, wherein he must save Brok’ soul from the Lake of Souls. Sindri takes the glove from Brok’s hand and goes into the lake, swimming deeper until he comes across his brother’s soul, only to be grabbed by an undead being. Sindri is able to free himself and grabs the soul with his gloved hand and heads back to the surface. After hacking up black liquid, he became afflicted with phantom itches until he passed out. Awakening, he puts his bare hand on Brok’s chest, feeling a faint pulse, after which he swears never to tell Brok what happened. Brok awoke in his bed, noticing Sindri had gained a slight twitch in his face. Two weeks pass and their weapon is finished, an axe, which Sindri gives the finishing touch of a “potent magical power, unmatched in any realm”. Brok asks what they should call it. Sindri responds that the weapon will be unmatched in an honorable warrior’s hand and thus should be named after a being unmatched. They decide on the “serpent who dwells in Midgard", and thus the great weapon was named “Leviathan”.[1]

5. Like Father, Like Son

Kratos would usually spend the entire day hunting, leaving his wife Faye and son Atreus at home. That morning, she taught Atreus Elder Futhark (her people’s language) and told him tales of battles long past. Atreus, ever since he was young, could sense the thoughts of others (usually when they are in distress). While sitting in a tree, listening to the wind, he heard the pained cries of an animal begging for help. Despite his mother warning him of wandering outside the woods, Atreus set forth to help the pained animal, grabbing his bow and arrows. As he continued forth (passing a tree with a yellow hand print adorned to its bark), he eventually found himself in unfamiliar territory (imagining himself as the gods Tyr and Ullr on one of their adventures), lost in the odd terrain. Atreus sensed the creature and eventually found a large doe on the ground with an arrow in its neck. He eventually calms her down and eases her passing, reciting Norse death rites as it occurred. Atreus discovered that there was too much blood for the wound and that it trailed off, leading to the dismembered corpse of the doe’s hunter. Soon he found the ones responsible for the carnage, two draugr, which engaged him in combat, leaving one of them dead, and Atreus with a sliced arm. Atreus began to feel a blinding rage come over him and before he passed out, Kratos killed the remaining draugr. Atreus awakens to find himself being carried by Kratos while running at unimaginable speeds. Atreus feels his arm wound, as Kratos scolds him. A while later, Kratos sets Atreus down as they return home on foot.[1]

6. The Sundering of Jötunheim

Tyr, the Aesir god of law and justice, oversees the construction of his temple in Caldera Lake, along with an army of dwarves, elves, men, and three Giants. The purpose of this temple would be to ease the travel between each of the Nine Realms, and so all of the races would participate in its creation. After many years of construction, Tyr’s temple was completed, with the workers entering the portals to tell the rest of their people of the other realms. The three Giants then ask Tyr if he can convince Odin to broker an accord between the Aesir and the Jotnar and end Thor’s campaign of genocide. Surprisingly, it did not take much to sway Odin to agree, though Tyr knew better than to the Allfather at face value. The two entered through the portal to Jotunheim and made their way over to the hall of the Giants. The walls of the hall are covered with tapestries, triptychs, and ancient knowledge. The six Giants welcome the Allfather but remain wary of him as his son, Thor, has been on a campaign of genocide against the Giants for thirty years. Odin says that Thor acted on his own and offers Mjolnir to the Giants in exchange for knowledge about the future. This was a ruse as Odin would never strip Thor of his prized hammer. As the Giants began to discuss amongst themselves, Odin took the opportunity to discreetly gaze upon the tapestries and triptychs and effortlessly commits them to memory. The last triptych was the most interesting as he had not yet heard this tale foretold. He glimpsed the visage of an untamed warrior accompanied by his son travelling toward a mountain top. The Giants discover Odin's deception and try to capture him and Tyr, but Odin transformed into a silver hawk and escaped, leaving Tyr at the mercy of the council. The Giants spare Tyr but ask him to sever the connection between Jotunheim and the rest of the realms, as the rest of the Giants in Midgard would be recalled back home. Tyr agrees and departs through the portal on the mountain side. Odin descends from the mountain peaks and transforms back into his Aesir form. Before entering the safety of the portal, he glanced back over his shoulder and smiles wickedly.[1]

7. The First Great War

Freyr, a leader of the Vanir gods, traveled to Asgard in a diplomatic act and attempted to teach the Aesir how to harvest crops using magic. However, as the Aesir kept screwing up the spells, they blamed Freyr and threw him into a fire made of the enchanted crops. Freyr sees the drunk Aesir (Sif, Bragi, and Hoenir among them) jeer as he continued to burn, eventually passing out. A few hours pass as Freyr awakens in Odin’s hall alone and sneaks back to Vanaheim. The other Vanir are enraged by this act which finally saw the two feuding tribes of gods engage in all-out war. The Aesir (Odin, Thor, Hoenir, Heimdall, Ve, and Villi and others) were more traditional warriors as the Vanir, lead by Freyr’s sister, Freya, used seiðr magic to overwhelm their opponents. Freyr ruined the Aesir’s crops while his father Njord created winds to make the Aesirs' travel take twice as long. The conflict lasted centuries as Odin gathered a great army to storm Vanaheim, though the Vanir wielding magic proved too great and they retreated. Eventually, Mimir proposed a compromise to stop the fighting; Odin and Freya will wed, thus ensuring both sides would work together. Odin accepted, but Freya refused to marry the one who tried to kill her people. She eventually reconsidered, seeing the benefits, though she grew to hate Mimir for putting her in this position. Odin and Freya were wed, ending the war and ensuring peace between the Aesir and Vanir. Over time, the two became close, and Freya taught Odin some of her seiðr magic (even as the other Aesir mocked him for it) and grew to accept Asgard as her new home. Odin became increasingly fixated on destroying the Jotnar, the ones who were destined to destroy him at Ragnarok. He enlisted the aid of the legendary dwarven smiths, Brok and Sindri, to make him the greatest weapon of all time, which led to Mjolnir’s creation. Giving it to Thor, Odin tasked him with wiping out all the Giants he could find, a task which Thor accepted with sadistic glee. When Freya found out what Thor was doing, she had decided she had enough and attempted to leave Asgard, but before she could, she was confronted by Odin. Furious at this betrayal, he cursed her to be unable to harm another being, even in self-defense, and banished her to Midgard where she would be unable to leave, which would lead to the second great war between the Aesir and Vanir.[1]

8. An Eye for an Eye

In Asgard, the Aesir are ruled by the fear of Ragnarok: the end of all things. That is why they drink and fight with reckless abandon. So, when a great winter overtakes the land, they all begin to worry. Odin has his ravens search all of creation in an attempt to find any proof that this is not Fimbulwinter itself. He found it as there was a single flower in Midgard. Spring came, as Odin decided he needed to act and find Jotunheim, and so enlisted many great warriors via writings to do it for him, though none were successful as Odin grew even more insane. Mimir attempted to convince Odin to find a more peaceful solution, though Odin simply compared him to Tyr (Odin had an army raze Tyr’s temple after the Giants disappeared) and began to believe that Mimir was in league with the Giants as Odin takes Mimir to the highest peak in Midgard, believing that he knew the secret rune that would open that gate to Jotunheim. Mimir did not know it, but Odin cursed Mimir, trapping him inside a tree insisting that Mimir would talk. Odin’s hand became a talon then plucked out Mimir’s right eye as payback for what Mimir did to him long ago.[1]

References

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