Throughout history, the sun has been seen as the protective deity in the sky which drives away the evils of the world. This makes sense, as most major predators in the regions where humans first evolved were nocturnal. But the impact it’s had on our creatures of legend have been colorful to say the least. From losing their powers to straight up burning apart, the sun is the great equalizer against evil throughout the world. But sometimes, the sun’s effect is a little more unique, such as with everyone’s favorite frozen friends – the Norse.
It makes sense the Norse would give the sun great powers. Being in a place where the bitterness of winter can be deadly even without predators, many stories and rituals involve how awesome the sun happens to be. Even in the face of destruction, the Norse say that Ragnarok will be preceded by three years of winter – an endless time of darkness and cold before the sun itself is swallowed by a wolf. And, of course, as the days grow shorter, the Norse believed that the world was entering a time of death and the skies were being filled with a “Wild Hunt” which could take people to their doom in the night. But this time would come to an end, the sun would return and warm the world, and all would be well. And the Trolls? Well those guys just straight up turned to stone.
Turning to stone, while often referenced in modern pop culture, was actually fairly unusual back in the day. Most situations with the sun involved a somewhat more violent death or a return to something else. And, while some could argue that the idea was simply that the Trolls were born of stone and they were doing the same as other creatures, this wouldn’t mesh. In the lore, Trolls (which went by many names) were related to nature but not actually born from the earth itself.
So… why’s a little sun give the big guys a hard on? Continue reading Mythology Monday – Turning to Stone