Thursday, 9 June 2016

Growing Up With Giants

Nursed by a giantess, Hadding grows quickly and becomes strong. He lives well with the giant family who hunt, fish, keep cows, grow grain, gather nuts, berries and wild honey and brew ale and mead. He is at home in the wilds, learns some of the Old Tongue from Jotunheim and shares their feasts which celebrate:

the shaping and slaying of Ymir;
the binding of Garm and Fenris;
Utgard-Loki's tricks on Thor.

These stories are in the Norse myths but not celebrated by any human feasts.

Once, alone on a winter night, Hadding sees light elves, their horses bounding from horizon to horizon in a few heartbeats, and hears their horn:

"The horns of Elfland faintly blowing!" (see here)

He watches the giantess consulting a drow, which says that Hadding is not what he seems. Kraki visits and teaches Hadding about gods and weapons, how to fight and his place in Denmark. This is perfect preparation for Hadding's destiny and is also a hero myth. See also here.


  1. Kaor, Paul!

    Darn! I'm reading James Blish's THE DAY AFTER JUDGMENT and I had been thinking of rereading THE KING OF YS after the Blish book. Now I'll have to think of rereading WAR OF THE GODS. (Smiles)


    1. Sean,
      If I am guiding at least one person's rereading, then I am doing something.

    2. Kaor, Paul!

      And you are doing something GOOD, influencing my reading like this! (Smiles)

      And besides helping me to reread some of Anderson and Blish's books, I am looking forward to S.M. Stirling's next book, PRINCE OF OUTCASTS, due to come out in September. That gives me plenty of time for Blish and Anderson.

      I'm a fan of Stirling's books, so I'm looking forward to the PRINCE book, latest installment of his Change series. I don't know if you would like them, but I do urge you to read at least DIES THE FIRE, the first book in the series.

      I do have some reservations about the Change series: one of them is wondering how LONG Stirling can keep adding books to that story line before it gets "mined out." Another think I'm skeptical about is how many of the female characters are warriors or soldiers. Considering how, on average, women are about one fourth to one third less strong than men, I have found this a little hard to believe.

      But aside from quibbles like these, I've greatly enjoyed reading Stirling. At his best he reminds me of Poul Anderson. And Stirling himself has said on this blog how much he had been influenced by PA. Several of his books, like THE PESHAWAR LANCERS, CONQUISTADOR, and the Lords of Creation books, are worthy of Anderson.


    3. Sean,
      I will read DIES THE FIRE but there is no hurry. This blog has become a long term project so I let it take as long as it takes to read or reread each Anderson or Anderson-related work and I do not know what is coming next.

    4. Kaor, Paul!

      And I look forward to any comments you care to make about DIES THE FIRE, when you get to it. Including remarks about any Andersonian allusions you find.

      I agree with what you said about how this blog of yours has developed! This blog, and John Wright's, has become my favorite SF related blogs.