The Prose Edda Freewrite (4/12)
As I read the Introduction by Jesse Byock (xxv), I was very surprised by the direct usage of Tolkien with regard to the naming of his Dwarves in comparison to The Prose Edda. It seems that Tolkien simply “cut and pasted” this list of names straight into The Hobbit. The name “Gandalf” is also mentioned in the list of Dwarven names, but for some reason, in Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings, Gandalf is a member of a much more powerful race. Also in The Prose Edda, unlike other mythologies, the home of the Gods can be reached by mortals. This is also somewhat true in The Lord of the Rings, as mortals such as Frodo are able to travel to the Undying Lands. This marks a significant difference from Greek and Roman mythology, as Mount Olympus was forbidden to mortals. In both The Prose Edda, and The Lord of the Rings, there is definitely a common theme of a “Final Battle.” However, there are very stark differences between the two variations of this theme. In The Prose Edda, the Final Battle of Ragnarok will take place, pitting the Gods against the Evil beings and monsters of the World, such as the Midgard Serpent and Fenriswolf. However, there is no hope of victory, as all will be destroyed. Then the world will become new again. In the Lord of the Rings, the battle against Sauron at the end of the Third Age is the “Final Battle,” but in this case there is a very minute hope for victory and the defeat of Evil.