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  • Robert Farago

Ragnarok and Roll

Norwegian Death Trip?

Ragnarok is an ancient tale stretching back thousands of years. At least that’s how it felt by the time I made it to Season Three.

It’s Thor’s origin story minus the Marvel misegos. All the main characters are immortal. Except for those who can be killed by the old weapons. Which is all of them.

By now, Thor and I both get hammered at the same time. Our survival depends on it! We both emerge from our shared ordeal with questions.

Rumor has it Thor’s get answered fully – in a Dallas ninth season kinda way – closing the door on a possible Season Four. So, in conclusion, here are my main concerns.

Hvorfor er norsk så vanskelig?

Confused by that question? You shouldn’t be. According to Perplexity AI…

Norwegian is one of the easiest languages for English speakers to learn because English has at least 5,000 loan words from Old Norse, and shares the same word order, grammar, and syntax as Norwegian.

Hands up! How many of you recognized the headline above as “Where’s my electric toothbrush?” Or… Why is Norwegian so difficult?

I’m perplexed. I can fake it in just about any Romance language (including Words of Affirmation and Acts of Service). But I can’t make a connection between the sounds coming out of the speakers during Ragnarok and the words at the bottom of the screen.

And then it hit me: Norwegian is the perfect language for a people who don’t like to say anything much about anything. (Even less so when they’re drunk.) Our politicians should learn it.

Is Norway really that politically correct?

Ragnarok presents homosexuality as no more noteworthy than the weather, which varies between gloomy and ominously gloomy.

Don’t worry about the latter part of that equation. As they say in Norway, “there is no bad weather, only bad clothing.” And that outfit is cute AF!

That’s Thor’s brother Loki delivering a Norway Day speech in drag. True to form, no one bats an eye – in a country where eye-batting is the main form of communication.

I would like to believe LGBTQ+ tolerance reigns in The Land of the Midnight Sun, but the nation has a not-entirely-heart-warming saying: “Either conform to the customs or flee the country.”

Det er ikke døden som er skremmende, men det uvisse?

How we doing on the “Norwegian for Dummies” front? Hint: “It's not death that is frightening, but the uncertainty.”

In Ragnarok, the Junior Ice Queen known as Saxa (except when she’s on the phone) reminds the Norwegian God-in-training that his girlfriend will end-up a shriveled old hag, while Thor remains a strapping young man.

Saxa was dissing the competition to get laid. Her plan: steal Thor’s hammer when he’s passed out in post-coital bliss, then kill the fuck out of him. Literally.

Wait. What? Again, so much for immortality.

Never mind. Immortality is a bug, not a feature. As much as humanity keeps finding new ways to do the same old things we’ve always done, if you never got old, new shit would get old, fast.

Aerosol spray dispenser? Birkeland–Eyde process? Cascading style sheets? The Jötnar masquerading as Jutuls have seen it all. Wake them up when Norwegians invent something really interesting.

Norwegian Death Trip - Free Will or Fate?

When Thor makes it clear he can do the Maxwell’s Silver Hammer thing on the Jutuls, the matriarch cum pedophile Ran admits her fear of death to a shrink.

According to Norse mythology, there are two main realms in the afterlife: Valhalla and Hel. Judging by Ran’s fear, she reckoned Thor would send her straight to Hel.

But isn’t being a Giant, or Thor or any character in an 18-episode TV drama manifest destiny? What else could Ran be but a bad whammer jammer?

Ancient Norse put fate in the hands of the three Norns: Urd, Verdandi and Skuld (also a law firm in the Harry Potter series). So, like Greeks subject to the whims of the three Moirai, Ran was fucked from the git go.

I’m not sure how many of the five million present day Norwegians believe in free will, but they have 413 miles of freeways.

They’re going to be a bit more crowded after Ragnarok’s success. Intrepid viewers have been warned: det er utrygt for lyn.

Whether a lightning strike is Thor doing his thing or simple fate, the effect is the same. Bare sier det. Just sayin’.

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