As a bit of a mythology buff, I’ve always been interested in how Iron Druid Chronicles author Kevin Hearne portrays the gods in his fiction. The Norse god Odin features prominently in the recent entry in the Iron Druid Chronicles, an e-book novella titled Two Ravens and One Crow. Odin is a complicated god: the father of the pantheon, their king, a warrior and a sorcerer. I was curious how Hearne decided what aspects of Odin he chose for Two Ravens and One Crow, so I asked the author himself:
What inspired your portrayal of Odin in Two Ravens and One Crow?
I’ve always been fascinated by the three different sides of his personality. On the one hand, you have the gracious host or party animal that oversees the feasting at Valhalla. He serves up mead from the teats of a giant goat, and there aren’t many places you’ll find that on tap. On the other hand, he’s incredibly concerned about the future of his people and sacrificed an eye to gain wisdom so that he could lead his people well and steer them through Ragnarok, or delay it as much as possible. On your third hand, because I’m sure you have one around somewhere, he’s the leader of the Wild Hunt, a merciless harvester of souls, riding out on Sleipnir, wielding the named spear, Gungnir, and accompanied by a pack of spectral hounds. There are many different versions of the Wild Hunt throughout continental Europe, but I think in Odin’s case it’s an interesting contrast with his other roles, so I enjoyed exploring those different aspects to his character.