see my mom again someday. Loki had threatened that the spirits of my family would suffer for what I had done to him. Eventually, I would have to seek out the frozen land of the dead and see for myself.
But for now, we had fireworks. We had our friends, new and old. I had Alex Fierro next to me, holding my hand.
It might stop at any moment. We einherjar know we are destined to die. The world will end. The big picture cannot be changed. But in the meantime, as Loki once said, we can choose to alter the details. That’s how we take control of our destiny.
Sometimes, even Loki can be right.
AEGIR—lord of the waves
AESIR—gods of war, close to humans
ALLAHU akbar—God is greater
ARGR—Norse for unmanly
BALDER—an Aesir god, son of Odin and Frigg, brother of many, including Thor; he was so handsome, gracious, and cheerful that he gave off light
BERSERKER—a Norse warrior frenzied in battle and considered invulnerable
BIFROST—the rainbow bridge leading from Asgard to Midgard
BOLVERK—an alias used by Odin
BRAGI—god of poetry
BRUNNMIGI—a being who urinates into wells
CAILLEACH—Gaelic for witch or hag
EID al-fitr—a holiday celebrated by Muslims to mark the end of Ramadan
EINHERJAR (EINHERJI, sing.)—great heroes who have died with bravery on Earth; soldiers in Odin’s eternal army; they train in Valhalla for Ragnarok, when the bravest of them will join Odin against Loki and the giants in the battle at the end of the world
EINVIGI—Norse for single combat
ELDHUSFIFL—Norse for village idiot
FARBAUTI—the jotun husband of Laufey and father of Loki
FENRIS WOLF—an invulnerable wolf born of Loki’s affair with a giantess; his mighty strength strikes fear even in the gods, who keep him tied to a rock on an island. He is destined to break free on the day of Ragnarok.
FLYTING—a verbal duel of insults, in which the contestants must display prestige, power, and confidence
FREY—the god of spring and summer; the sun, the rain, and the harvest; abundance and fertility; growth and vitality. Frey is the twin brother of Freya and, like his sister, is associated with great beauty. He is lord of Alfheim.
FREYA—the goddess of love; twin sister of Frey
FRIGG—goddess of marriage and motherhood; Odin’s wife and the queen of Asgard; mother of Balder and Hod
GARM—the guard dog of Hel
GINNUNGAGAP—the primordial void; a mist that obscures appearances
GROVE OF GLASIR—trees in the realm of Asgard, outside the doors of Valhalla, with golden red leaves. Glasir means gleaming.
HALAL—meat prepared as required by Muslim law
HEIMDALL—god of vigilance and the guardian of Bifrost, the gateway to Asgard
HEL—goddess of the dishonorable dead; born of Loki’s affair with a giantess
HELHEIM—the underworld, ruled by Hel and inhabited by those who died in wickedness, old age, or illness
HUGINN AND MUNINN—Odin’s ravens, whose names mean thought and memory, respectively
HULDER—a domesticated forest sprite
IDUN—a beautiful goddess of youth, who supplies the other gods and goddesses with apples of immortality
JORMUNGAND—the World Serpent, born of Loki’s affair with a giantess; his body is so long it wraps around the earth
KENAZ—the torch, the fire of life
KONUNGSGURTHA—Norse for king’s court
KVASIR—a man created from the spit of the Aesir and Vanir gods, to represent the peace treaty between them after their war
KVASIR’s Mead—a drink that grants the gift of oration, created from a combination of Kvasir’s blood and honey
LAUFEY—the jotun wife of Farbauti and mother of Loki
LINDWORM—a fearsome dragon the size and length of an eighteen-wheeler, with just two front legs and leathery brown bat-type wings too small for effective flight
LOKI—god of mischief, magic, and artifice; the son of two giants, Farbauti and Laufey; adept with magic and shape-shifting. He is alternately malicious and heroic to the Asgardian gods and to humankind. Because of his role in the death of Balder, Loki was chained by Odin to three giant boulders with a poisonous serpent coiled over his head. The venom of the snake occasionally irritates Loki’s face, and his writhing can cause earthquakes.
MAGHRIB PRAYER—the fourth of five formal daily prayers performed by practicing Muslims, prayed just after sunset
MIKILLGULR—Norse for big yellow
MIMIR—an Aesir god who, along with Honir, traded places with Vanir gods Frey and Njord at the end of the war between the Aesir and the Vanir. When the Vanir didn’t like his counsel, they cut off his head and sent it to Odin. Odin placed the head in a magical well, where the water brought it back to life, and Mimir soaked up all the knowledge of the World Tree.
MINIé ball—a type of bullet used in muzzle-loading rifles during the Civil War
MJÖÐ—Norse for mead
NAGLFAR—the Ship of Nails
NJORD—Vanir god of the sea, father of Frey and Freya
NØKK—a nixie, or water spirit
NORNS—three sisters who control the destinies of both gods and humans.
ODIN—the “All-Father” and king of the gods; the god of war and death, but also poetry and wisdom. By trading one eye for a drink from the Well of Wisdom, Odin gained unparalleled knowledge. He has the ability to observe all the Nine Worlds from his throne in Asgard; in addition to his great hall, he also resides in Valhalla with the bravest of those slain in battle.
QURANIC—something relating or belonging to the Quran, the central religious text of Islam
RAGNAROK—the Day of Doom or Judgment, when the bravest of the einherjar will join Odin against Loki and the giants in the battle at the end of the world
RAMADAN—a time for spiritual purification achieved through fasting, self-sacrifice, and prayers, celebrated in the ninth month of the Islamic calendar
RAN—goddess of the sea; wife of Aegir
RED gold—the currency of Asgard and Valhalla
SIF—goddess of the earth; mother of Uller by her first husband; Thor is her second husband; the rowan is her sacred tree
SKADI—an ice giantess once married to Njord
SKALDS—poets who composed at the courts of leaders during the Viking Age
SLEIPNIR—Odin’s eight-legged steed; only Odin can summon him; one of Loki’s children
SUHUR—the pre-dawn meal eaten by practicing Muslims during Ramadan
SUMARBRANDER—the Sword of Summer
THANE—a lord of Valhalla
THOR—god of thunder; son of Odin. Thunderstorms are the earthly effects of Thor’s mighty chariot rides across the sky, and lightning is caused by hurling his great hammer, Mjolnir.
THRALL—a slave, servant, or captive
THRYM—king of the jotun
TREE OF LAERADR—a tree in the center of the Feast Hall of the Slain in Valhalla containing immortal animals that have particular jobs
TYR—god of courage, law, and trial by combat; he lost a hand to Fenris’s bite when the Wolf was restrained by the gods
UTGARD-LOKI—the most powerful sorcerer of Jotunheim; king of the mountain giants
VALHALLA—paradise for warriors in the service of Odin
VALKYRIE—Odin’s handmaidens who choose slain heroes to bring to Valhalla
VANIR—gods of nature; close to elves
; VATNAVAETTIR (each-uisce in Ireland)—water horses
VIGRIDR—a plain that will be the site of the battle between the gods and Surt’s forces during Ragnarok
VILI AND VE—the two younger brothers of Odin, who, together with him, shared a role in the shaping of the cosmos and are the first of the Aesir. When Odin was abroad for a long time, Vili and Ve ruled in his stead, alongside Frigg.
YMIR—the ancestor of all gods and jotun
ALF SEIDR ALF SAY-der
SAMIRAH AL-ABBAS sah-MEER-ah ahl-AH-bahss
THE NINE WORLDS
ASGARD—the home of the Aesir
VANAHEIM—the home of the Vanir
ALFHEIM—the home of the light elves
MIDGARD—the home of humans
JOTUNHEIM—the home of the giants
NIDAVELLIR—the home of the dwarves
NIFLHEIM—the world of ice, fog, and mist
MUSPELLHEIM—the home of the fire giants and demons
HELHEIM—the home of Hel and the dishonorable dead
RUNES (IN ORDER OF MENTION)
FEHU—the rune of Frey
THURISAZ—the rune of Thor