Thought Activity: Examining Mythological Parallels

Pull up a chair to some food for thought and let’s take a look at similarities in Greek and Norse mythology.

Leigh Victoria Fisher, MS
5 min readSep 23, 2018


Photo courtesy of meanmachine77 on iStock.

The way information is recorded and passed down in ancient times is highly susceptible to change; some stories are recited through oral tradition for years, then finally written down.

Though they’re geographically far apart, Greek mythology and Norse mythology have some interesting similarities.

Parallels in mythology fascinate me, for I feel it can be interpreted as a sign that different mythologies could have been born from different accounts of the same events.

It’s only to be expected that with time, as different orators tell the tales and different scribes write them down, that these tales break off in separate directions while still having a similar backbone.

Einherjar & Kleos

Norse mythology mirrors many concepts found in Greek mythology, though the inevitability of death haunts is uniquely prominent in Nordic concepts. In a way, while the concepts of chasing glory and fate appear in both, Greek mythology is somewhat more optimistic.

Norse mythology holds the promise of Ragnarok; for warriors, they could either die on the mortal battlefield in Midgard or be selected as einherjar to train endlessly until they meet their end during Ragnarok, the end of the world.

The concept of Greek heroes competing for glory, or kleos, to reach a place in Olympus in works such as The Iliad closely mirrors the Nordic myth of warriors fighting valiantly to be chosen as einherjar by valkyries and taken to Valhalla. T

he similarities are strong enough that they could be interpreted as the same myth manifesting in different cultures.

In Norse mythology, valkyries are portrayed as powerful, elegant women who serve as choosers of the slain.

They select the mightiest of human warriors after they die valiantly in battle and take them on as einherjar. From the human perspective, the concept of being chosen and experiencing all the pleasures of…



Leigh Victoria Fisher, MS

Brooklyn-based writer and poet. Designer in NYC. Drinks books and loves coffee. Has an MS from NYU in Integrated Design & Media. Working on an MFA in Fiction.