Ullr: God of War

February 7, 2018

Ullr’s Fangs, the second book of the Incarn Saga (soon to be released), is named after Ullr aka Tyr, the Theriomorph god of war with a special focus on the inception and beginning of battle. He is also the god of young men, courage and the sun. His personality and traits are as similar as they are different to Issaura’s.

 

This bizarre comparison between war gods is also found in the Greco-Roman pantheon where Athena/Minerva also is balanced by Ares/Mars. Hotheaded and always ready for a fight, Ares/Mars is the perfect representation of the ideal warrior. Obviously skilled with weaponry, he embodied the physical and violent aspects of battle. In contrast, Athena/Minerva portrayed the strategical side of war. Ullr and Issaura differ in a similar vein with the latter more levelheaded than her male counterpoint’s bloodthirsty persona.

 

To heighten the comparison between Ullr and Issaura, I also drew upon the Greco-Roman twins Apollo, the male sun god, and Artemis/Diana, the female moon goddess. As much as these twins had one another’s backs, they were literally as different as night and day. By combining aspects of the sun and moon with the personality traits of the two Theriomorph gods of war, they are able to be portrayed in ways that clearly set them apart from one another.

 

In Nordic mythology, the concept of a god of war was so common that most of gods and several of their goddesses claimed that title. Battle and war was a commonplace occurrence. Thor, Odin, Balder, and Tyr are some of the more recognizable gods’ names. Clearly, I chose to use Tyr as an alternate for Ullr, since both gods demonstrate bravery and boldness. However, the Nordic deity most often associated with war is Thor. Depicted as hot tempered and brawny, he was the principal defender of the gods against their greatest nemesis, the giants.

 

As you now see, Ullr was configured from a variety of battle hearty deities. Yet like Apollo, not all my inspiration comes from mythological battle fields. I used the lineage of the Egyptian god Horus to illustrate Ullr’s relationship to his fellow gods. Falcon headed, Horus was the only son of Osiris, the first King of Egypt and his wife Isis, sometimes known as the “mother of god”. Horus avenges the murder of his father and succeeds to Osiris’ throne. Similarly, Ullr is the only offspring of Giahem, the king of the gods, and Crocotta, the mother goddess. The same parallel also applies to Ares/Mars, the child of the Greco-Roman king and queen of the gods.

 

Overall, Ullr is a deity both strong and brash. His wild nature is reflected in his dual form, a giant wolverine with the temperament of one of the world’s most vicious animals, the honey badger. In sheer might, he is clearly Issaura’s match in many ways. Mirroring her guardianship of the moon, he reigns proudly over the sun. It is obvious why these two war gods have an undeniable connection between them. Yet how does this relationship affect their influence on the mortal plain?

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