Mythos Monday: The Nokken – Eternal Love or a Watery Grave

Welcome once again to Mythos Monday.  Today we’re headed North.  Like waaaay North.  Nope, not to Alaska.  Other way.  We’re talking the land of the Vikings.

I’ve always been ever so slightly enamored of the Vikings.  Big, strong, manly men with really big, ah, swords.  And muscles.  Lots of muscles.


Let’s just forget the whole pillaging thing.  Because, after all, if the Northmen looked anything like these guys, they I’d be happy to let them pillage away.

But let’s not get carried away (Though, hello!  Can you blame me?).  I’m not here to talk about lusty Northmen today (More’s the pity).  I’m hear to talk Norse Mythology.  Specifically legend of the nokken.

The nokken were Scandinavian water spirits.  Something like sirens or kelpies.  Only the nokken were exclusively male.

Sort of.

You see, the legends call them shape-shifters and no one seems to know their true shape.  If they had one.  Instead they appear most often as either a horse or a man playing a violin in the water.

Seriously.  Who plays a violin in the water?

But apparently the music of the nokken was so breathtakingly beautiful, it lured women and children (and sometimes even men) to the nokken’s side.  Why?

Well, there are the tales of a lonely nokken playing his violin, of a woman falling in love with the nokken, and of him leaving his watery home to live with her (Though he inevitably left her after some time, drawn back to the water).

But there are also stories that pops up of some moron trying to ride the nokken (One assumes while in horse form.) and getting himself drown.   Or of the nokken luring unsuspecting travelers onto thin ice so they can fall through and be trapped under the ice.

Naughty, naughty nokken.

Imagine the stories from that one little myth.  Epic romance, or bloodthirsty horror?  Which do you prefer?  Maybe a just little bit of both …

Happy Monday!


9 thoughts on “Mythos Monday: The Nokken – Eternal Love or a Watery Grave

  1. I’m thinking humor. Sort of a Don Quixote meets the horse-man violin player and is convinced the passion is mutual and that one day they will ride the seas together as part of a traveling band. Yep.

    What’s Nokken on your door? *wink* Great post.

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