I still haven’t done a proper essay on Lost. Perhaps with only a clip show airing this week I’ll be able to collect and condense my thoughts. Meantime, I’ve decided to perform a little public service to viewers frustrated by the lack of Norse mythology in last week’s episode.
Anyone who bothers to check titles of upcoming episodes of Lost and is at least passingly familiar with Star Wars got a chuckle at the name “Some Like It Hoth”. (While I haven’t started actively looking titles up myself, I discover them when reading Jeff Jensen’s column on the show at the EW website [bad link] or from commenters on Nikki Stafford’s blog as we discuss.) It’s no surprise that most informed fans assumed “Hoth” was a reference to the ice planet depicted at the beginning of The Empire Strikes Back, which indeed it turned out to be. But a respectable handful of Lost followers either already knew or learned through research that Hoth is one of the many variations on the name of the Norse god also known as Hod or Hodr, who was tricked by Loki into killing fellow god Baldr. They were rewarded with bupkis last week.
We’ve seen hieroglyphics and other references to Egyptian culture and mythology on Lost. The Dharma Initiative is named for a central tenet in various Indian religions. Several allusions to Judeo-Christian messianism have been made, including the presence of an actual, apparently resurrected character named Christian Shephard. And the Island’s mysterious smoke creature has been referred to as Cerberus, which is the name of the three-headed dog that guards the entrance to Hades in Greek and Roman mythology.
There must be a way to tie Lost to Norse mythology. I shall now attempt to do exactly that through free association. (Don’t knock it. Stephen Colbert makes his Oscar predictions this way [bad link], and it’s served him well.) Although the following is obviously the product of my own cultural environs, anything particularly foreign to you should be clear in context.
Lost, of course.
The Lost Boys.
“Death by stereo.”
TV on the Radio.
Big Audio Dynamite.
Clash of the Titans.
The Teen Titans.
Robin the Boy Wonder.
The Island’s Paradise Island?!?
No way! I haven’t seen a single Amazon.
Wait… That’s Greek mythology,
and we’re looking for Norse.
Okay. Paradise Island.
The Wrath of Khan.
“Beisbol… has been bery, bery good… to me.”
Chico and the Man.
Freddie Prinze Jr.
Sarah Michelle Gellar.
Buffy the Vampire Slayer.
Medal of Honor.
On Her Majesty’s Secret Service.
… Chuck Woolery? Yikes! Let’s try this one again.
“The pen is mightier than the sword.”
“Don’t Fence Me In”.
Crosby, Stills, Nash, and Young.
The Rainbow Bridge, called Bïfrost, which is guarded by Heimdall and leads from Midgard, or Earth, to Asgard, home of the Norse gods, rendered by artists from Arthur Rackham to Jack Kirby and other Marvel artists, depicted below by penciler John Buscema, inker Chic Stone, and colorist Petra Goldberg in a 1975 issue of Thor!
Suck it, haters!
[Note: All images but the first and last were removed after HTML gremlins crept in during a round of Blogger’s supposed upgrades; they’ll get replaced eventually, my fingers crossed.]
Related: Nowhere Man • They’re Magically Suspicious • Don’t Let Me Down