"The Creation, Death and Rebirth of The Universe"

Welcome to our radio show, Amanda’s Book Club for Drama and Entertainment Fanatics on the wonderful 3.14 FM SMRT radio! Click the link to hear a special program, a continuation of our special World Mythology Week, that features a live radio play rendition of the Norse myth, “The Creation, Death and Rebirth of The Universe” called “Grandfather Tells a Story”. The book club and a collection of knowledgeable scholars discuss the epic's similarities and uniquenesses to other myths after the radio play. Enjoy!

Grandfather Tells a Story

1. KID 1: Grandpa we want to hear a story!
2. KID 2: Yeah, Grandpa! Something really cool! With giants!
3. KID 3: And fire!
4. KID 1: And lots of fighting! Oh pleeeease, Grandpa!
5. GRANDPA: (FRAIL, ELDERLY MAN’S VOICE) Oh settle down now, kiddos. I think I have just stories to tell you. Passed down from my ancestors long ago, the ancient tales of the universe.
6. KID 3: (IN WHINING TONE) Ew. Norse history? That sounds boring.
7. GRANDPA: Well fine then I’ll just send you to bed without any stories. Off you go.
9. KID 2: It’s only 8 o’clock! Never mind, Grandpa. We’re sorry, we still want to hear stories.
10. GRANDPA: Good, kiddos. Let’s start at the beginning….


12. GRANDPA: In the beginning of time, Ginnungagap existed; a huge, space of nothingness. Tsurt.jpghe first world, Muspelheim, suddenly came into existence in the southern part of Ginnungagap. It was guarded by Surt.
14. SURT: (THUNDEROUS VOICE) AAAARGGGH! Fear me, the eternal Surt, sole guard of the destroyers’ home known as Muspelheim. Welcome to my blazing, foreboding fortress of hell! Fear the wrath of my flaming sword as I slice those who threaten my home.
15. GRANDPA: The second world was Niflheim, where ice and fog ruled and Frost Giants roamed.
17. YMIR: (ECHOEY VOICE)My name is Ymir, the fearsome Frost Giant, evil by nature, born from the venomous foam at the juncture of Muspelheim and Niflheim. From Hvergelmir, the spring in the middle of this land of fog, flows eleven mighty rivers, creating layers of ice and mist. This hostile environment is what me and the Frost Giants call home. My nourishment comes from the ice cow Audhumla who creates the four rivers of nourishing milk.


18. GRANDPA: While Ymir slept, a man and women emerged from the sweat of his armpits. He was the father of all Frost Giant families.
19. KID 1: Wait, Grandpa, aren’t there any good guys in the story? Like gods or something?
20. GRANDPA: Why, Jackie, I thought you wanted to hear a story about evil!
21. KID 2: Well bad guys are no fun without good guys to mess ‘em up.
22. GRANDPA: Ho, ho, indeed. That’s just what I was getting to you see…Ya know the ice cow, Audhumla, well she was licking a big salty ice cube one day.
23. AUDHUMLA: MOOOO! Why, this certainly is an interesting block of ice.
25. AUDHUMLA: After every passing day, a male part emerges. Hair on the first day, a head on the second day, and nothing so far today…
26. GRANDPA: Suddenly, someone interrupted Audhumla as a gorgeously tall, and buff man emerged from the ice.


28. KID 3: Wait! Do you mean to tell me that a guy came out of an ice cube? That’s weird.
29. GRANDPA: Yes, well, it’s folklore so deal with it. Now where was I? Oh, yes…The man from the ice was called Buri and his three grandsons, Odin, Vili, and Ve, later became the 1st Norse gods. But you see, there was much conflict. Odin, Vili, and Ve killed Ymir and when his blood drowned everyone, Begelmir and his wife were the only ones left to repopulate the universe with more evil Frost Giants.
30. KID 1: Did Odin, Vili, and Ve survive?
31. GRANDPA: Of course, they were gods. But Ymir’s flesh became infested with maggots. The gods made the maggots into dwarves, appearing and understanding as humans do. Also from Ymir’s corpse, the three brothers formed the earth.
32. ODIN, VILI, VE: (IN MIGHTY BUT GENTLE VOICES) From this flesh we shall sculpt the earth. norse_map.jpg
33. ODIN: From this blood, we shall form the salty seas.
34. VILI: From these bones, we shall form mountains, rocks, and pebbles.
35. VE: From this hair we shall form forests.
36. ALL: And from these eyebrows, we shall form the barrier between the giants and the other beings.
37. GRANDPA: And so it was, the earth and all its parts at the beginning of Ginnungagap. They made the salty shores into land for the Frost Giants and the inland called Midgard for the other folk. Next, they formed the sky.
38. ODIN: From this skull, we shall create an arch over the earth.
39. VILI: From these brains, we shall create clouds to shower the people.
40. VE: To hold up the sky, we shall impose four dwarves, one for every corner, so that our people may have a never ending arch.
41. GRANDPA: To give light to the earth and heavens, they fashioned Muspelheim’s glowing coals and fiery sparks into stars. The three gods made the sun and moon to create day, night, and seasons. Our ancestors believed that the sun and moon were chased by wolves. When Ragnarok, the doom of the gods, came, the sun and moon were supposedly destined to be caught. In addition, a great tree called Yggdrasill existed, spreading over the heavens and throughout the world.


42. KID 3: You never explained what kind of people lived in Midgard, Grandpa. Were they humans?
43. GRANDPA: Why yes, when the three gods noticed an ash and elm tree, they formed the trees into the first man and woman, Ask and Embla.
44. ODIN: Let us clothe our beings to give them dignity. I will give them the gifts of blood and of life.
45. VILI: I will give them the gifts of understanding and movement.
46. VE: I will give them the gifts of shape and senses to see, hear, and speak.
47. ALL: These beings will be the parents of all the human race.
48. GRANDPA: So that was how our world began, according to our ancestors and as time went on, the universe expanded.


49. ALL KIDS: What a good story!!! We wanna ‘nother one!50. KID 2: (PLEADING TONE) Yeah pleeeease!51. GRANDPA: I suppose I can explain the death and rebirth. Once upon a time, there lived the twelve gods and twelve powerful goddesses who eventually all united to defeat the evil in the universe. One day after Balder died, all hell broke loose as Ragnarok came.
52. ODIN: (WORRIED TONE) My brothers, Vili and Ve, peer down at the beings of the world! Three bloody wars are being waged between brother and brother.
53. VILI: (FRANTIC TONE) Evil spreads wildly like a forest fire. All mercy ceases to exist!
54. VE: (REASONING VOICE) Brothers, what shall we do? Three merciless winters now endure. 55. SOUND: TWO HOWLING WOLVES 56. VILI: The wolves have swallowed any trace of the sun and moon.
57. ODIN: The great being, Surt, has ripped through our heavens, wielding his terrible flaming sword. 58. VE: The stars are… 59. SOUND: EXPLOSION 60. VE: My brothers, this violent tumult has uprooted our peaceful forests and collapsed our formidable mountains! 61. VILI: Brothers, look, something coming out of the ocean!


63. GRANDPA: Sure enough, the terrible beasts Loki the mischief making god, Fenrir the savage wolf, and the World Serpent were unleashed into the world, poisoning the seas and skies. Odin called on Heimdall, the watchman, to summon the almighty gods, but Fenrir had already reached him.
64. MUSIC: Beethoven’s 5th. 3 seconds then fade out.
66. FENRIR: (EVIL, ANIMALISTIC VOICE) I will tear you apart with my deadly bite! Fight to the death, Odin!
67. ODIN: Prepare to meet your doom, Fenrir!
68. GRANDPA: The god and wolf fought tirelessly. The wolf swallowed Odin but Vidar, a fierce warrior, killed Fenrir. Thor slayed the Serpent, but died to its venom. Surt slayed Frey and Heimdall and Loki took one another in fierce battle. Surt set the earth on fire, watching it melt into the sea as humans fled in terror.



69. KID 3: (ALMOST CRYING) Oh, Grandpa! That c-c-c-can’t be, the good guys have to win, Grandpa! We can’t just die! Please, we can’t just die!
70. GRANDPA: It’s alright, little one. Of course there’s a happy ending. See, the earth rebirthed itself, rising from the ocean, green and more beautiful than before. Birds chirped, sun shone, and fields became full of harvest. The only human survivors, Lif and Lifthrasir, repopulated the majestic earth. Evil had left the world and all the remaining gods forever retained the knowledge of those who came before them. The end.
72. GRANDPA: Now its time to go to bed.
73. KID 2: But, Grandpa, it’s only 8:05!!!
74. GRANDPA: In the olden days, I went to sleep at 7 and now my bedtime is 6:30 so Grandpa’s pretty sleepy.
76. KID 1: Grandpa, we’re already twelve years old!