The Songweaver's Vow: Easter Eggs & Background
Today’s another entry in the Background & Research posts for The Songweaver’s Vow.
When Thor goes to fight Jörmungandr, he seeks the sea-sized serpent at a place he calls the Wyrmhole, baiting him out with a bull cut into quarters. The Wyrmhole is shamelessly based on a real place I visited in Ireland. (Though I saw fewer sea serpents.)
The Wormhole is a natural feature on Inis Mór, in the Aran Islands. It is a perfect rectangle which opens downward to the sea, at the base of the daunting cliffs. I’ve written about it before, though I didn’t know then that it would be a good place to hunt Jörmungandr.
The cliffs rise about 90 feet (27 m) above the Wormhole and then to 300 feet (91 m) at the ancient fort of Dún Aonghasa, not far as the crow flies but a spirited walk across the treacherous karst.
I didn’t set out to place the scene here; Thor just announced it, and I went with it. I couldn’t think of a better setting for a legendary showdown.
Thor surprised me quite a lot in this scene, actually, with his gruff thoughtfulness and blunt care for Euthalia’s trouble. I’d expected him to be wholly focused on his upcoming epic battle, what with his long-standing enmity with Jörmungandr and the added bonus of getting to smash stuff with Mjöllnir. But there was some depth to him which I just hadn’t had a chance to see until then.
It’s important to pre-load your brain with lots of random knowledge (yay, trivia!) and experiences, so that when you are in the middle of a writing binge your subconscious can kick up a finished solution to the question you’d only just thought to ask. If you’re a writer and you want to pre-load with me, check out the Ireland Writers Tour weeklong workshop. It’s fun, it’s productive, and it’s tax-deductible. (Probably. Check with your accountant.)
And if you’re reading these background posts and haven’t yet read The Songweaver’s Vow, you’re doing it wrong. Get your copy here.