The events of the upcoming adventure action movie Assassin’s Creed Valhalla are set in the era of the Viking invasions of England, which means that the game will inevitably introduce us to the religious beliefs and mythology of that time. This is what the new trailer for the upcoming project from Ubisoft is about.
Narrative director Darby McDevitt explores the beliefs and cultural values of the various inhabitants of Assassin’s Creed Valhalla in this video. The world in the game is at a turning point: the old pagan beliefs of Europeans are dying out, and Christianity is not coming to replace them.
In England, where the events of Valhalla will mainly take place, Christianity appeared relatively recently, but it has already firmly established itself. However, many pagan religions still flourish around. The most noticeable influence remains with the pantheon of gods worshiped by the Scandinavians – people living in the territories of modern Norway, Sweden and Denmark.
The Vikings believe in gods such as the all-father and king of all gods Odin, the goddess of love and battle Freyja and the stubborn deceiver Loki. These deities are important to all Scandinavian characters in Assassin’s Creed Valhalla, including the protagonist Eyvor. These gods and their stories create a living religion, offering comfort and wisdom to men and women who take them seriously. However, the Scandinavian deities did not offer revelation or promise salvation, like the Greco-Roman gods. They were not exemplars of virtue, not creatures to be like; they are changeable like the seasons, unpredictable like the harsh northern weather.
In the Scandinavian concept of reality, the world was divided into nine spheres. The highest realm, Asgard, is home to the most important gods. You can get there via the rainbow bridge. It is there that there is a place called Valhalla – the hall of fallen heroes, where they feast with Odin and wait for the arrival of Ragnarok – the last battle.
In the game, the Scandinavians do not pray to the gods for redemption, but bargain with them, making sacrifices for the sake of luck. Vikings are much closer to honor and reputation than Christian concepts like virtue, sin and atonement. This does not mean that the Scandinavians did not have ideas about goodness or ethics: in poetic eddas you can find among the tales of debauchery, deceit and cruelty, fragments of incredible beauty and deep meaning. For example, in a poem called “Hovamol”, allegedly written by Odin himself, mortals are told how to live life with dignity.
Assassin’s Creed Valhalla will be released on November 10 on PC (Uplay and Epic Games Store), PS4, Xbox One, Xbox Series X and S, and on November 12 on PS5. In mid-October, Ubisoft released the system requirements for the game.
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