Finally, I’m trying to breathe back some life into my Architectural posts.
This is the last post concluding my SAO themed week. This week I’m looking at Season 2’s Excalibur Arc for it’s architectural aspects. You might have seen my analysis of ALO’s City of Arun in a previous post. ALO is specifically named after one of the races in Norse Mythology, Alfheim, the race of the light fairies. Other races found in ALO are not as specific to Norse Mythology.
After doing some research, I think it’s really interesting how ALO over all is based on Norse Mythology. I also, like how well it’s been depicted. In the ALO verison of Thrymheim, it is a floating inverted pyramid that is located underneath the base of the world tree, in another world called,Jotunheimer, the land of giants.
Thrymheim is divided into 4 levels. Each riddled with an array of varying passages and rooms carved out of the ice pyramid. The fourth floor is mostly the boss dungeon.
The mythology of Thrymheim according to ALO:
Once upon a time, the king of the frost giants in Niflheimr, named Thrym, transformed into a wolf and infiltrated Jötunheimr. He then stole the Holy Sword Excalibur, forged by the blacksmith god Völundr, and threw it into Urðr’s Spring at the center of Jötunheimr. The sword severed the thick roots of the World Tree in the spring and, at that moment, Jötunheimr lost the blessings of the World Tree, becoming a desolate world of frost. The water of the Urðr’s Spring froze, as it was pulled up by the shrinking roots, thus forming a bottomless pit, the Great Void, where Urðr’s Spring once was, while the frozen water became a huge mass of ice, with Excalibur stuck at the bottom-most part of the ice mass, and half pierced into the crust of ALfheim.
Thrymheim translates to “Thunder-home,” a castle that was located in the highest mountain peaks of Jotunheim where the snow never melted; it was considered to be one of the few strongholds of the world, and owned by a giant by the name of Thiazi. The castle is the only building in the kingdom of Thrymheim that is made solely out of ice, which is probably why in ALO it’s a crystal pyramid.
From what I’ve read, the entire excalibur arc is based on a particular story found in Norse Mythology. However, SAO has jumbled two stories together and I think this was done purposely in order for the viewers to be able to relate to the content a little more. The story goes as follows:
Thiazi once abducted the goddess Idun, and in Thrymheim, he held her captive, causing the gods to age until her rescue, in turn resulting in the death of Thiazi.
Thrym was king of the jotnar. In one legend, he stole Mjolnir, Thor’s hammer to extort the gods into giving him Freyja as his wife.
Thrym was foiled in his scheme by the gracefulness of Heimdall, the cunning of Loki, and the sheer violence of Thor, who later killed Thrym, his sister, and all of the jotnar kin that had been present at the wedding reception.
In the excalibur arc, we saw that the final boss was Thrym, who was holding Freya captive (like Thiazi to Idun), while also being in possession of Mjolnir. But when Freyja touches Mjolnir, she turns into Thor to kill Thrym. This all happens in Thrymheim, which is not Thrym’s home at all. It’s a bit confusing, but thats the how mixed up the mythologies became!
That about does it. This was relatively short; but don’t worry I’ll be back with even better content! I kind of wanted to just use images for this one.
That concludes unofficial SAO week here at Archi-Anime! As always, thanks for reading! Did you like what you saw? Have any other comments or questions? Also, if you have any think you’d like to me to look into architecturally in an anime I’m more than willing to take suggestions! I’d love to hear from you in the comments below!