Written by: Markuz, May 16, 2021

We are back to continue our analysis dedicated to the ending of Assassin’s Creed Valhalla and the context surrounding it with our second article, which will be dedicated to the Asgard arc of the game and our interpretation of the events shown in it.

In fact, as we mentioned in our first analysis, the Asgard and Jotunheim arcs showcase events that actually took place during the First Civilization times that Layla was able to witness through the Mythological layer imposed by Eivor’s mind.

In this article we are going to try and pierce through the mythological veil and to interpret what actually happened to Odin and his group of Isu.

We will deal with two different topics concerning the Asgard Arc: the context it provides, that tells us a lot about the First Civilization society and culture, and the war that the Asgardian Isu were partaking in at the time with the Greco-Roman Isu, while in our next analysis we’ll have a look at the early stages of Odin’s and Loki’s story, with the anxiety and determination by the leader of the Asgardian Isu to overcome what he was shown by the calculations, and the machinations by the trickster to smuggle his secret son in the Asgardian territory.

As you can see, we have a lot to discuss so let’s dive right in. This is what you might have missed from the Asgard Arc of Assassin’s Creed Valhalla.

Before we actually delve into the actual topics and events, for the new fans and / or for those who might have missed this while playing the Asgard and Jotunheim arc of the game we need to clarify a few fundamentals.

As mentioned before, the mythological arcs in Valhalla are actually meant to be interpreted as stories concerning the First Civilization presented with a Norse Mythology layer imposed over them.

As such, as it might not always be visible, especially in the Asgard arc, all or most of the characters seen in the mythological realms are supposed to be Isu. Odin, Loki, Tyr, Freiya, and Thor are an example of that, even though it’s not clear if those were their actual names, apart from Odin and Loki.

This also applies to all or most of the events taking place in the mythological realms – those too concerned the Isu. For example we are talking about the war between the quote and quote Aesir and the quote and quote Jotnar which, in our idea should be considered as a war between different groups or cities or castes of the First Civilization or Ragnarok which is a direct reference to the Toba Catastrophe.

You might sense a pattern here, so, by the same interpretation, all or most of the locations, the dialogues, the interactions, everything in the Mythological arcs actually had to do with the Isu, even though they are shown through the names and events that belong to the Norse mythology.

Thus, for the sake of our analysis, we’ll have to frequently use the mythological names when referring to the characters, cities and events we’ll discuss, but bear in mind that these names might actually be changed in the future when an official source might refer to their actual Isu counterpart.

So, with that preface out of the way, we can start having a look at the context of the Asgard arc. So, we know that the events of the arc, as in, the ones that took place in the Isu era, took place before the Toba Catastrophe and even before the plan devised by Loki and Aletheia which we analyzed in the first article of this series.

The events take place in what we’d call the Asgardian territory, that is the territory controlled and possibly governed by a specific group of Isu called, for lack of an official term, the Aesir, spearheaded by Odin. The main Isu city of this territory was of course Asgard, which is where the Asgardian Isu like Odin, Thor, Tyr, Freyja and Loki lived.

We are talking of Asgardian Isu because through this mythological arc we get to see a pretty big change of perspective towards the First Civilization that was introduced with Assassin’s Creed Odyssey and is fully embraced in Valhalla, that is the idea that there were different groups, different societies, different approaches and cultures within the Isu, making them look much more like a proper civilization.

The Asgard arc itself showcases several different species and groups of characters: the Aesir, the Vanir like Freiya, the Dwarves, the Jotnar. All of these and we could add the Atlanteans from Odyssey are, in our opinion, different groups of the Isu that were differentiated from one another in several ways, one of which was where they lived and the area that they controlled.

For example, we know the Aesir and Vanir ruled over Asgard and had a Vault in Norway, while Atlantis was located in Thera, an Island of Greece. The "Dwarves" possibly lived underground or at least went there to find shelter from the Toba Catastrophe and finally the Jotnar, who represent the Greco-Roman Isu, who possibly controlled a very vast area ranging at the very least from Africa, with Eden located in front of Mount Kilimanjaro to North America where the Grand Temple was located to Rome where we could find several vaults used by them.
So, different cities, different controlled areas but also different cultures and approaches, sometimes with very human traits. For example, we see that the Aesir actually felt some level of superiority and prejudice over the Vanir and that – at least one of them, Odin – was surprised to see that the Greco-Roman Isu used humans as thralls, as in slaves,meaning that possibly the Asgardian Isu didn’t, although it did seem Odin agreed in how to manage them.

And of course, one of the saddest but also most human traits, the inclination towards war. In fact, by knowing that the Aesir and the Jotnar are just allegories of the Asgardian and the Greco-Roman Isu, the war that we see in the Asgard arc can easily be interpreted as a war between those two factions, which is another very important element that is needed to comprehend the context of the events.

The events shown in the Asgard Arc take place already in the midst of this war and at the very beginning of the arc we can see a report by the Isu Heimdall, who, removing the Norse mythology layer, seems to be mentioning fierce attacks at the borders and introduces Loki as his apprentice and gatekeeper of the city or territory concerning Asgard. Keep this in mind as it will be relevant further on.

The document is also very interesting because of its final joke. In fact, Heimdall says jokingly that Loki will be the death of him and that is actually a reference that, along with the information shown in the Rigsogur pages supports the theory that Heimdall himself is the Isu that Loki kills in the Hidden Truth video when stealing the Seventh Method of Salvation.

Still trying to interpret the *actual* events in the Isu era, we can imagine Odin discussing with Tyr, Thor and Freiya what strategy to apply in order to better defend the Asgardian Isu group and decide to fight the enemy before the Bifrost, which might represent a bridge or a way that led to the Isu city of Asgard itself, but apparently the Jotnar, that is, the Greco-Roman side of the Isu, have already broken in, despite Loki working to keep the borders to this side of the First Civilization.

Eventually Odin closed the borders, so to speak, and all the invaders to the Asgardian territory were killed, save for one, the character called The Builder, who supposedly got in amidst the turmoil and as we’ll see, was actually a Greco-Roman Isu smuggled in by Loki.

The Builder is based off a character from the Norse mythology, who was unnamed as well, and offered to build a fortification for the gods in order to keep the invaders out in exchange for the goddess Freyja. This is exactly what happens in the Asgard arc, with the Builder
being able to create powerful defenses through “magic”, which through the mythological veil might mean that he was an Isu engineer who was able to create specific technological means of defence to be used in the Isu war, but that actually acted as a spy for the Greco-Roman side.

The Builder in the Asgard arc offers two defense methods which interestingly enough, heavily resemble two of the six methods of salvation. In fact, he both creates an encompassing shield and a tower which not only feel but also look very similar to those shown by Juno in Assassin’s Creed 3.

This also makes sense as the six methods, as shown in the Jotunheim arc and in the Animus Anomalies were introduced and tested by the Greco-Roman group of the Isu, so it clicks that one of their spies is able to recreate a version of them for war uses. Especially if they can intentionally malfunction against Odin and the Asgardian side of the war…

In order to create the Shield, in the Asgard arc the Builder required water from the Asgardian sacred well of Urdr, which in his words would power his shield. In the allegory this might refer to some special technology or alloy that the Asgardian Isu possessed.

In the Norse mythology, the well of Urdr is one of three wells existing beneath three roots of Yggdrasil, like the well of Mimir that can be found in the Jotunheim arc, and more specifically it is usually associated with the Nornir, the three beings that read and control the destiny of gods and men, which in the allegory can be easily considered as the calculations done by the Isu.

Thus, the Well of Urdr could be considered a specific room or location where the Asgardian Isu or even just Odin were able to read and experience the calculations. A calculations room, if you will.

Upon reaching it, Odin found that this… calculation room had been tampered with and had been sealed but eventually got the technology that “the Builder” needed for his demonstration, which lead the Isu spy to build a shield similar to the second method of Salvation.
It is also through the Builder that Odin got to know about the conscience transfer methods used by the Greco-Roman Isu – here named “hugr magic”, the magic of the mind.

Odin apparently tested the defence method created by the Builder by attracting more Isu opponents to the shield and killing them, but the Builder in our interpretation had the shield malfunction intentionally.

Through the demonstration, the Builder promised he would build a tower so tall that it could shield the Isu city of Asgard, which, as mentioned earlier, could both be a reference to the first method of Salvation – the towers that would absorb the power of the solar flare - and to the Second method, a shield that would protect from the flare itself. When discussing the latter, Juno mentioned that eventually the Isu would have actually been able to at best shield a city with it, so it *could* make sense that the spy would propose such a method of defence.

While building the tower, the Builder also found the time to do his spy work, wandering around the Asgardian territory and asking about the effects of technology (here called magic) on the conscience (here called hugr or mind) of the Asgardian Isu.

Alas, the Builder finished the tower in time and was supported by an external help which, again, was very likely to be provided by Loki, considering what Odin had just done to his son Fenrir (more on that in our next article).
Eventually Odin found several Greco-Roman Isu in the Builder’s hideout and finally witnessed that the Builder himself was a member of said faction who actually built the tower to lock Odin inside by binding his conscience to the tower itself, potentially as a new strategy in the war between the two factions.

Odin killed the Builder and thus the Tower stopped working as a protection device and finally the Aesir and Freyja started suspecting about Loki, who was behind all of this.

That’s the last we know of the conflict, at least for what concerns the Asgard arc, but as mentioned before, along with a good deal of events, we now know that the Isu were at war even in times close to the Toba Catastrophe, that they sent spies in their opponent territories, that some of the 6 methods of salvation might have been repurposed for war uses and that this kind of conflict really mattered to the factions at play. And an example of that can be seen in Odin’s story…

That’s all for the second part of our analysis, where we started piercing through the mythological veil of the Asgard Arc of Assassin’s Creed Valhalla!

Join us in our next article of the series, where we’ll finally have a look at the early stages of Odin’s and Loki’s stories, with the former’s attempts to overcome his destiny and the latter’s intrigue and sacrifice to save his secret son. You don’t want to miss that, do you?

Go to the THIRD CHAPTER of this series, go back to the FIRST CHAPTER of the series or go back to the HUB.

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