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The Scarecrow

The Main Legend

If you felt more freaked out than usual here, that might be because this episode's legendscape is older than previous times. We are into pure Norse mythology, and in particular dealing with a Religious "Revival", where an old religion is studied and recreated in the same form as it once was. This can lead to an authenticity, but also to customs which are considered unnacceptable today, a prime example being the human sacrifice in this episode, which probably was performed by the ancient Nords.

In case you missed it, the Scarecrow enemy of this episode was just a puppet for one of the ancient Norse gods:
"SAM: So, something must be animating it. A spirit.
DEAN: No, itís more than a spirit. Itís a god. A Pagan god, anyway."

Although it's hard to pinpoint exactly which god was animating the scarecrow, we can narrow it down rather. Norse gods can be split into two groups, the Vanir and the ∆sir. The ∆sir were the gods of the organised clan, and of war, while the Vanir were the wild gods of nature. Although for reasons which this episode should make obvious, there are no real Norse revivalists, there are Norse reconstuctualists, who use the old worshipper's ways as a guideline, but not as a rule. They worship the ∆sir and are called the Ńsartrķ. (You might remember this group tried to claim Kennewick Man.) However, this episode focusses on the Vanir, as Dean finds out by actually doing research!

"Dean: The Vanir were Norse gods of protection and prosperity, keeping the local settlements safe from harm. Some villages built effigies of the Vanir in their fields. Other villages practiced human sacrifice. One male, and one female."

So far so good then. The trouble starts when we think about the tree, you know, the one the Vanir is supposed to live in. There's not much reason for any of the major Vanir to live in a tree - they can materialise anywhere. The tree could be sacred to a Vanir, but burning it shouldn't really hurt the Vanir, less than make it mad.

It is possible if we take the term Vanir to refer to any Norse wild spirit (as it could) that the actual creature living in the tree could die as the tree falls. For example, a Hamadryad is a kind of dryad that dies when the tree it belongs to dies, and the Moss Maiden is a like creature except that it can move from tree to tree. However, these are not gods, just spirits, and Dean was very sure that this creature wasn't just a spirit, so perhaps we can give the benefit of a doubt and say that perhaps the Norse gods need to be envoked into an object because they are getting weaker, or something like this.

Other Minor Legends

The Blood Phone - I'm sure everyone's wondering about the woman who used the blood to contact "father", and to be honest, short of saying that the it fits beautifully into the legendscape, and betrays a black magic, this one's a bit tricky to place. At first she seems to be using the blood to scry - to look at somewhere far away. Usually scrying is done using a shimmering surface, such as water, clouds, fire, or popularly a mirror, and the darkest forms of magical scrying will be done in blood or ink. However, she seems to be talking to someone upon scrying them, and getting answers, which is more reminiscent of an augury, where sacrificed victims are watched carefully, and their actions and reactions give clues to the minds of the gods. So all in all, it's most likely that this is a new spell, created especially for Supernatural, but drawing on these old images. I think we can conclude that Meg is bad news though.

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Page created: 13/11/07.
Last page edit: 13/11/07.

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