Content of the article: "Let’s dig into Rig"
Rig Reidarasson, the man of over a dozen nicknames, is a fascinating character only delivered to us in the 10 Rigsogur pages scattered across western England.
Allow me to relay a “brief” summary of each page before we dig into his true importance:
- Rig is born in a storm on a ship without crying, and as a young boy already sees visions, claiming “I have drunk the mead of Odin”, “I have sat … with all the Aesir … They all know my name.” Rig gets called out in a fight, wins, spares his foe, takes Sklati’s horn as a prize and fills it with mead, earning the name “the Horn-Filler”.
- Rig tears a rival clan’s leader’s head from his shoulders at 12yrs old, keeping the head as a prize. The head “talked” to him, foretelling a betrayal, and Rig continued to use its “advices” to win battles, earning the name “Skull-Talker”. Quick side theory: could this have been a “crystal skull” of sorts? I know chances are null, but it’s a very odd thing that keeps popping up…
- Rig fell in love with Solveig, but later on while they were in the woods bangin’, Rig’s family was slaughtered by Ergon, who teamed up with King Hadon to banish Rig and Solveig for black seidr evidenced by his talking skull. They “complied”, then came back and killed Ergon, chopping his leg off to display, and earning the name “the Ghost of Trondheim”. Rig and a very pregnant Solveig then left for England, but stayed bangin’ in a whale carcass for 9 days avoiding the fuzz, until Solveig had to stop to deliver their first son, Erik Whaleborn. Rig seemed to not take to paternity well, having visions that night, saying “I will drink of the elixir, Father!”, “I will find you again on the other side of doom!” The 10th day the fuzz were gone, so Rig aliased as his first son’s name for a bit.
- Rig found a monastery of luminers – people who copied holy words in gold ink for preservation – and decided then to settle down, founding the town Goldness/Goldborough, and starting a gold mine to keep up the ink supply as he learned all he could about the subject of lumining under Brissy the Sage (NOT Aita, that we know of…) However I know of one that IS in Valhalla we never got to lay eyes on, a post for another day! and earned the name “the Converted”.
- Rig was found by King Hadron, who sent ships to Goldness. Rig quickly gathered just 10 men and their horses, covered themselves and the horses in gold ink, and rode into battle at sunset, blinding the enemy into an easy retreat. He named his horse Goldrassil, and earned the name “Gold-Skin”.
- The son of Ergon, Bolli, had allied himself with a rival kingdom and kidnapped Solveig. Rig attempted to take ships to retrieve her, but got stuck in brush. Then he ordered the men to take their ships as cover over the mountain and into the fortress where Solveig was. As they came through the fog, the gold-ink-painted dragons on their ships spooked the guards to scatter, and they razed the kingdom to the ground, saving Solveig and beheading Bolli – which again Rig used to “sing” at feasts for 8 days – and earned the name “Golden Flying Dragon”.
- A voice told Rig “You must ready your queen.”, and he crowned Solveig “Queen of the North”, to the scorn of other kings. Rig’s “lucky skull” says “The gods’ fate is determined at the blast of your horn”. Rig called the kings to a Witan, and disguised Solveig as a man claiming to be “the King of Goldness”, then had her declare the kings owed Goldness tribute, and called his wife “the Only Queen of England”. The voice spoke to Rig again, saying “Your father will lead you true, for you are his perfect son. Wait for him in Himinbjorg until the day of battle”, and Rig writes an interesting poem: “Better, I see now / To follow those / Who came before / For so dark a dream / Unrealized. Flows / The Dew of Distress / Lost forever.”
- The voice grew louder in Rig’s old age, and it distrusted Rig for his conversion to Christianity, saying “You are the son that left Goldness and traveled east.” Rig was conflicted with the old gods vs. God and decides to take pilgrimage to the Miklagard to be closer to the voice.
- Rig consults his “lucky skull” again and has his ship stop off at Constantine, the current name for Miklagard. He’s lively for a bit, but the voice tells Rig “he must confront a Man with the Mark in the House of Shadows”, and it’s kill-or-be-killed. He killed the Man with the Mark Was this another Reborn? Perhaps Aita himself? and claimed “I have come before my time. I was born too early and I am alone, without my father, without my friends.” He also voiced intention to “preserve his mind until his father should come again”, but was killed before that could happen by Brolli’s sister, who killed Rig to avenge her father and brother, but allowed Solveig to give him a proper burial.
- Rig’s body is brought home to a creek where he had painted Odin and a cross in gold ink, and was given a viking’s send-off. Brissy claims they believed Rig fully, and said Rig coined the term “Chips of Yggdrasil”, leaving the myth that Rig would return as a wave with bones made of mead-marrow when the waves cause “Chips of Yggdrasil” to wear away. He also gets another 5 nicknames in this page I’m not writing out here, we’ve got the gist…
So, we know what happened to him, but why?
My firm belief is that Rig was Baldr reborn.
A couple more facts to back this, we hear Loki gloat to Aletheia in two of the Animus anomalies: + Loki says he killed Odin’s son, saying “The poor boy collapsed so suddenly. Felled by the faintest taste of mistle-berry. With his father standing over him, weeping!” This is obviously a direct reference to Norse mythology, wherein Loki kills Baldr with mistletoe, and Odin finds his son murdered. + Loki then says “The Mad One is away, wandering in lands afar. He searches for a way to resurrect his son. Asking every leaf and stone for answers.”
Now, to connect these two we really only need to read into the odd things Rig says and hears that I pointed above, but here’s what I believe happened in between:
I believe Odin already had the Mead by the time Baldr was killed, and as per instruction was waiting “until the moment of death” to send his and his family’s minds forward through the Yggdrasil device.
But then he witnesses his son dying in front of him, and as any loving father would with the means to do so, I believe he preserved his son’s mind as Baldr’s life was ending, granting some semblance of hope while he looked for ways to revivify Baldr in the “here-and-now” of the Isu Era.
By this, he would’ve then used the Yggdrasil device once, well in advance to the rest of his Trusted Eight, causing Rig/Baldr to be Reborn a bit earlier than the rest of his family, as evidenced by Rig’s strange quotes above. In particular how Rig may have named the Mead “The Dew of Distress / Lost forever”.
This was a really fun dive to compile while I was playing, and is just the tip of the iceberg for my upcoming “mini” Codex coming called “AC: Valhalla – Codex Temporized”, where I’ll do my best to present all the little connections, theories, and lore bits in as chronological a fashion as possible! Look forward to that, and lemme know if you made the connection from Rig to Baldr yourself, or any other wild theories you may have!
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- The Hidden Truth, an Analysis
- The plot against Odin. Did Mimir and Laufey deceive Kratos into starting Ragnarok? **spoilers for god of war and potential spoilers for next game.**
- (SPOILERS!!!) How Odin will make Loki the trickster God (Theory)
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