Dear Kid,

Once upon a time, there was a Norse god named Odin. He was the head number one deity dude and was specifically in charge of War, Death, and Knowledge. War, Death, and Knowledge didn’t always appreciate having someone in charge of them, but they went along with it most of the time because they didn’t have much choice in the matter.

Unlike our good friend Athena who was all about war with honor, Odin was all about war for raw and chaotic frenzy—what fun. It was said that his mere presence could strike the enemy blind, deaf, and impotent. Which should give you some idea of what he looked like. It should also help you understand why the little blue pill is also known as an anti-Odin or Odin-dote.

Justice and Fairness weren’t all that interesting to Odin (which caused J & F to pout) but Knowledge was. (The answer key to the SATs would have appealed much more than the notion of rescuing a fair maid.) Odin was very big on gathering military intelligence. His ravens (the original winged drones) were tasked with zooming around the world bringing back reports. Sometimes Odin even used the info they brought back.

Odin had only one eye. He had traded the other for a drink from the Well of Wisdom. (This is the source of the phrase “an eye for a well.”) College students would be well (ha!) advised to avoid trading body parts for promises of knowledge unless they have indisputable evidence of being immortal.

If you were looking for Odin (at least in those days), you might not find him in Asgard or Valhalla since he frequently wandered. Odin liked to travel but was not keen on being recognized so was generally in disguise. He didn’t carry a passport which was OK since gods weren’t often asked to present a passport.

These days Odin is making a big comeback in movies and video games. Which just goes to show something, but I’m not at all sure what.

Love, Mom