If you have not read Bonds That Break, do not read this post. This will contain major spoilers for the book.
So you’ve read the book, right? Ok…
I’ve known the ending of the Havoc Chronicles since 2007 when I first came up with the idea. I knew who the Havocs were, I knew why they were bound, and I knew what would have to happen for them to be freed. When I had the idea of using Berserkers, the idea was intricately tied to Norse mythology. Not the Marvel Comics version of Norse mythology, but actual Norse mythology. You know, where Thor is a stocky redhead and doesn’t have long blonde hair or a ridiculous winged helmet. His hammer has a short handle and he has to wear a metal glove because it heats up as he throws it. Odin has one eye, carries a spear, rides an eight legged horse, and has two ravens that sit on his shoulder and whisper in his ear.
I grew up reading myths as a child. D’Aulaire’s Book of Norse Mythology was one of my favorites. I checked it out from the library every time I could find it. Their versions of the Norse myths and the Aesir will always feel like the true version of these myths to me. I took those characters, Odin, Thor, Frig, Loki, Hoenir, and Lodur and wove them into my story. How could I have Berserkers and not have the Aesir as part of the origin story?
I struggled with how could I foreshadow their presence, but not bludgeon the reader over the head with who they were. I wanted it to be a surprise, but when you went back and read, you would see the clues that were there from book one. I think for those who were familiar with the Norse Myths that the foreshadowing worked for the most part. It was hinted at and referenced every time she had a vision. If you knew the mythology, you probably figured out who they were sometime in book two, and certainly before the reveal at the end of book three.
But what I am now realizing is that the vast majority of my readers are not familiar with the Norse legends. Their only exposure has been through the Avengers or other Marvel Comic books. Which is fine. I like those as much as the next nerd. But, please readers, understand this: I didn’t take anything from Marvel. I planned this series seven years ago, long, long before there were any announced plans to make Thor or Avengers movies. The only similarities between my Norse gods and the ones from Marvel are those that are found in the original mythology, thousands of years old, that we both used as our inspiration.
So if the final ending took you by surprise, that’s ok. I figured that would be the case with many readers. Just please don’t confuse Marvel Thor and Odin with the ones from mythology. If you think of Marvel Thor and Odin, I can see where it would feel out of place. If you think of the Thor and Odin from Norse mythology, you will see that it does all fit together and was foreshadowed from the beginning.
Thank you for indulging me as I let out a bit of frustration. It is mostly directed at myself for not being more aware of how the pop cultural landscape would influence how people read the ending of the series. I thank all of you who have read my stories and shared Madison and the Berserkers’ adventures with me. I want nothing more than to entertain and delight you. I hope to continue to do so.