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Wood carvings of the Saga of the Volsungs: The Norse Epic of Sigurd the Dragon Slayer from the portal of Hylestad stave church, Setesdal, Norway, 12th century

Sigurd slays Fafnir the dragon
The third scene shows Sigurd slaying the dragon with a sword. After forging the sword, Sigurd and Regin travel to Gnita-Heath in order to find Fafnir the dragon and take his treasure. There they dig “a pit in the path used by Fafnir,” and then he crawled into it. When Fafnir came to the pit Sigurd emerged and “thrust his sword” into Fafnir, killing him.

Persephone - Queen of the Underworld

Persephone was the daughter of Demeter (fertility goddess of the earth) and later queen of the underworld in Greek mythology. She was so beautiful that her mother attempted to keep her hidden from the eyes of gods and men. However, while picking flowers, Persephone caught the eye of Hades, god of the Underworld.

Hades abducted Persephone and brought her to the Underworld. Demeter searched the earth for her lost daughter but could find no trace of her and began starving the earth so the other gods would do something to help her. Word quickly traveled to Zeus that Hades was holding Persephone (or in some versions, Zeus already knew and had aided Hades in the kidnapping) and he demanded the goddess be returned to her mother.

Not wanting to part from his new queen, Hades tricked Persephone into eating Pomegranate seeds, which caused her to be bound to the underworld. Persephone was allowed to return to her mother for half of each year, but would always have to return to Hades.

Demeter starves the earth during the part of the year while she mourns her daughter, causing the annual changing seasons. 

Image: The Rape of Persephone by Christoph Schwartz 

Notes: Persephone was requested by wretchedsilence

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