It’s Christmas in September! Actually, it’s winter in Norway, and that bearded guy greeting you isn’t Santa Clause, it’s Odin. He’s not bringing gifts, he’s demanding one. The Eye of Odin, in particular. See, it was his until he lost it in a freak well accident. Now he’s brought Goliath and Co to his frozen shores to deliver the artifact. But they’re not UPS. They’re not even USPS. Goliath is dead-set against handing it over. He’s so determined that he dons the Eye himself. Now he’s going to protect his people – whether they like it or not.
Miss last week’s? Read Pendragon episode review.
Spoilers are in the 20/20 moments. Info from Ask Greg is in the According to Greg bits.
Season 2, Episode 36: Eye of the Storm
Reason(s) for existence: Show the nature of tyranny. To prove that trading freedom for security ends in imprisonment. To illustrate Goliath’s inner being.
Main antagonist(s): Odin, Goliath (say what?)
Time(s): February 13th, 1996
Fair warning: this is a fairly straightforward ep. As for antagonists, there’s not a whole lot to analyze. Also, this is not one of my fave eps.
Goliath and Company arrive on snowy shores. They’re met by a white-bearded old man who is wearing a black, starry cloak. He welcomes them to Norway. I’ve never been to Norway, so I don’t know if this is the national dress, and if this is something we should be expecting. The old man is missing his right eye. He’s also voiced by Morgan Sheppard, aka Petros Xanatos. He knows all about gargoyles, being “well versed in matters of myth and legend.”
He says he will trade them a warm cloak, which Elisa desperately needs since it’s all of zero degrees, and she’s wearing the same red leather jacket she’s been wearing for the last 2 years, without even her scarf and gloves that kept her so warm in New York. In exchange for it, he wants the Eye of Odin. How does he know Goliath has the Eye? Nobody bothers to ask. At this point it’s apparent he’s magical.
“Odin — as Odin sees it — is playing by the rules. He tries barter and then fair combat and then takes a hostage, which in ancient times did not have the same cowardly (if not downright terrorist) connotation that it carries today. All of which might have been avoided, if at the beginning he had just — i don’t know — offered Elisa the cloak with no strings attached and sat down with Goliath to discuss the whole eye thing. Odds are, when he was not being confrontational, Bronx would have slid up to get his chin scratched. Angela would have said something like, “Well, Bronx likes him.” And Goliath might have realized that giving the darn thing back to Odin was the safest possible outcome. BUT NO! Odin, as he admits, is not the most patient of gods and a bit rusty when it comes to the whole dealing directly with mortals thing.”
Man, I really wish Goliath had just handed over the Eye.
Of course they refuse to give him the Eye. He says they regretted, or they’ll freeze to death first.
On the road, a family of Norse people are driving their SUV. It’s a dad and his kid: Erik and Gunther Sturlusson. They’re coming home from hockey. They almost slide off the road, however, when they swerve to miss Bronx. The gargoyles save them, which is fortunate, because now Elisa can go with them and thaw out.
According to Greg: “The name Sturlusson is a direct steal from Snorri Sturlusson (I hope I’m spelling this right), the author of the Eddas — the more-or-less original source materials that we have as reference to the Norse Myths.”
Luckily, the gargoyles aren’t affected by cold. They look a little bothered, though, since they’re all wrapped up in their wings and hunched. But I guess they’re like birds, where no matter how cold it is, they never seem to notice.
The Norse people wonder about the fact that Elisa isn’t in a parka.
Meanwhile, Goliath and Angela are discussing the Eye., which is pulsing like Sting when orcs are nearby. Both Fox and the Archmage “manifested their inner selves,” per Goliath. So Fox’s inner self is insatiable, fierce, singled-minded, primal, powerful, and a bit self loathing. It’s interesting that she’s the only wearer to turn into a beast…
Then a big white polar bear shows up to fight Goliath, Angela, and Bronx. It’s missing its right eye. They fight until the polar bear steals the bag – that’s got the Eye – from G’s belt. Goliath wrestles it back.
Goliath noticed the eye and says the bear and old man are one. At this point, they’ve seen enough shape shifters to make this idea pretty logical.
The old man appears at Erik’s house, but this time he’s riding an armored stallion (that we’ll soon see can fly). He busts through the wall of their cabin, and demands the Eye. He takes Elisa as hostage to ensure that he received said Eye. He tried barter and fair combat, so he’s got no options left.
Goliath confronts him, but it’s no use. By the way, he reveal that he is in fact Odin. Yes, the Norse god Odin. The original owner of the Eye of Odin. Now, forgive me, but wouldn’t it be wise to return the Eye to its owner? Odin is not like Loki. He is not one of the evil gods or the more difficult gods. He traded the Eye for wisdom. In my mind, that’s probably the only person who can handle this artifact. Goliath is quite impressed, but not enough to give up the Eye.
Angela and Elisa in their great wisdom tell G not to hand over the Eye. Goliath decides that he has one route: donning the Eye of Odin. He knows it’s been used for evil in the past, that it’s a menace. But like Frodo and Bilbo with One Ring, he decides the benefits outweigh the risks this time. So he slaps it on. There’s conveniently a big chain that it hangs from now.
He turns into a giant gargoyle with horns like the classic Odin helmet, and armor with stars. He’s now Odin’s Avatar.
This freaks the old man out enough that he leaves Elisa.
The sun comes up, and it’s suddenly apparent that Goliath no longer turns to stone. This way he can protect at all times.
A storm kicks up, and Goliath says the little cabin will never weather it. Well, off they go to a cave. G is happy about this. Too happy.
As they’re driving, Gunther explains about Odin, that he is a Norse god of battle. He also explains about the horse, Sleipnir. Well, not much. He doesn’t mention the horse should have a few more legs, or that Sleipnir is the offspring of Loki from that time Loki decided he should change into a mare and be the mother of a foal;. I wonder if we’re going to meet Fenrir too, since we’re dealing with Loki’s ilk?
After they reach the cave, Goliath says he’s going to secure the area. Angela spots him over head, creating the storm they were running from the first place.
Thus, when Goliath returns, he meets the Angry Eyes.
He says it was the only way to get them into the cave. Okay, I wasn’t really aware that going to the cave was a big priority. Well, it is if you want to be overprotective. He locks them in with a giant boulder he’s found. It’s much easier to keep people safe when you have them in a cage. And that’s what happens when you trade your freedom for security. There’s a lot of security in prison, but no freedom.
Elisa says that the Eye has gone to Goliath’s head. No, just to his chest, though it should go to Odin’s head.
Goliath goes out to face Odin. And says that he didn’t draw their craft from Avalon just to have them defeat him. He wants his Eye back.
Goliath wants a fight. There’s a lot of Thailog being channeled here.
Without the Eye, Odin’s weaker than normal. But he’s wise enough to use his power with intelligence. He releases Angela, Elisa, and Bronx, along with the family. Now they are on his side, trying to get the Eye from Goliath.
Well, we all know how hard it is to get the Eye from someone. First off, it sticks on really well. Second, they don’t want to give it up. Fox just about sliced off her fiance’s face over it, and the Archmage required Goliath hauling on the Eye and flipping him around.
They are of course no match for the Giant Goliath. Nobody brought any sling stones either.
He opens a fissure in the land, which is about to swallow his former friends. He’s too interested in taking down Odin, though.
Angela has a bright idea. She remains in the fissure as it closes, and screams for Goliath to help her. His protective instincts overwhelm everything else, and he jumps in. He saves her, and this moves him to realize that he has become a monster.
He himself rips off the Eye.
Odin retrieves his Eye. The Norse god is quite happy to have it back.
G & Company go back to the cave while Goliath wakes up from his little adventure. When he does, Odin visits. Odin apologizes for the giant mess. Well, you don’t see that every day. Gods apologizing?
Side note: On the topic of gods, is he a god, or is he a fey, or is she something else? We’ve had Anubis, who’s an Egyptian god. So do all these gods live side-by-side? How? Odds are he’s some other sort of magical being.
20/20 moment: I’m not sure why it was never mentioned earlier that the Eye of Odin wasn’t fey. Seems like they usually know things are fey, like Titania’s Mirror, but perhaps the legends are so thick with Odin that the fey element was never able to come in.
It says he’s not used to dealing with mortals directly. Well, buddy, you shouldn’t really be, because you’re not supposed to interfere with him directly. Now, I’m thinking that crushing a hole through the wall would possibly qualify as directly interfering with mortal life. Maybe there’s an escape clause, and it says if they have your eye, you’re totally allowed to do whatever. Small print, you know.
Goliath says he’s not used to dealing with gods. Well, I don’t know, you just dealt with Anubis, so this isn’t your first divine rodeo.
Odin says they both gained Enlightenment, which is the Eye’s gift. It’s appropriate, since he traded it for wisdom.
Odin departs, taking the Bifrost back into the sky. Does this mean there’s an Asgard with the rest of the Norse gods?
Sadly, there is no Thor, no Loki, no Iron Man. There is no assembling of anybody, except the Avaloners.
Odin really wasn’t the bad guy. He was an antagonist in that he wanted the Eye, and that he hassled the protagonists. Goliath was the true antagonist. He locked up the other protags and fought the rightful owner of the Eye. So, nice twist.
I like how they disposed of the Eye. It was an artifact that was too powerful for anyone to use properly. But rather than just destroy it like in so many other stories *cough LotR cough* where there is a powerful magical artifact, they’ve decided to fulfill its role, and also to help out Odin. I wonder when we’ll see him again?
I’ve always wanted to know what each character would be like if they wore the Eye. Demona? The Trio? Xanatos?
I wonder if Goliath fixed the family’s wall?
Come back next week for one of my least-favorite episodes, The New Olympians. I’ll explain why it gives me a headache and why I think it should have been a bad dream. We’ll also see a new breed of creatures.