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Dumb Question About Norn and Spirits of the Wild


AlphaWolvesGamer.5790

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So... Really dumb question... What are the Norn Spirits based on? I feel like a lot of them were based on the viking clans/tribes and the animals related to them, but Snow Leopard always seemed like a weird one to include and is always the "odd one out" whenever I'm looking up information regarding the Spirits of the Wild and Norn Lore.


For context; the original four Berserker/Viking clans animals were Bear, Wolf, Raven, and Boar. I'm just confused how Boar became Snowleopard. Lol

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Things aren't taken 1:1 inspiration, especially in the 2005-2013 releases of the franchise. Cultures in Guild Wars typically take from 2-3 irl inspiration sources. Norn take most obvious influences from nordic origins, but also have some Native American influences (Boneskinner is the most obvious of such, but wendigos were a thing in GW1 too albeit only related in name).

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It wasn't even an important spirit in GW1, where only Raven, Wolf and Bear where major spirits. Snow Leopard/Snow Lynx was a minor spirit.

I think they simply chose Snow Leopard, because they wanted to a major spirit that's more stealthy than the others.

Edited by Fueki.4753
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5 hours ago, Fueki.4753 said:

It wasn't even an important spirit in GW1, where only Raven, Wolf and Bear where major spirits. Snow Leopard/Snow Lynx was a minor spirit.

I think they simply chose Snow Leopard, because they wanted to a major spirit that's more stealthy than the others.

As far as I'm aware, Bear was the only *big* spirit that the Norn had before the exodus caused by Jormag -- the other three (Wolf / Snow Leopard / Raven) were elevated to higher status when the Norn re-settled in the lower Shiverpeaks.

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33 minutes ago, Giovanelli.6071 said:
5 hours ago, Fueki.4753 said:

It wasn't even an important spirit in GW1, where only Raven, Wolf and Bear where major spirits. Snow Leopard/Snow Lynx was a minor spirit.

I think they simply chose Snow Leopard, because they wanted to a major spirit that's more stealthy than the others.

As far as I'm aware, Bear was the only *big* spirit that the Norn had before the exodus caused by Jormag -- the other three (Wolf / Snow Leopard / Raven) were elevated to higher status when the Norn re-settled in the lower Shiverpeaks.

Yes and no. Raven and Wolf had shrines visible in GW1 as well as blessing skills for the PC to learn much like Bear. But in GW1, Bear was "the Great Spirit" and in GW2, after the exodus, Raven, Wolf, and Snow Leopard joined Bear as "the Great Spirits".

 

So to players, Raven and Wolf were visible "moderate" (not exactly minor but not the big one) Spirits of the Wild, so there's a huge view of them being just as important as Bear. But Bear was super important in GW1 while Wolf and Raven were not as much.

1 hour ago, Axelteas.7192 said:

Yeah, it's a lore fail, because norns represent the viking culture who lived in northern Europe, and the snow leopards are originary from Asia which means Cantha.

That's not how lore works.

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56 minutes ago, Giovanelli.6071 said:

As far as I'm aware, Bear was the only *big* spirit that the Norn had before the exodus caused by Jormag -- the other three (Wolf / Snow Leopard / Raven) were elevated to higher status when the Norn re-settled in the lower Shiverpeaks.

21 minutes ago, Konig Des Todes.2086 said:

Yes and no. Raven and Wolf had shrines visible in GW1 as well as blessing skills for the PC to learn much like Bear. But in GW1, Bear was "the Great Spirit" and in GW2, after the exodus, Raven, Wolf, and Snow Leopard joined Bear as "the Great Spirits".

So to players, Raven and Wolf were visible "moderate" (not exactly minor but not the big one) Spirits of the Wild, so there's a huge view of them being just as important as Bear. But Bear was super important in GW1 while Wolf and Raven were not as much.

I was specifically referring to the three as major spirits, not as great spirits.

I'm aware that Bear was especially great to the Norn, even among the three major ones.

But Snow Leopard/Snow Lynx was distinctly below Bear, Wolf and Raven and not even considered to be in the same category as the other three.

Edited by Fueki.4753
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9 minutes ago, Fueki.4753 said:

I was specifically referring to the three as major spirits, not as great spirits.

I'm aware that Bear was especially great to the Norn, even among the three major ones.

But Snow Leopard/Snow Lynx was distinctly below Bear, Wolf and Raven and not even considered to be in the same category as the other three.

Snow Leopard being below the others in terms of power or notability doesn't mean much to people who (usually) respect all of the Spirits in a relative equal regard.

"Snow Leopard was one of the Spirits of the Wild who aided the norn in their exodus to the south.[7] It is said that she was one of the four Spirits—along with Bear, Raven, and Wolf—who revealed themselves to the norn hero Asgeir Dragonrender over the field of battle after Jormag had devoured Owl and instructed him to lead the surviving norn south to a sanctuary while Ox, Eagle and Wolverine stayed behind to distract and battle the Ice Dragon."

"Thanks to her actions, Snow Leopard became one of the four most highly regarded Spirits of the Wild and had the Snow Leopard Lodge built in her honor in Hoelbrak."

She also did a lot to help the norn during Jormag's assault, it would feel weird to cast her aside afterwards.

(I certainly can't say that Anet has handled how they write norn... very stellar, considering how IBS got all of its norn content shucked to the side in lieu of the Charr civil war. It definitely would've been nice to have more lore on the Spirits as a whole, considering there's really not much aside from what we have for the Big Four.)

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42 minutes ago, Fueki.4753 said:

I was specifically referring to the three as major spirits, not as great spirits.

I'm aware that Bear was especially great to the Norn, even among the three major ones.

But Snow Leopard/Snow Lynx was distinctly below Bear, Wolf and Raven and not even considered to be in the same category as the other three.

My point was that in GW1, Raven and Wolf are not necessarily "major spirits", just Spirits whom are more visible to players. Part of the reason being that norn lore wasn't fully fleshed out, EotN was a tad bit rushed, and it was used to set the stage for GW2 so they probably didn't go super in depth about the lore they already had scoped out.

It's hard to be certain, but the way that some of the less-important spirits in GW2, particularly Owl, are treated in lore is very similar to how Raven and Wolf are treated in GW1.

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To be honest, I am just really confused why they picked Snow Leopard as a major spirit and what inspirations that they had come from. I will admit that the Boneskinner was an interesting take as a fusion between the Wendigo and Leshy, where as most pop-culture references will ignore features from the Leshy other than it's appearance and call it a Wendigo. <For those curious, the reason why this issue occurs a lot in pop-culture media is because of Stephen King's book Pet Cemetery>.

That being said, I'm confused how Snow Leopard could have been chosen in any of the sources for Norn, especially when (as mentioned above) the snow leopards are originary from Asia.

Like, don't get me wrong... Snow Leopard is an awesome animal, and they are pretty cool. I'm just having trouble seeing the inspiration that caused them to choose Snow Leopard based on what the Norn were influenced by. 

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It should be noted, about this "from asia" misconception, that Snow Leopard was originally called Snow Lynx. This animal irl (aka Canada Lynx) is primarily native to Canada and Alaska - and as I noted already, norn do not just take inspiration from nordic sources, but also native american sources. In GW1, Lynxes were prevalent in Kryta, and it wouldn't be far fetched to believe snow lynxes native to the Shiverpeaks. And while a Leopard isn't the same as a Lynx, the Spirits of the Wild are classifications of overarching species - Ox and Dolyak are different names for the same spirit, just as Snow Lynx and Snow Leopard are different names for the same spirit.

And Snow Lynx is mentioned in the Eye of the North manual:

The Norn are a race of nine-foot-tall warriors who live in the northernmost Shiverpeaks. They revel in the harsh climes, leading dangerous lives among savage beasts. These mighty hunters are not organized into a single nation. Instead, those who display exceptional strength and prowess in battle establish homesteads, though they are certainly not considered "rulers". They often spend years at a time tracking a particularly strong or clever quarry; they never give up on a battle, a pursuit, or a friend.

The Norn revere the spirits of naturefrom the wolf to the snow lynx—but the most powerful of these is the Bear Spirit, who, according to myth, blessed the Norn with the ability to change shape and "become the bear".

They didn't "just choose it" out of nowhere for GW2, it was put on par to Wolf from the very beginning.

Edited by Konig Des Todes.2086
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Also probably because they were wanting a large cat type for the spirit, *originally Snow Lynx, but something a bit more fierce* and Snow Leopard is frankly, the most known snowy big cat around so they linked the two.

Norn spirits range from singular species to over-arching ideas, like Bear or Ox cover all bears/Ox-Doylaks-cows, but we have Raven, Eagle, and Owl, three birds of prey.

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1 hour ago, Kalavier.1097 said:

Norn spirits range from singular species to over-arching ideas, like Bear or Ox cover all bears/Ox-Doylaks-cows, but we have Raven, Eagle, and Owl, three birds of prey.

It isn't likely that Ox covers all bovines, given we also have Minotaur. Similarly, we have both Mink and Wolverine - two kind of weasel animals.

Ultimately I imagine it's a bit arbitrary by-the-author and not actually based on the animal tree geneses.

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