Rick Riordan takes some time out of his very busy writing schedule to talk about the Magnus Chase sequel, The Hammer of Thor.
Entertainment Weekly got to spend some time with the Percy Jackson and the Olympians and Heroes of Olympus author Rick Riordan to talk to him about his upcoming Magnus Chase sequel, The Hammer of Thor, and we’re all the more excited for this series!
If you’re a Rick Riordan fan, then you might’ve already read the first book from the Norse mythology series, Magnus Chase and the Gods of Asgard: The Sword of Summer. And if you’re like us, then you probably can’t wait to get your hands on book two. Of course, considering the popularity of Thor these days (thanks to Chris Hemsworth and Marvel), it’s always exciting to see the Thor moniker on anything. And Mjolnir is also something Thor fans get excited about hearing, so for Thor to lose his mighty weapon is something dreadful indeed.
So, read what Riordan has to say about the title of book two and then read the excerpt of the first chapter!
ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: This series seems to revolve specifically around special artifacts from Norse mythology: first the sword of summer, now the hammer of Thor. What’s the significance of that?
RICK RIORDAN: I always try to go where the myths take me. Norse mythology, even more than Greek, is very focused on “who stole my stuff?” One of the most famous examples is the story of how Thor’s hammer was stolen, and what he had to do to get it back. That myth serves as a general story arc for Magnus’ second adventure. Vikings took their weapons very seriously, which is understandable since their lives literally depended on the quality of their arms. A good weapon would have a name, and be imbued with the spirits of ancestors or defeated enemies. Given this, it’s no surprise that a Viking’s ultimate nightmare would be to wake up and find that their hammer, or sword, or favorite bow had been stolen by some mischievous foe.
Magnus certainly seems more comfortable at the beginning of this book. How has his situation changed, physically and mentally, sinceThe Sword of Summer?
About six weeks has passed since The Sword of Summer, giving Magnus a chance to settle in to Valhalla and get used to his new powers as one of Odin’s chosen warriors. He is more comfortable with his new life, but at the same time there is a looming sense that bigger problems are coming his way. Loki is still plotting, Ragnarok is still coming eventually, and two of Magnus’s best friends have not contacted him in weeks. It’s a good thing Magnus is growing more powerful as an einherji, because he’ll need all of his new powers for what comes next.
This chapter introduces the idea of a barrow-wight. Is explaining Norse concepts harder than when you work with Greek myths (which seem to be slightly more familiar)?
It is a bigger “ask” to expect readers to come along on a Norse adventure, yes. Those stories are not as familiar except in the distorted (though enjoyable) Marvel versions. But then again, when I first wrote The Lightning Thief many people asked me if that was a challenge because so few readers were familiar with those myths. Now it seems readers are quite familiar! I have been pleasantly surprised by how many Percy Jackson fans are also quite willing to follow Magnus Chase on his adventures. I just try to make the ancient stories as fun and accessible as I can in a modern setting, while staying true to the basic structure and characters of the myths, and hope the readers will want to explore that world with me.
Read the full interview and the excerpt right here!
You can also pre-order Magnus Chase and the Gods of Asgard: The Hammer of Thor now!