Sunday, 30 September 2012
Hrolf stops offering to the gods for two reasons:
he had never liked hanging or drowning men and had offered only beasts (in Anderson's Time Patrol, Carl, mistaken for Woden, allows only fruit to be offered at his leman's burial mound but, in War Of The Gods, King Hadding hangs himself in offering to Odin);
in any case, Odin has become an enemy - the king and his men now trust in their own strength.
Abhoring human sacrifice and trusting one's own strength are secular virtues but secularism denies the gods' existence. By acknowledging their existence but regarding them as enemies, Hrolf remains within a Pagan world-view. Under his kingship:
"Everyone could do what he thought best." (p. 229)
Thus, pluralism, another secular virtue. The king and his men still think best to offer at graves and "...to the little beings which haunt house and home-acre..." but no longer to "...any Powers..." (p. 229).
The White Christ who troubles the old gods in other Anderson fantasies is not mentioned.