Mythology fans: Xerneas and Yveltal are from Norse mythology? (Pokemon XY)

#1
I love mythology and folklore and wouldn't want this to get lost in the Pokemon mega-thread... But mods can lock if desired.

We now have the Sugimori art (albeit in low-quality photo form) for the cover legendaries for Pokemon X and Y, which a mod told me I can post here -- Xerneas the stag, and Yveltal the eagle. And the evidence is mounting they are based on Norse mythology, as explained in this superb illustrated article.

Artwork for the starters and legendaries is here.





Bigger versions up to 2700wide at the link.
After reading this article, it seems clear that Xerneas is based on the stags around the trunk of the world tree, Yggdrasil, residing in Midgard, the realm of men, each with a different colored gemstone in their branch-like antlers -- red, blue, purple and gold. ALL of which are represented in the antlers of Xerneas, depicted in the trailer by a massive tree, looking skyward like the stags of legend...

...to Asgard, the realm of the gods, at the top of Yggdrasil, where resides the Blind Eagle, another protector of the realm, who is in all likelihood the basis for Yveltal. The article even notes how the bright blue tint to Yveltal's eyes could denote his blindness, in keeping with the myth. The myth also holds the Blind Eagle can see into the souls of all living things across the nine realms connected to the tree.

And finally we have what lies under the roots of Yggdrasil, trapped near the realms of the dead, the serpentine dragon Niohoggr. You can bet this will be the basis for the third legendary, antagonist to both Yveltal and Xerneas, and in all likelihood, the first Dragon/Poison-type, its snake-like body shaped like a Z.

The article also raises the point about the importance of the XYZ axis in the Yggdrasil myth -- and its perfect correspondence with the stag, eagle and serpent. You can see them circled below:



This raises the question: What other Norse myth elements would you like to see incorporated into Pokemon X and Y? For example, perhaps a Vanir trio as the Articuno/Zapdos/Moltres equivalent? And what areas could the myth inspire? Perhaps a chance to explore "Asgard" like Platinum's Distortion Realm? And maybe to find the third serpent, the legendary, we'll venture down below the Pokemon world's equivalent of Yggdrasil, and free the serpent from its roots...

Discuss!
 
#2
Lets see

Gimme a Fenrir pokemon, oh and some sort of Valkyrie inspired one... lets add an Ice giant...

The Elite 4 should be renamed the Ragnarok as well.
 

SovanJedi

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#4
Yeah, it's looking pretty likely that the third legendary will be a serpent of some kind. Maybe.

I honestly though Norse mythology had made its way into Pokemon by now, considering how many others have (Kyogre, Groudon and Rayquaza are supposedly based on the Behemoth, Leviathan and Ziz from Jewish mythology), but I guess every fantasy game has milked that mythos dry by now so it's definitely time for a Pokemon spin on it.

Little secret: all my old Red/Blue Pokemon were named after Gods, Giants and Beasts from Norse mythology.
 
#5
For the Articuno/Zapdos/Moltres-style trio, I think the Vanir would work well: one associated with fertility, another associated with wisdom, and yet another associated with the ability to see the future. But I'm not clear on what animals they might be styled after...
 
#8
There's also that part of the trailer where the trainer is swinging around the exterior of what appears to be a massive tree. As the article notes, this might be en route to one of the legendaries, Xerneas or Yveltal (depending on which game you're playing).
 
#10
I wonder what types they might be, or if we can make an educated guess based on the myths? Dragon/Fighting for Yveltal, since he will square off against the serpent? That would be another first for the series. And perhaps Dragon/Rock -- also a first -- for Xerneas, in keeping with his gemstone antlers?

So in summary:

Yveltal -- Fighting/Dragon
Xerneas -- Rock/Dragon
Z Legendary -- Poison/Dragon

Well? :)
 
#11
I'm enjoying this connection to Norse Mythology. X, Y, Z of three dimensional space makes sense since it's on 3DS. But I Wouldn't have noticed the Norse connection until now, but it works.
 
#13
Xerneas sure. But I am not sure about Yveltal.
I know you hesitate because you want to link Yveltal to the European wyvern, but again, why can't Yveltal be a functional analogue for the Blind Eagle of Yggdrasil, and aesthetically it could borrow cues from the wyvern? Also, that "fur" around its neck recalls the look of some eagles/vultures.
 
#14
I wonder what types they might be, or if we can make an educated guess based on the myths? Dragon/Fighting for Yveltal, since he will square off against the serpent? That would be another first for the series. And perhaps Dragon/Rock -- also a first -- for Xerneas, in keeping with his gemstone antlers?

So in summary:

Yveltal -- Fighting/Dragon
Xerneas -- Rock/Dragon
Z Legendary -- Poison/Dragon

Well? :)
I'm not certain they will try to make them all dragon based, maybe...

Yveltal -- Fighting/Flying
Xerneas -- Rock/Steel
Z Legendary -- Poison/Dragon

I know you hesitate because you want to link Yveltal to the European wyvern, but again, why can't Yveltal be a functional analogue for the Blind Eagle of Yggdrasil, and aesthetically it could borrow cues from the wyvern? Also, that "fur" around its neck recalls the look of some eagles/vultures.
I mostly associated Yveltal with the Nidhogg upon first seeing him.
 
#17
I'm not certain they will try to make them all dragon based, maybe...

Yveltal -- Fighting/Flying
Xerneas -- Rock/Steel
Z Legendary -- Poison/Dragon
This could work. Regarding Xerneas, in the Coro Coro scan, there's a lightning bolt graphic behind Xerneas, curiously. Perhaps a hint he's part Electric?

Ooo, Rock/Electric would be cool.
 
#19
I wonder what types they might be, or if we can make an educated guess based on the myths? Dragon/Fighting for Yveltal, since he will square off against the serpent? That would be another first for the series. And perhaps Dragon/Rock -- also a first -- for Xerneas, in keeping with his gemstone antlers?

So in summary:

Yveltal -- Fighting/Dragon
Xerneas -- Rock/Dragon
Z Legendary -- Poison/Dragon

Well? :)
Seems a little heavy on dragon type. I can see it with Yveltal but Xerneas doesn't have enough draconic elements to it.
 
#20
Why would a bird and a stag be Dragon types?
Why was furry ol' Reshiram part-Dragon, or the horse-like Dialga? :)

The Dragon-type has accompanied all recent cover legendaries, barring Groudon and Kyogre in Gen 3. But you're right -- they don't have to be part Dragon.

Yveltal, in particular, could be Psychic/Dark... Fighting/Flying... Any number of new type combinations.

Or he could be an existing type combo, like Psychic/Flying.
 
#23
Actually, what about this:

Pure Flying-type for Yveltal (like Tornadus), in keeping with the Y axis...

Pure Ground-type for Xerneas, in keeping with the X axis...

And we could still go Dragon/Poison for Z, lol.
 
#24
I know you hesitate because you want to link Yveltal to the European wyvern, but again, why can't Yveltal be a functional analogue for the Blind Eagle of Yggdrasil, and aesthetically it could borrow cues from the wyvern? Also, that "fur" around its neck recalls the look of some eagles/vultures.
You have a point but I really can't see Yveltal as an eagle. And Xerneas' horns seem to be an important aspect of its design, and they probably symbolise the 4 deers. Yveltal's prominent feature is its tail and its wings that have this really weird hand-like appearance. And these horns... If its based on this eagle or even a wyvern, I don't know why they would give it these characteristics. Could this mean that it has other origins too? Let's not forget the other rather interesting theory about them being neurons and muscle tissue.

As for the types, I'll agree with injurai.

Yveltal: Fighting/Flying
Xerneas: Psychic/Grass
 
#41
This is pretty neat. Beats that Kotaku article about linking the legendaries to dermis. I didn't even think of the XYZ axis and the whole 3D fiasco.

Xerneas seems like a Normal type. And here I thought Yveltal with its evil colors of red and black would be a Dark/Flying. I'd say maybe pure Flying or Psychic/Flying. Z Pokemon is probably a combination of Dark/Poision/Ground or just Ground.
 
#42
Mightyena is, as its name would imply, probably based on a hyena.

Yeah, I can't really think of any proper wolf Pokemon...
Wow, never made that connection...

Well we have Houndoom (hound) and Lucario (Jackel)


and we can't forget about Arcanine who I would argue is a wolf



We do need some Fenrir (Ice typed) proper wolf though.
 
#43
I'd caution against surmising the Pokemon's type based off its color. After all, we thought Zekrom would be part Dark when he was actually part Electric, and that Reshiram would be a new Light type or some such when he was actually part Fire, despite having not a trace of the color red on his person at all...
 
#44
This is pretty neat. Beats that Kotaku article about linking the legendaries to dermis. I didn't even think of the XYZ axis and the whole 3D fiasco.

Xerneas seems like a Normal type. And here I thought Yveltal with its evil colors of red and black would be a Dark/Flying. I'd say maybe pure Flying or Psychic/Flying. Z Pokemon is probably a combination of Dark/Poision/Ground or just Ground.
Well its pretty clear that the Bird control the Air and the Deer control the land. We will probably get a Underwater Snake or Eel for Z.
 
#48
It was also noted in the XY mega-thread that there is a DNA symbol in the Japanese logos for the games, which may reference X and Y chromosomes -- and among the animals to have a Z chromosome is the sea snake: perfect for the Norse legendary, as well.
 
#49
I'd caution against surmising the Pokemon's type based off its color. After all, we thought Zekrom would be part Dark when he was actually part Electric, and that Reshiram would be a new Light type or some such when he was actually part Fire, despite having not a trace of the color red on his person at all...
Then again, that pair's colourations were based on the game titles, so that was enough to explain it. Here, we can't ascribe the colouration to the titles, only their physical designs. So what led to Xerneas being blue and Yveltal being red?

Could be type. I'm more inclined to believe it's something else which we don't know yet, but based on all current information, type is the easiest place to go.