16. How do you think this deity represents the values of their pantheon and cultural origins? Whew, well, if you’re going by the Nine Noble Virtues (a modern contrivance, but more than occasionally a useful one), Wayland hit just about every. Single. One. Because the graphic is pretty, we’ll be using this version of the list:
1. Courage. I don’t think anyone would ever argue that Wayland did not demonstrate courage during his ordeal at the hands of Nidud (I don’t think I’ve spelled this guy’s name the same way twice throughout this series, but hopefully y’all know he’s the evil king by this point!). From being captured, to being lamed, to trusting that his swan wife would eventually return to him, the Smith’s got courage in spades.
2. Truth. Ok, this is the one that he probably falls a bit short on, being something of a trickster–tricking the boys to their deaths, tricking Bodvild in drinking the rufied wine, tricking the king into believing that Egil shot him down with an arrow. However, when the time comes, he does reveal the truth to the king, in all its terribleness.
3. Honor. Wayland preserves his own honor by exacting revenge for his captivity; oddly enough, it could be argued that he defends that of Bodvild as well, when he makes her father promise not to harm any offspring of his.
4. Fidelity. Waiting for his swan-bride. ‘Nuff said.
5. Discipline. Crafting 700+ rings? ‘Nuff said.
6. Hospitality. In this instance, Wayland is an example of how not to treat one’s guests, i.e., by laming, inflicting forced labor, and theft, just to name a few.
7. Self-Reliance. For the record, I hardly believe that this was an ancient Heathen value, and more a reflection of Americans’ obsession with rugged individualism. That being said, Wayland is quite ingenious when it comes to getting what he wants. It should be noted, however, that no Smith is an island, and even he relied on his brother Egil to shoot down the birds from which he created his marvelous wings of escape.
8. Industriousness. See 700+ rings ‘n’ things, previously mentioned.
9. Perseverance. Wayland never gives up, even when tortured and forced to work for the king. Holding fast under these circumstances is probably one of the best examples of perseverance in the extant lore.