I still haven't done a proper essay on Lost. Maybe with only a clip show airing this week I'll be able to collect and condense my thoughts. In the meantime, I thought I'd perform a little public service to fans frustrated by the lack of Norse mythology in last week's episode.
That episode was titled "Some Like It Hoth". And most people who bother to check the titles of upcoming episodes of Lost are at least passingly familiar with Star Wars. (I don't actively look them up myself, but now find them out when reading Jeff Jensen's Totally 'Lost' column at the EW website or from commenters at Nik at Nite, the blog of Finding 'Lost' author Nikki Stafford.)
So it's no surprise that most informed viewers assumed the titular Hoth was a reference to the ice planet seen at the opening of The Empire Strikes Back, which indeed it turned out to be. But some Lost followers either already knew or discovered through research that Hoth is one of the many variations on the name of the Norse god also known as Hod or Hodr, who was tricked by Loki into killing the otherwise invulnerable god Baldr. They were rewarded with bupkis last week.
We've seen hieroglyphics and other references to Egyptian culture and mythology on Lost. The Dharma Initiative is named for a central tenet in various Indian religions. Many allusions to Judeo-Christian messianism have been made, including the presence of an actual, apparently resurrected character called Christian Shephard. And the Island's mysterious smoke creature has been referred to as Cerberus, which is the name of the three-headed dog that guards the entrance to Hades in Greek and Roman mythology.
There must be a way to tie Lost to Norse mythology. I will now attempt to do exactly that through free association. (Don't knock it. Stephen Colbert makes his Oscar predictions this way, and it's served him well.) While the following is obviously the product of my own cultural environs, anything particularly foreign to you should still be clear in context. No infringement upon trademarks and copyrights associated with these images is intended or implied.
Ready? If you don't already see the free association below, click here.