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The Northern Wrath Soundtrack

While I wrote my Norse-galore debut novel, Northern Wrath, I often listened to music to get into the right mindset. This means that even today certain songs make me think of specific chapters I wrote while listening to that song.

Today, we're looking at some songs that fit specific chapters in Northern Wrath.

It's a spoiler free blog. Spoilers have been hidden and will only be revealed by highlighting the specified sections. The hidden spoiler sections go into more specifics about why certain songs and chapters go together in my mind.

Let's get into it...



I mostly wrote Northern Wrath while listening to five albums by three different artists. In the acknowledgement of Northern Wrath, I mention the two artists whose songs I used the most to get into a writing mood.

Let's have a look at the three artists before we do a chapter by chapter run-down.



Wardruna is a Norwegian band who use traditional and historical instruments. In their music you will hear branches tapped on tree trunks. You'll hear water flowing, and thunder in the distance. You'll hear horses neighing, and steps crunching through thick snow as the wind howls.

These are the sounds of the vikings.

When I started writing Northern Wrath, they had two albums out, the first two in their Rune trilogy (Runaljod) , Gap var Ginnunga and Yggdrasil.

I listened to those albums almost daily and they truly helped transport me into the Viking world when I sat down for a writing session.

Wardruna's later albums such as Ragnarok and Skald pictured on the photo above had not yet come out when I was writing Northern Wrath.



Agnes Obel is a Danish artist who makes music full of an ancient melancholy. Simple piano and string instruments accompanied by her soothing voice.

When I was writing Northern Wrath, Agnes Obel's first two albums, Philharmonics and Aventine played whenever Wardruna did not. The melancholy and longing in Agnes Obel's music particularly helped to shape Tyra and Siv.



Finally, we have Broken Twin who is another Danish artist who sings full of melancholy. There is also something haunting about the music, and that feeling particularly shaped the tone of my writing while listening to Broken Twin.

I pulled forth her debut album, May, during the writing of more mystic chapters or passages full of grief.



I mainly used the music during pivotal moments of the story. Here I will talk about the music that left a big impact on me when I was writing a particular scene.

Therefore the list is not an exhaustive list of all the chapters in the book, but it highlights parts of the novel where music played an integral part in my writing process.

I have inserted the excerpt from the artists' own Soundcloud or Spotify in an effort to directly refer back to the artists. I obviously encourage you to give them all proper listenss

Chapter 1 : Einer

There is an atmosphere and progression in this song that truly fits the first chapter. The first line of song (It's so cold out here) also fits the icy setting and the feelings that Einer struggles with in this opening chapter.

There's also a rhythm that feels like a slightly elevated heartbeat throughout the song which seems like it warns of approaching danger.

Chapter 2 : Hilda

To me, this song smells of a bonfire on a sunny day and festivities. Therefore it is a perfect listen to get into the mood for Midsummer. The rhythm makes me want to stomp along in a dance. Therefore it is the perfect companion for Chapter 2.

Chapter 3 : Einer

This one probably does not come as a surprise to anyone who knows the song. To those of you who don't, I hereby introduce you to my favourite Norse track.

It was the first Wardruna song I ever heard and it was absolutely instrumental in my writing of this chapter (pun very much intended).

Many of my picks for the start of the novel are Wardruna, and that is because the sounds in these tracks help to understand the Norse culture, which is the key to opening chapters; getting a sense where we are and who we are following.

Highlight the white field below to see spoilers for chapter 3.

Seeing as Helvegen means the way to Hel, I listened to this song for all of my funerary scenes. When I initially heard the song, I felt like it was a very Norse idea to sing the dead into the next life and honour them with song and happiness. I ended up using that as a motif throughout the story.

On another note, the two ending verses of this song are a section of Havamal (Odin's high speech) from the Poetic Edda, and it is a portion that of the Havamal that I myself use throughout the story as it seems to encompass the Old Norse beliefs about life and death.

End of spoilers.


The loneliness, the inner monologue and the melancholy in this song perfectly represents most the Darkness chapters. There is a mourning and a pain in this song, and so it was often my music pick when I had to write a Darkness chapter.

Chapter 4 : Hilda

There is a similar tension in this song as there is in the chapter and the song progresses in a similar way too.

Highlight the white field below to see spoilers for chapter 4.

As Hilda sees the southerners in the forest, and realises something is wrong, the urgency and sense of danger in this song reflects Hilda's journey well. As the song progresses, there are heavy breaths too, which matches well as Hilda has been heaving a body through the forest.

End of spoilers.

Chapter 7 : Tyra

This is a hesitant and timid song, almost reluctant at times. There is a feeling of being swept along by the current in this song, and a sound of innocence.

It's also hyper focused. There is no singing to distract, and not a multitude of sounds either. The piano carried everything and while it gets helped along from time to time, it exits almost in an all consuming vacuum.

Highlight the white field below to see spoilers for chapter 7.

It may surprise some readers to see me pair such a soft song with such a brutal battle scene, and yet, to me this is Tyra's inner voice. It's why the battle is brutal. Tyra is swept up in it. She is just a young girl, and there is a loneliness and voicelessness in this song, which makes me remember Tyra's first battle.

End of spoilers.

Chapter 12 : Runemistress

There is something possessed about this track and an honestly and desperation to reach the gods that makes me think Hilda. Yet, these aspects of the song were also a big help when I was writing this Runemistress chapter.

Chapter 19 : Hilda

This song's title, Kauna, is the name of the rune of fire, and so it fits rather well with a theme of this chapter.

Highlight the white field below to see spoilers for chapter 19.

The rhythm almost feels like hammer strokes, the fire is burning, and demons are chanting. The deep manly voice is also exactly how I imagine the smith sounds.

Fire, danger, smithing, this song has it all.

End of spoilers.

Chapter 20 : Siv

This, like most of Agnes Obel songs, truly carries Siv's voice. Her collected mindset, the slow and elegant way she moves through life, and her nostalgia.

Highlight the white field below to see spoilers for chapter 20.

"They won't know who we are" begins the song, and it is quite appropriate for a chapter that begins to reveal who Siv truly is and the extent of her abilities. The later lyrics in the song are also symbolic in that this is the chapter that extends a hand to invite Buntrugg into the narrative.

End of spoilers.

Darkness after Chapter 21

Especially this Darkness chapter seems to be well represented by the feeling expressed in this song, and sometimes even the lyrics too. Many of the Darkness chapters hold a similar tone of melancholy and pain as performed on this track.

Chapter 22 : Einer

There are definitely tones here that resonate exactly with the chapter in question.

Highlight the white field below to see spoilers for chapter 22.

The pace is slow, and is a good fit for rowing. We have the rain and thunder, and the danger in the tone. This chapter is full of danger and doom. Equally the blow of horns feel like a cry for help, which is why our warriors are rowing to Normandy in the first place.

End of spoilers.

Chapter 26 : Tyra

The innocence in Broken Twin's voice always makes me think of Tyra, for it caries such sadness too. Even the lyrics to this song seem to perfectly match the events of the chapter. The sadness and yet equally excitement and happiness found in this tune is really what sets this song apart for me and the reason it fits Tyra so well.

Highlight the white field below to see spoilers for chapter 26.

"With a silver ring" the song begins, as Tyra sits across from the scary Runemistress and notices Hilda's silver arm-ring. And so the song takes off as Tyra begins to envision a life beyond Ash-Hill and gets answers to her questions. It is here that Tyra truly realises what their quest is and what it means that time is running out to save the nine worlds.

End of spoilers.