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Ananke-spoiler "Once again, we return."

This article contains spoilers for Issue 33 of The Wicked + The Divine. Read at your own risk.

"The world isn't how things should be. Would be good to have a better world. But I'm not going to live to see it, so fuck everyone. Ideally, literally."
—Woden[src]

Woden is one of the gods of the Recurrence, symbolised by a winged helmet. He is known to have appeared during the 1830s and 2010s Recurrences.

HistoryEdit

Before godhoodEdit

Woden's real identity is David Blake, an expert in Pantheon Studies who has studied the Recurrence his entire life. He has a son named Jon, but Jon's mother left them both when he was very young. Blake raised Jon as a single parent, often dragging him around to various conferences. He started organising Ragnarock in 2003.[1] He attended Ragnarock 2013, right before the start of the 2010s Recurrence, where he gave a talk in which he complained that the modern generation was too entitled to deserve a Recurrence. This resulted in a clash with Laura, who felt that he didn't have enough faith.

Around this time, Jon had a meeting with Ananke, who he believed to be a therapist but was actually investigating his suitability as a member of the Pantheon. Ananke quickly realised that she wouldn't be able to control him, so struck a deal with David instead. Blake would get to take Jon's place in the Pantheon, assuming the identity of the god Woden, while Jon would be kept under lock and key and forced to make items according to Ananke's specifications. In exchange, Ananke would not sacrifice him before his two years were up. David agreed to this, seeing that he would be able to benefit from being part of the Pantheon. His true identity would be kept secret, but he would have to cooperate with all of Ananke's plans.

Ananke visited them and turned Jon into the god Mimir. Jon was unwilling to join the Pantheon, and when he rushed inside to tell his father, David attacked him with a knife. By the time he woke up he had become his father's prisoner. David told him he didn't trust Ananke and swore he wouldn't let her take him. From then on, Jon was kept hidden in a secret room in Valhalla, and none of the other gods were aware of his existence.

Becoming WodenEdit

Blake wore a helmet to disguise his identity, and told the others that his face had become disfigured or scarred as a result of him trying to grant himself powers. He created a group known as the Valkyries, to whom he gave weapons and suits granting them powers, selecting only Asian women like Jon's mother. This enabled him to live out all his perverted fantasies. Laura said she knew all of the Valkyries' names, and had seen most of them perform. Brunhilde was the most popular of these, but she was caught on camera confirming that the Valkyries performed sexual acts for Woden, and so she was banished from the group.

Woden often gave items Jon had crafted to the other gods. For example, he gave Amaterasu a ring which he told her had belonged to the 1920s Amaterasu. In reality, it was a scrying device Jon had created, and Woden used it to watch Lucifer's trial with Ananke. He therefore witnessed Ananke murder Judge Holmes and helped her engineer Lucifer's death. He was the only person aware of Ananke's plans. He built Valhalla at her command, and transformed Ragnarock into a massive concert. 

After Lucifer's deathEdit

Blake was present at Fantheon in the press lounge in his regular human guise. Cassandra suggested Laura talk to him to learn more about fans of the Pantheon, but when Laura refused she offered to do it herself. As Woden, he interrupted a talk by ex-Valkyrie Brunhilde, offering to allow her to return to the group if she took back the rumours she had been spreading. However, when she did so he destroyed the offered Valkyrie suit in front of her, humiliating her. He defended these actions to Laura afterwards, saying that he had no time to be nice. Brunhilde then attacked him with a gun, attempting the Prometheus Gambit. He was saved by Minerva; however, even after this he was dismissive towards her.

Woden interfered with Cassandra's investigation into the interview shooting at Ananke's request. At one of Dionysus's parties, Woden refused to join the dancing, and later made Cassandra an offer of her "dream job". This turned out to be an opportunity to interview Ananke. He allowed Cassandra to discover the perpetrators of the shooting, knowing that it would confirm her belief that Lucifer was guilty and therefore prevent her from finding out the truth. He attended Ragnarock 2014 as David Blake, where he revealed to Laura that he had been working with Cassandra and they had identified the shooters as Duncan Ackford and Tom Wilkes. He apologised for arguing with Laura at Ragnarock the previous year, saying that he was glad Cassandra was one of the gods. Later, when Baphomet went on the rampage, he locked himself up in Valhalla, guarded by the Valkyries. Ananke then arrived and told him to move Inanna's body.

Woden helped Baal capture the Morrigan following Inanna's death. He had Jon make a cage to contain her, causing Minerva to question why he didn't do the same for Lucifer. He was aware that Tara's death had also been orchestrated by Ananke.

On 18 August 2014, he recounted his and Ananke's crimes to his son, promising to protect him from Ananke.

Divisions within the PantheonEdit

Woden had Jon build Ananke a mysterious device which she claimed was a birthday present for Minerva. Woden himself didn't know what it was. He asked Ananke if Minerva was going to be the fourth death, which she denied. He then received an alert that a new god had emerged, and he went after her with Ananke, Sakhmet and the Valkyries. Before they arrived, they sent a bomb to the bar where she was performing, hoping to pin the explosion on the new god. Woden was shocked to learn this god was actually Laura Wilson, now calling herself Persephone. A battle ensued, but Persephone escaped. He and Ananke then realised that it had been a diversion and immediately returned to Valhalla, where they found Baphomet, Morrigan and Minerva trying to escape. Persephone showed up once more and got them out of there, breaking through the walls of Valhalla in the process.

However, the conflict did not end there, as the other gods retrieved Minerva and returned to Valhalla, where they continued to fight Persephone's faction. Ananke commanded Woden to prepare the machine and he sent an upgraded version of the Valkyries out into battle. Woden was reluctant to help Ananke upon realising that she did, in fact, plan to kill Minerva, but acceded when she threatened him. Meanwhile, the Valkyries were losing the battle outside, so he sent out a new suit of Valkryie armour, which combined the other Valkryies into one colossal being.

However, Woden remained uneasy about the plan to kill Minerva, though he feared Ananke's retribution should she realise he disobeyed her. He therefore gave a "supervillain speech" as he was fighting Dionysus, explaining how to defeat the Valkyries while maintaining plausible deniability. Dionysus took the hint and shut down the giant Valkyrie. Woden sat out the rest of the battle, showing up after Persephone killed Ananke. He questioned the "necessity" of covering up the incident, drawing unfavourable parallels with Ananke's own reasoning.

Following this incident, Woden was interviewed for the November 2014 edition of Pantheon Monthly. He talked about his relationship with his parents and his bitterness about his life. He also showed the interviewer his new project, an attempt to mimic Persephone's performances.

AppearanceEdit

Blake is a middle-aged man with a receding hairline. He has brown hair, hazel eyes, and light skin. As Woden, he disguises his identity by always wearing a helmet. In the past, he has explained this away by implying that he is disfigured or scarred. He dresses in futuristic clothing, which is black with glowing green stripes.

In the image on the cover of Issue 7, the word "Wodan" appears in runes on Woden's helmet. The runes run backwards, suggesting that they are either a reflection or supposed to be read from the inside.

PersonalityEdit

Blake has a tendency to be dismissive of younger people and relies on his own learning and knowledge. As Woden, he is resentful of his own lack of magic and the fact that he does not get to be in the spotlight like the other gods, saying that he would kill them to take their powers if it were possible. Becoming a member of the Pantheon has enabled him to live a life of excess, doing drugs and essentially forming his own personal harem. He is extremely racist and misogynistic, and fetishises Asian women. Woden is completely aware of his despicable nature and consequently has a lot of self-loathing.

RelationshipsEdit

AnankeEdit

Woden worked with Ananke and aided her in her schemes. He helped her orchestrate and cover up many deaths. However, Ananke held all the power in their relationship, and Woden knew that she would kill him if he didn't help her.

ValkyriesEdit

The Valkyries are dependent on Woden for their powers, and as such, follow his orders at all times. Woden fetishises them and forces them to perform sexual acts for him, sometimes dressed up as Lucifer and Amaterasu. His favourite Valkyrie was Brunhilde, but he kicked her out and humiliated her after she spread damaging rumours about him. He has absolutely no respect for them and has described them as "pathetic".

DionysusEdit

Woden considers Dionysus an enemy. Dionysus, in return, despises Woden.

Other relationshipsEdit

Woden claims he likes the rest of the Pantheon, though he envies their powers.

PowersEdit

Power bestowal:

  • Woden's only known ability is granting power to others via various items.
  • A major drawback of his power was shown when he tried to grant himself power, which is now the reason he wears his protective suit. He has also worn an armoured suit fitted with a rifle of some kind that is capable of firing energy bolts.
  • So far he has created numerous technological enhancements and items, most notably the suits and weaponry worn by the Valkyries. Woden's suit appears to be where he gains access to the Bifrost, which he can summon at will to teleport anywhere (besides the Underground) or use to watch events currently taking place. The Bifrost's appearance ranges from multicoloured portals to coloured spotlight portals.
  • He has also crafted Minerva's owl, which has various useful properties and functions.
  • Other items Woden has created include Amaterasu's jewellery, which he is able to scry through, and Baal's lightning necklace.
  • He gave Amaterasu the ability to travel by starlight in a similar manner to Inanna through her arm -piece.
  • Woden is also responsible for the construction of Ananke's machine, which has a purpose yet to be fully discovered.

Past RecurrencesEdit

1830s RecurrenceEdit

Woden appeared in the 1830s Recurrence in the form of Mary Shelley, and was one of the final four gods to die, alongside Lucifer, Inanna and the Morrigan. She was the sister of Inanna and the wife of Morrigan, but their marriage cooled considerably following the deaths of each of their three babies. Unbeknownst to her, their children had actually been killed by her jealous sister in exchange for divinity.

Woden travelled with her fellow surviving gods to Lake Geneva in 1831, whiling away the final days of their lives. One night, Ananke arrived and delivered the severed hand of a recently killed Hades, which Lucifer and Morrigan proposed to use to attempt a resurrection. However, this plan backfired spectacularly, as they instead created an entirely new Creature, which immediately killed them both. Recognising that the Creature deserved life, Woden sacrificed herself to subdue it, removing its hunger for taking lives. The Creature took on her appearance as a result and disappeared.

Two Recurrences later, Cassandra and Laura viewed a portrait of the 1830s Woden in the National Portrait Gallery. This portrait is based on a real portrait of Mary Shelley.[2]

MythologyEdit

Woden is based on the Norse god Odin, a god of wisdom, magic, battle, poetry and death. Odin is a highly respected god, and is the ruler of Valhalla, where the valkyries bring half the warriors killed in battle. He is often accompanied by his ravens, Huginn and Muninn, who bring him information from across the world, and his wolves, Geri and Freki. Odin continually seeks knowledge, and famously sacrificed an eye in order to gain wisdom. Wednesday is named for him.

QuotesEdit

By Woden

"I have two years to live. I haven't got time for truth. Surely what happened to Lucifer would have taught you that truth is the last thing anyone cares about?"
—Woden[src]
"The Gambit is a lie. You know how I know that? Because if "Prometheus" was true I'd be killing gods myself. I'd kill to be any of them rather than me."
—Woden[src]
"I don't dance. I watch."
—Woden[src]
"People get the wrong idea. I'm not just into Asian girls. I'm into Asian girls in public. In private, my interests extend to girls dressed up as Asian gods and girls dressed up as gods who I helped murder. I know this is fucked up, but these are the times I don't regret giving up my face. "How can I do it?" It's easy. You take women and just forget that they're people. It's not hard."
—Woden[src]
"I don't know who's next. But someone's next. She's picking up the tempo."
—Woden, about Ananke[src]
"Let's go straight to the live show."
—Woden[src]
"What was the Pratchett line? Turning people into things is the only sin. I want to make it easier for people to turn me into a thing. I want to dehumanise myself. I've built this little myth around myself, and I play up to it. But I'm not scary. I'm scared."
—Woden[src]
"People should be scared of scared people. They'll fuck you up."
—Woden[src]
"I am not kinder because there is no reward for kindness. I've read a lot. I know the arguments, but it all just crumbles at the fact we live in a world that could make us nothing any second. Gods come back every 90 years, but you mortals are just dead. There is no reward. So take everything you can."
—Woden[src]
"I know why 90% of the shit I do is wrong. My problem is just... why not? I can't think of a good reason any more. Or at least no reason good enough to stick."
—Woden[src]

About Woden

"You are of the Pantheon. You will not be loved. You will be hated. You should be hated. You are living shit."
—Ananke[src]

Dialogue

Woden: "No, you don't have what it takes to be a Valkyrie."
Laura: "Because I'm not over 5'8" and Asian?"
Woden: "Exactly. And don't say it's racist. I'm working on an aesthetic. It's complicated. You wouldn't understand."
―Woden and Laura[src]
Woden: "I think you've mistaken me for your serf."
Ananke: "I have lived long enough to have known actual serfs. You are not a serf. You are considerably lower than a serf. You are but the pet of a god. We both know exactly what you are."
―Woden and Ananke[src]
Cassandra: "You're not stupid, are you? Just evil."
Woden: "Correct. And if you know you're wrong, it's even worse."
―Cassandra and Woden[src]

TriviaEdit

  • Woden's costume is inspired by Guy-Manuel de Homem-Christo of Daft Punk.
  • Woden is the "producer-metaphor" god.[3]
  • Woden's dialogue appears in black rectangular speech bubbles with green text.
  • Woden's favourite TV show is Game of Thrones.

AppearancesEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. In Issue 6 he says he has organised Ragnarock for the past ten years.
  2. Writer Notes: The Wicked + The Divine #2
  3. Kieron Gillen on Tumblr

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