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Image for article titled 25 of the Best Movies Based on Mythology and Folklore

Screenshot: O Brother, Where Art Thou? / Touchstone Pictures

Given the ubiquity of shows like Vikings, movies like The Northman, and the forthcoming Thor: Lover and Thunder (this installment differentiated by the presence of a bonus Thor), Norse mythology is very much in the zeitgeist lately.

Aside from its uncomfortable associations with white supremacy (which isn’t in any way the fault of the Norse of old), there’s plenty to be fascinated by in the ancient tales: a drama-loving squirrel responsible for any number of major conflicts, boats made entirely out of fingernails, and the moment when Thor very nearly married Loki. It’s all fairly alien to minds soaked in Greek mythology, which is itself full of glorious weirdness. The point being: the further afield you go into the realm of myth and folklore, the more interesting things get.

Many films drawing from legend might be described as revisionist takes, but doing so misses a key tenant of mythology and folklore: In every cultural context, stories bend and shape themselves with the teller and the listeners. Those that are less malleable don’t have nearly the lifespan of these tales, many of which have survived for centuries or millennia.

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