Date of Award

Spring 5-22-2018

Document Type

Undergraduate Honors Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts in English




Joseph McGowan, PhD


One of the most prevalent themes in Norse mythology is the cycle of destiny, which can never be changed, even by the will of the gods. This same idea is often presented in works that parallel their stories with those of Norse mythology, such as Hajime Isayama's graphic novel, Attack on Titan. The presence of ancient stories in a modern storytelling medium opens the door to allowing these myths and the values and lessons they convey to endure into the modern day. This study explores the strong parallels between Attack on Titan and Norse mythology to reveal how Isayama modifies and manipulates such parallels to present and comment on the Nordic cycle of destiny in comparison to the modern value of free choice. These parallels will be drawn and examined from careful study of primary sources concerning Norse mythology and Attack on Titan. They will most specifically be examined for their significance to the development of Isayama's story and their contribution to the overarching theme of breaking the cycle of destiny. In examining both ancient stories and modern retellings, this project will contribute to further study of enduring values and how such values can shift and reshape themselves from ancient history to the present day.


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