Sup y'all. Here's a theory that I came up with for the contest, which I'm grateful for since it finally gave me a direction and motivation for my theorycrafting interest after having none for quite some time. Now, the topic of my theory is the Great War that occurred during the Void Century. For this, I will be referencing throughout the entire theory a particular event in Norse mythology, namely the Æsir-Vanir War and mostly its euhemerized account within one of the Heimskringla sagas.
First, what is the Æsir-Vanir War?
(shortened to "AV War" hereafter)
The AV War is known as the "first war", which was waged between two groups of gods, the Æsir and the Vanir. At the beginning, it was said that Odin led an army from Asgard to attack Vanaheim, home of the Vanir. The Vanir, on the other hand, was able to defend well, which then led to a back-and-forth between the two and the ravaging of each other's lands. Later on, they grew tired of the war and settled on a truce, which was established with an exchange of "hostages".
Now, before we further proceed, let's take a look at each of the two wars side-by-side. The main gist of my theory is that the Great War is a parallel of the AV War, wherein the twenty kingdoms (Æsir) that made the World Government later on attacked the ancient kingdom (Vanir) that disappeared after the Void Century.
As we all know, the ancient kingdom was a highly-advanced one, probably far more than all of the twenty kingdoms combined. However, as mentioned above, the Æsir and Vanir are described to have equal military strength. So, how then do these match up? Well, a possible way is to look at another account, the Poetic Edda Völuspa, which stated that the Vanir were actually superior in the battlefield and were also the eventual victors of the war:
Odin let fly and shot into the army, The shield wall of the fortress of the æsir was broken, The battle-wise vanir knew how to tread the field. ~John Lindow translation
On the host his spear | did Othin (Odin) hurl, Then in the world | did war first come; The wall that girdled | the gods was broken, And the field by the warlike | Wanes (Vanir) was trodden. ~Henry Adams Bellows translation
As such, we can then weave in this perspective and say that the ancient kingdom's technology and/or war strategies surpassed those of the twenty kingdoms', but the latter's advantage in numbers somehow allowed them to endure and cause a stalemate.
Moving along, with no clear victor in the war between the ancient kingdom and the twenty kingdoms, both sides decided to call a truce similar to the AV War, which was then also sealed with an exchange of "hostages" or, as I view it, "peace ambassadors". Let's start with those from the ancient kingdom (Vanir).
In the AV War, the Vanir sent Njord and his children, Frey and Freya, as well as Kvasir, a man known to be the wisest in Vanaheim. Upon their arrival in Asgard, Njord and his two children were treated as fellow Asgardians and appointed by Odin as priests and priestess of the sacrificial rites, otherwise known as Blót in Norse paganism which specifically involves blood sacrifice. Later on, it is stated that Odin died and Njord replaced him as ruler.
Now, parallel to the AV War, the ancient kingdom from the Great War sent their ambassadors (perhaps also a family) to the twenty kingdoms' side. But, to which one of them? My guess is the kingdom whose royal family selflessly stayed behind when the others went on to migrate and create the World Government. Yes, that's right, I'm talking about Alabasta: a kingdom whose theme revolves around Egypt, a country whose ancient culture also includes (blood) sacrificial rites.
As for their roles, I don't think they also became priests/priestesses. Rather, they were appointed to help Alabasta prosper, which is fitting since Njord is a god associated with fishing, crop fertility, and wealth; things that are usually viewed as difficult to develop in a desert region. Lastly, similar to Njord's ascension to rulership after Odin died, either one of the ancient kingdom's ambassadors or one of their descendants became king of Alabasta after having assimilated into the royal family, the Nefertari. This then makes sense in the current storyline on why Vivi or the Nefertari family was targeted during the Reverie, which is because their lineage has been discovered to have the blood of someone prominent from the ancient kingdom.
With the 'Njord and family' parallel covered, let's now tackle Kvasir. In the Heimskringla account, not much is mentioned about Kvasir, aside from the fact that he is the wisest from Vanaheim and was sent specifically in exchange for another wise man, Mímir. While the ancient kingdom's ambassadors helped with developing Alabasta's land and livelihood, Kvasir's counterpart among them may have worked on technological advancements instead. Then, sometime in the relative future, that person or his descendants may have moved to some winter island named Karakuri, where a certain Dr. Vegapunk and Dr. Tsukimi lived in recent times.
Up next is the final part of this theory, which are the ambassadors from the twenty kingdoms (Æsir).
In the AV War, the Æsir sent Hœnir and Mímir. With Mímir as the man of wisdom, Hœnir on the other hand is described as large, handsome, and thought of by the Vanir as fitting to be chief. Truly enough, upon their arrival in Vanaheim, Hœnir was immediately made chief while Mímir placed himself at his side to provide counsel. However, the Vanir discovered later on that Hœnir, without the aid of Mímir, was actually not wise enough to be the chief as they initially perceived and thus they felt cheated from the exchange. As such, they then beheaded Mímir and sent his severed head back to Asgard.
Now, parallel to the AV War, the twenty kingdoms from the Great War sent their ambassadors, also a duo, to the ancient kingdom. However, in contrast to the pure intentions of peace by the ancient kingdom's ambassadors, this duo was maliciously sent to perform a demolition job and destroy the ancient kingdom from the inside. Hœnir's counterpart was someone like him, a very charming man, whose main role was to put up a front while his partner, Mímir's counterpart and the brains of the operation, went behind the scenes to execute their actual mission. In the end, they were successful in taking down the ancient kingdom, thus bringing forth the true conclusion of the Great War and also the Void Century.
Lastly, as Mímir was able to return to Asgard despite being just a head (Odin actually revived him later on), his counterpart in the Great War was also able to return home and join in the building of the World Government. Was he an important figure in the WG? Yes, and he still actually is. Do we know his name though? In fact, we do, as it was just revealed within the current arc. A name which is very, very close to Mímir's other name...
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
That's all for my theory. I hope you liked it and thanks for reading!
seiryu Marco Polo
: : : : :