As any Magnus Chase fan knows, the city of Boston is teeming with Norse activity. Next time you visit Boston, supplement your human-issued travel guide with these six Riordanic revelations.
1. Boston Public Garden
The Make Way for Ducklings sculpture in the Boston Public Garden serves as a tribute to a beloved children’s book classic of the same name. But did you know that those nine metal mallards are also active portals to the nine Norse worlds? Beware of bumping into elves, dwarfs, and especially fire giants. If you do happen to fall in, let’s just hope you land back in Midgard.
2. The Man with the Metal Bra
Head to the Commonwealth Avenue Mall in Back Bay to see the statue Leif, the Discoverer, sculpted by Anne Whitney in 1887. What is the famous Viking explorer Leif Erikson doing smack in the middle of Boston gazing over the Massachusetts Turnpike? Perhaps Magnus’s Uncle Randolph was right in believing that Vikings settled in Boston. It would be a great reason for the Norse demigod Magnus Chase to call Boston home. For more on the history of how the man with the metal bra landed in Boston, visit here.
3. The Green Monster of Fenway Park
No trip to Boston is complete without a visit to the Red Sox home stadium, Fenway Park, which has ended many an opposing ball player’s winning streak. How? With the Green Monster, a green wall over thirty-seven feet high that stops home runs in their tracks. It’s a great thing for Sox fans (like Loki), but a terrible thing for the visiting team. It’s also a great hiding place. Magnus Chase used its cover to prevent his dear dwarf guardian Blitzen from impending sunlight in The Sword of Summer.
4. Bunker Hill
The Battle of Bunker Hill was a major event in the Revolutionary War. Maybe you’ve heard of the famous command “Don’t fire until you see the whites of their eyes!” uttered by one of the Continental officers? If you’re a battle buff, you’ll love this place. Hel, the Norse goddess of the dishonorable dead, was more cynical when she appeared to Magnus there and told him, “For every hero, a thousand cowards. For every brave death, a thousand senseless ones.” Hel doesn’t can be a real downer.
5. Longfellow Bridge
This landmark bridge connects Boston’s historic Beacon Hill with Kendall Square (where all the college kids remain oblivious to Norse happenings). It spans the Charles River and is named after another great Bostonian storyteller, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, author of “Paul Revere’s Ride.” Longfellow Bridge is equally as historic for Magnus Chase fans, as it’s the location of Magnus Chase’s deadly encounter with Surt, the fire giant. They fought each other while trying to recover Sumarbrander, the sword of summer, from the Charles. Magnus fought bravely that day and saved many pedestrians, but he didn’t survive . . . and that’s just the beginning of the story.
6. Gondola Di Venezia at the Esplanade
After you’ve visited the Longfellow Bridge, head about a mile downstream to the Esplanade and take a gondola ride on the Charles River. No longship or raiding experience is required! Perhaps you’ll encounter Lord Mímir, counselor to Odin, as this is the site where his floating head imparted wisdom to Magnus and his friends.