gyre and gimble wrote:I agree that things like Tyrfing should rarely be tossed up, and was merely expressing that I was happy to be able to answer a tossup on it because I had never seen it done before. However, I think the only reason Tyrfing shouldn't be tossed up is because it can be rather transparent that it's the cursed sword from Norse myth. But people dismissing Tyrfing as a minor name that appears in the Eddas are mistaken. Like Rob said, the sword is central to the Hervarar Saga, which comprises most of the Tyrfing Cycle. I think the Tyrfing Cycle is pretty important to the study of Germanic and Norse mythology, and if we've got questions on stuff like Njal's Saga, we can certainly have questions on the Herverar. Answer lines that are less transparent might be "Herverar Saga" or "Angantyr," or people could use Tyrfing clues on a tossup on dwarves. It's certainly not obscure enough to be ignored, but it was too difficult for BARGE.
Also, I'm not sure why you would ever need to answer with "Tyr's finger" as opposed to Tyrfing, but I guess it's a valid answer since that's what Tyrfing literally means. It's kind of like answering a question on Gullinbursti with "Gold Bristle."
I mean, I don't want to present myself as any kind of an expert on Norse myth or anything like that (though I did once take a class with John Lindow, a Berkeley prof. who is
such an expert, and we didn't discuss the Herverar saga at all; I want my money back!), but I find this really far fetched. First of all, Tyrfing doesn't
appear in the Eddas, which is kind of the point I was trying to make. Like it or not, the Eddas are people's primary exposure to Norse myth, and unless you're really deep into Scandinavian lore, probably the only exposure. Sure, it's central to the Hervarar Saga, which I guess seems to be fairly important in the field of Nordic myth studies, but you're digging like three levels deep into things almost no one has likely read. Yes, there was a tossup on Njal's Saga... at Chicago Open. Just because tournament X had a tossup on crazy thing A, doesn't mean that purportedly easier tournament Y should have a tossup on a much harder thing B.
I'm belaboring this because I think it's a really bad idea to reason this way. I'm not discounting whatever inherent importance the Tyrfing cycle might have, but there's no good way to write this question on the basis of things people might have actually encountered. Again if it were CO, I would just move on, but this isn't CO, and a question like this is just not a good idea. Lots of people, including those who are pretty familiar with Norse myth, haven't even heard of the Hervarar Saga (I've vaguely heard of the Tyrfing cycle) and here you are talking about how a question on it might be transparent? For harder events, go nuts, I guess. But for this tournament it wasn't a good idea at all.