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Ananke-spoiler "Once again, we return."

This article contains spoilers for Issue 33 of The Wicked + The Divine. Read at your own risk.

"The world isn't how things should be. Would be good to have a better world. But I'm not going to live to see it, so fuck everyone. Ideally, literally."
—Woden[src]

Woden is one of the gods of the Recurrence, symbolised by a winged helmet. He is known to have appeared during the 1830s and 2010s Recurrences.

HistoryEdit

Woden's real identity is David Blake, an expert in Pantheon Studies who has studied the Recurrence his entire life. He has a son named Jon, but Jon's mother left them both when he was very young. Blake raised Jon as a single parent, often dragging him around to various conferences. He started organising Ragnarock in 2003.[1] He attended Ragnarock 2013, right before the start of the 2010s Recurrence, where he gave a talk in which he complained that the modern generation was too entitled to deserve a Recurrence. This resulted in a clash with Laura, who felt that he didn't have enough faith.

Around this time, Jon had a meeting with Ananke, who he believed to be a therapist but was actually investigating his suitability as a member of the Pantheon. Ananke quickly realised that she wouldn't be able to control him, so struck a deal with David instead. Blake would get to take Jon's place in the Pantheon, assuming the identity of the god Woden, while Jon would be kept under lock and key and forced to make items according to Ananke's specifications. In exchange, Ananke would not sacrifice him before his two years were up. David agreed to this, seeing that he would be able to benefit from being part of the Pantheon. His true identity would be kept secret, but he would have to cooperate with all of Ananke's plans.

Ananke visited them and turned Jon into the god Mimir. Jon was unwilling to join the Pantheon, and when he rushed inside to tell his father, David attacked him with a knife. By the time he woke up he had become his father's prisoner. David told him he didn't trust Ananke and swore he wouldn't let her take him. From then on, Jon was kept hidden in a secret room in Valhalla, and none of the other gods were aware of his existence.

Becoming WodenEdit

Blake wore a helmet to disguise his identity, and told the others that his face had become disfigured or scarred as a result of him trying to grant himself powers. Joining the Pantheon enabled him to live a life of depravity, and he quickly gained a reputation for racism and misogyny. He created a group known as the Valkyries, to whom he gave weapons and suits granting them powers, selecting only Asian women like Jon's mother. This enabled him to live out all his perverted fantasies. Laura said she knew all of the Valkyries' names, and had seen most of them perform. Brunhilde was the most popular of these, but she was caught on camera confirming that the Valkyries performed sexual acts for Woden, and so she was banished from the group.

Synopsis Edit

The Faust Act Edit

Woden often gave items Jon had crafted to the other gods. For example, he gave Amaterasu a ring which he told her had belonged to the 1920s Amaterasu. In reality, it was a scrying device Jon had created, and Woden used it to watch Lucifer's trial with Ananke. He therefore witnessed Ananke murder Judge Holmes and helped her engineer Lucifer's death. He was the only person aware of Ananke's plans. He built Valhalla at her command, and transformed Ragnarock into a massive concert. 

FandemoniumEdit

Blake was present at Fantheon in the press lounge in his regular human guise. Cassandra suggested Laura talk to him to learn more about fans of the Pantheon, but when Laura refused she offered to do it herself. As Woden, he interrupted a talk by ex-Valkyrie Brunhilde, offering to allow her to return to the group if she took back the rumours she had been spreading. However, when she did so he destroyed the offered Valkyrie suit in front of her, humiliating her. He defended these actions to Laura afterwards, saying that he had no time to be nice. Brunhilde then attacked him with a gun, attempting the Prometheus Gambit. He was saved by Minerva; however, even after this he was dismissive towards her.

Woden interfered with Cassandra's investigation into the interview shooting at Ananke's request. At one of Dionysus's parties, Woden refused to join the dancing, and later made Cassandra an offer of her "dream job". This turned out to be an opportunity to interview Ananke. He allowed Cassandra to discover the perpetrators of the shooting, knowing that it would confirm her belief that Lucifer was guilty and therefore prevent her from finding out the truth. He attended Ragnarock 2014 as David Blake, where he revealed to Laura that he had been working with Cassandra and they had identified the shooters as Duncan Ackford and Tom Wilkes. He apologised for arguing with Laura at Ragnarock the previous year, saying that he was glad Cassandra was one of the gods. Later, when Baphomet went on the rampage, he locked himself up in Valhalla, guarded by the Valkyries. Ananke then arrived and told him to move Inanna's body.

Commercial Suicide Edit

Woden helped Baal capture the Morrigan following Inanna's death. He had Jon make a cage to contain her, causing Minerva to question why he didn't do the same for Lucifer. He was aware that Tara's death had also been orchestrated by Ananke.

On 18 August 2014, he recounted his and Ananke's crimes to his son, promising to protect him from Ananke.

Rising ActionEdit

Woden had Jon build Ananke a mysterious device which she claimed was a birthday present for Minerva. Woden himself didn't know what it was. He asked Ananke if Minerva was going to be the fourth death, which she denied. He then received an alert that a new god had emerged, and he went after her with Ananke, Sakhmet and the Valkyries. Before they arrived, they sent a bomb to the bar where she was performing, hoping to pin the explosion on the new god. Woden was shocked to learn this god was actually Laura Wilson, now calling herself Persephone. A battle ensued, but Persephone escaped. He and Ananke then realised that it had been a diversion and immediately returned to Valhalla, where they found Baphomet, Morrigan and Minerva trying to escape. Persephone showed up once more and got them out of there, breaking through the walls of Valhalla in the process.

However, the conflict did not end there, as the other gods retrieved Minerva and returned to Valhalla, where they continued to fight Persephone's faction. Ananke commanded Woden to prepare the machine and he sent an upgraded version of the Valkyries out into battle. Woden was reluctant to help Ananke upon realising that she did, in fact, plan to kill Minerva, but acceded when she threatened him. Meanwhile, the Valkyries were losing the battle outside, so he sent out a new suit of Valkryie armour, which combined the other Valkryies into one colossal being.

However, Woden remained uneasy about the plan to kill Minerva, though he feared Ananke's retribution should she realise he disobeyed her. He therefore gave a "supervillain speech" as he was fighting Dionysus, explaining how to defeat the Valkyries while maintaining plausible deniability. Dionysus took the hint and shut down the giant Valkyrie. Woden sat out the rest of the battle, showing up after Persephone killed Ananke. He questioned the "necessity" of covering up the incident, drawing unfavourable parallels with Ananke's own reasoning.

Imperial Phase (I) Edit

Following this incident, Woden was interviewed for the November 2014 edition of Pantheon Monthly. He talked about his relationship with his parents and his bitterness about his life. He also showed the interviewer his new project, an attempt to mimic Persephone's performances.

In the new year, Woden met up with Persephone and Urdr at Valhalla, and they confronted him about working with Ananke and creating the bomb that was sent to Persephone's gig. He retaliated by blackmailing them with footage of the gods agreeing to claim Ananke's murder was self-defence. Persephone did not take this well, dragging him down into the Underground and threatening to kill him if he didn't give up the Valkyries and help Urdr. He capitulated.

A Pantheon meeting was called after the Great Darkness attacked Minerva. They held a vote on what to do about this new threat, with the options being fight it, do research or do nothing. The final option prevailed, but Woden, Urdr and Dionysus decided to pursue their research anyway. Urdr invited Blake to come see Ananke's machine in his capacity as a Pantheon expert, unaware that he had already seen it as Woden. She asked him to be a liaison between the gods and the wider community, and they discussed the possibility that some of the gods may follow the imperial model of godhood.

Blake returned home one evening to find Urdr, who had broken in to deliver some papers, in his son's room. She questioned him about Jon, not having realised he had a son, and he told her he was away at boarding school. This led Urdr to suspect that Jon was actually Woden. She confronted Woden about it at one of Amaterasu's parties, and he neither confirmed nor denied it.

Imperial Phase (II) Edit

Meanwhile, he, Urdr and Dionysus started planning a gig, ostensibly to work out what the machine did. However, Woden had his own motives for the show. Once the concert was underway, he knocked out the Norns and hijacked Dionysus' hivemind, using it to control the crowd. Dionysus attempted to fight back, but after being attacked by the Valkyries, he was rendered brain-dead. The Norns woke up and Woden fled the scene when it became apparent they weren't going to cooperate.

Woden's true identity was finally revealed when Urdr and Persephone discovered his secret laboratory. They found Jon tied up in there, and he explained to them the backstory of how his father came to be Woden. When David arrived, however, he shut them behind bars, having finally worked out how to nullify Persephone's powers. He threatened to kill her, saying that he needed Urdr, but she was surplus to requirements. However, he held off when Jon promised to tell him what the machine did in exchange for letting her live.

AppearanceEdit

Blake is a middle-aged man with a receding hairline. He has brown hair, hazel eyes, and light skin. As Woden, he disguises his identity by always wearing a helmet. In the past, he has explained this away by implying that he is disfigured or scarred. He dresses in futuristic clothing, which is black with glowing green stripes.

In the image on the cover of Issue 7, the word "Wodan" appears in runes on Woden's helmet. The runes run backwards, suggesting that they are either a reflection or supposed to be read from the inside.

PersonalityEdit

Blake has a tendency to be dismissive of younger people and relies on his own learning and knowledge. As Woden, he is resentful of his own lack of magic and the fact that he does not get to be in the spotlight like the other gods, saying that he would kill them to take their powers if it were possible. Becoming a member of the Pantheon has enabled him to live a life of excess, doing drugs and essentially forming his own personal harem. He is extremely racist and misogynistic, and fetishises Asian women. Woden is completely aware of his despicable nature and consequently has a lot of self-loathing.

RelationshipsEdit

AnankeEdit

Woden worked with Ananke and aided her in her schemes. He helped her orchestrate and cover up many deaths. However, Ananke held all the power in their relationship, and Woden knew that she would kill him if he didn't help her.

It was later revealed that Ananke was the one primarily responsible for Woden's successful "incarnation" into the Pantheon after convincing the latter to use his own son,Mimir to acquire "divinity" and live a life of debauchery after offering him a way to "get what he deserves". With Ananke making it extremely clear that she considers Woden (David) to be incredibly pathetic and even lower than a serf due to his actions of actually taking her offer and betraying,imprisoning and using his only son for his own pleasure.

ValkyriesEdit

The Valkyries are dependent on Woden for their powers, and as such, follow his orders at all times. Woden fetishises them and forces them to perform sexual acts for him, sometimes dressed up as Lucifer and Amaterasu. His favourite Valkyrie was Brunhilde, but he kicked her out and humiliated her after she spread damaging rumours about him. He has absolutely no respect for them and has described them as "pathetic".

DionysusEdit

Woden considers Dionysus an enemy. Dionysus, in return, despises Woden. Later upon successfully taking his side in "studying" The "Great Darkness", Woden has successfully gained Dionysus's trust and began secretly analyzing his "Hive Mind Performance" for his own ends disguised in him helping Dionysus and Urdr in analyzing the Machine's trust "purpose". This in turn resulted in Woden successfully taking control of Dio's performance during his gigantic gig and usurp control of his hive mind for his own purposes, resulting in Dio ending up having a full blown brain aneurysm and ending with him becoming brain dead.

SakhmetEdit

Likely under Ananke orders, Woden was given the duty of watching over Sakhmet and insure that she was always drunk and not in a sober state in order to control and keep her more violent (and cannibalistic) tendencies a secret. As seen where Woden primarily orders one of his Valkyries, Eir to watch over her and make sure she was constantly given alcohol.

Later upon Eir's failure to keep her drunk and keeping a eye over her and later coming upon the scene of Sakhmet eating and killing her own father, Woden was seen to react in complete horror and shock at her actions and later proceeded to cover up the incident and regain control of Sakhmet by giving her alcohol and bringing her back to Valhalla.

Woden himself was stated to actively fear her and worry to get on her bad side due to her violent and unpredictable nature.

Baal Edit

Woden is seen to have a friendly relationship with Baal and acted under him in following Ananke's orders without much complaint. Woden himself is privy to several of Baal's own secrets such as his true identity as Baal Hammon and him having "created" his lightning bolt chain to "filter" his divinity into thunder to hide his true Fire based Miracles.

Minerva Edit

Woden's exact relationship with Minerva is unknown, but due to her age, its likely that Woden didn't interact with her much. However despite that Woden did show obvious genuine sympathy for Minerva due to her essentially destined to die before she was fourteen and later showed hesitance in allowing Ananke to carve her up and kill her and later subtly assisted the other Gods in saving her by purposefully losing and letting them get past him to get into Valhalla to save her.

Tara Edit

Like a majority of the media, Woden was seen to blatantly objectify Tara due to her beauty and was stated by Dionysus to have only seen her as a "piece of meat".

The Norns Edit

Due to his fetish for Asian Women, Woden was seen to also objectify Urdr (Cassandra) even prior to her Incarnation as Urdr and upon her officially joining the Pantheon was seen to have also begun fantasizing a "three way sex fetish" between her and the other two Norns. Cassandra in turn has shown blatant dislike and hatred for Woden due to his racism and objectification of her and was seen to primarily try to ignore,avoid or insult Woden to get him to leave her alone. However despite her immense dislike for him, Cassandra has acknowledged that Woden wasn't stupid but "just evil".

Lucifer Edit

Much like a majority of women, Woden was seen to actively objectify Lucifer for his sex fantasies and has his Valkyrie's perform various sexual acts in front of him dressed as her. Lucifer in turn like a majority of her fellow Gods, is seen to actively despise Woden due to his perverted nature and is shown to actively insult him when given the chance.

Amaterasu Edit

Amaterasu was seen to have a descent enough relationship with Woden. However due to his perverted nature, Amaterasu was also noted to keep her distance from him and tries not to interact with him to much. But due to her air headedness and trusting nature, its shown that Woden frequently takes advantage of her for his own gains. As seen where he successfully tricked her into taking one of his "created" diamond rings as a gift saying that it originally belonged to the Amaterasu of the 1920's Pantheon. He later described her as a "stupid cow" for immediately accepting despite the obvious dubiousness of this claim.

And like a majority of women, Woden was also seen to objectify Amaterasu for his sex fantasies and was shown to have his Valkyries dress up as her and perform sexual acts for him.

Mimir Edit

David (Woden) was shown to possess a love/hate relationship with his only son, Jon (Mimir). This was due to his wife having left him with their only son and thus David was forced to raise him on his own. Despite David genuinely loving him, it’s been shown that David holds a strong level of resentment towards his son due to having wasted his "best years of his life, second best and third best" raising him. This in turn resulted in him being easily convinced by Ananke to imprison and take advantage of Jon’s powers as Mimir in order to live the life of debuchary he never had due to his responsibilities as a father. Something his son would describe as the “Ultimate Mid-Life Crisis” of the “century”.

PowersEdit

As Woden is not technically a real god, he does not appear to have any powers of his own. He does, however, take credit for the creations produced by his son, Mimir.

Past RecurrencesEdit

1830s RecurrenceEdit

Woden appeared in the 1830s Recurrence in the form of Mary Shelley, and was one of the final four gods to die, alongside Lucifer, Inanna and the Morrigan. She was the sister of Inanna and the wife of Morrigan, but their marriage cooled considerably following the deaths of each of their three babies. Unbeknownst to her, their children had actually been killed by her jealous sister in exchange for divinity.

Woden travelled with her fellow surviving gods to Lake Geneva in 1831, whiling away the final days of their lives. One night, Ananke arrived and delivered the severed hand of a recently killed Hades, which Lucifer and Morrigan proposed to use to attempt a resurrection. However, this plan backfired spectacularly, as they instead created an entirely new Creature, which immediately killed them both. Recognising that the Creature deserved life, Woden sacrificed herself to subdue it, removing its hunger for taking lives. The Creature took on her appearance as a result and disappeared.

Two Recurrences later, Cassandra and Laura viewed a portrait of the 1830s Woden in the National Portrait Gallery. This portrait is based on a real portrait of Mary Shelley.[2]

1920s RecurrenceEdit

Woden appeared during the 1920s Recurrence as being in a pact called the Darkness Plan alongside Baal and Set. It is later revealed he is a Nazi sympathizer and not a true God of this Recurrence, and has gained his power by holding the head of Mimir in a box. Ananke sets the box on fire, killing Mimir while Woden asks what Ananke's plan is. She responds by killing him.

MythologyEdit

Woden is based on the Norse god Odin, a god of wisdom, healing, death, royalty, the gallows, knowledge, battle, sorcery, poetry, frenzy, and the runic alphabet. Odin is a highly respected god, and is the ruler of Valhalla, where the valkyries bring half the warriors killed in battle. He is often accompanied by his ravens, Huginn and Muninn, who bring him information from across the world, and his wolves, Geri and Freki. Odin continually seeks knowledge, and famously sacrificed an eye in order to gain wisdom from Mimir's well. He carries around Mimir's severed head so it can whisper counsel to him. Wednesday is named for him.

QuotesEdit

By Woden

"I have two years to live. I haven't got time for truth. Surely what happened to Lucifer would have taught you that truth is the last thing anyone cares about?"
—Woden[src]
"The Gambit is a lie. You know how I know that? Because if "Prometheus" was true I'd be killing gods myself. I'd kill to be any of them rather than me."
—Woden[src]
"I don't dance. I watch."
—Woden[src]
"People get the wrong idea. I'm not just into Asian girls. I'm into Asian girls in public. In private, my interests extend to girls dressed up as Asian gods and girls dressed up as gods who I helped murder. I know this is fucked up, but these are the times I don't regret giving up my face. "How can I do it?" It's easy. You take women and just forget that they're people. It's not hard."
—Woden[src]
"I don't know who's next. But someone's next. She's picking up the tempo."
—Woden, about Ananke[src]
"Let's go straight to the live show."
—Woden[src]
"What was the Pratchett line? Turning people into things is the only sin. I want to make it easier for people to turn me into a thing. I want to dehumanise myself. I've built this little myth around myself, and I play up to it. But I'm not scary. I'm scared."
—Woden[src]
"People should be scared of scared people. They'll fuck you up."
—Woden[src]
"I am not kinder because there is no reward for kindness. I've read a lot. I know the arguments, but it all just crumbles at the fact we live in a world that could make us nothing any second. Gods come back every 90 years, but you mortals are just dead. There is no reward. So take everything you can."
—Woden[src]
"I know why 90% of the shit I do is wrong. My problem is just... why not? I can't think of a good reason any more. Or at least no reason good enough to stick."
—Woden[src]
"Okay, what's this about? Why did you want to see me? I have my own Sisyphean research projects and meaningless sexual depravity to be getting on with..."
—Woden[src]
"Godhood on cocaine? Now we're fucking talking!"
—Woden[src]
"So... is that a piece of genuine prophecy or just uncharacteristic optimism?"
—Woden to Cassandra[src]
"Yeah, you wouldn't use it to control people... But that's your problem."
—Woden, taking control of Dionysus' hivemind[src]

About Woden

"You are of the Pantheon. You will not be loved. You will be hated. You should be hated. You are living shit."
—Ananke[src]

Dialogue

Woden: "No, you don't have what it takes to be a Valkyrie."
Laura: "Because I'm not over 5'8" and Asian?"
Woden: "Exactly. And don't say it's racist. I'm working on an aesthetic. It's complicated. You wouldn't understand."
―Woden and Laura[src]
Woden: "I think you've mistaken me for your serf."
Ananke: "I have lived long enough to have known actual serfs. You are not a serf. You are considerably lower than a serf. You are but the pet of a god. We both know exactly what you are."
―Woden and Ananke[src]
Cassandra: "You're not stupid, are you? Just evil."
Woden: "Correct. And if you know you're wrong, it's even worse."
―Cassandra and Woden[src]
Cassandra: "If you have a giant laser, I will be disappointed but not exactly surprised by your cliched over-compensation."
Woden: "I wish. Who wouldn't want an enormous phallic laser cannon?"
―Cassandra and Woden[src]
Woden: "How come I don't know any of this?"
Amaterasu: "Ananke said the sun must defeat the darkness. It's a sky god thing."
Woden: "I'm Woden! I am a sky god!"
The Morrigan: "Grima Wormtongue did not accompany the ring to Mordor."
―Amaterasu, The Morrigan and Woden in Valhalla's meeting[src]
Cassandra: "I think Amaterasu's body is made of hubris with trace elements of W, T and F. I can't believe Dionysus agreed to throwing a party. This cult thing is... culty."
Woden: "Says the god of prophecy about the god of the sun to the god of Valkyries and all manner of other shit."
Cassandra: "I'm looking out for us going bad. I don't think we're really gods. This is one step away from fiddling with yourself when Rome burns."
Woden: "Says the woman who's also spent the last five months obsessing over a machine that goes beep."
―Cassandra and Woden at Amaterasu's party[src]

TriviaEdit

  • Woden's costume is inspired by Guy-Manuel de Homem-Christo of Daft Punk.
  • Woden is the "producer-metaphor" god.[3]
  • Woden's dialogue appears in black rectangular speech bubbles with green text.
  • Woden's favourite TV show is Game of Thrones.

AppearancesEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. In Issue 6 he says he has organised Ragnarock for the past ten years.
  2. Writer Notes: The Wicked + The Divine #2
  3. Kieron Gillen on Tumblr
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