Following 9th century monks as they flee from invading vikings with the body of St Cuthbert and the Lindisfarne Gospels – and undertake a momentous journey that helps shape England
In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth. And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters. And God said, Let there be light: and there was light. And God saw the light, that it was good: and God divided the light from the darkness. And God called the light Day, and the darkness he called Night. And the evening and the morning were the first day. And God said, Let there be a firmament in the midst of the waters, and let it divide the waters from the waters.
And God made the firmament, and divided the waters which were under the firmament from the waters which were above the firmament: and it was so. And God called the firmament Heaven. And the evening and the morning were the second day. And God said, Let the waters under the heaven be gathered together unto one place, and let the dry land appear: and it was so. And God called the dry land Earth; and the gathering together of the waters called the Seas: and God saw that it was good…
In the beginning was Ginnungagap – the void, the chasm. Because there was nothing there it was cold and dark in Ginnungagap. It was so cold and dark there that layers of everlasting salt ice formed in that dark void. Then Authumla, the Great Cow, came to lick at the ice and with her rough warm tongue she licked out the giant Ymir. When he came out of the ice she fed him with her rich warm milk until he was grown up. Then alone, using the material from his feet and his armpits, he created the giants. From the giants, the Aesir and the Vanir, the gods of the north, we’re all descended.
After many generations Odin, Lord of the Aesir, and his brothers killed Ymir and used the pieces of his dismembered body to construct the worlds, with Tggdrasil, the world tree, at the centre. After the three worlds were built Odin went for a walk on the beach of Middle Earth with two of his colleagues – Lodur and Hoenir, the silent god. They found two trees on the shore – Askr and Embla – and they breathed humanity into them. Odin gave them life, Lodur gave them form and Hoenir the silent gave them understanding. That was the beginning of people and time and speech and song.