Designing the Norse Gods- Forebodin’ Odin, Therious Thor and the others

First off- apologies for missing a week! I’ve been pushing through the final artwork and attending family weddings. Busy busy busy.

The original story mentioned quite a few Norse Gods- Odin, Thor, Sigurd, Freya and Hemrod. Our brilliant editor Cate helped to whittle the text down, removing supplementary characters to focus on Odin and Thor (Check out this post by Norm for more info on Odin and Thor).

Here are my first sketches and notes on the Gods.
Thor on the left, Sigurd on the right
That's Odin right down the bottom, with some lumpy crows
Odin looked a bit like a pirate here

After a bit of research, I found out that Odin is an old old man. So the black hair wasn’t going to look right for his character. Also, Thor is his son, so they have to look similar.

Storyboard sketches began to take more form…

Odin was the first to speak on this page, so I flipped the layout and put him on the left. Notice his lovely new white beard.
A cleaned-up rough, with Josh included. The Gods are watching him through a hole in the floor. This viewpoint didn't work well, so it was ditched on advice of our editor

For those interested in Norse trivia, Thor and Sigurd are playing a game of viking checkers, called ‘hnefatafl‘. Sounds a bit like an old man sneezing. There’s a few online versions of hnefatafl out there on the interwebs.

Here’s another pic from the storyboards. It’s notable for the one and only appearance of Freya, the Norse god of love and beauty.

Sigurd is puzzled by Josh's choice of boat buildling material

And here’s some more recent sketches…


Sadly, Sigurd has been cut from the book... though I may draw him into the climactic scene.



It’s obvious to me that Asterix comics have been a huge influence on the character designs.

Author: James Foley

James Foley makes children’s books for children who read books. If you’re a child and you’re eating his books, you’re doing it wrong. His books include Brobot, Dungzilla, Gastronauts, Chickensaurus, Toffle Towers, My Dead Bunny and There's Something Weird About Lena. James lives in Perth with his wife, 2 kids, and a labrador. He is a massive Marvel movie nerd and comes from a long line of queuing enthusiasts. Follow him on FB/twitter/insta/youtube @jamesfoleybooks, or at .

One thought on “Designing the Norse Gods- Forebodin’ Odin, Therious Thor and the others”

  1. I like your gods in Asgard parting the clouds to have a look at what is going on down below. I can think of some lines for them.

    First god: We could kill him now, or wait until he finishes the boat.

    Second god: Why wait?

    Third god: My ankle is itchy.

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