Blessing the Whales

Whenever I get a few moments for myself (which isn’t very often these days!), one of the things I like to do is play mobile games, and one of the games I like to play most of all is Vikingard. This is a game in which, among many other things, you build up a band of Viking warriors, carry out battles and raids, explore ancient towns, and embark on seafaring adventures. During these last, one of the things you can do is called “Blessing the Whales.”

This is my favorite part of the entire game.

You must make two entire circuits of the sea voyage (which is quite lengthy) in order to bless the whales. The second time around, you’ll spy the whales in the distance and know this part of the game is coming up. But when you finally reach the whales, they’re nowhere to be seen. Instead, there’s a button at the bottom of the screen, which says “Pray.” By means of clicking this button, you sing, dance, pray, and praise the Gods, and when you’ve done that enough times (so the button’s white circle is complete), a great whale surfaces from the sea and sings:

Blessing the Whales.
From Vikingard.

I absolutely love this! I think that whoever developed this part of the game had a superb instinct, because I believe that song is the #1 offering of choice for the Divine…not bread or wine, not candles or incense, but song. The Gods and the Goddesses want to be praised; they want to hear happiness. This is why, in ancient times, Bards were such important, favored persons, and singing was a vital aspect of any Festival or other celebratory gathering (nowadays, what birthday is complete until “Happy Birthday” has been sung?).

To me, in this game, the whale represents the Divine…a magnificent, awe-inspiring creature who lives in the vast, fathomless depths of the boundless ocean, just as the Gods and the Goddesses reside in equally mysterious Otherworlds. But if we sing, dance, pray, and praise them, then they, too, may appear to us and grant us their blessing.

APs Rhianwen Bendigaid

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