On Sunday, September 6, 2015 at 1:16:21 AM UTC+1, Hatfield wrote:
Well, there's a big difference between Wagner's synthesis of Norse myth and the "original" sources, which are themselves often sytheses created hundreds of years later by a several-generations-on Christian, Snorri Sturlason, and then re-interpreted by writers, artists and of course composers of the 19th century and after, and eventually comic books, who added things like the winged and horned helmets, totally invented.
What you have here is a sort of crude mishmash of all of these, based indeed on Ragnarokr. Odin on the left is evidently heavily derived from Jack Kirkby's Thor strip, but without, as you say, the eyepatch. The Queen is naturally Fricka, then of course Thor -- but his hammer, though vaguely based on Norse jewellery, is too big for the mythological model. The valkyrie is more or less Wagnerian, the castle is generalized but certainly not Old Norse, more like Scottish, and the pawn looks more like something out of manga. Among the opposition Loki draws on Wagner's identification of him as a fire god, which isn't accurate, and god alone knows what the lady next to him is supposed to be -- might be the underworld goddess Hella, except half her face should be blue and skeletal. The figure with the ice spear would be supposed to be one of the Frost giants, the wolf would be the Fenris-wolf who swallows Odin alive; the furnace-bellied thing would probably be the fire-giant Surtr, although it looks more like the biblical Moloch, and on the end a rather apologetic World Serpent Jormundgandr, who gets Thor (fangs for the memory...).
Fasolt and Fafner are largely Wagner's inventions, so they wouldn't appear in a basically Norse set. Fasolt was a name taken from, if I remember rightly. a rather obscure wind giant. Fafnir in the sources is originally a dwarf, brother to Regin -- the original of Mime -- but whose greed eventually turned him into the dragon we all know and love.
All told, personally i think this set looks pretty cruddy -- like something cobbled together, probably in the Far East, by someone with only the sketchiest knowledge of Norse myth, either verbally or visually, less authentic and less well imagined than the average toy soldier. If you really want a Norse chess set, why not consider one of the many reproductions of the Lewis chessmen -- arresting images of contemporary figures, pieces the real Norsemen really played with? Possibly they played Hnefetafl, more like Nine Men's Morris, but the figures are evidently designed for chess as well.
(The ones in the Harry Potter films are modelled on them.) The sets in the National Museum of Scotland shop (and in the British Museum's online shop) are a bit pricey but very well made; I've bought some there myself. There are cheaper ones online, but of variable quality; beware of the mould-your-own variety, though, a friend tried one and it looked awful.