Ragnarok (Netflix series)

Well, it happened in the first few minutes when you don’t know the exact premise of the show. I didn’t make the connection when they first showed him and since they kept the old guy way in the background for most of season 1, I probably would not have until much later. So, yeah, still gotta go with a sarcastic thanks to Netflix.

To be fair, they identify him as Wotan, not Odin, and that is the character’s name on the show, even publicly to humans. And it isn’t apparently a common name now, but it also isn’t completely unused.

From the Norwegian Bureau of Statics name statistics for Norway:

Fewer than four people or no one has the name Wotan

There are 3 329 men with Odin as part of their forename
There are 2 607 men with Odin as their only forename

Names - SSB

For comparison:

There are 23 460 men with Knut as part of their forename
There are 8 901 men with Knut as their only forename

On a related note, Wotan doesn’t seem to be Odin any more than Magne was Thor. I thought in the beginning that the old gods were just in hiding. When it seems that they are actually being created anew by the seeress. So it seems to be a coincidence that a one-eyed old man named Wotan became Odin.

There might be some “function follows form” things going on here, but obviously the writers don’t feel they need to be fully consistent. Wotan turns out to become Odin. But “Magne” was actually the name of one of Thor’s sons. The mother of mythological Magne was Jarnsaxa. And in Norse myth Ran and Vidar were both Aesir, so part of the same sub-pantheon as Odin and Thor. At least according to the sources we have available today.

The original believers may not have felt the need to be consistent either, but their stories were filtered through poetry and then Christian scribes.