When I Googled “dimension traveling and the Bifrost” just to get a little more information about the trope I love so much, I found myself giggling.
The top list of websites was limited to The Marvel Universe, Minecraft, and healing. “Well, this is an odd combination,” I thought to myself. Thor, Steve, and existential enlightenment were not the combination I imagined.
Yep, I giggled.
I began my fascination with dimension-hopping in fifth grade when I was given Norse mythology as a topic for my book report. It was in Mrs. Welch’s reading class, not the iconic comic books, that I developed a bond with Thor and the Bifrost.
A Little Background
My obsession continued with other books and looking back, I discovered the recurring theme of dimension hopping. Robert Asprin’s Another Fine Myth sees Aahz, a demon (short for dimension traveler) who portals into into Skeeve’s world. There was Stephen R. Donaldson’s “The Mirror of Her Dreams” where Terisa crosses through worlds in the glass. These are stories I carried with me and still, a million years later, stay at the forefront of my mind when I sit down to write.
But why dimensions? Why isn’t the fascination with a simple relocation? Moving across the country? Why does the new environment have to be an alternate reality? The key is absolute change.
Dimension Traveling & The Gate
This brings me to my personal fascination with dimensions. I am a self-proclaimed escapist. I have extraordinarily little interest in stories that take place on Earth as we know it. It makes me sound a bit like a genre-snob, I know, but it’s true. I want to immerse myself in what this world is not. I think this escapism is what drove me to create Amarynn, the main character in The Immortal Coil Saga. She is a Traveler, meaning she comes from another dimension, and not of her own accord, or so it seems.
Amarynn’s story started out as an escape - as a choice. She was born during a difficult time in my life where escape was what I wanted. But with a family and kids, escape was not possible. So, I needed to reinvent myself and open a hatch I could disappear into when I needed to feel strong and in control.
With this persona in mind, Amarynn willingly stepped into the world of Karth through the magic of the Gate stone. She developed her own sense of self and eventually, like embryonic cells, we divided. Her choice became more of a chance. My handling of dimensional travel matured and deepened and has been reflected in the changes made to the first third of the book.
Looking deeper, I see that Regealth, the mage responsible for creating the interdimensional Travelers, is a Heimdall-esque figure. He controls who crosses the dimensional boundary into the world of Karth.He is the Gatekeeper. I could stretch it and find more parallelisms, but for now, the Thor references stop there (give me time… I’m sure that will change!). Who knows? There may be inklings of the nine realms reflected in future episodes.
That’s the best part of this dimension-hopping thing.
It’s an open book - worldbuilding with escape hatches included.