Who is the Norse god of destruction

Germanic mythology

 

 

Most of the northern European mythology still known today is of Scandinavian or Icelandic origin. The myths were mainly superseded by Christianity; if they were not recorded in writing, they were lost.

 

 

Aegir (also Eagor)

A Germanic sea god, husband of Ran and father of nine daughters, the waves. Apparently he belonged to an older family of gods than the Aesir or Wanen. Aegir prisoners were sacrificed to ensure a safe crossing over the sea.

 

Alwis ("the omniscient")

A dwarf in Germanic mythology. He was outwitted by Thor, the son of Odin. Alwis was to have Thor's daughter Thrud as his wife for the weapons he forged for the gods. Thor did not like this and so he thought up a knowledge test to prevent the wedding. When Alwis came to Asgard, Thor questioned him all night because the dwarf was turned into stone by the sunlight.

 

Andwari (Alberich)

A dwarf craftsman.

 

Angrboda (Angerboda)

("Bad Bringer") A tire giant in Germanic mythology, Lokis Beloved and mother of three terrible creatures - the Fenris Wolf, the snake Jörmungand and the Hel. The gods decided to act quickly when they heard of these offspring. One group broke into Angrboda's hall at night, handcuffed her, and took their and Loki's children to Asgard. First, OdinHel banished to the underworld, where she was now responsible for those who had not died gloriously. Then he hurled Jörmungand into the ocean, where the giant snake broke through the ice and sank into the depths. The Fenriswolf was given a magical bondage and was held captive in this way. Even though all three were under control, Odin knew that the Fenriswolf would break free to Ragnarok and destroy him. Jörmungand and Hel were also waiting for this final decision.

 

Sir

A family of gods in Germanic mythology, next to which there was also the Wanen. At one point there was war between the younger Aesir and the older Vanes, until there was finally peace that gave the Aesir greater power. From then on, some sir lived with the Wanen to ensure peace, and some Wanen lived in Asgard, the seat of the sir. The sir were led by Odin. These included Balder (the bleeding god), Bragi (the god of rhetoric), Forseti (the god of justice), Freyr (the god of fertility), Heimdall (the watchful, whose future task it was to treat all living beings with the sound of his horn to Ragnarök), Hödr (the blind god), Loki (the cunning god of fire and ally of the frost giants), Njörd (the sea god and one of the gods exchanged with the Wanen), Thor (the god of thunder, whose mightier Magic hammer was the only weapon the frost giants feared), Tyr (the god of war and a son of Hymir), Vili and Ve (Odin's brothers), and Vidar (a son of Odin who was destined to kill his father at Ragnarok revenge). The goddesses were Freyja (the fertility goddess and twin sister of Freyr), Frigg (Odin's wife), Sif (the wife of Thor) and Idun (the guardian of the apples of youth). Almost all sir were predicted to die at Ragnarök.

 

Asgard

In Germanic mythology, the residence of the Assir. The Wanen lived in Wanaheim. Asgard's mighty walls were built by a stonemason named Hrimthurs, who demanded the hand of the fertility goddess Freyja and the sun and moon for his 18 months of work on them. Odin set a deadline of 6 months for completion at Loki's suggestion. The stonemason was given a concession to use his magical horse Svadilfari as an assistant. To the horror of the gods, the wall was erected three days before the deadline, with the exception of a single archway. Thereupon Loki turned into a mare and seduced the stonemason's stallion. So the punctual completion was prevented. The stonemason now revealed himself as a frost giant, whereupon Thor smashed his skull with his hammer.

 

Ask (Askr; "log")

The first person cut from an ash tree by Odin, Vili and Ve. His wife was named Embla.

 

Audhumla

The original cow of Germanic mythology. She appeared at the beginning of creation as the first animal from the Gunnungagap ("the yawning void). Four streams of milk flowed from her udder, which Ymir, the first frost giant and living being, served as food. The frost giants descended from Ymir's children. While the Cow licked salty ice cream, first the hair, then the head and finally the whole body of a man - Buri. This soon had a son named Bor, who married the daughter of a frost giant, Bestla. Their sons were the first gods, Odin, Vili and Ve. They fought the frost giants and killed Ymir. When the giant fell, the blood pouring from his wounds flooded the land and drowned all the frost children, with the exception of Bergelmir and his wife.

 

Aurvandil

Man of Groa (see also) and god of summer.

 

Balder (Baldr / Baldur)

A son of Odin and Frigg. Is considered the "bleeding god" in Germanic mythology. With his wife Nanna he had a son, Forseti, the god of justice. At a young age, Balder was haunted by nightmares, all of which pointed to his impending death. In Asgard they tried to find out why such a meek God had to suffer so. Odin rode his eight-legged horse Sleipnir into the realm of the dead and there learned from a seer that Balder would be killed with a twig by his own brother, the blind Hödr. He returned sadly to Asgard, where Frigg had meanwhile figured out a plan. She traveled the nine worlds and took the vow of all things not to harm her son. Odin was relieved, it looked like the plan would work. The gods tried Balder's new invulnerability, throwing stones and spears at him, which actually did nothing to him. All the gods cheered except Loki. He was so angry that he turned into an old woman and showed up in the Friggs Hall. Talking to the goddess, he learned that she had persuaded all things, with the exception of mistletoe, because this small and puny plant was not worth the effort. So Loki immediately went to cut some mistletoe. Loki returned to the gathering of gods, who were still throwing all sorts of things at Balder. The blind Hödr did not take part. Loki gave him a sprig of mistletoe and guided his limb, he should have fun too, after all. Balder was pierced by the branch and fell dead on the spot. Hermod, also a brother of Balder, was sent to Hel to offer a ransom for the surrender of Balder. Meanwhile, the corpses of the bleeding god and Nanna, who had died of grief, were placed on a pyre in a Viking boat that was left burning on the sea. In the underworld, Hermod found his brother. Hel explained that Balder could only leave when everything dead and living in the nine worlds would weep for him. Messengers were sent out and soon even the stones were crying. But Thökk, an old mature giantess, refused. The gods were so outraged by this refusal that it took them some time to realize that Thökk was Loki in disguise, but Balder had to stay with Hel.

 

Beowulf

The Germanic hero who managed to kill two sea monsters. His story takes place in Denmark and is said to have been a nephew of the king of the Jutes. One night a monster named Grendel crept into King Hrothgar's court and devoured a sleeping warrior. Although invulnerable by weapons, Grendel was grabbed by Beowulf and held captive in a powerful grip from which he could only free himself with the loss of an arm. Mortally wounded, the monster dragged itself to a nearby lake where it lived. It finally bled to death there. Deeply impressed by the strength and bravery of the warrior, Hrothgar showered Beowulf with gifts. But there was still Grendel's mother, even more terrible than her child, whom no one expected. She attacked and again devoured a sleeping warrior, after which she retreated into the lake. Beowulf dived after her, whereupon a fierce battle broke out in which Beowulf lost his sword. But like Arthur he was lucky and found a magic weapon in the water with which he killed the monster. After saving the kingdom for the second time, Beowulf returned to his home in southern Sweden, where his father reigned. Towards the end of his reign, a dragon attacked the country, whereupon Beowulf set off with 12 men. But soon he was alone, because everyone got scared and ran away. Beowulf finally managed to kill the dragon, but he himself died in the process.

 

Bergelmir

Son of Thrudgelmir and grandson of Ymir. When Ymir was killed, all the frost giants, except for Bergelmir and his wife, drowned in his blood. The two saved themselves by using a hollow tree trunk as a boat. In this way they could keep the race of giants alive, which should never lose their hatred of the gods. At Ragnarok, the frost giants and the dead from Hel's realm were destined to avenge Ymir's death.

 

Bestla

Giantess, mother of Odin, Vili and Ve. See also boron.

 

Bifrost

The three-beam rainbow bridge between Asgard and Midgard (heaven and earth). Every day the gods rode across the bridge to hold meetings at the Urd fountain.

 

Billing

The father of beef. According to tradition, the king of the Ruthenians. Rind was so strong-willed that Odin was unable to beguile her; on the contrary, she treated him with contempt, even though Billing agreed to this connection. In the end, Rind gave up their defensive stance and gave birth to Odin, his son Wali.

 

Bilskirnir

Thor's Hall in Asgard. She is said to have had 540 rooms.

 

Bor (Bör, Böri)

Son of Buri, husband of the giantess Bestla and the father of Odin, Vili and Ve. As a primordial god, he lived in a time before the world was created, when there was nothing but fog, ice, fire and the void Ginnungagap. His father-in-law, the giant Bolthur, also had a son who transmitted his wisdom to his nephew Odin.

 

Bragi

Son of Odin and the giantess Gunnlod. The Germanic god of poetry and rhetoric. He was married to Idun, the goddess who kept the apples of youth.

 

Breidablik ("Breitglanz")

Balder's hall.

 

Brisinger

Bristlingers, too, were the mysterious owners of a golden necklace, the Brisingamen, which the fertility goddess Freyjr wanted. She slept with the dwarfs Alfrigg, Dvalin, Berling and Grer for four consecutive nights to get the necklace. Back in Asgard, Odin accused her of defiling her divinity. As a punishment, she had to start a war in Midgard - the human world. Freyjr and Odin shared those who fell in battle.

 

Brünhild

A Valkyrie who resisted Odin and was therefore banished to earth, where she was imprisoned in a ring of fire. When Sirgurd defied the fire and broke their enchanted sleep, they fell in love. He gave her his ring Andvarinaut without knowing of his curse. On one of his trips, he was bewitched by Krimhild and made to betray Brünhild by first marrying Gudrun and then helping Gunner conquer Brünhild. When Brünhild discovered Sigurd's betrayal, she planned his death, but then, out of desperation, killed herself.

 

Buri

Forefather of the gods. He was licked out of the ice by Audhumla, the original cow. His son Borr married a mature giantess and had sons Odin, Vili and Ve for her.

 

Draupnir

Odin's sparkling magic ring made by the black albums.

 

Einherjar / Einherier

The "heroic dead". The Valkyries picked them up from the battlefields. In Valhalla they formed Odin's private army, which he built up to fight in Ragnarök, the final battle between gods and frost giants on the battlefield of Vigrid. Until then, these dead warriors fought every day and held a feast every night at which wounds inflicted on them during the day healed as if by magic.

 

Embla

Is the mother of the first humans according to Norse mythology. It was created by Odin, Vili and Ve from an elm or alder.

 

Fafnir

Son of the magician Hreidmar. He fell victim to the evil influence of the cursed ring Andvarinaut. Because he wanted the ring, he killed his father. Greed made him a monster inside and out, he finally turned completely into a dragon in order to be able to guard his treasure. Many heroes came for the treasure, but most of them died. Then came Sigurd, armed with his father's sword and assisted by Regin. He outwitted the dragon and got the ominous treasure.

 

Farbauti ("cruel bat")

Was a giant and the father of the fire god Loki. His wife Laufey ("Tree Island"), also a giantess, gave birth to Loki when she was struck by a lightning bolt from Fabauti.

 

Fenrir (Fenris)

Son of Lokis and the mature giantess Angrboda. He was the all-devouring wolf. Odin was destined to be his victim. When the gods kidnapped him and brought him to Asgard, Fenrir was so wild that only the god of war Tyr dared to feed him. After the Norns (the goddesses of fate) warned him of his fate, Odin decided to tame the wolf. However, there was no chain strong enough to hold it up. Finally the dwarves made a magical shackle. Fenrir had this thrown around his neck only on the condition that one of the gods put a hand in his throat. Tyr alone was ready for it. Fenrir bit off his hand when he realized the shackle was holding. Fenrir was now bound, his mouth held open with a sword so that he could not bite. When he was released from captivity at Ragnarok, he was a sight of horror. Odin was devoured by him.

 

Fensal

Frigg's magnificent hall.

 

Fyalar

He and his brother Galar were vicious dwarfs who killed the wise Kwaser to get his magic power. They mixed his blood with honey in a cauldron and got mead, which gave wisdom. But they lost the mead to the frost giant Suttung, whose parents they had also killed. Suttung boasted about his new acquisition, whereupon Odin decided to go to the land of the frost giants - Jötunheim - and take possession of the magic potion. He persuaded the frost giant Baugi to drill a tunnel through the mountain in which Suttung kept the mead under the supervision of his daughter Gunnlod. When the hole was finished, Odin changed his form to that of a snake and crawled quickly to the hidden treasure. When he arrived in the cave, he changed again, this time into the shape of a handsome one-eyed giant, and was Gunnlod's lover for three days and nights. The giantess let him drink the mead, whereupon he transformed into an eagle and flew to Asgard. Suttung pursued him, also in the form of an eagle, but Odin made it by a small margin.

 

Forseti

The Germanic god of justice, son of Balders and Nannas. His hall, Glitnir, had red gold pillars and a roof clad in silver on the inside. In it he held court and settled disputes.

 

Freyja ("lady", also Freya or Frea)

Daughter of the sea god Njord and sister of Freyr. Important goddess of fertility (goddess of love and marriage) and member of the Wanen. After the peace agreement with the Aesir, Njörd, Freyr and Freyja went to Asgard, where they lived as guests of the Aesir. Freyja's greatest treasure was the Brisinger necklace, which she received for sleeping with the four dwarfs who had made the necklace. Because of her beauty she had numerous admirers, including Ottar, whom she turned into a boar. She is said to have been a magician who could fly in the form of a hawk. At the end of each battle, she and Odin shared the heroic dead. Odin's share went to Valhalla, while Freyja's army lived in their Sessrumnir hall.

 

Freyr ("Lord", also Frey)

Twin brother of Freyja. Along with Odin and Thor, he was one of the main gods. Primarily responsible for fertility, he also controlled sunlight, rain and peace. His nickname "Skirr" means "the shining one". Freyr's myth is about his wooing Gerda, daughter of the frost giant Gymir. He saw her and fell in love, but didn't know how to win her, which is why he got sick. Njord was so concerned that he asked Skinir, the faithful servant, to look into the problem. After he found out, Skinir went to Jötunheim, the land of the giants. Freyrs had a magic horse and his magic sword. Skinir should at all costs bring Gerda to Asgard. At first he tried persuasion and offered her 11 apples to the youth, which she refused.Even one of Odin's bracelets produced no different results. She became more and more determined when he threatened to behead her with the magic sword. It was only when she threatened to cast a spell on her that would make her an outsider forever that she promised Freyr and met him nine days later in a forest. His love was finally fulfilled.

 

Frigg (Frogga / Frija / Fricka)

The daughter of the earth and atmosphere goddess Fjorgyn, wife of the god king Odin and mother Balders. Friday was named after her. She was a fertility goddess who refused to predict the future even though she knew it. She lived in her home, Fensal, under linden trees. There she spun and weaved.

 

Fylgia

Guardian spirits in animal form that have accompanied people throughout their lives. They showed themselves to their protégé shortly before death, whereupon they separated from him and floated away.

 

Gefion (Gefinn / Gefijon)

Germanic fertility goddess, similar to Freyja or Frigg. Her name means "to give". Mostly she was imagined as a virgin, she was also the patroness of the virgins after their death. Their myth is about plowing, referring to an old ritual according to which a symbolic piece of land was plowed every spring. Disguised as an old beggar, she managed, with a trick, to take a large piece of land from King Gylfi of Sweden. In return for hospitality, the king offered her as much of his kingdom as she could plow with four oxen in a day and night. With her four giant sons, transformed into oxen, she cut off the entire island of Zealand (part of what is now Denmark) from the mainland.

 

Geirrod

Reifriese and father of two daughters - Gjalp and Greip. He was one of Thor's most dangerous opponents. Once, Loki, Thor's constant companion, was captured by Geirrod in the form of a falcon. Loki's only way to escape death was his promise to bring Thor to Geirrod's hall - without the magic belt and magic hammer that protected the god from the frost giants. Thor trusted Loki and went with him. On the way they stopped at a friendly giantess named Grid, who warned Thor while Loki slept. She lent the god her own power belt, magical gloves, and wand. When Thor and Loki arrived at Geirrod, it wasn't long before his two daughters tried to kill Thor. With the help of the wand, Thor managed to crush the two giantesses. When Geirrod himself appeared, he hurled a red-hot iron ball at Thor, but Thor could catch it with his gloves. Furious, he tossed the bullet back, which pierced an iron ball and then flew deep into Geirrod's stomach. Then the god of thunder struck the servants of the frost giants with his wand.

 

Gerda (Garta)

A beautiful mature giantess, daughter of Gymir and wife of the fertility god Freyr. See also Freyr.

 

Ginnungagap ("yawning void")

It lay between the realms of fire and cold. As the warm air from the south met the cold north, the ice of the Ginnungagap began to melt. From the drops came the frost giant Ymir and the original cow Audhumla. The original cow licked Buri (see also Audhumla and Buri) free, the great-grandfather of the gods. His grandchildren Odin, Vili and Ve killed Ymir and brought his corpse to the center of the Ginnungagap, where they created Midgard, the world of men, from his body. Ymir's flesh became the earth, his bones the mountains, his teeth rocks and stones, his hair trees, and his blood the lakes and seas. The brothers used his skull to shape the sky, the four corner points of which were supported by the dwarfs Nordi, Sudri, Austri and Westri.

 

Gjalp ("howler")

Reifriesin, a daughter of Geirrod, who tried to kill Thor together with her sister Greip (see also Geirrod).

 

Glitnir

Forsetis Hall in Asgard.

 

Gna

Divine messenger, more precisely Freya's messenger. She delivered the messages on her horse Hofwarpnir ("hoof thrower").

 

Grendel

A sea monster that could not be wounded by weapons. Tyrannized the Kingdom of Denmark. Was killed by Beowulf (see also Beowulf).

 

Grid

Friendly tire giantess who helped Thor in his fight against Geirrod. According to some traditions, she is said to have had a son with Odin, the silent god Vidar. She made a special shoe for him that enabled him to stand in the jaws of the Fenris Wolf (see also Geirrod, Vidar).

 

Groa

Seer and wife of Aurvandil. Odin threw its frozen toe into the sky, turning it into a star. Some consider him a fertility god from the wetlands. After Thor's fight with the frost giant Hrungnir, Groa himself tried to remove whetstone fragments from the head of the thunder god. They were created when Hrungnir's triangular stone collided with Thor's hammer. Groa was so excited when Thor told her about the homecoming of her lost husband that she failed to complete the spell and therefore some splinters remained in Thor's head.

 

Gungnir

Odin's magical javelin. It was made by the sons of the dwarf Ivaldi at the same time as a wig made of spun hair that the fire god Loki had commissioned to replace the golden hair of Thor's wife Sif. Loki had taken a joke and cut off her beautiful curls. After making the wig, the dwarves decided to ingratiate themselves with the gods by forging a ship for Freyjr and a spear for Odin in their furnace - a javelin that was as strong as it was slender and never missed its target.

 

Harbard ("gray beard")

A rotten ferryman. When Thor asked him to take him across a deep river, he only received insults when asked. Thor's mad rage was useless as the ferryman simply stayed away from the bank. Thor had escaped in his anger that the ferryman was really his father Odin. The encounter reveals the characters: the devious troublemaker and show-off Odin compared to the hot-headed but honest and decent Thor.

 

Heimdal

Son of nine mothers and scout of the Germanic gods. Originally an omniscient god of the sky, who could hear grass and wool growing and see over a hundred kilometers. He stood on Bifröst, the three-beam bridge that connected Asgard and Midgard (worlds of gods and men - heaven and earth), ready to blow his horn Gjall to Ragnarök if he were to fall last in a duel against Loki. So was his death foretold. He disguised himself as Rig, the mortal who divided the three social groups - the nobles, peasants and slaves. As a rig, the god visited three houses in Midgard, where he became the father of handsome children for the nobility, strong children for the peasants, and ugly children for the slaves.

 

Hel

Daughter of Lokis and the mature giant Angrboda (see also). She was the ruler of the underworld - also called Hel. That was where she had banished Odin. Once there, their power quickly grew larger than the Odin's. When Balder died, she refused to surrender him. Her brothers - the wolf Fenrir and the snake Jörmundgand - were just as terrible as they were. She herself was partly rotten, her face and upper body corresponded to that of a living woman, her thighs and legs those of a corpse. Hel's throne was known as the sickbed, and her subjects were those who died of sickness and old age.

 

Hermod (Hermodr)

Son of Odin and Frigg, brother of Balders. He was a divine messenger. After Balder's death he was sent to Hel to ask for the publication (see also Balder).

 

Himinrjot (Himinbrioter, "Heavenly Roar")

Was the leader of the huge black ox of Hymir. With Himinrjot Thor fished for the sea serpent Jörmungand. Despite the enormous size of the animal, Thor had no problem breaking its neck, after which he used the head as bait.

 

Hnoss

Daughter of Odin and Freya. Everything that was beautiful and noble was named after her.

 

Hödr (Hödur / Höd)

Son of Odin and Frigg. Was the blind god of Germanic mythology. After he had killed his brother Balder, led by Loki, and it became clear that he had to stay with Hel, he was sent there as well as a punishment. After Ragnarök, Balder and Hödr were supposed to return from the world of the dead, reconciled (see also Balder).

 

Hogni

He and his brother Gunner befriended the hero Sigurd, who owned an ominous treasure - the ring Andvarinaut. Under the influence of this gem, he had betrayed the Valkyrie Brünhild. She asked the brothers for help, and bewitched by the curse, they prepared Sigurd's death. When the brothers inherited the property, however, they were damned again and fell victim to the Atli, who wanted the gold (see also Brünhild).

 

Honir (Hönir)

A member of the Aesir family and brother of Odin. In addition to his inability to make decisions, his long legs were a second characteristic. After the peace agreement he was sent to the Wanen, for whom he was a great disappointment, since he always relied on the wise Mimir, another Assir, for decisions of any kind. Because of this, the Vans killed Mimir and sent his head back to the sir. Some versions of the Germanic creation story showed Honir as the god who gave people their senses.

 

Hreidmar (Reidmar)

A magical farmer and father of Reginn, Fafnir and Otter. When Otter - a shapeshifter - was killed by Loki, Hreidmar asked for compensation. Loki was supposed to bring as much gold as it would take to cover otter's peeled skin inside and out. Loki brought the treasure of the dwarf Andwari to himself, but this put a curse on it. Hreidmar was so taken with the gold that he didn't care about the curse. But Fafnir wanted the treasure too and killed his father. Fafnir transformed into a dragon to guard his treasure, whereupon Reginn asked Sigurd to kill him. Reginn was also killed (see also Fafnir).

 

Hrungnir

Strongest of the hoop giants and owner of a magnificent stallion - Gullfaxi (golden mane). He challenged Odin, when he was once again traveling through the nine worlds, to a horse race. Odin on his Sleipnir narrowly won against Hrungnir on his Gullfaxi. During the race they had come to Asgard, where Hrungnir was invited to rest before he returned to Jötunheim. Hrungnir drank too much stout beer, which made him cocky. Thor returned and raised his magical hammer at the rebellious man, who realized that he could easily be killed without his own weapons. Therefore, he challenged Thor to a duel on the border between Asgard and Jötunheim. Thor readily consented, although the giant's head, heart, and shield were made of stone. The frost giants were proud and worried about the duel, because they were afraid that something might happen to the most powerful of them. For this reason they formed a huge man out of clay, who should shake Thor just by his appearance. He was brought to life with the heart of a dead mare, called a Nebelwade. Next to this giant stood Hrungnir and awaited Thor. The frost giant knew that he had to avoid Thor's hammer, he had his sharp whetstones ready. As soon as Thor was within range, he hurled his magical hammer, Hrungnir reacted with lightning speed and threw his sharp triangular stone. The weapons met in midair, and although the hammer smashed the whetstone as it did Hrungnir's skull, some splinters struck the god's head (see also Groa).

 

Hugi ("thought")

A young frost giant who defeated Thor's human servant Thjalfi in a race.

 

Huginn ("Thought") & Muninn ("Memory)

Were the ravens of the Germanic head of gods Odin. Odin sent the ravens daily to tell him about the nine worlds.

 

Hymir ("the dark one")

A frost giant and father of the god of war Tyr. Hymir had a huge cauldron so deep that you could use it to brew gods for all gods. Without this cauldron there was no way for the sea god Aegir to be hospitable to the other gods, which is why Thor and Tyr were also sent to borrow it. After a meal and a fishing trip, Thor disappeared with the cauldron. When Hymir and a couple of giants followed him and tried to get the cauldron back, Thor threw his hammer and everyone was killed.

 

Idun, Idunnor or Iduna

The goddess who kept the apples of youth. She was the wife of Bragi, the god of poetry.

 

Jörmungand

Snake son of the fire god Loki, brother of Fenrir and Hel (see also Angrboda). Odin had these monster children kidnapped and brought to Asgard. Jörmungand was to come to earth at Ragnarok and be slain by Thor.

 

Jotunheim

The land that the frost giants received from Odin and his brothers during creation. With its headquarters in Utgard, this was one of the nine worlds that was shielded by the cosmic tree Yggdrasil. The others were Asgard - residence of the Asen -, Wanaheim - residence of the Wanen-, Alfheim- the land of the light elves-, Nidavellir- the land of the dwarfs, Midgard - the home of the people-, Svartalfheim - the land of the dark fairies, Hel - the realm of the unworthy of the dead, and Nilfheim - the cold land under Yggdrasil's roots.

 

Kwasir (Kwaser)

Omniscient creature, which arose from the mixed saliva of the Aesir and Wanen. It was killed by the dwarves Fjalar (see also) and Galar. They made mead from his blood.

 

Lif and Lifthrasir

"Life and those who strive for life". Were the woman and the man who were supposed to hide in the cosmic world tree Yggdrasil for the Ragnarök, because they were destined to survive the catastrophe and then to populate a new earth. This earth should rise from the sea like a volcanic island.

 

Loddafnir

In Germanic mythology, a person who learned the wisdom of the gods. He went to the Urd well, where the gods held daily meetings, and lived in Valhalla. His myth tells of the knowledge he acquired there - a mixture of everyday advice and superstitions, such as methods to protect against witchcraft.

 

Loki (now and then also Lopt)

The Germanic god of fire and son of the giants Farbauti and Laufey. He was the troublemaker, impostor, and shape-changer personified. As he became more and more evil, the gods finally tied him up in a cave - until the dawn of Ragnarök. Loki was married twice, on the one hand to the giantess Angrboda (see also), then to Sigyn, with whom he had two sons - Wali and Narvi. When the Ragnarök dawned, Loki led the army of evil into the final battle against the gods. He himself was to find death through Heimdall.

 

Magni ("the mighty")

Son of the god of thunder Thor and the giantess Jarnsaxa, brother of Modi. After the Ragnarök, Magni and Modi would jointly inherit Thor's mighty hammer Mjöllnir.

 

Mimir

A wise god who was sent to the Van after the peace treaty to seal the peace. Feeling betrayed, the Vanes cut off his head and sent him to the sir. Odin smeared herbs on the head so it should never rot. Then he cast a spell to restore his language to him.

 

Mjöllnir

Thor's magic hammer. Was made by the dwarves Brokk and Eitri. It served destruction, fertility and resuscitation. In the hands of the god of thunder, it represented protection against enemies - frost giants - for the gods.

 

Nerthus

Germanic goddess. According to Tacitus, an important mother of gods who owned a sacred grove on a Frisian island.

 

Nidhögg (Niddhöggr - Neiddrache)

Nidhögg was the dragon that lived at one of the three roots of Yggdasil, in Nilfheim. There he tore up corpses and ate them. Between the bites he then sent the squirrel Ratatoskr to the world tree to cause disputes. Ratatoskr disturbed and insulted two birds, an eagle and a hawk. Nidhögg himself gnawed at Yggdrasil's roots every now and then when he had the dead flesh in the hope of harming the cosmos. It was both fate to survive the Ragnarok.

 

North

The Germanic god of the sea, member of the Wanen and father of the fertility deities Freyr and Freyja. After the peace agreement, the three lived with the sir. In his second marriage, Njörd married Skadi, who chose him because of his beautiful feet. However, the two could not agree on where to live. Njörd found Jötunheim cold and desolate, Skadi disliked the noise and unrest that reigned in Njörds Halle Noatun in Asgard, because ships were built there. After spending nine nights in each of the two locations, they decided to live separately. Skadi pursued her favorite pastimes - hunting on skis - while Njörd went back to life in the sea.

 

Norns (Nornier)

The Germanic goddesses of fate. The most original Norn was Urd (fate). The daily meetings of the gods took place at their well, under a root of Yggdrasil. The other two Norns are Verdandi (present) and Skuld (future). The Norns are said to have determined the fate of gods, giants, dwarves and humans.

 

Odin (Wodan)

The supreme god of Germanic mythology, son of Bor, grandson of Buri. He was particularly venerated by the Vikings and gained great importance in the 8th and 9th centuries. During this time, Odin apparently ousted Tyr. Odin appeared as the idol of the tough warrior. Only he had the power to enrage men so that fear and pain were forgotten and they could throw themselves into battle naked. But he was not only the god of war and heroic death, he was also the god of magic and wisdom. He was like a father to the other gods. He was often depicted as a one-eyed, gray-bearded old man. He had thrown one eye in Mimir's well to be able to drink from his enormous wisdom. But he also gained wisdom by hanging himself on the world tree Yggdrasil for nine days. This voluntary death and its subsequent magical resurrection gave Odin greater wisdom than anyone else. In addition to his wife Frigg in Asgard, Odin had many other wives and fathered numerous children, including his sons Thor, Balder, Hödur and Wali.

 

Ottar

The human lover of the Germanic fertility goddess Freyja. Said to have been a distant descendant of the hero Sigurd (Siegfried). Freyja turned him into a boar so that he could be with him in Asgard, and even rode him. Maybe he was the leader of a warband.

 

Ragnarok

The Germanic twilight of the gods.

 

Ratatoskr (Ratatöskr)

A squirrel and messenger from Nidhögg (see also).

 

Beef

King Billing's daughter and Odin's lover, whom he ambushed in frequently changing disguise. Had son Wali with Odin, who was supposed to avenge Balder's death.

 

saga

Probably a figure of Freya (see also). As a saga, she lived in Sökkwabekk ("Sinkebach"). Here she gave Odin a daily drink in a golden bowl.

 

Sif

Mrs. Thors. Her son Uu, from her first marriage, was the god of archery and skiing.

 

Signy

Wolsung's daughter. She was married to Siggeir, King of the Goths, against her will. When she tried to warn her father and ten brothers about Siggeir's secret plans, she was ambushed in the forest and tied to a felled tree. Every night a wolf ate one of her brothers, only the youngest, Sigmund, survived. Signy's slave rubbed honey on Sigmund's face so that the wolf would only lick it, not bite it. So Sigmund could hold his tongue with his teeth and overwhelm the wolf. Signy helped Sigmund in his revenge. She even slept with him in disguise and had a son with him, Sinfiotli. She later placed him in Sigmund's care, but the two were captured by Siggeir. A magic sword freed them and killed Siggeir and his sons. Signy committed suicide in the burning palace of the Goths, but first revealed to Sigmund who Sinfiotli's father was.

 

Sigurd (Siegfried)

Nordic hero, similar to the Celtic King Arthur. He was Regin's foster son and blacksmith at the court of King Hjalpreks in Jutland. He sent him out to fetch a pot of gold. Regin's father Hreidmar had brought this treasure from the dwarf Andvari. Regin and his brother Fafnir had killed Hreimdar to steal the treasure. Fafnir claimed the gem and became a dragon. Sigurd managed to kill the monster. He gained wealth and wisdom. When he realized that Regin wanted to kill him for the gold, he got ahead of him.

 

Sigyn (Sigunn / Sigryn)

The faithful wife of Lokis and mother of his sons Narwi and Wali. In spite of all his misdeeds, she stood by Loki and did everything to alleviate his agony in the cave in which he had been chained by the gods.

 

Sindri ("blacksmith")

A skilled dwarf.

 

Skadi (Skade, "destruction")

In North Germanic mythology the wife of the sea god Njörd (see also) and daughter of the giant Thiazi. When the sir killed her father for stealing the apples of the youth, she went to Asgard armed to ask for satisfaction. When her gold was offered, she refused. She asked for a husband and a sack of laughter for blood money. The gods agreed, on condition that Skadi choose her husband according to his feet. She believed that the prettiest feet belonged to Balder, but then discovered that she had chosen Njord.

 

Skirnir ("shine, shine")

Freyr's servant. When he fell madly in love with the giantess Gerda and wanted to marry her, he promised Skirnir his horse and his magic sword. He sent his servant to Jotunheim, where he advertised him. See also Freyr and Gerda.

 

Skoll

According to Germanic mythology, a wolf that followed the sun in its course in the sky. At Ragnarok it was supposed to catch and devour the sun. Shortly before that, the sun was to give birth to a beautiful daughter who looked like her. This "daughter sun" was supposed to illuminate the new world rising from the sea after the catastrophe. Hati, another wolf, chased the moon. Both should be sons of a giantess living in the iron forest.

 

Sleipnir ("the sliding one")

Eight-legged horse of Odin. Was a descendant of the incredibly strong stallion Svaldifari and the shape changer Loki, who had shown himself to the stallion in the form of a mare. Sleipnir could gallop over water and through the air; he was fast enough to take off any other horse. In the Ragnarok, Odin rode him.

 

Suri ("black")

A fire giant with a flaming sword that was supposed to set the world on fire in Ragnarök. The nine worlds thus became worlds of flames in which gods, ice giants, the dead, the living, monsters, dwarves, elves and animals were supposed to burn to ashes. The earth should then sink into the sea and later rise again from the depths.

 

Tanngniosir (teeth crackling) and Tanngrisnir (teeth grinding)

The two billy goats that pulled Thor's chariot, the rumble of which could be heard as thunder on the earth. The two were a constant supply of meat, but only if you left the bones whole during preparation. Thor then stroked the skin and bones with his magic hammer, whereupon the animals were resurrected.

 

Thialfi

He and his sister Roskava were peasant children and servants of Thor. Once when Thor and Loki came through Midgard, they stopped in a farmhouse, where there were Thor's goats for dinner. He had pointed out the bones to her, but since Thialfi had not been full for a long time, he broke a thigh bone and sucked out the marrow. When Thor woke the goats with his hammer the next morning, he noticed a lame man. He was so angry about it that he threatened to destroy the courtyard. He was not appeased until he was offered the services of Thialfas and Roskavas.

 

Thor (Donar)

Germanic god of thunder, son of Odin and Fjorgyn (the earth goddess). Thursday was named after him. He was huge and strong as a bear, loved the competition and the competition. His magic weapons were a hammer, a clap of thunder, iron gauntlets, and a belt that made him even stronger. He was the most powerful Germanic god, reliable protector of the other gods from the giants. In Ragnarok he was supposed to die from the poison of the sea serpent Jörmungand, but only after he had killed the monster.

 

Thrud ("force")

Daughter of Thor and his wife Sif. Was promised to the dwarf Alwis as an achievement for his works. Thor averted their fate by engaging Alwis in conversation. At dawn the dwarf was turned to stone by the sun.

 

Thrudheim (Thrudwang)

Realm of the god of thunder Thor and part of Asgard. Realm of strength and power.

 

Tyr (Ziu / Tir / Tiv / Tiwas / T [e] iwaz)

Germanic god, son of Odin and Frigg. The Anglo-Saxons called him Tiw, hence Tuesday. He was very close to Odin and, like him, received the hanged man as a human sacrifice. He was probably originally a sky god, later these powers were attributed to Odin and Thor. Tyr chained the Fenris Wolf and lost a hand in the process. He was supposed to fight in the Ragnarök, the hellhound Garm, who watched at the entrance to the Hel, was supposed to jump at his throat, both were supposed to perish.

 

Ullr

The happy winter god, a gifted archer.

 

Urd (Wyrd, "fate, past")

One of the three Norns (Germanic goddesses of fate). The well under a root of Yggdrasil was named after her. Even the Germanic gods were not outside the course of fate. Urd prophesied his death to Odin by the Fenris Wolf.

 

Utgard ("remote place")

The giant castle Jötunheim.

 

Vigrid

The levels on which the final battle between gods and giants was to take place. They were about 700 km long and wide, but should still be completely filled by the war bands.

 

Valhalla (Walholl)

The site of the Einherjar, the warriors who fell gloriously on the battlefield. Odin had built the Valhalla in Asgard with five hundred doors, each door so wide that eight hundred men could walk through it in a row, so that they could quickly move out at Ragnarok to fall again, but this time by the side of the gods. Before being admitted to Valhalla, one had to go through the Walgrind door ("the holy gate of the fallen"). On the way there, some difficulties had to be overcome, such as the raging air stream. Upon arrival, the wounds were miraculously healed, and feasts and fighting could be enjoyed forever. There was endless meat as the boar that was served to eat could be awakened over and over again. Mead flowed from the teats of a goat.

 

Wali

Odin's son with beef. He was supposed to kill the blind Hödr for his accidental murder (Loki had drawn his hand) on Balder. According to the prophecy, he would become a man in just one day and immediately kill Hödr. He and his half-brother Widar survived Ragnarok.

One of Loki's unfortunate sons was also named Wali.

 

Valkyries

Originally they were dark war spirits, black angels of death who hovered over the battlefields and communicated their fate to the fighters in the name of Odin. Selected heroes were brought to Valhalla by them. In later Norse myths, the Valkyries were romantically transfigured as Odin's shield-daughters-virgins. Now they were described with golden hair and snow-white skin, beauties who in Valhalla offered the heroes an infinite amount of mead and meat. On the battlefield they showed themselves as lovely swan daughters or mounted Amazons above the fray. But they were now also much more vulnerable than their grim predecessors and fell in love with mortal heroes much more often. Especially as swan daughters they were in great danger, because without their plumage they could easily be caught on the ground.

 

Widar

Silent and lonely god, son of Odin and the ice giant Grid. He lived in a peaceful place called Widi. In Ragnarok he was supposed to kill the Fenriswolf after it had devoured his father. He was supposed to kick the wolf's lower jaw with his iron shoe and pry its upper jaw away with both hands until the greedy wolf's throat tore apart.

 

Wieland (Scandinavian Wolund, Old English Wayland)

A Germanic blacksmith god, son of a seafarer and a mermaid. He was famous for his craftsmanship in creating weapons and chain mail.

 

Wingolf

Palace of the Aesi Goddesses.

 

Yggdrasil ("Fearsome Mountain")

The world ash. Yggdrasil is said to have been the largest and most beautiful tree of all time. Its branches overshadowed the nine worlds and grew across the sky. He had three big roots, one of which grew down to Jötunheim (the land of the giants), the second to the misty Nilfheim and the third was near Asgard at the Urd fountain.

 

Copyright © 2000-2003 by KerstinAmmermann

 

 

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