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TooB Norse Pantheon

Page history last edited by Michael 4 years, 1 month ago

back to the 1018 Juncture

 

 

The Principal Aesir


These are the principal gods; their home is Asgard. The females are generically known as Asynjr.

  • Freya - the goddess of love, war, and wealth. Originally one of the Vanir, she was the daughter of Njord, and the sister of Frey. She lived in Folkvang and each day chose half of the slain warriors to split with Odin. Her cart is drawn by the boar Gullinbursti.

  • Frigga - the goddess of marriage. She is the wife of Odin, and mother of Thor, Hermod, Balder, and Hoder. She lives at Fensalir, and weaves the clouds.

  • Hela - the Norse goddess of the underworld. She was a daughter of Loki and the giant Angurboda, and the sister of Fenrir and Jormungand.

  • Loki - the cause of dissension among the gods, and the slayer of Balder. He became a member of the Aesir when Odin made him his blood brother. His father is Farbaut; his wife is Signyn, and his children (by Angerbode) are the Midgard serpent Jormungander, which girdles the Earth; the wolf Fenrir; and Hela, goddess of death.

  • Norns - the three goddesses of fate : the goddess of the past (Urd), the goddess of the present (Verdandi), and the goddess of the future (Skuld).

  • Odin - the chief god. A sky god, he lives in Asgard, and from the Valkyries receives the souls of half of the heroic slain warriors, feasting with them in his great hall, Valhalla; the rest are sent to feast with Freya. His brothers are Vili and Ve, his wife is Frigga; his daughter is Saga, and his sons are Thor, Hermod, Balder (killed by Hoder), Hoder (killed by Vali), Vidar (whose mother is the giantess Grid), and Vali (whose mother is the giantess Rind).

  • Thor - the son of Odin, husband to Sif, father of Thrud, Ulle, Magni and Modi, he was the god of thunder and the main enemy of the giants, smashing their heads with his mighty hammer Mjollnir -- which to wield he needed iron gloves and a belt of strength. Mjollnir would return to Thor's hand after being thrown and was symbolic of lightning. Thor rode around Midgard in his wagon which was drawn by two goats. He lived at Thruthheim in his hall, Bilskinir. He was foremost of the gods to the common man, who would call on him to ensure fertility, and widely worshiped. Hammer shaped amulets, a symbol of Thor because it was his weapon, were worn about the neck well into the christianization of Scandinavia.

  • Tyr - the god of war and athletic sports. Tyr had one hand bitten off by the wolf Fenris, after he put it in the wolf's mouth as a pledge of security when the wolf allowed himself to be bound in a net until the judgement day.


Lesser Aesir

 

  • Aegir - the god of the sea, seashore and ocean and a son of Mistarblindi. He was a personification of the ocean, both good and bad. He caused storms with his anger and the skalds said a ship went into "Aegir's wide jaws" when it wrecked. Aegir was crowned with seaweed and always surrounded by nixies and mermaids while in his hall. Aegir's giantess wife was Ran and they lived under the sea by the island Hlesey. Ran and Aegir had nine daughters who were the waves. Aegir brewed ale for the gods after Thor brought him a big enough kettle. Every winter the gods would drink beer at Aegir's home. He was, therefore, famed for his hospitality. Gold was put onto the floor of the hall to provide light, instead of having a fire. Gold is therefore called Aegir's fire. The cups in Aegir's hall were always full, magically refilling themselves. Aegir had two servants in his hall, Fimafeng and Eldir. Sailors feared Aegir, and thought he would sometimes surface to destroy ships.

  • Balder - the son of Odin and Freya, husband of Nanna, fatther of Brono and Forseti, and the best, wisest, and most loved of all the gods. He was killed, at Loki's instigation, by a twig of mistletoe shot by the blind god Hodur.

  • Bertha - is the goddess of spinning.

  • Bestla -- the wife of Bor, and mother to Odin, Vili, and Ve.

  • Bor - a son of Buri and married to Bestla, and father of Odin, Vili, and Ve.

  • Bragi - the god of poetry and eloquence. He was married to the goddess Iduna who dwelt in the underworld.

  • Brono - the son of Balder. He was the god of daylight.

  • Buri - the first god formed by Audhumbla licking ice. He was the father of Bor.

  • Bylgja - a daughter of Aegir and Ran.

  • Edda - the goddess of myth and oral history and the inspiration of poets. From her came those who work the land.

  • Eir - the goddess of healing, and considered the best doctor. She taught her art to women who were the only physicians in ancient Scandinavia.

  • Forseti - the god of justice. He is the son of Balder and Nanna and lives at Glitnir.

  • Freyr -The god of rain, sunshine and fruits.

  • Fulla - the attendant to Frigga taking care of the goddess's shoes. She also, sometimes, functions as Frigga's messenger.

  • Gefjon - a prophetic virgin goddess and a member of the Aesir and Vanir. All women who die virgins go to her hall. She was also a fertility goddess. In one myth, Gylfi, king of Sweden, tells Gefjon, who was disguised as a beggar, that she could have as much of Sweden as she could plow with four oxen in one day. She traveled to Jotunheim and found her four oxen sons whom she had by a giant. She returned to Sweden in Midgard with her sons and plowed all of the land now known as Zealand so it became part of Denmark, thereby tricking Gylfi.

  • Gna - was a handmaiden of Frigga who sent her on errands.

  • Heimdall - the watchman of the bridge, Bifrost, which led to the underworld. He watches for the coming of the frost giants at Ragnarok, at which time he will sound his horn Gjallar. His mother was a giantess, Alta. His horse is Gulltopr.

  • Hermod - son of Odin and Frigga, and the messenger of the gods. He rode to Hela's realm after the death of Balder to try and convince her to let Balder come back from the dead.

  • Hlin - a form of the goddess Frigg charged with protecting those men who Frigg wants kept safe.

  • Hodur - was a son of Odin. The blind god of winter, who is tricked by Loki into killing Balder. Vali avenged Balder's death by killing Hodur.

  • Hoenir - after the war between the Aesir and the Vanir, Hoenir was sent as a hostage to the Vanir and gave sense to the first humans.

  • Huldra - a form of the goddess Frigg, who was attended by wood nymphs.

  • Iduna - the wife of Bragi. She lived in the underworld, and kept a box of golden apples which the gods ate to keep themselves young.

  • Jord - the earth goddess and the mother of Thor and Frigg.

  • Kolga - a daughter of Aegir and Ran.

  • Lodur - gave appearance and speech to the first humans.

  • Lofn - the goddess concerned with sparking passionate love. She had permission from Odin and Frigga to do so even for those who were forbidden to marry.

  • Magni - a son of Thor, he will survive the Ragnarok.

  • Mimir - the god of wisdom and knowledge. He dwelt by the ash-tree Yggdrasil, next to the well of wisdom (sometimes called the Well of Mimir).

  • Modi - a son of Thor, he will survive the Ragnarok.

  • Nanna - the moon goddess. She is the wife of Balder and mother of Forseti. She died of heartache after Balder's death and was burned with him on his funeral boat.

  • Njord - the sea god of fruitfulness who lives in Noa-tun. She has two daughters, Frey and Freya.

  • Saga - the daughter of Odin. She was the goddess of poetry.

  • Sif - the goddess of crops and fertility, married to Thor.

  • Sigyn - wife of Loki.

  • Sjofn - the goddess concerned with causing men and women to think of love. It was her duty to stop fights between married couples.

  • Snotra - a wise and gentle goddess who knew the value of self-discipline.

  • Syn - a goddess invoked by defendents at a trial. She was an attendant of Frigga, guarding the door of Frigga's palace.

  • Thrud - a daughter of Thor. The dwarf Alvis wanted to marry her but Thor tricked him into being above ground when the sun came up thus turning him into stone.

  • Ulle - the god of the chase, archery and hunting. His weapon was a longbow made out of Yew and he lived in Ydal. He was called upon for help in duels. He was the son of Thor and Sif.

  • Vali - the youngest of Odin's sons, and twin brother to Vidar (despite having different mothers). His mother was the giantess Rind and he was born for the express purpose of avenging Balder's death - since the gods could not kill one of their own. When he was only one night old, he killed Hodur. He will be one of the seven Aesir to survive Ragnarok.

  • Var - the goddess who punishes those who do not keep their marriage vows.

  • Ve - a son of Bor and Bestla, and brother to Odin and Vili. Together with his brothers he slew the giant Ymir and created the world out of its carcass. He gave the first humans feeling, appearance, and speech.

  • Vidar - a son of Odin and Grid, twin brother to Vali despite having a different mother. He dwelled in Vidi and was one of the strongest of the gods and was considered a god of vengance. It is said that in the Ragnarok he would avenge his father by killing Fenrir. He is one of the Aesir who will survive Ragnarok.

  • Vili - a son of Bor and Bestla and a brother of Odin and Ve. Together with his brothers, he killed the giant Ymir, created the cosmos out of Ymir's carcass and made the first man and woman. He gave the humans thought and motion.

  • Vithar - the god second in strength to Thor, and who will kill the wolf Fenrir by wrenching the wolf's jaws asunder.

  • Vor - the goddess of marriage and contracts from whom nothing could be hidden because she was so wise.


Giants

 

  • Alta - the giant mother of Heimdall.

  • Angrbotha - the prophetic death goddess, a worker of calamity. The iron wood hag and Ogress of Jotunheim.

  • Blast -- The walls surrounding Asgard were built by Blast (or Hrimthurs), who asked in payment the hand of Freya plus the sun and the moon. Odin agreed providing the walls be complete in six months. Hrimthurs had a magic horse, named Svadilfari, who helped him in his work. To Odin's (and the other gods, especially Freya's) horror, with but a few days left, Blast was almost finished. Loki , the trickster, turned himself into a mare and beguiled the stallion Svadilfari away. The job was not completed in time and no payment was given.

  • Farbaut, Farbanti - a giant who ferries the dead over the waters to the underworld. He is the father of Loki.

  • Gerd - the giant goddess of light. She is the most beautiful of all creatures.

  • Grid -- the giant mother of Vidar, with Odin.

  • Gunlad - the giant mother of poetry.

  • Hresvelgr - a giant who lives in the extreme north and the motion of whose wings causes wind and tempest.

  • Ran - the giant wife of Aegir. It is she who uses a net to draw the sailors of sinking ships to their doom.

  • Rind - the giant mother of Vali, with Odin.

  • Skadi - a mountain giantess. A goddess on skis. The snow-shoe goddess of winter and hunting.

  • Surtr - a giant who lived in the extreme south, and whose flaming sword guarded the bounds of Muspelheim.

  • Thiassi - the giant who slew Thor and cast his eyes up into heaven where they shone thereafter as stars.

  • Ymir - In the beginning there was just Ymir and Ginnunggap. Ymir was slain by Odin, Vili and Ve and out of his blood they made the sea, out of his flesh the earth and out of his bones the rocks and out of his skull the cavity of heaven.


Other Beings

 

  • Audhumbla - a cow formed from vapor, whose milk fed the giant Ymir. She fed on the salt in the ice and as she licked it a living being emerged, from which sprang Odin’s grandfather, Buri.

  • Fenrir - the monstrous wolf son of the god Loki. Fenrir will swallow the god Odin at Ragnarok but will be killed by Odin's son, Vidar. Bound with the chain Gleipnir.

  • Freki - one of Odin’s pair of wolves. The name means ‘greedy.’

  • Garm - a hound which stands in front of Helheim and snarls with jaws dripping blood at the pilgrims from the upper world.

  • Geri - one of Odin’s pair of wolves. The name means ‘ravenous.’

  • Gold-comb - the cock who shall crow when Ragnarok comes.

  • Gullinbursti - a boar with golden bristles who draws Freya’s cart.

  • Gulltopr - the horse of Heimdall.

  • Gullveig - the thrice-born and thrice-burnt virgin. The Aesir's attempt to kill her brought about the first war in the world (the Vanir against the Aesir) which the Vanir won.

  • Hugin - a raven of thought which sat upon Odin's shoulder and brought him news everyday of what was occuring in the world.

  • Jormungandr - the great dragon which lives in the Ocean-stream which runs around Midgard.

  • Munin - a raven of memory which sat on Odin's shoulder and along with Hunin brought Odin news each day of what was occuring in the world.

  • Nidhogg - a dragon which devours the corpses of evil doers. He lives in Hwergelmir, in Helheim.

  • Ogres - creatures who make the storms and who with their iron clubs strike the earth and send it flying into the air.

  • Sleipnir - the swift eight-legged horse ridden by Odin.

  • Troll - a race of of goblins.

  • Valkyries - an army of women, formed by Odin, charged with the responsibility of collecting all the valiant warriors fallen in battle in Midgard to bring them to Asgard. They wear shining mailcoats and helms, carry the finest weapons and ride spirited flying horses.

  • Vanir - a race of deities related to the Aesir.


Place and things


The ‘Nine Worlds’ are Asgard (the Aesir), Vanaheim (the Vanir), Jotunheim (the Frost and other Giants), Helheim (Hela’s hall), Niflheim (the underworld), Alfheim (elves), Svartalfheim (the dark elves), Midgard (the world of men), and Muspelheim (land of the Fire Giants).

  • Alfheim -- one of the Nine worlds, home of the elves.

  • Asgard - the home of the gods.

  • Fensalir - the home of Frigga, Odin’s wife, in Asgard.

  • Ginnunggap - the Yawning Void.

  • Gladsheim - the mansion in Asgard where the gods lived.

  • Gleipnir - the chain which binds Fenrir. It is made from the footfalls of cats, the beards of women, the roots of stones and the breath of fish.

  • Gungnir - Odin's spear, obtained from the Dwarves by Loki for Odin. It never misses its mark when thrown.

  • Gyoll - the river which surrounds the underworld, Helheim.

  • Hvergelmir - the spring at the roots of Yggdrasil. It is the source of the river Gyoll which surrounds Helheim.

  • Jotunheim - the abode of the giants. It is on the edge of the ocean far to the north east.

  • Nastrand - the worst region of hell. Its roofs and doors were wattled with hissing snakes, ejecting poison and it was through this that murderers and perjurers were forced to wade as punishment.

  • Niflheim - situated on the lowest level of the universe, a land shrouded in icy fogs and mists, a world of ice and darkness centered on an icy spring which existed before creation. As its waters met the fire of the other primeval world Muspell they formed the giant Ymir and started creation. Currently, murderers, oath breakers and philanderers will be your company here while you spend eternity trapped in its darkness and cold. The only refuge you will find is in Helheim which is ruled over by Hela, the monstrous daughter of the trickster god Loki and his mistress Angrboda. This cold, dark and misty abode is surrounded by the impassible river Gyoll, that flows from the spring Hvergelmir beneath the tree Yggdrasil. Its only entrances guarded by Garm, a monstrous hound, and the giant Hraesvelg who in the form of an eagle with flapping wings causes the winds to blow.

  • Ragnarok - the ultimate battle between good and evil from which a new order will come.

  • Seidr - a form of Norse magic ascribed to Odin and Gullveig. It was mainly used for harmful purposes.

  • Utgard - or Utgard; the home of giants and monsters, ruled by Loki.

  • Valhalla - the hall in Asgard where the half the souls of dead warriors slain in battle go to.

  • Vanaheim -- one of the nine worlds, home of the Vanir.

  • Vingulf - the mansion in Asgard where the godesses lived.

  • Yggdrasil - the oldest of all trees. It stands in the centre of the world and divides the planes. Among its roots in Asgard is the well of wisdom, beside which sits Mimir. Among its roots in Helheim is the spring Hvergelmir.

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