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RU Joe 02-12-2010 11:23 AM

The Norse Gods
Here is a partial list of the Norse Gods most commonly referred to in legends, but certainly not all of them.
I am posting this list to assist in the understanding of the relationships of the Gods to one another in order to help you understand Norse mythology and why I think it's so cool!

Speaking of the Gods, trying to understand them is a bit confusing at first due to their strange shape - shifting habits and also their abilities to give birth asexually and to have inter - species relationships which makes it hard to follow the legends.

Therefore I will try to find as many 'behind the scenes' stories about them which will help to fill in the gaps, hopefully.
Speaking of, there is one small story which should be told before I post this list due to the fact it caused me great confusion, and maybe I can prevent all of you from being confused by it too:

The eight - legged horse.

In Norse mythology , Sleipner is Oden's magical eight-legged steed, and the first of all horses.
His name means smooth or gliding, hence the English word, slippery.

Loki, in the guise of a mare, gave birth to Sleipner by Svadilfari.
Loki returned to Asgaard and gave the eight-legged gray colt to Odin, telling him that the horse was the swiftest on earth, and could bear Odin over sea, through the air, and to and from the land of the dead.

It has been suggested that Sleipner having eight legs is symbolic of the four men who carry a coffin, i.e. a steed to carry the rider into the underworld.

It might also be a reference to a real horse with three toes, a genetic manifestation that occasionally happens on the front or rear legs of a horse, usually without harm to the animal.
Though rare, it has been seen, (Julius Caesar rode just such a horse in a number of battles) and this might have worked its way into the myth.

Ásbyrgi (literally, the fort of the Aesir), a place in the NE-of Iceland is believed to have been created when Sleipnir's hoof touched down.
A stainless steel statue of Sleipner is a prominent feature in the UK Midlands town of Wednesbury (which means Odin's fort).

Here are most of the Norse Gods with a brief description:


Oden was the chief god in the Norse mythology, and the father of Thor, Balder, Hoder, Tyr, Bragi, Heimdall, Ull, Vidar, Hermod and Vali.
His wives were Fjorgyn, Frigga and Rind.
He had a bad habit to roam around Midgard in human disguise seducing and impregnating women.
This is why many mortals were able to trace their ancestry back to him.


Thor was the son of Oden and Fjorgyn.
He was the god of thunder, the sky, fertility and the law.
Armed with his strength - giving items, a belt and the hammer Mjölnir, he had a simple way of righting wrongs: he more or less killed everything that moved.
The other gods -mostly Loki- occasionally took advantage of Thor's simplicity.


Loki can be called the 'wizard of lies' and is in many ways the most interesting god in Asgaard.
Loki was related to Oden, but their relationship was rather strange.
He came to Asgaard either as of right or because Oden and he entered into a blood - brotherhood.


Frey was a fertility god of the the Vanir race.
He was the son of Njord and came to Asgard as a hostage along with his father and sister Freya.


Freya was the goddess of sex and later also war and death.
She married the god Od, who deserted her.
After being abandoned she divided her time between mourning his absence and being promiscuous.


The goddess of spring and immortal youth was called Idun.
She was the daughter of the dwarf Ivald and married to the god Bragi.


Sif was the goddess who married Thor and bore his stepson (by Odin), Ull.
The vikings (and their Gods) admired golden hair, and she was exceptionally proud of hers, so Loki cut it all off while she was asleep.


Hel was a goddess (or a monster), a daughter of Loki and Angrboda, who ruled over Niflheim, which was the land of the dead.
There were different opinions of whether she was alive or dead.
Ull, in his role as god of winter, was supposed to spend a few months each year as Hel's lover.
Hel and her ghostly army were going to support the other gods at Ragnarok, after which her domain would go out in flames.

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