There are Viking legends that, believe it or not, you probably know, since they have inspired countless films (as Beowulf , in turn based on one of the first texts written in a primitive version of English) or series (as Vikings ). Surely the very nature of legends has unleashed this fascination with the Nordic world, as these are violent, exciting and of rare beauty.
In this article we will see some of the most popular Viking legends, although surely some sound and others do not. Starring overwhelmingly for the gods of his mythology , the protagonists of these legends are as hard and brave as the spaces they inhabit, although their adventure , usually quite violent, do not forget humor.
10 Viking Legends and Nordic Myths | Do not miss them!
1. The theft of Thor's hammer
This is, surely, one of the best known Viking legends ... and funniest. People say that Thor, one of the most popular gods of Norse mythology, he had a hammer with which I was able to finish in one fell swoop with the enemies of the gods, the giants. Unfortunately, one of these giants stole Thor's hammer and said he would not return it until Freya, a Viking goddess, married him. Thor then decides to pass himself off as Freya disguising herself as a woman and participating in the wedding. When the giant returns the hammer, Thor takes revenge killing him with a single blow.
2. Odin at the source of Mimer
It is said that Odin, the most important Viking god, went to seek advice from the source of Mimer, who is at the roots of the tree of life , and that contains all the wisdom and power of knowledge of the world. Mimer agreed to let Odin drink from his spring, but, in return, he had to leave his left eye in pledge. He hated it so he did, and his eye became the sun.
3. Hrólfr and Beowulf
Hrólfr was one of the first kings of Denmark, a monarch who lived in Leire and who asked the hero Beowulf for help in defeating Grendel , a fearsome monster that had terrified the area. Beowulf, like any good self-respecting hero, defeated the monster, but little did he imagine that his mother would return for vengeance. After death, destruction and an epic battle, Beowulf manages, once and for all, to end this evil family.
4. The discovery of America
There are some Viking legends that, after spending hundreds of years surrounded by the haze of myths, turn out to be true in the end , like the discovery of America by the Vikings 500 years before Columbus. It is said that, in the eleventh century, a colony of Greenland vikings He came to a fertile and unknown land, full of game and resources. The Vikings settled there, but fled after a while because of an altercation with the natives.
As we said, for a long time it was thought that all this was just a story, but in the sixties Viking archaeological remains were excavated, nothing more nor less than in Canada!
5. Thor against the Serpent of Midgar
As you can see, Viking legends have Thor as their protagonist, probably their most popular god. This account as Thor goes to find a cauldron one mile deep to the giant's lair to be able to hold a party with the rest of the gods. Hymer, his giant host, takes Thor fishing and this fishing to the Serpent of Midgar, a terrible sea monster. Thor fights with her and manages to defeat her. Upon returning to the giant's lair, Thor takes the cauldron and massacres the giants with his hammer before returning home and celebrating his longed for guateque.
Surely this name is familiar, and this is one of the Viking legends that have inspired subsequent works, in this case in immortal Hamlet , the play of Shakespeare. Although Amleth has a much simpler and much more comical plot, it keeps many points in common with the work of the Bard, such as the fact that the protagonist killed his uncle and married his mother.
Ragnarok it is what is known as the destiny of the gods, that is, the end of the world for Odin and his own. The prophecy says that, after three cold winters and not a single summer, the wars will be unleashed and the brothers will fight with their brothers. The Fenrir wolf will be freed from its chains and the serpent of Midgar will die at the hands of Thor, who, in turn, will succumb to its poison. Many of the Nordic gods will perish, but two will survive to establish a new order on Earth.
8. The origin of the human being
One day, Odin, the father of the gods, was walking along the beach when he saw two trunks dragged by the sea, an ash tree and an alder. Odin then took the trunks and turned them into Ask, a man, and Embla, a woman. The rest of the gods then granted them the faculty of thinking, of seeing, of hearing, of desiring, their will and their soul. Odin made them live in Midgard, the abode of humans, and they had many descendants.
9. How Odin got the runes
Although Odin is known to be the god of war and death, he is also, although to a lesser extent, known to be someone very wise. In this legend, which flees from the fierce spirit of action warriors that were supposed to be the Vikings, Odin hangs head under a tree for nine nights until, at last, he sees the runes in a dream.
10. Asgard, the world of the gods
Viking legends also speak of the nine worlds in which the universe is divided. Asgard, one of the most fascinating, is the world of the gods. In it are the mansions of the gods and each of these beings had one, except Odin, who had three. One of these mansions was called Valhalla and it was the most beautiful of all: it was where the warriors went to die in battle. In addition, Asgard is connected to Midgard, with a beautiful rainbow that acts as a bridge.
The Viking legends are exciting and show a violent but very beautiful world that causes true fascination. Tell us, did you know all these legends? Do you think we've forgotten any? Remember that you can tell us what you want in the comments!