The Viking gods come from one of the richest and most interesting mythologies in Europe, the well-known Norse mythology , which includes the beliefs, rituals and legends of the Germanic peoples established in Germany, Scandinavia and Iceland, among other countries. It must be said that, although with a similar imaginary, Nordic mythology differs from the mythology of countries such as Finland.
The Norse mythology from which the Viking gods come is known to have a few unusual characteristics. For example, it can not be considered to be a revealed religion because the Norse gods did not give the truth to humans (although the interactions between them are frequent). In addition, Norse mythology does not have a sacred book (as they could be the Bible or the Koran), but it has been transmitted orally, through beautiful and complex poems. In this article we will meet some of the gods vikings most famous and curious.
The 10 Most Famous Viking Gods | Did you know them?
1. Odin, god of gods
Odin is the main god among the Viking gods. Known mainly for being the god of war, death and wisdom , to Odin Other more human characteristics are also attributed to him, such as being the god of poetry. In fact, its name comes from the word odr , that in Old Norse can mean either 'furious, crazy or violent', when it comes to an adjective, or 'wisdom, poetry and sensitivity' when it comes to a noun.
He is represented with a gray beard, wide-brimmed hat and dark blue clothes, the outfit with which he traveled the earth. He is also believed to be one-eyed because his left eye is sacrificed in exchange for knowing everything.
Odin, like many other Nordic gods, has human characteristics , with what is often considered someone tremendously wise and good counselor, but also a liar, manipulator and with bad character.
2. Thor, the fury of thunder
Thor He is one of Odin's sons, and his current fame owes much to the comics and movies of the character who bears his name and inspired by Norse mythology. Thor is another of the most important Viking gods thanks to his hammer and his role as protector. Unlike his father, Thor protected humans, instead of taking them to war, since he was not only the god of battle, but also of the weather, of heaven and even of justice.
Thor is also related to fertility, as it was believed that the lightning that caused in summer were those that allowed good crops. Also, as in the case of his father, Thor was very wise. Despite preferring to solve things by hammering, it is said that this god managed to solve impossible riddles to achieve their purposes.
3. Balder and his weakness for a Christmas plant
Balder is the second son of Odin and he was believed to be the god of peace, light and forgiveness. He is known mainly for the way he died. It is said that Balder began to have some horrible and disturbing dreams that left him so depressed that he did not talk to anyone. His father, worried, spoke with Friigg, the giantess responsible for supporting the weight of the underworld. After talking to her, Odin made everyone in the world swear, except for the mistletoe (why it differs according to version) that would not hurt Balder.
Loki, whom we'll talk about right away, learned all this with his usual cunning. Resented by facts that do not come right now, he decided he would kill Balder, so he built a mistletoe arrow (or dagger) to kill Balder, and he did.
There are different versions of Balder's story, but, unfortunately for him, he ends up dead.
4. Loki, the god who is not god
Technically, Loki is not a god because he is the son of two giants, although by his cunning he became a place among the Viking gods of Asgard . After the murder of Balder, the gods chained him to three stones and it is said that the day he manages to free himself, the world will end.
Loki is a master of deception and is so clever that he has managed to cheat the very gods themselves. He is not considered an evil entity, although he is someone manipulative, an extremely joking con man who, moreover, is capable of changing his form.
5. Sif, the goddess of fidelity and harvests
Sif is a goddess with her own right, although she is mainly known for being Thor's wife (It must be said that the thunder warrior was not his first love). It is, without a doubt, a very interesting and not very well-known character, who is said to have long blond hair in braids, a symbol of fidelity and harvest.
It is also said that he was the victim of a joke by Loki, who cut his famous braids while he slept. Some people say that he could be unfaithful to Thor with Loki, since he managed to cut her hair without her realizing it.
6. Tyr, the man with one hand
A Tyr, another of the most important Nordic gods (although perhaps less known) is recognized immediately because it lacks a hand, which sacrificed the giant wolf Fenrir. What is really curious is that, despite having independent mentions, some archaeologists consider that, in fact, it is an older version of Odin himself, since both share many common points (for example, both are gods of war). Experts say that perhaps Tyr was more important than Odin hundreds of thousands of years ago, until the fame of the latter began to grow.
7. Frigg, the goddess of heaven
Frigg is Odin's wife and for that reason she is considered queen of the skies, besides being the goddess of love, fertility, love and domestic arts. Perhaps that is why it is customary to associate and illustrate with a spinning wheel.
Frigg also has other powers, such as, for example, the gift of prophecy (she is aware, among other things, of the dreams that torture her son Balder), although she never shares them with anyone.
8. Idun, the girl with the apples
Idun is another of the Viking gods of more importance, and the guardian of the most important fruit for the gods. It is said that Idun, who is related to youth and beauty, is the eternally young girl who guards the apples of youth. These fruits atorganize the infinite youth to the rest of the gods, who eat them when they feel that they begin to age. It is said that Loki, in one of his usual jokes, captured it and that the gods began to grow old when they could not eat the goddess apples.
9. Freya, goddess of goddesses
For some, Freya is even more important than Frigg, for others, it could even be the same goddess. In any case, Freya is the goddess of love and war and receives half of the fallen warriors in battle (the other half goes with Odin). It is said that Freya moves in a cart pulled by two cats and is one of the most honored Viking gods, although his figure has suffered numerous alterations because of the Christian historians who documented it.
10. Andhrimnir, the Arguiñano of the gods
Andhrimnir may not have great powers or be the god of great grandiose things like life or death, but his role in the kingdom of the gods is equally important. This god is the cook of the gods, and is responsible for killing and cooking every night in his magic cauldron the cosmic boar, who relived at the end of the banquet to suffer again the same fate the next day.
We hope you enjoyed this article on Nordic gods and that it has helped you to know a little more about these Nordic mythology characters. Did you all know them? Do you think we've left any of them? Remember that you can tell us what you want in the comments!