Characters in Norse Mythology
The sources used in constructing this page include, but are not limited to,
An Introduction to Viking Mythology (Grant),
Bullfinch's Mythology (Martin),
The Children of Odin (Colum),
The Downfall of the Gods (Sorenson),
Gods and Myths of Northern Europe (Davidson),
Myths of the Norsemen (Guerber),
Myths of the Norsemen (Green),
Nordic Gods and Heroes (Colum),
Norse Mythology (Cotterell),
Norse Mythology A to Z (Daly),
The Norse Myths (Crossley-Holland),
The Poetic Edda (Hollander),
The Prose Edda (Faulkes),
The Prose Edda (Young),
Scandanavian Mythology (Davidson),
The Usborne Book of Greek and Norse Legends (Blundell).
Personalities Associated with Norse Mythology
Æsir- One of two races of gods in Norse mythology, the other being the Vanir. The Æsir reside in Asgard under the leadership of Odhinn. Listed among the Æsir are Balder, Bragi, Forseti, Frigg, Heimdall, Idunn, Sif, Thor, Ull, Vali, and Vidar.
Agnar- Son of King Hrauding, brother of Geirrod. See the story of Geirrod and Agnar.
Afi- Grandfather. Husband of Amma. (See Rig-Heimdall and the Classes of Men)
Ai- Great-grandfather. Husband of Edda. (See Rig-Heimdall and the Classes of Men).
Aldsvider- The horse that draws the chariot carrying the moon across the sky.
Alf, Alfs- Elf, elves. This is the name given to the elves in norse mythology. The elves are usually divided into two groups, the light elves and the dark elves. According to some sources the dark elves are the same as the dwarves.
Alfheim- The home of the light elves, this is the world that Freyr ruled over.
Alfrigg- One of the four dwarves who crafted Brisings' Necklace.
Alsvidh- One of the horses that draws the chariot carrying the sun. The other is Arvak.
Alvis- A dwarf who was promised Thrud, Thor's daughter. When Thor heard this he challenged Alvis to a test of knowledge that lasted until the next dawn. When the first rays of dawn struck Alvis, he turned to stone.
Amma- Grandmother. Wife of Afi, mother of Freeman. (See Rig-Heimdall and the Classes of Men).
Angerboda, Aurboda- The ogress wife of Loki and mother of the Fenris wolf, Hel, and Jormungand. By some accounts she was also the wife of the giant Gymir and mother of Gerda.
Annar- The second husband of Night, father of Earth. (See Rig-Heimdall and the Classes of Men).
Arvak- One of the horses that draws the chariot carrying the sun. The other is Alsvidh.
Asgard- The home of the Æsir, one of the nine worlds of norse mythology. Asgard was the topmost level of the nine worlds. The Æsir gods and goddesses had their mansions and palaces here. Asgard was connected to Midgard by the rainbow bridge, Bifrost. Asgard is surrounded by a strong wall built by a giant. (See Asgard's Wall and the Giant Builder for the story.)
Ask- The first man created by Odhinn, Vili, and Ve. (See Creation for the story.)
Aud- The son of Night and Naglfari.
Audhumbla, Audhumla- The primal cow, formed at the creation of the world. She appeared at the same time as Ymir who fed off of her milk. She received her nourishment from licking the salty ice that abounded in Ginunngagap. Her licking uncovered Buri, the first ancestor of the gods. (See the Creation for more information.)
Aurvandil- Husband of Groa. He was carried out of Jotunheim by Thor but one of his (Aurvandil's) toes had been sticking out of the basket and was frozen. This toe was taken by Thor and placed into the heavens where it became a star, Aurvandil's Toe.
Balder- The most beautiful of the gods. He is worshipped as the pure and radiant god of innocence and light. His snowy brow and golden locks seem to radiate beams of sunshine which gladdens the hearts of gods and men, by whom he is equally beloved. The god of light is well versed in the science of runes, which are carved on his tongue. The only thing hidden from Balder's radiant eyes is the perception of his own ultimate fate. (See Balder's Death for the story.)
Barley Byggvir- The name of one of Freyr's servants. He is married to Beyla.
Baugi- The giant that Odhinn worked for and used in the retrieval of the Mead of Poetry. (See the story of the Mead of Poetry for more.)
Beli- A giant that Freyr killed with a hart's horn. Freyr used a hart's horn because he had given up his sword before this. (See Freyr and Gerda for the story.)
Bergelmir- Son of Thrudgelmir, grandson of Ymir. Bergelmir and his wife were the only surviving giants after Ymir's death and the flood, which they survived by riding in a hollowed-out tree trunk, the first boat. The frost giants and ogres are all descended from Bergelmir.
Berling- One of the four dwarves who crafted Brisings' Necklace.
Bestla- The giantess wife of Bor and mother of Odhinn, Vili, and Ve.
Beyla- Wife of Barley Byggvir, servant to Freyr.
Bifrost- The rainbow bridge. Bifrost is the bridge that connects Midgard to Asgard. It is guarded by Heimdall. It is made of fire, air and water and these give the bridge its colors, red, blue and green. The bridge can be seen by those in Midgard as a rainbow connecting heaven and earth.
King Billing- King of the Ruthenians, father of Rinda.
Blodughofi- Blodughofi was the name of Freyr's horse. The horse was loaned to Skirnir when Skirnir travelled to Jotunheim to woo Gerda on Freyr's behalf. (See Freyr and Gerda for more).
Bolthurn, Bolthur, Bolthorn, Bolturon- The jotun father of Bestla and of a son whose name is unknown.
Bor- Son of Buri, husband of Bestla, father of Odhinn, Vili, and Ve.
Bragi- The god of poetry, eloquence and music. Son of Odhinn and Gunlod, husband of Idunn. Bragi is not featured in many of the surviving Norse myths, but it is believed that he is revered by all save Loki.
Because of Odhinn's knowledge of poetry and his adventures with the Mead of Poetry some scholars see Bragi as another facet of Odhinn's personality and not a separate god.
According to other sources Bragi was a poet that was elevated to the rank of god due to the respect that was given to poets.
Brisings' Necklace, Brisingamen- The beautiful golden necklace given to Freya by four dwarves; Alfrigg, Berling, Dvalin and Grerr. (See Freya and the Golden Necklace for the story.)
Brokk and Sindri- The dwarves who crafted Gullinbrusti, Draupnir and Mjollnir. (See the story of the Treasures of the Dwarves.)
Buri- Ancestor of the gods, he appeared at the time of creation and was brought to life by the cow Audhumbla. He was the father of Bor.
Day- Son of Night and her third husband Delling. The gods gave Night and Day each a chariot to ride through the heavens to bring light and darkness at regular intervals.
Delling- The third husband of Night, their son was Day. Delling was related to the sons of Bor, the gods Odhinn, Vili, Ve.
Draupnir- The magical golden ring crafted by Brokk and Sindri. Every nine nights eight golden rings would fall from Draupnir, each having the same weight as Draupnir.
Dromi- The second chain that was used by the gods in an attempt to chain Fenris.
Dvalin- One of the four dwarves who created Brisings' Necklace.
Earl- Son of Mother Lady, husband of Princess. Their descendants became the kings and queens of many lands of the world. Earl was taught the secrets of the runes by Rig. (See Rig-Heimdall and the Classes of Men).
Earth- The daughter of Night and Annar.
Edda- Great-grandmother. Wife of Ai, mother of Thrall. (See Rig-Heimdall and the Classes of Men).
Eggther- The watchman of the giants. On the day of Ragnarok he will sit on a grave mound and play his harp.
Einherjar- The slain heros that have been gathered in Valhalla. They fight all day and feast all night in preparation for Ragnarok.
Eldir- One of the servants of Ægir. He was at the banquet during Loki's Mocking.
Elivagar- The name given to the eleven rivers that flowed from Niflheim. These rivers flowed south and it was from these rivers that the first life emerged.
Elli- The personification of old age. It was against Elli that Thor wrestled during his journey to Utgard. (See Thor's Journey to Utgard for the story.)
Embla- The first woman, created by Odhinn, Vili, and Ve. (See Creation for more.)
Esne- Wife of Thrall, their descendants became the peasants and laborers of the world. (See Rig-Heimdall and the Classes of Men).
Fafnir- Son of Reidmar, brother of Regin and Otter. (See Otter's Ransom and also the story of the legendary hero Sigurd.)
Farbauti- A giant, the father of Loki. According to some sources, his wife was Laufey the mother of Loki. Laufey was supposed to have given birth after being struck by a lightning bolt unleashed by Farbauti.
Father Squire- Husband of Mother Lady. (See Rig-Heimdall and the Classes of Men).
Fenris, Fenrir- The wolf who was one of the monstrous children of Loki and Angerboda. Brother of Hel and Jormungand. Fenris was so large that when he opened his mouth his jaws stretched from earth to heaven. He was bound by the gods (see Fenris' Binding) and is doomed to remain chained until the time of Ragnarok.
Fimafeng- One of Ægir's servants. During Ægir's banquet for the gods Loki stabbed Fimafeng and killed him. (See Loki's Mocking.)
Fjalar- One of the dwarves who killed Kvasir and collected his blood to make the Mead of Poetry.
Fjorgyn- Mother of Thor and of Frigg. She was also known as the goddess of the earth.
Forseti- God of justice and conciliation. The son of Balder and Nanna. Forseti sits day after day settling the differences of gods and men, patiently listening to both sides of every question and finally pronouncing sentences so equitable that none ever find fault with his decrees. It is said that his eloquence and powers of persuasion are such that he always succeeds in touching the hearts of his listeners and that he has never failed to reconcile even the most bitter of foes.
Freeman- Son of Afi and Amma, husband of Hassif. Their descendants became the farmers, landholders and craftsmen of the world. (See Rig-Heimdall and the Classes of Men).
Freki- One of Odhinn's wolves. Freki translates as fierce.
Freya- The goddess of love and fertility, she came to Asgard with her brother, Freyr, and her father, Njord. Freya was exceedingly beautiful and many fell in love with her, including giants (see Theft of Thor's Hammer, Asgard's Wall and the Giant Builder, Thor's Duel with Hrungnir), dwarfs (see Freya and the Golden Necklace) and men (see Freya, Ottar and the Giantess Hyndla). Freya is said to have a talent for witchcraft and it is said that when she came to Asgard she instructed the gods about magic charms and potions. Freya also has a warlike side and shares Odhinn's love of battle. She and Odhinn share the slain heroes between them, so that some go to Valhalla and others are chosen by Freya to be entertained at her hall, Sessrumnir. Freya's boar, the gold-bristled Hildisvini, was a symbol of war. As well as a boar chariot, Freya had a chariot pulled by two gray or black cats. She had a falcon skin that she sometimes donned to fly away. She lent the falcon skin to Loki in the stories of Idunn's Apples and The Theft of Thor's Hammer. Her most precious possession is the Brisings' Necklace.
Freyr, Frey- He is the lord of the sun, rain and harvests. He is a shining god, bringing fertility and prosperity to all. Freyr was one of the Vanir gods that went to live in Asgard after theWar between the Æsir and Vanir. His home is Alfheim and he is sometimes known as lord of the Alfs (elves). The ship Skidbladnir was given to him as was Gullinbrusti. He also possessed a magic sword that struck out at Jotuns of its own accord. He gave his sword to Skirnir as a price for his wooing of Gerda. (See the story of Freyr and Gerda for more details.)
Frigg, Frigga, Frija, Fricka- The chief of Æsir goddess. She is associated with love, marriage, and motherhood. She is frequently pictured as being very beautiful, wearing a girdle with household keys and weaving clouds on her spinning wheel.
According to some sources Frigg is the mother of Thor.
Also, some sources depict Frigg as a devoted wife and mother, others as a sorceress who wears a falcon skin and sees into the future, and as a wanton woman who covets gold and jewelry and the love of men. Due to these differing depictions it is difficult to get an accurate picture of what Frigg actually stood for. Some sources believe that Frigg and Freya are just various facets of one deity.
Gang- Son of Olvadi, brother of Thiazzi and Idi.
Garm- The howling hound who stands at the gates of Hel's domain. In some tellings he could be quieted only by a piece of cake given to him by those who had given bread to the poor. At Ragnarok Garm will break his chain and run free.
Galar- One of the two dwarves who killed Kvasir and collected his blood to make the Mead of Poetry.
Geirrod (1)- The giant who, along with his daughters Gialp and Greip, attempted to kill Thor. See the story of Thor and the Giant Geirrod.
Geirrod (2)- Son of King Hrauding, brother of Agnar. See the story of Geirrod and Agnar.
Gelgia- The chain to which Gleipnir is attached. The chain is anchored to Gioll which is on the island Lyngvi.
Gerda- Daughter of Gymir and Aurboda, sister of Beli. Gerda was beloved by Freyr and was wooed for him by Skirnir. (See Freyr and Gerda for the story.)
Geri- One of Odhinn's wolves. Geri translates as greedy.
Giallar- The horn of Heimdall . The horn can be heard throughout the nine worlds. At the time of Ragnarok, Heimdall will sound the horn and summon the gods and men to battle.
Gialp, Gjalp- Howler. Daughter of Geirrod and sister of Greip.
Gilling- Father of Suttung. Gilling was killed by the dwarves Fjalar and Galar.
Ginunngagap- The vast chasm where the rivers known as the Elivagar met the heat and sparks from Muspelheim and the creation process began.
Gioll- The rock through which Gelgia was passed in order to keep Fenris bound until Ragnarok.
Gleipnir- The silken bond fashioned by the dwarves to bind Fenris. It was made of the sound of a cat's footfalls, the hairs of a maiden's beard, the roots of a mountain, the dreams of a bear, the breath of a fish, and the spittle of a bird.
Greip- Grasper. Daughter of Geirrod and sister of Gialp.
Grerr- One of the four dwarves who crafted Brisings' Necklace.
Grid- The giantess who was one of the wives of Odhinn and mother of their son, Vidar. According to some legends it was she who made the shoe that Vidar will wear at Ragnarok.
Groa- Wife of Aurvandil, mother of Svipdag. In the story of Thor's Duel with Hrungnir it is Groa who uses her magic to cure Thor's headache.
Gullfaxi- Hrungnir's steed. It was this steed that raced Sleipnir and that was later given to Magni. (See Thor's Duel With Hrungnir for more.)
Gullinbrusti- The golden bristled boar crafted by Brokk and Sindri during their wager with Loki. (See The Treasures of the Dwarves for more.) The boar is said to be able to run through the air and over the sea, day or night. Also, it shines so brightly that wherever it goes, no matter how gloomy the surrounding, the boar will light the way.
Gungnir- The spear of Odhinn , it was crafted by the sons of Ilvadi. Gungnir never misses its mark. During the War between the Æsir and the Vanir Odhinn hurled Gungnir at the Vanir. Ever after, the Norse imitated this action. It was thought that by hurling a spear over the enemy you would gain Odhinn's protection and would be assured victory.
Gunlod- Daughter of Suttung, keeper of the Mead of Poetry. Odhinn stayed with her for three nights and claimed the Mead of Poetry. (See Mead of Poetry for more.)
Gymir- A Jotun, father of Gerda.
Hassif- Wife of Freeman, their descendants became the farmers, landholders, and craftsmen of the world.
Hati- The wolf that pursues the moon across the sky and who will devour the moon at Ragnarok.
Heimdall- The watchman of the gods. Heimdall is the guardian of Bifrost and he possesses the horn Giallar. His horse is Gulltop and his sword is Hofund. He is a great watchman as his eyesight is so sharp that he can see for 100 miles in all directions as plainly by night as by day, his hearing is such that he can hear the grass pushing up from under the earth and the wool growing on a sheep's back and he requires less sleep than a bird. He is also purported to have "second sight" that allows him to see into the future. Heimdall is also a clever god. It was his idea to send Thor to Jotunheim to retrieve Mjollnir from the giant Thrym. (See The Theft of Thor's Hammer for the story). Heimdall was also known as Rig during his journey to Midgard. (See Rig-Heimdall and the Classes of Men.)
Hel- Goddess of death and the underworld, daughter of Loki and Angerboda. Sister to Fenris and Jormungand. According to the Prose Edda Hel was terrible to look at, one-half of her was greenish black and the other a livid white, with flesh that seemed to be rotting like that of a corpse and her face was gloomy, grim and sinister.
According to some sources, Hel is also one of the nine worlds of Norse mythology. It is in this world that the creature known as Hel resides.
Hermod- Son of Odhinn and Frigg, Hermod is a bold and brave god. He volunteered to go to Hel's domain to beg for the release of Balder. (See Balder's Death for the story.) Hermod stands at Odhinn's side at the gates of Valhalla to welcome the heroes gathering there.
Hildisvini- Translates as "Battle-Swine". This was the name of Freyr's boar.
Hnossa, Nossa- Daughter of Freya and Odur. Her name means "jewel". According to the Prose Edda she is so beautiful that her name can be given to whatever is precious or lovely.
Hodur, Hod, Hoder- The blind god, son of Odhinn and Frigg, brother of Balder. Hodur unwittingly killed Balder with the help of Loki and was in turn killed by Vali. (See Balder's Death for the story.)
Hoenir, Honir- The god of silence. One of the three original Æsir gods who along with his brothers Odhinn and Lother created the world. After the War between the Æsir and Vanir Hoenir went to live with the Vanir as part of an exchange of gods. Hoenir was accompanied by Mimir. The Vanir became angry when Hoenir appeared to be indecisive and slow-witted, always relying on Mimir to make decisions. As Hoenir was Odhinn's brother the Vanir did not dare to harm him, but instead killed Mimir and sent his head to Odhinn. In the Poetic Edda Hoenir is called Vili and his brother Lodur is called Ve.
King Hrauding- King of the Goths, father of Agnar and Geirrod. See the story of Geirrod and Agnar.
Hrimthurs- The giant who was responsible for the building of the walls surrounding Asgard. (See Asgard's wall and the Giant Builder for the story.)
Hrungnir- A giant who was involved in a race with Odhinn and a duel with Thor. (See Thor's Duel With Hrungnir for more.)
Hugin- One of Odhinn's two ravens. The two fly about the nine worlds every day and then return to Odhinn and tell him what they have seen.
Hyndla- The giantess who related Ottar's legacy at the bidding of Freya. (See Freya, Ottar, and the Giantess Hyndla for the story.)
Hyrokkin, Hyrrokkin- The ogress/giantess who launched the longship Ringhorn upon which Balder's funeral pyre was built. (See Balder's Death for the story.)
Idavoll- The plain in Asgard where the palaces of the Æsir stood.
Idi- Son of Olvadi, brother of Gang and Thiazzi.
Idunn, Iduna, Idun- The flaxen-haired goddess who supplies the Æsir with the apples that grant eternal youth. She is the wife of Bragi. She is featured in the story of Idunn's Apples.
Sons of Ilvadi- The two dwarves who crafted Skidbladnir, Gungnir, and the golden hair for Sif. (See the story of the Treasures of the Dwarves.)
Jarnsaxa- One of the wives of Thor, she bore him two sons, Magni and Modi.
Jormungand- The Midgard serpent, offspring of Loki and Angerboda, brother of Fenris and Hel. Jormungand was cast into the sea by Odhinn and was doomed to encircle the earth, his tail in his mouth. Jormungand was the mortal enemy of Thor.
Jotun- Another word for giant.
Jotunheim- One of the nine worlds, a freezing, mountainous land, home of the Jotuns. This world was given to the giants by Odhinn after the creation.
Kvasir- The wisest man in the world, created from the spittle of the Æsir and Vanir after the War between the Æsir and Vanir. Kvasir was slain by two dwarves who mixed his blood with honey to create the Mead of Poetry. According to some stories Kvasir was a Vanir god who came to live in Asgard following the War between the Æsir and Vanir.
Laeding- The first chain the gods used in an attempt to bind Fenris.
Laufey- Mother of Loki. She was a giantess who, according to some sources, gave birth to Loki after being struck by a bolt of lightning sent by Farbauti.
Lit- The dwarf who appeared at Balder's funeral and got in the way as Thor was consecrating the pyre. (See Balder's Death for the story.)
Lora, Lorride- Daughter of Thor and Sif, sister of Thrud.
Lother, Lodar- One of the three original Æsir gods who, along with his brothers Odhinn and Hoenir, created the world. In the Poetic Edda Lother is called Ve.
Lyngvi- The island on which Fenris was bound.
Magni- Son of Thor and Jarnsaxa, brother of Modi. After Thor's duel with Hrungnir Magni rescued Thor and was rewarded with Gullfaxi. (See Thor's Duel with Hrungnir for the story.) Magni and his brother will survive Ragnarok.
Mani- The man who drives the chariot that carries the moon across the sky. Son of Mundilfari and brother of Sol.
Mead of Poetry- The wonderous liquid created by Fjalar and Galar out of the blood of Kvasir. (See Mead for more of this story.)
Megingardir, Megingiord, Megingarder- The magic belt/girdle of Thor. When worn, it doubled his already tremendous strength.
Midgard- One of the Nine Worlds of Norse mythology. It was the home of mankind, the place where men had their home. It was set aside at the time of The Creation for man.
Mimir- A wise god sent by the Æsir to the Vanir following the War between the Æsir and Vanir. Mimir was accompanied by Hoenir who was a brother of Odhinn. The Vanir became upset with Hoenir but dared not harm him. Instead they killed Mimir and sent his head back to Odhinn. Odhinn used his magic to preserve the head of Mimir which ever after imparted wisdom when Odhinn came seeking counsel. It was to Mimir that Odhinn sacrificed his right eye for a drink from Mimir's well.
Mimir's Well- The well of wisdom in Jotunheim. The well is watched over by the head of Mimir. It was here that Odhinn sacrificed his right eye for a draught from the well.
Mjollnir- The hammer of Thor. Crafted by Brokk and Sindri it is a symbol of Thor's strength and of the thunderbolt he personified. The gods considered Mjollnir to be their greatest treasure because it alone could be used to defend Asgard against the giants. When hurled by Thor the hammer will always strike its mark and instantly return to his hand. Mjollnir was not only a weapon, but is also a symbol of fertility. During wedding ceremonies the hammer is always placed in the lap of the bride.
Modi- Son of Thor and Jarnsaxa, brother of Magni. He and his brother will survive Ragnarok.
Mother Lady- Wife of Father Squire, mother of Earl. (See Rig-Heimdall and the Classes of Men for the story).
Mundilfari- The man who had two children and named them after the sun and the moon. They were Mani and Sol.
Munin- One of Odhinn's two ravens. The two fly about the nine worlds every day and then return to Odhinn and tell him what they have seen.
Muspelheim- One of the Nine Worlds of Norse mythology. The home of the fire giants. The border of this world is watched by Surt, he awaits the day of Ragnarok when he will set the world on fire.
Naglfar- The ship made from dead men's nails. It will carry the giants into battle against the gods at Ragnarok. The size of the ship will depend on how many men are buried with their fingernail's uncut. It is also told that Ragnarok can be delayed by making sure that dead men's nails are cut before they are buried, thus delaying the building of Naglfar.
Naglfari- A giant, the first husband of Night. Their son was Aud.
Nanna- One of the Æsir goddesses, wife of Balder, mother of Forseti. After Balder's death, Nanna died of grief and was placed on the funeral pyre next to him. (See Balder's Death for the story.)
Narfi- A giant, the father of Night. Narfi was one of the first giants in Jotunheim.
Narvi- Son of Loki and Sigyn, brother of Vali. (See Loki's Punishment for more on Narvi.)
Nerthus, Hertha- A goddess of fertility, also known as Mother Earth. Some sources say she is the sister-wife of Njord and mother of Freyr and Freya.
Nidavellir- One of the Nine Worlds of Norse mythology. Nidavellir is the the world of the dwarves.
Night, Nott- The dark-haired daughter of Narfi. She married three times, first to Naglfari, their son was Aud. Her second husband was Annar, their daughter was Earth. Her third husband was Delling, their son was Day. The gods gave Night and her son Day each a chariot to ride through the heavens.
Niflheim- One of the Nine Worlds of Norse mythology. The world of cold and darkness, where Nithog chewed at the roots of Yggdrasil. From Niflheim flowed the 11 ice-cold rivers, the Elivagar. The rivers flowed into the chasm, Ginunngagap, where the heat and sparks from Muspelheim quickened the yeasty water and started the creation process.
The Nine Waves- The mothers of Heimdall. They are believed to be daughters of Ægir. Odhinn came across the Nine Waves while walking along the beach.
Nine Worlds- In Norse mythology there were nine worlds all connected by Yggdrasil. They were Asgard, Alfheim, Vanaheim, Niflheim, Midgard, Muspelheim, Jotunheim, Svartalfheim, and Hel.
In some sources the worlds are Asgard, Alfheim, Vanaheim, Niflheim, Midgard, Muspelheim, Jotunheim, Svartalfheim, and Nidavellir.
Nithog, Nidhug, Nidhogg- The serpent that resides in Niflheim and gnaws at one of the roots of Yggdrasil.
Njord- One of the Vanir gods, he was a god of the sea and of fertility. He was the father of Freyr and Freya. He came to live in Asgard following the War between the Æsir and Vanir. Njord was wedded to Skadi following the death of her father at the hands of the gods.
Norns, Nornir- The fates. Three spirits who spin the thread of life for all living beings, gods, men, giants and dwarves. They are three sisters who live near the Well of Urd at the foot of Yggdrasil.
The names of the three sisters are Urd, Verdande, and Skuld. Urd is the oldest of the sisters, and is associated with the past. Verdande is associated with the present and Skuld is associated with possible futures. More often in Norse mythology they are associated with what was, what is and what could come to be.
Od, Odur- Husband of Freya and father of Hnossa. Odur left Freya to roam the earth. Some scholars believe Odur may have been Odhinn in one of his many disguises.
Odhinn, Odin, Woden, Wuotan, Wotan- The highest and holiest god of the Northern races. He is the god of universal wisdom and victory. According to some sources he has the Valkyries collect half of the slain following any battle, according to other sources the Valkyries only collect heros. These warriors are then brought across Bifrost and into Valhalla. These warriors are known as the Einherjar. Odhinn's symbols include the raven, the wolf, and the spear. Odhinn is said to have two ravens, Hugin (thought) and Munin (memory) that he sends forth into the world every day to gather information for him. He is also said to have two wolves Geri (greedy) and Freki (fierce). He is said to feed the wolves the meat from his plate in Valhalla as all he needs for sustenance is Mead. Odhinn's spear, Gungnir, crafted by the sons of Ilvadi, is said to have the power to determine victory in battle. Another of Odhinn's symbols is the valknut, three triangles interlaced.
Odhinn was the giver of runes to mankind and was also responsible for the rescue of the poetic mead of inspiration. (See Havamal in the Poetic Edda and Mead of Poetry for the stories).
Olvadi- The Jotun father of Thiazzi, Idi, and Gang. When he died, Olvadi left such a large amount of gold to his sons that no scale could measure it.
Otter- Son of Reidmar, brother of Regin and Fafnir. Otter was a shape changer while in the form of an otter he was killed by Loki. (See the story of Otter's Ransom.)
Princess- Wife of Earl, their descendants became the kings and queens of many lands of the world. (See Rig-Heimdall and the Classes of Men for the story.)
Ran- Wife of Ægir, possibly also his sister. She is a sea divinity, she is said to gather up the drowned in her net. It was from her that Loki borrowed the net used to gather up the ransom to cover Otter's skin. (See the story of Otter's Ransom for more.)
Regin- Son of Reidmar, brother of Otter and Fafnir. Regin adopted the hero Sigurd after the events of Otter's Ransom.
Reidmar, Hreidmar- A master magician, father of Fafnir, Otter, and Regin. (See the story of Otter's Ransom.)
Rig- The name taken by Heimdall when he went to Midgard and founded the three classes of men. (See Rig-Heimdall and the Classes of Men).
Rinda, Rind- Daughter of King Billing of the Ruthenians, mate of Odhinn, mother of Vali.
Ringhorn- The longship of Balder. After Balder was slain, he was laid in this ship upon which his funeral pyre was built.
Roskva- Sister of Thialfi, she was given to Thor as a servant after her brother ignored Thor's warning to not split the bones of the goats he had slain to provide a meal. (See Thor's Journey to Utgard for the story).
Sif- Wife of Thor, the golden- haired goddess of grain and of fertility. She was the mother of Ull.
Sigurd- Hero of the Volsung saga.
Sigyn, Sigunn, Sigryn, Siguna- Wife of Loki, mother of Narvi and Vali. After Loki's capture, Sigyn sat by his side catching the venom of the serpent in a bowl. (See Loki's Punishment for more.)
Skadi, Skade- Daughter of Thiazzi and wife of Njord. She is the goddess of winter, skiers and hunters. (See Skadi and Njord for more on Skadi.)
Skidbladnir- A ship crafted by the Sons of Ilvadi. The ship is capable of being folded small enough to fit into a pouch, but could be unfolded large enough to carry all the Æsir and their mounts. As soon as its sail is hoisted it will get a breeze to take it wherever it will go.
Skirnir- Freyr's messenger/servant. It was Skirnir who was sent to the dwarves to bid them fashion a fetter that Fenris would not be able to break. (See Fenris' Binding for more.)
Skirnir was also the messenger that Freyr sent to win the hand of Gerda. (See Freyr and Gerda for the story.)
Skoll- The wolf that pursues the sun across the sky and who will devour it at Ragnarok.
Skrymir- The name taken by Utgartha-Loki upon meeting Thor and his companions during Thor's Journey to Utgard.
Skuld- One of the three Norns. She is associated with the future or what could be.
Sleipnir- Odhinn's eight legged horse, the offspring of Svadilfari and Loki. (See Asgard's Wall and the Giant Builder for more on Sleipnir's conception.) Sleipnir was no ordinary horse. He was capable of galloping over the sea and through the air and could outrun any horse in all the nine worlds.
Sol- Daughter of Mundilfari, sister of Mani. She was stolen away from her father by the gods who put her to work in the heavens. She drives the chariot that carries the sun across the heavens.
Surt- The fire giant who watches at the borders of Muspelheim. His flaming sword will set fire to the world at Ragnarok. At Ragnarok, Surt and Freyr will battle and Freyr will be killed, because he gave up his sword to win Gerda. (See Ragnarok and Freyr and Gerda for the stories).
Suttung- Father of Gunnloth, protector of the Mead of Poetry. Sometimes Suttung is referred to as the father of all the giants.
Svadilfari- The stallion belonging to Hrimthurs. Svadilfari was the father of Sleipnir.
Svartalfheim- One of the Nine Worlds of Norse mythology. It was the home of the dark elves.
Tanngniost- Toothgnasher, one of the fierce billy goats that drew the cart of Thor. Thor's goats could be killed, eaten and revived the next day. (See Thor's Journey to Utgard.)
Tanngrisnir- Toothgrinder, one of the fierce billy goats that drew the cart of Thor. Thor's goats could be killed, eaten and revived the next day. (See Thor's Journey to Utgard.)
Thialfi- Son of Egil, brother of Roskva. He became Thor's servant during Thor's Journey to Utgard.
Thiazzi, Tjasse, Thjazi- A powerful storm giant, son of Olvadi, brother of Gang and Idi, father of Skadi. (See the story Idunn's Apples for more on Thiazzi.)
Thokk- Thokk is the name of the one creature in all the worlds that refused to weep over Balder's death. It is believed that Thokk was Loki in disguise. (See Balder's Death for the story.)
Thor, Thunor, Donar- Thor is the wielder of Mjollnir and the defender of Asgard. He is described as a massive red-bearded champion wearing iron gloves and a belt/girdle of might, Megingjardir. He is the only god forbidden to cross Bifrost, for fear that his lightnings could destroy the bridge or that he would set it aflame by the heat of his presence. Thor rides in a chariot drawn by two goats, Tanngniost (Toothgnasher) and Tanngrisnir (Toothgrinder). The rolling of the wheels of this chariot is said to create the thunder that rolls across the heavens.
Thrall- Son of Edda, husband of Esne. Their descendants became the peasants and laborers of the world. (See Rig-Heimdall and the Classes of Men for the story).
Thrud- Daughter of Thor and Sif, sister of Lora. Thrud was promised to the dwarf Alvis by the gods.
Thrudgelmir- Father of Bergelmir, son of Ymir.
Thrym- A frost giant, he stole Mjollnir. (See The Theft of Thor's Hammer.)
Tyr, Tiwaz, Tiw, Tiv, Ziv- A god of war, the god of martial honor, a sky god, the bravest of the gods. He is concerned with justice and with fair treaties. It is thought that at one time Tyr was even more important than Odhinn, and more ancient. However, by the time the Norse myths were recorded, Tyr's importance had diminished and not much is known about him now. Tyr is always depicted as the one-handed god, due to the fact that his right hand was bitten off by the Fenris wolf after the gods bound him. Tyr is also known as "the shining one". Tyr was also considered the patron god of the sword. (See Fenris' Binding for the story.)
Ull- Son of the goddess Sif, stepson of Thor. Ull is the winter god of skiers and snowshoes, hunting, the bow and the shield.
Urd, Wyrd- One of the three Norns . She is the oldest of the three sisters and is associated with the past or what was.
Urd's Well- Also known as the well of Wyrd, it is where the Norns live and where they gather the water to help keep Yggdrasil healthy. It is also where the gods gather to hold their important meetings.
Utgard- The outer place. The capital of Jotunheim. Thor journeyed to Utgard once. (See Thor's Journey to Utgard.)
Utgartha-Loki- The ruler of Utgard. It was Utgard-Loki who was responsible for the deceiving of Thor and his companions during Thor's Journey to Utgard.
Valhalla- The hall of the slain, built by Odhinn in Asgard to receive the heroes slain in battle. The Valkyries brought the heroes, known as Einherjar, across Bifrost and into Valhalla where they fought all day and feasted all night.
Vali (1)- Son of Odhinn and Rinda, he was Balder's avenger. After Hodur slew Balder, Vali came to Asgard, drew an arrow from his quiver and fired at Hodur, killing him instantly. (See Balder's Death for the story.)
Vali (2)- Son of Loki and Sigyn, brother of Narvi. After the gods captured Loki they turned Vali into a wolf who tore out the entrails of Narvi. (See Loki's Punishment for the story.)
Valkyrie- The Valkyries were warrior maidens of Odhinn. According to some legends the Valkyries were the choosers of the slain, according to other legends they were the collectors of the slain.
Vanaheim- One of the Nine Worlds of Norse mythology. Home of the Vanir before the end of the War between the Æsir and Vanir.
Vanir- The Vanir are one of two races of gods in Norse mythology, the other being the Æsir. The Vanir are generally earth and water gods and gods of fertility. The Vanir resided in Vanaheim, one of the nine worlds, until the end of the War between the Æsir and Vanir. After the war all the gods were referred to as Æsir. When the Vanir went to Asgard after the war, they took with them their knowledge of magic and witchcraft. Listed among the Vanir are Freya, Freyr and Njord. These were not the only Vanir and this can be shown be looking at the story of Mimir's death.
Ve- Son of Bor and Bestla. Together with his brothers Odhinn and Vili he helped create the world.
Verdande, Verdandi- One of the Norns. She is associated with the present or what is.
Vidar- Son of Odhinn and the giantess Grid. Vidar was known for his silence. However, it is Vidar who will avenge his father's death at Ragnarok.
Vili- Son of Bor and Bestla. Together with his brothers Odhinn and Ve he helped create the world.
Yggdrasil- The world tree, the ash tree that connects all of the Nine Worlds of Norse mythology. The tree survives the torment of Nithog nibbling at its roots and of stags and goats tearing leaves and bark from the tree. The Norns sprinkle water from Urd's Well upon the roots which helps the tree stay fresh and green.
Ymir, Aurgelmir- The first giant. He was formed from the ice and fire at the beginning of time in the chasm of Ginunngagap. He was the father of the race of giants. (See The Creation for more details.)
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