This page contains all familiars inspired by Norse Mythology.
Norse, or Scandinavian, mythology is the body of mythology of the North Germanic peoples stemming from Norse paganism and continuing after the Christianization of Scandinavia and into the Scandinavian folklore of the modern period. The northernmost extension of Germanic mythology, Norse mythology consists of tales of various deities, beings, and heroes derived from numerous sources from both before and after the pagan period, including medieval manuscripts, archaeological representations, and folk tradition.
Gods are entities that rule the world and are worshiped by humans.
In Norse mythology, Dagr (Old Norse "day") is day personified. This personification appears in the Poetic Edda, compiled in the 13th century from earlier traditional sources, and the Prose Edda, written in the 13th century by Snorri Sturluson. In both sources, Dagr is stated to be the son of the god Dellingr and is associated with the bright-maned horse Skinfaxi, who "draw[s] day to mankind". Depending on manuscript variation, the Prose Edda adds that Dagr is either Dellingr's son by Nótt, the personified night, or Jörð, the personified Earth. Otherwise, Dagr appears as a common noun simply meaning "day" throughout Old Norse works. Connections have been proposed between Dagr and other similarly named figures in Germanic mythology.
In Norse mythology, Freyja (Old Norse the "Lady") is a goddess associated with love, sexuality, beauty, fertility, gold, seiðr, war, and death. Freyja is the owner of the necklace Brísingamen, rides a chariot pulled by two cats, owns the boar Hildisvíni, possesses a cloak of falcon feathers, and, by her husband Óðr, is the mother of two daughters, Hnoss and Gersemi. Along with her brother Freyr (Old Norse the "Lord"), her father Njörðr, and her mother Nerthius, she is a member of the Vanir. Stemming from Old Norse Freyja, modern forms of the name include Freya, Frejya, Freyia, Frøya, Frøjya, Freia, Frejsha, and Freja.
Freyr (sometimes anglicized Frey, from *frawjaz "lord") is one of the most important gods of Norse paganism. Freyr was associated with sacral kingship, virility and prosperity, with sunshine and fair weather, and was pictured as a phallic fertility god, Freyr "bestows peace and pleasure on mortals". Freyr, sometimes referred to as Yngvi-Freyr, was especially associated with Sweden and seen as an ancestor of the Swedish royal house.
He rides the shining dwarf-made boar Gullinbursti and possesses the ship Skíðblaðnir which always has a favorable breeze and can be folded together and carried in a pouch when it is not being used.
The most extensive surviving Freyr myth relates Freyr's falling in love with the female jötunn Gerðr. Eventually, she becomes his wife but first Freyr has to give away his magic sword which fights on its own "if wise be he who wields it". Although deprived of this weapon, Freyr defeats the jötunn Beli with an antler. However, lacking his sword, Freyr will be killed by the fire jötunn Surtr during the events of Ragnarök.
Hel is the ruler of the underworld, also named Hel or Helheim (which is also the origin of the word "Hell"), and the youngest daughter of Loki and the jötunn Angerboda (from Old Norse Angrboða). Her older siblings are Fenrir and Jörmungandr (from Old Norse Jǫrmungandr). When Loki brought his three children to Asgard, the Æsir were afraid of them and banished them from Asgard. Hel went off to Nifelheim, a dark realm of monsters, located under the tree of life, and settled there, founding Helheim ("Home of Hel").
This is how she became the goddess of the underworld.
In Norse mythology, Iðunn is a goddess associated with apples and youth. Iðunn is attested in the Poetic Edda, compiled in the 13th century from earlier traditional sources, and the Prose Edda, written in the 13th century by Snorri Sturluson. In both sources, she is described as the wife of the skaldic god Bragi, and in the Prose Edda, also as a keeper of apples and granter of eternal youthfulness.
The Prose Edda relates that Loki was once forced by the jötunn Þjazi to lure Iðunn out of Asgard and into a wood, promising her interesting apples. Þjazi, in the form of an eagle, snatches Iðunn from the wood and takes her to his home. Iðunn's absence causes the gods to grow old and grey, and they realize that Loki is responsible for her disappearance. Loki promises to return her and, in the form of a falcon, finds her alone at Þjazi's home. He turns her into a nut and takes her back to Asgard. After Þjazi finds that Iðunn is gone, he turns into an eagle and furiously chases after Loki. The gods build a pyre in Asgard and, after a sudden stop by Loki, Þjazi's feathers catch fire, he falls, and the gods kill him.
In Norse mythology, Loki, Loptr, or Hveðrungr is a halfgod and jötunn. Loki is the son of Fárbauti and Laufey, and the brother of Helblindi and Býleistr. By the jötunn Angrboða, Loki is the father of Hel, the wolf Fenrir, and the world serpent Jörmungandr. By his wife Sigyn, Loki is the father of Narfi and Nari. By the stallion Svaðilfari, Loki is the mother — giving birth in the form of a mare — to the eight-legged horse Sleipnir. Loki's relation with the gods varies by source. Loki sometimes assists the gods and sometimes causes problems for them. Loki is a shape shifter and in separate incidents he appears in the form of a salmon, mare, seal, a fly, and possibly an elderly woman. Loki's positive relations with the gods end with his role in engineering the death of the god Baldr. Loki is eventually bound in a cave by the gods with the entrails of one of his sons. A snake above him slowly drops poison drops down on him, but Sigyn can't let him suffer, so she holds a bowl above him. When the bowl is full however, she must empty it and then a drop of venom hits Loki. He then shakes heavily, causing earthquakes. When Ragnarök comes, he'll break free from his prison and lead the dark forces. He and Heimdall will face and kill each other.
Odin (from Old Norse Óðinn "Fury"), depicted in-game mounted upon his mythical, eight-legged steed, Sleipnir, and wielding his magic spear, Gungnir (Gungner in Swedish), is a principal member of the Æsir (the major group of the Norse pantheon) and the ruler of Asgård. He is associated with war, battle, victory and death, but also wisdom, shamanism, magic, poetry, prophecy, and the hunt. Odin is married to Frigg and has many sons, the most famous of whom is Thor. He has two ravens, Hugin and Munin, who sees and tells Odin everything that happens in the world and he has two wolves, Gere and Freke, that gets Odins food every day. Odin offered one of his eyes to Mimir to get great wisdom. Odin's Old-English name, "Woden", was the basis for "Woden's Day", today known as "Wednesday".
In Norse mythology, Skaði (sometimes anglicized as Skadi, Skade, or Skathi) is a jötunn and goddess associated with bowhunting, skiing, winter, and mountains. Skaði is attested in the Poetic Edda, compiled in the 13th century from earlier traditional sources; the Prose Edda and in Heimskringla, written in the 13th century by Snorri Sturluson, and in the works of skalds.
In all sources, Skaði is the daughter of the deceased Þjazi, and Skaði married the god Njörðr as part of the compensation provided by the gods for killing her father Þjazi. In Heimskringla, Skaði is described as having split up with Njörðr and as later having married the god Odin, and that the two produced many children together. In both the Poetic Edda and the Prose Edda, Skaði is responsible for placing the serpent that drips venom onto the bound Loki. Skaði is alternately referred to as Öndurguð (Old Norse "ski god") and Öndurdís (Old Norse "ski dís", often translated as "lady").
Thor (from Old Norse Þórr "Thunder"), son of Odin, husband of Siv, is a god associated with thunder, lightning, storms, oak trees, strength, the protection of mankind, and also hallowing, healing and fertility. He wields a magic hammer, Mjölnir. Thor's exploits include his relentless slaughter of his foes and fierce battles with the World Serpent Jörmungandr. At Ragnarök, Thor will kill Jörmungandr, and then walk nine paces before falling dead, a victim of the serpent's venom. Thor is the basis for the weekday "Thursday."
Týr is a god associated with law and heroic glory in Norse mythology, portrayed as one-handed. Corresponding names in other Germanic languages are Gothic Teiws, Old English Tīw and Old High German Ziu and Cyo, all from Proto-Germanic *Tīwaz. The Latinised name is Tius or Tio.
In the late Icelandic Eddas, Tyr is portrayed, alternately, as the son of Odin (Prose Edda) or of Hymir (Poetic Edda), while the origins of his name and his possible relationship to Tuisto (see Tacitus' Germania) suggest he was once considered the father of the gods and head of the pantheon, since his name is ultimately cognate to that of *Dyeus (cf. Dyaus), the reconstructed chief deity in Indo-European religion. It is assumed that Tîwaz was overtaken in popularity and in authority by both Odin and Thor at some point during the Migration Age, as Odin shares his role as God of war.
Týr is a god of war and will take mead, meat and blood for sacrifice. If a warrior carved the rune Tîwaz on his weapon he would be dedicating it to Týr and strengthen the outcome of a battle to be in his favor. After a warrior has dedicated his weapon to Týr he should not lose it or break it. Tiw was equated with Mars in the interpretatio germanica. Tuesday is in fact "Tīw's Day" (also in Alemannic Zischtig from zîes tag), translating dies Martis.
Ullr is a very old god of the northern lands, so old that by the time the Iron Age Norse myths were written down, not much more was known about him except that he was a god of archery, hunting, and the winter. His name occurs so frequently as part of Scandinavian place-names that he must have been a much more important deity at one time. He was shown frequently with skates or skis on his feet, and because of this he has been hailed as the modern God of Skiing. One story talks about him "crossing water on a magic bone", alluding to crossing the frozen ice on skates. He was also called God of the Shield, and the shield was referred to as his "ship", which may be a reference to using a shield or shield-shaped board as a sled … or to the ice of winter enveloping the world like a shield.
Ullr's name comes from wuldor, an Old High German word meaning "glory". It was pronounced "Ool" in ancient times, but today is generally pronounced "Ooler". The Anglo-Saxons called him Vulder; in some places in Germany he was known as Holler and said to be the husband of the Germanic goddess Holda. Some modern Pagans feel that he eventually took up with Skadi, the winter goddess and huntress, after she left her first husband Njord.
Victorian Ullr 2Ullr was said to be the son of Sif and the stepson of Thor. Some claim that he was the son of Egill/Aurvandil, the great archer who was Thor's hunting companion and the father of Svipdag as well. Some see him as Aesir because of his mother and stepfather; some as Vanir because of his food-procuring hunter's nature. He lived in Ydalir, the Yew-grove, referring to the fact that yew wood was the favorite for making bows even thousands of years ago. In Saxo Grammaticus's works, where the Gods are recast as human heroes, Odin is temporarily exiled for rape and Ullr is chosen to lead in his place until Odin's return, which is an echo of his former importance to the people of the North.
In Lilla Ullevi, Sweden, an actual shrine to Ullr was unearthed. In the earth around it were found 65 rings; old references to swearing on Ullr's ring indicate that he was one of the Gods who watched over a vow. The rings were apparently used for swearing oaths and then buried at his shrine.
In Norse mythology, Víðarr (Old Norse, possibly "wide ruler", sometimes anglicized as Vidar, Vithar, Vidarr, and Vitharr) is a god among the Æsir associated with vengeance. Víðarr is described as the son of Odin and the jötunn Gríðr, and is foretold to avenge his father's death by killing the wolf Fenrir at Ragnarök, a conflict which he is described as surviving. Víðarr is attested in the Poetic Edda, compiled in the 13th century from earlier traditional sources, the Prose Edda, written in the 13th century by Snorri Sturluson, and is interpreted as depicted with Fenrir on the Gosforth Cross. A number of theories surround the figure, including theories around potential ritual silence and a Proto-Indo-European basis.
One of the nine Valkyries. Daughter of Wotan and sister to Brunnhilde. She first appears in Act 3 of Die Walkure. Like the other Valkyries, she refuses to help Brunnhilde and her half-sister Sieglinde escape for fear of Wotan. She and the other Valkyries beg Wotan not to punish Brunnhilde, but he threatens her punishment to any Valkyrie who remains with her, causing them to leave.
In Act 1 of Gotterdammerung Waltraute again appears. She tells Brunnhilde that after her banishment Wotan no longer sent the Valkyries out. She also tells her sister Wotan's spear has been broken and that he has had the world ash tree chopped down and made into kindling round Valhalla. He and all the others of Valhalla are sitting there, awaiting the end. From him Waltraute heard that if the ring was returned to the Rhinemaidens the curse would be broken, thus she has come to tell Brunnhilde to do this. However Brunnhilde refuses as the ring is a symbol of her love with Siegfried. Waltraute leaves in despair. In the final act of Gotterdammerung Valhalla is set alight, destroying all those within.
Alberich is a dwarf, who guards the treasure of the Nibelungen, but is overcome by Siegfried. News of the gold robbery and ring of power incited gods and giants alike to action. The giants Fafner and Fasolt demanded the ring in payment for building Valhalla, and carried off Freyja as a hostage. In the border, the gods, Odin, God of Vitory, Frigg, Loki, Freyr, and Thor all search despairingly for the hidden treasure.
Alvíss ("All-Wise") was a dwarf in Norse mythology. Thor's daughter, Þrúðr, was promised to Alvíss. However, Thor did not want Alviss married to his daughter, so he devised a plan to stop Alvíss from doing so. He told Alvíss that, because of his small height, he had to prove his wisdom. Alvíss agreed. Thor made the tests last until after the sun had risen. Alviss, because he was a dwarf, was petrified when he was exposed to sunlight, and Þrúðr remained unmarried.
Andvari (Old Norse "Careful One") is a dwarf who lives underneath a waterfall and has the power to change himself into a fish at will. Andvari had a magical ring Andvaranaut, which helped him become wealthy. Using a net provided by Ran, Loki caught him as a fish and forced him to give up his gold and ring. Andvari cursed the gold to destroy anyone who possessed it.
Aslaug, also called Aslög, Kráka, Kraba or Randalin, was a queen in Norse mythology who appears in Snorri's Edda, the Völsunga saga and in the saga of Ragnar Lodbrok as his wife.
According to the thirteenth-century Tale of Ragnar Lodbrok, Aslaug was the daughter of Sigurd and the shieldmaiden Brynhildr, but was raised by Brynhildr's foster father Heimer. At the deaths of Sigurd and Brynhildr, Heimer was concerned about Aslaug's security, so he made a harp large enough to hide the girl. He then traveled as a poor harp player carrying the harp containing the girl.
Beowulf is a legendary hero and later king, and the protagonist of the epic poem named for him, one of the oldest surviving pieces of literature in the English language. When king Hroðgar and his court were terrorized by the monstrous Grendel, Beowulf left Geatland and sailed to Zealand with fourteen warriors in order to repay his father's debt. Beofulf killed Grendel, his mother and a dragon.
Eric Haraldsson (Old Norse: Eiríkr Haraldsson, Norwegian: Eirik Haraldsson; c. 885 – 954), nicknamed Eric Bloodaxe (Old Norse: Eiríkr blóðøx, Norwegian: Eirik Blodøks), was a 10th-century Norwegian ruler. He is thought to have had short-lived terms as King of Norway and twice as King of Northumbria (c. 947–948 and 952–954).Historians have reconstructed a narrative of Eric's life and career from the scant available historical data. There is a distinction between contemporary or near contemporary sources for Eric's period as ruler of Northumbria, and the entirely saga-based sources that detail the life of Eric of Norway, a chieftain who ruled the Norwegian Westland in the 930s. Norse sources have identified the two as the same since the late 12th century, and while the subject was controversial among early modern historians, most historians have identified the two figures as the same since W. G. Collingwood's article in 1901. This identification has been rejected recently by the historian Claire Downham, who argued that later Norse writers synthesized the two Erics, possibly using English sources. This argument, though respected by other historians in the area, has not produced consensus.
Contemporary or near-contemporary sources include different recensions of the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle, Eric's coinage, the Life of St Cathróe, and possibly skaldic poetry. Such sources reproduce only a hazy image of Eric's activities in Anglo-Saxon England.
Strikingly, Eric's historical obscurity stands in sharp contrast to the wealth of legendary depictions in the kings' sagas, where he takes part in the sagas of his father Harald Fairhair and his younger half-brother Haakon the Good. These include the late 12th-century Norwegian synoptics – Historia Norwegiæ (perhaps c. 1170), Theodoricus monachus' Historia de antiquitate regum Norwagiensium (c. 1180), and Ágrip af Nóregskonungasögum (c. 1190) – and the later Icelandic kings' sagas Orkneyinga saga (c. 1200), Fagrskinna (c. 1225), the Heimskringla ascribed to Snorri Sturluson (c. 1230), Egils saga (1220 - 1240), and Óláfs saga Tryggvasonar en mesta (c. 1300). Exactly in what sense the Eric of the sagas may have been based on the historical Eric of Northumbria, and conversely, to what extent later evidence might be called upon to shed light on the historical figure, are matters which have inspired a variety of approaches and suggestions among generations of historians. Current opinion veers towards a more critical attitude towards the use of sagas as historical sources for the period before the 11th century, but conclusive answers cannot be offered.
Gunnhild konungamóðir (mother of kings) or Gunnhild Gormsdóttir (c. 910 – c. 980) is a character who appears in the Icelandic Sagas, according to which she was the wife of Eric Bloodaxe (king of Norway 930–34, 'King' of Orkney c. 937–54, and king of Jórvík 948–49 and 952–54). Many of the details of her life are disputed, including her parentage. Although she is treated in the sagas as a historical person, even her historicity is a matter of some debate. Gunnhild appears prominently in many Norse sagas, including Fagrskinna, Egils saga, Njáls saga, and Heimskringla. What details of her life are known come largely from Icelandic sources, which generally asserted that the Icelandic settlers had fled from Harald's tyranny. While the historicity of such sources as the Landnámabók is disputed, the perception that Harald had exiled or driven out many of their ancestors led to an attitude among Icelanders generally hostile to Erik and Gunnhild. Scholars such as Gwyn Jones therefore regard some of the episodes reported in them as suspect.
The sagas relate that Gunnhild lived during a time of great change and upheaval in Norway. Her father-in-law Harald Fairhair had recently united much of Norway under his rule. Shortly after his death, Gunnhild and her husband were overthrown and exiled. She spent much of the rest of her life in exile in Orkney, Jorvik and Denmark. A number of her many children with Erik became co-rulers of Norway in the late tenth century.
In the sagas, Gunnhild is most often depicted in a negative light; she is described by Jenny Jochens as known for her "power and cruelty, admired for her beauty and generosity, and feared for her magic, cunning, sexual insatiability, and her goading."
Hagen, Dueling King II Hagen (German form) or Högni (Old Norse Hǫgni, often anglicized as Hogni) is a Burgundian warrior in tales about the Burgundian kingdom at Worms. Hagen is often identified as a brother or half-brother of King Gunther (Old Norse Gunnarr). In the Nibelungenlied he is nicknamed "from Tronje".
Högne was a king of Östergötland. He had a son named Hildur and daughter Hilda who was married to Granmar, the king of Södermanland. When Ingjald Ill-ruler murdered most of the sub-kings of Sweden, Högne and Granmar successfully defended their kingdoms. Snorri states that Högne and his son Hildur often made raids into the Swedish provinces killing many of Ingjald's men, and that he ruled his kingdom until he died.
Palnatoke or Palnatoki, sometimes written Palna-Toki or Palna Toki (Old Norse Pálnatóki or Pálna-Tóki), was a legendary Danish hero and chieftain of the island of Fyn. He raised Harald Bluetooth's son Sweyn Forkbeard and was a staunch supporter of the old pagan faith. He convinced Sweyn to wage war on his own father, and according to some accounts, Palnatoki himself slew Harald. In addition to religious motives, he may have been taking revenge for the death of his grandfather, the Geatish earl Jarl Ottar, who was killed when Harald invaded Götaland.
Ragnar Lodbrok (Old Norse: Ragnarr Loðbrók, "Ragnar Hairy Breeches") was a legendary Norse ruler and hero from the Viking Age described in Old Norse poetry and several sagas. He is said to be the son of Sigurd Ring, who was king of Sweden. Ragnar became known as the scourge of France and England and as the father of many renowned sons, including Ivar the Boneless, Björn Ironside, Halfdan Ragnarsson, Sigurd Snake-in-the-Eye, and Ubba. While his sons are historical figures, it is uncertain whether Ragnar himself existed. Many of the tales about him appear to originate with the deeds of several historical Viking heroes and rulers.
According to legend, Ragnar was thrice married: to the shieldmaiden Lagertha, to the noblewoman Thora Town-Hart, and to the warrior queen Aslaug. Said to have been a relative of the Danish king Gudfred or a son of king Sigurd Hring, he became king himself and distinguished himself by many raids and conquests until he was eventually seized by his foe, King Ælla of Northumbria, and killed by being thrown into a pit of snakes. His sons bloodily avenged him by invading England with the Great Heathen Army.
Saxo Grammaticus begins his story of Ragnar Loðbrók, a semi-legendary king of Denmark and Sweden, by telling that a certain Þóra Borgarhjörtr receives a baby lindworm as a gift from her father Herrauðr, the Earl of Götaland. As the lindworm grows, it eventually takes Þóra hostage, demanding to be supplied with no less than one ox a day, until she is freed by a young man in fur-trousers named Ragnar, who thus obtains the byname of Loðbrók ("hairy britches") and becomes Þóra's husband.
Reginn, often Anglicized as Regin, in Norse mythology, was the son of Hreiðmarr and foster father of Sigurd. His brothers are Fafnir and Ótr. When Loki mistakenly kills Ótr, Hreiðmarr demands to be repaid with the amount of gold it takes to fill Ótr's skin and cover the outside. Loki takes this gold from the dwarf Andvari, who curses it and especially the ring Andvaranaut. Fafnir kills his father for this gold, and Regin gets none of it and becomes smith to the king. He eventually becomes Sigurd's foster father, and teaches him many languages as well as sports, chess, and runes. Regin had all wisdom and deftness of hand. Of his two brothers, he has the ability to work iron as well as silver and gold and he makes many beautiful and useful things. In the Poetic Edda (Völuspá 12), the Dvergatal lists Reginn as a Dvergr (Norse dwarf). Among the heroic lays of the Poetic Edda (Reginsmál, aka Sigurðarkviða Fáfnisbana Önnur) says: Reginn the son of Hreiðmarr... was the most skillful of men, and a Dvergr of size. He was wise, dark and versed in magic.
Siegfried or Sigurd(Old Norse: Sigurðr) is a legendary hero of Norse mythology, as well as the central character in the Völsungasaga. As Siegfried, he is one of the heroes in the German Nibelungenlied and in Richard Wagner's operas Siegfried and Götterdämmerung. He is a prince and has a heroic background including killing the dragon Fafnir and winning lands and an immense fortune from a pair of brothers. From bathing in Fafnir's blood, he is invulnerable except for a spot on his back where a leaf adhered to his skin. source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sigurd
In Norse mythology, Ægir (Old Norse "sea") is a sea jötunn associated with the ocean. He is also known for hosting elaborate parties for the gods.
Ægir's servants are Fimafeng (killed by Loki) and Eldir.
Aegir (pronounced “EYE-geer;” Old Norse Ægir) and Ran (pronounced “RAN;” Old Norse Rán) are two of the most often-mentioned giants in Norse mythology. Unfortunately, as fragmentary as the sources for our knowledge of Norse mythology are, that doesn’t come out to a particularly large number of mentions. Still, some of the most general characteristics attributed to Aegir and Ran by the pre-Christian Norse can be discerned.
Fáfnir (Old Norse and Icelandic) or Frænir was a son of the Dwarf king Hreidmar and brother of Reginn and Ótr. He was the most violent of his siblings, and after murdering his father to steal a trove of Andvari's cursed gold, his greed twisted his form into that of a vile dragon, who then tainted the land surrounding his lair with venom to thwart all intruders. He was killed by Sigurd.
Fenrir (Old Norse: "fen-dweller"), or Vánagandr (Old Norse: "the monster of the river Ván"), is a monstrous wolf. Fenrir is the father of the wolf Hati Hróðvitnisson, a son of Loki, and is foretold to kill the god Odin during the events of Ragnarök, but will in turn be killed by Odin's son Víðarr. Due to the gods' knowledge of prophecies foretelling great trouble from Fenrir and his rapid growth, the gods bound him, and as a result Fenrir bit off the right hand of the god Týr.
In Norse mythology, Fimbulvetr (or fimbulvinter), commonly rendered in English as Fimbulwinter, is the immediate prelude to the events of Ragnarök. Fimbulvetr is the harsh winter that precedes the end of the world and puts an end to all life on Earth. Fimbulwinter is three successive winters where snow comes in from all directions, without any intervening summer. During this time, there will be innumerable wars and ties of blood will no longer be respected: the next-of-kin will lie together and brothers will kill brothers. The event is described primarily in the Poetic Edda. In the poem Vafþrúðnismál, Odin poses the question to Vafþrúðnir as to who of mankind will survive the Fimbulwinter. Vafþrúðnir responds that Líf and Lífþrasir will survive and that they will live in the forest of Hoddmímis holt. This mythology might be related to the extreme weather events of 535–536 which resulted in a notable drop in temperature across northern Europe. There have also been several popular ideas about whether or not this particular piece of mythology has a connection to the climate change that occurred in the Nordic countries at the end of the Nordic Bronze Age dating from about 650 BC. Before this climate change, the Nordic countries were considerably warmer. In Denmark, Norway, Sweden and other Nordic countries, the term fimbulvinter is still used to refer to an unusually cold and harsh winter.
Grendel is one of three antagonists, along with Grendel's mother and the dragon, in the Anglo-Saxon epic poem Beowulf. He is usually imagined by readers either as a horrific monster or as an ugly, enormous human, and he is feared in the poem by all but Beowulf. When reports of Grendel slaughtering innocents reaches Beowulf from across the sea, the hero leaves his homeland and embarks upon a journey to slay the villain.
Gullinbursti (meaning "Gold Mane or Golden Bristles") is a boar in Norse mythology. When Loki had Sif's hair, Freyr's ship Skíðblaðnir and Odin's spear Gungnir fashioned by the Sons of Ivaldi, he bet his own head with Brokkr that his brother Eitri (Sindri) wouldn't have been able to make items to match the quality of those mentioned above. So to make gifts to Freyr, Eitri threw a pig's skin into a furnace as Brokkr worked on the bellows, and together they manufactured the boar Gullinbursti which had bristles in its mane that glowed in the dark. The story of Gullinbursti's creation is related in the Skáldskaparmál section of Snorri Sturluson's Prose Edda.
Hafgufa (Icelandic, haf "sea" + gufa "steam") is the name of a massive sea monster reported in the Örvar-Odds saga to have existed in the Greenland Sea which was said to disguise itself as an island or pair of rocks rising from the sea. In Konungs skuggsjá, an Old Norwegian philosophical didactic work written toward the end of the 12th century, the king told his son of several whales that inhabit the Icelandic seas, concluding with a description of a large whale that he himself feared, but he doubted anyone would believe him about without seeing it. He described the Hafgufa (Hafgufu in Old Norwegian language) as a massive fish that looked more like an island than like a living thing. The king noted that Hafgufa was rarely seen, but always seen in the same two places. He concluded there must be only two of them and that they must be infertile, otherwise the seas would be full of them.
The king described the feeding manner of Hafgufa: The fish would belch, which would expel so much food that it would attract all the nearby fish. Once a large number had crowded into its mouth and belly, it would close its mouth and devour them all at once.
In Norse mythology, Hlökk (Old Norse "noise, battle") is a valkyrie. Hlökk is attested as among the 13 valkyries listed in the Poetic Edda poem Grímnismál, and additionally in both Nafnaþulur lists found in the Prose Edda.
In Norse mythology, Hræsvelgr (Old Norse "Corpse Swallower") is a giant who takes eagle form. According to stanza 37 of the poem Vafþrúðnismál from the Poetic Edda, he sits at the end of the world (or the northern edge of the heavens) and causes the wind to blow when he beats his wings in flight.
The first living being formed in the primeval chaos known as Ginnungagap was a giant of monumental size, called Ymir. When he slept a jötunn son and a jötunn daughter grew from his armpits, and his two feet procreated and gave birth to a son, a monster with six heads. These three beings gave rise to the race of hrimthurs or hrímþursar (rime thurs, frost giants), who populated Niflheim, a land of eternal cold. When the giant Ymir subsequently was slain by Odin, Vili and Vé (the grandsons of Búri), his blood (i.e. water) deluged Niflheim and killed all of the jötnar, apart from one known as Bergelmir and his spouse, who then repopulated their kind. They are known to be able to freeze prey/people.
Jörmungandr is the child of Loki and the sibling of Hel and Fenrir. He is said to swirl around the World. One time when Thor was fishing, he managed to capture Jörmungandr. The giant Hymer helps him escape though. When Ragnarök comes, Thor and Jörmungandr will face. Thor will slay the serpent, but after he's taken nine steps Jörmungandr's poison will kill him.
Lindworm (cognate with Old Norse linnormr 'constrictor snake', Norwegian linnormr 'dragon') is a technical term for a wingless bipedal dragon often with a venomous bite. In legends, lindworms are typically very large and eat cattle and human bodies, sometimes invading churchyards and eating the dead from cemeteries. Possessing the shed skin of a lindworm was believed to mystically impart a greater understanding of nature and medicine to its bearer.
In Norse mythology, Hati Hróðvitnisson (first name meaning "He Who Hates, Enemy") is a warg that according to Gylfaginning chases the Moon across the night sky, just as the wolf Sköll chases the Sun during the day, until the time of Ragnarök when they will swallow these heavenly bodies, after which Fenrir will break free from his bonds and kill Odin.
Hati's surname is Hróðvitnisson, attested in both Grímnismál and Gylfaginning, which indicates that he is the son of Fenrir, whose alternate name is Hróðvitnir ("Famous Wolf"). Hati's mother is the giantess, not named but mentioned in Völuspá and Gylfaginning, who dwells to the east of Midgard in the forest of Járnviðr ("Ironwood"). Snorri Sturluson states that this giantess and witch bears many giants for sons, all in the form of wolves including one named Mánagarm ("Moon Hound") who shall swallow the Moon and is thus identified with Hati. From this passage it is also presumed that Sköll is Hati's brother. Another name for Hati is Mánagarmr ("Moon-Hound"), referring to his hunting down the moon during the Ragnarök and swallowing it. The name can be anglicized as Managarm, Manegarm, Mánagarm or Managarmr.
In Norse mythology, Níðhöggr (Malice Striker, often anglicized Nidhogg) is a dragon who gnaws at a root of the World Tree, Yggdrasill. In the mythology, the Nidhogg is said to be controlled by only one being, the Norse goddess named Hel.
In Norse mythology, Ratatoskr (Old Norse, generally considered to mean "drill-tooth" or "bore-tooth") is a squirrel who runs up and down the world tree Yggdrasil to carry messages between the unnamed eagle, perched atop Yggdrasil, and the wyrm Níðhöggr, who dwells beneath one of the three roots of the tree. Ratatoskr is attested in the Poetic Edda, compiled in the 13th century from earlier traditional sources, and the Prose Edda, written in the 13th century by Snorri Sturluson.
In Norse mythology, Sköll (Old Norse "Treachery") is a wolf that chases the horses Árvakr and Alsviðr, that drag the chariot which contains the sun (Sól) through the sky every day, trying to eat her. Sköll has a brother, Hati Hróðvitnisson, who chases Máni, the moon. At Ragnarök, both Sköll and Hati will succeed in their quests.
Sköll, in certain circumstances, is used as a heiti to refer indirectly to the father (Fenrir) and not the son. This ambiguity works in the other direction also, for example in Vafþrúðnismál, where confusion exists in stanza 46 where Fenrir is given the sun-chasing attributes of his son Sköll. This can mostly be accounted for by the use of Hróðvitnir and Hróðvitnisson to refer to both Fenrir and his sons.
In Norse mythology, Surtr (Old Norse "black" or "the swarthy one") is a jötunn. Surtr is attested in the Poetic Edda, compiled in the 13th century from earlier traditional sources, and the Prose Edda, written in the 13th century by Snorri Sturluson. In both sources, Surtr is foretold as being a major figure during the events of Ragnarök; carrying his bright sword, he will go to battle against the Æsir, he will do battle with the major god Freyr, and afterward the flames that he brings forth will engulf the Earth. His name also appears in the late Eddic poem Fjölsvinnsmál.
In Norse mythology, Svaðilfari (Old Norse "unlucky traveler") is a stallion that fathered the eight-legged horse Sleipnir with Loki (in the form of a mare). Svaðilfari was owned by the disguised and unnamed hrimthurs who built the walls of Asgard.
A troll is a supernatural being in Norse mythology and Scandinavian folklore. In origin, troll may have been a negative synonym for a jötunn (plural jötnar), a being in Norse mythology. In Old Norse sources, beings described as trolls dwell in isolated rocks, mountains, or caves, live together in small family units, and are rarely helpful to human beings.
Vafþrúðnir is a wise jötunn in Norse mythology. His name comes from Vaf, which means "weave" or "entangle", and thrudnir, which means strong or mighty. Some interpret it to mean “mighty in riddles”. It may be anglicized 'Vafthruthnir'. In the Poetic Edda poem Vafþrúðnismál, Vafþrúðnir acts as (the disguised) Odin's host and opponent in a deadly battle of wits that results in Vafþrúðnir's defeat.
In Norse mythology, Ymir, Aurgelmir, Brimir, or Bláinn is a primeval being born of primordial elemental poison and the ancestor of all jötnar. Ymir is attested in the Poetic Edda, compiled in the 13th century from earlier traditional material, in the Prose Edda, written by Snorri Sturluson in the 13th century, and in the poetry of skalds. Taken together, several stanzas from four poems collected in the Poetic Edda refer to Ymir as a primeval being who was born from venom that dripped from the icy rivers Élivágar and lived in the grassless void of Ginnungagap. Ymir birthed a male and female from the pits of his arms, and his legs together begat a six-headed being. The gods Odin, Vili, and Vé fashioned the Earth (elsewhere personified as a goddess; Jörð) from his flesh, from his blood the ocean, from his bones the hills, from his hair the trees, from his brains the clouds, from his skull the heavens, and from his eyebrows the middle realm in which mankind lives, Midgard. In addition, one stanza relates that the dwarfs were given life by the gods from Ymir's flesh and blood (or the Earth and sea).
In the Prose Edda, a narrative is provided that draws from, adds to, and differs from the accounts in the Poetic Edda. According to the Prose Edda, after Ymir was formed from the elemental drops, so too was Auðumbla, a primeval cow, whose milk Ymir fed from. The Prose Edda states that three gods killed Ymir; the brothers Odin, Vili, and Vé, and details that, upon Ymir's death, his blood caused an immense flood. Scholars have debated as to what extent Snorri's account of Ymir is an attempt to synthesize a coherent narrative for the purpose of the Prose Edda and to what extent Snorri drew from traditional material outside of the corpus that he cites. By way of historical linguistics and comparative mythology, scholars have linked Ymir to Tuisto, the Proto-Germanic being attested by Tacitus in his 1st century AD work Germania and have identified Ymir as an echo of a primordial being reconstructed in Proto-Indo-European mythology.