The gods of the Vikings were volatile folks. They weren't like the Abrahamic God (although He's pretty volatile too). They didn't know all and have an all-encompassing moral code. And they weren't the perfect spouses, either. They all very famously cheated on one another-- with one another.
Nevertheless, their stories did instill values in those who worshipped them. Here are a few examples of what we can learn from the couples of the Norse pantheon.
1. Turn to your partner for advice, no matter how smart you are. And also, make sure you have some hobbies in common. Odin and Frigg
Frigg was married to the god of wisdom, but that didn't mean she was some kind of a dummy. Odin often went to her for advice on very complicated matters. In fact, when it came to predicting what would happen in the future, the two would make a game of prophecies, each placing bets on what would happen to famous heroes, or even the other gods.
2. Honor and appreciate your partner's looks. Thor and Sif
(Thor about to give Loki a rather unholy beatdown for chopping off Sif's hair. Image credit: Unknown.)
Loki, the giant asshole that he is, decides to chop off all the beautiful, golden hair of Sif, the wife of Thor. No particular reason. Of course, this enrages Thor. Not only has his honor be called out with this assault on his wife, but he knows that as a goddess, Sif's hair is very important to her. He sets Loki on the path to restore her hair, which eventually brings Mjolnir to Thor, too.
3. Sometimes, you have to hold your partner back from their family. Bragi and Idunn
(Hey look, it's Loki, stirring the shit pot again. Image credit: Wikipedia)
Another time Loki was in a mood to be a dick, he came to the halls of the gods and started calling all the spouses out on their cheating. This really pissed off Bragi, the god of poetry, but Idunn held him back from getting involved in the fight-- even when Loki insulted Idunn's own honor.
- I ask you, Bragi, to do a service to your blood-kin
- and all the adoptive relations,
- that you shouldn't say words of blame to Loki,
- in Ægir's hall.
- Be silent, Idunn, I declare that of all women
- you're the most man-crazed,
- since you placed your arms, washed bright,
- about your brother's slayer.
(Loki creeping on Idunn. Image credit: Wikipedia.)
- I'm not saying words of blame to Loki,
- in Ægir's hall
- I quietened Bragi, made talkative with beer;
- and all living things love him.
Skadi is owed by the Aesir for the killing of her father. She winds up with Njord, the god of the sea-- which is great. Except that Skadi is a jotunn who lives in the mountains. After sixteen days, the two decide to go their separate ways, because they just can't make it work. There's something to be said for knowing when to call it quits.
5. Stand by your partner. Sigyn and Loki
After the gods are finally super, duper done with Loki, his son Vali is transformed into a wolf, during which, he kills his brother, Nari (or Narfi) and pulls all of his guts out.
(A very uncomfortable position. Image credit: Wikipedia.)
These guts are turned into iron chains which entrap Loki to three stones. A poisonous snake is put over his head, dripping venom on to his forehead. His wife, Sigyn is standing there, catching the venom in a bowl (or perhaps a drinking horn?)
Does she do it out of love for Loki? Does she do it because she must be dutiful to her husband? Or does she do it because she doesn't really have much going on anymore? We don't really know. But I like to think she's biding her time for Ragnarok.
Oh yeah-- sometimes, she has to go dump the poison out. When she does, the poison falls on Loki's head, and he squirms in pain, causing tremors throughout the earth. The Norse said those were what we know of now as earthquakes, and that one day, they will be enough for Loki to break free and cause Ragnarok.
Do any of these stories make you think of you and your partner? Share your beautiful and unique and crazy love stories with us on social media!