There are A LOT of Norse mythology gods and goddesses. If you have ever gotten one confused for another, or thought one was the other's brother instead of uncle (looking at you, Marvel), we don't blame you for the mix-up. We here at AleHorn have made a few mistakes in our day.
Here's your primer for the major gods and goddesses of the Norse pantheon. It's important to remember that this is not an exhaustive list-- there are a lot of lesser spirits, beings, and beasts that play their own roles who won't be mentioned here. This list is meant to represent the main Vanir and Aesir players.
Obviously, we must begin with the All-Father. As the head-honcho of Norse mythology, Odin is an Aesir, widely comparable to Zeus from Greek mythology, Ra in Egyptian mythology, Dagda in the Celtic mythos, and the triad of Brahma, Shiva, and Vishnu in Hindu mythology.
Odin is technically a god of war, poetry, magic, and wisdom. His job, more or less, in Norse mythology, is to unlock the mysteries of the universe. He is often pictured as a traveling old seeker, offering his wisdom, playing tricks, and sacrificing what he can to understand the world better.
For more on Odin, read here.
Frigg is mostly known as the wife of Odin, but she has her own role to play in the Norse pantheon. Frigg is sometimes tied to both Fulla and Freya, two other Norse goddesses, but we don't know if they are all meant to be the same.
Frigg mainly rules over marriage, the hearth, and childbirth. Her main role in the pantheon is in regards to her beautiful son with Odin, Baldr. Frigg begs everything in existence not to hurt Baldr, but is fooled by Loki. Frigg is also known to have several handmaidens who help her, including Fulla, Lofn, and Gna.
To learn about Frigg's motherly ways, click here.
Perhaps the best known on of Odin, Thor wields the great hammer, Mjolnir. Thor is the god of thunder. While this might make him seem like a mighty warrior (and yes, he is), he is also known for his bravery, righteousness, and his healing powers. He is also the god of male fertility or the god for women who are carrying sons.
Want to wear Thor's pendant, Mjolnir? Click here.
You probably know Loki pretty well. We like to talk about him a lot on this blog. Loki is often referred to as the blood-brother of Odin. And he isn't just the god of tricks and mischief-- he's also considered to be the god of fatherhood. And he should be-- he's got a LOT of kids: Sleipnir the six-legged horse; Fenrir the great wolf; Jormungander, the world serpent; Hel who rules the underground; Vali who turned into a wolf and killed his brother, Nari (also called Narfi). He's also the grandfather of Hati and Skol, who eat Odin and begin Ragnarok
His goddess wife is named Sigyn. Interested in learning more about her and her relationship with this tricky devil? Click here.
The god Tyr is often underrepresented in depictions of the Norse pantheon, but he's just as important as Thor and Loki. As the god associated with law and heroic glory, Tyr is very fair. He is sometimes portrayed as one of Odin's sons.
Tyr is best known for having his arm bitten off during the gods' attempt to restrain Fenrir, the great wolf.
Learn about Tyr's sacrifice here.
Baldr's role in the Norse pantheon is pretty small, but he is one of the best known of all the Norse gods and goddesses thanks to the tale of his murder at the hands of Loki. Baldr is the Norse god of light, joy, purity, and the summer sun, according to some accounts.
His death was avenged by his brother, Vale, a son of Odin who we don't know very much about. Read the whole tale here.
Heimdallr is the owner of the Gjallarhorn, which will be used one day to signal Ragnarok. It is also the horn that is used to drink from Mimir's Well. Heimdallr himself sits and waits at the Bifrost, the rainbow bridge that connects the worlds together. He is said to possess foreknowledge, and amazing eyesight, and hearing so impeccable he can hear a blade of grass growing.
Freya is the Norse goddess of love, war, and witchcraft, as well as the leader and queen of the Valkyries. She is one of the more clever goddesses and is actually given a lot of authority over herself and those realms in which she reigns. Freya can help you have a baby, but she is also very wise. Some scholars think that Freya and Frigg might be the same person.
Her brother is named Freyr, and he is the god associated with sacral kingship, virility, and prosperity. He also rules over fair weather and is even said to be a fertility god, just like his twin sister.
There are only the major Norse mythology gods and goddesses. Do you have a favorite we haven't mentioned? Never fear! We'll be back to write about the minor gods and goddesses another day! Let us know who you want to hear about in the comments below!
Want to wear the symbol of your favorite or patron god or goddess? Check out our line of gorgeous jewelry here!
Comments will be approved before showing up.