Norse gods family tree | God of Protection, Love & Nature
The Vikings are known for being ruthless warriors who ravaged Europe for the sheer thrill of fighting. Their conquests were motivated by loot, prestige, pleasure, and retribution rather than honor.
Norse mythology and Viking gods represented the martial culture of the Vikings. They fought brutal conflicts from across the cosmos, fought monsters and demons, and prepared for Ragnarok, the world’s final fight. The Norse gods are divided into two groups: sir and Vanir. The primary gods are Odin, Frigg, Thor, Loki, Balder, Hod, Heimdall, and Tyr, who are the most elevated manifestations of sir. The second clan, Vanir, represents the fertility gods, including Njord, Freyr, and Freyja.
The Norse Gods & Goddesses
Odin, the Allfather of the Aesir, was the ultimate god of Greek myth and the greatest of the Norse gods. Alongside his two ravens, two wolves, and the Valkyries, he was the awe-inspiring king of Asgard and most revered eternal on an insatiable quest for knowledge.
He is the god of war and the deity of poetry and magic, which is deliciously paradoxical. He is known for giving one of his eyes to see the cosmos more clearly, and his quest for wisdom prompted him to hang for nine days and nine nights from the World Tree, Yggdrasil until he was granted understanding of the runic alphabet. Due to his uncompromising attitude, he was able to solve a number of puzzles.
Frigg, Odin’s wife, was the epitome of beauty, love, fertility, and fate. She was Asgard’s great queen, a venerable Norse deity endowed with the power of divination but shrouded in secrecy. She has been the only deity who was permitted to sit alongside her husband. Frigg was a fiercely protective mother, swearing that the elements, creatures, weapons, and poisons would not harm her clever and beloved son, Balder. Loki, a highly treacherous god, broke her confidence.
Balder, the son of Odin and Frigg, was the Norse deity of light and purity who embodied the blazing summer sun. He was described as a beautiful and elegant divine person who was fair, thoughtful, and kind. In old Norse, his name, Blader or Baldur, meant ‘brave.’ He was claimed to be adored both by gods and humanity, and to be the most powerful of all gods.
Balder is unfortunately most known for his untimely end. His mother, the goddess Frigg, implores the powers in earth and heaven to pledge never to harm her son, making him invincible to all harm.
The gods will often use them as a subject for knife tossing and archery, thinking it was a fun pastime, because the blades would merely bounce off him. Unfortunately, Frigg neglected to include a little plant known as mistletoe in her labour, and Loki, being crafty and jealous, duped Frigg into disclosing the secret. Loki then gave Balder’s blind brother Hodr a mistletoe blade, which was hurled at Balder and murdered him.
Odin persuaded Hel, the queen of the netherworld, to return Balder to the realm of the living after Balder’s death. She Everything else in the universe, alive or dead, must mourn for him, according to their agreement. Only one giantess, who was most likely Loki in disguise, refused to cry, and Balder was unable to return. Hodr was killed for his role in the killing of his brother.
Loki, the trickster deity with shapeshifting abilities, was the son of ice giants and was adopted by Odin. Loki is never shown as totally malevolent; instead, he is depicted as chaotic and vicious, with little awareness of the consequences of his deeds. He is supremely brilliant, and he frequently creates complex difficulties for which he then proposes a solution, which invariably results in additional trouble.
In the numerous surviving myths, Loki is shown as either a comrade or a foe of the Norse deity Thor. Nonetheless, Loki was predicted to be the cause of the deaths of many Norse gods during Ragnarok — the end of the world.
Heimdall was a son of Odin who perched atop the Bifrost (the rainbow link that joins Asgard, the planet of the Dark elves tribe of gods, with Midgard, the land of humanity) and was eternally on alert, defending Asgard against attack.
The Norse goddess Hel, also known as Hel, was the child of Loki and the giant Angrboda, and was the ruler of the netherworld. It was her role to judge and decide the fate of the souls who entered her domain. In Viking sagas, she is frequently depicted as partially decayed, with the body and face of a living lady but the limbs of a corpse.
She was said to be incredibly strong, possibly even more so than Odin, at least within her own world, which is how she was able to prevent Odin from bringing Balder back to life. Hel is occasionally represented as hungry, harsh, and cruel, but she is more typically depicted as unconcerned about the souls of the dead. Perhaps a reflection of death’s indiscriminate nature.
Freyr, like his sister Freya, is a Vanir Norse god, as opposed to an Aesir Norse god. However, Freyr lived among the Aesir gods having landed in Asgard as a hostage at the close of the Aesir-Vanir conflict. When it came to sexual and ecological fecundity, he was the most important deity.
He was a god of plentiful harvests and vigor, and the boar was commonly offered to him (and then devoured by the guests) at wedding ceremonies. Many Celtic tribes slaughtered boars at marriages, and some Celtic priests employed chariots drawn by boars in specific rituals, both of which Freyr was thought to use.
Sif, the Norse goddess, is little known; her name merely means ‘wife’ or ‘bride’ in old Norse. She was Thor’s wife and had lovely golden hair, which most likely symbolized the gold harvests, as she was a prosperity goddess. She is primarily known for a legend in which Loki sneaks into her room.