Questions tagged [norse]

For questions on the myths and religious beliefs of the Norse people, the pre-Christian inhabitants from modern Scandinavia.

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33
votes
7answers
36k views

How was it decided which warriors would go to Fólkvangr and which to Valhalla?

I have read numerous times that some Norse warriors, upon death, would go in Fólkvangr, while some others would go to Valhalla. How was it decided which warrior would go to which place? Why did the ...
32
votes
3answers
6k views

What is the difference between giants, Jotuns and trolls in Norse mythology?

I am a little bit confused by the way the terms giant, frost giant, jotun (or jötunn), ettin and troll seem to overlap in Norse mythology. I don't understand if they refer to a single race or ...
28
votes
3answers
11k views

Was Loki originally a fire god?

A number of sources claim Loki to have originally been a fire god of some description. This, for instance: Loki was originally a fire deity before he became more closely associated with the ...
26
votes
4answers
13k views

Why was Odin afraid that his ravens would not return back to him?

Odin's ravens would continuously fly all over Midgard to collect information and bring it back to Odin. In Norse mythology, Huginn (from Old Norse "thought") and Muninn (Old Norse "memory" or "...
25
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5answers
4k views

What is Loki considered to be?

I was reading about something and came across the wikipage of Loki. There it says that Loki is a shapeshifter. Loki is a shape shifter and in separate incidents he appears in the form of a salmon, ...
24
votes
1answer
825 views

Did the Gods and Goddesses in Norse mythology act as patron gods?

I know in mythologies such as Greek mythology, gods and goddesses would act as patrons. For example, Athena was the patron goddess of Athens. Did the gods and goddesses in Norse mythology have any ...
23
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6answers
33k views

Why is the story of Odin hanging from Yggdrasil so similar to that of Jesus on the cross?

I hope this actually has an answer, I couldn't find anything but speculation on the web. Basically, the story of Odin hanging from Yggdrasil is very similar to that of Jesus on the cross. Here are ...
20
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2answers
6k views

Is there a connection between Adam and Eve, and Ask and Embla?

The creation myths of the Abrahamic religions declares humanity's protoplasts to be Adam and Eve. Norse lore declares them to be Ask and Embla. Linguistically, these seem to be fairly similar names. ...
19
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4answers
1k views

Does Odin choose who enters Valhalla?

Ero Sɘnnin's answer in How was it decided which warriors would go to Fólkvangr and which to Valhalla? seems to suggest that Odin gets to choose who enters Valhalla: Valhalla is presided over by ...
19
votes
1answer
836 views

Is Mjolnir actually capable of flying back into Thor's hand like a boomerang after being thrown?

This is something Marvel's Thor does all the time: So I was wondering: Has Thor/Mjolnir ever done anything like this in actual Norse mythology?
19
votes
2answers
750 views

Is Odin the only being who gained knowledge of the runes?

In order to learn the secrets of the runes (symbols of some of the most powerful forces in the cosmos), Odin hangs himself from Yggdrasil, pierces himself with his own spear, and peers downward to the ...
19
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1answer
1k views

What did Mimir do with Odin's eye?

Odin is known to be one-eyed because of a trade between Mimir and Odin. When Odin asked Mimir for some water in the well, Mimir declined him of giving any water unless Odin gave him an eye. ...
18
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2answers
1k views

What is the story behind Thor wearing a wedding dress to get Mjölnir back?

I often hear of a story of Loki taking Mjölnir away from Thor and selling it to giants. Thor then gets angry and makes Loki join him in wearing wedding dresses to enter the giants place unnoticed to ...
18
votes
1answer
3k views

Why would slaves be sacrificed after their master's death?

Sacrifice is a common practice in the Norse pagan religion. Sacrifice (blót) played a huge role in most of the rituals that are known about today, and communal feasting on the meat of sacrificed ...
17
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2answers
565 views

How are future apocalyptic events detailed so greatly?

For example, From Wikipedia article on Ragnarök (emphasis mine): In Norse mythology, Ragnarök is a series of future events, including a great battle foretold to ultimately result in the death of ...
17
votes
1answer
17k views

What happens after Ragnarök?

In Norse mythology, Ragnarök is a series of future events, including a great battle foretold to ultimately result in the death of a number of major figures (including the gods Odin, Thor, Týr, Freyr, ...
16
votes
3answers
20k views

Who were the weapons-makers for the Norse gods?

Who were the weapons-makers for the Norse gods? Was there a specific god like in Greek mythology?
16
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2answers
1k views

Is there a deeper meaning to Utgard-Loki, Loki, and Logi?

In the myth of Utgard-Loki, Thor and friends visit the castle Utgard, where several beings have nearly identical names: Utgard-Loki, a giant and the ruler of Utgard Loki, an Aesir and the half-...
16
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3answers
1k views

What items were made by the dwarves for the Norse gods?

On the Wikipage of Mjölnir, it is said to be made by the dwarves Eitri and Brokkr. Wikipedia also states that they created other items for the gods. Those items being: Skidbladnir, the ship of Freyr, ...
16
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2answers
1k views

Where was the World Tree located?

In Indo-European mythology, particular, in Slavic, Baltic and Germanic mythologies there is a so-called World Tree, more precisely, World Oak that plays a sacred role and connects the underworld to ...
15
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4answers
5k views

Are dwarves and dark elves the same?

I remember reading somewhere that in Norse mythology dwarves and dark elves are the same thing. Then I started reading Gylfaginning and it sounded like they were different, but then later on they send ...
15
votes
1answer
617 views

Did Jörmungandr and Fenrir have any relationship/interaction aside from sharing a father?

Both Jörmungandr and Fenrir are Loki's children and are mentioned in connection to Ragnarok. But do they as beings have any sort of relationship/interaction between each other mentioned in any of the ...
15
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2answers
374 views

Is the Kraken a single being or a species?

In Norse mythology, the Kraken is said to be a gigantic octopus (or sometimes a squid) that attack sailing ships. It is said that the Kraken would surface at Ragnarök. So far, I haven't found any ...
15
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2answers
701 views

How is the Hoddmímis holt able to protect humans from Ragnarök?

In Norse mythology, Líf and Lífþrasir are supposed to survive Ragnarök and repopulate the world by hiding in Hoddmímis holt. How is it that Hoddmímis holt is able to survive the destruction of the ...
15
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1answer
1k views

How are the two humans selected to repopulate the world after Ragnarök?

According to Norse Mythology, Ragnarök is a series of future events that means great disasters for the world and the end of many important and powerful gods: In Norse mythology, Ragnarök is a ...
14
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1answer
3k views

Did myths involving Loki influence Christian myths?

There is a lot of influence from non-Christian myths on Christian myths. There are numerous examples of syncretism, especially revolving around the various saints and what they might have done. ...
14
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2answers
21k views

What was the role of the bear in Norse mythology? (Are there bears in Asgard?)

The Norse æsir gods had animal helpers, but did anyone of them have a bear? Have bears been found in graves, like dogs and horses et cetera? Are there Norse illustration of bears? Some Norse warriors ...
14
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2answers
3k views

Are there any relations between Norse elves and Celtic fairies, or their home realms?

A lot of, if not most, modern fantasy tends to have 'Elven' races that seem to be largely inspired by the Norse Elves, likely by way of Tolkien. There also seems to be a large amount of Celtic ...
13
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8answers
21k views

Is there a Western (Greek, Roman, Egyptian, or Norse) god of the cosmos?

I have heard of the Greek god, Chaos (the manifestation of the void), and of the Greek god Aither, (the manifestation of the upper air that gods breathe most often), but I can't find reference to any ...
13
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2answers
1k views

Did the Sami affect Norse mythology?

Fairly simple question, but a broad one: Did the Sami people of northern Scandinavia have any impact on Norse mythology? If so, how?
13
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1answer
946 views

Was the Mjölnir usable by only the worthy?

Present works of fiction present Mjölnir as a hammer of unbelievable power, which can only be used by the worthy. But, when the Mjölnir is given to Thor, its properties are described: Then he gave ...
12
votes
1answer
388 views

What kind of offerings did worshipers make to Thor?

I'm currently playing a role-playing game as a cleric that worships a god of storms and I'm researching what kinds of offerings that god would likely accept. What examples are there of the kinds of ...
12
votes
1answer
221 views

Are there parallels between Ymir/Auðumbla and Paul Bunyan and Babe the Blue Ox besides the obvious?

It's something I've been thinking about for many years now and I figured I might as well ask, as there seems to be an exceptional Norse mythology braintrust on this site. By "obvious" parallels, I am ...
12
votes
1answer
426 views

Why does Óðr (Oder) travel away from Freyja?

In chapter 36 of the Gylfaginning, it is said that: The sixth is Freyja, who is ranked with Frigg. She is wedded to the man whose name is Oder; their daughter's name is Hnos, and she is so fair ...
11
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3answers
2k views

Is “Viking mythology” the same as “Norse mythology”

Does "Viking mythology" and "Norse mythology" mean the same, or are there any differences? The Norse deities were: Odin, Thor, Heimdall... Does it mean, that the Viking deities were them too?
11
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2answers
1k views

Who is the mother of Freyr and Freyja?

Skadi seems to marry Njord after Freyja and Freyr are born. The only other figure I can find is Nerthus, though information on her seems scarce.
11
votes
1answer
3k views

Does Hel have a role in Ragnarok?

During Ragnarok, Fenrir the wolf kills Odin and is then killed by Vidar. The Midgard Serpent Jormungandand and Thor kill each other. What role does Hel, Loki's other child by Angrboda, play?
11
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1answer
431 views

Trolls in Norway

I learned that people put a big stone on their chimney in Norway to prevent from trolls and I am wondering about the myth behind this story.
11
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1answer
230 views

Why does the dragon emerge at the dawn of the new world?

The final stanza of the Völuspá - which immediately follows the stanzas describing the beauty of the reborn world - seems a bit out of place, if not outright bizarre: 66. Then comes the gloomy ...
11
votes
1answer
195 views

Did Yggdrassil exist before the world's creation

In the cosmos creation myth, Ymir is born from the clash of ice and fire that comes from Muspelheim and Niflheim. When Odin and his brothers kill Ymir and create the world using his body it sounds ...
11
votes
1answer
891 views

How did dragons get their wings?

Modern day dragons are, in Western culture at least, imagined as huge, reptilian, fire breathing creatures with both legs and wings. However, as far as I can find out myself by research, dragons were ...
11
votes
0answers
138 views

How do the valkyries choose among the warriors in a battle? [duplicate]

The valkyries are female demigod warriors from the Norse mythology. They served Odin by choosing, among the warriors in a battle, who dies and who lives and from the ones who die which ones go to ...
10
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2answers
2k views

What is the Norse equivalent to the Great Flood?

I have constantly heard that every mythology has its own version to explain why the ocean rose after the last ice age ended(roughly 10,000 years ago). But, I have only heard the christian version with ...
10
votes
3answers
2k views

Did Loki spend 8 years underground as a maid, milking cows and bearing children?

In the Lokasenna, Odin claims that Loki spend 8 winters underground, "milking the cows as a maid" and bearing children: Loki spake: 22. "Be silent, Othin! | not justly thou settest The fate ...
10
votes
4answers
8k views

What kind of cats pulled Freya's chariot?

Everyone knows that the goddess Frejya's chariot was pulled by cats, but what kind of cats are we talking about? Are they giant sized house-cats? Were there any puma-sized cats in ancient ...
10
votes
1answer
388 views

What is the relationship between Thor and storms?

We all know Þórr means thunder and that Mjǫllnir may possibly mean lightning, however, in all the texts I've read, there isn't a single mention (or at least not a relevant one) of a connection between ...
10
votes
1answer
275 views

How did the Norse ship burial ritual originate from?

The Norse ship burial, according to Wikipedia: A prominent tradition is that of the ship burial, where the deceased was laid in a boat, or a stone ship, and given grave offerings in accordance ...
10
votes
1answer
369 views

Did Huginn and Muninn have personalities?

Odin was known for having two ravens with him, Huginn and Muninn. They flew all of Midgard and collected stories that they told to Odin. Since they are associated with 'thought' and 'memory,' I ...
10
votes
1answer
165 views

Does the Prose Edda have a Hungarian translation?

This question is cross-posted at hu.wikipedia where it's also on-topic, because that site has some mythology enthusiasts. Does the Prose Edda have a translation to Hungarian? If it does, please ...
9
votes
2answers
3k views

Odin's Counterpart

I have always wondered are: Odin, Mercury, Hermes, Thoth the same person? If so, why they are celebrated by different cultures and praised by different myths? I am in love with these deities...