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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5
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2answers
526 views

Suicide in the Sagas?

I was recently thinking about the suicides of Hedda Gabler and Miss Julie in relation to Sophocles' Ajax. In all three plays, the main characters come from cultures based on honor/shame. (Gabler is ...
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2answers
533 views

Why did Odin forsake Sigmund?

In the first ten chapters of the of the Saga of the Volsungs, Odin strongly favors the eponymous clan. In chapter 11, however, the Allfather sides with King Lyngi and attacks Sigmund, shattering the ...
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3answers
559 views

What are the functions of Giantesses in the Norse Mythology and Folklore?

For instance, I recall them being mentioned as the sources of rivers. I'd be interested in more detail on this aspect, as well as any other functions of female jötnar. (Wikipedia covers this to some ...
9
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1answer
175 views

Does Pippi Longstocking have mythological roots?

Failing that, is she based on or similar to any characters in folklore of the region? As far as I know, the extraordinarily compelling children's character was purely an invention of the author, ...
3
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1answer
727 views

Who is the boatman that took away Sinfjotli's corpse?

In chapter 10 of the Saga of the Völsungs, Sigmund's son Sinfjotli dies. His corpse is presumably carried to the underworld by a mysterious boatman, in a manner reminiscent of the Greek ferryman of ...
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0answers
105 views

Did Odin heal Sinfjotli?

In chapter 8 of the Saga of the Völsungs, Sigmund (in wolf form) attacks and almost kills his son Sinfjotli (also in wolf form). Sinfjotli is only saved when Sigmund is pointed to a miraculous herb by ...
5
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1answer
86 views

Who is Völsung's mother?

Völsung's mother, despite giving birth to the clan's namesake in a rather bizarre manner, is never named in the Völsunga saga. Is her name mentioned anywhere else in the Völsung cycle? Do we know ...
5
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4answers
242 views

Examples of female agency in the Norse tradition

When I first read Grettir's Saga. I was impressed by his indomitability and that his foes had to use magic to weaken him in order to overcome him. To this end they employed a crone. (She enchants a ...
3
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1answer
155 views

Are Norse flytings the spiritual forebearer of the modern rap battle? [closed]

A flyting has been defined as: "a contest consisting of the exchange of insults, often conducted in verse, between two parties." Source: Parks, Ward. "Flyting, Sounding, Debate: Three Verbal ...
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2answers
561 views

Why was Loki bound, really?

I grew up believing it was all because of Baldur. But murder, especially by proxy, was not quite the capital crime in the age or heroes as it is today. (Not to mention, what's the rationale for "We ...
14
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2answers
22k 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 ...
4
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1answer
105 views

What is the significance of the very long time Völsung spent in the womb?

Völsung's mother carried him in her womb for six years: Now no otherwise it goes with the queen's sickness than heretofore, nor may she be the lighter of her child, and six winters wore away with ...
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0answers
178 views

Where is Sigi from?

In the Saga of the Völsungs, we learn that the patriarch Sigi is exiled from his homeland and eventually becomes a king in the land of the Huns (or France, according to the Prose Edda). However, the ...
4
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2answers
219 views

Why does Odin favour Sigi at the beginning of the Saga of the Völsungs?

In the beginning of the Saga of the Völsungs, we learn of the senseless murder of the thrall Bredi at the hands of Sigi. Although Sigi is condemned and declared a "wolf in holy places" (an outlaw), ...
5
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2answers
424 views

Revenants in mythology of the British Isles?

In his series, "Song of Ice and Fire", George R.R. Martin re-imagines a War of the Roses era-Britain where the British Isle is greatly enlarged and the continent compressed. He creates a history that ...
8
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2answers
2k views

What is the source of the fable of Thor’s attempt to drink up a small spring?

Moncure D. Conway references the tale in passing in the introduction to his “Demonology and Devil-lore”: The fable of Thor’s attempt to drink up a small spring, and his failure because it was fed ...
8
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2answers
1k views

Friday: the day of Frigg, or Freyja?

The Wiki page says Friday is named after the goddess Frigg. Other articles say its both or Freyja, and there are some that say Frigg and Freyja are the same goddess. Is there a consesus that I don't ...
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3answers
1k views

Did Loki give birth to a monster?

Loki ate some of the heart, the thought-stone of a woman,roasted on a linden-woodfire, he found it half-cooked;Lopt was impregnated by a wicked woman,from whom every ogress on earth is descended. ...
5
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1answer
88 views

Is there a preferred, scholarly edition of the Gesta Danorum in English?

Been meaning to read this for a while, but there are quite a few translations out there.
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6answers
35k 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 ...
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3answers
3k views

Did Odin Have A Relationship With Freya?

Some scholars hypothesize that both Frigg and Freyja may have their origin in a Common Germanic goddess. There is no firm evidence for this, but scholars have found some similarities both in their ...
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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...
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1answer
637 views

How big were the Nine Realms of Norse mythology?

Is it mentioned anywhere in the scriptures how big the ancient Norse believed the Nine Realms of their myths were?
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2answers
635 views

Why did the daughters of Hymir urinate in Njord's mouth?

In the Lokasenna, Loki responds in the stanza 34, stating that "from here you were sent east as hostage to the gods" (a reference to the Æsir-Vanir War) and that "the daughters of Hymir used you as ...
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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 ...
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3answers
304 views

How and why are Idunn and Tyr gods?

In the eddic poem Hrafnagaldur Óðins, stanza 6, Idunn is identified as an "elf" (alfar) and the "youngest of the elder children of Ivaldi." This implies that Ivaldi had two sets of children, probably ...
12
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1answer
227 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 ...
4
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1answer
103 views

Fate of Norns and their web

I am wondering about one thing: What is the fate of Norns and their web during the Ragnarök?
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1answer
240 views

Is a runic manuscript of the Heimskringla realistic?

In the story of Jules Verne's novel Voyage au Centre de la Terre, the protagonist acquires a very rare book: a copy of the Heimskrigla, the famous chronicle of the kings of Sweden written by the 13th ...
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?
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4answers
626 views

How did the animosity between Loki and Heimdal start?

I'll admit my Norse mythology is rather rusty, but I do recall after an incident these two particular gods saw each other as mortal enemies and would eventually kill each other at Ragnarok. What was ...
3
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1answer
325 views

Why do ettins have two heads?

Ettins in the D&D universe are described as giants which have two heads, and this has carried over to many different games that draw from the D&D lore, for example Dwarf Fortress and many ...
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1answer
436 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.
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1answer
391 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 ...
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1answer
274 views

What's The Best Source On Odin and Freya?

I would like to delve in Norse Mythology, but there is an extreme difference between the versions of it I come upon. I am most fascinated with the idea, that the Goddesses of Freya and Frigg are one ...
8
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1answer
1k views

Did Frigg cheat on Odin?

I read a story where Odin gave all his possessions to his brother Villi and Ve and made them the rulers of the Universe. One of Odin's possessions is his wife, Frigg. Hence, while Odin is away, his ...
7
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2answers
862 views

What happens to the Dwarves during Ragnarok?

When Ragnarok comes what are the dwarves up to? What happens to them?
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5answers
6k views

Could Ragnarok be considered to have occurred?

According to Wikipedia, The myths of Ragnarok as we know them were compiled in the 13th century, and while describing events in some detail, these were considered to be prophetic, as the events ...
13
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8answers
22k 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 ...
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1answer
453 views

Do the leaves of Yggdrasil (the World Tree) have any special properties?

Do the leaves of the World Tree (Yggdrasil) have any special properties in Norse Mythology?
6
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1answer
440 views

How often were Odin and Loki allied?

In their answer to my question about Odin and Loki being blood brothers, chaimedes quotes a footnote in Henry Adams Bellows' translation of the Poetic Edda that claims Odin and Loki were "often allied ...
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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 ...
8
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2answers
11k views

When did Odin and Loki became blood brothers?

In the beginning of the Lokasenna, Bragi denies Loki a seat with the gods. However, Loki reminds Odin that the two of them had their "blood mixed", and that Odin had promised that neither of them ...
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 ...
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1answer
2k views

What gender was the Midgard Serpent Jormungand?

Is there any documentation detailing the gender of the Midgard Serpent Jormungand? is it Male, Female, Both, Neither, Null, etc?
6
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1answer
512 views

How did Sindri and Brokkr win the bet with Loki, when Mjölnir is clearly faulty?

I understand that the brothers endured a lot of tough challenges, especially from Loki (who tried to disturb them in the form of a fly). But still, Mjölnir is clearly faulty, which is supported by ...
10
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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 ...
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2answers
14k views

What is the difference between the Prose Edda and the Poetic Edda?

Most of what we know of Norse mythology comes from two sources: the Prose Edda and the Poetic Edda. What is the difference between the two?
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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.
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5answers
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 ...