Fact 1: Freya was the goddess of love and beauty, but also war!
Freya is a famous Viking goddess known for her beauty and femininity. However, the Vikings didn’t just worship her for love and fertility, she was also worshipped as a goddess of war!
Freya was known for choosing half of the warriors who died in battle and letting them live in her afterlife realm known as Folkvangr. Folkvangr was a beautiful meadow that Freya ruled over.
Freya was a popular goddess due to her beauty and kind-heartedness, and her name translates to “the Lady”. She was also known by several nicknames including Hörn, Syr, Gefn and Mardöll.
She also had a twin brother Frey who was another famous Viking god of fertility. Both Freya and Frey continue to play important roles in Scandinavian culture. Freya is mentioned in the first part of the Danish national anthem, as they sing “it is called Denmark and it is Freya’s hall”. While Frey is said to be an ancestor of Swedish royalty with many places named after him.
Let’s watch a quick video about Freya, before we move on to our other interesting facts about her.
Fact 2: Freya had an interesting family life
As well as having a twin brother who was also a famous god, Freya had an interesting family life.
Freya’s father was the sea god Njord, although no one is quite sure who her mother was!
Most of the main Viking gods come from the Aesir family. However, Freya doesn’t originate in the Aesir family, she was born into the rival Vanir family. She later became an honourary member of the Aesir family after being sent over to them as a truce!
Norse mythology states that Freya was married to the god Odr and they had two children, Hnoss and Gersimi. Odr was a mysterious character who suddenly disappeared one day and Freya could never find him. This led Freya to cry tears of golden amber, which became precious stones! However, some people believe that the god Odr and chief god Odin were the same person.
Fact 3: She had some strange pets!
Viking gods were often associated with animals. One of the well-known symbols of Freya in Viking mythology was her golden chariot that was pulled by two blue cats! The chariot was a gift from Thor and she would often ride it around world! These cats were Norwegian Forest Cats, which are a larger and stronger breed of cats than the ones we have today!
As well as her chariot, Freya was also known for riding a boar called Hildisvini. The boar was said to have golden bristles and she cherished it as her faithful companion. It is because of this that pigs were said to be sacred to Freya.
Fact 4: Freya loved jewellery
In Viking mythology, Freya loved the finer things in life, especially jewellery. In fact, one symbol of Freya is the “Brisingamen”, which means “glowing necklace”.
One famous story from Viking mythology is the story of how Freya got her hands on this special necklace. The story tells of how Freya once found a group of dwarves making the most beautiful necklace she had ever seen. Freya really wanted the necklace and ended up using her beauty and charms to get her hands on it!
Fact 5: Freya had a talent for sorcery
Many of the Viking gods were known for practicing magic and sorcery. In Viking mythology, Freya is often called a shaman, meaning she also practiced magic. However, Freya is said to have mastered a specific type of sorcery called “seidr”.
“Seidr” is a type of sorcery that was practiced in Scandinavia during the Iron Age. It is the art of telling the future, and changing things that might happen in the future.
This meant that Freya had the power to control the fortune and desires of others, and she taught the god Odin how to predict the future just like her!
Fact 6: She had a magical cloak!
Many stories in Viking mythology tell of Freya and her magical cloak.
She had a special cloak that was made from falcon feathers. This meant that whenever she put it on she would be able to fly just like a falcon! She would use it to fly across the different worlds and spread her power.
Freya would often lend this cloak to other gods, and lots of myths tell the stories of the adventures they got up to when they wore it.
Fact 7 – Freya had lots of different names!
Freya had lots of different names, and you will also see different spellings of her name. Some of these include:
- Vanadis (Lady of the Vanir)
- Gefn (which means giver)
Fact 8 – Freya’s name represents all women
Freya was a symbol for all women of the Viking Age. That’s how important she was! Eventually, the word for a woman would become ‘Fru’ – especially for noble women – and over time, that word became ‘Frau’.
Today, the German word for ‘woman’ is ‘Frau’ – and that comes from Freya herself!
Now – try the Freya Quiz!
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#1. Which of these was Freya NOT the Goddess of?
#2. What is Folkvangr?
#3. Which of these is NOT one of Freya’s nicknames?
#4. Which song mentions Freya?
#5. Freya’s Father Njord was the God of what?
#6. What are the names of the two Viking God families?
#7. What animal was Freya’s most faithful companion?
#8. What is a Brisingamen?
#9. What does ‘Seidr’ magic let you do?
#10. What was Freya’s magical cloak made from?
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