Fact 1: Odin was known as the chief god
Although the Vikings worshipped many different gods and goddesses, Odin was known as the chief god. In fact, he is often called the father of all gods!
Odin was the king of the Aesir. The Aesir is the main family of Viking gods, although there was a rival family called the Vanir.
Vikings believed Odin was the wisest of the gods, but he was also known for his love of war, magic and even poetry!
Fact 2: Odin only had one eye!
Most drawings and descriptions of the Viking god Odin show him having a long beard, hat and cloak. However, the most striking part of his appearance is that he has just one eye! Traditional pictures will often show Odin wearing an eye patch or with one eye blacked out.
So, what happened to Odin’s eye? One Viking myth tells the story of how Odin sacrificed one of his eyes in exchange for more wisdom. Odin was known for his constant quest for more knowledge, and this story shows just how far he was willing to go for it!
Other Viking myths tell stories of Odin disguising himself to travel secretly amongst humans and stir up trouble. However, his real identity was always revealed when humans noticed that he only had one eye!
Fact 3: Odin had a big family
Odin was known for his big family of brothers, wives and children, who all played their own important part in Viking mythology.
Odin had two brothers called Vili and Ve. The creation story told in Viking mythology says that Odin and his brothers were responsible for the creation of the universe, slaying a giant before going on to create the first humans.
Odin’s wife Frigg played an important part in Viking beliefs. She was not only the goddess of love and marriage, but the queen of the goddesses!
Odin and Frigg had sons called Hod, Hermod and Baldur. These sons were all gods in their own right and had lots of stories written about them.
Odin had another son, not with Frigg, but with the earth goddess Jord. This son was called Thor, and he was one of the most famous and loved Viking gods! Many Vikings preferred worshipping Thor more than the chief god Odin himself!
Furthermore, it is believed that Odin had even more wives and children!
Fact 4: Odin had some strange pets!
Viking gods were known for having animal companions, and these companions were very different from the pets we have today!
Odin had two ravens as his companions. These ravens were called Hugin and Munin, which means Thought and Memory. These ravens would fly all around the world before landing back on Odin’s shoulders to whisper everything that they had seen!
Odin also had two pet wolves that were called Geri and Freki. He created these companions when he was feeling lonely.
One of Odin’s strangest animals was his eight-legged horse called Sleipnir! Sleipnir was a gift from another famous Viking god called Loki.
Fact 4: He lived in a palace in the sky called Valhalla
The Vikings believed that their gods all lived in a kingdom in the sky. This kingdom was called Asgard, and Odin lived there in a beautiful palace called Valhalla.
Odin’s palace played an important part in the Vikings’ beliefs about the afterlife. The Vikings believed that the soldiers and warriors who died bravely in battle would be sent to Valhalla.
Valhalla was a Viking’s dream, as they’d get to fight all day and feast all evening! Even though they would fight each other during the day, their wounds would heal every night. Then they would get to eat and drink as much as they wanted every evening!
Fact 5: Odin liked to start wars
Even though Odin was one of the most respected and wise Viking gods, he wasn’t always good. In fact, Odin was known for interfering with human lives in order to cause arguments, conflict and war.
Odin loved war and battle, and he wanted to have the bravest soldiers by his side in the afterlife in Valhalla.
Despite Odin sometimes causing trouble, the Vikings admired his love for battle and it was one of the reasons that they worshiped him!
Fact 6: The day Wednesday is named after Odin
The weekday Wednesday gets its name from “Odin’s day” in dedication to the Viking god. Wednesday comes from the word “Wodensdaeg”, and “Woden” was another name for Odin!
This shows how Viking mythology and the god Odin still play an important part in the English language and life today!