Odin, Thor, Loki and Freya are some of the most famous gods and goddesses in Norse mythology. These deities and other characters feature in a number of popular myths and legends.
Odin wants to know the future.
In one story, Odin is desperate to know the future. He sacrifices one of his eyes in order to gain knowledge from Mimir, the god of wisdom. Mimir asks for a clear, cold mountain spring in return. Odin drinks from this spring and can now see into the future.
Odin and the Nine Blacksmiths
In another story, Odin is hunting with his faithful wolves and stumbles across nine blacksmiths who are hiding from him by turning themselves into a mare, a stallion and nine iron rods. Intrigued, he picks up the rods and takes them back to Asgard (home of the gods) where he gives them to Hoenir who can bring them to life as human babies. They become the founders of families that will help build Asgard.
Njord and Skadi don’t get on very well.
A beautiful giant called Skadi comes across the hall belonging to Njord one dayand, intrigued, she enters. However, she doesn’t like what she sees – the sea god is lounging about with his fishing net while the goddess Freyja is busy at the loom. Skadi decides to marry Njord but only if he moves to her icy home in the mountains. He agrees but quickly becomes homesick so Skadi allows him to move back to the sea. They both decide that it’s not a good idea for them to live together and they go their separate ways.
Thor vs. Hrungnir
In one of the most famous stories from Norse mythology, Thor faces off against Hrungnir, a giant made of clay who has been sent by Loki to defeat Thor. The fight isfierce but, in the end, Thor manages to kill Hrungnir.
One of the saddest stories from Norse mythology is that of Baldur, the god of light and beauty. Loki, the god of mischief and chaos, hatches a plan to kill him and it succeeds – even though Baldur is warned of the danger by his mother. When Baldur dies, all of nature mourns his loss.
When Freya learns of her husband’s death, she weeps so hard that her tears turn into gold. Freyja is so distraught that she never fully recovers from her loss.
The Valkyries are female warrior goddesses who choose which warriors will die in battle and take them to Valhalla (heaven) to prepare for Ragnarok (the end of the world). They are often depicted as riding through the sky on horses, armed with spears and shields.
The end of the world is a major event in Norse mythology and it’s prophecised that it will be brought about by Loki, the god of mischief. On the day of Ragnarok, the sky will be black with storm clouds and the earth will shake. The gods and goddesses will fight against Loki and his army of giants but they will ultimately be defeated. The world will then come to an end, accompanied by a great flood.
The nine worlds
In Norse mythology, there are nine worlds – Asgard, where the gods live; Alfheim, home of Freya; Jotunheim, land of the giants; Niflheim, land of ice and frost; Muspellsheimr, fire realm of Surtur; Svartalfheimr, home of the dark elves; Vanaheimr, the world of the Vanir deities who preside over nature features such as fertility and rainfall; Midgard or Earth which is home to humans and Naglfar where evil souls gather.
Yggdrasil is the cosmic tree that unites all these worlds. The three roots of Yggdrasil reach down to each world while its branches, laden with leaves protect the universe. The tree is evergreen and will never wither or die because it’s constantly tended to by the Norns, goddesses who control fate.
The dvergar are dwarves skilled in metalwork who live deep inside mountains. The elves are the bright, shining beings who live in Alfheim.
Thor Throwing His Hammer
In Norse mythology, Thor is the god of thunder whose weapon of choice is a hammer called Mjolnir. He also uses a belt that doubles his strength and iron gloves so he can hurl his mighty hammer with ease. Loki, the trickster god, once borrows Thor’s belt without asking but finds out that you have to be worthy to use it – if you’re not, you won’t even budge it no matter how hard you try! It was said that
Thor is one of the most well-known gods from Norse mythology because he features in many stories and has a very cool hammer called Mjolnir that he uses to fight his opponents. His main enemy is Loki, the god of mischief and chaos. Without Thor’s help, Asgard (home of the gods) would be overrun by giants. The Aesir gods Odin, Thor, Freya and Baldur are immortal although humans remember them as legends passed down through the generations. Giants come from Jotunheim; dwarves live deep inside mountains; elves inhabit Alfheim; trolls and dark elves live underground; dwarfs make tools out of metal and keep them hiddenfrom trolls.
His hammer Mjolnir will return to him after being thrown and, as long as he holds on to it, he is invulnerable. Thor can spin his hammer so fast that it looks like a wheel of lightning. He does this to kill giants and also when he’s fighting Loki. The thunder god has a chariot pulled by goats which helps him travel around the world at great speed.
Thor was said to be tall with red hair and a really impressive beard! His wife was Sif who had beautiful golden locks but Loki cut her hair off once as a trick – Thor got mad about this because Sif’s hair was her most beautiful feature.
One day, Loki irritates Thor and, wanting to get back at him, decides to cut off all of Sif’s hair. Thor discovers the little rose and gives chase; he catches Loki but can’t take him home because they’re still far from Asgard. The trickster god tells Thor that he should stop chasing
Loki is always causing problems for Thor and other deities and people in Norse mythology. He tricks Odin into giving up his magic eye which allows the giants to defeat the gods at Ragnarök (the end of the world). He also causes Baldur’s death by getting Hod, a blind god, to shoot him with an arrow. Loki was forced by the gods to stay on top of a rock as punishment for killing Baldur – every nighthis wife, Sigyn, caught the poison from a snake in a bowl but by morning it had filled up again and she had to let the poison fall on Loki who shook violently until he shapeshifted into a new form.