According to Norse mythology, in the beginning there was neither heaven or earth. There was a single infinite abyss full of mist within which rose a fountain and twelve river whose streams froze once moved away from the source. To the south, the world of light, whose warm winds melted the ice that was formed. Emanating from the seabers were born the giant Ymir and the cow Audhumla. Ymir fed on milk from Audhumla, who in turn, survived licking dew and salt from the ice.
One day while Audhumla ate, a man’s hair became visible through the ice. The next day came the head and on the third day, the rest of the body. This man, without father or mother, was called Bari and had a son (don’t ask me what’s the mother of said child. I don’t know.) called Bor. Bor took Bestla as his wife, she was the daughter of Ymir. Bestla and bor had three sons: Odin, Vili and Ve; three gods. The three gods killed Ymir and from his remains, created the world.
With his body, they made land. And with his blood, the sea. Of his bones mountains and made his hair into trees. With his skull, they made the sky and clouds with his brain. Finally, with his eyebrows, they created Midgard and the rest of the kingdoms. Odin regulated day and night with the moon and the sun, who were chased by the wolves Hati and Scoll respectively. Thus, the universe was complete.
However, it seemed that this universe was missing something. For this reason, they created a man from an ash tree and called him Aske. Then, with an alder created the first woman and named her Embla. After creating the first two humans, the gods granted them certain gifts that his descendants would inherit later. Odin gave them life and a soul; Vili reason and understanding; Ve, finally, gave them feelings, expression and speech.
Aske and Embla were installed in Midgard and from them came all mankind.
Yggdrasil is perhaps the most important part of the Norse world, because it is the tree of the universe that is responsible for holding all it’s kingdoms. These are the eight kingdoms:
Asgard: is the realm of the Aesir, the main race of gods. This connected to the land of the humans through the Bifrost, also known as the rainbow bridge.
Vanaheim: is the realm of the Vanir, the secondary gods. These gods are generally engaged in fertility functions.
Alfheim: this is the realm of the light elves and is chaired by the god Freyr.
Midgard: is home to the men, and was created by the gods to protect Asgard from giants.
Nidavellir: the kingdom belonging to the dwarves. They forged a number of the weapons for the gods, Two examples are Gullinbursti, the golden Freyr’s boar and the Mjollnir hammer for Thor.
Jotunheim: this is the land of giants. Generally, they are enemies of the gods, but some of them have come to fall in love and have children with them.
Svartalfheim: realm of the dark elves or goblins, whom they are often confused with the dwarves.
Niflheim: The realm of the dead, ruled by the goddess Hel.
Among the Norse gods we have several quite famous examples. Some people know them for Marvel Comics and others from books or anime. Regardless of the reason that they are known, the fact is that some of those listed below are well-known figures in the general culture.
Odin: king of the Norse gods. He belongs to the Aesir and is primarily the god of war. However, he is also credited with death, poetry and wisdom. It is one of the recognized characters from Marvel comic “Thor” and is also referred to in the anime “Matantei Loki Ragnarok”.
Thor: God of Thunder and carrier Mjollnir. He is the eldest son of Odin and, therefore, also the heir to the throne of Asgard. He is the main character of the renowned Marvel comic “Thor” and appears as one of the characters of the anime “Matantei Loki Ragnarok” and the visual novel for PSP “Kamigami no Asobi”.
Balder: is a son of Odin. It is the god of light, beauty and innocence. In mythology it was not very powerful; however, in the visual novel for PSP “Kamigami no Asobi” he is also credited with destruction killing, that way, the character’s weakness.
Loki: the son of Laufey and Farbauti, giants, nevertheless he is also part of the Aesir and Odin’s foster brother. He is attributed the fire and deception. He is the main character of the anime “Matantei Loki Ragnarok” in which he is transformed into a child and banished from the kingdom of Asgard, in the Marvel comic “Thor” he is the adopted brother of Thor and in the visual novel “Kamigami no Asobi” he is the best friend of Thor and Balder.
Frigga: wife of Odin and goddess of love, marriage, fertility and motherhood. Appears in the comic “Thor” as the wife of Odin and mother of Thor.
Bragi: is a son of Odin and he is atributed with the poetry. He inspired bards and the runes were carved on his language. Although to my knowledge this God makes no appearance in any major external history to mythology, is important because it is the son of Odin and brother of Thor.
Idun: is the goddess of youth, who is married to Bragi. She is responsible for keeping a chest full of golden apples that give immortality to the Norse gods. These apples are the equivalent of the ambrosia to the Greek gods.
Heimdall: the god of light and sentinel of the gods. It is responsible for monitoring the Bifrost. Appears in the comic “Thor” and the anime “Matantei Loki Ragnarok”.
Tyr: the god of war and patron of justice. It is equivalent to the god Ares in Greek mythology.
Njord: the god of the sea, wind and fire. It is part of the Vanir and father of Freyr and Freya. He is kind of the equivalent of the god Susano, Japanese mythology and the Greek god Poseidon.
Freyr: is part of the Vanir and the god of sun, rain and fertility. Carrier Gullinbursti, he is said to be one of the most beautiful gods. Starred in “Matantei Loki Ragnarok” as one of the secondary characters. you could say he is the equivalent of Apollo in Greek mythology.
Freya: Freyr’s sister is the goddess of love and fertility. She is the equivalent Affrodita because she is the most beautiful goddess of all. She also appears in “Matantei Loki Ragnarok”.
Skadi: is a giant and is the goddess of winter and of course, you can go ahead and link her with “Thor” from Marvel since one of the sworn enemies of Asgard is Joutenheim, land of the ice giants.
The Norns: are the three goddesses of fate. They control the future of the gods and men. Their names are Urd, who represents the past; Vernandi, who represents the present; and Skuld, who represents the future. They are the equivalent of the Fates in Greek mythology and you can see them in “Matantei Loki Ragnarok” first as Loki’s enemies and later as frinds.
We note that these are just some of the gods of this vast mythology. It’s possible I add another post with more information about this mythology, since I love it. For now I leave you with images of the stories that I referred to when I wrote this entry.
“Thor” Marvel Comics
“Matantei Loki Ragnarök” Sakura Kinoshita
“Kamigami no Asobi” Tomoko Konparu
Luna von Schmilinsky