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The Gods

Odin

A sky-god who is the head of the pantheon. Modern interpretation of him varies. Some see him as a noble god who respect him for the theme of self-sacrifice and view his ruthless actions as necessary for preventing Ragnarok. Others see this as something of a Misaimed Fandom. They see him as being quite like Zeus- a philanderer and major-league jerk.


Frigg

Odin's wife, who is sometimes confusingly conflated with Freyja. She ruled over motherhood, women and the home.


Baldr

Odin's son, who developed over time into the Purity Sue of the pantheon. He was immune to damage from anything except mistletoe, and Loki killed him by tricking his blind brother Hod into throwing it at him.


Thor

A thunder god and the favorite god of the average Norse person (Odin was only really liked by royalty). Carries the title "Friend of the humans" (or, possibly, "Man's Best Friend"). Also has the 4th day of the week named after him (literally "Thor's Day").



Týr

A noble war god, and the only god who did not fear Fenrir.


Víðarr

Vidarr is the son of Odin by Gríðr, a Jötunn who aided the gods against Loki. During the events of the Ragnarök, while Thor fights Jörmungandr, Týr fights Garm, and Freyr fights Surtr, it falls to Víðarr to fight Fenrir. Rising to the challenge, he not only avenges his father, but survives both the battle and the Ragnarök. This earns him a reputation as a god of vengence.



Freyja

Mostly a love/lust related goddess, but also is connected to bloodthirst, as Odin made her the commander of Valkyries. Also the patron of warrioresses.



Freyr

Freya's brother; they were both part of the Vanir, the other group of gods opposing the Aesir, until they ended up being part of Odin's group alongside their father Njord. A god of fertility and sex, generally more benevolent than his sister, and ultimately dies in Ragnarok as he gave up his magic sword for the love of a giantess.


  • Alternate Mythology Equivalent: To Apollo; both are sun related gods associated with sexuality, and are not the only light realted deities in their pantheon (the situation of replacement in the written myths is actually inverse: Apollo pretty much replaced Helios as the sun god, while Baldr replaced Freyr as a light god).
  • Bishounen
  • Bi the Way: A common interpretation of his character. Not really surprising considering he was a god of sexuality.
  • Chekhov's Missing Sword: He give his sword to Skirnir so his shield man could help him to win Gerd's heart. It isn't until Ragnarok that this event has a huge impact - Freyr fails to stop Surt since he is without weapon, allowing Surt to burn the world.
  • Estrogen Brigade Bait
  • Fertile Feet
  • Full Boar Action: Had a boar made of gold by the dwarves, so detailed it even was covered in fur!
  • Light'Em Up: Often associated with the sun and light, though Balder seems to have replaced him as that in myths Hijacked by Jesus.
  • Our Elves Are Better: Lord of the realm of the elves, Alfleim, and overall they were supposed to be like him.
  • With This Herring: Fought and killed Gerd's brother with an antler after giving up his sword.

Heimdall

The Watchman of the Aesir, permanently guarding the Bifrost Bridge against any threat - a task made easier by the fact that he can see and hear everything that happens in the world, and never needs to sleep. Left his post once to outdo Loki in retrieving Freyja's necklace from some giants, and then again for their final (and mutually fatal) battle.


Loki and his children

Loki

Not actually a god in most telling, but the child of giants (the rivals of the Norse pantheon). A Trickster Archetype who has been often turned into a Satan equivalent, he is something of an Ensemble Darkhorse to modern audiences. (Well, he's probably the only being in all mythology who tricked his way into being a God.)



Fenrir

Loki's first son, sometimes also called Vanargandr. When the gods learn that he is fated to kill Odin, they bind and seal him when he's still young, with Tyr losing his arm in the process. When Ragnarok comes, he indeed kills Odin, but is killed by Odin's son in return.


  • Attack of the 50 Foot Whatever: His final size is such that when he opens his mouth, the lower jaw rests on the ground and the upper jaw hits the sky.
    • It is also stated (in the Prose Edda) that, "he would gape yet more if there were room for it."
  • Badass
  • Big Badass Wolf: Emphasis on BIG
  • Canis Major: Ridiculously huge.
  • Dangerously Genre Savvy: The gods try 'playing' with him by binding him using incrementally thicker chains to no avail, with Fenrir boasting about it. When the gods decide to use thin, fabric-like magical rope, Fenrir quickly deduces the rope is unusual and refuses to play being bound, at least until Tyr gambles his arm so that Fenrir finally agrees to be bound.
  • The Dreaded
  • Hero-Killer: Destined to kill Odin, responsible for the maiming of Tyr, harbinger of the Apocalypse...yeah he counts.
  • Horror Hunger: One of the reasons he has to be chained up.
  • Just Eat Him: He eats Odin.
  • Kill the God: Kills Odin.
  • Sealed Evil in a Can: Bound for as long as the Sun and the Moon remain in the sky. Depending on the versions of the myth, his sons, Skoll and Hati, may be trying to do something about that.
  • You Killed My Father: Inflicted on him by the actual God of Vengeance no less.

Jormungandr

Loki's second son. When he is but a small snake, the gods toss him to the ocean. And then he grows big enough to circle the world. He has beefs with Thor, up to the Ragnarok, where the two face off and kill each other.



Hel

Daughter to Loki and the giantess Angrborda. Goddess of Death and ruler of Helheim[2] who welcomes the souls of those who died of old age, disease or by accident.


  • All of the Other Reindeer: She was mostly an outcast and generally not very well perceived among all the other Gods and mortals alike.
  • Dark Is Not Evil: Isn't a malevolent goddess per se, despite what people may think, and keeps her word when she gives it.
  • Egopolis: Hel is the ruler of Helheim, and -heim is basically norse for "home."
  • Face Revealing Turn: With her vertical asymmetry thing I'd expect she gets this a lot..
  • Hijacked by Jesus: Her realm was originally played as dreary, but not exactly a place of torture. (To the norse, not going to the warrior's afterlife was the big torture in itself.) Christianity turned into.. well, Helheim. And like it says above, she was orignally just patchwork coloured, which progressed to either half a skeleton/rotting corpse or half old woman.
    • The original myths actually state that there are three afterlives. Those who die in battle go to Valhalla to prepare for Ragnarok. Those who die of sickness or old age go to Helheim, which is dull and dreary, but not a bad place. Those who die after committing what the Norse regarded as sins (such as oathbreaking) are punished by being sent to Niflheim, which is described as a monstrous fortress, located somewhere in Helheim, woven from the poison-dripping skeletons of serpents, situated behind several deadly rivers, and where the damned wade through sucking blood and have nothing to drink but the urine supplied by a herd of foul-tempered black goats that roam the fortress.
  • I Hate You, Vampire Dad: Resented her father for having made her look the way she did.
  • Ice Queen: Stoic, dour and cold.
  • Overshadowed by Awesome: Seldom seen in the myths, apart from Baldr's death, since she would interfere with the other Asgardians' plans only when it concerned her directly.
  • Plague Mistress: Her concerns included spreading diseases, misfortune and accidents, which she could cause with a wave of her hand.
  • Two-Faced


Other characters

Valkyries

The Death Maidens, sweep down on battlefields to carry the most valiant warriors to Odins hall.

Surtr

The Lord of the Fire Giants and King of Muspelheim, Surtr is destined to kill Freyr, and burn the world with the black sword Laveteinn at the peak of Ragnarok while his legions destroy the Bifrost.


Garm

Hel's dog, he guards the gates to her realm. At Ragnarok he will lead her legions agains the rest of the world, and he and Tyr will slay one another.



Níðhöggr

One of the oldest beings in Norse myth, Níðhöggr is a dragon who has existed since creation. He sits beneath the entire World Tree Yggdrasill itself, gnawing at its roots. Basically he stays there until Ragnarok, and when he joins in - well, that's when things get really bad for the rest of creation.



Glut

Loki's first wife and a jotun, who has all but been forgotten. Her name literally means "Glow," and she's the mother of two daughters by Loki named Eisa (Embers) and Einmyria (Ashes).


Notes

  1. However, originally he was killed by a sword, the "mistletoe" only coming in the version recorded by Snorri Sturluson because of a confusion between the words used for "mistletoe" and "sword"
  2. sometime conflated with Niflheim in the myths, but it was actually supposed to be a separate place.
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