The Major Gods


Odin was the highest, most powerful, and the wisest of all the gods. All of the other gods had descended from him. He was their ruler and sat on the throne on Asgard. Odin's throne was his "watchtower." From it he could look down upon the entire world and see what was happening among gods, giants, dwarves, elves, and men. Only he and his wife Frigga were allowed to sit on this magical throne. He wore a ring, called Draupnir, which was an emblem of fruitfulness. Odin was considered a war god. This can be seen in his weapons. He carried a sacred spear which was so sacred that any oaths taken on it could never be broken. He also wore and eagle helmet and had a magic bow which he would take into battle. With the bow he could fire ten arrows at once each always hitting separate targets. Odin had a few pets as well. Two ravens rested on his shoulders. One was named Hugin, thought, and the other Munin, memory. At his feet he had two wolves: Geri and Freki. He fed them with his own hands the meat that was given to him because he did not need to eat. Odin was far from perfect in form for he was missing an eye. He lost his eye to know the future. Odin had heard of an old man, Mimir, who had a well that allowed one to see the future. Mimir would show Odin the location of the well unless he plucked out one of his eyes. Odin promptly did so and was shown the well. There saw the future events of Ragnarok, the end of the world, and what came after. Odin was also the inventor of the runes. He set the laws and codes for humans to govern their lives. He told how man was fallible and said that one needed to have courage, temperance, independence, truthfulness, respect for old age, hospitality, charity, and contentment.


Frigga was the goddess who married Odin, making her the queen of the gods. She, like her husband, Odin, was allowed to sit on the throne and look down and see all of the happenings of the world. When she married Odin there was much celebration in Asgard because she was beloved by all. A celebration was held on each anniversary of their marriage and she was declared the patron of marriage. At wedding feast she was toasted along with Odin and Thor. She was the goddess of the air and the clouds and was tall, beautiful, and stately. She was also the goddess motherly love. Frigga preferred to stay in her own palace and spin golden thread or weave colored clouds. She enjoyed fashion and always made appearances in exquisite clothing wearing rich jewels. Frigga was also wise and sometimes outwitted her husband, Odin, the god of wit himself.


Thor was the son of Odin and Frigga. As a child he was extremely strong which he proved when he lifted and threw around ten loads of bear skins. Thor had a good temper but would occasionally go into a dangerous rage. To cure this problem his parents put him under the care of Vingnir and Hlora who taught Thor who to put his rage under control. When he was full grown he we massive in size and strength. In Asgard he built a palace that was the largest in all of Asgard. Thor was the patron of the peasants and the lower classes and the god of thunder. Since he was so large and fiery he was not allowed to use the Bifrst bridge for he might damage it severely. Thor either had to walk or ride in his brazen chariot pulled by the goats: Tanngniostr and Tanngrisnr. The rolling wheels of his chariot was what caused thunder. Thor also possessed a magical hammer called Milnir which he used in battle. To use it he hurled it at his enemies and the magical hammer always returned to his hand no matter where or how far he threw it. Thor also wore a gauntlet, on his hand, that allowed him to throw his hammer even further. He also wore a belt, called Megin-gird, that doubled his already extraordinary strength, making him the strongest of all the gods.


Tyr was the son of Odin. He was the god of honor, courage, and war. He and Odin were called upon to obtain victory in a battle. Tyr was the patron god of the sword and it was customary to engrave the rune of Tyr upon a warrior's sword. Just as Odin was one-eyed, Tyr was one armed. He lost his arm when the gods decided to shackle the huge, vicious Fenris wolf. At first they tried to tame the wolf by feeding it but it merely became larger and more vicious. To bind Fenris wolf the gods had the dark elves construct a thin magical rope that could never be broken. They attempted to trick Fenris into believing the rope was easy to break. Fenris, however, was suspicious and said that he would not be bound unless someone placed his hand in his mouth in good faith that nothing magical was involved. No one but the courageous Tyr would do it. After Fenris was bound he found that he could not break free and bit off Tyr's hand.


Frey was the god of sunshine, summer showers, as well as agriculture. He was born in Vanaheim but was welcome among the gods in Asgard and was given the realm of Alfheim. In Alfheim he lived among the elves and fairies who obey his every request. The gods gave Frey a magical sword which had the ability of fighting on it's own upon removing it from it's sheath. His sword was also symbolic of a sun ray. The dwarves of Svartaflaheim gave Frey a golden boar which he sometimes rode or harnessed to a chariot.


Freya was the goddess of love and beauty. She was the sister of Frey and from Vanaheim. The gods and goddesses of Asgard thought her to be so beautiful that they immediately accepted her and gave her own realm and palace. She was the most beautiful and beloved among all the goddesses. Freya sometimes joined the Valkyrs in battle and in collecting the dead after the battle. She carried weapons and armor and only wore feminine clothing from the waist down.


Balder was the son of Odin and Frigga. He was beautiful radiant and considered the god of innocence and light. His presence tended to make any man or god feel pleasant. He was an expert at writing the runes for they were carved on his tongue. Balder was always happy and pleasant. One day he was rather melancholy because of some troubling dreams that he would come to be harmed. Odin and Frigga declared that he was not to be harmed and made every creature in the world take an oath not to harm Balder. Loki, however, tricked Balder's blind brother, Hodur, into killing his brother. Loki had made Hodur think he was throwing a spear at a target and not his twin brother. At Balder's funeral he was placed on a boat at sunset and put to sea shortly after which flaming arrows were fired at the boat setting it aflame. Mortal replayed this funeral whenever a great man or a brave warrior died.


Loki was the god of mischief, evil, and fire. He made fun of everything and loved to play jokes and make mischief. However, he did this excessively and lost all of his goodness and became completely, selfish, malevolent, and evil. Loki, however, was charmingly seductive and seemingly beautiful which is why the gods accepted him among their numbers and invited him to their banquets and feasts. Sometimes they even listened to his advice. Loki, however, was not celebrated among mortals be instead feared. Loki's last crime was killing Balder. For this he was shackled to a mountain side where a venomous snake dripped poison onto his forehead. This caused him a great deal of pain so his wife sat next to him and caught the venom in a container. Whenever his wife had to empty the container some venom fell on his face which caused him so much pain that he made the earth tremble, causing earthquakes.

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