Basic Guide To Sleipnir Odin’s Horse in Norse Myth

In Norse mythology, gods often had for themselves some kinds of pets. As to Odin the Allfather, he had for himself a favorite horse whose name was Sleipnir. This Sleipnir horse was not really famous. So in this blog post, we will discuss the basic guide to Sleipnir Odin’s horse.

Background

Sleipnir was the son of Loki the Trickster in Norse mythology. The story started when there was a giant come to Asgard and ask to build a great wall for the gods. He was famous for his building skills and he asked for the hand of Freya the most beautiful goddess, the sun, and the moon in Norse mythology.

The giant had a horse named Svadilfari who helped the giant to build the fort. The gods wanted to have the most powerful fortification but still wanted to keep Freya, sun, and moon. Then it was Loki who came up with an idea to fulfill gods’ wish. Loki’s idea was to demand the giant to finish building within a single winnter (which was impossible) without any help except for his horse. If the giant could do this, Freya, sun, and moon would be his.

Without a second of hesitation, the giant started his work and make the most of his time around Asgard. His horse, Svadilfari, was so helpful that he nearly do all of the work for his master. Not much time passed and the fortification was about to finish.

Gods, all of a sudden, blamed Loki for losing this bet. They demanded Loki to prevent the giant from completing the fort and threatened to break his neck if he failed to do so. Loki, as cunning as always, came up with a new idea. He decided to seduce the horse of the giant.

Basic guide to Sleipnir
Basic guide to Sleipnir

The night before fortification deadline, there was little work to finish the fort. Loki shapeshifted himself into a mare. The moment Svadilfari saw Loki, he chased after “her”. Both of them ran into the woods chasing after one another. When the morning came, the giant could not find his horse. He desparingly knew that the fort project would never be finished without the final help of his horse. The giant later received a fatal blow from the hammer of Thor which shattered his head into pieces.

Meanwhile, after a night full of lure and seduction, Loki who was still in shape of a mare, gave birth to Sleipnir an eight-legged horse. Later, Loki gave Sleipnir to Odin as a gift.

Favorite steed of Odin the Allfather

Sleipnir was the most special horse in Norse mythology. His mother was Loki and his father was Svadilfari a powerful horse from Jotunheim. Sleipnir was an eight-legged horse and his hair was dark grey. On many journeys of Odin, Sleipnir was one of his constant companions including two ravens Huginn and Muninn.

In Norse mythology, no other horses in the cosmos could outrun Sleipnir. On some surviving Viking stones, there was a man riding on an eight-legged horse. Many scholars claimed that the man was on the horse was Odin because he was on an eight-legged horse arriving at the Asgard’s gate. His hand held a drinking horn and some women (maybe valkyries Odin’s helping spirits) welcomed him at the gate.

The surviving stone seemed to depict Odin the Allfather
The surviving stone seemed to depict Odin the Allfather. Basic guide to Sleipnir

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