Norse God Guide: Gods’ Difference and Comparison

For some, telling which god to which god is very difficult. Of course, with time, we gradually learn the characteristics of each god. But in this Norse god guide article, I still want to provide you with some simple details which help you quickly distinguish Norse god.

Odin the Allfather

One thing about every ruler, either in Norse mythology or in any mythology, he/she was old. And yes, Odin always appeared to be an old man. Odin was the ruler of Asgard and he was also the father of many great sons. Some of his sons survived Ragnarok and carried on their legacy to the new world.

Odin appeared with a pair of wolves, two ravens, and Gungnir spear on his hand. Norse God Guide
Odin appeared with a pair of wolves, two ravens, and Gungnir spear on his hand. Norse God Guide
  • One eyed: Odin was an one-eyed god. He had a burning desire for knowledge and on one time, he exchanged one eye to gain a shot of a magical water.
  • Eight-legged horse: A man riding on an eight-legged horse must be Odin the Allfather. The only eight-legged horse in Norse mythology was Sleipnir the horse and he belonged to Odin the Allfather.
  • Spear: Gungnir was the name of Odin’s spear. He had the spear as the gift from Loki the Trickster.
  • Wolves: Odin had a pair of wolves that always standing near his throne. He often shared food with his wolves.
  • Ravens: If you happen to see a man with a pair of raven perching on his shoulders or flying aroud him, he must be Odin. Because in Norse mythology, Odin had a pair of ravens whose names were Huginn and Muninn. They were believed to be Odin’s thought and eye.
  • Hanging man: A man hanging along a big tree – this must be Odin the Allfather was making a sacrifice. In Norse mythology, he once made a sacrifice by hanging himself to get the knowledge of runes.
  • Hooded man: Odin took up a life of a wanderer. This made many artists depict Odin as a hooded man without showing his face.

Thor God of Thunder

Thor was the son of Odin the Allfather. Although he was not the prince of Asgard, his importance in Norse mythology was undeniable. With the success of block busters, Thor’s fame now reaches a new level.

Thor holding his Mjolnir Hammer and riding on the goat-pulled chariot
Thor holding his Mjolnir Hammer and riding on the goat-pulled chariot. Norse God guide
  • Hammer: Mjolnir hammer was the thing that Thor never forgot to take along with him.
  • Lightning and thunder: These two things were the qualities that Thor embodies, we can tell Thor out of the crowd whenever it appears thunder and lightning.
  • Goats (and chariot): In Norse mythology, Thor had a chariot pulled by a pair of goat. Whenever the chariot crossed the sky, it caused the sound of thunder to the land below.

Freyr God of Fertility

Freyr was a god from another tribe, different from Odin and Thor. His tribe was the Vanir gods but he came to live in Asgard as exchanged hostages after war of gods. Freyr was the god of fertility, summer, and sunshine.

  • Antler: After trading his powerful sword to win the heart of his wife, Freyr used an antler as his primary weapon. By far, the symbolism of this antler remained a mystery.
  • Golden boar: Loki once gifted Freyer with the golden boar Gullinbursti.

Freya Goddess of Love, War, and Sex

Freya was the twin sister of Freyr and both of them came from Vanaheim and lived in Asgard with the Aesir. Shealso took up the life of a wanderer and was once burnt by the Aesir gods. Yet, the fire could not kill Freya. She came out of the fire intact and this ignited the war of gods.

Freya and Freyr in Norse mythology. Basic Norse God Guide
Freyr holding an antler on his hand and riding on a boar, meanwhile, Freya sitting with her cats. Basic Norse God Guide.
  • Cats: In Norse mythology, Freya had a pair of cats which presented the qualities that Freya embodied.
  • Crying woman: One famous thing about Freya in Norse myth was her great love for her lover Od. This mysterious figure Od suddenly disappeared and left Freya with no message. From that moment on, Freya wandered around to find out where Od was but she could never find out an answer. The more she continued to find, the more times she cried. Freya’s tears dropped down only to change themselves into the most beautiful germs in the cosmos
  • Armed woman: Being the only goddess of war in Norse mythology, Freya appeared to be a woman with strong personality, getting armed and sometimes carried weapons.

Tyr God of Justice

Tyr was one Aesir god who sacrificed his arm to tie up Fenrir. Although in our times, the influence of Tyr is no where to compare with Odin, many scholars claim that the original Norse myth put Tyr and Odin equal.

Tyr was a one-armed god in Norse mythology
Tyr was a one-armed god
  • One hand: When Fenrir the wolf demanded a volunteer to put his hand in Fenrir’s mouth, Tyr was the only one who volunteered. From this event, Tyr lost his hand as a symbol of justice and an apology to Fenrir for mistreating the wolf.
  • Sword: The major weapon of Tyr was the sword. Many artists depicted Tyr as a one-armed warrior with one hand holding his sword and the other attaching with a shield.

Heimdall

Heimdall was the son of Odin and the Nine sea maidens. Helived on the ocean with his mothers until the day he grew up to become a muscular and talented man, he joined hi father in Asgard. Heimdall was raised up with the warmth of sun, the moist of ocean, the strength of earth, and the love of his mothers.

Heimdall the Guardsman in Norse mythology
Heimdall blew his horn to inform his folks about the incoming giant army
  • Horn: Because he was the guardsman of Asgard, he had a horn with himself to alarm his folks in the stronghold. His horn was the Gjallarhorn.
  • Different eye color: Heimdall had the ability to see things from all directions and hear things from all Nine Cosmos. This perfectly fit as the position of a guardsman. Often, he appeared with different eye color to tell us about this ability.

Frigg Goddess of Love

Frigg was the only queen in Asgard. She was the only one whom Odin allowed to sit on his High Throne. The only son of Frigg and Odin was Baldur the prince of Asgard.

  • Weaving: In Norse mythology, Frigg was the creator of the clouds. She appeared to be a beautiful sitting and gently weaving the threads of clouds.

Baldur God of Fairness and Justice

Baldur the only son of Odin and Frigg and also the only prince of Asgard. Everyone in the cosmos loved Baldur for his fairness and gentleness. However, Baldur was destined to die just before Ragnarok. But the death of Baldur helped him to survive the bloodshed in Ragnarok. When the apocalypse of Norse Pantheon, Baldur came back to life and carried on the legacy of his father and brothers.

  • A man shot by an arrow: In Norse mythology, Baldur was hit by a mistletoe arrow. This event scared all creatures in the cosmos for it confirmed that Ragnarok was about to come.
  • A burning ship: In the story, when Baldur was no more, the gods placed him on a ship putting the ship into the ocean and setting the whole ship on fire.
The funeral of Baldur
The funeral of Baldur

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