Numbers in Norse mythology (Part 2 of 2)

In Part 1 of Numbers in Norse mythology, the high density of Number three was the main focus. This part two is going to discuss other holy numbers in Norse mythology.

Number 8

Though number eight didn’t appear as much as number three, it somehow stuck into the minds of the Norse readers. Because Odin the Aesir chief god had an eight-legged horse Sleipnir. We totally agree that Sleipnir was an awesome creature in Norse mythology because no horse in the myth could ever outrun Sleipnir. He could gallop through wind and across the ocean. Sleipnir was a priceless steed that only the chief god could possess.

Image of Sleipnir horse
Eight-legged Sleipnir Horse

However, number 8 in the “eight-legged” has always been the scar that separates Sleipnir with the holiness. No matter how close Sleipnir was with Odin, he was the son of the giants god’s enemies. The blood running in his vein was from the foes of the gods. Number eight reminds us of something unlucky and unstable in this case.

Norse mythology tried to show that they were trying to get rid of number  eight. For example, the Draupnir ring of Odin could produce eight more rings on the ninth nights. So eight more rings and the Draupnir were nine rings in total.

Number 9

Number 9 was also an important number in Norse mythology. Indeed, number 3 and number 9 always had something to relate to each other. Because three times 3 was 9. Here is the list of the appearance frequency of number 9:

Image of Nine Worlds Numbers in Norse mythology
Nine Worlds
  • Odin hung himself on Yggdrasil Tree for nine days and nights to get the ability to read runes
  • Yggdrasil Tree of Life held Nine Worlds within it branches.
  • In Ragnarok, Thor walked nine paces away from his sworn enemy Jormungand’s dead body and fell dead.
  • Odin’s ring Draupnir dropped out eight more rings every ninth night. It made up 9 rings in total.
  • Heimdall the Asgard’s Guardsman was the son of Odin and nine sea maidens
  • Nine greats dragon-like serpents in Norse myth: Jormungand, Nidhogg, Fafnir, Grabakr, Grafvölluðr, Ofnir, Svafnir, Grafvitni, and Góinn and Móinn
  • God Hermod rode Sleipnir for nine days and nights to travel to Helheim to retrieve Baldur Odin’s son back.
  • The giant Braugi had nine slaves to work for him before Odin came and made them kill each other.
  • The Valknut symbol of Odin was the three interlocking triangles. This made the Valknut had nine points.
  • There were nine survivors known by far after Ragnarok: Vidar, Hodr, Baldur, Magni, Modi, Vali, daughter of Sol, Hoenir, and “the mighty who rules over everything”.
Image of Numbers in NOrse mythology
Valknut symbol with nine points

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