Norse Mythology: A Collection of Gods and Goddesses

Under the umbrella of Norse mythology, you will find the beliefs and deities of Germanic, Nordic or Scandinavian mythology, which has been handed down through oral tradition for many years. In this article, you will learn about some of the gods and goddesses associated with this branch of mythology.

Handed down verbally for centuries, Norse myths were finally recorded into written word to preserve the traditions and ancient beliefs of the Scandinavian peoples. To the Norse, two significant classes of gods dominated their myths: the Ô sir and the Vanir. The Ô sir are linked to power, war and death, while the Vanir represent fertility and growth.

Other mythical beings played an important role, such as giants. The majority of Norse mythology focuses on the approaching cataclysmic doom of the gods, Ragnarok. All of the Norse gods are aware that Ragnorok is coming , they even know when it will take place and that it means death.

Gods and goddesses mentioned in Norse mythology include:

·    Angrboda , Not only is Angrboda known as the frost giantess, but she is also recognized as the mistress to Loki , the Norse god of fire. Together, the two gave birth to three infamous monsters in Norse mythology , Fenrir, Hel, and Jourmungand.

·    Loki , Son to the giant Farbauti and the giantess Laufey, Loki was the Norse Fire God, known for his mischievous nature. Tales including Loki usually involve playing tricks or switching sides to benefit him during conflict. In the long run, Loki finds himself banished to a cave until Ragnarok because he is responsible for causing a great deal of trouble.

·    Fenrir , Interestingly, it is Loki’s and Angrboda’s son, Fenrir, who is known as the ‘devouring wolf’ and the beast of Ragnarok. Because of this, he is kidnapped and brought to Asgard, where he is carefully watched over. With a cruel nature that all but one god (Tyr the god of war) feared him. It was Tyr’s duty to feed Fenrir since no one dared to come close to the fierce god. When Ragnarok takes place, Fenrir is freed and eventually swallows Odin.

·    Jourmungand , Also referred to as the Midgard Serpent, Jourmungand took on the shape of a large serpent. Thrown into the ocean by Odin, Jourmungand grew in length, so much so that he was able to encircle the Earth. When the “doom of the gods” arrived, Jourmungand was killed by Thor, but not before his slayer was bitten. In the end, his venom would lead to the demise of Thor.

·    Buri , Known as the ancestor of the gods, Buri is the father of Bor , a giant who would eventually produce Odin , one of the most well known of Norse gods. Along with his wife, Bestla, Bor fathered two other sons, Vili and Ve, who will be discussed in the second part of this article.