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Scandinavian Characters
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See also   Sources of Scandinavian Folktales

Scandinavian  folktales are from Norway, Finland, Sweden, Iceland and Denmark. There are a few very famous characters in  those folktales. Before time as we know it began, gods and goddesses lived in the city of Asgard. Odin All Father crossed the Rainbow Bridge to walk among men in Midgard. Thor defended Asgard with his mighty hammer. Mischievous Loki was constantly getting into trouble with the other gods, and dragons and giants walked free.

Poetic Edda  and Prose Edda, both compiled in the 13th century, are the main source of these information. All terms with asterisk may be sought in Wikipedia on Internet.

Aesir / Vanir Gods
There are two types of gods in Norse people - Aesir (Asineur) and Vanir.
Thor, Freya  are Aesir gods while Odin is Vanir god.
Aesir gods ride across the bridge Bifrost (the Rainbow Bridge) while Vanir gods go through river.

Vanir Gods
There are two types of gods in Norse people - Aesir (Asineur) and Vanir. Odin is Vanir god while Thor is Aesir god. Vanir gods go through river and the Aesir gods ride across the bridge Bifrost (the Rainbow Bridge).


Aejir is the god of Sea. He invited all Devtaa in his house after Loki had killed Baldur. There Loki tried to create a fight among them. After some time he left the place but gods again captured him to punish him for killing Baldur.

Andvari is one of the three brothers (Regin, Andvari and Oter) of dwarf Regin and lives in Andvara Falls. When Loki catches him in his net (borrowed from Ran, the sea-goddess), he tells him the he is under the curse of a "Norn of Misfortune".


Bayun is the magic cat. His two children are now with Freya. They pull her chariot.

Beyla is the maidservant of Frey.

Bragi is the husband of Iduna. He is a Skaldic god.

Brising are the dwarves.

Brokk and Eitri
Brokk and Eitri were two dwarf brothers who  accepted the challenge of Loki and created 3 better things than dwarves (known as sons of Ivaldi) - a boar for Frey, a golden ring for Odin and a hammer for Thor. Sons of Ivaldi had made ship for Frey, a spear for Odin and golden hair for Freya.

Einherjer are the people who fight for Odin. They are waiting for the final battle - Ragnarok.

Fenrir, The Wolf (Son of Loki)
He is Loki's son in the form of a wolf. Fenrir has a brother Jormungander (a serpent) and a sister Hel (Hela) who is the in charge of Hell. His mouth was so big that when he opened it it reached from Heaven to the Earth.

In Nordic mythology, the feminine Fiorgyn (earth) is called the mother of god Thor (the son of Odin) and the masculine Fiorgynn is called the father of goddess Frigg (Freya)

Forseti is the son of Baldur and his wife Nanna.

Freya / Frigg / Freyja
The daughter of Njaroor. She is beautiful, sensual, wears a feathered cloak, and practices seioor. She rides to battle to choose among the slain, and brings her chosen to her afterlife field Folkvanger.  Freyja weeps for her missing husband Oor, and seeks after him in far away lands.

Freyr /Freyer / Frey
Frey is the son of Njaroor and thus is Freyja's brother.  He is mentioned in his association with Summer, weather, royalty, human sexuality, and agriculture, brings peace and pleasure to humanity. Deeply lovesick after catching sight of the beautiful Jotunn Geroor, Freyr seeks and wins her love, yet at the price of his future doom. He lives in Alfheim - the world between the Heaven and the Earth.

Frigg  see  Freya

Frost Giants
Frost Giants are

Gafion is a goddess.

A male bird. Bayun changed himself into this bird and flew away.

Gefion, the goddess who formed modern day Zealand, Denmark, described in Poetic Edda, is a goddess associated with plowing, the Danish island of Zealand, for her foreknowledge and virginity.

Geroor is the wife of Frey.

Gunnlod used to guard the Mead of Poetry under the Suttunger Mountain. It was a drink that whoever "drinks it becomes a scholar" to recite any information and solve any question. The drink is a vivid metaphor for poetic inspiration, often associated with Odin the god of 'possession' via berserker rage or poetic inspiration. Odin passed 3 nights with her.

Heimdall or Heimdaller is the guard of the Rainbow Bridge which joins Asgard to Midgard (Earth). He is the gold-toothed, white-skinned god, born of nine mothers;

Hel  see  Hela

Hela or Hel, pronounced as Heelaa, is the daughter of Loki and is the goddess of Death. Baldur also lives here in her kingdom Nilfheim after his death. Odin made her in charge of Nilfheim. One side of her face is beautiful but it is full of paleness of deathlike shadow. The other side of her face was only skeleton which looked like death itself.

Odin and Freya's son and Baldur's blind brother. He killed Baldur unknowingly.

Honir/Honir  see  Ve

Hriedmar has three sons - Regin, Andvari and Oter

One of the goddesses is Iduna. Iduna is an apple-bearing goddess who owns a garden of apples which keep a person always young and immortal. It is believed that Odin became immortal only by eating her apples.  Her husband is the Skaldic god Bragi or Braggi.

He is Loki's son in the form of a serpent. Jormungander has a brother Fenrir (a wolf) and a sister Hel (Hela) who is the in charge of Hell. He could encircle the whole Earth.


Mimir was the most intelligent person of the world. He owned the Well of the Wisdom. Once Odin asked a single draught of water from that well and Mimir asked one eye from him as its price. He gave it and got wisdom. Since then he was one-eyed and most intelligent god.

Narfi is the son of Loki from his wife Sigu or Sigyn. Narfi has a brother too Vaali. After his father was caught, the gods turned Vali, his brother, into a wolf, who then tears out the sinews of Narfi. The sinews are used to bind Loki until Ragnarok.

Freyr and Freyja's father is the powerful god Njord. Njaroor is strongly associated with ships and seafaring, and so also with wealth and prosperity. Freyja and Freyr's mother is Njord's sister (her name is not given). However, he is paired with the skiing and hunting goddess Skadi. Their relationship is ill-fated, as Skadi cannot stand to be away from her beloved mountains and Njord from the seashore. Together, Freyja, Freyr, and Njaroor form a portion of gods known as the Vanir. While the Aesir and the Vanir retain distinct identification, they came together as the result of the Aesir–Vanir War.

Norns are those females who rule the fates and destiny of both the gods and men. One of them, Norn of Misfortune had cursed Andvari to become a fish.


Odur  see  Odin

Oter is one of the three brothers (Rejin, Andvari and Oter) of dwarf Regina and goes to Andvara Falls in the form of Otter fish.

Ran is a sea-goddess and a storm-goddess. She is the sister and wife of Aejir, the sea god. She has two sons - Gymir and Mimir; and 9 daughters in the form of waves. She had a net in which she lured the sailors and carried them down to her home in the deep sea. She was especially pleased with those sailors who had lots of gold. By drowning them she took their gold. Once she lent her net to Loki to catch Andvari

Regin is the son of Hriedmar and is a dwarf who has two brothers - Andvari who lived at Andvara Falls; and Oter who used to go Andvara Falls in the form of Otter.

Sif was the wife of Thor. She had golden hair which were stolen by Loki.

Sigu is the wife of Loki. She is very faithful to Loki. She is still serving Loki.

Skadi is a goddess. According to both Poetic Edda and Prose Edda it is goddess Skadi who is responsible to hang a serpent over bound Loki with a rock after he had killed of Baldur.

Skrymir is the Lord of the Frost Giants. He was an illusion created by the Frost Giants to perplex Thor when he and Loki traveled to Jotunheim. Known as Skrymir,  or Vasty or Utgard-Loki.

A giant who lived in

Sygen  see  Sigu

Thalfi and Roskva
They were brother and sister respectively - children of a farmer. Once Thor and Loki stayed in this farmer's house. At night Thor cooks his goats and invites the farmer family to eat with them, but warns them not to break any bone. While eating, the farmer's son Thalfi sucks a bone marrow. Next day when Thor revives his goats he finds one of his goats lame. The farmer gets frightened and gives his both children to Thor, Thor keeps them as his servant.

Thiassi is the villain, a giant, who always tries to trouble Devtaa. He lives in a ice palace. He can change his form. Once he blackmailed Loki to bring Iduna to his palace.


Three Sisters of Fortune
These three sisters know everything of past, present and future. Odin went to them to ask about the whereabouts of Iduna when Thiassi took her away. They used to reply in quizzes and only Odin could solve them.

Thrymer was the king of the Jotnar. In one legend, he stole Mjollnir, Thor's hammer, to extort the gods into giving him Freyja as his wife. His kingdom was called Jotunheimer.  His plot was foiled in his scheme by the gracefulness of Heimdaller, the cunning of Loki, and the sheer violence of Thor. Thor, son of Odin, later killed Thrymer, his sister, and all of his Jotnar kin, which had been present at the wedding reception. The poem Thrymskvida gives the details of how Thor got his hammer back. Bergfinnr is a son of Thrymer, the Giant of Vermland.

A troll is a supernatural being in Norse mythology and Scandinavian folklore. In origin, troll may have been a negative being in Norse mythology. In Old Norse sources, beings described as trolls dwell in isolated rocks, mountains, or caves, live together in small family units, and are rarely helpful to human beings.

Later, in Scandinavian folklore, trolls became beings in their own right, where they live far from human habitation, are not Christianized, and are considered dangerous to human beings. Depending on the region from which accounts of trolls stem, their appearance varies greatly; trolls may be ugly and slow-witted or look and behave exactly like human beings, with no particularly grotesque characteristic about them.

Pronounced as Tear in English. Tyr is an ancient god, who lost a hand while binding the great wolf Fenrir – Loki's son; Fenrir ate Tyr's hand. That is why he has only one hand.

Vali is the son of Loki from his wife Sigu. Vali has a brother too named Narti.

Var is the name of a goddess.

Ve was one of the two brothers of Odin. His another brother was Vili. They were called Honir (Hoenir) also.

Vidar (or Vidarr) is an Aesir god and the son of Odin and Demon Grior and is foretold to avenge his father's death by killing the wolf Fenrir (Loki's son) at Ragnarok.  He is supposed to have one foot much larger than the other.

Vili was one of the two brothers of Odin. His another brother was Ve. They were called Honir (Hoenir) also.

Divine Objects

Andavari Ring
Andavari was a ring which was with Andavar, one of the three sons of Hreidmar (Regin, Andavar and Oter). He gave it to Loki when he went to him to take gold from him to free themselves (Thor, Loki and two children of the farmer) from Hriedmar. Loki had killed his son Oter unknowingly and showed his skin to his father. He and his son Regin had immediately recognized it as Oter's skin and asked them to cover that skin with gold if they wanted their life back. So Loki went to Andavar to take gold from him.

Brisingamen, The Necklace of Freya
Brisingamen is the name of the necklace made by Brising dwarves and they gave it to her (in another version that necklace was given to Freya  by three giantess). There is a story about this that at one time when Odin was going away from Freya. Freya tried to stop him from going far from her. At that time Odin told that when she would weep for him her tears will become the drops of gold. When there is enough gold collected, she should take it to Brising dwarves. They would make a necklace of that gold. It is the same necklace which the three giantesses gave to her on the mountain.

Draupnir, The Ring for Odin
Draupnir is the gold ring made by the two dwarves brothers, Brokk and Eitri, for Odin at the challenge of Loki. It drops 8 duplicates every 9th night.

Gungnir, The Spear of Odin
In Nordic mythology Gungnir is the spear of the god Odin.  It is made of Yggdrasil's sacred ash and Odin wrote his magic verses on its tip. It was created by the Dverger known as the sons of Ivaldi under supervision of the master blacksmith Dverger Dvalin. It is described as a lance that is so well balanced that it never misses and will always strike its target when thrown, regardless of the skill and strength of the wielder.

Jolnir, The Hammer
Jolnir is the name of the Hammer which was made by the two dwarves - Brokk and Eitri. Loki challenged them to make something in comparison to the things which were made by Ivaldi's children who were simply called dwarves. They were Freya's Brisingmen gold necklace, Freya's Golden Hair and   Then Brokk and Eitri made three things - a boar, Draupnir gold Ring and this Jolnir Hammer.

Mead (Amrit)
Compare to Ethiopian drink Tej
Mead is an alcoholic beverage created by fermenting honey with water, and in adulterated form with various fruits, spices, grains or hops. Hops act as a preservative and produce a bitter beer-like flavor. The alcoholic content of mead may range from about 8% ABV to more than 20%. The defining characteristic of mead is that the majority of the beverage's fermentable sugar is derived from honey. It may be still, carbonated, or naturally sparkling, and it may be dry, semi-sweet, or sweet.  Mead is known from many sources of ancient history throughout Europe, Africa and Asia. It can be regarded as the ancestor of all fermented drinks.

Mead of Poetry

Mjolnir, The Hammer of Thor
Mjolnir (Jolneer) is the most famous hammer of Thor (god of Thunder). It is one of the most fearsome weapons, capable of leveling mountains. This hammer was made by the dwarves brothers Eitri (or Sindri) and Brokkr, but its characteristically short handle was due to a mishap during its manufacture. This Mjolnir in Norse language may mean a hammer as well as a stone.

Ringhorn, The Plane
Ringhorn is the plane of Baldur. It was the biggest plane anybody ever knows of.

Svadilfari, The Horse of the Mason
Svadilfari is the stallion (horse) owned by the giant mason who built the wall of Asgard. He helped his owner to build it. Odin's horse Sleipnir was his child from Loki, while Loki was in the form of a mare in heat.

In fact by doing this Loki prevented Svadilfari's owner, the giant mason, from completing the wall he was building around Asgard. Svadilfari helped his master by hauling enormous rocks and performing twice the deeds of strength of his master. However, three days before summer (the agreed deadline), Loki lured away Svadilfari, leaving the giant unable to complete his job.

Had the unnamed giant mason been able to do so, his agreed payment from the gods would have been the goddess Freyja, the Sun and the Moon. Freyja was not pleased by her part in the payment and threatened Loki (as did the other gods when it looked like the giant would succeed) if Loki did not somehow prevent the giant from completing the walls.

Skidbladnir, A Ship for Frey
Skidbladnir ship was made by Ivaldi's dwarves children for Frey. This magic ship, built by the dwarf Dvalin and presented to the gods by Loki, was capable of expanding to carry all the gods at the same time could be folded up and carried in the pocket.

Sleipnir, 8-Legged Horse of Odin
Sleipnir was the 8-legged horse of Odin, He is the child from the union of Loki and Svadilfari (the horse of the mason who came to build wall of Asgard).


Alfheim is the home of good elves. This domain is said to be poised between Heaven and the Earth. It is also regarded as the home of Frey - Freya's brother. Also referred to as Alfheimer, Elfheim,  Nibelheim,  Svartheim.

Pronounced as Aasgaard. The home of the Aesir and location of Valhalla and the palaces of the individual gods: connected with the earth by the rainbow bridge called Bifrost.

Beowulf, Ancient Hero
In the face of danger and adversity they display impressive courage for the greater good of all. They are Heroes. We have always had heroes and Beowulf, greater…

Bifrost, The Bridge
Bifrost is the Rainbow bridge which connects gods' world Asgard to human world Midgard.


Gladsheim is the name of the hall built for

Hel or Helheim
Hel is the place where dead people live. Hel (Hela), the daughter of Loki, is the guardian of this place. It is the 9h world among the 9 worlds. Baldur lives there after his death. Once Odin also visits Hel while still alive on his Sleipnir horse.

Jotunheim or Jotunheimer is the place below Earth.  Here lived that Giant mason who was building the wall around Asgard and was asking the Sun, the Moon and Freya as his charges to build it. Jotun Thrymer also lives here. Once he stole Thor's Jolnir hammer.

Midgard is another name of the Earth.

Mistiltoe is a fungus type plant.  These plants attach to and penetrate the branches of a tree or shrub by a structure called the haustorium, through which they absorb water and nutrients from the host plant. That is why it is called parasite.

Niflheim is a place where dead people live. It is the kingdom of Loki's daughter Hela.

Otlgard is below Niflheim. Farthest high is Asgard (Heaven), then comes Midgard (Earth) and then there comes Niflheim (Hell) and after that there is Otlgard. This is the land of Giants.

The doom of the gods. According to the Nordic prophecy the end of the world would follow a severe ice age, in which human civilization would be destroyed. Then the gods of Asgard, led by Odin, would clash with the devastating forces of evil and chaos, led by Loki and the giants. After a fierce battle the universe itself would be destroyed by fire and a new golden age would appear, ruled by the surviving gods, including Baldur.

Skadi is bright bride of gods.

Suttunger Mountain
There were three wells of Mead of Poetry under Suttunger Mountain . Here Odin went to drink that Mead to get intelligence. Mimir used to guard them. Gunnlod was also there to guard them

Svartheim is the home of good Elves. This domain is said to be poised between Heaven and Earth. It is also regarded as the home of Frey.

Here lived Utgard-Loki - a giant.

Utlgard is located at below Niflheim (here lives Freya's brother with good elves). Here live Giants.

The hall of the chosen slain or palace of the dead in Asgard, Heaven. This palace of Odin was situated in the grove of Glasir and was said to have 540 huge doors. Its walls were composed of shining spears and the roof of golden shields. The 800 occupants fought and died every day and were revived every night, training to fight on the side of the gods in the final battle, Ragnarok.

The building was destroyed after Ragnarok. In the Wagnerian version, it was destroyed by fire as the final act in the curse of the Ring when the ring was thrown into the Rhine by Brunhild on the death of Siegfried. In some accounts, Valhalla is a corruption of Valaskialf, the home of Vali. In some accounts, it is called Valhall, Valholl, Walhall, Walhalla.


Jotunn or Jotnar
Jotunn means Demon. They live in the world Jotunheimer which is the 9th world and is below Earth. Aesir gods had banished them from Asfard.

The final battle - the end of the world. This was the final battle between good and evil, the battle in which the gods were destined to be defeated by the forces of evil, led by Loki, after which will come a new beginning under a new god greater even Odin. After a winter of exceptional severity known as the Fimbul winter, which lasted three years (seven in some accounts).

The Midgard serpent came out of the sea breathing out poisons and causing great floods; the wolves Hati, Managarm and Skoll finally swallowed the Sun and the Moon; Garm, Fenrir and Loki broke their bonds; the dragon Nidhogg finally ate through the roots of Yggdrasil; the cocks crew and Heimdall blew his horn to warn the gods that the end was approaching.

Loki's ship landed a force from Muspelheim and another ship brought the Frost Giants from the north. They were reinforced by Hela and Nidhogg and by Sutr and his sons who smashed the Bifrost bridge as they rode over it. In the ensuing battle on Vigrid plain the gods were defeated. Odin was eaten by the wolf Fenrir, Frey was killed by Surtur, Heimdall by Loki, Tyr by Garm, and Thor drowned in the poison of the Midgard serpent after he had killed it.

Vidar, arriving late, put his one large foot on the bottom jaw of Fenrir and, taking the top jaw in his hands, pulled the wolf apart. Sutr then set the world on fire with his flaming sword and the earth sank beneath the waves. The evil gods who died in that battle were sent to Nastrond, the good ones went to the highest heaven, Gimli, while the giants went to their own hall, Brimer.

Yaggdrasil is the cosmic tree. Numerous creatures live on it, such as the insulting messenger squirrel Ratatoskr and the perching hawk Veorfolnir. The tree itself has three major roots, and at the base of one of these roots live a trio of norns. Elements of the cosmos are personified, such as the Sun (Sol, a goddess), the Moon (Mani, a god), and Earth (Joro, a goddess), as well as units of time, such as day (Dagr, a god) and night (Nott, a Jotunn)



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Created by Sushma Gupta on November 27, 2013
Modified on 09/24/19