15 Interesting Facts About Norse Mythology

6. The story about Thor in a lady’s garb

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When it came to his hammer – Mjolnir, Thor was overprotective of it than anything in the world. It so happened that one day Thrym, the king of all giants stole his hammer and agreed to return it only if he was given Freyja in marriage to him. Both Thor and Loki agreed and, hearing this, Freyja blankly refused. So, both Loki and Thor dressed up as women with Loki transforming himself into a handsmaid while Thor dressed himself up in queens attire. Thrym got married to Thor and placed the hammer on his newly wedded bride’s lap. And at that moment, Thor sprang up and revealed himself. He killed everyone in the hall.

7. Odin and his brothers created the new world out of Ymir’s body parts

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The new world was created after Ginnungagap, the empty space was destroyed and resulted in the birth of a hermaphroditic creature called Ymir. Ymir created the first giant. There was also a god called Buri in the glaciers. After a few generations had passed, Odin along with his brothers Ve and Vili was born and three of them planned to create a new world. They slew Ymir and used his body parts to create the world. The earth was made out of Ynmir’s skin, the sky was made of his skull, the sea was created out of his blood, the clouds were formed out of his brains while rocks and stones were created out of Ymir’s bones and teeth.

8. Ragnarok is the epic battle at the end of time according to Norse myth

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The Vikings believed that a series of apocalyptic events called Ragnarok would put an end to the world including all its living creatures, humans, giants, dwarfs, elves and the gods. In old Norse language, Ragnarok means “The Doom of the Gods”. It marks the end of the cosmos but also heralds a new beginning. In this epic battle, the giants fought against the gods and brought about a destruction of the planet that got submerged under water. In this war, Odin, Thor and most of the Aesir gods perished and the humans died from the fires unleashed by dragons. However, the surviving gods emerged once again and the world was repopulated by only two humans that survived. These two mortals were known as Lif – a woman and Lifthrasir – a man. Among the surviving gods, Thor’s sons, Hoenir and Vali and Vidar were saved as they went to a place that was not destroyed during the apocalyptic battle. This place was called Idavoll. The Norse myths believed that a new era was heralded with the return of Balder and Hoder.

9. Loki was a scheming god that believed in firing from other’s shoulders

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Baldur was the beloved and the golden boy of Asgard, quite contrary to the belief that it was Thor who was the most sought after guy in Asgard. Loki as always was jealous of Baldur and looking at a golden opportunity pass by him, made the move that ultimately led to the killing of Baldur. Baldur had sightings about his own death leading to his mother Frigg ordering everything in the world to swear that they wound never hurt her son. But, the mistletoe was left out of this and during a fun game when everyone was throwing things at the ‘invincible’ Baldur, Loki very cunningly passed the huge mistletoe shaft to Baldur’s blind brother God Hodr and asked him to throw it on him. The mistletoe went through Baldur and killed him, leading to Ragnarok.

Also Read: 18 Important Events in Ancient Rome History

10. The story about Mimir’s floating head

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In Aesir, the god that was most respected for wisdom and intellect was Mimir who was also the counselor of gods. When there broke out a war between Aesir and Vanir, Mimir became a much coveted prize. Both the parties tried to end the war by reaching on an agreement to exchange hostages. In exchange for Hoenir from Asgard, the Vanir agreed to give them Kvasir. But, Aesir sent Mimir to the Vanir and this led to the beheading of Mimir. The Vanir sent his head to the Aesir. Odin kept the head and used herbs for preventing it from rotting. He would sing magical songs to keep the head alive, and then later it was relocated to the well of Urd where it floated.