In Norse mythology, Loki is regarded as a scheming god who never shied away from enjoying his life. Apart from fathering the eight legged horse Sleipnir, he fathered three more from the same giantess Angrboda. The eldest one was a wolf like creature called Fenrir, a fierce animal who had to be chained because he was extremely huge. Jormungand was the second child and took the form of a serpent. When the gods kidnapped him, he was cast into the waters surrounding Midgard. Hel, the Goddess of the Underworld was the youngest of all the children and she was quite a ghastly looking creature, with half her face fair and lovely while the other half bore resemblance to her giant mother. While the upper portion of her body was like a human, the lower resembled a rotting dead body.
12. In Norse mythology, the afterlife is complicated
The concept of afterlife is very much present in Norse mythological stories but its quite complex. According to the Norse religion, there are four places for the dead to go, namely: Valhalla, Odin’s hall where all heroes chosen by Valkyries live as celebrated warriors, Folkvang, Freya’s hall reserved for the warriors dying in the battle, Helgafjell, the underwater heaven for such people that die at sea and finally there is Hel for those that have led dishonest lives. However, there are no valid doctrines in Norse religion explaining what the dead do and how they reach such places.
In the list of Norse gods and goddesses, the name of Frigg features on the top as she is considered as the highest ranking Aesir goddess. Odin’s wife and Thor’s and Baldur’s mother, Frigg is the goddess of motherhood and marriage. Most Norse myths speak of her and another goddess Freya as one deity. Both she and Freya are regarded in high esteem in Norse religion as these goddesses were associated with family and children, two most important aspects of Norse culture. Frigg, as per common Norse myths was the mother who doted on her son Baldur but when he spoke of his impending death that he saw in his dreams, Frigg went berserk and ordered every little thing to refrain from hurting her son, with the exception of the mistletoe. But, as we already know the story, Baldur was killed accidentally by Hoor, his twin brother. Frigg went into deep depression and did everything possible to get her son back but Baldur was banished to the underworld forever.
14. The Norse religion believes that the first human couple was Ask and Embla
The first human couple as per Norse religion are Ask and Embla and not Adam and Eve. Once the cosmos was created by Aesir gods, these two humans were formed out of two tree trunks. These trunks had washed ashore the land created by gods and it was Odin who gave life to them. The couple were then assigned to stay in Midgard, the world of the human beings in the nine worlds. They mated to create human civilization to populate Midgard and the start of the species we call humans.
Not many people are familiar with the other son of Odin called Vidar. He was the god of vengeance and he avenged his father’s death at Ragnarok by killing Loki’s wolf son Fenrir. Vidar, however was not the offspring of Frigg, but a warrior goddess Grid with whom Odin had a brief affair. He along with his brother Vali are regarded as gods of vengeance and are highly respected among Aesir gods. Most Norse myths hint towards Vidar acting as a problem solver for gods in times of trouble. Vidar happened to kill Fenrir when the apocalypse started by entering the jaws and killing him, making use of his thick soles. That’s why he is also called God of the Thick Shoe. In Norse mythology, he is shown as a god who is always adding soles to his shoes in preparation for Ragnarok.