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20 Fun Facts About Norse Mythology
No matter where you come from, you have probably heard at least a little bit of Norse mythology at some point in your life. These legends have been infused in our popular culture, likely due to the rich history that Norse mythology encompasses. There are lots of facts to learn about Nordic legends, so let’s take a look at 20 particularly fun facts about Norse mythology.
1. Horse Loki
There is a story where Loki, brother of Thor and the God of Mischief, turns himself into a female horse. The reason behind this is an odd one. Loki likes a stallion by the name of Svadilfari, so he becomes a mare, mates with Svadilfari and gives birth to an eight-legged steed. It's unlikely we will be seeing that storyline in the Marvel movies any time soon.
2. Odin as Santa
Speaking of that eight-legged steed, Odin uses Loki’s horse child as a reindeer substitute and gives out gifts to children (and punishments, too).
3. Loki’s Kids
Oddly enough, this steed isn’t the only child that Loki bears. His other children include a serpent named Jörmungandr, a wolf called Fenrir and a monstrous daughter called Hel. It's a dysfunctional family, to say the least!
4. Fenrir’s Captivity
Loki’s wolf child Fenrir was shackled by a magical chain made up of randomness: a woman’s beard, mountain roots, the breath of a fish, the saliva of a bird and a kitten’s footstep.
5. Fenrir’s Feast
Fenrir devours Odin in the Norse stories and destroys a lot of the world, earning the title of Fenrir the World Eater.
6. Fenrir’s Demise
It is one of Odin’s sons - Vidar, the god of vengeance - who eventually kills Fenrir after she survives the apocalyptic event Ragnarok.
Ragnarok is a huge element of Norse mythology, referencing the final destruction of the world in a cataclysmic event.
8. The Fylgja
The fylgja is a supernatural creature, spirit or being in Norse mythology that is connected to a human being. Each person is said to have a fylgja in these legends.
9. Thor Kicks a Dwarf
There is a story that features Thor kicking a dwarf called Litr into a lit pyre. Why? He gets mad and Litr is unfortunately the closest to Thor at the time. Talk about a slight overreaction!
10. Thor as a Bride
Thor had to dress as a bride when Thrym, the chief of the giants, attempted to blackmail the goddess Freyja into marrying him. The disguises were meant to trick the giant so that Thor could kill him. Hilariously, Loki was his bridesmaid.
11. Freyja’s Importance
Freyja’s role in Norse mythology cannot be overstated. One fact about her is that she has the role of choosing which Vikings will go to Valhalla. She only chooses half, with Odin - God of War and the Dead - choosing the other half.
But what is Valhalla? It is a lavish hall in the afterlife where dead warriors will spend their lives feasting and living in luxury.
13. Cats and Kittens
Cats hold an importance in Norse myths, with Freyja having two cats, Trjegul and Bygul, who pull her chariot. Kittens would also be offered as gifts to Viking brides because of this important connection to the goddess.
14. Goat Chariot
Thor also had his own chariot, but his was pulled by two goats, Tanngnjostr and Tanngrisnir, who could resurrect if Thor ate them as long as he didn’t break their bones.
15. Unlimited Beer
Heidrun was a goat who waited in Valhalla with udders full of unlimited beer for the deceased warriors. The Norse Triskele, such as that on this Green Ring-Spun Cotton T-Shirt, symbolizes three interlocking drinking horns.
16. Unlimited Bacon
There is also a pig there, who was said to be a source of unlimited bacon for the warriors to feast on in Valhalla.
17. The Insult Squirrel
There is a squirrel in Norse mythology called Ratatoskr whose sole purpose is to carry insulting messages between two creatures that live at opposite ends of the great World Tree, Yggdrasil.
18. Ski God
There are so many gods in Norse mythology, but one of the most obscure is Ullr, god of skiers. His pastimes include skiing and chasing game with a bow and arrow.
19. Party God
Aegir, god of Sea Creatures and Oceans, was a bit of a party animal, known for his rambunctious parties and brewing ale for the Gods to enjoy.
20. The First God
We finish this list with the beginning. The very first God in Norse lore is Buri, who was said to be created by a cow. What humble beginnings!