Eir - Eir ("mercy") is a minor Norse goddess of healing. She knew the secret powers of herbs, with which she could even resurrect the dead. She taught the art of healing only to women, who, in ancient Scandinavia, were the only physicians. She is the patroness of health-care workers, called on against sickness or injury. She is one of the goddesses on the mountain called Lyfia ("to heal through magic"), and gives both physical and psychic means of healing; shamanic healing, especially, falls into her realm

Eir is generally considered a good friend of Frigg and not one of her handmaidens. She is one of Freya's eight sisters and Njord's daughter

Eisa - ("Embers") A daughter of Loki ("Fire") and Glut ("Glow"). Her sister is Einmyria ("Ashes").

Eitri and Brokk - The two dwarfs who made the golden ring Draupnir, the golden boar Gullinbursti and the mighty hammer Mjollnir.

Eitri - A Dwarf and metal worker. With Brokk he made the gold boar, Gullinbursti, Odin's arm-ring and Thorr's hammer Mjollnir. He was pictured as small and blackened from the smithy.The Dwarf Eitri is son of Ivaldi and brother of Brokk and Sindri.

Eldir - ("Fire-Kindler") Eldir is Aegir's cock. During one of Aegir's feasts, Eldir tried to prevent Loki from getting in, because he knew everybody said bad things about him.

Eldhrimnir - ("Soot From Fire") The kettle which was used by the cook Andhrimnir to boil the boar Saehrimnir. The meat is given to the hungry einheriars in Valhalla every night.

Elf-Candle - A kenning for the sun.

Eliudnir - Hel's Hall. Her dish is called Hunger, her knife, Famine, her servant, Ganglati.

Elivagar - Usually spoken of as a river, it is really a narrow stretch of ocean separating Midgard proper from Jotunheimur in the north. This arrangement exactly parallels the Underworld geography: Niflhel is separated from Hel proper by mountains (and perhaps a narrow stretch of underworld ocean as well).

Elli, Elde - Utgardh-Loki's grandmotherand personified Norse goddess of old age. She was asked, as a part of a friendly game, to wrestle Thor because she was the weakest of giants in Utgardh. She wrestled Thor down to his knees. A trick, since the thin but very strong Giantess Elli represents old age.

Elves. Alves - Elves are the sons of Mirmir, while Dwarves are the sons of Ivaldi. See Alfar.

Embla & Askr - Origin of humanity, the first man and woman. The first man, Askr, was made from an Ash tree. His wife, Embla, was an Elm.

Eostre, Ostara - Saxon lunar goddess, patron of springtime and hares (Easter Bunny). The Christian holiday for the resurection of Jesus usurped Ostara's celebration, and is now called "Easter". An aspect of the Roman goddess of dawn, Aurora.

Erda, Earth, Jörd- ("Earth") The Earth-Goddess Erda is the mother of Thor, with Odin. Erda is daughter to the Night-Disir Natt/Night and her second husband of three, Annar.

Etin - Developed from OE eoten and ON jötunn. A type of Giant known for it’s strength. Also a generic name for Giant (in ON Jötunheimr, etc.), which is a living entity of great age, strength, and often great occult knowledge. Etins are usually friendly to the Gods, while Jotuns are unfriendly.

Etin-Home - (ON Jötunheimr) The eastern world, home of all giants.

Etin-Wife - A female Etin taken in magical marriage.

Everfrost - Banquet hall of the giant Brimir. Brimir is probably another name for Yimir.

F

Falcon Coat - The magical feathered coat of the goddess Freya, when worn it turned the wearer into a falcon.

Fafnir - The great worm who, in the Old German Tale of the Volsungs, guards the treasures of light, and is slain by Sigurd.

Fafnir, Fåvne - Fafnir is the son of Hreidmar and brother of Otter and Regin. He was killed as a dragon by Sigurd Fafnisbari when he guarded his gold treasure.

Fáfnir's Lair - A kenning for Gold; because of the great hoard of gold found in the lair of this dragon.

Fal - A Dwarf.

Falhofnir - ("Shaggy Forelock") Horse of the Æsir used to ride to Gladsheim, their Court of Justice, each day.

Fallfordarv - The doorstep in the death Goddess, Hel's stronghold Eljudnir in Nifilhel. Nifelhel is the place that welcomes people who have died unhonored in battle.

Famine - Famine is the Death Goddess Hel's knife.

Farbauti - Father of Loki and husband of Laufey. It is said that Loki was born the same time when Farbauti struck Laufey with a violent lightning bolt.

Farbauti - ("Cruel Smiter") A Fire Giant. He is married to Laufey and is the father of Loki, Byleist and Helblindi. Laufey gave birth to Loki while being struck by a bolt of fire from Farbauti.

Farmagud - ("God of Cargoes") Another name for Odin.

Feathercoat - A feathercoat transforms the user into a bird. Freya has a falcon coat that Loki often borrows. Odin and the Giant Tjatsi each have an eagle coat.

Fenja - One of the two Jotun giantesses who are able to produce gold with the giant mill "Grotte".

Fenrir, Fenris, Fenrisulven - Fenrir is a gigantic and terrible monster in the shape of a wolf. He is the eldest child of Loki and the giantess Angrboda. The gods learned of a prophecy which stated that the wolf and his family would one day be responsible for the destruction of the world. They caught the wolf and locked him in a cage. Only the god of war, Tyr, dared to feed and take care of the wolf.

When he was still a pup they had nothing to fear, but when the gods saw one day how he had grown, they decided to render him harmless. However, none of the gods had enough courage to face the gigantic wolf. Instead, they tried to trick him. They said the wolf was weak and could never break free when he was chained. Fenrir accepted the challenge and let the gods chain him. Unfortunately, he was so immensely strong that he managed to break the strongest fetters as if they were cobwebs. In the entire tale about the binding of Fenrir, the gods came up with three chains in all. The first is Laeding, the second Dromi and the third Gleipnir. Fenrir broke the first two chains easily.

After that, the gods saw only one alternative left: a magic chain. They ordered the dwarves to make something so strong that it could hold the wolf. The result was a soft, thin ribbon: Gleipnir. It was incredibly strong, despite what its size and appearance might suggest. The ribbon was fashioned of six strange elements: the footstep of a cat; the roots of a mountain; a woman's beard; the breath of fishes; the sinews of a bear; and a bird's spittle.

The gods tried to trick the wolf again, only this time Fenrir was less eager to show his strength. He saw how thin the chain was, and said that there was no pride in breaking such a weak chain. Eventually, though, he agreed, thinking that otherwise his strength and courage would be doubted. Suspecting treachery however, he in turn asked the gods for a token of good will: one of them had to put a hand between his jaws. The gods were not overly eager to do this, knowing what they could expect. Finally, only Tyr agreed, and the gods chained the wolf with Gleipnir. No matter how hard Fenrir struggled, he could not break free from this thin ribbon. In revenge, he bit off Tyr's hand.

Being very pleased with themselves, the gods carried Fenrir off and chained him to a rock (called Gioll) a mile down into the earth. Then, to make sure, they covered that rock with another huge boulder (Thviti) and sank it on top as a fastening peg. They put a sword between his jaws to prevent him from biting. On the day of Ragnarok, Fenrir will break his chains and join the giants in their battle against the gods. He will seek out Odin and devour him. Vidar, Odin's son, will avenge his father by killing the wolf.

Fensalir - Frigga's hall in Asgard.

Field of Warriors - Another name for Freya's hall, also called "Folkvang".

Fili - Soil-dwelling Dwarf

Fimbulwinter - ("The Mighty Winter") The three-year-long winter that will proceed Ragnarok.

Finn - A Dwarf.

Fire Giants - The inhabitants of Muspellheim, sworn enemies of the gods.

Fjalar and Galar - The pair of scheming dwarfs who murdered Kvasir in order to get his blood. Because Kvasir was created from the spit of all the gods, he is the wisest of mankind and his blood is full of wisdom. The two mixed his blood together with honey and after fermentation, became the Mead of Poetry, a drink which when taken, bestows immense intellect, wisdom and knowledge upon the drinker. Fjalar and Galar got bolder after killing Kvasir and went on to two more killing sprees: the harmless giant Gilling and his wife. Their killings ended when Suttung, the son of Gilling, confronted them and took the mead away from them with his cunning and phsyical might.

Fjalar - 1) Fjalar is a mean Dwarf, who with the help of his brother, Galar, kills the Giant Kvæsir. They make the Mead of Poetry from his blood, but they later are forced to give it away. 2) The cock whose crowing wakes the Giants for the final struggle of Ragnarok.

Fjölkunnig kona - ON. A wise woman in ancient Iceland. A cunning-woman or witch but not necessarily in a derogatory sense.

Fjölkunnig madhr - ON. A wise man in ancient Iceland.

Fjolnir - Minor God of wisdom and learning; possibly another name for Odin.

Fjölsvid - ("One Who is Very Wise") A by-name of Odin.

Fjolvar - The Giant Fjolvar owns the island Allgron, where he and Odin spent five years seducing seven foolish girls.

Fjörgynn - Weather God, father of Frigga.

Folkvang, Folkvangr - (""Folk-field"") Domain of Freya, which is also called "Field of Warriors". Her hall is Sessrúmnir. Half of all warriors who die in battle reside here; the others become eternal warriors in Valhalla.

Forfeit-horn - Thor could not finish drinking the water in it. It was magically attached to the ocean. Thor's drinking created the tides.

Fornjot - The father of the ocean god Aegir, the wind god Kari and the fire god Logi.

Forseti ("The Presiding One") - In Norse mythology, Forseti is the god of justice, savior of the devout, winner of just lawsuits. He represents justice, good laws, arbitration, peace, fairness, good judgment. He is the son of the god Balder and his mother is Nanna. Forseti rules in the beautiful palace Glitnir, which serves as a court of justice and where all legal disputes are settled. Glitnir has a roof of silver that is supported by pillars of red gold.

Forseti can be compared with the Teutonic god Fosite, who was worshipped on Helgoland.

Foster Parents - Fathers often used to pay to send their sons to be looked after by foster parents. This was considered the best way to train youngsters.

Franang's Falls - A waterfall in Midgard where Loki, who shape-shifted as a salmon to hide from the gods, was captured.

Freki and Geri - The two loyal wolves who accompany Odin in Asgard. It is said that in Asgard, Odin gives all his food to the wolves and drinks wine himself.

Freki - ("Ravenous") One of Odin's two wolves. The other one is Geri. They get all the meat that is served to Odin in Valhalla because he himself prefers wine.

Freya, Freyja - ("The Lady") In Norse mythology, Freya is a goddess of love and fertility, and the most beautiful and propitious of the goddesses. She is the patron goddess of crops and birth, the symbol of sensuality and was called upon in matters of love. Freya is also a war goddess and frequently rides to the battlefields with Odin. She loves music, spring and flowers, and is particularly fond of the elves (fairies). Hers is the magic of reading runes, trancing and casting spells. She is said to have taught Seidh to Odin. Freya is one of the foremost goddesses of the Vanir.

She is the daughter of the god Njord, and the sister of Freyr. Later she married the mysterious god Od (probably another form of Odin), who disappeared. Freya had two daughters, Hnoss and Gersimi, with Od. When she mourned for her lost husband, her tears changed into gold.

Her attributes are the precious necklace of the Brisings, which she obtained by sleeping with four dwarfs, a cloak (or skin) of bird feathers, which allows its wearer to change into a falcon, and a chariot pulled by two cats. She owns Hildesvini ("battle boar") which is actually her human lover Ottar in disguise. Her chambermaid is Fulla. Freya lives in the beautiful palace Folkvang ("field of folk"), a place where love songs are always played, and her hall is Sessrumnir. It is said that in Sessrumnir, love music plays constantly and erotic poetry is carved on its many brilliant pillars. She is the queen of the Valkyries and divides the slain warriors with Odin: the first half goes to her palace, while the other half goes to Valhalla. Women also go to her hall.

Old Norse: Freyja, Friia

Freya's Tears - A kenning for Amber. When she could not find her husband Od, Freya shed tears of gold. The tears that hit trees turned into amber.

Freyr (fray-er), Frey, Fro, Ingve-Frey - ("The Lord") Freyr is the god of sun and rain, and the patron of bountiful harvests. He is both a god of peace and a brave warrior. God of Yule; God of wealth and peace and contentment. The ruler of Alfheim and the elves. Blood was not allowed to be spilled through violence, nor where weapons or outlaws allowed on or in his holy places. Freyr is the most prominent and most beautiful of the male members of the Vanir, and is called 'God of the World'. After the merging of the Aesir and the Vanir, Freyr was called 'Lord of the Aesir'. Freyr was also called upon to grant a fertile marriage. Just as Freya is the prettiest of goddesses, Freyr is the most physically attractive of gods.

He is married to the beautiful giantess Gerd, and is the son of Njord. His sister is Freya. He rides a chariot pulled by the golden boar Gullinbursti which was made for him by the dwarves Brokk and Eitri. He owns the ship Skidbladnir ("wooden-bladed"), which always sails directly towards its target, and which can become so small that it can fit in Freyr's pocket. He also possesses a sword that would by itself emerge from its sheath and spread a field with carnage whenever the owner desired it.

Freyr's shield bearer and servant is Skirnir, to whom he gave his sword, which Skirnir demanded as a reward for making Gerd his wife. On the day of Ragnarok he will battle without weapons (for he gave his sword away to Skirnir), and will be the first to be killed by the fire giant Surt. The center of his cult was the city Uppsala in Sweden. In southern Sweden he was called Fricco.

Frid - ("The Good-Looking") Frid is one of the Love-Goddess Freya's eight sisters. The God of storms and fishing, Njord is her father. The Fertility God Freyr is her brother.

Friagabis - ("The Free Giver") Saxon goddess of plenty.

Frigg, Frigga, Frija - (The Loving) Is the wife of Odin with whom she has six sons and one daughter, including Balder and Hodur. Frigg is one of the foremost goddesses of Norse mythology. She is the daughter of Fjorgynn and Fjordgyn. She is the patron of marriage and motherhood, and the goddess of love and fertility. In that aspect she shows many similarities with Freya, of whom she possibly is a different form.

She has a reputation of knowing every person's destiny, but never unveils it. As the mother of Balder, she tried to prevent his death by extracting oaths from every object in nature, but forgot the mistletoe. And by a fig made from mistletoe Balder died. Her hall in Asgard is Fensalir ("water halls"). Frigg's messenger is Gna, who rides through the sky on the horse Hofvarpnir. In some myths she was rumored to have had love affairs with Odin's brothers Ve and Vili.

Frith - Fruitful peace, happiness. The true Teutonic word for "peace" which carries with it the implication of "freedom".

Fro - ("Lord") Byname of Freyr.

Frodi - A Vanir god whose name means "The Fruitful One"

Frosti - A Dwarf.

Frowe - ("Lady") By-name of Freya.

Frost-Giants - Most of the Frost Giants drowned in Ymir's blood when the gods killed him, and their souls migrated down into the northernmost part of the Underworld, the dark and foggy Niflhel. A few of the youngest Frost-Giants barely escaped, and crawled onto the beach of the northernmost part of the Earth, which is called Jotunheimr

Fulla - ("The Filler") One of Frigg's handmaidens. Sister of Frigga, also called Volla. She carries Frigg's strongbox the coffer of life and death, and her slippers. Although a virgin, she represents aspects of sexuality. Fulla was also known as Abundia, or Abundantia in some parts of Germany, where she was considered the symbol of the fullness of the earth. Nanna sent her a finger ring from Hel. She is described as an Æsir Goddess with long hair and a golden snood.

Fundin - Soil-dwelling Dwarf.

G

Gagnrad - ("Gain-counsellor") The name Odin chose to call himself when visiting Vafthrudnir.

Galar and Fjalar - The pair of scheming dwarfs who murdered Kvasir in order to get his blood. Because Kvasir was created from the spit of all the gods, he is the wisest of mankind and his blood is full of wisdom. The two mixed his blood together with honey and after fermentation, became the Mead of Poetry, a drink which when taken, bestows immense intellect, wisdom and knowledge upon the drinker. Fjalar and Galar got bolder after killing Kvasir and went on to two more killing sprees: the harmless giant Gilling and his wife. Their killings ended when Suttung, the son of Gilling, confronted them and took the mead away from them with his cunning and phsyical might.

Galar - A mean Dwarf and brother of Fjalar. They killed Kvasir and mixed his blood with honey in pot called Odrerir and then vats called Son and Bodn, created the Mead of Poetry.

Galdalf - Galdalf is told to be the eighteenth of the prehistoric Dwarves. The name means 'magician'.

Gambantein - ("Magic Branch") A magic wand given to Odin by the Giant Hlebard. When Odin had got the wand he made Hlebard lose his mind.

Gandalf - ("Magic Elf") A Dwarf.

Gang - Giant Gang is Olvalde's youngest son and brother to Tjatsi and Ide. When the father had died the brothers rapidly shared his beer. This was the first time they were all quiet.

Ganglati - ("Tardy") Giant Ganglati is is one of the servants of Death-Goddess Hel and lives with her underground. Ganglati was so slow that no one ever could tell he was moving.

Ganglere - Gånglere, meaning "tired of walking", was the name used by king Gylfe when he was visiting valhalla in search of the truth of everything.

Gangleri - Another name for Odin.

Ganglot - Serving maid of Hel.

Gap-tooth - The name of one of Thor's goats that pulls his divine chariot through the sky.

Gardrofa - ("One Who Pulls Fences") The mare Gardrofa and the horse Hamskerpir are the parents of Gna's grey horse Hoof-flourisher.

Garm (Also called Mánagarm) - The monstrous hound Garm guards the entrance to Helheim, the Norse realm of the dead. It has four eyes and a chest drenched with blood, and lives in Gnipahellir, Gnipa-cave. Garm is chained since time immemorable. Anyone who had given bread to the poor could appease him with Hel cake. On the day of Ragnarok, Garm will join the giants in their fight against the gods. The god of war Tyr will kill it in this cataclysmic battle but will die from the wounds inflicted by the hound.

Garm is often equated with the wolf Fenrir. It can also be compared with Cerberus, the Greek guardian of the underworld.

Garth - A yard, enclosure, homestead.

Gaut - By-name of Odin.

Gaut's Gate - A kenning for a shield. This is because Odin's gate, the gate to Asgard, shields Asgard from its enemies.

Gefion, Gefn, Gefjun, Gefjon ("giver") - Vanir Goddess of gift-giving, is an old-Scandinavian vegetation and fertility goddess, especially connected with the plough. She was considered the patron of virgins and the bringer of good luck and prosperity, also one of the maidens in Frigga's palace. Celebrated with wagon rituals and plough rites at the New Year. As an aspect of fate, she is called in oath taking. Every girl who dies a virgin will become Gefion's servant. She did not remain a virgin herself, but married a Giant, by whom she had four sons. She is married to King Skjold or Scyld (This Scyld is the same person whom the Beowulf poet alludes to at the beginning of that poem) a son of Odin, and lived in Leire, Denmark, where she had a sanctuary. The Swedish kings are supposed to be her descendants.

It is traditionally claimed that Gefion created the island of Zealand ("Sjaelland" in Danish) by ploughing the soil out of the central Swedish region with the help of her sons (four Swedish oxen), creating the great Swedish lakes in the process. In Copenhagen, Denmark, there is a large fountain showing Gefion in the process of ploughing.

Gefion could be another form of Frigg who is also known under that name.

Geirahöd - ("Spear of Battle") A Valkyrie who serves ale to the Einheriar in Valhalla.

Geiravor - A Valkyrie.

Geirdriful - A Valkyrie.

Geirolu - A Valkyrie.

Geirrod - ("The one who bloods the spear") A cunning frost giant and ironsmith and father of two daughters, Gjalp and Greip. He was a bitter enemy of Thor, and having captured Loki (when Loki was flying around as a hawk). He locked Loki in a chest and starved him for three months until he received from him a promise that he would bring Thor to Geirrod's castle without Thor having his magic belt and magic hammer, Megingjord and Mjollnir.  Loki did as promised and led Thor into the trap. On the way there, though, they stopped to rest at the home of a giantess named Grid. She told Thor what was up when Loki left the room, and gave him her magic belt, iron gloves and magic staff. For fun, Geirrod used tongs to pick up a lump of molten iron and threw it at Thorr, Thorr used iron gauntlets to catch it, then flung it back. It crashed through pillars, Geirrod, walls, and and into ground outside. Geirrod and his daughters, Gjalp and Greip, were killed.

Geirrondul - A Valkyrie.

Geirskigull - A Valkyrie.

Gerahod - A Valkyrie.

Gerd, Gerdh ("Fence") - Gerd is a beautiful giantess, the wife of Freyr and daughter of the giants Gymir and Aurboda and Beli's sister. She is an earth goddess, the personification of the fertile soil. She was so beautiful that the brightness of her naked arms illuminated both air and sea. Freyr was so bewitched by her beauty that he could neither eat nor sleep properly. Gerd never wanted to marry Freyr and refused his proposals. Freyr sent his messenger Skirnir to woo her, but he did not succeed in winning her over with the eleven golden apples and the ring Draupnir he had with him. Eventually Skirnir threatened to use Freyr's sword, which would cover the earth in ice, and powerful magic which would doom Gerd's life to misery and sadness. She finally agreed to meet Freyr in a wood, nine days hence, and later became his wife.

Geri - ("Greedy") Geri is one of Odin's two wolves. The other one is Freki. They get all the meat that is served to Odin because he only drinks wine.

Geri and Freki - ("Greedy" & "Ravenous ") The two loyal wolves who accompany Odin in Asgard. It is said that in Asgard, Odin gives all his food to the wolves and drinks wine himself.

Gersimi - Goddess of beauty, Freya's daughter with Od. The beautiful Hnoss is her sister. The name Gersimi means 'jewelry'

Gestumblindi - In the contest of riddles with King Heidrek the Wise, the last riddle about Odin's whisperings to Balder reveal that Gestumblindi is actually Odin.

Giants & Giantesses- In Old Norse the word risi meant a true Giant of great size, capable of intermarrying with humans; they were usually beautiful and good. The jotnar, singular jötunn, had great strength and age and were also called etins. The thursar, singular thurs, were antagonistic, destructive, and stupid. The Giants in Northern mythology (such as the Frost Giants, the Mountain Giants and the Fire Giants) represent the raw forces of Nature in their primitive form. The Giants are often big, clumsy, magic-skilled, and sometimes evil-minded creatures. The worst enemy of the Giants is Thor, with his powerful hammer Mjollnir. Most Giants live in Jotunheim. There are also Fire Giants who follow Surt in Muspelheim and Rimthursar (Frost Giants) who came from the ice-cold Niflheim. All Giants originally came from Ymir. It may be that the Giants were the Gods of the Stone Age, the Vanir the Gods of the Bronze Age and the Æsir the Gods of the Iron Age.

Gilling - ("Huge Cod") The harmless Giant Gilling is Billing's brother. Gilling and his wife were killed by the evil Dwarves Galar and Fjalar, who brewed the Mead of Poetry. His son, Suttung took revenge.

Gils - Horse of the Æsir used to ride to Glasheim, their Court of Justice, each day.

Gimli - ("Hall of the Blessed") Located to the south and above Asgard in another heaven called Andlang, it is a building with a golden roof. It is the fairest hall of all and brighter than the sun. It will survive Ragnarok, and will be where good and righteous men go to upon death.

Ginar - A Dwarf.

Ginnungagap - Ginnungagap ("seeming emptiness"), in the cosmology of Norse mythology, is the primordial void separating Niflheim and Muspell, the land of eternal ice and snow and the land of eternal heat and flame.

In the beginning, before the world of men and gods existed, the spring Hvergelmir, deep in the frozen wastes of Niflheim, gave rise to eleven rivers known as the Elivagar. Over a long period of time, water of the Elivagar ran across Niflheim and poured into the northern part of Ginnungagap. The water froze, forming vast sheets of ice in the void. Hot air from Muspell melted some of the ice, creating a zone of meltwater amid the ice and snow. Here life began, and the first living thing was a frost giant Ymir.

Gjallar, Gjallarhorn, Gjall, Gyall - Gjallar ("Ringing Horn" or "The Recalling Horn"), is the horn carried by Heimdall, the watchman of the gods. Its blast can be heard all over the nine worlds. It lies hidden beneath the third root of the World Tree Yggdrasil. With a soft tone Heimdall announced the arrival of the gods, but sounded it more forcefully in times of danger. At Ragnarok it will sound one final time and will be heard all over the world, calling the gods and the warriors to the battlefield.

Gjallarbru - ("Resounding Bridge") The bridge crossed by Hermod on his way to Hel's realm in search of Balder.

Gjalp and Greip - The two daughters of the evil giant Geirrod. Thor killed all three when he reached their castle. Geirrod himself was killed by a piece of molten iron which Thor hurled at him and which passed through him. Gjalp and Griep were killed when their backs broke. Thor was sitting down on a chair in Geirrod's castle when he felt this chair rising upwards towards the roof. Apparently, Gjalp and Greip were lifting him up and trying to smash his skull against the roof. Fortunately, Thor used Grid's magic staff to push hard against the roof. The impact on the two giantesses were so great that their spines broke.

Gjalp - ("Yelling") The Giantess Gjalp is Geirod's daughter and Greip's sister. She tries to stop Thor from passing a lake by flooding it with urine.

Gjoll - 1) The Hel Bridge. It is thatched with gleaming gold and the maiden who guards it is called Módgud. From the bridge over the river Gjöll the road to Hel lies downwards and northwards. 2) The boulder to which the wolf Fenrir was chained. It was fastened with another boulder called Thviti.

Glad, Gyllir, Glœr, Skeidbrimir, Silfrtopp, Sinir, Gils, Falhofnir, and Lettfeti - The Æsir's horses

Gladsheim - Gladsheim ("place of joy") is the hall of the gods in Asgard, situated on the plain of Ida. Odin presides there but each of the twelve main gods also has a high seat there. Gladsheim is where the gods meet to make important decisions. It is also the inner citadel or sanctuary of Asgard, just as the Acropolis was the sanctuary of ancient Athens.

Glapsvid - Another name for Odin.

Gleaming Bale - The name of Hel's curtains.

Gleipnir - The fetter (chain) used to bind Fenrir, made by the Svartalfar from the sound of cat's footfall, a woman's beard, a mountain's roots, a bear's sinews, a fish's breath, a bird's spittle. The other two chains were Dromi and Loding.

Glen ("Shine") - In Norse mythology, the husband of Sol. Before Ragnarok they gave birth to a daughter who they named Sunna. She took over her mother's task in the new world.

Glimmering Misfortune - The Death-Goddess Hel's bed hangings. It is in her stronghold in Nifilhel.

Glitner - The silver and gold hall of Forseti, in Asgard.

Gloin - A rock dwelling Dwarf.

Glúm - A minor Norse goddess, an attendant of Frigg.

Glut - ("Glow") The first wife of Loki and by him the mother of Eisa and Einmyria.

Gna - Listed by Snorri Sturluson as one of the divine goddesses but appears only to be a handmaiden and messenger of Frigg who sends her on errands. She has a swift horse named Hofvarpnir ("Hoof-thrower" or "Hoof-Flourisher") which would travel through fire and air, over land and sea, and was therefore considered the personification of the refreshing breeze. She saw all that was happening on earth and told her mistress all she knew.

Gnipahellr - The cave in front of Niflhel where the monster hound Garm is chained.

Gnita Heath - The place where the dragon Fáfnir guarded the hoard of gold stolen from the Dwarf Andvari.

Goat - The animal sacred to Thor. His chariot was drawn by two he-goats.

God of the Shield - By-name for Ullr.

Godheim - The post-Christian name for Asgard, home of the Norse gods. However, in this variant it was most often used to refer to Swithiod the Great (the ancient, legendary name of Russia).

Godi - The name given to a cult priest in Iceland.

Goin - One of many serpents who gnaw at the roots of the great tree Yggdrasil.

Golden apples- Every year Idunna gives each god and goddess a golden apple to keep them young. They are the apples of immortality.

Golden Kingdom - Another name for Asgard, also called "the White Kingdom".

Goldtooth - Another name for Heimdall as he had teeth of gold.

Göll - ("Loud Cry", "Battle Cry") A Valkyrie who serves ale to the Einheriar in Valhalla.

Gollinkambi, Gullinkambe - The cockerel in Yggdrasil, waits to signal the Gods and the warriors of Valhalla for the final battle of Ragnarok.

Göndul - ("Magic Wand" or "Enchanted Stave") Gondul with Hildr and Skögul, are the most noble Valkyries in Asgard. Their task is to choose the men permitted to go to Valhalla. She is often associated with war magic.

Gondlir - Another name for Odin.

Gotterdammerung - The Doom of the Gods in Norse myth. (See Ragnarok.)

Grabak - One of many serpents who gnaw at the roots of the great tree Yggdrasil.

Grafrollud - One of many serpents who gnaw at the roots of the great tree Yggdrasil.

Gram - ("Grim") A sword, forged by Volund, given by Odin to Sigmund. When it broke, the Dwarf Regin forged it together and gave it to Sigurdr Fafnisbari who killed the dragon Fafnir with it.

Grane, Grani - Grane is Sigurdr's grey horse, the son of Sleipnir. Grane will not bear any other rider than Sigurdr. When Sigurdr dies Grane dies. Grane has runes carved into his chest.

Greip and Gjalp - The two daughters of the evil giant Geirrod. Thor killed all three when he reached their castle. Geirrod himself was killed by a piece of molten iron which Thor hurled at him and which passed through him. Gjalp and Griep were killed when their backs broke. Thor was sitting down on a chair in Geirrod's castle when he felt this chair rising upwards towards the roof. Apparently, Gjalp and Greip were lifting him up and trying to smash his skull against the roof. Fortunately, Thor used Grid's magic staff to push hard against the roof. The impact on the two giantesses were so great that their spines broke.

Grendel - The monster that was slain by Beowulf.

Grer - Dwarf Grer forged the love Goddess Freya's beautiful Brising necklace, together with Alfrik, Berling and Dvalin. To get the jewelry she spent one night with each of them

Greip - ("Strong Grip") daughter of Geirrod who, along with the other daughter Gialp, tried to push Thorr's seat to the ceiling to crush him. Thorr used Grid's magic pole to push back down and broke their backs.

Grid ("Greed" or "Peace") - The Giantess who warned Thorr against Geirrod and Loki. She gave Thorr his magic strength-belt and iron gloves. Grid is a friendly Giantess who had a son, Vidar with Odin.

Gridarvol - The iron rod Gridarvol belongs to the Giantess Grid. Once when Thor was going to see the Giant Geirod, unarmed, she lent him Gridarvol and her iron-gloves.

Grim - ("The Masked One") A by-name of Odin.

Grimnir - A disguise Odin used when visiting a king's court. He appeared wearing a blue cloak and large hat. The king's dogs would not bark at him.

Grjotunagardar - ("Stone-Fence House") Place where the boasting giant Hrungnir arranged to fight the god Thor.

Groa - The wife of Aurvandil the Bold, a sorceress who chanted spells until Hrungnir's whetstone started to come loose from Thor's head, but Thor interrupted her with story of Aurvandil's toe getting frozen off while Thor carried him a basket across Elivagar river. Groa got distracted and couldn't finish the spells, so the whetstone stayed in Thor's forehead.

Grotte - The "World Mill" belonging to the Danish king Frode, a grind-mill of gold and a controller of the stars' movements. The millstones are so enormous that they may only be moved by the giant sisters Fenja and Menja.

Gudr - A Valkyrie.

Gullfaxi (Gool-fax-ee) - ("Golden Mane") Horse of the Giant Hrugnir, who raced against Odin riding Sleipnir, and lost. Thorr obtained him when he killed the Giant, but he gave the horse to his son Magni.

Gullinbursti - Gullinbursti is one of two boars that drag Freyr's chariot. The other one is Slidrugtanni. Gullinbursti's golden bristles light up the dark, made by the dwarfs Brokk and Eitri. This masterpiece is one of the three magical treasures forged by those two dwarfs. The other two are Thor's Mjollnir and the mystical ring Draupnir.

Gullinkambi - The golden cock on the roof of Valhalla. It crows every morning to wake the Einherjar. Gullinkambi will also crow when Ragnarok arrives.

Gulltop - ("Gold Fringe") Heimdall's horse with a golden mane. He can fly with great speed. Heimdall only rides him at formal ceremonies, for example when they were going to burn Balder's dead body.

Gullveig, Gollveig, Heid - Gullveig ("Goldbranch" or "Gold Might" or "Gold Thirst" or "Gleaming One") is the sorceress and seeress who had a great love and lust for gold. She talked of nothing else when she visited the Aesir. They listened with loathing and eventually thought they world would be better off without her so they hurled her into the fire. She was burned to death, but stepped from the flames unscathed. Three times she was burned, and three times she was reborn.

When the Vanir learned about how the Aesir had treated Gullveig they became incensed with anger. They swore vengeance and began to prepare for war. The Aesir heard about this and moved against the Vanir. This was the first war in the world. For a long time the battle raged to and fro, with neither side gaining much ground. Eventually the gods became weary of war and began to talk of peace. Both sides swore to live side by side in peace.

She was a handmaiden to Freya and taught her seidr. Because they could not kill her, the Gods banished her to Ironwood, where she is magically bound until Ragnarok. Gullveig may be the Giantess Agnriboda, who bore with Loki the monsters Hel, Fenrir and the Midgard Serpent.  She is might also be the goddess Freya, who also has a great love of gold in the various myths.

Gungne, Gungnir - ("Swings When Riding") Odin's magical spear, forged by the Dwarf Brokk. When Odin threw the spear over an army, it meant that they were going to die in battle and lose the war.

Gunnar - In the Saga of the Volsungs, Gunnar is the brother of Gudrun, who swears to marry Brunhilde by riding through fire to her dwelling. But it is in fact Sigurd who performs the feat, in Gunnar's shape.

Gunnlod, Gunnlauth, Gunnloed - Daughter of the giant Suttung. Suttung was the giant who robbed the Mead of Poetry from the two dwarfs Fjalar and Galar. Suttung hid the mead in an enclosed cave and got his daughter Gunnlod to watch over it. Sometime later, Odin himself heard of this mead and found a way to enter the cave. There, he seduced Gunnlod and after Odin spent three nights with her, she let him taste it. Odin swallowed it all in three gigantic gulps, jumped into his eagle suit and flew back to Asgard with the angry Suttung on the chase. Nine months later Gunnlod gave birth to Bragi.

Gunnr - ("Battle") Gunnr and Róta and the youngest norn, called Skuld, ride to choose who shall be slain and to govern the killings.

Gybu auja - Give (bring) good luck.

Gylfi - king of Sweden. He gave a beggar-woman a plough-land, the size four oxen could plough in a day and a night, as a reward for the way she had entertained him. This woman, Gefjon, was of the family of the Æsir. From the north of Giantland she took four oxen (her sons by a giant), yoked them to a plough. The plough cut went westwards and cut so deep that it rent the land in two. Gefjon called it it Zealand.

Gyllenkamme - Rooster in the top of Yggdrasil. He has a gold crest. His task is to count to sixty, sixty times twelve and then wake up the Norns sleeping around the Urdawell.

Gymir - The Mountain Giant Gymir is Aurboda's husband. Together they have the son Beli and the daughter Gerd, a beautiful Giantess who married Freyr.

H

Hair of Gold - The long golden hair of Sif (Thor's wife) was her pride and joy. Loki, as a joke, cut off her hair. Thor forced Loki to find a way to replace it. Loki persuaded the Dwarves to spin hair of real gold for her. The hair grew to her skin as soon as it was put on.

Hajlmthrimull - A Valkyrie.

Hallinskisdi - Another name for Heimdall.

Hall of Fate - A beautiful hall near the spring of Urda under Yggdrasil. From it come three Disir called Norns, whose names are Urdjr, Verdhandi, Skuld. These women shape the lives of men.

Hall of Judgment - The gods gathered in council in here.

Hammer of Thor - Called "Mjöllnir", it hits every target at which it is thrown and always returns to the thrower's hand.

Hamskerpir - ("The Thick-Skinned") Hamskerpir and the mare Gardrofa are the parents of Gna's grey horse Hoof-flourisher.

Hangadrott - ("The Hanging God") - One of Odin's many names. He can sit by hanged people to gain knowledge of the land of the dead. Once he went so far as to hang himself from Yggdrasil for nine days, more dead than alive, increasing his magical powers and runic knowledge.

Haptagud - ("God of the Gods") Another name for Odin.

Harbard - ("Grey Beard") Another name for Odin. Ferryman disguise used by Odhinn.

Harn - ("Flax") The Goddess of flax-dressing.

Har - A Dwarf.

Hárr- ("The High-One"). Another name of Odin.

Hárr's Hall - One of Odin's Halls

Harts - Four harts (deer) gnaw the high branches of Yggdrasil: Dáin, Dvalin, Duneyr, Durathrór.

Hater of Byrnies - A kenning for the Tyrfing, a magic sword forged by the Dwarves Durin and Dvalin. The sword killed most of the people who have owned it.

Hati Hrodvitnisson - ("One Who Hates") A wolf that runs in front of the Lightdisir Sun and her horses over the sky. Skoll is the wolf that runs behind Sun. They are the Fenrir wolf's sons and live in the Ironforest.

Hati and Skoll - The two hungry wolves who chase after the sun and the moon, sons of Fenrir. Hati goes after the moon while Skoll chases the sun. At Ragnarok, these two wolves will succeed. Both the sun and the moon will be swallowed and the worlds will fall into total darkness.

Haur - Rock dwelling Dwarf.

Hawks - A kenning for 'warriors'.

Heaven - According to Snorri there are three heavens. First, mankind's heaven called Asgard. Second, to the south and above Asgard is another place called Andlang. And third, above Andlang is a place called Vidbláin.

Heidi - A witch from the 'Song of the Sybil', raised from the dead by Odin. A farseeing witch, wise in talismans, caster of spells, cunning in magic. Odin gave her arm-rings and necklaces to learn her lore, to see through all the worlds.

Heidrun [hide-roon] - ("Heath-Run") The goat on roof of Valhalla that feeds from branches of the World Tree and her milk is used by the chef Andhrimnir in the brewing of mead for the Einherjar in Valhalla. From her four udders come range beer, old beer, honey mead and wine for the Einheriar.

Heimdall, Heimdal [hame-dall] - ("Heaven's Mount") - Heimdall is the god of light, the son of nine mothers (variously given as the daughters of Geirrendour the Giant or of Aegir). He was born at the end of the world and raised by the force of the earth, seawater and the blood of a boar. Heimdall is also known as the White God (due to his brilliant white armor). Because of his shining, golden teeth he is also called Gullintani ("gold tooth"). He is a fierce warrior and very handsome. His hall is Himinbjorg, The Cliffs of Heaven, Heimdall carries the sword Hofuth and rides on Gulltop. Heimdall carries the horn Gjallar.

He is the watchman of the gods and guards Bifrost, the only entrance to Asgard, the realm of the gods. It is Heimdall's duty to prevent the giants from forcing their way into Asgard. He requires less sleep than a bird and can see a hundred miles around him, by night as well as by day. His hearing is so accurate that no sound escapes him: he can even hear the grass grow or the wool on a sheep's back. At the final conflict of Ragnarok he will kill his age-old enemy, the evil god Loki, but will die himself from his wounds.

He is also called "the Son of the Waves" because he was born from the Nine Waves (Aegir's daughters) by Odin's enchantment. On the first day a boat drifted towards the shores of mankind, Aurvanga-land. In the boat was a little boy, Heimdall, sent by the Gods. He slept on a sheaf of corn, surrounded by all manner of treasures and tools. The humans accepted him gladly, and raised him calling him Rig. He taught them to kindle the holy fire, instructed them in runic wisdom, taught them workmanship and handicraft, organized their society, and originated and stabilized the three classes of men as spoken of in the Song of Rig. Heimdall lived long as a man among men, and the age of his rulership was a golden age of peace and prosperity. Heimdall bedded three different females who all bore children, ancestors to three different classes; earls, farmers and serfs (It is interesting to note why Heimdall fathered them, and not Odin as might be expected). When he died, his boat returned to take him back. The sorrowing humans laid his corpse in the boat, and surrounded it with his treasures and weapons. The boat then sailed back to Vanaheimr, where Heimdall was stripped of his aged human shape, regained his eternal youth and was taken into Asgard.

Furthermore, Heimdall is in many attributes identical with Tyr.

Old Norse: Heimdallr

Heimskringla - "Orb of the World." An important collection of sixteen sagas on the lives of the early kings of Norway up to 1184. It is the work of Snorri Sturluson (1179-1241) who also wrote the Edda.

Hel, Hela - In Norse mythology, Hel is the ruler of Helheim, the realm of the dead. She is the youngest child of the evil god Loki and the giantess Angrboda. She is usually described as a horrible hag, half alive and half dead, with a gloomy and grim expression. Her face and body are those of a living woman, but her thighs and legs are those of a corpse, mottled and moldering.

The gods had abducted Hel and her brothers from Angrboda's hall. Odin first banished her to Helheim when she was a child, for fear of her ruining Asgard when she grows up, he gave her authority over life in the nine worlds, on the condition that she shared all her provisions with those who were sent to her, those who die from disease or old age. There she distributes those who are send to her; the wicked and those who died of sickness or old age. She has a great homestead there with extraordinarily high walls and huge gates called Eljudnir, home of the dead. Her manservant is Ganglati and her maidservant is Ganglot (which both can be translated as "tardy"). In Eljudnir is a dining table which has a plate and knife on it. That plate is called Hunger and the knife is called Famine. Hel's bed is called the Sick Bed and her bed hangings Glimmering Misfortune.

Helheim - Helheim ("house of Hel") is one of the nine worlds of Norse mythology. It is ruled by Hel, the monstrous daughter of the trickster god Loki and his wife Angrboda.

This cold, dark and misty abode of the dead is located in the world of Niflheim, on the lowest level of the Norse universe. No one can ever leave this place, because of the impassable river Gjoll that flows from the spring Hvergelmir and encircles Helheim. Once they enter Helheim, not even the gods can leave. Those who die of old age or disease, and those not killed in battle, go to Helheim while those who die bravely on the battlefield go to Valhalla.

The entrance to Helheim is guarded by Garm, a monstrous hound, and Modgud. The giant Hraesvelg ("corpse eater") sits at the edge of the world, overlooking Helheim. In the form of an eagle with flapping wings he makes the wind blow.

Hel, Helheim, Helgardh, Niflhel - One of the nine worlds, ruled by Hel. It is the abode of the dead who are not killed in battle. Most people end up here when they die. While cold, it is not a terrible place. It is not the same as the Christian concept of Hell. Realm of the instincts. Abode of stillness and inertia - unconsciousness. The final resting place of the soul of the non-Erulian.

Helblindi - ("The one who binds to death") A Water-Giant. His parents are Farbauti and Laufey. The trickster Loki and the Storm-Giant Byleist are his brothers.

Hel Bridge, Gjoll - Hel is a very immaterial place, so when Hermód came from heaven and stood on it, it shook more than five troops of dead men crossing it on horseback. It is thatched with gleaming gold and the maiden who guards it is called Módgud. From the bridge over the river Gjöll the road to Hel lies downwards and northwards.

Helgrind - ("Death Gate") The gate between the land of the living and the land of the dead.

Heptifili - A Dwarf.

Herfjötur - ("War-Fetter") A Valkyrie who serves ale to the Einheriar in Valhalla. She often rides down to Midgard to pick the human warriors that are brave enough to go to Valhalla.

Herja - A Valkyrie.

Herjan - ("Raider") Another name for Odin.

Hermod, Hermodh - ("Fast") - The son of Odin and Frigg and the messenger of the gods. He is frequently known as Hermod the Swift due to his fleet-flootness. After the death of Balder, Frigg sought for one brave enough to face Hel, the ruler of the underworld and plead for Balder's return. The great hero Hermod the Nimble volunteered to make this dangerous journey. He mounted Odin's steed Sleipnir and traveled to the underworld. for nine nights down dales so deep and dark that he saw nothing, until he reached the river Gjöll. He crossed the bridge and soon reached the gates of Hel.

When Hermod came upon the gates of Hell, he jumped right over them and entered the great hall of the dead. There he saw Balder and he begged Hel to release him because Balder was loved by all so no-one could miss him. Hel was skeptical and agreed to release Balder on the condition that everything, dead or alive, should weep for Balder. If only one thing should not cry, then she would keep Balder in the realm of the dead. Balder gave him Odin's arm-ring, Draupnir, to take back to Odin in remembrance of him.  Hermod returned to the land of the living and told the gods what Hel's terms were. But a giantess called Thökk (Loki in disguise) refused to weep, and therefore Balder had to remain in the underworld until the end of the world.

Hermod represents honor and bravery and carries a magical staff called Gambantein.

Herteit - ("Glad of War") Another name for Odin.

Hervor - Valkryie daughter of Hlovde who took Volund the smith as her lover. She, along with two other Valkryies, had flown to earth seeking love. The Norns forced each to leave their husbands after nine years, never to return.

Hevring - ("Heaving") One of Aegir and Ran's nine wave daughters who are said to be the mothers of Heimdall, the guardian of the Bifrost bridge.

Hilda, Hildr - ("Battle") A Valkyrie who serves ale to the Einheriar in Valhalla. Göndul, Hildr and Skögul, are the most noble Valkyries in Asgard. Their task is to choose the men permitted to go to Valhalla. Hildr personifies the unforgiving war.

Hildeberg - ("Battle Fortress") A Valkyrie.

Hildegun - ("Battle War") A Valkyrie. The Light-Disir Hildegun was kidnapped when she was young and married to the emperor of the Dwarves, Ivaldi. Their children are Idun, Hjuki and Bil.

Hildisvin - ("Battle Pig") A great sow belonging to Freya. She travels at great speeds and is sometimes riden by Freya.

Hildolf - ("Battle Wolf") Mentioned in Hárbarrdsljó, Hildolf lives at Rathsey's sound.

Himinbjorg - ("Cliffs of Heaven" or "Mountain in the Clouds") Heimdall's hall in Asgard, located at heaven's end where the bridge Bifröst joins heaven.

Himinglava - ("The sky shines through") One of Aegir and Ran's nine wave-daughters who are said to be the mothers of Heimdall, the guardian of the Bifrost bridge.

Himinhrjot, Himinhrjotur - ("Heavens Clearer") Giant Hymir's huge breeding bull with half-moon shaped horns, the largest of his oxen. Thor used its head as bait while fishing for the Midgard Serpent.

Hjámberi - ("The Helmeted One") A by-name of Odin.

Hjolgaddsringr -The Wheel-nail-rung, the Arctic Circle.

Hjorthrimul - A Valkyrie.

Hjuki - Hjuki and his sister Bil were sent up to the moon with a bowl full of mead. There they follow the moon on its way around the earth. Their parents are Ivaldi and the Disir Hildegun.

Hladgunnr - One of the Valkyries. Hladgunnr used to set traps for her victims.

Hlebard - The Giant who gave Odin the magic wand, Gambantein. When Odin got the wand he made Hlebard lose his mind.

Hledolf - A rock dwelling Dwarf.

Hler - Primal water God, also called Aegir.

Hlesey Island   ("Island of the Sea God") Island near the undersea hall of Aegir and Ran.

Hlidskialf - Odin's high throne in Valaskjalf, from which he sees and understands everybody in all the nine worlds.

Hlin - (The one who takes pity") - The Icelandic poet and historian Snorri Sturluson lists Hlin as a goddess charged with protecting those men who Frigg wants kept safe, is one of her handmaidens. Called by others a goddess of consolation who was supposed to "kiss away the tears of mourners". She also listened to the prayers of mortals, carrying them to her mistress, and advising her at times how best to answer them and give the desired relief. In most sources, Hlin is just another name for Frigg.

Hlodyn - Jörd.

Hlokk - ("Noise" or "Din of Battle") A Valkyrie who serves ale to the Einheriar in Valhalla. Hlokk often rides down to Midgard to pick the human warriors that are brave enough to go to Valhalla.

Hnikar, Hnikud - ("Spear Thrower") One of the personas of Odin.

Hnitbjorg - Hall of the Giant Suttung, where he kept Mead of Poetry, guarded by his daughter, Gunnlöd.

Hnitibjörg's Sea - A kenning for any for intoxicating liquor, Hnitbjorg is where the great Mead of Poetry was hidden.

Hnoss, Hnossi - ("Treasure") Goddess of beauty, Freya's daughter (see also Gersemi). She is so lovely that whatever is beautiful and valuable is called "treasure" from her name.

Hod, Hodur - ("War") An immensely strong Asa, son of Odin and Frigg. The blind god of darkness and winter. Hodur was hunting in Iron-Wood and stayed overnight in a cave, where a witch bewitched him with a magical potion so that he was tricked into swearing an oath to gain the love of Nanna, Baldur's betrothed. The magical potion filled Hodur's heart with a burning love for his brother's fiancee. When he woke up the next morning he was filled with shame, but nevertheless he was bound by his oath to betray his brother (a sign of Ragnarok). When Volund and Aurvandil handed over Freyr to the Giants, Hodur and Baldur, under the direction of Njord, tracked them down to northernmost wilderness of the world. An attempt at reconciliation totally failed, and resulted in an archer's duel between Hodur and Aurvandil. Aurvandil proved himself to be superior, but Hodur was not hurt. After Aurvandil left the Elves' citadel at Elivogar, many Giants crossed the border. Hodur joined these, and organized them to do battle with the Gods, but was defeated. Baldur brought his repentant brother (who was then blind from battle) back to Asgard. Shortly thereafter, Hodur was tricked by Loki into shooting an arrow made of mistletoe at Baldr, causing his death. Loki knew that Hodur was the only one of the Æsir, who could possibly be suspected of wishing to harm Baldur. The blood-revenge for Balder's death was inescapable, even to the Gods, but no one could be found within Asgard who would slay Hodur, for this would deprive Odin of yet another of his sons. The Gods were in danger of being unable to fulfill their duty of revenge. Vali was born to destroy Hodur. Vali was only one day old when he killed Hodur. Hodur will return from the dead after Ragnarok to rebuild Hropt's Hall, and the brothers will become friends again.

Hoddmimir- ("Treasure of Mimir") Another name for Yggdrasil,

Hoddmimir's Holt or Wood- Where the humans, Life & Leifthrasir, will hide while the world is being burned by Surt during Ragnarok. They are the two human survivors of Ragnarok who will repopulate world.

Hoenir, Honir - The long-legged god of the Aesir, known for his indecisiveness, who displayed aggressiveness and bravery. He was a great warrior but not clever. After the battle between the Æsir and Vanir, he was exchanged as a hostage (for the Vanir God Njord) to the Vanirs along with the very wise Mimir. The Vanirs took Hoenir to their leader, but when he remained silent, Vanir beheaded Mimir and sent his head back to Odin in retaliation. He was one of the gods that was present when Odin created the second race of humans from an ash and elm tree, Honir gave them the gift of reason and motion (the other two were Lodur and Odin). He will be one of the gods who will survive Ragnarok.

Hofvarpnir ("Hoof-thrower") - The horse of one of Frigg's handmaiden, Gna. Hofvarpnir is said to be able to travel on both land, air and water, offspring of Hamskerpir and Gardrofa. This is essential, as Gna is often sent around the worlds running errands for Frigg.

Holda, Holle, Holla, Hulda - ("The Dark Grandmother") These are German names for a Goddess who rules the weather--sunshine, snow, rain. She dwells at the bottom of a well, rides a wagon, and gives the gift of flax and spinning. She is the goddess to whom children who died as infants go.

Holler - In Norse myth, Holler is the god of death and destruction and the one who brings diseases and disasters. He drags people to his dungeon where he tortures them to death.

Holokk - A Valkyrie.

Honir, Hoenir - The long-legged god of the Aesir, known for his indecisiveness, who displayed aggressiveness and bravery. He was a great warrior but not clever. After the battle between the Æsir and Vanir, he was exchanged as a hostage (for the Vanir God Njord) to the Vanirs along with the very wise Mimir. The Vanirs took Hoenir to their leader, but when he remained silent, Vanir beheaded Mimir and sent his head back to Odin in retaliation. He was one of the gods that was present when Odin created the second race of humans from an ash and elm tree, Honir gave them the gift of reason and motion (the other two were Lodur and Odin). He will be one of the gods who will survive Ragnarok.

Horn - An aspect of Freya as Giver of Flax.

Hor - A Dwarf.

Horse - The animal that is sacred to Odin.

Horses: Glad, Gyllir, Glen, Skeidbrimnir, Silfrintopp, Sinir, Gisl, Falhofnir, Lettfeti - The lesser known horses of the Aesir. Nothing else is mentioned about them and apparently, they do not belong to any specific god or goddess but rather, shared by all.

Horses of the Sea - A kenning for boats.

Howe - A type of burial mound.

Hraesvelg, Hrelsweg, Hrœsvelg - ("Corpse-Eater") Wind-Giant. The giant eagle that sits at the top of Yggdrasil. From his wings comes the north wind. He is always arguing with the dragon Nidhoggr. Between the eagle's eyes sits a hawk.

Hrafn - Raven, intelligence and knowledge

Hrauthung - A ruler of the Giants, father of Agnar and Geirröth.

Hreidmar [hrade-mar] -The Giant Hreidmar is a farmer-magician. He has three sons; Fafnir, Otter, and Regin. He captured Odin, Loki, and Hœnir for accidentally killing his son, Otter, and would not let them go until Loki brought him enough gold to cover his sons body inside and out. Loki stole the Nibelung gold to turn over as ransom. Hreidmar died as a result of the cursed gold, killed by his son Fafnir, who then took dragon form to guard the gold hoard.

Hridvitner - Another name for Fenrir wolf.

Hrimfaxi - Horse of Nott, the goddess of night. Nott rides Hrimfaxi across the heavens; the horse's frosty mane flies in the winds and the bits of frost that get blown out covers the earth with dew every early morning.

Hrimgrimir, Hrimnir - ("Frost Shrouded") A hideous troll who sits by the gate of Hel, a Frost Giant.

Hrimthurs - The name of the disguised Giant who offered to build Valhalla within eighteen months to protect the Æsir from Cliff-Giants. As his reward he wanted Freya as his wife along with Sun and Moon. They gods agreed only if he could do it before summer. Using his horse, Svadilfari, to draw the huge rocks he almost succeeded. Loki distracted his horse and he never finished. Soon after, he was revealed as an evil Giant and was killed by Thor.

Hringhorni - The name of Balder's ship. His funeral pyre was placed on this boat and it was pushed out to sea while it burned. His wife, Nanna, who had died from grief, and his horse were also placed on the boat.

Hrist - ("The Shaker") A Valkyrie assigned to carry the drinks round and look after the table service and ale-cups in Valhalla. Hrist and Mist bring an ale horn to Odin. They are his personal servants.

Hrod - A little known giantess. Wife of Hymir.

Hrod - A Giant.

Hronn - ("Wave Suck") Hronn is one of Aegir and Ran's nine wave-daughters who are said to be the mothers of Heimdall, the guardian of the Bifrost bridge.

Hropt, Hroptatyr - ("The Doomer") Another name for Odin in Valhalla.

Hropt's Hall - Valhalla, Odin's Hall.

Hrossthjofur - Brother to Gullveig & Loki

Hrotte - The sword Hrotte was a part of the gold treasure guarded by the dragon Fafni. It was taken by Sigurdr Fafnisbari when he had killed the dragon.

Hrund - A Valkyrie.

Hrungnir - The strongest of the Giants whose body is made up of stone and even had a heart of stone three points on it. He encountered Odin and the two challenged each other to a horse race, with Odin riding Sleipnir and Hrungnir riding Gullfaxi. Hrungnir lost but was not satisfied. Odin then brought him to Asgard to simmer him down. As Hrungnir got drunk, he started spouting all kinds of blasphemous nonsense against the gods and threatened to remove Valhalla, bury Asgard, kill the Gods, and take Freyia and Sif with him, eventually, Thor arrived and challenged him to a duel. Because Hrungnir was not prepared during that time, the duel was postponed and was to be set in Griotunagardar, at the border of Jotunheim. Needless to say, Hrungnir lost to Thor in the end, even with the help of a nine-league tall clay giant. When Thorr killed him, a piece of the Giant's whetstone lodged in Thorr's head.

Hrym - Leader of the Giants, who will steer the great ship Naglfar at Ragnarok.

Hugi, Huge - Hugi is the personification of the Giant Utgardh-Loki's thoughts. When the Æsirs visited Utgardh, Hugi competed with the fast human boy, Tjalfi. Huge won because thought always is faster.

Huginn and Muninn - The two ravens of Odin who acts as his messengers, Huginn ("thought") and Muninn ("memory"). Each morning Odin sends forth these raven and they fly over the earth. At night they return and sit on his shoulders to tell him what they heard and saw. It is said that out of the two ravens, Odin is more worried for Munin. The actual reason is unclear.

Hugstari - A rock dwelling Dwarf.

Huldra - The minor goddess of marriage and abundant offspring.

Huldra, Hulder - Female wood - or mountain - sprites. They are very beautiful and lure men, but may be revealed by their cowtail. A runic charm, a "smjorhnutter" was carved on top of freshly churned butter so that the hulder would not steal it. See Huldru-folk.

Huldru-folk - The "hidden folk" are halfway in nature between trolls and landvaettir. They are peoples of the mound and forest, not slain by sunlight, but who often try to capture mortals by tricks and magic. They can be both helpful and harmful to humans. They are keepers of magical wisdom, generally related to the lore of plants and healing, though they also cause sickness at times.

Hunger - Hunger is the Death Goddess Hel's plate. It is probably in her dark stronghold, Eljudnir in Nifilhel.

Hurler - A kenning for Thor.

Hvedrungs - Another name for Fenrir.

Hvergelmir - A mountain located in Hel on which is found the world mill. It is the worst place of all, where the Nidhogg dragon knaws on the evil dead.

Hvergelmir Spring - ("Seething Cauldron") The Well of Hvergelmir, guarded by the dragon Nidhogg. In Niflheim, it lies under a root of Yggdrasil, the World Tree. It is the lowest level of the Well of Wyrd, from which the forces of primal water holding yeast and venom flow.

Hyde - Body shape or image. The quasi-physical part of the soul which gives a person shape and form. It may be collected and reformed by magical power (hamingja) according to will (hugr).

Hyge - Thought, intuition.

Hym, Hymir - Tyr's foster father. Hymir is a violent sea giant, and can smash massive stone columns with power from his eyes. His mother had 1,800 heads and his wife hrod has 900 heads. He owns the kettle Seaboiler which is miles deep. The gods decided to host a feast one day and decided that Aegir should be it's host. Aegir told the gods that the feast can only begin if they can find a cauldron big enough to contain the ale. Tyr suggested to Thor that the giant Hymir has many of such cauldrons and the two set forth to borrow it. Hymir then challenged Thor that to borrow the cauldron, the thunder god must prove himself worthy. The two went on a fishing expedition to determine who has the most exotic catch. Hymir caught two whales but Thor used an oxen's head as bait and managed to lure the Midgard Serpent Jormungand out of the depths of the oceans. Thor even had a short battle with it. Hymir was afraid of that sight and quickly cut the bait. The two also had another challenge later to smash a glass globet which was almost unbreakable. Thor won eventually and got the cauldron. In the final battle against the gods, Hymir will sail the terrible ship Naglfar, which is made entirely from the nails of the dead. The flood that precedes Ragnarok will free the ship after which the giants will board it and, with Hymir as commander, sail towards the battlefield of Vigrond/ Vigrid in Asgard.

Hyndla - Hyndla is a Giantess that rests in death slumber in a cave. She knows all about the genealogy of gods, dwarfs, giants, creatures and man alike and keeps the Memory Beer. The goddess Freya brought the human king-to-be Ottar to seek her help. Ottar, who was involved in a spat with another king over the inheritance of the kingdom of the late king, would possess riches and the kingdom if he can trace back his lineage and roots. With Freya's and Hyndla's help, that was possible.

Hyrrokkin - ("Fire Smoke") A Jotun-Giantess with enormous strength, who rides a wolf with a bridle of snakes. At Balder's wake his funeral ship, Ringhorne, had to be shoved, burning, into the sea, but the gods couldn't even budge the huge ship. Even Thor gave up, and the Gods sent for Hyrrokkin. The formidable giantess lauched the ship with a mighty shove.

I

Iarnvidiur - The trollwife Giantess of Ironwood Forest in Midgard, who breeds wolves.

Idavoll, Idavollen - ("Field of Tides") The central plain of Asgard near the spring of Urda. Odin's a first task after the creation was build a hall here in which there were seats for twelve gods, in addition to his own high-seat. It will be inhabited again after the Ragnarok, when earth will rise out of the sea and be green and fair.

Ide - Giant Ide is Olvalde's middle son. Gang is his little brother and Tjatsi his big brother. When the father had died the brothers shared the beer. That was the first time they were all quiet.

Idis, Idisi - (ON dis, disir) - In Germanic mythology, Goddesses of fate related to the Norns. In the first Merseburger Magic Poem they also appear as battle virgins after the manner of Valkyries and as fetter- and bonds-loosening magic women. See Dis.

Idun, Iduna, Idhunna - ("She Who Renews") The goddess of eternal youth, married to Bragi, the god of poetry. Idun is the guardian of the trees which bore golden apples in Asgard. These apples provide the gods with youth year after year and only Idun was allowed to touch them. When the gods feel old age approaching, they only have to eat of the apples to become young again. As a goddess of fertility, youth and death, it is possible that she was originally one of the Vanir.

Idun was once abducted by the storm giant Thiazi and in this interval the gods began to age rapidly. She was eventually rescued by Loki who changed her into a nut and brought her back to her hall. The gods were restored to youth soon after.

Ing, Ingvi, Ingvi-Frey - Fertility God (see also Freyr). Patronial deity of England, God of protection. Vana-God of Earth and fertility. The Swedish royal line called themselves Ynglings, as did the Anglo-Saxon line of Berenicia.

Ingi - A Dwarf.

Ingun - Mother or consort of Freyr. She may have been a face of Nerthus. She is the Progenetrix, Birthgiver and Devourer.

Iord, Jord, Jorth, Erda - ("Earth") Giantess mother of Thorr by Odin.

Iormungand - See Jormungand; the World Serpent.

Irminsul - The world column, i.e. Yggdrasil.

Iron-gloves - Thor has a pair of heavy iron-gloves that he uses when he swings his great hammer Mjollnir.

Iron-Wood - A forest to the north and east of Midgard where witches and Troll women live. Here one Jotun-Giantess gave birth to many giant sons, all of them wolves. Her sons include: Mánagarm (or Garm), Hati Hróvitnisson and Skoll. See Jarnvidur.

Isarnkol - Isarnkol is a kind of cooling system on the horses Allsvinn and Arvaker's shoulders. They need protection from the sun they are dragging.

Ivaldi, Ivalde - Also called Vidfinner and Svigdar ("Champion Drinker"). Ivaldi is the emperor of the Dwarves and father to Brokk, Eitri and Sindri. He has the children Idun, Bil and Hjuki with his wife Hildegun. His name means 'the one who has power'. The progenitor of all craftsmen Dwarves.

J

Jalg, Jalk - ("Gelding") Another name for Odin.

Jarl - On his third and last journey, the god Rig reached a beautiful mansion. The inhabitants were Fadir and Modir, Father and Mother. They offered Rig an excellent meal with plenty of food and wine, and used their finest tableware. At night, Rig slept between his hosts and nine months later Modir gave birth to a handsome, intelligent son. They named the boy Jarl ("earl"), and he was the first of the race of warriors.

When Jarl reached manhood, Rig taught him the runes, the magic words that can calm the sea, extinguish flames, and blunt the edge of an enemy's sword. Rig also taught Jarl to speak the language of the birds. Before returning to Asgard, Rig explained that he was, in fact, Jarl's true father. After Rig had departed, Jarl left the hall of Fadir and Modir, built a hall of his own and recruited a band of followers. Together Jarl and his warriors besieged and won eighteen halls. He then sought and won the hand of Erna, fair daughter of the chieftain Hersir. Jarl and Erna had eleven sons. (See also: Thrall and Karl.)

Jarnsaxa - ("Iron Sword") Giantess lover of Thorr and mother of his sons Magni and Modi. May have been one of the Asynjor.

Jarnvidur - A forest to the north-east of Midgard where witches and Troll women live. See Iron-Wood.

Jord - In old-Scandinavian mythology, Jord is the personification of the primitive, unpopulated, and uncultivated Earth. She is one of the wives of the chief god Odin and the mother of the god Thor.

Jord, Jorth, Erda - "Earth"; Giantess mother of Thorr by Odhinn.

Jormungand, Iormungandr, Midgardsormr - The World Serpent, who is extremely formidable but an essential part of the world's structure, and cannot be removed. The second child of Loki and Angrboda, after the wolf Fenrir. Jormungand is the enormous serpent large enough to encircle the earth and yet be able to bite on it's own tail. This beast is commonly referred to as the Midgard Serpent. When the Aesir first saw Jormungand, they threw him down into the oceans around Midgard and there he laid, awaiting Ragnarok where he will rise again. Jormungand also appears in the tale of Thor and the giant Hymir challenging each other to see who has the bigger catch at sea. Hymir caught two whales, but Thor managed to lure Jormungand out of the ocean depths. Thor landed a blow on Jormungand's skull but the serpent managed to sink back into the ocean. At Ragnarok, Thor will meet Jormungand again for the final time. Both will kill each other; Jormungand spews poisonous venom at Thor while the thunder god smashes the serpent's skull.

It is the offspring of Loki and the Giant Angr-Boda, along with Hela, Narfi, and Fenris-wolf. The name Jormungand means 'Huge Pole'. Odin, fearing evil intent, flung the serpent into the sea, where it grew so large that it surrounded the earth biting its own tail.

Jormungrund - ("Giant Land") The underworld was the first created world, the home of Mimir and the good giants and evil frost giants.

Juravale's Marsh - The place where the Dwarves of the line of Dvalin made their dwelling, their stone hall, Joruvellir.

Joruvellir - Place where the race of Dwarves called Lovar come from.

Jötun, Jotunn - A race of Giants. The Jotuns come in many shapes and colours, from gastly monsters to creatures so beautiful that they outshine both humans and Gods. The Thursar, singular Thurs, were antagonistic, destructive, and stupid. A number of the Jotuns were welcomed as members of the Æsir. Loki is of Jotun heritage but was adopted as Odin's blood-brother. There are also may stories of Æsir having affairs with fair Jotun maidens. The Jotuns represent nature's forces of Chaos, compared to the Gods who constantly try to keep the world at staus quo. Ragnarok will be the final battle of these forces. Trolls, giants and goblins, known from folk tales, are more recent variants of Jotuns.

Jotunheim, Jotunheimr - Jotunheim is one of the nine worlds, the homeland of the frost giants and rock giants. Situated in Midgard, on the middle level of the Norse universe, Jotunheim is separated from Asgard by the river Iving, which never freezes over. It lies in the snowy regions on the outermost shores of the ocean. Mimir's well of wisdom is in Jotunheim, beneath the Midgard root of the ash tree Yggdrasil.

Jotunheim is ruled by Thrym ("uproar"), the feared king of the frost giants. The stronghold of Utgard, the chief city of Jotunheim and the abode of the giants, is ruled by the giant Utgard-Loki. Other strongholds include Gastropnir, home of the giantess Menglad, and Thrymheim ("house of uproar"), mountain stronghold of the giant Thiazi.

The realm of the frost giants is always snowing. The realm's borders are constantly moved eastward, as Ginnungagap is constantly edging westward. Utgard is the chief city of Jotunheim and it is ruled over by Utgard-Loki. The overall lord of giants in Jotunheim is Thrym.

Jotuns - The Norse primeval frost-giants, the enemies of the gods. They were drowned in the blood of Ymir, after which a new race of giants was created by the two only survivors. The Jotuns live in Jotunheim.

K

Kára - A Valkyrie, one of the Disir.

Kari - One of the Jotuns of Teutonic mythology. He is a tempest giant and lord of the storm giants.

Kari - Primal air deity.

Karl - On his second journey, the god Rig (Heimdall) came upon a well-maintained house, owned by an artisan and farmer. The man and woman who lived there were Afi and Amma, Grandfather and Grandmother. They offered him a decent meal and let him sleep between them in their bed. Nine months later, Amma gave birth to a son, whom they named Karl ("churl"). Afi assumed that the child was his son but Karl was in fact the son of Rig.

Karl married Snör, and they had twelve sons and ten daughters. Their descendants formed the race of peasants. (See also: Thrall and Jarl.)

Ketill - A legendary Norwegian character. He is the hero of the Ketils Saga Hoengs.

Kili - Soil-dwelling Dwarf.

Kjalar - Another name for Odin.

Kobold - Saxon: a house-sprite.Small human-shaped beings who live in or near barns and stables. If treated kindly, they are friendly.

Kolga - ("Cool") Kolga is one of Aegir and Ran's nine wave daughters who are said to be the mothers of Heimdall, the guardian of the Bifrost bridge.

Kona, konur - ON; designates female (seidhkona, Spåkone, draumkona, etc.)

Kreimhildr - A Valkyrie.

Kvaesir, Kvasir [kvah-seer] - A wise human created by the Gods with spit in a truce between the Æsir and Vanir. He knew the answer to any question asked of him. He traveled far and wide over the world to teach his wisdom. Two brothers, the dwarves Fjalar and Galar, invited him to a feast in their dismal cavern and killed him. The dwarves mixed his blood with honey and preserved it in two jars and a cauldron. The mixture fermented, creating the mead of poetry. Those who drink it become inspired poets.

Some time later, the brothers murdered the giant Gilling and his wife. Gilling's son, Suttung, came looking for his parents and threatened to kill the dwarves. The brothers gave the mead to Suttung in return for sparing their lives. Suttung hid the mead in the center of a mountain and ordered his daughter Gunnlod to guard it.

Suttung boasted of his treasure, and when the god Odin learned of it he went to Jotunheim to obtain the mead. Disguised as a farmhand, Odin worked for Suttung's brother, Baugi, all summer. When the work was done, Odin asked Baugi to give him a drink of the mead. Reluctantly, Baugi drilled a small hole through the side of the mountain and into the chamber where the mead was kept.

Odin changed himself into a snake and slithered through the hole into the chamber where Gunnlod guarded the mead. Resuming the form of a giant man, he persuaded Gunnlod to give him three sips of the mead. Odin drained all three vessels, changed himself into an eagle, and flew back to Asgard.

According to Kevin Crossley-Holland's book The Norse Myths, the name Kvasir is derived from the Russian word kvas which denotes a type of fermented drink similar to beer but stronger.

Kvasir's Blood - A kenning for poetry, because the Mead of Poetry was made from Kvasir's blood.

L

Laerad - A famous tree in Valhalla on which the goat Heidrún and the Hart (deer) Eikthyrnir feeds.

More Gods

Vikings for all occasions, no god too tall!

Manaraefan Herred