In Norse mythology there are nine worlds, all connected by the World tree, Yggdrasil. If you saw the movie Thor, than you heard this little spiel as Thor and Jane sat by a small bonfire under the stars. Each world is significantly placed within this tree, with Asgard being at the top. Odin, father of the gods, had three places of residence in Asgard. One was known as Valhalla, or house of the fallen. Here Odin received the souls of warriors, saving them to fight for the coming battle, Ragnarök. Odin would fall to the wolf, Fenrir, in this last big battle. The souls of attractive woman warrior that came through Valhalla became Valkyries, collecting the fallen souls for Odin. The second residence, Valaskjálf, offered him a place to watch over the Earth and perceive all that would pass through it, from his special throne, Hlidskjalf. The final residence, Gladsheim, is where he presided over the twelve judges and Diar appointed in Asgard.
I think you get the picture. Odin was the Big Kahuna, the one you didn’t want to mess with, and he was Thor’s father. In honor of Thor’s tour around the world, and the launch of his own page here on the blog, I thought we would talk about his dear old dad this Immortal Monday. Odin’s a tough act to follow, but if anyone could do it, Thor was the one to step up to the challenge.
Odin could see all things within the universe.
Hold on to your pantyhose, because this gets interesting. Odin and his two brothers, Vili and Vé, slayed the ancient, primeval being (frost giant), Ymir. It is said that the brothers fashioned the earth from his flesh, from his blood the oceans, his bones the hills, and from his hair the trees. His brains became the clouds, his skull turned into the heavens, and his eyebrows are what we now call home – the middle realm – Midgard, literally meaning ‘middle enclosure.’ And so it was, the Norse brothers created the Earth. On their first stroll upon their new creation they would happen upon two fallen logs. The logs would become the first man and woman. And they would name them Ask and Embla. There was Earth, and there was life.
That’s a pretty big start. Bang. Right out of the starting gate. But Odin would go on to become one extremely wise ruler. It wasn’t without a cost. Known as the god with one eye, that shines bright like the sun, it wasn’t always so. Odin traded his eye for a drink from the Well of Wisdom. As a result, he gained great knowledge.
He is the god of war and death. But he is also the god of poetry, magic, prophecy and wisdom.
Things that are attributed to Odin: his spear, Gungnir, that never misses, and his ring, Draupnir, from which every ninth night eight more rings appear. He rode an eight-legged steed, Sleipnir, which was a gift from Loki and possessed the severed head of Mimir, which foretold the future. He kept two ravens as trusted companions, Huginn and Muninn (Thought and Memory), and commanded two wolves named Geri and Ferki.
Odin’s symbol is that of the Valknut – the slain warrior’s knot.
Odin had many offspring with his wife Frigg. Wasn’t she pretty in the movie? 😉 But she wasn’t Thor’s mother. It was through the personification of earth, Jörð,that Odin fathered his most famous son, Thor. Is Thor’s interest in the Earth starting to make a little more sense now?
- Odin didn’t eat. He lived off mead or wine.
- Wednesday is named after Odin – Woden – Another name he is known by.
- Santa Claus is said to be largely based on Odin, combined with the Christian legend of Saint Nicholas of Myra.
Do you have a father figure like Odin to live up to? How would you feel if you had to be in Thor’s or any of his siblings shoes with a Dad of such stature?*images via Wikipedia – click on image for full credit.
Reminders: It’s never too late to jump on the Thor Tour. All you need to do is drop me a line. It’s true, you read it above, Thor has his own page now, by which you can track his progress, catch up on older updates, or just check out fun trivia, videos and pictures that will be added to on a regular basis. Check it out! Find the link at the top of the page.
Also, this blog will be relocating to a self-hosted site at some point at the beginning of November. I hope you’ll follow us to the new digs. My fabulous designer, Laird Sapir, and I have some pretty amazing ideas (I think) and I hope you’ll enjoy what we create there.
I love hearing from you! If you enjoyed this post or any of my previous posts, I’d be delighted to have you hit the follow button or add this blog to your RSS feed! You may also find me on twitter at @DebraKrist. Tootles! Thanks for stopping by!