Viking Gods By Caroline Tomasic 8D

The Tree of Life; Yggrasil

Norse Religon and Gods

There were two groups of pagan gods. Most belonged to the Aesir and some the Vanir. Vikings had their own pagan religon and worshipped many Gods. Norse people thought that the world was a tree of life containing nine worlds. The Vikings believed that people lived in Middle Earth or Midgard, and the Gods and Godesses lived on the highest branches, of the world tree of Yggrasil, in a Heaven world called Asguard. The most powerful God was thought to be Odin, who had a son called Thor. Vikings worshipped their Gods and Godesses by making 'blot' sacrifices, which was an exchange made by the Vikings sacrificing something to the gods to get something back in return. The Vikings may have been rewaraded with good luck in battle, good weather and fertility for farming, from the Gods. Worshipping Gods was very significant in Viking society because they believed that each god had the power over a different thing, such as the winner in a battle, love, travel and good harvest, and each god played an important role.. Sagas have been written about the Vikings and give us a realistic despcripition of past events, though sagas are usually mystical in nature. Some Vikings would worship and make blot sacrifices at a very famous temple called 'Gamla Uppsala', in Sweden, but much of it was destroyed in the late 11th century. The Aesir were the warrior gods and the Vanir were fertility gods. The most famous and important Aesir are Odin, Thor, Tyr, Frigg, Loki and Baldur.


Vikings thought that Odin was the most powerful God and that he ruled Asguard; one of the nine worlds. Odin was in the Aesir and worshipped by the Vikings, because of his knowledge, power of wars and so that they would have good luck in a battle. Some say that Odin only had one eye because he sacrificed it to gain the Wisdom of Ages and to acquire knowledge. Odin was also thought to be the God of death, sorcery, wisdom and poetry. Odin often betrays great warriors though he's thought to be a god of war.


Thor is a hammer-wielding god that is also associated with thunder, lightening, storms, stench and the protection of mankind. He is the son of Odin, who is the leader of all gods, and is married to Sif, a Godess of fertility. Vikings thought that lightening flashed whenever Thor threw his hammer and that thunderstorms occoured when he rode on his chariot through the heavens. Thor used his hammer to fight giants and demons and defend Asguard. Thor surpassed his father because unlike Odin he did not need human sacrifices. If a storm or famine was about to hit the Vikings would drink to Thor. Some say that Thor has lived on through our weekly calendar, Thursday (Thor's day).


Tyr was one of the war gods and was in charge of the warriors. The Vikings thought that Tyr had only a minor role/ status and that he guarded Asguard. Tyr later on became Odin's second-in-command.


Frigg was the highest ranking of the Aesir Godesses. She was married to Odin and is the mother of Baldur. Frigg was the Godess of marriage, childbirth, motherhood, weaving and house management. As the godess of weaving she controls the threads of fate but despite this she is unable to save her own son from his fate. Women would sacrifice to Frigg and ask her to bless them with children.


Loki is a master of magic and has a high status in Asguard, becasue of his family,. Loki has no concern for his fellow gods and allows his relatives to hurt and kill them. Loki is portrayed as a coward who only cares for his own benefits and self-preservation. Loki is seen to be malicious and irreverent.


Baldur is the son of Odin and Frigg, and is loved by all Gods and Godesses. Some say that he is so graceful and cheerful that he gives off light. When Baldur began to have dreams of his death, his mother, Frigg, went around to other worlds and made them take an oath not to harm her son. Loki, the malicious trickster god, tricked a blind god to throw a spear at Baldur. The spear killed Baldur and he went to the underworld. One of Odin's other sons traveled to the underworld to find Balder and was told by Hel that he could come back to the living if the whole world weeped for him. The whole world did weep for him and Baldur came back into the land of the living.


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