Odin – the king of the norse gods

Odin: King of the Norse Gods

The Vikings, as any other ancient civilization, had their own set of beliefs and mythology. Just as the ancient Greeks had Zeus as their king of the gods, Odin was king of the Norse gods. Though unlike Zeus who is only associated with being the god of thunder and lighting, Odin is associated with being the god of death as well as a many numbers of things, including but not limited to:

  • healing
  • death
  • royalty
  • the gallows
  • knowledge
  • battle
  • sorcery
  • poetry
  • frenzy
  • the runic alphabet
  • husband of the goddess Frigg

The Vikings often depict Odin as having one eye and a long beard, having as spike by the name of Gungnir, and wearing a cloak with an expansive hat. Often he has animals for companions. There are:

  • the wolves- Geri and Frekir
  • the ravens- Hugin and Munin
  • the 8 legged steed- Sleipnir
norse god Odin Manual of Mythology
Norse god Odin

Being the god of death, you need to communicate with the underworld. That is where the ravens Hugin and Munin come into play. They give the king information from all over Midgard and also ride Sleipnir into the underworld. The king of the Norse Gods is said to have many sons, but the most famous is Thor. Often seeking greater knowledge, he disguises himself makes bets with his wife Frigg over outcomes of adventures, and takes part in both the creation of the world by the way of slaying the primitive being Ymir and gives life to the first humans Ask and Embla.

Read more about Thor here

Odin rides to Hel
Odin rides to Hel

The Norse god of death appears to have many other associations in the Viking mythology and is frequently studied in Germanic studies. One approach is whether or not he derives from Proto-Indo-European religion, or whether he developed later in Germanic society. Either way, he is widely known in Germanic and Viking mythology.

Odin riding Sleipnir
Odin riding Sleipnir