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Characters: Norse Mythology

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    The Gods 

Odin

A god of wisdom, war (emphasis on fury), poetry, magic, frenzy and death who is the head of the Aesir. Modern interpretation of him varies. Some see him as a noble god and respect him for the theme of self-sacrifice and view his ruthless actions as necessary for preventing Ragnarok. Others see this as something of a Misaimed Fandom. They see him as being quite like Zeus—a philanderer and major-league jerk. Also, Wednesday is named after him ("Wodin's day", Wodin being one of his many names).
  • A Father to His Men: He isn't called the All-Father for nothing.
    • Or Valfather (Father of the slain) for those chosen by his Valkyries for Valhalla.
  • The Alcoholic: Apparently, he subsists upon naught but mead and wine. He's never really described as suffering from the negative effects of it, but then again, he is the god of frenzy and berserkers...
  • Badass
  • The Berserker: The trope namers were consecrated to his worship. Additionally, his very name is a synonym for the fury and rage of battle, and that was part of his domain as the god of war.
  • Big Bad: One interpretation of his behavior is that his Chronic Backstabbing Disorder and attempts to be a Karma Houdini are what lead to Ragnarok.
  • Big Good: An interpretation of his actions is that everything he does—good or bad—is to stall Ragnarok.
  • Blade on a Stick: He's well-known for his magical spear Gungnir, which never misses and always kills when thrown.
  • Blind Seer: Halfway there; he sacrificed an eye at Mimir's Well for knowledge.
  • Cool Horse: The eight-legged steed Slepnir.
  • Crossdresser: Oh yes. He even Disguised in Drag so he could impregnate Rindr.
  • Eaten Alive: By Fenrir.
  • Everybody Hates Hades: Inverted by the Norse, if you believe the theory that Odin and the Valkyries were identified with an older German death god who was even less fondly thought of before the Norsemen took a liking to them.
  • Eye Scream: Self-inflicted to be used as toll for a drink from the Well of Knowledge.
  • Eyepatch of Power: One of the earliest examples.
  • Flight, Strength, Heart: Is the God of war, magic and poetry.
  • Genius Bruiser: Being both a warrior god and a Trickster, and a god of wisdom.
  • Glamour Failure / Red Right Hand: No matter what form he took, it would always be missing an eye
  • Heroes Love Dogs: He had two pet wolves called Freki and Geri, to whom he would give all the meat served to him.
  • I Did What I Had to Do: In his mind, anything justifies delaying or preventing Ragnarok.
  • I Have Many Names: As American Gods put it; 'I have as many names as there are winds and as many titles are there are ways for men to die.'
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Odin can come off as a real jerk at times, but would often wander the earth testing mortals, punishing and rewarding them.
  • Karma Houdini: Averted unlike many gods. Whatever crimes Odin may have committed he is destined to die at Ragnarok. Some people perceive this as punishment for a betrayal of Loki or his treachery in general. Another story has Odin being banished from Asgard and replaced as king for a period of ten years as punishment for the rape of Rindr which he undertook to father Vali. Note that this is something that could have happened in the Norse society which was proto-democratic. If a king was disliked by the people, they had the right to get rid of him (just as the king had the unspoken right to defend himself from any attempts at dethroning).
  • Magic Knight: Possibly the Ur Example because he is both a berseker god and a trickster.
  • Nice Hat: When wandering around in human guise, he wore a dang cool one.
  • Clever Crows: Had a pair of ravens that would circle the world every day and whisper in his ear the secrets they found at the end of the day. Evidently they weren't perfect since Odin is portrayed as far from omniscient even with them and the ability to view any place in the nine worlds. He still gets tricked a few times.
  • Robe and Wizard Hat: Very commonly depicted wearing them and possibly the Ur Example.
  • Secret Identity: Odin has a habit of visiting Earth in human guise. Depending on his behavior, he may be an Angel Unaware or a Devil in Disguise.
  • The Smart Guy: Odin sacrificed one of his eyes to gain wisdom. He also has two pet ravens whose names are translated as "Thought" and "Memory" to whom he listens to constantly.
  • Suspiciously Similar Substitute: Engaged in a multigenerational plan by creating a fantastic sword and embedding it in a tree, with only a chosen hero able to retrieve it. It's debatable whether Odin or Merlin did this first.
  • Top God: King of the Gods.
  • Trickster: He's really not too different than Loki in many stories - probably explains why the two are blood brothers.
  • Voluntary Shapeshifter: One of Odin's specialties, also a trait he shares with Loki.
  • War God: He's the god of war and patron of berserkers.
    • He started the first war in the world.
  • Warrior Poet: He's the god of war, poetry, and—among other things—wisdom.
  • Weapon of Choice: The magic spear Gungnir.
  • Well-Intentioned Extremist
  • Wizard Beard: Sometimes, probably counts as a Badass Beard as well it gives him the the appearance of a Grandpa God.
  • Wizard Classic: The Ur Example.

Frigg

Odin's wife, who is sometimes confusingly conflated with Freyja. She ruled over motherhood, women and the home. Also, Friday is named after her ("Frigg's Day").
  • Animal Motifs: Cats
  • Blessed with Suck: She could see into the future but do nothing to change it.
  • The High Queen: Regal and majestic but also very benevolent.
  • Living Lie Detector: Her magic necklace glows when a lie is told.
  • Proper Lady: She provides patronage to women, motherhood and the home, and traditional female activities.
  • Reasonable Authority Figure: She was the only other person Odin trusted to sit on Hliđskjálf.
  • Wholesome Cross Dresser: Historia Langobardorum shows that she had much to teach Odin when it came to which tribes he should be favoring, which she does by having a bunch of women disguise themselves with beards and present themselves to her husband.
  • Your Cheating Heart: All the Norse gods were jerk asses in Gesta Danorum but it particularly stands out with ones like Frigg, as not being guilty of infidelity was an important plot point on a couple of occasions. note 

Baldr

Odin's son, who developed over time into the Purity Sue of the pantheon. He was immune to damage from anything except mistletoe, and Loki killed him by tricking his blind brother Hod into throwing a magic spear made of it at him.
  • Achilles' Heel / Weaksauce Weakness: To mistletoe note 
  • Back from the Dead: Some texts describe him as returning from Hel after Ragnarök has taken place, probably another sign of Christian influence on the character.
  • Hijacked by Jesus: A possible explanation for some of his stories.
  • Killed Off for Real: Thanks to Loki, who both tricked his brother into killing him and made sure he couldn't be resurrected; however, he may return after Ragnarök.
  • Light is Good: Though it's exclusive to myths hijacked by Jesus; in some stories he wasn't so pleasant. In Gesta Danorum, he is outright villainous.
  • Nigh-Invulnerability: Thanks to Frigg making (almost) everything in the world swear not to harm him.
  • Pretty Boy: He's usually described as this.
  • Royal Brat: In the Gesta Danorum.

Höđr

Odin's son, and Baldr's blind brother. He is tricked by Loki into using mistletoe to murder his brother.

Thor

A thunder god and the favorite god of the average Norse farmer (Odin was only really liked by royalty and berserkers). Carries the title "Friend of the humans" (or, possibly, "Man's Best Friend") and would fight giants and various demonic threats to the gods and mankind. He was also considered the protector of slaves. Also has Thursday named after him (literally "Thor's Day").
  • Adaptation Dye-Job: For whatever reasonnote , Thor is almost universally depicted as blond in modern fiction. The Norse would have thought this completely out of character for the raging giant slayer, as blonds in their culture were considered to be shrewd and calculating, whereas redheads were whirling vortices of blood and spit.
  • Animal Motifs: Goats.
  • Awesome McCoolname: Well, to start with Thor means thunder. But also the literal translation of Mjolnir is crusher. Yes, apparantly Thor follows the same naming conventions as macho men with their dogs.
  • Badass: Up to Eleven: In Útgarđa-Loki's realm, he wrestles Elli, the Anthropomorphic Personification of old age and while he eventually loses, he never actually falls.
  • Sensitive Guy and Manly Man: Manly Man to Loki's Sensitive Guy.
  • Shock and Awe: God of thunder, natch.
  • Space Is an Ocean: While most would use such things as Slepnir and Bifröst to pass through the nine worlds, Thor preferred to wade his way across. He did have a chariot with two goats for transporting other people, though. This is used to describe why rainbows follow thunderstorms. (Some stories claim that Thor wasn't actually allowed to use the Bifrost for fear he'd break it, since he was so big and heavy.)
  • Weapon of Choice: His magic hammer Mjolnir.
  • Wolverine Publicity: If there's a heroic Norse god in modern media, it's Thor. Appropriately, Marvel Comics is the most obvious example.
  • Would Hit a Girl: Althrough much more sympathetic than Odin and a heroic defender of the weak, he would not back away from attacking a giantess or a female monster despite that the laws of the Norsemen (endorsed by Odin) considered the harming and killing of women monstrous.

Týr

A noble war (emphasis on protection) god, confused with the Roman Mars, Tuesday is named after him (one of his names is Tiw so it is "Tyr's day"). He is attributed as a god of justice (due to historical evidence suggesting he was called upon in courts), and he was the only god who did not fear Fenrir.
  • An Arm and a Leg: Lost his arm as the price for binding Fenrir the wolf.
  • Demoted to Extra: Tyr only appears in three tales, and is only important in one of them. Considering he was a god of soldiers and the poems and sagas where written for the ruling classes who favored Odin this is not surprising.
  • Disabled Deity: He sacrificed his arm to bind Fenrir.
  • Handicapped Badass: Even after losing his arm he still plays a vital part in Ragnarok, killing Garm.
  • Mutual Kill: With Garm.
  • War God: Can be seen as one of these. Though he was usually treated as the god of single combat and soldiers instead.
    • Well, almost every Norse god was a War God, so they had to specialize.

Víđarr

Vidarr is the son of Odin by Gríđr, a Jötunn who aided the gods against Loki. During the events of the Ragnarök, while Thor fights Jörmungandr, Týr fights Garm, and Freyr fights Surtr, it falls to Víđarr to fight Fenrir. Rising to the challenge, he not only avenges his father, but survives both the battle and the Ragnarök. This earns him a reputation as a god of vengeance.
  • Bad Ass: He bends Fenrir's jaw open with his foot and his left hand. Note that at this point Fenrir is said to have grown so large his upperjaw hits the freaking sky.
  • Did You Just Punch Out Cthulhu?: And the only god to manage it without breaking their arm in the process
  • Improbable Weapon User: Uses his good leather boots to kick off Fenrir's top jaw, through the earlier version simply has him use his foot to bend Fenrir's jaw open before shoving Odin's spear down is throat and into his heart.
  • Odd Job Gods: God of space (in the sense of distance), silence, vengeance, and footwear.
  • One-Man Army: Some versions have it that he comes out the Ragnarök completely unscathed.
  • The Quiet One: A fact referenced by one of his nicknames.
  • Revenge: Takes revenge on Fenrir by killing him after he kills Odin.
  • Those Two Guys: With Váli.
  • You Killed My Father: To Fenrir, who kills Odin at Ragnarok.

Váli

A son of Odin and the giantess Rindr, Váli was conceived specifically to avenge Baldr's death. He does this when he's less than a day old by killing Höđr and later helps the other Ćsir capture Loki. Like his brother Víđarr, he ultimately survives Ragnarök.

Freyja

Mostly a love goddess and fertility goddess, but also is connected to bloodthirst, as Odin made her the commander of Valkyries and the goddess of magic and witches. Along with Freyr, her twin brother, she is a fertility goddess. Also the patron of warrioresses and witches. Her name is the origin for the word for "lady" in several Germanic languages. In Scandinavia, Friday is named after her (Fredag)
  • I Have Many Names: She gave a different name for herself in every nation she searched for her husband Oder in.
  • Psychopomp: Lead the Valkyries to the battlefields to choose and lead the souls who would enter the Folkvang and reclaim that of women who go down fighting.
  • Shape Shifter: Is said to be able to transform into an eagle.
  • Really Gets Around: In a Never Live It Down moment, slept with several dwarf siblings in the course of a night in exchange for a necklace she wanted.

Freyr

Freya's brother; they were both part of the Vanir, the other group of gods opposing the Aesir, until they ended up being hostages as part of a truce alongside their father Njord. A god of fertility and sex, generally more benevolent than his sister, who ultimately dies in Ragnarok as he gave up his magic sword for the love of a giantess. His name means "lord".
  • Animal Motifs: Pigs
  • Alternate Mythology Equivalent: To Apollo; both are sun related gods associated with sexuality, and are not the only light related deities in their pantheon (the situation of replacement in the written myths is actually inverse: Apollo replaced Helios as the sun god, while Baldr replaced Freyr as a light god).
  • Bi the Way: A common interpretation of his character. Not really surprising considering he was a god of sexuality.
  • Chekhov's Missing Sword: He give his sword to Skirnir so his shield man could help him to win Gerd's heart. It isn't until Ragnarok that this event has a huge impact - Freyr fails to stop Surt since he is without weapon, allowing Surt to burn the world.
    • But not before partly blinding Surt with a deer-antler.
  • With This Herring: Fought and killed Gerd's brother with an antler after giving up his sword.

Bragi

The god of poetry, a son of Odin and the husband of Iđunn.
  • The Bard: He's the god of bards essentially.

Iđunn

Bragi's wife and the keeper of the golden apples that the gods use to maintain their immortality. The Ćsir's only clear agriculture deity, through Thor and Siv/Sif are suggested to have been associated with it as well.
  • Damsel in Distress: When kidnapped by the jötunn Thjazi.
  • Fountain of Youth: The Norse gods are somewhat unique in that they are not innately immortal (as also demonstrated by Thor's wrestling match with the personification of old age) but need to eat Iđunn's apples to stay young.
  • Noodle Incident / Missing Episode: Iđunn's brother was killed (Loki blames it on Bragi) but the story has unfortunately not survived.

Njörđr

A god of the sea, seamen and fishing. He is the father of Freyr and Freyja and was sent to the Ćsir from the Vanir as a hostage at the end of the Ćsir-Vanir war.
  • Arranged Marriage: With the giantess Skađi. Occasionally it is said to have been a failed marriage (never consummated).
  • Brother-Sister Incest: He had Freyr and Freyja with his unnamed sister. Such practice was apparently common among the Vanir.

Skađi

A giantess who is counted among the Ćsir due to her (failed) marriage to Njörđr. She was allowed to choose a husband from the Ćsir, but was only allowed to see their feet, resulting in her choosing Njörđr. Goddess of hunting, winter and skiing.
  • Avenging the Villain: She originally came to the Ćsir seeking revenge for her father, Ţjassi. Considering that he kidnapped Iđunn and tried to deprive the gods of their immortality, it's surprising that the gods treated her as well as they did.
  • Names to Run Away From Really Fast: One possible meaning of her name is "damage".
  • Odd Job Gods: She tends to be associated with skiing.
  • Triang Relations: She wanted to marry Baldr when he was single. Even after he was married to Nanna and killed, she was pretty damn spiteful to Loki.

Heimdall

The Watchman of the Aesir, permanently guarding the Bifrost Bridge against any threat - a task made easier by the fact that he can see and hear everything that happens in the world, and never needs to sleep. Left his post once to outdo Loki in retrieving Freyja's necklace from some giants, and then again for their final (and mutually fatal) battle. Heimdall is said to have sired the human classes and passed on the secret of the runes to them.

Vili and

Odin's brothers. They took part in Ymir's murder and the creation of humanity and Midgard, but are otherwise rarely mentioned.
  • Bait-and-Switch Tyrant: Ynglinga Saga states that after Odin had been gone for an exceptionally long time they decide he must be dead, and they were the default rulers of Asgard entitled to share Frigg between them. It's not as bad as feared; neither want to have relations with their brother's wife, they just want to rule as equals beside her and immediately step down when Odin returns. Loki twists the story to Frigg throwing herself on Odin's brothers while he was away but he is dismissed.
  • Chuck Cunningham Syndrome: And you've read everything they were known to do.
  • Depending on the Writer: Völuspá instead names Odin's brothers as Hćnir and Lóđurr. Lóđurr is likewise subject to Chuck Cunningham Syndrome, whereas Hćnir is mentioned a few more times (see below).

Hćnir

Another one of Odin's brothers, who according to the Völuspá assisted him in the creation of humanity along with Lóđr. He is mentioned as having been sent to the Vanir as a hostage at the end of the Ćsir-Vanir war along with Mímir. Judging by one of the last stanzas of Völuspá, he is one of the few to survive Ragnarök.
  • Action Survivor: He actually manages to survive Ragnarök despite never coming across as much of a Badass in what little is known of him. Some have stipulated that he owes his survival just to not being present in Asgard yet at the time of the final battle.
  • Bit Character: The kind of role he usually has. He is actually mentioned in several myths (often as part of a trio along with Odin and Loki), but he almost never does anything of any real consequence in any of them.
  • Extreme Doormat: While with the Vanir, he was supposedly incapable of making decisions without Mímir's advice.
  • Put on a Bus / The Bus Came Back: He was sent away to the Vanir as a hostage in exchange for Njörđr, Freyr and Freyja, but he they eventually send him back to the Aesir when they conclude he is useless without Mímir, and they kick Mímir out too since he is nothing but a talking head, having been decapitated by them in the war.

Kvasir

A god created from the saliva of all the Ćsir and the Vanir, he is the wisest of the gods. He was murdered by the dwarves Fjalar and Galar and his blood was the main component of the Mead of Poetry.

Sunna and Máni

The goddess of the Sun and the god of the Moon (contrary to Classical Mythology, most northern european religions don't see the Sun as masculine or the Moon as feminine), they are sadly the most easily forgotten deities of the pantheon, but seemingly were of quite the relevance, as they even had days sacred to them (Mánadagr, which became Monday, and Sunnundagr, which became Sunday). They run across the heavens, running away from two evil wolves that want to kill them.
  • Action Girl: Sunna, appearently, as she bears a shield and is at war with evil sky wolves. It's also worth note that her rune, Sowilo, symbolises triumph, victorious warfare and divine mandate, which might implicate her role as a war goddess.
  • Composite Character: One of Sunna's epithets is also shared by Freyja. Both are known as warrior fertility goddesses of golden hair...
  • Cool Horse: Sunna has two, Árvakr and Alsviđr. Máni's seemingly weren't cool enough to be named.
  • Friend to All Children: Máni, who saved two kids, Bil and Hjúki, from their abusive father, who are now his faithful sidekicks.
  • Hair of Gold, Heart of Gold: Goes with being a solar goddess.
  • Legacy Character: Sunna will supposedly be devoured by Sköll, but she will birth another Sun that will replace her. According to some people, that already happened... maybe more than once...

    Loki and Prominent Family Members 

Loki

The blood brother of Odin, Loki is technically a god—one of the Aesir. As in Norse culture, once you are adopted, you are officially one of the tribe—and therefore are a part of the family. So even though Loki was a child of giants (which were the primal forces in Norse Mythology), he was also one of the Aesir. He's a Trickster Archetype who has been often turned into a Satan equivalent.
  • Alternative Character Interpretationinvoked: Some researchers have theorised that he was originally another aspect of Odin, while a more popular theory is that Loki is the same as Lóđurr, as Loki is often mentioned along with Odin and Hćnir in many tales and it would also explain why Lóđurr is never mentioned again. Some experts say that the benevolent Lóđurr is incompatible with Loki. Note that Loki actually appears rather benevolent in a few stories too. Most experts agree that it's very hard to make a clear statement about Loki's origin and true nature, which is in all appropriate.
  • Badass Mustache: Certain old depictions of Loki show him with a mustache that resembles that of another character.
  • Big Eater: In one story he just loses an eating contest to the embodiment of fiery destruction. note 
  • Blow You Away: One of his names means "loptr", which comes from a norse word for "air". Even today he is associated in folklore with weather phenomena.
  • Butt Monkey: Poor Loki goes from The Chew Toy to Iron Buttmonkey to The Woobie to Jerkass Woobie to Woobie, Destroyer of Worlds depending on when the myth is supposed to take place.
  • Canon Foreigner: While most Norse gods have obvious Indo-European roots and equivalents in other Indo-European-derived religions (for example, Thor is a distant cousin of Zeus and Indra, and the Aesir and Vanir are fairly clearly related to the Asuras/Ahuras and Devas/Daevas of Hinduism and Zoroastrianism) Loki doesn't even appear in other Germanic myths. He seems to be unique to Scandinavian traditions and nobody's entirely sure how he got there (which, you know, is appropriate).
    • Note that most of the Germanic sources are very scarce and often are second or third hand sources leaving out many gods, so Loki's status could merely be a case of lack of evidence. Same goes for the Frejya/Frigg debate.
  • Cute Monster Guy: While admittedly giantesses sometimes got the Cute Monster Girl treatment, Loki is a good-looking male giant, and notably, most of his kids (male and female) are hideous monsters.
  • Determinator: When Loki gives his word he keeps it, whether for good or ill. He'll keep on going even when the likes of Odin have given up.
  • Extreme Omnisexual: He's done it with men, women, and a horse.
  • Eye Scream: Sometimes his imprisonment specifically mentions that the serpent's venom drips into his eyes.
  • Face-Heel Turn: When his pranks go too far and result in Baldur being Killed Off for Real, the gods imprison Loki in a cave with a serpent dripping venom into his face for eternity. When Loki breaks free, he will not be happy.
  • Facial Horror: Had his lips sewn shut after losing a bet.
  • Flaming Hair: Is sometimes depicted with this. Also, one of his kennings is actually "Flame-Hair."
    • Though this is likely a confusion with the god of fire, Logi.
  • Fiery Redhead: Not as much as Thor, but he has his moments.
  • The Friend Nobody Likes: Loki's relationships with the other gods would continually sour over time. Part of it was due to mistreatment by the other gods, but part of it was because Loki himself was such a massive trouble-maker.
  • The Gadfly: When it comes to antics, he is either this or an outright troll. In one story he is a literal gadfly, stinging a dwarf to distract him from crafting better items than those Loki had provided earlier (it was a bet).
  • Gender Bender: Frequently.
  • Hijacked by Jesus: ... and turned into Satan. Though even in the more generous tales Loki is usually a trouble maker who causes the trouble he is forced by the other gods to fix.
  • Jerkass: Guilt tripped his way into Odin's mead hall during a celebration and bragged about his crimes to Odin's face.
  • Kaleidoscope Eyes: The one thing he can't disguise. The source of his Glamour Failure several times over.
  • Kick the Dog: Killing Baldr for no real reason was bad enough, but tricking Baldr's blind brother into doing it was even worse.
    • Then Odin did try to drown Loki's son.
  • The Lancer: Takes this role while he joins Thor to visit Utgard and when they retrieve stolen Mjollnir.
  • Large Ham: See the Lokasenna. When Loki gets on a roll, there's no shutting him up.
  • Light Is Not Good: Over time, he acquired an association with fire (due to a Rouge Angles of Satin- Logi is the Norse personification of fire), and tends to be portrayed as a Bishounen much like Lucifer.
    • One of his origins was that he came out of a tree struck by lightning. He represents fire that harms.
  • Mr. Seahorse: Odin's steed Sleipnir was born when Loki assumed the form of a mare and let the stallion of a giant who was building Asgard's walls couple with "her" to sap his strength.
    • In some retellings, Loki gave birth to Hel himself by swallowing the heart of the monstrous lover upon whom he fathered Fenrir and Jormungandr.
    • In other retellings, he gave birth to the first trolls after eating the heart.
    • Odin accuses Loki of having given birth to many sons.
  • Mutual Kill: With Heimdall.
  • Nom de Mom: Is commonly given the surname "Laufeyarson" (Laufey's son). Laufey is actually his mother; his father's name is Farbauti.
  • Not So Different: Despite all his many, many faults (including promiscuity), he was also quite a family man just like Odin and Thor. Notably he was said to have been raising his kids alone in secret after his first wife died. (That was a BAD thing since they were monsters ( so says Odin anyway) and Odin subsequently locked them away, but still.)
  • One Steve Limit: Played With rather hilariously in one story, where he and Thor meet two men called Utgard-Loki (as in 'Loki of Utgard') and Logi.
  • Playing with Fire: Is sometimes associated with Fire. This may be in part due to him being confused with the character Logi, the personification of fire, who despite what you may think is not just an alternate spelling for Loki. He is also confused with Lóđr/Lódurr, another name for Odin's biological brother Ve, which means burning.
  • Scars Are Forever: The ones he acquired when the dwarfs sewed his mouth shut. They even stay with him in all his transformations.
    • Notably, however, the scars can also change. They're always on his lip, but they needn't stay in the same spot or shape.
  • Sensitive Guy and Manly Man: Sensitive Guy to Thor's Manly Man.
  • Shapeshifting Seducer: Aside from turning into a mare and seducing the stallion Svadilfari, Loki has a reputation for getting knocked up by mortal men and trolls.
  • Trickster: One of, if not THE, most famous examples.

Angrbođa

Loki’s giantess consort. The gods abducted her three children when they became aware of how dangerous they would become. Some scholars say she was a very powerful witch and that she had the ability to see into the future. She was confined to Hel and would not be released from the realm of the dead until Loki was unbound.
  • Action Girl: A competent fighter and a proud giantess at that
  • Ambiguously Evil: A version of her story implies she knew her children would help destroy the world.
  • Animal Motif: Wolves. She would change into one at will.
  • Beat Still, My Heart: There are several myths that involve Angrbođa’s heart being consumed by Loki. The basic premise is that the Aesir (specifically Odin) ambush her and try to kill her by setting her on fire. There are variations on how that ended too with one version saying she survived the three times she was burned and another version saying that she died the third time with only her heart remaining intact.
    • One outcome of that has Loki eat her still beating heart to make sure she remains dead
    • There is also a version where he does this to her heartto remember her by
    • The most popular version is Loki doing this to resurrect her
  • Cute Monster Girl: Got this treatment as a giantess
  • Genre Savvy: In the versions where she does not know the fate of her children, she was cautious enough to make sure the Aesir did know of her children because she knew the gods would see them as a threat.
    • Sadly she wasn’t always on the ball and when she was summoned by Odin to Asgard she assumed it was because Loki had gotten himself into some deep shit that Sigyn couldn’t help with. What Odin actually wanted was to isolate Angrbođa and kill her so her children would be vulnerable. In this version, what was done to her and their children set the foundation to Loki’s Face-Heel Turn.
  • Heroines Want Redheads: Loki was traditionally viewed as being a redhead.
  • Meaningful Name: Her name can be interpreted as either "the one who brings grief" or "she-who-offers-sorrow." Fenrir, Jörmungandr and Hel were all her children. We all know what happened there.
  • The Mistress: It’s a little tricky to sort this one out since she was in some versions Loki’s first wife. He married Sigyn in Asgard which ‘demoted’ Angrbođa to being concubine instead of a wife.
  • Out of the Inferno: When the Aesir try to murder her they try to burn her. There is one version of the myth that has her rise from the flames THREE TIMES unharmed.
  • Red String of Fate: Her relationship to Loki.
  • Super Strength: There is a story where the gods were trying to launch Baldr’s funeral ship, Righorn, but the ship carried so many gifts and offerings they could not move it. Not even Thor could make it budge. In comes Angrbođa and in one swift move she helped launch the ship. Apparently this infuriated Thor so much it took all the Asgardians to hold him back from attacking her.
  • The Vamp: In the version where she knows her children will help their father end the world.

Fenrir

Loki and Angrbođa's first son, sometimes also called Vanargandr (the monster of the river Ván), Hróđvitnir (fame-wolf) and the Fenris Wolf, the latter being the name by which most modern day Scandinavians refer to him. When the gods learn that he is fated to kill Odin, they bind and seal him when he's still young, with Tyr losing his arm in the process. When Ragnarok comes, he indeed kills Odin, but is killed by Odin's son Vidar in return.
  • Animalistic Abomination: A gigantic wolf that can end the world. See below:
  • Attack of the 50-Foot Whatever: His final size is such that when he opens his mouth, the lower jaw rests on the ground and the upper jaw hits the sky. In the Prose Edda, it says "he would gape yet more if there were room for it."
  • Badass: He kills Odin. Doesn't get much more badass than that where Norse Mythology goes.
  • Canis Major: His mouth is said to be so large that his upper jaw hits the sky!
  • Dangerously Genre Savvy: The gods try 'playing' with him by binding him using incrementally thicker chains to no avail. When the gods decide to use thin, fabric-like magical rope, Fenrir quickly deduces the rope is actually stronger than it looks and refuses to play being bound, at least until Tyr gambles his arm so that Fenrir finally agrees to be bound. He neglected to predict that Tyr would be willing to sacrifice his sword arm to bind him, though.
  • Decomposite Character: It is possible that Garmr and Skoll were other names for Fenrir but Snorri wrote them as separate characters.
  • Glory Seeker: His desire to become famous is what allowed the Aesir to put bindings on him, as he believed facing danger was needed to gain fame. This is seemingly mocked by the other giants who nickname his son Hati "Hróđvitnisson" (Son of famous wolf).
  • Hero Killer: Destined to kill Odin, responsible for the maiming of Tyr, harbinger of the world's end...yeah he counts.
  • Horror Hunger: One of the reasons he must be chained up.
  • The Juggernaut: The gods couldn't even slow him down once he started to grow.
  • Just Eat Him: He eats Odin.
  • Kill the God: Kills Odin.
  • Roaring Rampage of Revenge: In all probability the reason he kills Odin. He was chained because the gods foresaw that he would cause a lot of trouble if he wasn't (which makes it a Self Fulfilling Prophecy). Also Odin makes an argument for a person making a name for himself, which could have inspired Fenrir and thus adding to the fire of hate in his heart.
  • Sealed Evil in a Can: Bound for as long as the Sun and the Moon remain in the sky. Depending on the versions of the myth, his sons, Skoll and Hati, may be trying to do something about that.
  • Self Fulfilling Prophecy: Maybe he wouldn't have killed Odin if, you know, the gods didn't try to bind him for eternity.
  • You Killed My Father: Inflicted on him by the actual God of Vengeance no less.
  • You Can't Fight Fate: Despite the god's efforts, Fenrir murders Odin during Ragnarok.

Jormungandr

Loki and Angrbođa's second son. When he is but a small snake, the gods toss him to the ocean to drown him. But he does not drown and grows big enough to circle the world. He has beefs with Thor, up to the Ragnarok, where the two face off and kill each other.
  • Alternate Mythology Equivalent: Can be compared to the Egyptian monster serpent Apep. Some scholars believe they might come from a myth of Proto-Indo-European origin that spread surprisingly widely, which would mean the legend is Older Than Dirt. In any case, both are huge serpentine menaces so the comparison is obvious, even if they're totally unrelated.
  • Animalistic Abomination: A giant snake who will help end the world. And he's Fenrir's brother. So big he encircles the entire world.
  • Archenemy: To Thor.
  • Attack of the 50-Foot Whatever: As big or bigger than Fenrir. He wraps all the way around Midgard, with his tail in his mouth.
  • Badass: He fights Thor at Ragnarok, and his venom kills Thor.
  • Breath Weapon: Breathes poison.
  • The Dreaded: The Jotnar fear him, and by extension many fear Thor, given his exploits against it.
  • Hero Killer: Much like his older brother, he absolutely terrifies the gods and will eventually slay Thor.
  • Kill the God: Thor
  • Kraken and Leviathan: The largest being in the ocean, dwarfing even the Kraken. As is the case with many of these beings, he more or less stays where he is until the end of days.
  • Mutual Kill: He and Thor. The Thunderer manages to kill Jormungandr, but the latter's breath poisons him and he only makes it nine steps before keeling over dead.
  • Ouroboros: Some texts describe him as biting his own tail after growing so big.
  • Poisonous Person: His Breath Weapon.
  • Sea Monster: The sea monster to end all sea monsters. There isn't an ocean in Midgard that doesn't have a part of him in it.

Hel

Loki and Angrbođa's only daughter. Goddess of Death and Graves and ruler of Hel who welcomes the souls of those who died of old age, disease or by accident. She is described as half of her body being that of a regular woman, the other half being rotten like a corpse. The myths never state which half, but people tend to represent it Two-Face style.
  • All of the Other Reindeer: She was mostly an outcast and generally not very well perceived among all the other Gods and mortals alike.
  • Dark Is Not Evil: Isn't a malevolent goddess per se, despite what people may think, and keeps her word when she gives it. Hel is refered to as a dark and shady place, but a peaceful one.
  • Egopolis: Hel is the ruler of Hel.
  • Face-Revealing Turn: With the vertical asymmetry thing she probably gets this a lot..
  • Hijacked by Jesus: Her realm was originally played as dreary, but not exactly a place of torture. (To the Norse warriors, not going to the warrior's afterlife was the big torture in itself.) Christianity turned it into... well, Hel. And like it says above, she was originally just patchwork coloured, which progressed to either half a skeleton/rotting corpse or half old woman.
    • The original myths state that there are three afterlives. Those who die in battle go to Valhalla and Folkvagnr to prepare for Ragnarok. Those who die of sickness or old age go to Hel, which is dull and dreary, but not a bad place. Those who die after committing what the Norse regarded as sinsnote  (such as oathbreaking) are punished by being sent to Na-strond, which is described as a monstrous fortress, located somewhere in Hel, woven from the poison-dripping skeletons of serpents, situated behind several deadly rivers, and where the damned wade through sucking blood and have nothing to drink but the urine supplied by a herd of foul-tempered black goats that roam the fortress. Some versions of the myths even state that Na-strond is where Níđhöggr goes to get his meals.
  • I Hate You, Vampire Dad: Resented her father for having made her look the way she did.
  • I Love the Dead: In Ynglingatal, it is stated no less than three times that Hel has sex with the dead king. First it is written: "I do not deny that Hel is taking lustful pleasure in the corpse of Dyggvi", then later: "And Loki`s daughter has seduced the ruler of the people of Yng" and last "And Loki`s daughter (Hel) invited the king, the third in the row, to meet for lovemaking from the world of the living".
  • Ice Queen: Stoic, dour and cold.
  • Overshadowed by Awesome: Seldom seen in the myths, apart from Baldr's death, since she would interfere with the other Asgardians' plans only when it concerned her directly. It makes sense, seeing as she was the embodiment of Death and the gods didn't die in every myth. Why would they want to go to her for anything other than resurrection?
  • Plague Mistress: It was said that when a plague hit the countryside, she would ride from town to town on a three-legged horse with a broom and a rake. In villages where many—but not all—died, she used her rake. But when she used her broom...
  • Two-Faced: A possible interpretation of her, though her description in the texts is pretty vague - some have taken it to mean she's actually withered below the waistnote .

Sigyn

Loki’s Asgardian wife. Sigyn is known for her role in assisting Loki during his captivity. She would hold a dish over his face to prevent venom from touching it and would leave his side only to empty it. By him she bore two sons, Narfi and Vali.

Narfi

The elder son of Loki and Sigyn. He was killed by his brother to punish Loki for his transgression against the gods in Asgard. His entrails were used to bind Loki beneath a venomous serpent.
  • Body Horror: What Vali did to him and what was done with what was left of him.
  • Disproportionate Retribution: This guy did not deserve to die the way he did. Point of fact, he didn't deserve to die at all, as he was killed for Loki's crimes.
  • Killed Off for Real: Rather gorily too.
  • We Hardly Knew Ye: Very little is known about him other than that he was killed by his brother and that his entrails were turned to iron and used to bind Loki.

Vali

Váli was another one of the unlucky sons of Loki. He was turned into a wolf by the gods and while in that state tore his brother Narfi to shreds.

    Giants/Jotnar 

Surtr

The Lord of the Fire Giants and King of Muspelheim, Surtr is destined to kill Freyr, and burn the world with the black sword Laveteinn at the peak of Ragnarok while his legions destroy the Bifrost. The real life island of Surtsey on Iceland is named after him.
  • Giant Space Flea from Nowhere: Sometimes in retellings, he and his kin just arrive with no hype when Ragnarok begins.
  • Hero Killer: "At the end of the world he will go and wage war and defeat all the gods and burn the whole world with fire."
  • Hijacked by Jesus: Is often depicted as a Satan-like figure elsewhere, which is fair considering what he actually does. Through quite a few schoolars think he is an old concept many agree that his flaming sword is a loan from the Bible.
  • Karma Houdini: Though it's ambiguous if Surtr survives Ragnarok, no one is reported to have killed him during it. One version has him succumb to wounds caused by Frey after burning everything up but most do not.
  • Kill the God: Frey and anybody else who gets in his way.
  • Light Is Not Good: His sword is stated to be "brighter than the Sun". It will be used to bring about the burning of the nine worlds.
  • Omnicidal Maniac: One of the major players at Ragnarok, and the one most directly responsible for the end of the world.

Thrym

A giant that steals Mjolnir, and demands Freya as his wife if they want it back. On the advice of Loki, Thor dresses up as Freya, and eventually retrieves the hammer, after Loki hilariously manages to convince Thrym that Thor is Freya with increasingly unlikely explanations. When Thor retrieves his hammer, he kills Thrym and his sister.
  • Arranged Marriage: Attempts to arrange one with Freya. It goes bad for him.
  • Entitled to Have You: With Freya.
  • Genre Blind: Fails to see through Thor's Paper-Thin Disguise as Freya, and dies for it.
  • Too Dumb to Live: Probably should have thought a little more about how Freya looked, and maybe should not have stolen the hammer in the first place, or maybe should have demanded a better ransom, or just led the giants to attack Asgard, and abduct Freya, now that they lacked Thor's hammer.

Utgarda-Loki

Not to be confused with Loki, Utgarda-Loki was a giant living in Jotunheim, with the alias Skrymir. He challenges Thor, Loki, Thjalfi and Röskva to complete different tasks, each more impossible than the last. Is a rare beast, as he actually survives despite being a giant.
  • Anthropomorphic Personification: Uses these to defeat the gods. Goes as follows: Hugi, the personified thought, Logi, the personified fire, Elli, the personified old age.
  • Karma Houdini: In that he actually tried killing Thor, and met no reprise for it.
  • Master of Illusion: Uses illusions to trick the gods; he disguises himself as a giant named Skrymir, disguises the Midgard Serpent as a cat, makes his own thought into Ţjalfi's opponent and fire into Loki's.
  • One Steve Limit: Averted. "Utgarda" isn't actually a part of his name, merely a prefix meaning "of Utgard", probably intended to differentiate him from his more famous namesake.
  • Our Giants Are Bigger: While he is disguised as Skrymir, who thinks Mjolnir is just leaves hitting him, and whose gloves are the size of a house.

Thjassi

Thjassi is a giant who resided in Ţrymheimr and often took the form of a large eagle. He once kidnapped the goddess Iđunn, cutting the gods off from their source of immortality, the golden apples Iđunn picked. Iđunn is eventually rescued thanks to Loki's efforts and Thjassi is killed. Thjassi's daughter Skađi later marries Njörđur as a compensation for her father's death.
  • Kick the Son of a Bitch: He uses some sort of power to prevent Odin, Hćnir and Loki from getting any water in their pot to boil, then when they offer him some meat to get him to stop he leaves them with hardly any. It is not said if the Aesir or Loki actually owned the cattle they were cooking with or not, which would make Thjassi a thief of thieves at best and a regular jerk otherwise.
  • Voluntary Shapeshifting: Into an eagle.

Logi

The personification of fire. In modern days, he is often confused for or combined with Loki, though he is quite explicitly a different person and in fact competes against Loki in the most famous myth in which he appears. He is the son of the jötunn Fornjótr and the brother of Ćgir and Kári.

Glóđ

The jötunn wife of king Logi/Hálogi, presumably to be identified with the personification of fire Loki competed against. Her name literally means "Glow," and she's the mother of two daughters by Logi named Eisa (Embers) and Einmyria (Ashes).

Ymir

The primeval frost giant, that emerged from the melting ice of Niflheim and Muspellheim at the creation of the world. Was nourished by the milk of Audhumbla, the primeval ox, and were the ancestor to all giants. Was killed by Odin and his brothers, and the world was then created from his body.
  • An Ice Person: Was the first frost giant.
  • Decoy Protagonist: Is killed as the first person in the mythology.
  • Giant Space Flea from Nowhere: So, ice and fire collides, ice melts, and this guy turns up from it along with a cow. Why? Why not?
    • It is stated in the myths that the ice was frozen Etir, a poisonous substance. Later the dragons and lindworms emerged from the same substance.
  • Great Flood: Given his size, this is natural when he is wounded.
  • Green Thumb: Given the land was made form his flesh.
  • Mother Earth: Or, father earth. But he does not personify earth, it was just made from his body after his death.
  • Mother of a Thousand Young: Technically the father, but given it is birth without female intervention, it doesn't really matter. He fathered new giants constantly while he was still alive, which meant there was already plenty around when Odin finally killed him.
  • Our Giants Are Bigger: In this case, really big, since the world could be made from them.
    • Not just the world, much of the universe!

Hrungner

A mountain giant with a triangular stone heart who owned the fastest horse in his world. After coming into Asgard uninvited he gets drunk and causes trouble that leads to him and Thor facing off at Grjottungard.
  • The Alcoholic: He boasted that he could drink all the ale in Asgard, then set out to do it.
  • Cool Horse: Gold mane, which Odin probes him about because the valfather wants it for himself. It turns out to be slower than Slepnir, whom Odin already owns but Odin still whines when Gold mane is later awarded to Magni.
  • Dishing Out Dirt: His head was as hard as stone, his heart was made of it and he fought with stone weapons.
  • Duel to the Death: He was the first one to issue such a challenge to Thor, which Hrungner does after Thor berates him for his disrespectful conduct inside the hall of honored dead.
    • Dirty Coward: Him calling Thor one for threatening him with violence when Thor tells him to get out of Valhalla makes Thor more eager for the duel.
  • Jerkass: One could see why he was annoyed with Odin boasting about Slepnir but it seems a little much to try to kill Odin over, even for the time period. As he barges into Asgard chasing Odin the other gods assume he is a guest and offer him drinks but he takes their hospitality to mean that he gets ALL of their food and drink. Then he declares he will destroy Asgard and kill everyone after he has finished, except Freyja and Sif. This guy is largely responsible for the giants' bad reputation.
  • Golem: The giants forged him a partner out of clay called Mokkerkalfe, who was nine leagues across at the chest, to help him against Thor, but Mokkerkalfe ended up being afraid of Thor.
  • Monumental Theft: He wants to take Valhalla from Asgard and move it to Jotunheim.
  • Our Giants Are Bigger: While Thor does manage to kill Hrungner he is cut by shards of his shattered flint stone(or whetstone) weapon, pieces of which fly from Jotunheim and form a new mountain range on Midgard. His dead weight was too heavy for Thor to lift (because it had fallen on his neck) and all the gods who watched the duel to move off Thor.
  • Scars Are Forever: A shard of his broken whetstone remained embedded in Thor's head after their fight. It was possible to remove but Thor never bothered to see the procedure through.
  • World's Strongest Man: He was at one point the strongest man in Jotunheim.

    Other characters 

Valkyries

The Death Maidens, who sweep down on battlefields to carry the most valiant warriors to either Odin's hall or Freyja's, as she got half the battle-slain.

Norns

The multi-species group of women who oversee Fate and tend the World Tree Yggdrasill. While Urđr, Verđandi and Skuld, who determine how long people live, are the main ones, there are reputed to be many more working with them.

Thjalfi

A human boy taken by Thor as a page, as payment for an injury his father did to one of his goats. Despite this rather awkward start to their relationship, he is mentioned in several other stories as a faithful and valuable companion to the Thunder God.

Hati and Sköll

The sons of Fenrir, born by a giantess. They chase the sun and the moon and are said to devour them along with all of the stars at Ragnarök.
  • Decomposite Character: Possibly the case with Sköll, which may or may not just be another name for Fenrir.
  • I Have Many Names: Invoked with Hati; he has the mock lastname "Hróđvitnisson" (son of fame wolf) and "Mĺna-Garmr" meaning "Moon-wolf".
  • Meaningful Name: Hati means "the one who hates" or "enemy" and Sköll means Treachery.

Garm

Hel's dog, he guards the gates to her realm. At Ragnarok he will lead her legions against the rest of the world, and he and Tyr will slay one another.

Níđhöggr

One of the oldest beings in Norse myth, Níđhöggr is a dragon who has existed since creation. It emerged from the Etir, a mysterious and highly poisonous (it's Etir from Jörmungandr that kills Thor) substance originating from Ymir. He sits beneath the entire World Tree Yggdrasill itself, gnawing at its roots. One retelling states that he gnaws on oathbreakers, murderers, and thieves. But he basically stays at the roots, gnawing on them—ensuring they do not overgrow—until Ragnarok, and when he joins in... well, that's when things get really bad for the rest of creation. Of course, he survives it.

Audhumbla

The primeval ox that appeared along with Ymir after Niflheim and Muspellheim collided. Nourished Ymir, while simultaneously licking Burr from the salty ice, whose grandsons were Odin, Vile and Ve.


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