open/close all folders
OdinA 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).
- 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...
- Always Accurate Attack: His spear Gungnir never misses its target.
- Badass Beard: Typically presented as having a big ol' beard.
- Badass In Charge: Of the mighty gods of the North.
- Badass Grandpa: He's a literal grandfather, and is among the oldest of the gods regardless and usually looks the part.
- 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.
- Brutal Honesty: Odin is pretty open about acknowledging that people should not trust him, going so far as using himself as an example of the disloyalty of men. One of his many titles is oath-Breaker after all.
- The Casanova: Slept with many mortal women.
- 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.
- Cool Horse: The eight-legged steed Slepnir.
- Crossdresser: Oh yes. He even Disguised in Drag so he could impregnate Rindr.
- Double Standard: Rape, Divine on Mortal: In Saxo's account, Odin raped Rindr so that she would give birth to Vali.
- 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.
- Expy: 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.
- 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.
- Handicapped Badass: Odin is famously one-eyed, having gouged it out himself in exchange for wisdom.
- 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.
- Horny Vikings: Played straight. The earlier depictions of Odin shows him with a dank helmet with horns/bird crests.
- 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.'
- To put it in perspective: half of Odin's names seems to be about how might, wise and awe-inspiring he is. The other half is about how terrifing he is.
- 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 berserker god and a trickster.
- Names to Run Away from Really Fast: One of those names is "killer", followed by no less charming names like "God of Gore", "god of the hanged", "ruler of gallows", "Battle Wolf", "ruler of treachery", "terrible one", "Lord of the Undead" and "Oathbreaker".
- Nice Hat: When wandering around in human guise, he wore a dang cool one.
- One-Hit Kill: His spear Gungnir always kills its whoever or whatever it strikes.
- Properly Paranoid: He lives in constant fear that Ragnarok will start. He thus abstains from eating, and only drinks the mead produced by his nanny goat in case someone tries to poison his food.
- Red Right Hand: No matter what form he took, it would always be missing an eye
- 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, Huginn and Muninn, are translated as "Thought" and "Memory" that fly all over the world and essentially act as scouts.
- 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: Everything he does is meant to delay Ragnarok.
- Wizard Beard: Sometimes, probably counts as a Badass Beard as well it gives him the appearance of a Grandpa God.
- Wizard Classic: The Ur-Example.
FriggOdin'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 Hliðskjálf.
- 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
BaldrOdin'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.
HöðrOdin's son, and Baldr's blind brother. He is tricked (depending of the source) by Loki into using mistletoe to murder his brother.
- Back from the Dead: Mentioned as returning to Asgard along with Baldr after Ragnarok has taken place.
- Blind Mistake: His killing of Baldr.
- Unwitting Pawn: Loki tricked him into killing Baldr.
ThorA 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 reason, 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 McCool Name: Well, to start with Thor means thunder. But also the literal translation of Mjölnir is crusher. Yes, apparantly Thor follows the same naming conventions as macho men with their dogs.
- Badass Beard: Was said to have a fiery red beard.
- Boisterous Bruiser: He had an appropriately thunderous personality and was prone to boasting of his deeds.
- Broke Your Arm Punching Out Cthulhu: When Ragnarök comes, he will kill Jörmungandr, but be fatally poisoned in the process.
- Call on Me: Thor defended Midgard without being asked but when the Jotun were causing trouble in Asgard the Aesir would often cry for Thor, who would storm in to take care of the issue. Loki inadvertently calls Thor on himself once.
- Disguised in Drag: Close to being the trope originator given a humorous tale (Thrymskvida) where he had to impersonate Freyja.
- Though if Loki was not there with his silver tongue, it's likely the jotnar would have realized they were being tricked.
- The Dreaded: Thor was widely feared among his enemies. He once had to face an enormous clay golem in combat. The golem saw Thor, and promptly pissed itself so hard it melted. That's right. Thor is such a terrifying opponent that he caused a clay golem to grow an excretory system solely so it could piss itself in terror of him.
- Drop the Hammer: Mjölnir is one of the most well known examples.
- Dumb Muscle: To an extent, although in some stories he's got Hidden Depths, making it Obfuscating Stupidity.
- Fiery Redhead: Hot-blooded and red-haired, with those two traits being linked together by the Norse.
- Golem: If you read the Prose Edda closely, you will find that Thor is Odin´s oldest son, and that he is the "son of Earth". Whether Odin actually made him of earth, is a moot point, but the text can easily be read like that.
- Happily Married: To Sif, who we know little about.
- Hot-Blooded: It doesn't take much to set Thor off on a smashing rampage.
- Let's Get Dangerous!: In a couple of stories, he is surprisingly clever; he even outwits Odin once.
- Mutual Kill: Against Jormungandr.
- Protectorate: He is the Friend of Humans and Protector Of Midgard, titles he received for his role in defending Midgard, the human world, from giants. He's also the god of order, in direct contrast to Odin.
- Red Is Heroic: Thor was notedly a Fiery Red Head and a great hero to the Norse.
- Sensitive Guy and Manly Man: Thor is the Manly Man, being a very Blood Knight-y kind of guy, compared to the more Genre Savvy Sensitive Guy Loki.
- 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.)
- Spared by the Adaptation: Thor was so popular, he essentially survived the transition to Christianity and had new stories connected to him for several hundreds of years. Thus, he is the hero of a "Just So" Story telling of how he made a famous mountain pass in Norway. Also a case of Adaptation Displacement, as a church features prominently in the narrative.
- 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.
TýrA 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. Known as "the one-handed god".
- 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 were written for the ruling classes who favored Odin this is not surprising.
- And according to Roman sources, in many earlier forms of Germanic mythology, Týr was actually the Top God (or at least shared that status with Odin). In fact, etymologically, his name shares its root with the names "Deus" and "Zeus", as well as the word "deity".
- Disabled Deity: He sacrificed his arm to bind Fenrir.
- Everybody Hates Ares: Averted, he's seen as a just and compassionate god (as gods of war go), and who willingly sacrificed one of his hands to bind the great wolf Fenris, something none of the other Norse gods were willing to do. Most Norse gods have some kind of warrior aspect, and they all avert this to varying degrees (while Tyr may not be as popular as, say, Thor in his warrior aspect, he's not outright hated).
- 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. Almost every Norse god was a War God, so they had to specialize.
VíðarrVidarr is the son of Odin by Gríðr, 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 Víðarr 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. He is also known as the "Avenger of the Gods".
- 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: The Silent God.
- 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.
VáliA 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 Höðr and later helps the other Æsir capture Loki. Like his brother Víðarr, he ultimately survives Ragnarök.
- Child by Rape: His equivalent in the Gesta Danorum is explicitly so, and other sources also imply as much about him.
- Enfant Terrible: He murders his half-brother barely a day after being born.
- One Steve Limit: Averted; one of Loki's sons by his wife Sigyn is also named Váli.
- Revenge: Exists for this very purpose.
- Those Two Guys: With Víðarr
FreyjaMostly 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)
- Action Girl: Commanded the Valkyries and provided patronage to female warriors.
- Amazon Brigade: Her Valkyries.
- Animal Motifs: Cats and Pigs
- All Witches Have Cats: The ur-example.
- Body to Jewel: Her tears would eventually turn to gold.
- Chickification: The majority of fiction based on Norse Mythology ignores her Action Girl aspects and the fact that she was associated with seidr, making her a witch-goddess too by logic, instead only showing her as a Love Goddess.
- Full-Boar Action: Had a pet boar that she often used as a mount (or to draw her chariot) for battle.
- Good Bad Girl: Despite her wantonness, she was of benevolent nature.
- Hair-Trigger Temper: When Loki tells her that Thrym will only return Mjölnir if she marries him she is so angry that whole of Asgard shakes from her tantrum.
- Hot Witch: She was the goddess of seidr, a type of Norse magic. And was noted to be extremely attractive.
- I Have Many Names: She gave a different name for herself in every nation she searched for her husband Oder in.
- Love Goddess: Freyja is to the Aesir what Aphrodite was to the Olympians.
- 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.
- Slut-Shaming: Subverted in the Lokasenna, where Loki attempts to slut shame Freyja, only for her father Njord to defend her by saying that there is nothing wrong with a married woman having a lover. Said lover in question happened to be Freyr.
- Really Gets Around: In a Never Live It Down moment, she slept with four dwarf siblings in the course of a night in exchange for a necklace she wanted, though this particular story, is very likely a Christian addition, making it yet another early case of demonization by slanderous Slut-Shaming... That said, she really did get around alot.
FreyrFreya'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: Usually pigs but also horses.
- 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 Gun: 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.
- Combo Platter Powers: His domains include light, sunshine, rain, growth and the fruits of the earth, the livestock, all forms of fertility, pleasure, peace and prosperity.
- Cool Boat: His ship Skidbladnir, described as the best of all ships. It is large enough to carry all the gods, can't be sunk, always sails the right direction with a gentle breeze and can be folded into his pocket.
- Demoted to Extra: He was one of the three main gods of the Norse pantheon and stood alongside Odin and Thor, and was actually more worshiped than Odin, however where Odin and Thor are well known names today Freyr is anything but.
- Decomposite Character: With the mythical danish king Frodi, both are sons of a man who was chosen as husband by his feet, both lived at the same time and where attributed with establishing the so-called Frodi-peace, and in general seems identical, nonetheless they are treated as different characters.
- The Good King: In Ynglinga-saga in which the gods are mortals, his reign is described as a peaceful era where everyone prospered.
- Multiple-Choice Past: Whether he and Freyja was born in Vanaheim and exchanged as a hostage following the Aesir-Vanir war, or was born in Asgard following the war, also regarding if Skadi or Njord's sister is their mother.
- Full-Boar Action: Had a boar made of gold by the dwarves, so detailed it even was covered in fur!
- Light 'em Up: Often associated with the sun and light, though Baldr seems to have replaced him as that in myths Hijacked by Jesus.
- Love at First Sight: To the Jotunn Gerdr, however also something of a deconstruction as it ends in his death and failure to save the universe at Ragnarok.
- Only Known by Their Nickname: It is often suggested that his original name was Yngvi, but was addressed so often as Freyr (Lord) out of respect that it eventually became the name most associated with him.
- Our Elves Are Better: Lord of the realm of the elves, Alfheim, and overall they were supposed to be like him.
- Pretty Boy: Not quite to the extent of Baldr, but he was said to be fair of face.
- With This Herring: Fought and killed Gerd's brother with an antler after giving up his sword.
BragiThe god of poetry, a son of Odin and the husband of Iðunn.
- The Bard: He's the god of bards essentially.
- Dirty Coward: Is called this by Loki in Lokasenna, it is unclear if there is truth to this accusation.
IðunnBragi's wife and the keeper of the golden apples that the gods use to maintain their immortality. The Æsir'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 Iðunn's apples to stay young.
- Noodle Incident / Missing Episode: Iðunn's brother was killed (Loki blames it on Bragi) but the story has unfortunately not survived.
- Our Elves Are Better: Is said to be the youngest daughter of the Elf Isvaldi's eldest set of children, and is thus of Elfin kin.
NjörðrA god of the wind, wealth, sea, sailors and fishing. He is the father of Freyr and Freyja and was sent to the Æsir from the Vanir as a hostage at the end of the Æsir-Vanir war.
- Arranged Marriage: With the giantess Skaði. 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.
- Blow You Away: He directed the way the wind blew.
SkaðiA giantess who is counted among the Æsir due to her (failed) marriage to Njörðr. She was allowed to choose a husband from the Æsir, but was only allowed to see their feet, resulting in her choosing Njörðr. Goddess of hunting, winter and skiing.
- Avenging the Villain: She originally came to the Æsir seeking revenge for her father, Þjassi. Considering that he kidnapped Iðunn and tried to deprive the gods of their immortality, it's surprising that the gods treated her as well as they did.
- Archenemy: To Loki. Of course, Loki is responsible for the death of her father.
- 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.
HeimdallThe 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.
- Archenemy: To Loki.
- Covert Pervert: Guess whose idea it was to dress Thor in drag?
- Extra Parent Conception: Has an unusual Origin Story, in some versions just appearing fully formed from the sea but in others being born to each of the sea god's daughters, of whom there were nine (one for each wave in a cycle). He may or may not also have a father in Odin.
- Has Nine Mommies: See Extra Parent Conception.
- Hyper Competent Side Kick: To Odin.
- Light Is Good: He represents the benefits of fire.
- Mutual Kill: With Loki.
- The Rival: To Loki.
- Super Senses: He can see everywhere in the world.
- Triple Shifter: He almost never leaves his post.
Vili and VéOdin'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 Hænir and Lóðurr. Lóðurr is likewise subject to Chuck Cunningham Syndrome, whereas Hænir is mentioned a few more times (see below).
HænirAnother one of Odin's brothers, who according to the Völuspá assisted him in the creation of humanity along with Lóðr. He is mentioned as having been sent to the Vanir as a hostage at the end of the Æsir-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.
- The Ditherer: He passes all important decisions on to others. "Let others decide" is his Catch Phrase while with the Vanir.
- 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 Njörðr, 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.
KvasirA god created from the saliva of all the Æsir 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.
- The Bard: The original one, in-story.
- Multiple-Choice Past: Ynglinga saga dispenses with his origin of being created from saliva and instead just makes him one of the Vanir who was traded as a hostage to the Æsir at the end of their war.
- Sacrificial Lamb: He only really features in the story where he gets killed.
- Superhuman Transfusion: Anyone drinking the mead made from his blood would gain a measure of his wisdom.
Sunna and MániThe 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 Alsviðr. 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...
- Light Is Good: Though only Sunna's shield Svalin stands between good light and a fiery inferno that would destroy the world. And, well, if Sunna is actually Freyja...
Loki and Prominent Family Members
LokiThe 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. Also known as "the sly god" and "father of the wolf".
- Adaptational Villainy: Mostly occurred due to later writers missing that there are two distinctly different entities in Norse mythology named Loki and then further conflating the stories and linking them incorrectly, creating even more confusion. On top of that, some of the myths written later appear out of nowhere and contradict the earlier versions. For example, in the original form of the myth about Baldur's death Loki is never even mentioned, let alone involved. There is also no reason to believe there was ever a standard canon, let alone one that synced up understandings across different population centers. A major theme of Loki in the recorded stories seems to be that 'it is dangerous to let someone into your kinship group who might cause trouble, even if he's useful and you like him a lot.' This is unlikely to have been part of his original conception.
- Alternative Character Interpretation: Some researchers have theorised that he was originally another aspect of Odin, while a more popular theory is that Loki is the same as Lóðurr, as Loki is often mentioned along with Odin and Hænir in many tales and it would also explain why Lóðurr is never mentioned again. Some experts say that the benevolent Lóðurr 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.
- Archenemy: Not of Thor but of Heimdall and Skadi, the later because he caused the death of her father Thjazi. Thor might have killed him, but it was Loki who started the fight that lead to his death. Of course, who's idea was it to let a snake drip poison in the eyes of Loki?
- Badass Mustache: Certain old depictions of Loki show him with a mustache that resembles that of another character. Also, some of the (belived) viking age depictions of his face features a mustache.
- Big Bad Slippage: The Ur-Example as he started off as just a trickster but eventually became greatest enemy to the Aesir.
- 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.
- Cain and Abel: To Odin, his bloodbrother.
- 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.
- Evil Redhead: Mostly as part of his equivalency with Satan by Christians, but he is often portrayed as a redhead as well as an evil, malicious soul, contrasting the noble or but redheaded Thor.
- Extreme Omnisexual: He's done it with men, women, giants, monsters 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. Modern depictions often glosses over this, but there have been some depictions found of a face with it's mouth sewn shut which are often taken as depictions of Loki.
- Fiery Redhead: Not as much as Thor, but he has his moments.
- 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.
- 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, after the death of Angrboða, Loki eats her heart and becomes pregnant. These tellings differ on whether the pregnancy results in the birth of either Hel or the first trolls.
- Odin accuses Loki of having given birth to many sons.
- In one country, stories of Loki having children in female form were so common that it was accepted practice for men without mothers to claim their father had driven their mother off in disgust after learning "she" was actually the shapeshifted Loki.
- 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 Lóðr/Lódurr, another name for Odin's biological brother Ve, which means burning.
- Really Gets Around: The myths aren't shy about the fact that, even by the standards of the Aesir, Loki likes to have sex with people. In a variety of forms.
- 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.
- Shapeshifting Squick: Loki's seduction of Svadilfari aside, there's the stories of his pregnancies, and the aforementioned stories of motherless men claiming their father drove their mother away in disgust upon realising she was actually Loki in disguise.
- Sissy Villain: Part of what identifies Loki as the "bad guy" of the Nordic mythos? He's a slender, effeminate-looking man who relies on trickery and magic over courage and forthrightness, as well as a bisexual who enjoys being penetrated so much he willingly turns into a woman for it, happily accepting pregnancy as acceptable in exchange for the pleasure.
- Trickster: One of, if not THE, most famous examples.
- Troll: Loki loves to make people mad and cause trouble just for the sheer hell of it. He thinks it's great fun to piss people off.
- The Vamp: Loki shapeshifts into a mare and uses all his marely charms to seduce the stallion Svadilfari in order to save Asgard from a debt the Aesir didn't want to pay.
- Vitriolic Best Buds: To Odin and Thor
- Voluntary Shapeshifter: At last count, he's taken the form of a fly, a flea, a hawk, a salmon, a horse, and a woman - the latter multiple times.
- Woobie, Destroyer of Worlds: He was, originally, a decent guy. The serfs were particularly fond of him. But after the dwarves sewed his lips shut (after he managed to trick them out of chopping his head off), the other Gods laughed at him, and he began to plot his revenge.
AngrboðaLoki’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 Angrboða’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.
- 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 Angrboða 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’ Angrboða 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 Angrboða 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.
- Contemporary artists tend to depict her with black hair and in dark clothing
FenrirLoki and Angrboða's first son, sometimes also called Vanargandr (the monster of the river Ván), Hróðvitnir (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."
- Canis Major: His mouth is said to be so large that his upper jaw hits the sky!
- Decomposite Character: It is possible that Garmr and Skoll were other names for Fenrir but Snorri wrote them as separate characters.
- The Dreaded: The Aesir, Odin in particular, fear him and his destiny.
- 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 "Hróðvitnisson" (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.
JormungandrLoki and Angrboða'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.
- 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.
HelLoki and Angrboða's only daughter, the last of their three children, and sometimes described as having been born from Loki himself after he ate Angrboða's heart. 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 four afterlives (possibly even more). Those who die in battle go to Valhalla and Folkvagnr to prepare for Ragnarok. Those who drown belong to Ran. 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 Níðhöggr 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 .
SigynLoki’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.
- Bureaucratically Arranged Marriage: It is sometimes implied that Loki married Sigyn after he became Odin’s blood brother as a way of establishing his position in Asgard. The results of the marriage vary: in some versions it was a Perfectly Arranged Marriage, while in others not so much.
- Hair of Gold, Heart of Gold: Most depictions of her show her to be blonde. She was also a very sympathetic character.
- Heroines Want Redheads: Loki was traditionally depicted as being a redhead.
- Honor Before Reason: Stays by Loki’s side and in some versions of their story, endures verbal abuse from him instead of leaving him to return to Asgard.
- Incorruptible Pure Pureness: Talk about devotion...
- Love Martyr: Sigyn is not blind to Loki’s flaws. In some versions he wouldn’t exactly go out of his way to be kind to her either and he certainly didn’t care to be loyal to her.
- May–December Romance: She is often described as being significantly younger than Loki.
- Proper Lady: Is depicted in most renaissance artwork as one.
- Second Love: In some versions of traditional lore she is this to Loki when Angrboða dies.
- Undying Loyalty: To Loki
NarfiThe 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.
ValiVáli 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.
- Disproportionate Retribution: Like his brother, he was punished for his father's crimes, not having actually done anything himself. He was turned into to a wolf and forced to kill his own brother.
- I'm a Humanitarian: Very nearly devoured his brother.
- Our Werewolves Are Different: The reason he became a wolf was because the gods turned him into one.
- We Hardly Knew Ye: Very Little is known of him other than his role in killing Narfi.
- What Happened to the Mouse?: Mention of him after he rips his brother apart as a wolf completely stopped.
AegirKing and personification of the sea, he was married to the sea-goddess Ran with whom he had nine daughters who personified the waves. He tought Viking Vifilsson of Bornholm how to make dragonships. He is also known as Hler or Gymir.
- Anthropomorphic Personification: Of the sea.
- Blue and Orange Morality: More so than most other characters. He can be very helpful, he is sociable and is on good terms with the gods, and does seem to have some sort of idea of right and wrong, but whatever wrong is it doesn't include sinking ships and brewing mead on human blood.
- Cruel and Unusual Death: Subjugates his grand-nephew Snio to this by having him eaten by lice, because Snio asked him how he would die.
- Happily Married: With Ran.
- Making a Splash: He is king of the sea, this is mandatory.
- Sibling Yin-Yang: He have two brothers Logi who personifies fire, and Kari who personified wind.
SurtrThe 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.
- BFS: Laevteinn.
- Canon Immigrant: Some believe he first got his start from Iceland, being based off the volcanic activity around there, through this is being disputed by other experts who believe him to be a very old concept. A typical YMMW-case.
- Cool Sword: Laveteinn, which is a Flaming Sword
- Depending on the Writer: His Flaming Sword. Sometimes, it was always it, but has no name, others it's Laveteinn and again always his, or Laevteinn used to belong to Loki and he somehow got it, or it's the sword Freyr gave away (though neither the last two explain how the sword grew for a Fire Giant to wield it).
- Evil Is Burning Hot: He's the entity who annihilates the entire universe, simply For the Evulz. So, naturally, he's a giant made out of fire.
- 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.
- Large and in Charge: He's the king of all Fire Giants
- 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.
- Our Giants Are Bigger: He represents the "face" of the Fire Giants, the giants of fire, flame and magma who will ultimately destroy everything.
- Playing with Fire: What else would you expect for the king of the Fire Giants?
ThrymA 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.
- And Now You Must Marry Me: Demands Freya as his bride in exchange for Thor's magical hammer, Mjölnir.
- 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-LokiNot 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 Þjalfi'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 Mjölnir is just leaves hitting him, and whose gloves are the size of a house.
ThjassiThjassi is a giant who resided in Þrymheimr and often took the form of a large eagle. He once kidnapped the goddess Iðunn, cutting the gods off from their source of immortality, the golden apples Iðunn picked. Iðunn is eventually rescued thanks to Loki's efforts and Thjassi is killed. Thjassi's daughter Skaði later marries Njörður as a compensation for her father's death.
- An Offer You Can't Refuse: He forces Loki to assist him in his scheme to capture Iðunn.
- Feathered Fiend: Being able to shapeshift into an eagle did not make him any less of a monster.
- Kick the Son of a Bitch: He uses some sort of power to prevent Odin, Hænir 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.
LogiThe 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 Ægir and Kári.
- Anthropomorphic Personification: Of fire.
- Big Eater: He not only bests Loki in an eating contest, he does so on the technicality that he devours everything on his side of the divide; meat, gravy, bones, wooden trencher and all.
- Meaningful Name: Logi literally means "flame", and also suits him given his role as Loki's opponent.
- Sibling Yin-Yang: His brothers are Ægir, god of the sea, and Kári, a god of wind.
GlóðThe 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).
- Playing with Fire: Given the meaning of her name and the names of her daughters with Logi, this is a given.
- Rouge Angles of Satin: Often incorrectly associated with Loki instead of Logi.
YmirThe 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 Eitr, 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!
HrungnerA 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
Horik IronheadA nasty half-giant who tries to force the Swedish princess Hunvor to marry him.
- Cool Sword: Angervadil, inscribed with Runic letters, which glowed in time of war and could even kill giants.
- David vs. Goliath: His duel with Viking.
- Dirty Coward: He has Nigh-Invulnerability, but when Viking shows up he carries the sword Angervadil. The sword in question originally belonged to a brother of Horik and when he sees the sword he says he would never accepted the duel with Viking if he had known he had the sword. This is depite he being half giant and facing a 17 year old boy. However his honor dictates he can't back out of an accepted challange and has to fight Viking in an honest fight and is cleaved in half.
- Nigh-Invulnerability: He can't be killed with ordinary weapons.
- Stalker with a Crush: Towards Hunvor.
- Theme Naming: His brother in law Jokul is called Ironback.
ValkyriesThe 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.
- Amazon Brigade: They're all female.
- Animal Motifs: The valkyries are associated with birds.
- Grim Reapers: They were responsible for gathering the souls of slain warriors for Odin and Freyja's halls. In some versions of the myths, they were more proactive than usual for this trope, actively arranging for worthy warriors to get killed so that they could harvest their souls.
- Ladies of War: They're all female, but they're also bold, fearless warriors and skilled tacticians.
- Old Soldier: The type of people they are looking for.
- Psychopomp: They choose the slain to be taken to Odin or Freyja's halls to prepare for Ragnarok.
- "Ride of the Valkyries"
- War Is Glorious: The spiritual embodiment of this entire concept.
- Warrior Heaven: The people they take go here.
- The Wild Hunt: Led by Odin.
- Wolverine Publicity: Mostly thanks to Wagner.
NornsThe multi-species group of women who oversee Fate and tend the World Tree Yggdrasill. While Urðr, Verðandi and Skuld, who determine how long people live, are the main ones, there are reputed to be many more working with them.
- Our Giants Are Bigger: Urðr, Verðandi and Skuld were said originally to be giantesses.
- Psychopomp: According to Snorri Sturluson, Skuld rode out with the Valkyries to decide fights and take the slain.
- Wolverine Publicity: The idea that there are other norns apart from Urðr, Verðandi and Skuld has been largely forgotten in modern popular culture.
- You Can't Fight Fate: The fates the norns decided could not be averted.
ThjalfiA 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.
- Badass Normal: When you can hang with the god of thunder you know you're this.
- Did You Just Punch Out Cthulhu?: One story has him easily killing Mokkerkalfe, the giant made from magically animated clay, nine leagues wide across the chest.
Hati and SköllThe 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.
- Animalistic Abomination: Like their father, they're gargantuan lupine monsters who will kill and devour the Anthropomorphic Personification of the sun and the moon.
- Decomposite Character: Possibly the case with Sköll, which may or may not just be another name for Fenrir.
- Hell Hound: What better term is there for gargantuan wolves out to eat the sun and moon?
- I Have Many Names: Invoked with Hati; he has the mock lastname "Hróðvitnisson" (son of fame wolf) and "Måna-Garmr" meaning "Moon-wolf".
- Meaningful Name: Hati means "the one who hates" or "enemy" and Sköll means Treachery.
- Those Two Guys: They're never mentioned seperately.
- Wolves Always Howl at the Moon: Now you know why.
GarmHel'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.
- Angry Guard Dog: The guard dog of Hel.
- Hell Hound: Or Hel Hound as the case may be.
- Mutual Kill: With Tyr.
NíðhöggrOne of the oldest beings in Norse myth, Níðhöggr is a dragon who has existed since creation. It emerged from the Etir, a mysterious and highly poisonous substance (it's Etir from Jörmungandr that kills Thor) 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.
- Arch-Enemy: To the enormous eagle Hraesvelgrnote at the top of the World Tree that it will fight during Ragnarok. Rattatosk, a squirrel, sends messages between the two.
- Eldritch Abomination: Is typically described in these sorts of terms. The simple fact that he encompasses Yggdrasil's entire root system, and has the power to unmake creation, is a bit of a tip off that we aren't dealing with anything normal here.
- The End of the World as We Know It: He plays a major role in and is a portent of Ragnarok.
- Enemy to All Living Things: His main purpose is to destroy the world tree Yggdrasil.
- Götterdämmerung: Possibly the original Ragnarok's strongest player, which is generally not good for anyone else.
- Heel–Face Turn: At least one version states that he turns good after Ragnarok.
- Karma Houdini: Völuspá ends with a description of Níðhöggr, with a corpse in his jaws, flying through the air. And this comes after the description of the new world after the resurrection of Baldr.
- Names to Run Away from Really Fast: Its name means "Malice-striker". He is also refered to as "the dragon of the gloom".
- Omnicidal Maniac / Necessary Evil: One interpretation of his reasons for eating the roots of the World Tree is that he's actively trying to tear it down, though another is that he's a Necessary Evil so the roots won't overgrow.
- Our Dragons Are Different: Our dragons are ancient, evil beings who seek the end of creation.
- World Tree: Gnaws at the roots.
AudhumblaThe 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.
- Everything's Better with Cows: Directly responsible for nourishing all life in the early days of creation, creating the gods and, by extension, leading to the creation of humanity.
- What Happened to the Mouse?: After Odin kills Ymir, and creates the world from him, Audhumbla just disappears from the myths. One can assume she drowned with most of the jotun.
The Legendary Heroes
SigurdThe heroic dragonslayer who with the aid of his fosterfather Reginn and ancestor Odin slew Fafnir and got the girl. But, because people can act like figurative dragons he was slain in his bed by a boy, manipulated by his brothers in law.
- The Dragonslayer: Through not the only one, the most notable example in Norse mythology.
- Cool Sword: Gram
- Genre Savvy: Sigurd does not tell Fafnir his name because then he did not want the dying dragon to curse him.
- The Hero Dies: Killed due to jealousy, which in it self was brought upon by greed.
- Ideal Hero: Subverted, actually. Sigurd ambushes Fafnir and strikes him hidden from below. He does not even tell Fafnir his name. This out of pure pragmatism and he is really:
- The Kirk: He acts like a decent enough guy and otherwise only resorts to violence when attacked, like by Reginn.
- Speaks Fluent Animal: After drinking Fafnir's blood. The bird's then warn him of Reginn's betreyal.
- World's Best Warrior: And he is murdered in his bed.
Bodvar BjarkiThe champion of king Hrolf Kraki. Possibly, a variation of the Beowulf story, but not certain.
- Animorphism: Prince Bjorn is turned into a were-bear, and while under that spell begets Bodvar Bjarki. Much later, in the Battle of Hleidragard, Bödvar Bjarki's spirit charges into battle as a giant bear.
- Alternate Continuity: If his legend share it's origin with Beowulf, it would be a case of an alternative telling of his story.
- The Berserker: Bödvar Bjarki turns into a bear in the final battle at the end of Hrolf Kraki's Saga.
- Last Stand: When he is overrun by Skuld's army of criminals and monsters, he turns into a giant bear.
- Only the Chosen May Wield: Bödvar Bjarki's father Bjorn leaves his three sons three weapons struck into a wall of rock. When the sons later arrive to retrieve the weapons, everyone of them can only take the one weapon intended for him: Elk-Frodi a short-sword, Thorir Dogfoot a battle-axe; only Bödvar can pull out the most precious weapon, a longsword.
- Werewolf Theme Naming: Bodvar Bjarki reveals himself as a shape-changer at the Battle of Hleidragard: While Bodvar appears to sleep, his spirit fights in the shape a giant bear. Interpreted literally, 'Bodvar Bjarki' means 'Little Battle-Bear'.
Viking VifilssonThe grandson of Logi and the first viking, born on Bornholm.
- All There in the Manual: You have to read both Thorsten Vikingsson's Saga and Frithiof's Saga to connect all the dotes of his story. You would not realise the point of &A Elig;gir giving him the ship Ellida, if you don't know &A Elig;gir is Viking's uncle.
- Avenging the Villain: Viking kills the halfgiant Horik Ironhead, a Stalker with a Crush who tried to force Hunvor to marry him using threats of violence. He then has to deal with his nasty siblings, who curses him with disease, invades Hunvor's lands, kills her father and sends their berserker inlaw to kill him.
- Chastity Couple: Won't marry Hunvor until they are 20, giving his enemies time to kidnap her.
- Cool Sword: Angervadil, inscribed with Runic letters, which glowed in time of war and could even kill giants.
- David vs. Goliath: His duel with Horik Ironhead. Horik had Nigh-Invulnerability, but Angervadil took away this advantage over him
- Duel to the Death: First with Horik Ironhead, later with Horik's brother in law Jokul Ironback.
- Heroic Lineage: The grandson of Logi. Also, becomes a legendary ancestor of two other heroes.
- Heterosexual Life-Partner: To Halfdan, his best friend.
- Meaningful Name: Like the raiders that have him as their namesake, his name means "One of the inlet".
- Romantic Wingman: To Halfdan, so he can marry Hunvor's maid Ingeborg.
- Blood Knight: This guy is actually called "Wartooth". He wanted to die in battle to go to Odin in Valhalla and started a war with Sigurd Ring, a kinsmen of his, leading to the apocalyptic battle of Bråvalla. At this point he could not stand and was partly blind, so they tied him to a chariot so he could charge his enemy. It did not stop until a servant of his thought the king had earned enough glory (or just realised what sort of lunatic he dealt with) and clubbed him to death. Another version has it that Odin himself came down and personally killed Harald.