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Norse Mythology. A Brief Overview of the Major Pantheon. Who Were the Norse?. They are sometimes called North Germanic. This included the Vikings . These stories are over a thousand years old. Sources. There are two major sources for Norse/Scandinavian Mythology

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norse mythology

Norse Mythology

A Brief Overview of the Major Pantheon

who were the norse
Who Were the Norse?
  • They are sometimes called North Germanic. This included the Vikings. These stories are over a thousand years old.
  • There are two major sources for Norse/Scandinavian Mythology
    • The Poetic Edda– 13th century, a written collection of poems that were passed down over generations. There is no one author, as this is a collection of minstrel poems.
    • The Prose Edda– 13th century, thought to be written by SnorriSturluson. He cites the Poetic Edda as a research source.
    • Other sources, many from SnorriSturluson.
    • Sources for presentation:, Gods and Heroes from Viking Mythology by Brian Branston, D’aulaires’ Book of Norse Myths, Finding Middle Earth: Tolkien’s Inspiration for The Lord of the Rings

The Norse divided the world into nine realms, all of which are located on Yggdrasil, the World Tree.

There are also animals around the tree:

An eagle sits atop the tree. He keeps watch over the tree with the assistance of a hawk who sits on his beak.

Image from Wikimedia Commons


2. At the base of the tree is Nidhogg, the dragon of destruction. He wants to destroy the tree.

3. Ratatosk, a busy squirrel, carries insults between Nidhogg and the hawk.

Image from


The tree is cared for by the Norns: Urd, Verdande, and Skuld. Like the Greek Fates, these immortal women spun the thread of life for men.

No one knows where the Norn came from, but everyone bows to their will, even the gods.

Image from Wikimedia Commons


Realm One: Asgard(Ásgarðr‘)

Home of the sky gods, called the Aesir(there are two groups of gods). Here Odin and Frigg rule over the gods.

Image from Wikimedia Commons


Realm Two: Álfheim.(Sometimes Liossalheim)

Home of the light elves, called Álfar.

Image from Wikimedia Commons


Realm Three: Vanaheim.(Vanaheimr)

Home of the gods known as Vanir. They are associated with the land, sea, fertility, wisdom, and seeing the future.

Image from Wikimedia Commons


Realm Four: Midgard.(Miðgarðr or “Middle Earth”)

Home of humans (Menn).

Image from Wikimedia Commons


Realm Five: Jotunheim.(Jötunheimr)

Home of the Frost and Rock Giants (called Jotun). These giants are often baddies to both Men and the Aesir.

Loki is a Jotun who became part Aesir.

Image from Wikimedia Commons


Realm Six: Svartalheim.(Svartálfaheimr/Niðavellir)

Home of the Dark Elves (dökkálfar), who later became the dwarves (Dvergar).

Image from Wikimedia Commons


Realm Seven: Hel

Home of the dead and corpses. There is a goddess there also named Hel, so the place is sometimes called Helheim.

English adopted this word for the Christian hell.

Image from Wikimedia Commons


Realm Eight: Niflheim

Realm of ice and cold, with nine frozen rivers. This realm is not always listed.

Realm Nine: Muspellheim

Realm of fire and heat, home of the fire giants (eldjötnar).

Image from Wikimedia Commons

the creation myth
The Creation Myth
  • Go to my website
  • Click on links
  • Open and read the creation myth
  • Be prepared for weirdness! YAY MAGICAL COWS!