Basic Guide to Norse Mythology

Odin the Allfather facing Fenrir the wolf in Ragnarok. As prophecy, Ragnarok was the doom of the gods. And in Ragnarok, the Powerful Odin fell.

If you are a newbie to Norse mythology, you might find it hard to know what is the flow of Norse mythology. Yes, it is true that Norse mythology is complicated to understand the flow. But once you get it, you like it. To make it easy to understand, we shall split it into three phases. So here is the basic guide to Norse Mythology.

Phase I: Creation

Norse cosmos started when the ice from Niflheim (land of ice) met the lava from Muspelheim (land of fire). And Ymir was born from the Norse Big Bang. He was the first giant in cosmos. Odin was the second generation of the god. He was the son of Bor the first god in the cosmos. Odin and his brothers managed to kill Ymir the first giant. And maybe this was where the hatred of the two tribes began.

Basic guide to Norse Mythology
War of Gods

The sweat of Ymir then evolved into the giant – the tribe that became sworn enemy of gods. The worms from Ymir became the dwarves – the most talented craftsmen in the cosmos.

Odin and his brothers also created humanity out of two tree logs they found on the beach.

Phase II: Growth

The Norse world finally shaped. Yggdrasil the Great Tree of Life held Nine Worlds within its branches. Vahalla was on the top branches and following below were the other eight worlds.

Aesir gods held the most important parts of the story. There was other god tribe which was the Vanir gods.

Gods and giants hated each other. From the beginning, there was a prophecy that Fenrir the Wolf would finally kill Odin the Allfather. The cause of everything began from the children of Loki. Because of this, the gods set out to separate Loki’s children. Hel the daughter was brought to the underworld, Jormungand the Serpent into the ocean, and Fenrir up in Valhalla with gods.

Image of Loki

Hatred in Loki might begin when the gods attempted to destroy his family. Loki played a part of a hero and a villain in Asgard at the same time.

Loki then killed the son of Odin – Baldur. He was the son of Odin and Frigg the Queen of Asgard. Baldr was also the prince of Valhalla. The gods made Loki pay for this not only because of the death of Baldur but also because the death of Baldur was the first sign of Ragnarok.

Phase III: Destruction and Reborn

In any basic guide to Norse mythology, we definitely should mention Ragnarok the End of the Gods. Indeed, Ragnarok was never the Doom of the Cosmos.

Loki set himself free when the time finally came. Loki then called his sons to join his army to smash the gate Valhalla. Maybe deep inside Loki had declared eternal war on the gods.

Ragnarok happened as what was in the prophecy. Odin met his sworn enemy, Fenrir the Wolf. Odin the Allfather finally fell in the battle with his Sleipnir horse. Thor and Jormungand slew each other. Loki and Heimdall also killed each other. Surtr the giant finally killed Freyr the god of summer and fertility.

Basic guide to Norse mythology

The end of Ragnarok happened when Surtr wielded his sword setting the whole cosmos on fire. But it was just the end of the Norse Pantheon. There were survivors. Baldur the god came back to life to join the survivor group like Modi and Magni sons of Thor, Vidar, Hoenir, etc. Under the protection of the Yggdrasil tree, two humans survived and carried on to repopulate the world.

And life still carried on even though the Norse Pantheon collapsed. Although the gods finally devoted their life to the battle, their spirits still lived into the new world along with their offsprings.

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