Viking Gods and Norse Mythology Vocabulary

Stories of Norse mythology and the Viking gods were handed down from generation to generation orally. The few written records that survive from the time provide little information about the gods themselves. Most of the written information comes from historian Snorri Sturluson’s “Prose Edda” and an anonymously compiled collection of stories called the “Poetic Edda.’ Both of these make their first appearance in the 1200s, between 120 and 150 years after the Viking age had ended.

Aesir battle Jötnar
“Aesir v. Jötnar “, digital art by Glen Kratochvil, via Dall-E 2

Norse and Viking Gods

Aegir – Norse god of the sea. Husband to Ran, he lives under the water near the island of Hlesey.

Andvari (Alberich) – Guardian of treasure, including a cape of invisibility.

Annar – Father of Jörð (Mother Earth) by Nótt (the Night).

Baldur – Gentle and wise son of Odin and Frigg. Loki convinced Baldur’s blind brother Hod to shoot an arrow made from mistletoe, which killed Baldur. He will return after Ragnarok.

Bor – Son of Buri and father of Odin, Vili and Ve.

Bragi – Norse god of poetry and eloquence. Son of Odin and husband of Idun.

Buri – Ancestor of the Norse gods. The cow Audmula created Buri when it licked him from ice.

Day – Son of Night and Delling. Rides around the earth on his horse Skinfaxi.

Earth – Daughter of Night and Annar. Lover of Odin and mother of Thor. Also known as Fjorgyn and Jörð.

Eir – Goddess of healing.

Forseti – God of justice. Son of Baldur and Nanna.

Freyja – Main goddess of the Vanir. Daughter of Njord and sister of Freyr.

Freyr – Important god of the Vanir. Son of Njord and brother of Freyja.

Frigga – Main goddess. Wife of Odin and mother of Baldur.

Fulla – Goddess servant of Frigga.

Gefion – Fertility goddess. Associated with the plow. Tricked the king of Sweden out of a tract of his land.

Gullveig – A Vanir goddess, probably Freyja, who is burned three times by the Aesir.

Heimdall, Rig – Watchman of the Norse gods and owner of the horn Gjall. Son of nine mothers and the creator of three races of men.

Hel – ruler of Helheim, the realm of the dead

Hermod – Son of Odin. Rode to Hel in an attempt to rescue his brother Baldur.

Hod – Son of Odin. A blind god, who Loki tricked into killing his brother Baldur. He will return after Ragnarok.

Honir – Long-legged, indecisive god. Sent to the Vanir to seal the truce between them and the Aesir. He will survive Ragnarok.

Idun – Guardian of the golden apples of youth and wife of Bragi.

Jarnsaxa – Mother of Magni by Thor, Jarnsaxa is a  jötunn.

Kvasir – Wise poet created from the spittle of the Aesir and Vanir.

Lofn – Goddess of illicit unions.

Loki – Trickster god. Son of two giants. Also known as the Sly One, the Trickster, the Shape Changer and the Sky Traveler. Bound until Ragnarok.

Magni – Son of Thor and the giantess Jarnsaxa. Will inherit Thor’s hammer Mjollnir with his brother Modi after Ragnarok.

Mimir – Wise Aesir god. Sent to the Vanir to seal the truce between the two groups of the Norse gods. Killed by the Vanir, Odin keeps his head.

Modgud – Maiden guardian of the bridge over the river Gjoll in Jotunheim.

Modi – Son of Thor and the giantess Jarnsaxa. Will inherit Thor’s hammer Mjollnir with his brother Magni after Ragnarok.

Moon – Son of Mundilfari. Guides the moon on its course.

Nanna – Wife of Baldur and daughter of Nep.

Nari, Narvi – Son of Loki and Sigyn who was killed by his brother Vali.

Nep – Father of the goddess Nanna, son of Odin.

Night – Daughter of Narvi and mother of Day. Rides around the earth on her horse Hrimfaxi.

Njord – Vanir god associated with wind and sea. Husband of Skadi and father of Freyja and Freyr.

Norns – Three goddesses of destiny: Urd “fate,” Skuld “being” and Verandi “necessity.”

Od – Missing husband of Freyja, whom she constantly mourns.

Odin, Wodan, Woden, Wotan – King of the Norse gods. God of poetry, battle and death. Chief god of the Aesir. Also known as the all-father, alfather, terrible one, one-eyed and father of battle. Other aliases include Bolverk, Gangnrad, Grimnir and Harbard.

Ran – Wife of Aegir, who dragged drowning men into the sea with her net.

Rind – Goddess and lover of Odin. Mother of Vali.

Saga – Goddess and drinking companion of Odin.

Sif – Wife of Thor, whose golden hair was cut off by Loki.

Sigyn – Wife of Loki.

Sjofn – Goddess of human passion.

Skadi – Goddess of winter and of the hunt

Sun – Daughter of Mundilfari and guide of the sun.

Syn – Goddess of the accused at trial.

Thor – God of Sky, thunder and fertility. Associated with law and order in Asgard and guardian of the Norse gods. Son of Odin and Earth and husband of Sif. Also known as thunder god and charioteer.

Thrud – Daughter of Thor. Promised to the dwarf Alvis.

Tyr – War god. Son of Odin who sacrificed his hand in the binding of Fenrir.

Ull – God of archery and skiing.

Vali – Son of Odin and the giantess Rind. Conceived to avenge the death of Baldur.

Var – Goddess of marriage oaths.

Ve – Son of Bor and brother of Odin and Vili.

Vidar – Son of Odin and the giantess Grid, who will avenge Odin’s death after Ragnarok.

Vili – Son of Bor and brother of Odin and Ve.

Vor – Goddess who knows all.

Other Norse Mythology Vocabulary

Aesir – A group of warrior gods led by Odin who inhabit Asgard.

Bifröst – A shimmering, rainbow-colored bridge that reaches from Asgard to Midgard. Heimdall guards the bridge from the Jötnar. 

Einherjar – Band of dead warriors in Valhalla awaiting Ragnarok.

Hrimfaxi – Horse of the goddess Night.

Skinfaxi – Horse of the god Day.

Sleipnir – Eight-legged horse ridden primarily by Odin. Son of Loki, who changed into a mare, and the stallion Svadilfari.

Valhalla – An enormous hall where slain heroes feast with the Gods and do battle.

Valkyries – Beautiful women who carried dying warriors to Valhalla.

Vanir – Gods who inhabit Vanaheim.

Yggdrasil – The sacred ash tree, around which everything else exists.

This list of terms for Norse mythology and Viking gods is incomplete. It will be updated as we upload new blog posts.