History · Literature · Mythology · Norse Myths · religion · Scandinavia · Vikings

10 Things You Didn’t Know About The Norse Gods

Here are ten details you might not know about the Norse gods.

Sources: the Poetic and Prose Eddas and Dr Jackson Crawford.

10. Loki is the transgender son of the giantess Laufey.

9. Odin is an anxiety ridden figure obsessed with the impossible task of avoiding his doom at Ragnarok.

8. Balder is murdered by his blind brother Hodr and is the only man known to escape Hel’s underworld realm. He resurrects after Ragnarok.

7. Heimdall fathered the race of Man and its social classes by sleeping with women of different casts.

6. The Aesir created the race of the Dwarves from maggots squirming in the porto-being Ymir’s carcass.

5. The doors to Hel‘s sorrowful hall face the sunless north.

4. “Odin” literally translates as The Mad One. Mad, meaning both insane and angry.

3. The eye Odin lost to gain wisdom lays at the bottom of Mimir‘s well, fed by a muddy waterfall.

2. Freyja has a falcon skin that shape-shifts the wearer into a bird.

1. Loki is the only man known to transform into a woman and give birth. While in female form, he/she/they give(s) birth to a snake, a wolf cub, and a half-corpse baby girl. His children go on to become Jormungangr, the world serpent, Fenrir the wolf, and Hel, goddess of the underworld.



The Norse Gods are mortal. They live on because they eat Idunn’s enchanted, golden apples.

4 thoughts on “10 Things You Didn’t Know About The Norse Gods

    1. Surprising isn’t it? We think of gods as untouchable beings. Not these gods. It kind of makes them more vulnerable. More human. They are flawed in so many ways, and I guess that is part how people who worshiped them related to a certain deity over another.


  1. I knew Loki transformed into a mare to distract Svaðilfari and ended up pregnant, but isn’t Hel, Fenrir and Jormungandr a product of Loki and Angrboda’s coupling? How the hell did Loki end up giving birth to them?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Nick,
      This is where sources are vague and inconsistent. I went with Snorri’s Prose Edda poem called Hyndluljod, where Loki finds a half-cooked heart believed to belong to an evil woman (possibly the giantess Angrboda?) and becomes “seeded” or pregnant with the flagd, or monsters. Given how we know of Sleipnir, it isn’t unreasonable to assume the monsters refer to his 3 other children: Fenrir, Hel, and Jormungandr.
      There’s definitely room for interpretation, though.


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