Mythology of the Norse God Odin

Mythology of the Norse God Odin

Here at Medieval Collectibles, we hope to help you learn about and give you a quick dive into the mythology surrounding the Norse God Odin. Also, we hope to give you an idea of an outfit you could wear if you wish to become this king of Asgard. Currently Odin is best known as the ruler of the Norse gods; however, during the Viking Age he was on equal footing with the other gods. This god’s name originated as Wodan, Woden, or Wutan, depending on the language. This original name gave the day Wednesday its name. In old English Wednesday was Wodnesdaeg, and currently in Dutch, Wednesday is Woensdag.  

Description and Attributes

In the myths, Odin was depicted as wearing a wide-brimmed hat and a blue cloak. He had a long beard and one eye. The god wields his spear called Gungnir. When it comes to his animal companions, Odin had quite a few. The eight-legged horse Sleipnir was Odin’s steed. Meanwhile, there were two ravens, Huginn and Muninn, that flew around Midgard and told Odin what was happening there. Huginn means thought, while Muninn means wisdom. There were also a pair of wolves that accompanied Odin. They were Geri and Freki.

Mythology of the Norse God Odin
Odin the Wanderer by George von Rosen, 1886

Family

When it comes to Norse mythology, the family of the god Odin varies slightly. The myths confirm that his wife is Frigg. However, depending on the source, there are multiple figures that are or are not his children. In the pre-Christian poetry, Odin has three children: Baldr, Thor, and Vali. Later sources add on Heimdall, Tyr, Bragi, Vidarr, and Hodr as his children in addition to the three just listed. The parents of Odin were Borr and the giant-daughter Bestla. Odin had two brothers that were usually named Vili and Ve.

Patronage and Worship

The areas that Odin had influence over were rather varied. His main roles were being King of Asgard and the god of war. Thus, he was an important deity for kings, clan leaders, and warriors. This was especially true due to his rule over Valhalla and the Valkyries. Valhalla was the location that half of the warriors that died in battle would end up in. The Valkyries were the warrior women who chose the souls and bring them to Valhalla.

However, in addition to being the god of war, Odin was also god of poetry and magic, known as seidr. His knowledge of poetry was partially due to his knowledge of runes. Thus, he was considered a wise and knowledgeable god. Therefore, he was important to rulers as well as poets. In addition, it was believed that Odin had a connection with the dead through the Wild Hunt. The Wild Hunt was a mythical army of the dead who rode on storms.

Myths

Many of the myths surrounding Odin focus on his knowledge or the pursuit of knowledge. Much of his knowledge is due to drinking from Mimir’s well which contained waters that had seeped from Yggdrasil, the World Tree. To drink from the well, he had to give up one of his eyes. Another myth involving Odin and the World Tree explains how Odin hung from the tree for 9 days and nights to learn runes. An additional myth tells how Odin acquired his poetic skills by stealing the mead of the skalds. A skald was the Norse term for a poet.

Part of the origin myth for the Norse cosmos relates that Odin with the help of his brothers slew the proto-giant Ymir and formed the world from Ymir’s body. However, at the battle at the end of the world, Ragnarok, Odin is predicted to die at the jaws of the creature Fenrir.        

Outfit Inspiration

When it comes to dressing up as this king of the Norse gods, we have a few suggestions. As the wielder of Gungnir, you should have a spear. If you are wanting a LARP spear, then you could carry LARP Viking Warrior Spear. However, if you want a real spear to wield, then the Viking War Spear may work better for you.

For the clothing of this god of war, then you could wear the Tronde Canvas Tunic with the Ketill Canvas Pants. To cover your head, you could wear the Ragi Fur Cap as its suits any Viking warrior, not just Odin. The Heinrich Ankle Boots are great for completing the initial Odin look. You can add on armour like the Berengar Ring Armour Set.

In addition, any Viking that wishes to have the might of Odin should wear accessories like the Canvas Hamond Arm Wraps and Leg Wraps. The Embossed Celtic Ring Belt with its knotwork pattern makes a great piece to wear around the waist with the Denarius Leather Pouch hanging from it. You can add the Viking Raven Pewter Necklace to complete the look and reference Odin’s ravens.

We hope that this post gives a quick look into the mythology of the Norse god Odin. While he is best known for being King of Asgard, there is a lot more to look at when it comes to looking at this god. He was a god of many talents beyond war.

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