Tag Archives: Santa Claus

Fun Facts About Norse Mythology – All Things Odin

It’s Wodensday, so this post is devoted to All Things Odin.

As is the case with most Norse myths and legends, it’s hard to pin Odin down.  He’s known by 200 different names, among them ‘All Father.’ A preeminent member of the Æsir and the ruler of Asgard, Odin was thought to be a seeker of wisdom.  In fact, legend has Odin sacrificing one of his eyes in exchange for a drink from Mimir’s Well of Wisdom.  Thereafter, he sought the services of two ravens, Huginn and Muninn. These ravens were to fly around the world and bring him information on what they saw and heard.  A pair of wolves, named Geri and Freki, accompanied him in his travels, because Odin was also a wanderer.  To complete this menagerie was an eight-legged horse, Sleipnir, which could leap great distances.

Odin had several places he stayed in Asgard, but the most notable was Valhalla, the hall of the slain.  Fallen warriors were entertained in Valhalla so they could battle on Odin’s behalf should the final battle (Ragnarök) come about. Odin was married to Frigga, and his most famous son was Thor.

Norse mythology predates Christianity, so many of the Norse pagan legends and symbols have been morphed, merged or co-opted over the years.  Did you know that Santa Claus is a merger of Odin and the Christian legend of Saint Nick? Back in the day, children would leave their shoes, filled with carrots or other edibles, near the chimney for Sleipnir to eat. In exchange, Odin would leave gifts or candy.

Of course for some authors (such as myself), the above-referenced information would be considered a jumping-off point, as it were. Hehehe.  ~ S.G. Rogers


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