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The Nine Worlds of Norse Mythology

Updated on January 14, 2015
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Features of Asgard

Asgard is divided into a number of realms contains the halls of the Gods, including:

Valhalla, the home of Odin and the Einherjar (the souls of those who died heroically in battle)

Thrudheim, the home of Thor where his hall, Bilskirnir, stands.

Breidablik, the home of Baldr

Fensalir, Frigg's home

Gladsheim, the Temple of the Gods

Vingolf, the Temple of the Goddesses

Himinbjorg, the hall of Heimdall

The Plain of Idavoll

Sessrumnir, Freya's hall in Folkvang

Valaskjalf, Odin's Hall

Ydalir, Ull's Hall

Other features include Bifröst, the rainbow bridge which divided Asgard from Midgard and Iving, the river between Asgard and Jutunheim which is "deadly cold but never freezes."

Valhalla, the Hall of the Slain

Valhalla is a glorious hall within Asgard, roofed in golden shields, wherein half of the Einherjar dwell (the other half are given to Freya). Valhalla is where the glorious dead spend their days battling in preparation for Ragnarok and their evenings feasting in the great halls.

Asgard: Home of the Æsir

Asgard was the land of the Gods, where the Æsir built their great halls. After creating Midgard for humanity, Odin and his brothers built Asgard atop a high mountain, wishing to fortify it and ensure that it should never be overthrown by the Giants that the Æsir should be able to devote their time to aiding humanity.

Claiming to know the intentions of the Gods, a stranger came to Asgard and offered to build them a great wall to protect the city. He asked in return for the sun, the moon, and the Vanir Freya as a bride should he be able to complete the wall in a year's time. Odin was furious at such a bold request, but Loki assured him that he would prevent the Giant from completing his work.

The Giant worked diligently during the day alongside his horse, Svadilfare, who hauled and laid stones at incredible speeds day and night. For this reason, Loki came one night to Svadilfare in the form of a mare as the horse prepared to carry up the final stone. Calling Svadilfare a slave and beckoning him to come and play in the fields, Loki lured away the great horse and the wall was left unfinished after the one year deadline had passed.

Within Asgard is the Plain of Idavoll where the Gods meet in council, the temple Gladsheim dedicated to the 12 Gods, and Vingolf to the 12 Goddesses, Valhalla, and the Well of Urd where the Gods meet daily.

Midgard, the Home of Mankind

Depicted as being in the middle of Yggdrasil (The World Tree) and surrounded by an impassable ocean wherein lives Jörmungandr, the Midgard Serpent.

Midgard was created by Odin and his brother from the remains of Ymir the Giant. From his flesh they made the land, his blood comprised the seas, and rocks from his bones. It is divided from the land of the Giants by a great wall, which was made from Ymir's eyebrows and from Asgard by Bifröst.

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Jotunheim

The barren, mountainous realm of Giants in Viking mythology. The stronghold of the Giants, Utgard, was within and the realm was ruled over by Thrym, king of the Frost Giants. Other locations in Jotunheim include Mimir's Well (where Odin obtained the Wisdom of the Ages), Gastropnir, the home of Menglad, and Thrymheim.

Did you know that there were Light and Dark Elves in Norse Mythology prior to reading this?

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Vanaheim, home of the Vanir

There is little description offered on Vanaheim in the sagas, only that it was the home of the Vanir. Even it's location is unclear. Some attest that it was most likely in the underworld, but as Freya and the other primary Vanir live among the Æsir in Asgard, their realm is rarely mentioned.

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Muspelheim

Home of the giant Sutr, Muspelheim is in the far south of the world and is the other primordial realm (along with Niflheim.) It is a land filled with fire and lava, serving as the home of the Fire Giants.

Niflheim,the Mist Home

One of the two primordial realms, Niflheim is ruled over by the Goddess Hel and is the realm of the dead (excluding the Einherjar.) It is located in the northern part of Ginnungagap (the gaping void), and was known to be the source of all cold waters in the world.

Nidavellir, the Dark Fields

Home of the Dwarves and ruled by Hreidmar, Nidavellir. A land of underground caverns wherein dwelled the greatest craftsmen in the world. From Nidavellir came many powerful objects, such as Myöllnir and Gungnir.

Alfheim, Hall of the Light Elves

Alfheim was home of the Light Elves and was next to Asgard. It is mentioned only twice in known Old Norse literature, but the Light Elves are "fairer to look upon than the sun" and are generally considered minor deities related to fertility, nature, and art.

Svartalfheim

Land of the Dark Elves who would turn to stone if exposed to sunlight, Svartalfheim was underground. These Dark Elves were said to plague humanity with nightmares and other troubles, and were as hideous as the Light Elves were beautiful.

I hope you enjoyed reading, and as always feel free to visit my home page for more names and places that are difficult to pronounce.

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