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Who Were the Sons of Odin in Norse Mythology?

Updated on November 23, 2017

Odin.


Odin is often referred to as the Allfather by those who follow the Norse tradition. Odin is also the leader of the gods of the northern tradition. He is a wise god who often walks the earth looking for greater knowledge and understanding. Odin and his brothers Vili and Ve created the human race from the same slain giant that they created the world from.

Odin is wisdom and he is fated to die at Ragnorok with the other gods who make up his tribe. Until then he recruits the worthy to fight against the legions of Hel and Surtr at the end of time. Odin is attributed as having many children with many different women. Some are human, while others are born with Jotuns or other gods. He is very much an identical god to Zeus of the Greek mythology.

Both of these gods have a well documented love of women. Maybe being the chief sky god has a positive effect on your libido.


Odins runes
Odins runes

Thor.


Odin's most famous son is the thunder god, Thor.Thor is the champion of mankind and watches over the welfare of Midgard. Thor's mother was a giantess and Thor spends a lot of his time trying to destroy giants or best them in battle. Thor is destined to die at Ragnorak, but he will be survived by his two sons and his daughter. Thor is brave, noble and honourable. Thor will do what is right at the time and will do so in the best interests of all.

In some of his quests within the Norse sagas, he is accompanied in his adventures by Loki. These two gods have a mutual level of respect but are on occasional beings that fall out with one another.


Baldur, Hodur and Vidar.


Odin also has twin sons called Baldur and Hoor/Hodur. Baldur is the god of light, whilst his brother Hodur was a god who was born blind and so takes on the mantle of the god of night/darkness. Baldur is a much loved god in heathen worship and in the sagas, Loki becomes extremely jealous of him.

Loki engineers Baldur's death by finding the one natural object in the realms which did promise not to harm him. Loki found out that Mistletoe did not make the promise as it was deemed too young to be asked. Loki fashioned a dart from it and got Baldur's twin brother to throw it towards him during one of Asgard's many feasts. Baldur died instantly of the missile and went straight to Helheim. Baldur's wife Nanna died of a broken heart and joined her husband in the realm of Hel. Hoor was killed by his half brother Vidar as an act of revenge for slaying his twin.

Hermond and Bragi.


Hermond the swift is also another child of Odin and he is the god responsible for sending messages between the nine realms. When Baldur is killed, Hermond is dispatched to Helheim in a desperate attempt to try to get Baldur back from the realm of the dead. Hermond is the only god to have set foot in Helheim in living form and returned. Hermond is the equivalent of the gods Hermes/Mercury.

Odin also has another son and he was born to the giantess Gunloo. He is called Bragi. Bragi is the god of poetry and he was conceived during Odin's attempts to get back his treasured mead of inspiration. Bragi is the husband of the goddess Idunna. Bragi is effectively the storyteller of the northern gods and in Germanic traditions poets were highly regarded for their ability to weave words into destiny and to keep the tribe together.



Baldur with his wife Nanna visited by Hermond.
Baldur with his wife Nanna visited by Hermond. | Source


The sagas point to a number of other gods who may also be the offspring of Odin but the ones I have covered are universally recognised as his family. There are also tales of offspring with Human maidens, but these children do not compare with the stories of Zeus and his demigods.

Although in Dark Age warfare, many kings and nobles would boost of their bloodlines link to Odin, the Allfather. The Saxon house that the Queen of the United Kingdom belongs too, is said to have Odin as its founding father due to her German ancestry. Whether or not this is true, is subject to endless debate.

The problem we have is that a lot of the knowledge has been lost over time and it is a history that is unfortunately missing. It is something of a mystery that I cannot see us solving anytime soon.


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