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Pronunciation : Oh-dinn

(Norse Deity)ODIN

Also known as ALL-FATHER, GANGLERI, GANGRAD, HERJAFODR, ODINN, OTHINN, VAK, VALTAM, WODEN, WOTAN
In a nutshell ...
Norse God of : Wisdom, War, Battle, Death, Magic, Poetry, Prophecy, Hunting, Shapeshifting
Attributes : Gungnir
Hall : Valhalla
Mount : Sleipnir

The poetic wisdom seeking sorceror prophet God of war and hunting - Chief God of the Norse Pantheon.

Known in Anglo Saxon as Woden, with the emphasis on the first syllabul — 'Wod' means mad and i can see where they are coming from, he was a bit of a loose cannon from the get-go.

Odin was one of three brothers born of Bor and Bestla, along with Vili and Ve. They got together at the beginning of time and mullered Ymir, their grandad, used the bits for a spot of creative world building then made the first two humans from beach driftwood. Afterwards the two V's mooched off into the background and pretty much left Odin to it.

He married Frigg but in true God style wasn't shy of putting it about and also got Rind and Jord in the family way. An impressive list of offspring includes Thor, Vali, Vidar, Balder, Hod and Hermod, and thats just the ones we're sure of.

Enlisting the help of Huginn and Muninn to circumnavigate the universe everyday and report back with gossip was just the beginning of a quest to become the 'all knowing' but knowledge wasn't cheap.

Odin spent three nights with the giantess Gunnlod just to get close enough to nab the mead of inspiration, freshly squeezed from the body of Kvasir but thats nothing compared to the time he spent hanging upside down from Yggdrasil. Using a spear he sacrificed himself to himself then hung upside down for nine days and nights just to clap eyes on the runes then, revitalised having absorbed the knowledge of the mystic stones, he headed for Mimirs well.

Mimir drove a hard bargain, demanding one of Odins eyes for a single glimpse at the wisdom of ages which seems a bit like giving up one of your legs to become a footballer. As it turns out, you had to sip from the well to gain the benefit and as Odin was thirsty for knowledge he gladly handed over the eye. In fact, Odin was always thirsty for everything. He never touched a drop of food and only ever drank wine at meal times. It's a wonder he had the strength to torture himself.

Sitting on Hlidskjalf, his throne at the great hall of Valhalla where he pampers the bravest half of those slain in battle, he casts his one remaining good eye over the nine worlds. He loved to slip into wide rimmed hat mode to mingle with the mortals in Midgard, especially the women folk, who often found themselves pregnant for one reason or another, and while i wouldn't dream of questioning the claims of mortals there seems to be an awful lot of females who are able to trace their ancestry back to Odin rather than a travelling salesman!

Wife : "Erm.. honey-bun, i'm pregnant again."

Husband : "Pregnant? But we haven't had sex for nine years!"

Wife : "Yeah, it was Odin, said he needed a son for something important!"

What could you say, really?

As the Norse top god he's had some pretty impressive offerings handed to him down the ages, with Draupnir a magical golden ring, Gungnir the evertrue spear, and an eight legged horse called Sleipnir, courtesy of Loki, being three of his favourites.

Due to his unpredictable and often aggresive behaviour he became particularly popular with a group of crazed bear skin clad war loons who called themselves the Berserkers, but, unsuprisingly, Odin wasn't a popular choice when it came to naming the children after Gods. Apparently he was a little too close to death for comfort.

Family Tree ...
Parents : Bestla and Bor
Siblings : Vili and Ve
Spouse : Frigg
Offspring : Thor (by Jord), Vidar (by Grid), Vali (by Rind), Balder, Hod, Hermod (by Frigg),
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'ODIN' - Norse database entry - 19 Nov 2007
Page last modified on 25 Aug 2010
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