Uniquely Cool Creatures from Norse Mythology

Norse mythology is not just all about the different gods and goddesses, it’s also about the variety of uniquely cool creatures and other beings that makes it very interesting to read and learn. Here are some of them:           

Sleipnir        

Remember Sleipnir from our previous blog posts?

He was the son of Loki (Norse Trickster God). Loki transformed into a mare (female horse) to lure a stallion (male horse) of a giant builder named Svadilfari.  

Sleipnir was no ordinary horse not just because he was eight-legged, but because he was the horse of Odin the allfather.

Just like the mighty and powerful Odin who was the foremost god in the Norse pantheon, Sleipnir was also known as the best horse in Norse mythology. He was capable of galloping the world like a wind and no horse was as tough and as fast as him. Aside from being the best horse among gods and men, he had also runes on his teeth which makes him even more interesting and unique.

Sleipnir was known to be a very reliable horse because he would carry Odin whenever he wanted to travel somewhere in any of the nine worlds.

Tanngrisnir and Tanngnjóstr   

If we have Odin the allfather who rides an eight-legged horse, we’re now going to talk about the goats that pull the chariot of his son Thor (God of Thunder and Lightning). 

The names of Thor’s goats are Tanngrisnir (means teeth-barer) and Tanngnjóstr (means teeth-grinder). And what’s interesting is that sparks and lightning erupt from the chariot’s wheels whenever it was used. Apart from that, the sound of thunder could be heard and the blue lightning sky could be seen from far away whenever this pair pulled the chariot through the sky. This made  it obvious that Thor was about to arrive. 

With the help of Thor’s trusted goats, he could travel quickly to his destination. Unfortunately, even though they were valuable for travel-related purposes, they could still end up being eaten if nothing else was available for consumption according to the Saga of Thor’s journey to Utgard in the Poetic Edda.

Ratatoskr 

Another interesting creature in Norse mythology was a squirrel named Ratatoskr. He was known to serve as the messenger of insults within a sacred ash tree known as Yggdrasil or the Tree of Life. 

The insults that he was transferring would go from a dragon named Nidhogg (lives under Yggdrasil) and then go to an eagle named Vedrfolnir (lived on Yggdrasil’s top branch) and vice versa. He usually did this job because he found pleasure in hearing insults and delivering them to others.

Despite being a bad creature, he made it on our list because it’s cool that he could run through the spine of Yggdrasil.

Heidrun

We talked about two goats earlier and we’ll talk about another one who made it on our list. The name of the goat we’re referring to is Heidrun or Heiðrún, a female goat who ate Yggdrasil leaves on the roof of Valhalla (an enormous hall in Asgard for slain warriors ruled over by Odin the allfather). 

She was a famous goat for his udder’s ability to produce premium mead instead of milk for the einherjar or the fallen warriors in Valhalla. It was also said that no number of lovers could satisfy her based on the strong sexual correlations of her mythological description.

Jormungandr 

Jormungandr was a sea serpent that was said to be humongous and bigger than all of the creatures from Jotunheim/Utgard (Land of giants and frost giants). He was the second child of Loki from his union with giantess Angrboda and was known to be one of the villains that triggered Ragnarok, or also known as Doom of the Gods, Fate of the Gods or the end of the world in Norse mythology.         

Jormungandr was said to be associated with the Ouroboros or a symbol of a serpent or dragon consuming its own tail. The symbol means eternal cycle of life, death and rebirth.   

 

References: 

https://www.horsesoficeland.is/community/stories/sleipnir---the-best-horse-among-gods-and-men/1033

https://happypiranha.com/blogs/news/ouroboros-the-world-serpent-jormungandr-symbols-from-folklore-mythology

https://bavipower.com/blogs/bavipower-viking-blog/cool-creatures-from-norse-mythology

https://skjalden.com/thors-goats/\

https://mythology.net/norse/norse-creatures/ratatoskr/

https://vintugo.com/viking-symbols-meaning/heidrun-goat/

https://mythology.net/norse/norse-creatures/jormungand/

https://www.ancient.eu/article/1305/nine-realms-of-norse-cosmology/



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