Who Are the Norse Gods?


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The gods and goddesses of ancient Norse mythology are part of a pantheon collectively known as the Aesir; these gods include Odin, a leader who is occasionally referred to as the All-Father, his consort Frigg, the goddess of motherhood, and their son Thor, the god of thunder. There are other gods in this pantheon, including some belonging to an earlier group of gods known as the Vanir. As with other polytheistic religious traditions, the Norse gods and goddesses each tend to be responsible for a certain area of nature or human life, and they tend to be described as having unique personalities in addition to their specialized powers and concerns.

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Who Are the Norse Gods?
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For example, Loki is the trickster god of this belief system, and he is depicted in Norse myths as being deceitful and troublesome, serving as a frequent source of annoyance for the members of the Aesir. In one story, Loki tricks the blind Hodur, the god of night and darkness, into killing his brother, Baldur, the god of beauty, peace and spring.

Other gods in the Norse pantheon include Sif, goddess of the harvest, Skadi, goddess of winter and hunting, Heimdall, the guardian of the rainbow bridge into the gods' realm, and Tyr, god of war. These gods all live in an otherworldly realm called Asgard; the rainbow bridge into Asgard is called the Bifrost. Some of the Aesir, including Freya, goddess of love and beauty, and her brother Frey, god of fertility, were previously members of the Vanir. Because the ancient Norse language includes characters that are not present in English, these gods and goddesses occasionally appear with alternate spellings.

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