The Nine Worlds of Norse mythology

There are many interesting mythologies around the world but I think one of if not the most interesting mythology is Norse mythology. Norse mythology was created by the Norse people also known as Vikings. Norse mythology is very interesting because of all the gods such as Thor and Odin but one of the more interesting things that really makes this mythology unique is that there are nine different worlds. The nine worlds are held together by a very large tree called Yggdrasil or the world tree. In this essay, I will tell you about every world and what lives there, I will also talk about the gods.

My first paragraph is about the world we all know and love, Midgard. Midgard is basically the earth, it is where all the humans live. Midgard is located in the middle of all the worlds, below Asgard. There is a rainbow bridge called the Bifrost connecting Midgard to Asgard. Only the gods can walk on this bridge though. Midgard is also surrounded by a huge ocean that is impassible. The Ocean is occupied by the Midgard serpent, The serpents name is Jormungand and it is so huge that it wraps its tail around the world and holds his own tail with his mouth. It is prophesied that when Ragnarok comes, Jormungand will let go of his tail and the world will end.

Next up, we have Asgard. Asgard is the land of the gods and that is where all the gods and honorable dead live. The male gods are called Aesir and the female gods are called Asynjur. Odin is the ruler of Asgard and the king of the gods, he is the god of many things including; wisdom, death, sorcery, runes, and battle to name a few. The queen of Asgard is Odin’s wife Frigg. Asgard is high up in the sky above Midgard, it is essentially the heaven of Norse mythology, except only those who die in battle can go there. The people who go there once they die are called “Einharjar”, and they live in an area of Asgard called Valhalla or in Folkvangr.

Alfheim is a unique world because it is home to a race of half-gods called light elves. Alfheim is next to Asgard in the world tree and the light elves are considered guardian angels. The god Frey is the ruler of Alfheim and the god of summer. The light elves are minor gods of nature and fertility, and they can use their knowledge of magic to help or hinder humans. They also offer inspiration for art and music to humans.

Vanaheim is the home of the Vanir gods. The Vanir gods is an old branch of ods different from the Aesir. The Vanir gods are masters of sorcery and magic, they are also well known for the ability to predict the future. No one knows exactly where Vanaheim is located, or what it looks like, but it is believed to be a beautiful paradise with a sun that never goes down. Many Vanir gods are fashioned to be gods of things like love, poetry, and fishing, while Aesir gods are gods of war. Frey and Freya are Vanir gods, Frey is the god of summer and Freya is the god of love.

Svartalfheim is the home of the dwarfs and dark elves. Svartalfheim is a dark cold place underground and instead of a sky, they have the ceiling of a cave. Dwarfs have played an important part in Norse mythology and have helped many gods. Dwarves are master smiths, and they have forged many thongs for the gods. For example, Thor’s symbolic hammer, Mjolnir was crafted by dwarves, so was Odin’s spear Gungnir. The dwarves also crafted the chains that bind Fenrir the wolf. If Fenrir hadn’t been bound Ragnarok could have happened early, and if Odin and Thor didn’t have their weapons then they would have had a much harder time fighting all the battles they have fought. There have been many times in the history of Norse mythology when the gods have come to the dwarves for help.

Helheim is a land of the dead, the dishonorable dead. Dishonorable dead are the murderer’s, thieves, and those whom the gods and goddesses do not deem worthy to go to Valhalla. Helheim is ruled by the goddess Hel, she is the daughter of Loki. Hel has two different sides of her body–one side is beautiful and pristine while the other side is rotten and disgusting. Helheim is a very grim and cold place, and anyone who arrives there can never feel happiness again. When Ragnarok comes, Hel will use all the dead in her realm to attack the gods and goddesses.

Niflheim is the world of fog and mist. Niflheim is the darkest and coldest region in all the nine worlds. Niflheim is the first world that came into existence and resides north of Midgard. The oldest well resides in Niflheim, and it is said that all rivers in all the world’s come from Niflheim’s well. Niflheim is a place of large mountains and cold, icy plains. There is a part of Niflheim called Niflhel which is also the lowest level of Helheim, and the worst people end up there, where they will suffer horribly and eventually die a second, much more horrible death than they suffered in their previous life.

Jotunheim is the land of giants. The giants are a race of especially strong beings, and they are the sworn enemy of the gods. The giants and the gods are constantly fighting, but sometimes, love occurs. Many of the gods have had children with giants, including Odin and Thor.  Jotunheim consists mostly of rocks, wilderness, and dense forests. The giants live off of the fish in the rivers, and the animals in the forests, for there is no fertile land in Jotunheim. Jotunheim is ruled by the feared giant king, Utgard-Loki. Utgard lives in a stronghold so large it is hard to see the top of it. Loki, the trickster god, was found in Jotunheim but was accepted as one of the Aesir.

The final, and perhaps, most terrible of all the nine realms, is Muspelheim. Muspelheim is a land of fire, volcanoes, and great lakes of lava, it is also home to the most fearsome of all races, the fire giants. The great and terrible fire giants are ruled by an even more great and terrible king, The mighty fire king Surt. Surt means “black” and this name refers to his appearance, for unlike all the other fire giants, whose skin always burns with the heat of fire and the menace of their souls, Surt’s skin is scorched and black. This distinguishes him very easily, and on the field of battle, men run in fear at the sight of a tall menacing figure, with black, burnt, skin. It is prophesied that during Ragnarok, Surt, king of the fire giants, will kill the gods and turn Asgard into a place of burning ruin.

The nine worlds of Norse mythology are all unique and each play their own special role. Every world has an interesting culture, interesting races, and has somehow played a part in what will be the end of the universe. Each world contains characters such as the stout dwarves, the magical elves, the large giants, the terrible fire giants, and the powerful gods. Norse mythology is unlike any other mythology because there are rarely religions with such interesting and fleshed out worlds, with many details from all the stories that have been created in the making of this ancient religion. Overall some of the worlds are safe, but many of them aren’t, how dangerous the world is depends on where you live and which world you live on.

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