Legendary Creatures in Norse Mythology

Fenrir is a symbol of Ragnarok. In the final battle, he will kill and be killed by Odin. In view of his future, the Asgard gods will chain him. This will cause Tyr to lose his hand.

Fenrir is the son of Loki and Angrboda, as well as the brother of Jormungand and Hel. Right away, the gods knew that those three would be the end of the Asgard gods.

In Ragnarok, a wolf will devour the moon and sun. Skoll is the name most often given to this wolf. There is a possibility that it is Fenrir. There are some ambiguities

Jormungand is also know as midgard serpent. His was born from Loki and Angrboda and he his the brother of Hel and Fenrir. Like his brother, Jormungand is a symbol of the ragnarok.   He is the one who kill Thor and also get kill by him in the final battle. Immedialty at his born, Odin see the threat of his power.  So he ban him in the sea of Midgard, human world.

In the medieval cosmology, the earth was flat and surrunder by mystic water. Those mystic water was the link between the human world and gods world. Jormungand is was the one you keep the mortel far away of gods world.  The symbol og Jormungand eating his own tail mean is body circle the human world.   

Sleipnir  is the famous Odin horse at eight legs. Sleipnir is the son of Loki and Svadilfari. The uniquese of the origine of sleipnir is then Loki is his mother. When Asgard was build, the gods have make a deal with Har a Jotnar. If Har meeting the deadline, he get Freya as reward.   

At the surprise of the gods, the strenght of Svadilfari the horse of Har give the tool needed to meet deadline. So Loki  change himself into a beautiful mare to distracts Svadilfari. At the result, Loki got pregeant of Sleipnir.

Sleipnir is present very often the norse mythology and he is describe like the best horse never see.

Elves are a very important part of norse mythology. In the early days of Viking era, elves were considered to be as powerful as asgard gods. In fact, one of the most sacred viking rituals (Alfablot) is made at their name.

Elves are associated with fertility. Although Snorri Sturluson made a distinction between clear and dark elves, it's much more unlikely that the vikings did too.

Jotnar are also call the giant. A large part of the saga is a struggle between the gods of Asgard and the giants of the old world order.

Basically, the Jotnar have great power, but they are not as smart or noble as the Asgard gods. The etymology shows a link between the Jotnar and the Orc in modern folklore

Dwarf are the craftman of the gods. Almost all magic items of the gods are made by a dwarf living underground in the mountains. As etymology suggests, the dwarf is a living dead human-like creature. Due to this, they are also very wise and knowledgeable.

Dwarves seem to be closer to Jotnar than gods in general. They serve the gods, but the gods never help them.

Disir  appeared to be more of a group than an individual. There is a strong presence of the disir in the saga, but it is unclear what their role is. They assist at birth and guide warriors in battle.

A very important spiritual celebration was held in their honor, the disablot. It is known that disir was an important part of Viking belief, but those beliefs have been lost through time.   

Draugr  are not ghosts, but revenants. There are humans who have died but were judged unfairly, so they have come back to life as humans to get justice. Draugr will disappear when they accept their dead. Having the dead come back to get justice is not uncommon.

Draugr has been the subject of many sagas and folk stories written after the Viking era. Many of them are just fantasy works that don't reflect the true belief system of the Vikings.

Valkyrie are very similar to the disir. They are spirits in femal form. Valkyrie wasn't a female army or something comparable to the Amazons in Greek mythology, that's for sure.

The belief originated among the German tribes. The will-o'-the-wisp legend probably originated at the Valkyrie belief.

In norse mythology, the Valkyrie plays a crucial role. Even today, it can be seen in scandiva culture. Many Scandinavian names are valkyrie names (Hilda, Gunnr, etc.).

The Valkyrie's role was to gather the souls of dead warriors and bring them to Valhalla. The wing allowed them to see the battle field from above.

Landvaettir are spirit protector of a sacred territory . These Spirits can appear as dragons, snakes, giants, or anything else. In islandic sagas, Landvaettir is frequently mentioned.

It was necessary for a Viking to give a gift to a landvaettir if he wanted to settle on land protected by him. Landvaettir will protect him if he is accepted by them. After the Viking Christianization, these beliefs have survived for a long time.

Fylgja are basicly guardian angel. Probably, the belief is rooted in old ancestor worship traditions. To be simple, every new born gets a Fylgja who protects him. Only when humans are in danger will the Fylgja appear.

It would be helpful if we were clearer about what Vikings believed about souls. They believed in the existence of a soul called hamr. But they also believed that the soul of the world was called hugr. A similar concept can be seen as related to traditional Polynesian beliefs about mana. Norse beliefs have also the concept of hamingja, who is basically the guardian angel of a family. Each of those terms works in the same way. A spiritual entity guid a mortal entity.

Berserk was a warrior who became an animal warrior through ritual paganism with Odin. In the Ynglinga Saga, Snorri Sturluson talks about these animal warriors.

The warrior goes berserk during a battle and turns into an animal like a bull, unkillable by arrows or swords.

Nevertheless, it's unlikely that berserk belief was very strong in traditional Viking society. Further, with the modern folklore concept of werewolf, those creatures are more well-known than they ought to be.

Rather than a mystic creature, berserk probably referred to a mental state of a warrior.


Norns are another feminine spiritual entity. They influence destiny. Their nature is mostly evil, but they are also capable of being good. They simply ensure that the fate follows the great scheme. Various religions around the world hold similar beliefs.

Norns are very much a part of Scandinavian culture. One interesting fact is that archeologists have found a inscription on a church wall dated to 1200 years ago. Writing said: "Norms decide what is good and what is bad; to me, they have reserved a cruel fate"

Bibliography :

1-John Lindow ''Norse Mythology : A Guide to the Gods, Heroes, Rituals and Beliefs ''  New York : Oxford University, 2002

2-Neil Price ''The Viking way : Magic and Mind in late iron age scandinavia '' United Kingdom : Oxbow Books , 2019

3-Lee M.Hollander ''Introduction in  The Poetic Edda''  United State : University of Texas , 1990