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Norse Gods L-Z

Laga
(Norse) Laga is the goddess of wells and springs. She is a "friend" of Odin.
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Leib-Olmai
(Lapland) The god of bears; hunters had to offer up prayers to him before he would allow them to kill a bear.
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Lemminkäinen
(Finnish) Also seeks a wife from Pohjola in Kalevala. He attempted to kill the swan of Tuoni (god of the dead) and was torn apart by Tuoni's son; his magician mother put his body back together and restored him to life.
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Lif and Lifthrasir
(Norse) The man and woman destined to be the only survivors of Ragnarok by hiding in the world tree Yggdrasil. They are to re-populate the new world.
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Linda
(Finland) The bird goddess; usually pictured as a swan. She is the wife of Kalev.
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Lorelei
A young maiden of Germany, who threw herself into the river in despair over a faithless lover and was transformed into a siren, a creature whose hypnotic music lured fishermen to destruction.
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Lufn (Lofn)
The goddess of forbidden love, Lufn encourages illicit unions.
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Luonnotar
(Finland) The creator goddess. Mother of Väinämöinen.
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Maan-emo
(Finland) An earth goddess. The wife of Ukko, god of thunder. She prsides over the fertility of women.
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Madder-Akka
(Lapland) Creator goddess, with her companion Madder-Atcha, of mankind. Their three daughters were: Sarakka (supported women during childbirth), Juksakka, (changed the sex from female to male of a proportionate number of births), and Uksakka (protected the new-born child).
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Magni
(Norse) Son of Thor and the frost giantess Jarnsaxa, and the brother of Modi. Magni and Modi are due to inherit Mjollnir (Thor's magic hammer) after Ragnarok.
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Mani
(Scandinavian) means "moon". The beautiful boy driver of the moon-car (a chariot pulled by horses), the son of Mundilfoeri and brother of Sol. He is followed by a wolf (Hati), which, when time is no more, will devour Mani and his sister Sol (the Sun).
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Marjatta
(Finland) A virgin goddess, who conceives a son after swallowing a cranberry. She is a character in the Kalevala.
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Midgard
(Scandinavian) The abode of the first pair of human beings in Norse mythology, from whom came the human race. It is midway between Niflheim and Muspelheim and joined to Asgard by the rainbow bridge Bifrost.
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Mimir
(Norse) Suppose to have been the wisest of the Aesir tribe of gods, and thus a god of wisdom and knowledge. He was sent to live with the Vanir after the war between the gods. There, unfortunate being, he had his head cut off and sent back to the Aesir. Odin smeared the head with magic herbs so that it would never rot, and recited a magic charm over it that restored its power of speech; all this so he could have Mimir's wise counsel as needed. Mimir dwelt by the ash-tree Yggdrasil, guarding the "Well of Wisdom". Here he allowed Odin to drink for the price of one of his eyes; that is why Odin is usually depicted as having but one eye.
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Modgud
(Norse) The servant of Hel, Modgud is the maiden that stands guard on a gold-paved bridge on a path leading to the underworld.
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Mokkuralfi
(Norse) The Mist Calf from the story of Thor's battle with Hrungnir. When he appeared after Thor slew Hrungnir it is said Thor wet himself. Thor's man-servant Thialfi wasn't quite as afraid and attacked the giant with his axe.
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Mothir
A mother in the Norse creation myth, Mothir gave birth to the Jarls or leaders, the ones who hunted, fought, and attended school.
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Möûll
(Scandinavia) Goddess of snow and ice.
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Muninn
(Norse) Muninn ("memory") was the other one of the ravens which sat upon Odin's shoulder and brought Odin news each day of what was occurring in the world.
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Muspelheim
(Scandinavian) In Norse mythology a hot, glowing land of fire in the south, where the giant Bergelmer and his wife caught flying sparks and fastened them in the heavens as stars. The "Home of Brightness" to the south of Niflheim, where Surt ruled with his flaming sword, and where lived the sons of Muspel the fire giant.
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Nastrand
(Norse) The worst area of hell. It's roofs and doors were covered with hissing snakes, spitting poison, and it was through this that murderers and perjurers were forced to wade as punishment.
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Nidhogg
(Norse) The dragon which devours the corpses of evil doers. He lives in Hwergelmir, a secluded part of Hel.
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Niflheim
(Scandinavian) The realm of the dead in Norse mythology.
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The Norns
(Norse) The goddesses of the destinies of both gods and men are the three sisters called Urd, the goddess of the past (fate), Verdandi, the goddess of the present (necessity) and Skuld, the goddess of the future (being).
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Nott
(Norse) The goddess of night and the daughter of Narvi. Nott was married three times and with each husband she had one child. Her first husband was Naglfari, and their son was Audr (Udr). Her second husband was Annar, father of Jord. Her third husband was Dellingr, the personification of twilight, father of Dagur (Day). She and her son were given horse-drawn chariots by the gods and were placed in the sky to round the world every two half-days. Notts chariot is pulled by the horse Hrimfaxi ("frosty-maned") which covers the earth with dew (the drippings from his foaming mouth) early in the morning.
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Outgard
(Norse) The home of giants and monsters.
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Ottar
(Norse) The human lover of Freyja. She transformed him into a boar so that she could keep him with her in Asgard.
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Poshjo-akka
(Scandinavia) Goddess of the hunt.
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Ragnarok
(Norse) Ragnarok is the ultimate battle between good and evil from which a new order will come (The end of our world).
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Ran
(Norse) Ran is goddess of the sea and storms, and wife to the sea god Aegir. She collects the drowned in her net and takes them to her hall located at the bottom of the ocean.
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Rana Nedia
(Lapland) Goddess of spring.Her sacred object is the spinning wheel.
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Rauni
(Finland) She had intercourse with the thunder god, Ukko, and from this union came all the plants of earth.
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Rig
(Norse) Rig was the name taken by Heimdall when he created the three types of mankind: the thrall (slave), the karl (free peasant) and the jarl (noble or chief).
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Rind
(Norse) She was the daughter of King Billing and the mistress of Odin, who had pursued her in various disguises. Their affair led to the birth of Vali, the child who was later to avenge the death of Baldr.
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Roskva
(Norse) She was a farmer's daughter who became a servant of the god Thor. How this came about was when Thor stopped at her father's house and asked for food and shelter. They were too poor to provide meat, so Thor offered the goats who pulled his chariot on the condition that no bones were broken. But Roskva's brother Trialfi accidentally broke one of the thigh bones and when Thor came to resurrect the goats one of them had a limp. The enraged god was only pacified by the promised service of Roskva and Thialfi, who travelled with him thereafter as his servants.
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Rota
(Scandinavia) One of the Valkyries.
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Saga
Saga, the all-knowing goddess, is an aspect of Frigg in some mythology tales. She lives at Sinking Beach, a waterfall of cool waves where she offers her guests drinks in golden cups. Her name, which means "omniscience," is applied to the epic heroic tales.
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Siegfried or Sigurd
Hero of early Germanic mythology. His legend recounts his killing of the dragon Fafnir and winning an accursed hoard of gold, his marriage to Gudrun, his love and betrayal of Brunhild (Brynhild), and his death through Brunhild's jealous contrivance.
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Signy
(Norse) She was the daughter of Volsung, a descendant of Odin. Married against her will to King Siggeir, she tried to warn her father and her ten brothers about his plot against them, but she and her brothers were ambushed in a forest and bound to a fallen tree. Each night a wolf devoured one of them in turn, until only her youngest brother Sigmund was left alive. Signy got a slave to smear Sigmund's face with honey so that the wolf would lick him instead of biting him. Sigmund was thus able to catch the wolf's tongue in his teeth and overcome the beast. Signy helped Sigmund to plot revenge. She even slept with him in disguise and bore a son named Sinfiotli. When Sinfiotli grew up she placed him in Sigmund's care, but they were both captured by Siggeir. A magic sword freed them and killed Siggeir and his sons. Signy chose to die herself in the burning palace, but not before she had told Sigmund the truth about Sinfiotli's parentage.
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Sigurd
(Norse) Sigurd (Siegfried) was a northern Germanic hero. He was the foster-son of Regin, who sent him to recover a fabulous hoard of gold. Regin's father Hreidmar had first acquired this treasure, which once belonged to the dwarf Andvari. To get their hands on the gold Regin and his brother Fafnir had then killed Hreidmar, but Fafnir wanted the treasure for himself and turned into a dragon to guard it. By cunningly stabbing the monster from underneath, Sigurd succeeded in slaying Fafnir, thus gaining both wealth and wisdom (by licking the blood of the slain dragon), since Fafnir was said to have understood the language of birds. When he realized that Regin intended to kill him for the gold, Sigurd slew him before carrying it away himself.
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Sigyn
(Germanic) Sigyn, also known as Sigunn or Sigryn, was the faithful wife of Loki and mother of his sons Narvi and Vali. Once the gods realized that in Loki they had allowed the growth of evil in their midst, they bound him in a cave. First they took hold of three slabs of rock, stood them on end and bored a hole through each of them. Then the entrails of Loki's son Narvi, whom they slew, were employed as a rope which bound the fire god to the stones. When the gods had tied the last knot, the entrails became as hard as iron. To ensure Loki's discomfort the frost giantess Skadi, Njord's wife, fastened a snake to a stalactite above the god's head and there Loki was to remain until Ragnarok. Despite all that her husband had done, Sigyn remained true to him and did what she could to lessen his suffering hy catching the venom dripping from the snake in a wooden bowl. However, whenever she went away to empty its poisonous contents, the venom fell on Loki's head and caused him to twitch violently from the pain. According to the Vikings, it was these compulsive movements that accounted for earthquakes.
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Sjofn
(Norse) Sjofn is the goddess to inspire human passions. She was also a goddess concerned with causing men and women to think of love. It was her duty to stop fights between married couples.
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Skadi (Skade)
A giantess, called the 'snow-shoe goddess', and thus the embodiment of winter. When her father Thiassi was slain by the gods for stealing some golden apples from Idun, Skadi wanted to take revenge so she armed herself and went to their stronghold where she demanded a husband and a belly full of laughter as compensation. The gods thought it wise to reconciliate and offered her a marriage with one of them. She was free to marry any god, but had to chose from those eligible without being allowed to see anything but their feet. She noticed a very elegant pair and, convinced that their owner was the handsome Balder, she choose them. Unfortunately for her, those feet belonged to the older god Njord. The belly full of laughter was provided by Loki, who tied his testicles to a goat. The marriage between Njord and Skadi was not a happy one. She wanted to live where her father had lived, in the mountains, and Njord wanted to live in his palace by the sea. So they agreed to spend the first nine days in the mountains and the following nine days by the sea. This arrangement did not work out very well, and they separated. Eventually, Skadi left Njord for the god Ull.
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Skirnir
(Norse) Skirnir was a servant of Freyr. When Freyr wished to marry the frost giantess Gerda, being a shy guy, he promised Skirnir his horse and his sword to make his pitch to Gerda for him, and sent him to Jotunheim. Skirnir had some difficulty in persuading Gerda to agree to the match, however. Eleven apples of youth, the magic fruit that kept the gods young, were no temptation to her. Nor was one of Odin's arm-rings. Gerda showed no fear when Skirnir threatened to behead her, but she began to panic the moment he started to recite a powerful spell. It promised to deny her any joy or passion, for the beautiful frost giantess would be transformed into a loveless outcast, a companion of the "unworthy dead". As a result of this threatened fate, Gerda at last consented to meet Freyr and so Skirnir received his promised rewards. On another occasion, Skirnir acted in his role as messenger hy going to the dwarfs on Odin's behalf to order a magical fetter so that Odin could restrain the terrible wolf Fenrir.
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Surtr (Surt)
(Norse) Surtr (means "black") was a giant who lived in the extreme south, and whose flaming sword guarded Muspelheim. In Ragnarok, he is the one who sets the nine worlds on fire; all the gods, frost giants, the living, the dead, dwarfs, elves, monsters and animals would be consumed. Then the earth would sink into the cosmic sea and another would arise, all fresh and green, to begin again.
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Thiassi
(Norse) Thiassi was the father of Skadi (see above) who is burned to death in his futile effort to catch Loki. Odin took the eyes from the dead giant and flung them up into heaven where they shone thereafter as stars.
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Thokk
(Norse) After Baldr's death, Hel, the queen of the underworld, said that she would allow him to return to the land of the living if "everything in the nine worlds, dead or alive, weeps for him". Everyone did mourn except for Thokk, a giantess, who refused. Baldr stayed dead. Some myths claim that Thokk was really Loki in disguise.
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Thrud
(Germanic) Thrud was the daughter of Thor and his wife Sif. She was promised to the dwarf Alvis as a payment for his work. But Thor prevented the dwarf from claiming Thrud by keeping him talking until morning, when the sunlight turned Alvis into stone.
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Thrym
(Germanic) Thrym was the frost giant who came to acquire Thor's magic hammer. The gods were in a panic because only this weapon could protect them from the frost giants. When Thrym said he would exchange the hammer for the hand of Freyja in marriage, Loki persuaded Thor to go to the frost giant's castle disguised as the bride in order to recover the hammer. Loki also went along in the form of a maidservant. And so they arrived at Thrym's hall. Even though the frost giant was suspicious about his bride-to-be, Loki cleverly managed to talk him into producing the hammer, which Thor then used to slay all the frost giants in sight.
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Tuoni
(Finland) Tuoni was the god of the dead, who lived in the dark land of Tuonela, from which few visitors return. With his wife Tuonetar he had several children who were deities of suffering, including Kipu-Tytto, goddess of illness. One of the few heroes who managed to escape from Tuonela was Vainamoinen. After successfully crossing the river that marked the border of Tuonela, he was received there by Tuonetar, who gave him beer to drink. But while he slept, her son created a vast iron mesh across the river so that Vainamoinen could not return that way and would be trapped forever. But when he woke, the hero changed into an otter and swam easily through the net.
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Ukko
(Finland) The god of sky and air who controlled the rain. He replaced Jumala as supreme deity. His wife was Akka.
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Ull
(Norse) Ull was the stepson of Thor, the thunder god. He was the god of hunting, and was involved with snowshoes, bow and weapons of war.
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Väinämöinen
(Finland) Son of the primal goddess Luonnotar. He possessed the wisdom of the ages from birth, for he was in his mother's womb for thirty years. The 'eternal sage', who exerts order over chaos and establishes the land of Kaleva, that so many of the events in Kalevala revolve around. His search for a wife brings the land of Kaleva into friendly but later hostile contact with its dark and threatening neighbour in the north, Pohjola.
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Valhalla
(Norse) The hall of dead heroes. Heroic warriors, killed in battle, were "stored" here for the advent of Ragnarök, or Doomsday. Odin kept them "alive" in this pleasure palace for that day so they could be at his side.
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The Valkyries
The Valkyries are beautiful maidens that help Odin choose which brave warrirors of those slain on the battlefield may then serve Odin in Valhalla. They are also Odins messengers, and when they ride forth on their winged horses, their armor shines and flickers causing the Aurora Borealis (Northern Lights).
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Vanir
(Norse) They were the other race of gods, who become united with the Aesir. Frey and Njörd were Vanir gods.
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Waldmichen
(Germanic) This wood nymph was a form of the goddess Freya. Her servants were rabbits; two of them held the train of her cloak while two others lit her way with candles. She lived in a grotto, where a visitor could see the souls of unborn babies cavorting; she owned a mill where she ground old men and women young again.
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Wave Maidens
(Scandinavia) These nine giantesses (Atla, Augeia, Aurgiafa, Egia, Gialp, Greip, Iarnsaxa, Sindur and Ulfrun) were daughters of the sea goddess Ran. When they favored a sailor, they played in the waves around his ship, pushing him forward to his destination.
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Yabme-Akka
(Scandinavian) Death goddess who appeared as an old woman.
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Ygg
(Norse) Odin's name when considered as the god of storm and war.
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Ymir
(Norse) The "evil" source of creation in Norse myths. The primeval father of all the Giants. He was fed by the 4 milky streams that flowed from Audhumla, the cow. He fathered the race of frost giants who were enemies of the gods. Ymir grew so large and so evil that Odin and his brothers (Vili and Ve) could no longer live with him. They killed him, and the blood gushed from his body in such torrents (A flood myth) that all the giants except Bergelmer and his wife were killed. These two took refuge on a chest and came to the shores of Jotunheim. From them another race of frost giants was born.
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Zempat
(Prussia) God of the earth. God of cattle.
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Zisa
(German) A harvest goddess.
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