A Viking silhouette.

10 Little Known Curiosities About Viking Mythology

Though peppered with fantastical elements, the Vikings' intricate mythology reflects their worldview, values, and societal structures.


While most are familiar with the popular depictions of Vikings as fierce warriors, their rich and diverse mythology often remains unexplored. This ancient belief system is filled with captivating tales, mythical creatures, and divine entities. Below, we delve into 10 intriguing curiosities about Viking mythology that you may not know.

1. The Complex Viking Cosmos

Viking mythology describes a complex cosmos divided into nine realms, interconnected by the cosmic tree Yggdrasil. These realms include Asgard, home of the Aesir gods, Midgard, where humans reside, and others like Alfheim, Svartalfheim, and Niflheim.


2. The Puzzling Existence of Two Sets of Gods

Unlike many religions that have a single pantheon, the Vikings revered two distinct sets of gods: the Aesir, including deities like Odin and Thor, and the Vanir, such as Njord and Freyr. These two groups once waged war until they decided to coexist peacefully.

3. The Symbolic Role of Ravens

In Viking mythology, ravens hold significant importance. Odin, the Allfather, has two ravens, Huginn (thought) and Muninn (memory), which fly across the world each day gathering information for him.

4. Odin’s Sacrifice for Knowledge

In his quest for wisdom, Odin sacrificed his eye to drink from the Well of Urd, which granted him immense knowledge. This act signifies the Viking belief in the value of wisdom over physical prowess.

5. The Importance of the Number Nine

The number nine holds special significance in Viking mythology. Apart from the nine realms, there are also nine great lindworms (serpent-like dragons), and Odin hung from Yggdrasil for nine nights to gain knowledge of the runes.


6. The Many Faces of the Norse Gods

In Viking mythology, each god and goddess possesses unique characteristics, roles, and domains, reflecting the multifaceted nature of life and the cosmos.

  • Odin: The Allfather, associated with wisdom, poetry, war, and death.
  • Thor: The god of thunder, known for his physical strength and bravery.
  • Freyja: A Vanir goddess, linked with love, fertility, and beauty.
  • Tyr: The god of law and heroic glory, who sacrificed his hand to bind the monstrous wolf Fenrir.
  • Baldr: The beloved god of light and purity, whose death sets the stage for Ragnarok.
  • Frigg: Odin’s wife, associated with foresight, wisdom, and motherhood.

These diverse deities demonstrate the Vikings’ comprehensive approach to understanding the world around them, embodying a

7. Valkyries, Choosers of the Slain

The Valkyries, female figures who choose who lives and dies in battle, bring the bravest warriors to Valhalla, Odin’s hall, where they become einherjar, warriors who will fight alongside the gods during Ragnarok, the end of the world.

8. The Curious Case of Sleipnir

Odin’s steed Sleipnir is not a regular horse but a magical creature with eight legs. Interestingly, Sleipnir’s mother is Loki, who transformed into a mare to deceive the giant builder of Asgard’s walls.

9. Vikings’ Belief in Reincarnation

Vikings believed in reincarnation. Their sagas often tell of notable warriors and kings who were reincarnations of earlier heroes or even gods.

10. The Grim Fates of Gods

Unlike many mythologies, the gods in Viking tales are not immortal. During Ragnarok, many gods, including Odin, Thor, and Loki, meet their end.


Vikings’ Enthralling Beliefs

Though peppered with fantastical elements, the Vikings’ intricate mythology reflects their worldview, values, and societal structures.

Viking mythology is a treasure trove of stories that are as intriguing as they are complex. With gods and goddesses that embody everything from love and wisdom to war and mischief, these tales tell us a lot about the people who created them. These 10 curiosities give us a peek into a world that might seem distant but still has something to say to us today. So next time you hear thunder, think of Thor’s mighty hammer, and remember, the myths of the past might be more connected to our world than we often realize. It’s a fascinating subject that invites us all to dive in and explore.

PLEASE READ: Have something to add? Visit Curiosmos on Facebook. Join the discussion in our mobile Telegram group. Also, follow us on Google News. Interesting in history, mysteries, and more? Visit Ancient Library’s Telegram group and become part of an exclusive group.

Written by Ivan Petricevic

I've been writing passionately about ancient civilizations, history, alien life, and various other subjects for more than eight years. You may have seen me appear on Discovery Channel's What On Earth series, History Channel's Ancient Aliens, and Gaia's Ancient Civilizations among others.

Write for us

We’re always looking for new guest authors and we welcome individual bloggers to contribute high-quality guest posts.

Get In Touch