“The Eddas contain two key moments in which the trickster Loki threatens the Norse gods with old age and death.
It seems that Loki was once captured by a giant who agreed to free him on condition that he promise to go to the goddess Idunn, who tended the orchard where the Apples of Immortality grew, and bring her and the fruit out of Asgard.
[…]The Norse gods were much dismayed at Idunn’s disappearance, and they soon grew old and gray-haired. […]
To reflect on this brief moment of disruption and repair, it helps to know that the Norse gods have a variety of supernatural creatures beneath them (elves, dwarves), but their greatest enemies are the giants. Furthermore, though Loki sits among the gods, in many ways he is intimate with these threatening underlings. […] Loki seems to be a point of contact where giants touch the gods, and thus it makes a certain sense that through Loki a giant manages to expose the eternal ones to time. […]
Why exactly are the giants not invited to eat those apples? Why must they be trapped in time? Loki is not unsympathetic to such questions, not just because his family includes giants, but because the Norse gods sometimes treat him, too, as if he did not belong among them. Treat someone that way and you will foster skepticism about the shape of things.
[…] When Loki orchestrates the coincidence of giantland and godland, the wall between the temporal and the eternal leaks at the point of contact, which is to say the transients get a taste of immortality apples, while the eternals get a taste of time. The gods grow old and decay after this attack of accidents. Change has entered heaven, everything is in flux, and a great shape-shifting seems entirely possible.”
- Trickster Makes This World: Mischief, Myth and Art - Lewis Hyde
“In Norse mythology, a fylgja is a spirit who accompanies a person in connection to their fate or fortune. The word, fylgja (or plural fylgjur) means “to accompany” similar to that of the Irish Fetch, it can also mean “afterbirth of a child” meaning that the afterbirth and the fylgja are connected. In some instances, the fylgja can take on the form of the animal that shows itself when a baby is born or as the creature that eats the afterbirth. In some literature and sagas, the fylgjur can take the form of mice, dogs, foxes, cats, birds of prey, or carrion eaters because these were animals that would typically eat such afterbirths.
“Other ideas of fylgjur are that the animals reflect the character of the person they represent. Men who were viewed as a leader would often have fylgja to show their true character. This means that if they had a “tame nature”, their fylgja would typically be an ox, goat, or boar. If they had an “untame nature” they would have fylgjur such as; a fox, wolf, deer, bear, eagle, falcon, leopard, lion, or a serpent.”
Got inspired by the Greek Gods family tree that’s been circulating around lately. I realize a few gods are missing, but there’s just so MANY.
The thing about Jotuns is that even though they have males and females, their idea of what makes someone one or the other seems to be different from ours. Male Jotuns give birth several times in the stories, so I like to think female Jotuns are somehow able to impregnate others too. My personal headcanon is Skadi as Ull’s other parent just because they have so many things in common.
In Norse mythology, Hel is the goddess of death and the afterlife who presides over a realm of the same name, located in Niflheim. She is the youngest child of the trickster god Loki and the giantess Angrboða. She is often described as a hag; half alive and half dead, with a gloomy and grim expression. Her face and body are those of a living woman, but her legs are those of a corpse, mottled and moldering.
Cast into Helheim by Odin, Hel receives a portion of the dead and distributes those who are sent to her; the wicked and those dead of sickness or old age. Her hall is called Éljúðnir, the home of the dead. “Hel” literally means “one who covers up or hides something.”
↳ Freyja is the archetype of the völva, a professional or semiprofessional practitioner of seidr, the most organized form of Norse magic. It was she who first brought this art to the gods,and, by extension, to humans as well. Given her expertise in controlling and manipulating the desires, health, and prosperity of others, she’s a being whose knowledge and power are almost without equal.
Freyja presides over the afterlife realm Folkvang, whose inhabitants she selects from among the warriors slain in battle.