5 Weirdest Norse Myths

With so much history to back us up, there are bound to be numerous tales and information scattered around the world. Humanity has always been creative, really. But if you think that a little bit of good, ol’ Harry Potter sounds ridiculous, then that means you don’t know what we used to come up with in the more ancient times. In more recent years, the world of Asgard and the various characters attached to it, have seen a boom in exposure thanks to the popularity of Marvel’s adaptations for Thor. But before there was Chris Hemsworth, there was the real thing. Well, maybe that’s not the wisest word choice. After you read about these 5 Weirdest Norse Myths, you’ll probably be genuinely glad that they’re not actually the real thing.

1. A World Of Body Parts

Weirdest Norse Myths - Genesis Of The World

According to Nordic beliefs, before the world was created, all we had was a vast nothingness called Ginnungagap, described to having been the host of masses of ice and oceans of fire. When these two collided, they gave birth to Ymir, a being who eventually created the first giant. Together with the latter born Buri, the first born Aesir, and Odin, they founded the New World by sacrificing Ymir. They tore him apart and from each of his limbs, they crafted an element of the world: Earth was made out of his skin, the sky was molded out of his skull, his brains were transformed into clouds, his life-juice – read, blood; the sea and his teeth and bones the pebbles and rocks.

2. Loki’s Mouth Was Sewed

Loki Was Often The Source Of Many Of The Weirdest Norse Myths

In a very typical Loki fashion, the Trickster God got one day bored enough to think that it’d be hilarious to shave the head of Thor’s betrothed, Sif, while she was still asleep. As it was to be expected, Thor was furious when he found out, yet Loki managed to bargain his way out by promising he’d get Sif new hair tailored from the hands of dwarves. And it wasn’t just any kind of hair. Loki told them to make it from gold, along with other various gifts meant to appease to other gods. But because he has nothing better to do than self destruct, he made a bet with the dwarves that they couldn’t create something better than those gifts, with the loser having to sever their head and serve it on a tray. Since one of the things that the dwarves created that day as Mjolnir, Thor’s hammer itself, needless to say that Loki lost. Fortunately, he yet again managed to talk his way out by having the dwarves give in to the proposal of a compromise. With Thor’s help, they knocked him out cold, then silenced him by sewing his mouth with leather.

3. Cross Dressing Thor

Thor's Wedding Was One Of The Most Hilarious And Weirdest Norse Myths

Once upon a time, Thor woke up to find that his beloved Mjolnir hammer was nowhere to be found. After some insightful investigations, he found it in the hands of a giant named Thrymr. He said he’d only return the hammer if Thor could convince Freya to marry him, which is something that didn’t really work out, since she vehemently refused. What did Thor do next? He dressed up in his finest gown then, with Loki shapeshifted into a handmaiden trotting alongside him, he married Thrymr while posing as Freya. And since no one noticed, he eventually got his hammer back and, still dressed in his wedding dress, murdered everyone at the feast.

4. Loki’s Apocalyptic Children

Weirdest Norse Myths Can Also Be Very Cool

Yes, Loki actually had offspring. But don’t get too excited, his parenthood experience wasn’t exactly a conventional one. His first child was Sleipnir, an 8-legged horse that emerged from Loki sabotaging a deal Odin struck with a giant. With the same giantess, he had three more children: Hel, a humanlike being that eventually came to rule the underworld, Fenrir, the legendary wolf whose breaking from his chains was to mark the end of the world, and Jormungandr, a huge snake who was the bearer of the world by keeping his tail in his mouth. He had a total of five children, with the last one remaining unnamed in the myths. All of them had important parts to play in the Ragnarok, which is the Norse apocalypse, as Odin faced it while riding Sleipnir onto the battlefield, and Hel led an army alongside Loki. Odin’s destiny was to lose his life at Fenrir’s claws, and Thor with Jormungandr were meant to lose their lives in a clash against each other. As for the anonymous son, he was unfortunately killed, and his intestines were shifted into chains from iron that tied Loki after he murdered Baldur.

5. Mistletoe, A Murder Weapon

Weirdest Norse Myths - Baldur's Cause Of Death

We ended the last paragraph on a name: Baldur. Who was he? Well, meet Thor’s other sibling, the true star of Asgard, beloved by all and favored by the other gods. He had such a fantastic life, that the shock of finding out that he’s been dreaming of his death was even bigger. Odin visited the underworld to find answers, and returned with the grim confirmation that Baldur’s dreams were indeed meant to become real and, even worse, that his eventual death would serve as an omen for the start of the Ragnarok. In order to protect her son, Frigg made it her mission to ensure every little thing would give its word they wouldn’t harm him, although she made the big mistake of omitting mistletoe from her list. And who was the first to find this out and take advantage of it? Everyone’s favorite trickster, Loki, of course. He showed up during a game where the other gods would throw things at Baldur, as a means to solidify his invincibility, with mistletoe the size of a shaft. He handed it to Hodr, a first time participant to the games, and it’s said that when he threw it, the mistletoe pierced right through Baldur, and had him dead on the spot.

To anyone who’s ever had their fair share of general mythology, all of these stories might seem like they fit the perfect recipe. After all, who’s to say the events described above aren’t less insane than the myth of how Zeus gave birth through his forehead? Either way, we have to appreciate the creativity of the people who left all these stories for us to read centuries and millenniums later. These were 5 Weirdest Norse Myths, but there is more where they came from, trust me.

Image sources: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5.

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