Tag: Jotunheim

Thor’s Journey to Utgard

Thor and the giant SkrymirThor said Summer was the open season and he announced his plan of making a journey east into Utgard and flexing himself against the giants. ‘However few they are,’ he said, ‘they are too many.’
In Utgard,’ said Loki, ‘you’ll need sharp wits.’
‘Sharp wits,’ repeated Thor seriously.
‘And yours are as blunt as your hammer,’ said Loki, winking at Thor. ‘Why not take me?’

Thor ignored the insult and accepted the offer. ‘Evil creature: good companion,’ he said.
Loki’s eyes gleamed, now brown, now green, now indigo. His scarred lips parted a little and twisted into a wolfish smile.
‘Tomorrow, then,’ said Thor.

Very early in the morning, before the sky turned blue and before a cock crowed, Thor had his goats brought in from Thrudvang and harnessed to his chariot.

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The Nine Worlds of Norse mythology

The Norsemen visualized the universe in three vertical levels; a tricentric structure. Between each level and its adjacent level was a space.

The axis of the three levels and nine worlds was the Yggdrasill tree, a mighty ash which is timeless, has no origin and will survive Ragnarok.

The first level

  • Asgard, world of the Aesir
  • Vanaheim, land of the Vanir
  • Alfheim, land of the light elves.

The second level

  • Midgard, Land of humans (middle world/garden)
  • Nidavellir, Land of the dwarfs
  • Jotunheim, Land of the giants (Jotuns)
  • Svartalfheim, Land of the dark elves.

The third level

  • Hel, Realm of the dead
  • Niflheim, World of the dead.

If Hel and Niflheim comprised one world, as is suggested in some sources, the ninth may have been Muspelheim (Muspell), the land of the fire giants. This region had no place in the tricentric structure of the universe, and Snorri Sturluson wrote that is was the first world to exist and that is lies in the southern hemisphere. Also, the worlds of Svartalfheim and Nidavellir may have been the same. No valid distinction can be drawn between the dwarfs and dark elves; they appear to have been interchangeable.

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