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Norse mythological beings

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posted on Feb, 15 2011 @ 05:18 PM
This thread is meant as a small primer on some Norse Mythological beings. Obviously getting in depth has been done in various books around the world and includes many many many pages of text. As such i've chosen for reference articles from wikipedia. Now before i get flamed and told to choose other sources all of the information in these pages can be verified via the sources and links section at the bottom of each individual page. From what i've read about these beings previously these pages are fairly accurate.

The Troll:

painting by John Bauer

Later, in Scandinavian folklore, trolls become defined as a particular type of being, generally held to be larger than humans and notably ugly.[3] Numerous tales about trolls are recorded, in which they are frequently described as being extremely old, very strong, but slow and dim-witted. They are sometimes described as man-eaters and as turning to stone upon contact with sunlight. Into the 20th century, the origins of particular Scandinavian landmarks, such as particular stones, are ascribed to trolls.[4]

trolls wiki

Here is a thread by another member, which i've given the link to immediately after the quotes about trolls and their possible connection to Homo Neanderthalensis. Check it out, it's pretty interesting!

Modern science accepts the fact that Neanderthals and Cro-Magnons lived in Europe at the same time for several thousands of years. Growing up reading ancient Myths from different cultures around the world, it struck me recently that the Norse had quite a few stories about "trolls and giants" and I have been wondering if it could be possible that these myths contain some grain of truth.

In fact, there are lots of common elements in the myths, but "trolls" seems pretty localized. (I could be wrong, but as far as I can tell) These tales seem to be most highly concentrated in the geographical areas where Neanderthals COULD have been seen/interacted with by Cro-Magnons, and this makes me wonder if it is possible that these myths could have been passed down for some 30,000 years. That would put a whole new spin on the ancient myths if it were possible. They might hold historical information instead of just "stories."

illusionsaregrander's thread

The Elf

image source

An elf is a being of Germanic mythology. The elves were originally thought of as a race of divine or semi-divine beings (wights, vættir) endowed with magical powers, which they use both for the benefit and the injury of mankind. In medieval Norse mythology, they appear to have been divided into light elves and dark elves, difficult to delineate from the Æsir (gods) on one hand and the dvergar (dwarves) on the other.

Briefly i'd like to point out that in Norse and Germanic mythology the Elfen people were as tall or taller than man. It wasn't untill they started being lumped in with fairies that they're size decreased.

The earliest preserved description of elves comes from Norse mythology. In Old Norse they are called álfar (nominative singular álfr). Men could be elevated to the rank of elves after death, such as the petty king Olaf Geirstad-Elf. The smith hero Völundr is identified as 'Ruler of Elves' (vísi álfa) and 'One among the Elven Folk' (álfa ljóði), in the poem Völundarkviða, whose later prose introduction also identifies him as the son of a king of 'Finnar', an Arctic people respected for their shamanic magic (most likely, the sami). In the Thidrek's Saga a human queen is surprised to learn that the lover who has made her pregnant is an elf and not a man. In the saga of Hrolf Kraki a king named Helgi rapes and impregnates an elf-woman clad in silk who is the most beautiful woman he has ever seen. Crossbreeding was possible between elves and humans in the Old Norse belief. The human queen who had an elvish lover bore the hero Högni, and the elf-woman who was raped by Helgi bore Skuld, who married Hjörvard, Hrólfr Kraki's killer. The saga of Hrolf Kraki adds that since Skuld was half-elven, she was very skilled in witchcraft (seiðr), and this to the point that she was almost invincible in battle. When her warriors fell, she made them rise again to continue fighting. The only way to defeat her was to capture her before she could summon her armies, which included elvish warriors.[2] They are also found in the Heimskringla and in The Saga of Thorstein, Viking's Son accounts of a line of local kings who ruled over Álfheim, and since they had elven blood they were said to be more beautiful than most men. The land governed by King Alf was called Alfheim, and all his offspring are related to the elves. They were fairer than any other people...[3]

Elf wiki

The Sea Serpent

I wont devote too much to the Sea Serpent as it's something that gets a lot of attention here in the Crypto forum already.

n Norse mythology, Jörmungandr, or "Midgarðsormr" was a sea serpent so long that it encircled the entire world, Midgard. Some stories report of sailors mistaking its back for a chain of islands. Sea serpents also appear frequently in later Scandinavian folklore, particularly in that of Norway. In 1028 CE, Saint Olaf killed and threw onto the mountain Syltefjellet in Valldal, Norway a sea serpent, the marks of which are still visible [1] [2]. In Swedish ecclesiastic and writer Olaus Magnus's Carta marina, many marine monsters of varied form, including an immense sea serpent, appear. Moreover, in his 1555 work History of the Northern Peoples, Magnus gives the following description of a Norwegian sea serpent: Those who sail up along the coast of Norway to trade or to fish, all tell the remarkable story of how a serpent of fearsome size, 200 feet long and 20 feet wide, resides in rifts and caves outside Bergen. On bright summer nights this serpent leaves the caves to eat calves, lambs and pigs, or it fares out to the sea and feeds on sea nettles, crabs and similar marine animals. It has ell-long hair hanging from its neck, sharp black scales and flaming red eyes. It attacks vessels, grabs and swallows people, as it lifts itself up like a column from the water.

sea serpent wiki

Finally but not least

The Dwarf

image source

Dvergar or Norse dwarves (Old Norse dvergar, sing. dvergr) are entities in Norse mythology associated with rocks, the earth, deathliness, luck, technology, craft, metal work, wisdom, and greed. They are sometimes identified with Svartálfar ('black elves'), and Døkkálfar ('dark elves'),[1] due to their apparently interchangeable use in early texts such as the Eddas. While the word "Dvergar" is related etymologically to "dwarves", the early Norse concept of Dvergar is unlike the concept of "dwarves" in other cultures. For instance, Norse dwarves may originally have been envisaged as being of human size.[2] They are not described as small before the 13th century, when the later legendary sagas portrayed them as such, often as a humorous element.[citation needed]

In the Poetic Edda, the poem Alvíssmál tells how Thor mocks the 'pale' white skin of a Dvergr. Thor was furious to discover his daughter was promised in marriage to a Dvergr named Alvís (literally 'all wise', referring to the magical knowledge of the Dvergar) and insults him. Alvíssmál 2 Hvat er þat fira?! Hví ertu svá fölr um nasar? Vartu í nótt með ná? Þursa líki / þykki mér á þér vera! Ert-at-tu til brúðar borinn. What [kind of] fellow is this?! Why are you so pale about the nose? Were you [spending time] with the dead in the night? To me, [I] think you to be the body of an ogre (Þurs)! You were not born for [my daughter to be your] bride. The insult summarizes a number of concepts relating to the appearance of the Dvergar. Notably, this Dvergr has a 'pale nose'. In other words, he has black hair and a bushy black beard, and in the midst of this blackness, his white nose glares prominently. Note Norse culture values 'milk white' skin. However the complexion of the Dvergr is unhealthy, with a ghastly pallor, and Thor accuses him of being a corpse who spends time 'with the dead'. Moreover, Dvergar are pale because sunlight is lethal to them. (Alvissmal 16, 35) In the same way corpses are buried in mounds and never contact sunlight, the Dvergar too live underground and avoid all contact with the sunlight, on pain of death.[13] This Dvergr visits Thor above ground, only during nighttime, and at the conclusion of the poem, the dawn breaks forth killing the Dvergr, thus preventing the daughter from marrying him. Thor says the Dvergr has the body of a ogre, a Þurs, because of his monstrous pigmentation. Of course, Thor is famous for killing Þursar – and calling the Dvergr such is a threat. A Dvergr is simply not fit to marry the daughter of Thor. While Thor seems cruel, his concern may be the corpse-like lifestyle is unsuitable for his daughter. Dvergar live in utter darkness, and, like stones and corpses, spend much of their life without moving. Thor saves his daughter from a nightmarish arranged marriage. That Thor could be cunning enough to outwit a Dvergr, by tricking him into staying outdoors until the sun kills him, testifies to the saving strength of Thor, even mental strength.

Dwarf wiki

And so ends a rather long and quote heavy first post. Norse mythology is fascinating to me and part of who I am. I'm glad i could share a little bit with you all.

Edit: Due to member request pictures have been added.
edit on 15-2-2011 by optimus primal because: text hard, pretty pictures added!

posted on Feb, 15 2011 @ 06:21 PM
Nidhogg was my personal favorite. It was rarely mentioned, but it was described as a serpent deep under the ground (around Helheim, I guess). It was associated with death.

posted on Feb, 15 2011 @ 06:24 PM
reply to post by Dimitri Dzengalshlevi

nidhogg was said to chew on the roots of yggdrasil, the world tree. indeed norse mythology is rich with fantastic creatures

posted on Feb, 15 2011 @ 06:28 PM

Originally posted by optimus primal
reply to post by Dimitri Dzengalshlevi

nidhogg was said to chew on the roots of yggdrasil, the world tree. indeed norse mythology is rich with fantastic creatures

hah, now it's all coming back to me.

There was Ymer too, the great giant that was born out of fire and ice at Ginnungagap. He was the beginning of life itself, then he died somehow... and Yggdrasil grew out of his skull ("Ymer's brow"), if I remember correctly.

And then during Ragnorok, most of the Gods die (along with all of the giants), and only two humans survive because they stuck it out in the roots of Yggdrasil. This is the Norse version of Adam and Eve anyways.

posted on Feb, 16 2011 @ 07:40 PM
Awesome thread. My user-name is actually the Old Norse root behind the term 'warlock', it essentially means 'word-locker'; the Ancient Scandinavians had some awesome symbology, and considered the world in itself essentially magical. Their use of words, meter, and rhythm in the skaldic tradition is simply fascinating; it has a syntax to it that almost resembles the sequence of DNA in a sense.

The many races, and worlds of the Nordic world always fascinated. I often wonder if it is simply metaphor for different parts of the mind, or if it is more literal in a sense. A smaller gene pool in ancient times would have indeed correlate with more inbreeding, and repetition in genetic sequence, which tends to lead to more dramatic mutations amongst the populate. Also, if neanderthal and cro-magnon man did interbreed, it surely would've taken years for the genes were smoothed out enough to create a more singular race (though this singular race would essentially have DOUBLE the possible variations of the previous race).

Even the more recent tales of berserkerism as recent as 500 years ago, as with the Icelander Egil Skallagrimsson and his father Skallgrim and grandfather Kveldulf (Evening Wolf), contain evidence that these men were of dramatic physical appearance, resembling trolls in the face more than men. They were also known to into insane trances that could last for a full day or two, able to slay large beasts with there bare-hands, and were said not to respond to hammer or blade (this of course seems to be a result of an over-abundance of adrenaline, which would explain why it is told they did not bleed, though I wouldn't attribute super-natural powers to this ability). After coming out of this trance however it is said that they would be drained of all energy for many days; as if this increase of adrenaline had supercharged the process of metabolization in the body.

Biological Speculation on Berskergang

The notion of Seidr magic is also fascinating to me. The Ancient Scandinavians had a very broad spectrum of professions that were rooted in magical practice alone, ranging from divination, to trance, enchantment. The use of language, spoken and written word in itself was considered to be magical. We can't imagine this now, but consider how limited knowledge was only a century or two ago was? What was the literacy rate worldwide in 1850 compared to now? And this was well after the technology of print was established. Their language was living in a sense, instead of ours which treats everything as objective, instead of giving subject to inanimate objects as these northerners did. I believe it was their wide ranged interactions, it is theorized by some that EARLY Vikings were the Tuatha De Dannin of Ireland, and also the creation myth of the Maori's of New Zealand speak of red-haired blue eyed races, as well as blonde races that came by ship THOUSANDS of years ago. While much of mythology is indeed a description of early cosmological and even quantum theories, I believe that these HUGE spectrum explanations have reverberations that are repeated in history and could be describing ancient conflicts between strange peoples as cultures very SLOWLY intermingled as brave bunches of men and women left their homes to explore unchartered lands, and were sometimes lucky enough to find a new land and coalesce with it's inhabitants.

posted on Feb, 16 2011 @ 07:50 PM
reply to post by Dimitri Dzengalshlevi

Ymir was actually murdered by Vili, Ve, and Odr (or often Odin) who were the sons of Buri, who was a primordial giant that was created when Audhumla (the other FIRST being, alongside Ymir) licked on the salt deposits that remained when the first ice was melted by the first fire.

Yggdrasil literally means (Terrible's Steed), Ygg was an epithet for the original psychopomp Odr, later referred to as Odin. Odr literally means 'madness, ecstacy, sensation, breath', thus Ygg (terrible) is another name for him. It is actually a great metaphor for the nature of the universe. Odr is the male deity in it's highest form, he often lives on Earth in the form of a man named Svipdag in the old tales (Sudden Day), his counterpart is Freyja, the highest female form. So essentially the universe is Odr's vehicle (Terrible's Steed), a vehicle for wisdom through experience.

posted on Feb, 16 2011 @ 08:00 PM
heres a link to the Edda's on sacred texts website..

big ol star and flag for you buddy..
i am fascinated by the Norse mythology! i even have the elder futhark tattood around my neck.. lol
not much time now to give to much on thread this right now though.. but if any are interested in this, the Edda's are where to start imo..

posted on Feb, 17 2011 @ 04:44 AM
Speaking on Norse mythological creatures I have this movie on my to-see-list:
I can't say if it's a good one but the trailer is promising.

posted on Feb, 17 2011 @ 11:55 PM
reply to post by belsce

that movie looks pretty interesting. i could not however find a link to the trailer
hopefully it'll be on netflix or something so i can watch it!

posted on Feb, 18 2011 @ 04:15 AM
reply to post by optimus primal

Official trailer youtubealized

posted on Feb, 18 2011 @ 10:11 AM
reply to post by belsce

wow! that was cool! i wonder when we'll get it here in the us? thank you for giving me the link!

posted on Feb, 19 2011 @ 04:48 AM
reply to post by optimus primal


Peter Christen Asbjørnsens & Jørgen Moes "Norske Folkeeventyr" (Norwegian Folktales) is a collection of stories about mythological creatures, like the german brothers Grimms output.

The Norwegian Wikipedia site
has lots of info on both A&M and those folk tales, and the English wiki on NF you find here:

Projekt Runeberg has "Norske Folkeeventyr" as full text (in Norwegian) for free here:
and a translation in English is here:

posted on Feb, 20 2011 @ 05:12 AM
S&F for an interesting thread

Coming back to read it properly later

posted on Feb, 20 2011 @ 05:43 AM
reply to post by optimus primal

thanks for the cool info.

fun read.

posted on Feb, 20 2011 @ 06:59 PM
reply to post by belsce

thanks for the links i'll check them out! i love reading about this kind of stuff.

posted on Feb, 20 2011 @ 10:56 PM
There is a giraffe at my local Dali museum with a flaming mane that got me wondering. Dali never produced any cruel art as far as I can tell, so naturally I shifted to allegorical interpretations. Thought maybe a giraffe might be similar enough to a horse that maybe Dali mixed in some Norse Legend of Sleipnir. Talk about strange mythical beasts, here was a steed that the god Odin could ride to the edge of Hell. Apparently Sleipner had a male offspring named Grani that liked to swim and ride to the edge of hell as well.

Grani was used by the German composer Richard Wagner in his Götterdämmerung. Brünnhilde rides Grane into the fire of Siegfried's funeral pyre leaving instructions to the Rhinedaughters to retrieve her powerful magic ring from the ashes.

When I got home and researched the flaming giraffe I found that it was part of a 1937 movie Dali planned to make with Harpo Marx? Not only were the giraffes to be on fire, they were to be wearing gas masks! Pretty sure I'm going to end up getting drowned like Hagen did in the Götterdämmerung, but maybe Dali had read Alan Turings 1937 thesis about the Turing test? Turing was known to wear a gas mask while riding his bicycle to prevent hay fever. He also would have had the math ability to break all the secret codes. Any chance this interpretation could be correct?
edit on 20-2-2011 by Bordon81 because: (no reason given)

posted on Feb, 21 2011 @ 12:42 AM
Great pics ,all civilizations hide their constellations in stories and myths to keep trade routes to themselves.An example is the serpent at 66.6 degrees whereby the Norse navigated by their stories/map routes.For example if you were navigating somewhere by the stars/planets without a compass OR The Poles Kept Moving! HINT HINT. A story would be told of the formation of star characters/maps by whichever religion was telling their myths to sail from port to port Because Their Compasses Would Be USELESS....Gota keep the contraband flowing.... blue eyed sex slaves..ale...berserka eyed sex slaves..ale..berserka mushrooms .You had the rest now have the best.Damn Aztecs and their coca cutting in on Odin's sea route.So Thor sends Loki in as a bioweapon to infect the Indian elders.Then the jungles overgrow their knowledge and the young forget their historic power later to become slaves in later routes.Anyone starting to see a pattern here for all of the other civilization crashes?

posted on Feb, 21 2011 @ 06:13 PM
reply to post by admiralvenderfry

For example if you were navigating somewhere by the stars/planets without a compass OR The Poles Kept Moving! HINT HINT. A story would be told of the formation of star characters/maps by whichever religion was telling their myths to sail from port to port Because Their Compasses Would Be USELESS....Gota keep the contraband flowing.... blue eyed sex slaves

You are aware that Oprah Winfrey owns a studio named Harpo productions? Harpo is Oprah spelled backwards.

Back in 2006 Oprah was written up in Elle magazine as one of the Minerva Award recipients, which has become one of the most prestigious awards given to women humanitarians. Michelle Obama was one of the main attractions at the conference

Menerva/Menrva was a Roman Goddess.

You lost me at the blue eyed sex slaves?

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